Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
GypsyMike
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Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by GypsyMike » Fri May 02, 2014 5:39 am

Hello burners,

First, allow me to confess. I am not a burner myself. But, I am fascinated with your combined ingenuity. I am more of a self created, non dogmatic, gypsy monk. This lifestyle includes living in a tent in the desert for months at a time. My tent is fine for sleeping in, but it gets too hot to sit in and meditate during the heat of the day. In searching for a shelter that is portable, low cost and can stand up to both intense exposure to the sun as well as high winds, I came across the monkey hut. Brilliant! I have read all of the posts that I can find on this structure and still have a list of questions. Thank you Love Monkey for providing such concise instructions for construction. For the time being I will start with just 2 questions.

1.) What is the center height if Love Monkey's instructions are used?

2.) Does anyone know if this structure would stand for up to seven months in the desert? Or is it really intended for short term use?

Thank you,

GypsyMike

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unjonharley
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by unjonharley » Fri May 02, 2014 7:19 am

GypsyMike wrote:Hello burners,

First, allow me to confess. I am not a burner myself. But, I am fascinated with your combined ingenuity. I am more of a self created, non dogmatic, gypsy monk. This lifestyle includes living in a tent in the desert for months at a time. My tent is fine for sleeping in, but it gets too hot to sit in and meditate during the heat of the day. In searching for a shelter that is portable, low cost and can stand up to both intense exposure to the sun as well as high winds, I came across the monkey hut. Brilliant! I have read all of the posts that I can find on this structure and still have a list of questions. Thank you Love Monkey for providing such concise instructions for construction. For the time being I will start with just 2 questions.

1.) What is the center height if Love Monkey's instructions are used?

2.) Does anyone know if this structure would stand for up to seven months in the desert? Or is it really intended for short term use?

Thank you,

GypsyMike
There is plenty of six ft. head room..The frame should stand several years.. Depending on what cover you use.. I'm going with cotton duct.. using shoe glue (Gooop). to form sleeves to fit the frame.. This thread needed to be.. Stay tuned for others to improve the base monkey hut.. Next week I will try to set a monkey hut with no rope/lines.. My head tells me I can extend one end of the
hut by six feet..
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by VultureChow » Fri May 02, 2014 7:24 am

I would think the tarp would disintegrate before the pvc goes, though you might come up with a more permanent way to firm up the joints than duct tape and bungies.
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unjonharley
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by unjonharley » Fri May 02, 2014 8:19 am

The first problem I have was the short tubes that received the side tubes.. They kept moving off center and the end tubes had to be adjusted several times.. Fixed this by putting the short tubes centered in the top ( X & Ts) joints. Then drilled and 1/4 bolted them in place.. This also make for less loose peaces and easyer to transport.. This also forms a stop so the side tubes stay centered.. Trying for NO! bungee cord or balls.. Anything to have less to keep tract of..
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by some seeing eye » Fri May 02, 2014 8:44 am

There are many monkey hut experts here for you. My suggestions - use 20' lengths of schedule 40 sprinkler pipe, rather than 10 with a joint. Use tiewraps where pipes cross rather than inflexible PVC joints. Use the heavy duty silver tarps which are more opaque than other covers. I'm a fan of bungies to hold the cover (bungie balls) and guy lines, they let the structure and cover flex in winds. Our playa rebar anchors may not apply to your soil conditions. But you plan sounds like a great Mad Max adventure!
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Drawingablank
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by Drawingablank » Fri May 02, 2014 9:16 am

I'm 6'2" and can stand upright in approximately 50% of a standard MH .

As for long term usage I would think that the main issue would be the durability of the covering. The only issues I've ever had with mine was the rebar bending from the wind, so use beefier rebar.

Personally I don't agree with making the structure more rigid by eliminating the bungees - part of what makes a MH so durable is its flexibility.
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by BeeWeeDee » Fri May 02, 2014 11:41 am

This popped into my advertisement world but at $850 I will stick with the Monkey Hut we all know an love so well.
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by trilobyte » Fri May 02, 2014 12:34 pm

How long it lasts would likely depend on the specific conditions. Over time, things like really arid conditions and loads of bright sun/high heat can affect the PVC and make it brittle and prone to breakage. I don't know that I'd consider the material for anything longer term unless I had fresh backup parts (as in not sitting in the same desert condition for months on end), but your mileage may vary.

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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by maladroit » Fri May 02, 2014 12:47 pm

I left a couple monkey hut poles outdoors for a year, and did some bend tests...I wasn't comfortable at all with the ease at which it shattered, and the cobra-like springback of the very sharp broken edges. I'd be fairly confident using monkey hut poles for a few years, a week at a time, and kept in the dark the rest of the year. For a longer term structure I'd do the metal electrical conduit frames with flat roof sections made of shade cloth.

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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by unjonharley » Fri May 02, 2014 2:02 pm

I'm going to see how small of a bundle the poles fit in.. It would be nice if they would fit in a large (sewer) pvc tube.. Good for transport and storage..

Might try using old bike inner tube in place of duct tape.. Old messed up duct tape in nasty to remove.. The sun breaks the tape down fast
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by maladroit » Fri May 02, 2014 2:24 pm

The sewer tube will probably be heavier than the poles themselves. How about some black plastic drainage culvert? It'll probably cost more than the monkeyhut poles, though. I think a tarp-burrito is the best overall solution.

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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by VultureChow » Fri May 02, 2014 3:26 pm

What about using just sections of culvert or tube at either end. Or a large hose clamp at either end to bind together.
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Drawingablank
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by Drawingablank » Fri May 02, 2014 6:23 pm

unjonharley wrote:I'm going to see how small of a bundle the poles fit in.. It would be nice if they would fit in a large (sewer) pvc tube.. Good for transport and storage..

Might try using old bike inner tube in place of duct tape.. Old messed up duct tape in nasty to remove.. The sun breaks the tape down fast
I just use stretch pallet wrap in the 4" width. A couple turns around the bundle is all it takes to hold them securely. It is readily available at home despot in the moving supplies section, U-line, or anyplace that sells packing supplies.

Edit - that is for storage and transport, I doubt it would work well for holding it together during use.
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theCryptofishist
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by theCryptofishist » Fri May 02, 2014 8:02 pm

GypsyMike wrote:But, I am fascinated with your combined ingenuity.
We, humans--not just burners--are tinkerers. It got us to where we are today.
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GypsyMike
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by GypsyMike » Sat May 03, 2014 6:45 pm

Thanks for the feedback everyone. I have to say the most amusing was the Mad Max comparison. Where I do my winter camping is populated mostly by retirees living in RV's. So no thunder dome action :)

As for the height, I'm only 5'9" tall myself, but I do have some tall friends that I would like to be able to stand comfortably in the hut. If I bring the ribs about one foot closer together (to 11' using Love Monkey's designs), This would give me more height, but would it then lose stability?

I'm happy to hear that most people feel confident that it should make it through at least one 7 month season. If worse comes to worse, there is a Home Depot fairly close bye if spare parts are needed. One person commented on pvc shattering after much sun exposure. I'm wondering if wrapping all of the pipes in duct tape would add extra strength while also keeping them contained if they do fail?

Oh and another very practical question. How much cooler is it in a hut than outside? Let's say for an example it's 2:00 in the afternoon, 100 degrees F with no wind. What would I expect the temp to be in the hut?

I'm writing a list of questions as they come into my head. What do people feel is the best approach? To list them all in one posting, or ask 2-3 per post like I'm doing?

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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by sadie » Sat May 03, 2014 8:08 pm

Hi GypsyMike. I'll jump in here. I have built my first monkey hut and plan to attend Burning Man in August. Based on what I have read and gathered from the experienced burners, I think wrapping the pvc in duct tape has a pretty big sticky mess potential. If I was going to wrap the pvc, I would probably choose gaffers tape. I'm not sure if either one would make a difference in the life of the plastic.

I chose 70% reflective aluminet to use as a cover for my hut. From what I understand, you lose a little in deep shade, but make up for it in breathability. It is also very lightweight and packs down small. I can't answer the temp. question other than to say it would have to be better than no shade at all..!! Aluminet also puts less stress on the structure since it doesn't fight the wind.

Oh, and mine is right at 7' center height. I used Love Monkey's plans and left the floor width at 12'. The only change I made was cutting the pvc into 5' sections for portability, and I am using 2.5' sleeves of one size larger pvc to join the pieces back together. I seem to recall reading that someone had adjusted the width of their floor to 11' without any issues.

I think it comes down to personal choice for the variations.

As far as posting a list of questions vs. a couple at a time...I think either way would be accepted. :)
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GypsyMike
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by GypsyMike » Sat May 03, 2014 9:58 pm

Thanks for writing Sadie. You actually addressed one of my questions. I would like to use 5' sections for portability. Have you had the chance to field test that option?

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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by Popeye » Sat May 03, 2014 11:18 pm

Ultravioliot will deteriorate PVC, discolor it and make it brittle. Painting the pipe will protect it from UV rays but most paint will flake off and moop. There are some acrylic paints designed for PVC which should stay on. I don't remember the designation but there are some PVC electric conduit that is rated for outside use and is not as susceptible to UV. Conduit is the same OD as water pipe but darker in color and comes in 10' sections. It may be more flexible than pipe and I do not know of anyone who has used it on playa. It is made to be heat bent at much greater temps than you will see.
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sadie
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by sadie » Sat May 03, 2014 11:20 pm

I have set it up in my yard a couple of times, and I camped with it over a long week-end. There was no wind to speak of, but I know the design has been tested and proven on the playa by others. The trick is to run a screw into the center of your connection sleeves to keep them from slipping out of place.

There are a couple of really great threads on this board that have all kinds of info about the huts. I don't know how to post a link, but one of them is called "Monkey Hut Question" and another one called "Monkey Hut Fail" (I think). It works better to use google search with "eplaya" + whatever you are looking for. I learned a lot reading those threads. I am happy to discuss it with you, but I don't have the actual experience that a lot of others do.

I will say that I loved the design for the simplicity - something I could make and set up by myself. They get a good score for harsh playa conditions and are easy to add on to if you want a little more space. Surprisingly though, the 10 x 12 has a lot of room.
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Drawingablank
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by Drawingablank » Sun May 04, 2014 7:34 am

GypsyMike wrote:Thanks for writing Sadie. You actually addressed one of my questions. I would like to use 5' sections for portability. Have you had the chance to field test that option?
I have used that design on my original monkey hut which we transported inside a Prius to the burn. It held up well. Just make sure you run a screw into the center of the connecting sleeves to prevent it from sliding down.

I believe that there are more details about this at: http://eplaya.burningman.org/viewtopic. ... 61#p554968

Edit - PVC pipe is said to break down from UV exposure, but I haven't noticed much of an issue with that. In defaultia I have a firewood rack built of PVC in my yard that is about 4 years old and is still holding up well in spite of constant UV exposure as well as rain, snow, hurricanes, heat, humidity, extreme cold, etc..
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by GypsyMike » Sun May 04, 2014 5:26 pm

OK, It's coming together in my head. I'm getting pretty psyched. Any input on the temps?

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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by MacGlenver » Mon May 05, 2014 12:54 pm

I would echo the statements about the tarp or PVC eventually failing. I dont think it'd last 7 months in the sun. For one, as it gets really hot, PVC will sag, especially if you've got long lengths. Also, your tarp will probably disintegrate on you and/or the grommets may rip out during a big storm. I dont know how much longer aluminet would hold up versus a tarp... maybe it'd be fine? Rebar will definitely bend too much, so perhaps look into those 1/2" thick 2' steel spikes you can get at home depot...

I would second the suggestion to go with a metal carport & shade cloth or Aluminet.
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by unjonharley » Mon May 05, 2014 1:15 pm

I'm going to use a ground cloth under the hut.. Will screw it to the ground and have marks to layout for the rebar spots. Best way i can come up.. no measuring tape messing around..
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by GypsyMike » Tue May 06, 2014 4:45 am

Can anyone tell me just how much cooler it is inside a monkey hut than outside?

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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by theCryptofishist » Tue May 06, 2014 9:36 am

Too many variables...
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by trilobyte » Tue May 06, 2014 9:49 am

@DrawingABlank - in fairness, your firewood rack in Defaultia is not in a desert location. Sure, there are uv rays in NY state, but there's a big difference between prolonged exposure there and in a desert.

+1 to what Fishy said. Way too many variables, and it's worth pointing out that all deserts are not the same. There are a lot of differences between low altitude and high altitude deserts, and while I'd been in a few of both... nothing was quite like the black rock desert (which also has high winds and corrosive alkali-rich dust).

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unjonharley
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by unjonharley » Tue May 06, 2014 10:20 am

The sprinkler tube here have lasted 12 years.. They are handled and repositioned often.. This time one snapped and shattered like glass.. The "back" heads and risers are OK but will replace all white pvc.. Figure a couple of years on the desert.. Wiped and put away off season.. Then replace.. You do not want the moop from shattered pvc.. Its a lot like picking beer bottle out of a playa street, only a lot more..
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by TT120 » Tue May 06, 2014 10:37 am

GypsyMike wrote:Can anyone tell me just how much cooler it is inside a monkey hut than outside?
That question really can't be answered. While it can be cooler under a hut, it isn't a set difference. Too many variables involved. The breeze is what really cools you off and if there is no wind, the heat will build up. Luckily, there's usually always a breeze blowing so make sure it can flow through your hut.
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by GypsyMike » Tue May 06, 2014 2:57 pm

I understand that air flow keeps things cool. So now I'm juggling is it better to have the tarp go all the way to the ground so the wind can't get under it and lift it, or to have a significant (I'm thinking 2 foot gap along the bottoms of each side) for nice air flow? I love the bucket swamp cooler design, but am really trying to keep my camp as minimal as possible. Remember, this is more of a long term living situation for me. I'm also really leaning to the heavy duty tarp side of things over alumanet or shade cloth. This is for two reasons. 1. cost and 2. sun protection. I LOVE the sun, but after a lifetime of chasing it around the world, I have to get pre cancerous skin cells frozen off my face on a bi annual basis. (USE SUNSCREEN and a HUGE HAT PLEASE). So, I'm really looking for a place that I can hang out mid day for maximum shade and cool.

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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Post by Drawingablank » Tue May 06, 2014 5:59 pm

In my opinion you can't go wrong with heavy duty tarps. I find that solid opaque tarps are noticeably cooler than fabrics that pass some amount of light. The HD tarp will probably weigh more and be a bit bulkier to pack though.

I run mine right to the ground and with the ends open there is enough breeze.
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