Playa Domes

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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Jimena Saravia
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Playa Domes

Post by Jimena Saravia » Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:45 pm

has anyone purchased one of these? I'm looking to buy a 18' dome for 3 people is that too big?
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Re: Playa Domes

Post by DrPeffer » Wed Jul 29, 2009 6:37 pm

[quote="Jimena Saravia"]

has anyone purchased one of these? I'm looking to buy a 18' dome for 3 people is that too big?[/quote]

these are great domes for the playa. As long as you stake them down well, they will withstand anything the playa dishes out. However, they trap heat during the day, unless you have some shade over them.

As for size: I've seen two couples (four people) and their gear live happily in one of the shelter systems 14-foot domes at burns past. If you're really trying to save space or money, the 14' should be ample for 3. But it's not much more effort to build the 18', so you might prefer the extra space, still.

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Post by C.f.M. » Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:48 am

I was thinking about one, too. The 11 (for just me).

I just can't decide (if I will be able to put it up, if it will be too much to travel with, worth the money, etc.). :cry:

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Post by jofezasa » Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:09 am

The 18' I bought for last year was rock steady though some of the poles flexed more than others--anyone need a ginormous PVC boomarang?--and it was easy to set up though I recommend a trial run or two at home before bringing out to the playa.

The 18' in theory is a more stable construction than the smaller ones. We found that during the dust storms, we had a "haze" of dust through the paneled slits though it kept us out of the worst of the dust. I staked the dome down with 4 2-foot rebar, evenly spaced, and for the other 8 I used tent stakes. I do recommend shade cloth (Shelter Systems sells theirs, you can likely get it elsewhere) and guying out the shade cloth will also help keep the dome down in a wind.

The 18' would be a palatial playa home for 3 and it is nice to have the extra space for not much extra weight and volume--I am driving the 18' dome up with my gear and water for 10 days this year in a Prius. I bought a largish military rucksack to fit the poles and extra stuff and plan to get a largish laundry back to stick the rolled up dome into.
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Post by Greenltdistrict » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:58 pm

Shelter systems domes seem like a great idea but I saw quite a few pvc strutted domes get pulverized in the intense windstorms last year. The camp right next to us, in fact, had one and the struts bent beyond use. ALthough not as convenient, we bought a metal dome like these Ultimately it does require more attention (ie, renting a material lifter, getting nuts and bolts, finding a cover) but once it is staked down it's solid and it has lasted several burns. Good fortune whatever you do!

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Post by LEVLHED » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:35 am

I've got a 14'. It's plenty of space for 3 people. I've got a full queen-sized air mattress in there and if I had to I could probably fit a second queen-sized+ gear.
Not to mention enough headroom to be able to jump and and down.

I've used it a few times now for "normal" camping the past couple of years and it's not too difficult to set up even by yourself. You will likely break a sweat before you're done though.

I've constructed some solar-powered exhaust fan vent tubes to stick up through the roof and some Aluminet for shading. This will be it's first trip to the playa. I was thinking of 4 rebar's + supplemental heavy-duty tent stakes as mentioned above, glad to hear it's been field-proven at least once!
When I had it out a couple weeks ago before I took it down (for the last time before BM!!) I put industrial sticky-back velcro on all the doors. I plan to tape up some of the shingle seams that face the wind when I'm out there to help seal out dust a bit more.

Shelter-systems doesn't really use "hubs", and what they do use is field-replaceable. Or at least field duct tape-and-zip-tie-the-shit-out-of-so-it-still-works-able.

Yes, they are not cheap...but I also don't expect to be buying another one for years and years.
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