Monkey Hut question

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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Ratty
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Ratty » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:20 am

AntiM you are a beauti to behold. Oh, and the monkey hut is nice too.

Claybcook, Here is a little ditty on how to make a personal sized tarp and some pictures of my structure. The end cap that faces the wind is of a stretchy fabric and kept out the elements. I added a strip of tarp at the rear bottom of the tarp and set some heavy ice chests and footlockers on it to hold it in place. The pink stretchy material is to be altered with some straps this year. It kept bulging into the interior of our enclosure. But it did a great job on the wind.

The pink fabric was cut to size, hemmed and I sewed straps to the edges to keep it in place. So easy and effective.

viewtopic.php?f=277&t=77435
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby claybcook » Sun Mar 05, 2017 6:30 am

Thanks all. I spent an hour or so at my local Home Depot pricing out the parts needed for a 12' W by 20' L Monkey Hut. It came to around $350 total. I've got a pretty good handle on the structure generally, so time for some nuance questions:
1. Those of you using bike tire tubes to wrap around the "spine" and "rib" connections, you've cut that tube into a straight piece of rubber first, then you wrap it and tie it? I'm trying to imagine how you could leave it as a circle and managing to get it wrapped around those joints.
2. Are you sizing your roof tarp to come right down to the ground on the sides and then tying it there, or are you trying to leave a space above the ground? If you're leaving a space deliberately, how much? Six inches? One foot? Two feet? I'm thinking of using a 15' wide tarp for the roof which would leave about three feet open along both edges and then hanging some shade cloth there, comments?
3. Some photos show a guy line or ratchet strap leading down from the intersection of the end rib and spine, some show two lines leading down, others no rope. Any conclusive evidence on this being necessary, or does it just make you feel more secure? Either is helpful. I am wondering about putting "X" connectors on the end ribs at the spine and leading another 10' X 1" rib down from there in the same arc to a rebar anchor set the same distance out from the spine as the edge ribs are. It would allow me to hang shade cloth on half the opening, the upwind and/or sunny side like a tent vestibule partially open. Thoughts?
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BBadger
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby BBadger » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:41 am

$350? How did it end up costing that much? Each 10ft pole of PVC is ~ $10, and a 20-ft MH would have 5x spines (with 2x poles each) if it is one long MH, or 6x if two separate MHs, so 10-12 10ft PVC pipes ~ $100-$120. The other tubes are probably another $50. A 20x22' heavy duty tarp is $80. So about 120 + 80 + 50?


I'd size your tarp as close to the total size of the MH as possible, with any extra going to the half-circumference length. Having a 22ft wide tarp (the half-circumference portion) will also give you a little bit extra tarp to fix to the ground depending on how the tarps are cut. You can weigh it down with boards or coolers or whatever. It helps keep the wind from blowing directly in from the sides, and might cut down on noise.

I would definitely make your tarp as long as your MH is long. If your MH is 20ft, try to get a 20x22ft tarp so that the half-circumference of the MH is covered and the entire length is covered. If the tarp is not long enough, you can decrease the length of your spine to make it fit. You want your tarp as long as your MH because strapping the end of a short tarp to the ribs puts tension on the ribs due to the weight of the tarp. Plus you're selling yourself short on what shade you could be enjoying. I wouldn't even bother with shade cloth except maybe to hang down the front, but not as shade that is above your head.

Monkeyhuts don't really need that rope at the end because they're supposed to bend and flex and you don't want something taught that can pop out or keep the MH from being flexible. That said, the ropes at the end can be nice for making the MH wider as needed.

For connecting a pipe at the end, those X connectors are very fragile and unlike the ribs, you won't have a sleeve to put the end of that pipe into at that joint. The ribs are strong because they go through a wider connecting pipe. You may consider abandoning those X-connectors altogether and just using those inner-tubes (to your other question: you can cut the inner-tubes to be long enough as needed). I'd probably just not bother with having an extra shade spot near the end; just keep your tent or whatever near the center and use the end points.

You could also consider building two 10ft-long MHs and put them next to each other and stretching fabric between them if you want more shade space.
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Popeye
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Popeye » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:55 pm

When buying tarps remember that the tarp size given on the package is the unhemmed size. In other words, a 20'x22' tarp is probably about 19'6"x 21'6".
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby claybcook » Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:48 pm

OK. The $350 figure is all in: rebar anchors and candy canes and rope and a floor tarp and bungy cords and bungy balls, and the tools to hammer in and remove, etc. I'll keep it simple and do my best to have the roof tarp cover the structure as completely as possible end to end and side to side. I'd really like to close off the end behind the tent, (hopefully the eastern end) to delay the sunrise as much as possible. Having one end closed off should minimize the blow-through wind tunnel effect, I hope. Maybe.

You guys are great!
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ZigZag
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby ZigZag » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:22 am

krly wrote:Zig Zag,, and Hooker, how does the alum. tape hold up to folding and or rolling up the covering for packing ?



I was actually surprised at how well the aluminum tape held up. Its actually quite thin and, on the roll has a release paper layer to keep it dimensionally stable. I think its thickness (or lack thereof) is its strength because when I laid it down I went over it very carefully rubbing it down onto the attic foil to ensure full adhesion. As a result it folded and crinkled as if it was apart of the foil.

The tensile strength at the seam was born by the 6" nylon filament tape on the underside so the real purpose of the aluminum tape on the top site was to seal the seam and, of course, to reflect sunlight.

I had set up and taken it down several times before the burn and it held up perfectly. After the burn, I checked it when I cleaned it and saw no pull ups or tears. Its now in my unheated garage and I will check it once spring comes to see if there are any effects from a Minnesota winter of freezing and thawing. But I have heard that once that stuff is down, its down for good.

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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby ZigZag » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:32 am

BBadger wrote:
For connecting a pipe at the end, those X connectors are very fragile and unlike the ribs, you won't have a sleeve to put the end of that pipe into at that joint. The ribs are strong because they go through a wider connecting pipe. You may consider abandoning those X-connectors altogether and just using those inner-tubes (to your other question: you can cut the inner-tubes to be long enough as needed).


Absolutely abandon those X connectors: Way too expensive and way too fragile. They are not designed for the forces put on them by bending the ribs. My first experiments resulted in fractured connectors and I dang near lost my eyes when it happened. (see picture) Screw that. If the ribs are 1" PVC, make a 2' connector of 1.25" PVC. Slips on easy and distributes the tangential force of the bend across two feet instead of the 1" of a connector.

Instead of inner tubes (way too much tying) I just used bungie balls to connect the ribs and the spine. Took very little time, was flexible so the hut could move easily in the wind and plenty strong.

The purpose of the MH is shade and in 2016 I closed off one end in a loose way by parking my van across one end and covering it with a EMT shade structure. That reduced the air flow through the hut but allowed enough in to keep it cool.

The architect of the MH using the attic foil tarp is an ePlayan named Capinator. (To be clear, this is not my design, its his and was awesome in helping me figure mine out). He built several huts for 2016 that had cone shaped ends so the hut was sealed up, and aerodynamic so it didn't become a sail in the wind. There is a picture of it here: https://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic.php?f=277&t=76272&p=1117320&hilit=Capinator#p1117320

This was what mine looked like:
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby claybcook » Fri Mar 10, 2017 6:38 am

Dang! That fractured connector looks like a trip to the ER just waiting to happen!
I'm slowly tacking towards my destination here; perhaps not directly, but I'm making progress. Regarding the stakes which will anchor the 1" PVC ribs: given that the ribs aren't putting any force on the anchors upwards, but only in shear against the resistance of the playa, how long is long enough? How much above and below ground? Total length? 2'? 3'? More is better, but more means more hammering on the way in and more pulling on the way out. There are also 3/4" steel stakes sold at HD with a presharpened point and smoother surface so I'm thinking easier hammering, again, 2 ft? 3 ft?

Regarding all the ropes and cords to restrain the tarp, nobody seems to be specifying the rope they used. General guidance to find climbing ropes, but otherwise no. Designed load figures? I can pay big bucks for 150' of climbing rope, or I can buy 500' of paracord with a designed load limit of 160lbs. The paracord can be reflective, so I'm interested there.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:13 am

Mule tape is stronger and cheaper than rope.

I used lag bolts for the "feet" of a moded half hut last year.

1' in the ground and 8"s to slip the PVC over.

That part worked fine.

Other parts of my design created the first failure I've ever had with one of my playa designs. :oops:
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby claybcook » Fri Mar 10, 2017 10:09 am

Mule Tape? Wow, mule tape. Just googled it and it looks perfect. Great suggestion, never heard of it before. Any issues cutting it? Standard knife or scissors? Do you need to burn the ends to keep it from unraveling? Going to order a roll right now. It says it's lubricated to reduce friction, does it gather playa dust? Has it been reusable?
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:13 am

Scissors work fine and it doesn't unravel, but I melt the cut ends just for neatness.

I think you can get unlubed, but it doesn't really attract dust worse than anything else.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby BBadger » Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:41 pm

claybcook wrote:Mule Tape? Wow, mule tape. Just googled it and it looks perfect. Great suggestion, never heard of it before. Any issues cutting it? Standard knife or scissors? Do you need to burn the ends to keep it from unraveling? Going to order a roll right now. It says it's lubricated to reduce friction, does it gather playa dust? Has it been reusable?


Before you buy and use mule tape, consider the following:

I've used mule tape the past 2-3 years and am considering switching to high(er)-strength paracord instead. Don't get me wrong, mule tape is good stuff -- very strong, also cheap -- but it is slick and a spool takes up a lot more space than an equivalent length of paracord.

Mule tape is really strong. The tape I got was rated to about 1500lbs. The thing is, I don't need that kind of strength for what I use it for. Decent paracord can be had for cheap that is rated to about 500lbs, which is quite adequate for my need.

Mule tape is made to drag cabling through pipes and stuff without heating up. It's made of slick polyester or something of that nature, no grease or anything. The material itself doesn't have much friction by how it's made. The slickness actually means that the dust doesn't cling to it very well too. You can reuse it as well.

The slickness comes into play when making knots such as a Blake hitch, which is a slip-knot. I've managed to make the knot hold on that slick mule tape, but sometimes I feel that it'd start to creep or slide over time. On the other hand, paracord really keeps the knots wherever they're placed.

Space-wise, I bought a spool of about 500ft of mule tape from eBay for like $35 or something. The spool itself is really nice, but it takes up quite a bit of space that I could otherwise dedicate to other goodies. It is also somewhat heavy and a pain to carry/move around if I don't want to pre-cut my lengths of tape as I'm using it.

One thing nice about mule tape is that, being "tape" it's easier to see when used as guylines. Paracord needs to have some ribbons or something attached to make it more visible -- even the high visibility types of paracord.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby FIGJAM » Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:34 pm

I use my drill to spin the tape off the spool and create ball-o-mule tape.

No spool needed. :lol:
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby krly » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:53 pm

Just out of curiosity.....being "tape" does it make much noise (hum) in the wind ?

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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Traveller in Time » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:12 pm

As was my thought about the tape :D

The non elasticity could give great sound effects
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Strata » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:31 pm

Ok, I feel dumb for asking this, but if you don't use connectors I can see how the rib to spine join works, but how does the spine itself work? Do you overlap the spine pieces side by side and lash both to the rib section?
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Strata » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:43 pm

I think I figured it out, I'd use 1.5" sleeves to join the 1.25" spine pieces. If I'm not using X connectors, I can use 10 foot spine sections, I believe. I also realized, reading other parts of the thread, that if I need 7 foot height I need longer than 10 foot rib pieces, so I added a 4 foot section to the ribs.

I diagrammed what I'm thinking of in this drawing: https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1SNP9-_wTBUEjhHneWAuBLgLXfnjCyKlzzxrDDXjlixA/

I'll be using a light covering-- radiant attic foil as suggested earlier in this thread, so I think my design should be sturdy enough. Please let me know what I'm forgetting or not thinking about. I want to design this right before I go get parts and build it.

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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby BeeWeeDee » Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:10 pm

First of all, I learned something new about a Monkey Hut after 5 years of putting one up. Thank you all. Not knowing it all when you know it all is a bit disconcerting.

1. Orientation of the MH is a big deal - North/South/East/West - sun angle - time of day. All that.

also

2. A jig or template for laying out the stake pattern is useful - especially at night if you are inclined to set up at night. I use some cord, PVC rings, and the Pythagorean Theorem. It can lay out three corners and the middle stake on one side. Flip it over for the other corner and middle stake.

3. I'm going up on re-bar size - maybe to the 1/2 or 5/8 inch level. This comes from experiencing my MH attempting to squish me in a high wind and the ridiculous angle of the re-bar in a morning after post-mortem. That was a scary night.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby BBadger » Thu Mar 23, 2017 5:32 pm

Yeah, having a jig or template is really helpful. An oblique or trapezoidal monkey hut is no good. You can also mark the proper lengths on the ribs/poles themselves (provided you can straighten them enough) to get the distances down in the event you forget your jig. Marking the locations on the loop of rope is important too.

If at night those laser-line squaring tools are also handy and they're pretty cheap.

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Monkey Hut Question

Postby Wilbur4s » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:35 pm

Too increase the strength of the spine, how about drilling holes in the end Ts, threading two ropes inside, knotting them on opposite sides and then attaching the other end of each to a ratchet strap and terminating that in the ground as a guy line? Apply just a small amount of tension. This would tend to compress the spine.
Better yet, rather than drilling holes in the end Ts, use X pieces on the ends so that it would be easier to thread the two pieces of rope and so that you wouldn't have the risk of the rope abrading on the drill hole.
Ideas about this?
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Strata » Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:45 pm

WRT marking things, I am getting a ground tarp the size of the hut (15'x30') and using that as a set of straight edges at right angles. I know the tarp size will be smaller than that and will adjust accordingly, but this will save me having to set up a jig or a string line. Might also sharpie arrows onto the tarp pointing out to where the lag screws go, measure on the tarp in advance. :-)
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby jadeddog » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:25 pm

I am really interested in making a monkey hut this year, and were talking to some guys at work. They suggested that I check out the portable garage kits that are fairly widely available.

I found this one that has a pretty good price: viewtopic.php?f=277&t=57838&start=150

What are all your thoughts on this? Do you think it would hold up to the winds, with some slight modifications, such as tie downs etc?

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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby BBadger » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:49 pm

That link to Ratty's setup above looks nice, but maybe you meant to link to something else?
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