Monkey Hut question

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Drawingablank
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Drawingablank » Fri Jul 19, 2013 11:56 am

Riv wrote:OK, more monkey hut questions!
2) For the ribs, is continuing to use gaffer tape to keep the connectors from slipping? It seems to me that the tension should mostly hold them in place anyway...

The best way is to run a screw into the 2' connectors at the halfway point. No taping needed then because they will not be able to slide past the screw.
Riv wrote:OK, more monkey hut questions!
3) The original MH instructions about the bungee cords seem like they might cause some amount of skew with the flexible inner tube connections. Any suggestions for better ways to hold the spine together? Or will bungee cords still work well in this setup?

The spine bungees are designed to keep the socketed parts in the original design from pulling apart. Since your design uses no sockets they would likely create some issues.
Riv wrote:5) How much guying out/staking down is a good idea and how much will it compromise the whole "flexes instead of breaking" aspect? I'm looking at using either one or two guylines run all the way through the spine and staked at both ends.

I would consider running a rope through your spine and guying down the ends.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Raoul » Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:58 am

Since this thread has been quiet for a year, I thought I would re-start the fun with a question. :coffee: My apologies if it is answered elsewhere...I really did look before posting.

I want to go with LoveMonkey's design http://www.chromatest.net/Lovemonkey/ but I need slightly more space - ideally shooting for something along the lines of 15 x 15 (with about 7' of height) rather than the 10 x 12 in LM's design. My tent has a 9x14 footprint, and I prefer to put the entire thing inside the MH rather than going the shade flap route.

How much length do I need to add to the ribs to increase the width of the MH to 15'? And, how far apart should the ends be situated to maintain height at about 7 feet?

Any insights would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby BeeWeeDee » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:44 am

The MH ribs are typically thought of as a semi-circle. With a diameter of 15' the total rib length from re-bar to rebar would be about 24 feet. This is 4' longer than the ribs for the 10X12 design.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby oly14 » Tue Jul 08, 2014 10:20 pm

I built a 14' x 24' MH last year using 24' ribs to 'garage' a Ford E250 van. The van is ~7' tall and easily fit inside. Remember, MH ribs don't form a perfect circle, they kind of flatten at the top. You may be able to get away with 24' ribs with the ends 15' apart. I needed an overall height greater than 7' because I had to fit a 'box' inside. Before I bought and cut all the pipes, I built one rib, drove some rebar into my lawn and put it up to see how tall it was. I didn't want to buy all the pipe and build the thing only to find out the van wouldn't fit. :shock: If you want me to try a 15' opening with the parts I have to figure out how tall it is, let me know.

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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Raoul » Wed Jul 09, 2014 5:24 am

oly14 wrote:If you want me to try a 15' opening with the parts I have to figure out how tall it is, let me know.


Thanks a million for the offer, Oly! I found this design http://galaxybeing.com/galaxyhut/ that says it provides 7 feet of clearance and looks like it will do the trick. The ribs are 24' with the ends placed 14' apart. I will probably take your suggestion to build one rib in the back yard to confirm height, but I think my tent my be a little more forgiving than an E250 if I am an inch or so off. :lol:
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Fan C » Wed Jul 09, 2014 3:56 pm

We use a hut based largely on the galaxy hut. 30"x 14" Our guy line ties each section to the next along the spine. This holds the entire thing together and eliminated any spine tubes falling out of place. I plan to do the same along the spine of a carport this year too.

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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby C187 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:50 pm

Google is kicking up odd stuff, so I'm just going to ask my question here.

Right now I can only find medium duty tarps in the size I need (I'm building the GalaxyHut version). Would I be fine with a medium duty, or must I find a heavy duty one?

On the shade set-up I've been using I've had smaller tarps of both types as part of the set-up with out issue. But I figured it would be better to ask people who know.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby oly14 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 4:39 pm

A medium duty tarp might be OK until, well, it isn't. I bought a super heavy duty from tarpsupply.com for my monkey hut when I built it last year. I didn't want to take the chance that my tarp would shred in high winds.

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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Fan C » Thu Jul 17, 2014 6:16 pm

Medium duty would probably be okay since once assembled the whole thing rocks as one unit.

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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby conundrum » Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:02 pm

How do you secure your tarp to the playa? I think having some clearance for air flow may be nice. I was thinking of doing a running rig by winding a paracord through the grommets, secured to the front and back rib. Would I stake off between each grommet pair? Or just every once in a while? Should I loop a short bungee or bungee ball through the cord and stake that or just stake the cord itself? Or am I overthinking this and should just stake each grommet directly to the ground?

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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Drawingablank » Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:35 pm

conundrum wrote:How do you secure your tarp to the playa? I think having some clearance for air flow may be nice. I was thinking of doing a running rig by winding a paracord through the grommets, secured to the front and back rib. Would I stake off between each grommet pair? Or just every once in a while? Should I loop a short bungee or bungee ball through the cord and stake that or just stake the cord itself? Or am I overthinking this and should just stake each grommet directly to the ground?


My first time I ran a rope through the side grommets and used a bungee to attach it to a stake at the center of each side.

Since then I no longer attach the tarp to anything but the end poles (with bungee balls). I do use a ratchet strap on each end of the ridge pole to secure the hut to the ground and have not had any problems with securing the tarp only to the end poles.

I use the standard Lovemonkey hut design - if using a different design ymmv.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Strata » Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:25 pm

Let's see if folks still reply to this thread, it's an oldie but goodie.

I'm planning my first monkey hut for the 2017 burn, and have been reading extensively about them. I've picked up a TON of great info from this thread, but some things are still unclear to me.

1) The bike inner tube wrapping of the spine to the ribs: is this like, X wrapped around the two and then tied off in a square knot, or what? If anybody had a close-up picture, that would be great.

2) Bungees/rib tension: if you are using an arch-and-overlaid-spine style instead of an arch-and-inline-X-T-connector style, is it still necessary to have tension from rib to rib? That would seem to destabilize your wrapped spine-and-rib joint, whereas it would stabilize an X or T connector joint.

3) Tarp going down to the ground or not: how much of an opening can you leave? Does a larger opening mean the hut will act more like a sail than with a smaller opening?

4) The ratchet over the spine and down to the ground: One humungously long ratchet line that goes all the way the length of the hut and down on either side of it? How optional is this?

5) Consensus on tying down the tarp at the edges, especially if you are leaving a foot or two off the ground: Thread rope through and stake in the midpoint of the ribs? Don't stake at all?

6) Rebar length above and below ground: I hear 12 inches, I hear 18 inches. My inclination might be to go with 18 inches if that increases stability. And what about this bit of garden hose on the end? To prevent a sharp piece of rebar from starting a PVC crack? Will definitely include this if folks think it is worthwhile. We have a trashed garden hose just sitting outside waiting for me to disconnect it and throw it out. :-)

7) Shade flap, to tack down / guy out or not to? Seems like leaving it to flap would be noisy and somewhat destructive. Tacking it down prevents airflow through. Somebody said to leave an airflow opening at the top-- other than cutting a hole in the tarp, which seems like a bad idea, how do you do that?

8) Is the monkey hut under wind load basically a monocoque frame / tensegrity structure? Is it worth tossing a length of rope over the top of the tarp along each rib and staking that down to help anchor the roof to the ribs?

I know this is not rocket science, and plan to do a lot of experimenting in my local park, but I am still building the picture in my head of how this all goes together. Thanks for any light you can shed on the above questions!

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Monkey Hut answers

Postby MyDearFriend » Thu Dec 22, 2016 7:06 am

I have had multiple huts out there for 6 years now and this is what has always worked well, starting from the ground up:

Rebar stakes: half inch diameter, 2 feet long. I spray paint half of each stake so I can see when I have 12 inches below ground. If you are staking the standard 5 feet apart, they will hold. Don't need to cap them; the sharp ends might shave a bit off the inside of the PVC (check for curly white MOOP when you break camp!) but the PVC will not crack.

PVC should be Schedule 40, for strength. Length can be whatever you like. Cross pieces between hoops should hold the hoops apart (Ts & Xs or what you will) AND be held in place with bungees or strips of bike tubes. You want the frame to flex, rather than break, and pop apart intact if the worst happens. It is best and easiest to use individual cross pieces (rather than one long spine) and secure them separately. That way, the WORST damage you get from sustained high winds (a popped cross piece) takes 5 seconds to repair.

Shade cloth: the stretchy kind is best, as this allows for better flex. I use 70% aluminet, with a gap of about 12 inches at the bottom on each side. This reduces dust build-up and keeps the heat down. I can sleep until noon in my tent 8) 8) 8) and I need a blanket when I nap in my hammock in the afternoons. No lie. Aluminet is fantastic.

Ropes: I run a slightly stretchy climbing rope along the bottom at the sides, and secure to the end PVC. I bungee the shade to each PVC along the side, at the bottom. Aluminet will puff up with the wind but not sail, as it is open-weave. This is another huge advantage over solid tarps (not to mention the WEIGHT). If Aluminet is too $$$, black shade cloth works too, it's just not as cool in the day time.

I do not use any kind of guy ropes or anchors. I have never needed anything like that. The tension between the bent PVC and the rebar, the stretched cloth and the bungees will hold everything in place. I have watched these huts through some serious storms, and like I said, the worst damage ever took 5 seconds to fix. Good as new. My first hut is 25 feet long and has been a FANTASTIC home through 6 straight arrive-early-stay-late Burns.

The only parts I have replaced are some rebar stakes that bent in sustained high winds. 8) 8) 8) 8) 8)
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Strata » Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:29 am

Thanks for the detailed reply!

I have created a parts list for a 12 x 30 foot monkey hut, and it comes out to (yowza) $725. I'm hoping that if I go to a plumbing supply store or irrigation store I can save some on the PVC, which is the next most expensive part after the shade cloth. I might go with a tarp because it's so much cheaper than 90% shade cloth, but I liked the idea of cool breezes through the walls.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/16fU ... fzA6uG96c/

Am considering scaling back to a 12 x 20, but my tent is 12 feet in diameter, so that doesn't really leave a lot of lounging room at the other end of the hut. At least I can order the pieces in stages, and spread the cost out over the next few months. I want to have the thing assembled and debugged no later than the end of July, so that's 7 months of saving $100/month.... that sounds more manageable somehow. :-)
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Ratty » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:25 pm

Hi Strata. Great to see detailed planning. I don't have a monkeyhut but I put one up for RobbiDobbs a couple of times. Hers is tarp over the tent and shade cloth for the porch section. That way you're not in a tunnel of isolation. There was just enough shade for her tent and Ice box. She also had a very handy tool. A 6" piece of pipe with a cap screwed on it. Slip this over your rebar to pound it in easily.

Also you can bring a piece of pvc to slip over the rebar and use as a measuring tool. 3 foot rebar. 1 foot pvc. Slip it on and pound till you get to the pvc. Instant 18 inches above and below ground. (If you are using one of those magic pieces of pipe with a cap for the pounding.)
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Strata » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:18 pm

Thanks much, Ratty!

Sounds like you are of the opinion that 36" rebar is better for this than 24" rebar?
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby BBadger » Sat Dec 24, 2016 2:52 am

Hmm, I never used more than about 18" of rebar with about 6"-8" above the dirt if I recall. The shorter length above the dirt meant that the bend of the PVC wasn't very affected. I did cover them with pieces of hose to give them some grip and not damage the PVC. Note that this was 5/8" rebar, which is a bit thicker than many people used.

This past year I made a clamshell structure using pieces from a 10x27' King Canopy kit, and a single 12x25' heavy silvered tarp. It produced a shade structure about equal size to a standard monkey hut, but could have been a bit longer if I had brought more of the pipes. They worked great, could be set up quickly by one person, and I just secured them to the playa with lag bolts with rope loops around the "legs". It sure beat pounding rebar and I could fit all the pipes and junk in my Subaru Outback.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Ratty » Sat Dec 24, 2016 11:16 am

Me too. This year I'll have a roll up shade for the front made from shade cloth. It was surprisingly effective at keeping the windy dust storm at bay.

On your monkey hut make a end cap to close off the wind when the dust kicks up.

Have you read Zig-Zags post from last year? Her hut was a success.

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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby ZigZag » Tue Feb 07, 2017 7:52 am

Hey.... Sorry I have been away for a while.

Best covering material in my limited opinion is radiant attic foil. Super light, super strong, super reflective. It comes in 60" roles and though its perforated (to let moisture through in an attic application" rain does not get through. You have to do a little prep by taping 5' strips together using 6" nylon tape on the inside and mylar reflective tape on the outside, and I ran a strip of the 6" nylon tape around the perimeter. Add some snap in grommets and its good to go.

Mine was 24'x25' for a monkey hut footprint of 15'x25' The PVC hoops were two 10' and one 4' 1/2" PVCs connected by a 2' 3/4" sleeves in the middle over 24" rebar stakes. I used tape on the 1/2" tubes so the connectors stayed in place. T and X connectors are expensive and a pain in the butt because they would shatter and it was too much assembly so I dumped that idea. The spine was two 10' and one 5' 1/2" PVCs, again connected with 2' 3/4" sleeves and bungeed to the ribs.

I had two ratchet tie downs on the ends of a rope that tied the ribs in place and rebar candy canes all around through this year I am switching to lag screws, I am so over rebar.

I got a piece of really cheap carpet (like 20 cents a sq/foot) at Menards that did not have a backing (backings are moopy when they dry out) and staked it down with tent stakes. I parked my van at one end to cut down the draft and to give me access to stuff stored inside. Ratty would come over and we'd hang out in the front area and watch the parade go by!

The whole rig performed wonderfully, it flexed with the wind, no breaks, no tears and my Kodiak tent underneath was cool most of the morning. Just walking under the hut you could feel a 5-10 degree temperature drop. The radiant attic foil rolled up easily for transport and probably doesn't weigh more than 15 pounds.

Whole cost of the monkey hut (excluding the test runs) was around 300 bucks.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby hooker » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:24 pm

I'm going to second what ZigZag said. I've built monkey huts for a few years using tarps. This past year I wanted something big enough for a Kodiak tent and I wanted it to be cool. I built a monkey hut with 24 foot ribs and used attic foil to make a covering. Worked fantastically. I set up a day or so before the rest of my camp arrived. Once they all got there and set up, they kept coming over to my hut to cool off. Everyone was amazed by how cool it was under the monkey hut. I'd heartily recommend attic foil. It IS a pain to tape it together, but it held up really well. I just wish one of the attic foil companies would start making big tarps out of the stuff.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby krly » Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:04 pm

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

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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Strata » Tue Feb 21, 2017 6:18 pm

I second that question, please.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby claybcook » Thu Feb 23, 2017 6:35 pm

Noob here. Pretty much decided to go the Monkey Hut way. As soon as the snow melts here in UT, I'll try putting one together in the back yard to get some real world experience, but some early questions:
1. Tarp or other material for a floor. Worth it? I can see lacing the edge grommets from a floor tarp to the edges of the roof tarp, hard to imagine that blowing away.
2. If I'm going to close off one end, I'm going to gather excess roofing tarp from the round roof section and simply bring it down to the ground, correct? Since I won't have a nice grommetted edge to secure, how would you hold this down?
3. Ditto for a shade section draped over the open "Front" end of the hut: how would you gather this and secure it?
4. There seem to be some concerns that the spine may not be stable enough given that it's made from sections, though the ratchet strap or rope through/around the spine would seem to take care of that. Has anyone used 5' sections of 1" pipe with a "T" glued at each end that just slips over the ribs to add strength along the spine or between the ground and the spine? Seems like they could be duct taped in place to connect the ribs and stiffen the whole structure, or is that overkill?

That's enough for now, my brain hurts.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby AntiM » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:14 am

We just throw some rugs down for ground cover. No way to keep the dust out, we quit trying.

We did use some T connectors and they shattered. Huts need the flexibility for the bending ribs to work. We did duct tape short pieces of pvc in place to "repair" the broken connectors.

We have a shade wing for the end, bungee cords do the trick, although the other end is tied to the utility trailer. Hut is mostly kitchen and sitting space at the regional, we use our heavy carports at Burning Man, and the hut is to cover guest tents.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby Strata » Fri Feb 24, 2017 6:17 am

I'm pretty concerned about all the mentions I've seen of the T-connectors shattering. Do the X-connectors fail also? Is the best way to simply use straight lengths of pipe to join the ribs, and to tie the spine to the ribs with inner tubes or bungees?
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby AntiM » Fri Feb 24, 2017 7:47 am

Strata wrote:I'm pretty concerned about all the mentions I've seen of the T-connectors shattering. Do the X-connectors fail also? Is the best way to simply use straight lengths of pipe to join the ribs, and to tie the spine to the ribs with inner tubes or bungees?


Yes, they do shatter. MyLarry decided to use them, and sure enough, they exploded. Nasty shards.

Slip sleeves do work (lengths of pipe), but using inner tubes to tie things up is tried and true. Normal bungee cords are round and do not hold quite as well as the flat inner tubes. The big black flat trucker bungees work very well.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby hooker » Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:03 pm

Strata and Zigzag,
The tape seemed to hold on just fine when I folded up the attic foil "tarp" that I made. I used filament tape from my old yurt on the inside, for extra strength, and foil tape on the outside. It all seemed to hold up well. I did have one eyelet in a corner pull through. I'll fix that before I head out again with a bit more tape reinforcement.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby claybcook » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:35 am

I think I'm getting the picture. 2017 will be my first Burn, but I've already got my tickets, so it's FOR REAL! It's always a challenge to find the sweet spot between too much rigidity and too floppy. It's very Quantum: sometimes it's a wave, sometimes it's a particle. Got it. Questions now on the covering.
1. If you're going to leave room for some shade cloth along the bottom edge, I'm assuming you'd have a central opaque tarp centered on top of the curve, and shade cloth laced grommet-to-grommet along the edge which would then draper closer to the ground? If you're going to have shade cloth along the ground, would you still want the bottom edge of this shade cloth to be above ground for ventilation, or is the open weave sufficient to let the breeze in? Wouldn't this shade cloth be very long and narrow, not a standard tarp size? There would only be a sewn edge and grommets on one long edge, which I would lace to the roof cloth, so the bottom edge wouldn't be restrainable. Is this a problem?
2. How about closing in the ends? I was hoping to minimize the wind & dust tunnel by closing one end off. I was thinking of solid cloth on the Eastern end to delay sunrise as much as possible, but shade cloth over the western end. If I lace these grommet-to-grommet to the edge of the roof tarp, then let them drape down, I'll have that awkward round-to-straight intersection which would result in a big pile of excess cloth. Would you try to trim this, or Just gather it up and rope it down?

I'm sure one day this will all be obvious. Maybe
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby VultureChow » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:58 am

claybcook wrote:Wouldn't this shade cloth be very long and narrow, not a standard tarp size? There would only be a sewn edge and grommets on one long edge, which I would lace to the roof cloth, so the bottom edge wouldn't be restrainable. Is this a problem?


I wouldn't leave anything unrestrained. Those create your noisy, flapping weak links. Yes even shade cloth. You COULD make a hem. Even just using duct tape and a grommet kit. Or leave off the extra shade cloth altogether.

claybcook wrote:Would you try to trim this, or Just gather it up and rope it down?


Try building it at home first. With good staking and bungee balls, you SHOULD be able to get it pretty tight. If you're still not happy, then trim it.
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Re: Monkey Hut question

Postby AntiM » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:03 am

We leave a gap along the bottom so the dust blows out. Even a loose weave can trap enough to make tiny dunes. Personal preference, and wind direction plays a factor. I don't have good pictures on the playa, but we use it at the regional also. Quicker and lighter than our carports, so better for four days than the longer time in BRC.

But yes, if any portion is flappy, you will need to restrain it or it will beat itself to bits.

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