Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

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Bemerritt
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by Bemerritt » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:13 am

this is the most recent shade topic, so ill put my question here.

what size bungee balls do you use? iordered 4.5" but they seem to tight. Is 6.5" the standard that everyone gets?

I guess I could go wit hteh 9" ones and worst case is having to wrap around the conduit once. Thoughts?

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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by skippy3k » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:27 am

I used 6", and they worked fine.
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by Ashtar » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:46 am

I just want to co-sign the running rigging suggestion as a way to spread wind-load across tarps in these flat structures. We have the burner-built/Black Rock Hardware EMT structures and in spite of having all the bungees included, we rigged with paracord last year. Though it wasn't super windy, we could see a huge difference in the way our tarps flexed versus previous-years' with bungees.

We're switching to 10x20' tarps this year with (some) confidence.

All of that having been said, if you find you're a few bungees short, we have a ton to lend/give out at the MacGyvers' Union. :D
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by Roundabout » Thu Jul 16, 2015 11:53 am

Bemerritt wrote:this is the most recent shade topic, so ill put my question here.

what size bungee balls do you use? iordered 4.5" but they seem to tight. Is 6.5" the standard that everyone gets?

I guess I could go wit hteh 9" ones and worst case is having to wrap around the conduit once. Thoughts?
It depends. If you are using Chinese made tarps, you can never know the actual size of the finished tarp until you open the package, spread out the tarp and measure it. So the best practice is to do a test build and decide at that time what size bungee works best with your particular tarp. If you don't plan to get your 1" EMT until you get to Reno or Fernley, you can still buy some at home for a test build, and then return it to the store if you have been careful to keep the EMT in good condition.
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by Roundabout » Thu Jul 16, 2015 12:05 pm

Ashtar wrote:I just want to co-sign the running rigging suggestion as a way to spread wind-load across tarps in these flat structures. We have the burner-built/Black Rock Hardware EMT structures and in spite of having all the bungees included, we rigged with paracord last year. Though it wasn't super windy, we could see a huge difference in the way our tarps flexed versus previous-years' with bungees.

We're switching to 10x20' tarps this year with (some) confidence.

All of that having been said, if you find you're a few bungees short, we have a ton to lend/give out at the MacGyvers' Union. :D
The last couple of years, I have used dynamic rigging on my entire shade structure, and it makes an amazing difference on spreading out the wind load. That being said, however, when it rained last year, I wish that I had rigged my flat roof with bungees so that I could have easily and quickly popped off a few to make a channel for water to run off. I use angled walls, and with this, in my experience, the flat roof does not get severe wind loads. So this year, I will attach my flat roof with bungees, and use dynamic rigging for attaching the angled walls (which get huge wind loads).
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by Bemerritt » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:06 pm

Roundabout wrote:
Bemerritt wrote:this is the most recent shade topic, so ill put my question here.

what size bungee balls do you use? iordered 4.5" but they seem to tight. Is 6.5" the standard that everyone gets?

I guess I could go wit hteh 9" ones and worst case is having to wrap around the conduit once. Thoughts?
It depends. If you are using Chinese made tarps, you can never know the actual size of the finished tarp until you open the package, spread out the tarp and measure it. So the best practice is to do a test build and decide at that time what size bungee works best with your particular tarp. If you don't plan to get your 1" EMT until you get to Reno or Fernley, you can still buy some at home for a test build, and then return it to the store if you have been careful to keep the EMT in good condition.
Did exactly this, that's when I found out the bungees were too short. The tarps were from ysbw, and two of them had broken grommets. So a word to those ordering from them, order early and check the tarps! They shipped two new tarps immediately to me free of charge.

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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by MacGlenver » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:52 pm

Any further opinions on this? So far Trilo has said 20x20 is no big deal (just chill when it starts ballooning), and cross strapping over the tarp seems like a good safety measure. Any words of caution, or do you think its sufficient?
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by skippy3k » Tue Jul 21, 2015 1:03 pm

I think 20x20, 10x20's or 10x10's are all fine, it just depends on your chill level, if you are cross strapping, etc. My chill level is not so good...I get edgy when things flap around so I'm willing to use a shit ton more bungies to tie down four separate 10x10 tarps and put up with the ever so slight cracks between the tarps. But that's just me. I know there are a ton of camps with huge tarps and they survive just fine.

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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by uncle sticky » Tue Jul 21, 2015 8:33 pm

Good discussion. Fyi, my shade can not have supports in the middle, so splitting it up is not feasible. Thoughts on cutting one side shorter in case of rain? Or it's that likely to create a wing effect?
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by EspressoDude » Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:48 am

buy a grommet kit. put in extra grommets.
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by MacGlenver » Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:30 am

I've found that putting in grommets is a pain in the ass, and is weaker than using the wrapped bungee ball method. I did grommets in some cheap canvas and they tore out like crazy. Tarp will probably fare better, but I don't think it's worth the effort. If you do go with grommets, get good quality stuff and make sure the grommet installer thingy matches the size of your grommets. I got some that matched perfect and weren't cheap and those held ok -- the cheap ones that were slightly off in size didn't hold so well.

On that note, does anyone know what the method is called where you put a bungee ball (or any other small object) behind fabric, then tie around the fabric to enclose the ball/object to make an anchor point? I use this method all the time and have never found a proper term for it. Drives me nuts.
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jul 23, 2015 10:02 am

If you wrap a piece of gorilla tape where you are going to install the grommet it is far less likely to fail. 8)
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by vargaso » Thu Jul 23, 2015 11:53 am

MacGlenver wrote:I've found that putting in grommets is a pain in the ass, and is weaker than using the wrapped bungee ball method. I did grommets in some cheap canvas and they tore out like crazy. Tarp will probably fare better, but I don't think it's worth the effort. If you do go with grommets, get good quality stuff and make sure the grommet installer thingy matches the size of your grommets. I got some that matched perfect and weren't cheap and those held ok -- the cheap ones that were slightly off in size didn't hold so well.

On that note, does anyone know what the method is called where you put a bungee ball (or any other small object) behind fabric, then tie around the fabric to enclose the ball/object to make an anchor point? I use this method all the time and have never found a proper term for it. Drives me nuts.
Do you have a picture of that method? I haven't heard of it before and I'm interested to see it in action. Seems hard to believe it's a sturdy as stringing the bungee balls through grommets, but if it is, I'd love to try it.

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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:46 pm

I don't know what it's called, but I have a shade that I hung up on one side of my shop.

Whatever I tried would come loose until I wrapped a golf ball in the corners of the clothe and cinched it in place with a piece of wire.

Re-stretched the shade were I wanted it and it's been there for 5 years.

That clothe is 6'x16'. 8)
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by FossaFerox » Thu Jul 23, 2015 2:55 pm

This is what he's talking about:

Image

It definitely works better in fabrics that can shift and stretch like heavy duty canvas as compared with tarps which tend to be lexx able to flex and stretch. That said, Gorilla tape + new grommets is what I'm using for repairs this year.

One important thing to take into account when comparing people's experiences with flat tarps bigger than 10x10 is the height of the structure, height of surrounding structures, and whether or not there are side walls to prevent the wind from getting underneath as easily. The higher the structure, the more exposed it is from neighboring structures, and the less there is to block wind from getting underneath it the worse off you'll be with any tarp, and bigger will definitely suffer exponentially in those instances.

I'll add this in as well, with the rain we had last year we would have been screwed if our tarps were 20x20 instead of 10x10. As it was they collected a lot of water, but with the additional frame supports and comparatively easy ability to drain them nothing failed outright.
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by Ratty » Thu Jul 23, 2015 9:16 pm

AS I was packing up my shade structure last week I grabbed some old fiberglass tent poles. I picked out 3 that fit under the tarps to prop them up in case of rain. The last thing I want to do is babysit my tarps in a rainstorm.
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by MacGlenver » Mon Jul 27, 2015 8:23 pm

FossaFerox wrote:This is what he's talking about:
Image
Yep -- that's the ticket. Thanks! I think I'm just gonna have to invent a term: strangled ball anchor. You heard it here first.

As for the wind & rain issues wiht 20x20... yeah. Cross strapping should help with wind. If it rains, I think we'll improvise something (eg one of our thousand pieces of PVC) to put a peak in the roof. We already have all the 20x20 tarps we could ever want, so dont want to reinvest. If it gets bad, we'll cut them down on-playa and use the strangled ball method.
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by MacGlenver » Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:38 pm

Update post burn. Emt rocks. 20x20 tarps were totally fine. The cross straps over the top pretty much didn't help at all except when we were putting the tarp on and the wind picked up, but once the tarp was attached the cross straps had little ability to do anything because of the long distance. I took the straps off. I guyed out every vertical pole (mule tape around the joint and then straight down to a lag screw). Would have been nice to put the tarps on while the frame was on the ground, but we didnt want to chance it flying away when we put it up before we could guy it out. Getting the tarps on while it was up was really tough due to wind kicking up, Prolly would have been easier with small tarps but it's all we gots :-)
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:31 pm

Roll your tarps up and put some bungee balls to hold it rolled.

Then attach the tarp to the frame on the windward edge first.

When you undo the bungees, the tarp will unfurl and you can attach as you go along the frame.
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by MacGlenver » Thu Sep 24, 2015 9:55 pm

Yeah as it turned out the windward side wasn't an issue, it was the far end. Middle just caught a lot of wind and made a sail that was tough to hold. Once flat it was perfect.
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by Ratty » Fri Sep 25, 2015 12:20 am

I have to rethink my tarps before next burn. Figjam I like your system of rolling them up conveniently for attachment. I'm also going to write on the tarps with a sharpie. No more guessing as to which side goes where. I also put away all my gear in nylon bags with the contents written on the bag. 'Shade structure tie-down straps, extra rope, bungees, tarp clips, 50 pair of socks etc...' I got rid of most of the dead weight so I won't have to sort through it next fall.
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by Ratty » Tue May 31, 2016 9:56 am

I learned an important lesson today that I would like to pass on.

Cheap tarps are not square. I bought a bargain heavy duty tarp at harbor and I'm marking it for alterations. It's a full 2" longer on one side. Lucky for me that I'm measuring what to keep. Not what to cut off.
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by gateway » Tue May 31, 2016 1:57 pm

I had a horrible exp with tarp last year, we had a few heavy duty tarps but our timing was horrible the wind/storms where hitting us so after 3 hours of messing around in this environment and getting it sorta up the poles broke and the holes started to rip, even with grommets. Also dont cheap out on any sort of poles, tent poles usually are very weak and can easily bend in the middle.. anyhow just throwing out random thoughts on this.
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by mattuch » Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:01 pm

I'm a 1st time foreman this year.
Last year we had 2 spaces. 50x30 and 30x30.

The 50x30 space used 20x10 tarps for the roof (no walls) with bungee balls. It was a nightmare. The winds ripped the grommets right out of the tarps. Our space was tore up!
On the other hand, the 30x30 space had tarp walls and used 20x10 tarps with bungee balls. It stayed up pretty good.

I have been researching a lot. They say if I switch to 10x10 tarps I won't have that big of a grommet ripping issue. The wind needs somewhere to go through.

I was also looking into dynamic rigging with Paracord. The pain in the ass factor is that I will have to punch more grommet holes in the tarps.

I'm trying to balance the budget and use some leftover 20x20's from last year and add new 10x10's for this year. Can I get away with re-using the 20x10's for walls? Do you have any suggestions/opinions for me?
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by trilobyte » Wed Jul 13, 2016 7:36 pm

Your grommet ripping issue could be due to a few different things.

First, lousy tarps. There is a massive difference between cheap tarps and good tarps. Aside from simply costing more money, a good tarp is much heavier duty and less prone to tearing, plus will often have a UV blocking layer (which makes a huge difference in taking the edge off daytime heat), and will have reinforced edges to help prevent grommets from tearing.

Second, over-enthusiastic people putting on bungees. With my camp over the years, we've had a wide range of newbies and veterans help out on the setup team, and we found that some people were far more enthusiastic about bungees than others. Some folks always double wrapped, and a few even tried to triple wrap... as if it was some kind of contest. If the bungees are tightened as much as humanly possible, there's less give. And if the wind doesn't have enough give, it'll tear up the grommet. We love the enthusiasm of our campmates, but when we're setting up the roof tarps, try to remind them not to double or triple wrap anything until all sides and all grommets have gotten a single-wrapped bungee. Once it's done once all around, figure out where you want to double wrap.

Third, if at all possible, wait until there's a break in the wind before you start to put that roof tarp on. If it's windy, not only will you guys be struggling and fighting with all that drag on the tarp, but you'll be subjecting your grommets to many times more stress and strain than it can probably take.

Smaller sized tarps are easier to put up, but with smaller tarps you wind up with gaps. Even though it's only a few inches wide, that gap means enough sun will get through to roast whoever's tent it's shining on. I use 20x30 heavy duty silver on silver roof tarps, they can be put on without too much trouble by as few as two people. More is usually easier, since it cuts down the time that the tarp is 'at risk' of the wind picking up when you're putting bungees on everything.

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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by Roundabout » Wed Jul 13, 2016 10:19 pm

I agree with Trilo. Good tarps and proper bungee use are fine for roof tarps. For wall tarps, however, I always use dynamic rigging because the walls take on about 90% of the wind pressure.
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by gcby30 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 11:48 am

This is an incredibly helpful thread for virgins like me planning their first conduit structure.

I am planning a 10x10 conduit cube around my tent and was thinking of using grommeted aluminet panels for the walls. The thinking was if I use aluminet my walls could be vertical as the material will let some wind through (thus decreasing the resistance against the wind that a tarp would produce) while also providing shade.

Is this a good strategy or flawed thinking?

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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by trilobyte » Thu Jul 14, 2016 12:15 pm

To me, it seems like an awfully expensive way to go for the least amount of shaded space (aluminet generally costs more than tarps). Don't get me wrong, I love aluminet (and use it on a couple of my structures), but you may want to have something blocking the winds from your tent (aluminet doesn't really block the wind at all).

For primary shelters, I go with angled tarps for the side walls, this way it deflects the wind up and over the structure. The space under those angled bits can also come in handy, whether it's for water or storage bins. On my bigger structures for campmates, I use heavy duty white tarps... the down side is no UV protection like the silver on silver roof tarp, but the up side is the structure doesn't feel like a big cave as it does with the silver tarps on the sides (I've built 'em several different ways over the years).

For anchoring side tarps, I use bungees there as well. Actually, I should point out that after many years of anger and frustration, I don't stake the side tarps directly into the playa, either. What I do is run conduit at ground level, just beyond where the angled tarps will reach the ground. I use lag bolts and bungees to anchor that piece of conduit to the playa, and then use ball bungees to anchor the side tarp to that conduit. Once it's set up, the structure can easily handle anything and everything the playa throws at it (and I'm usually out there early enough that there aren't many neighbors to protect against the fiercest winds, and stay until many other camps have left), and the tarps don't get trashed.

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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by Ratty » Thu Jul 14, 2016 1:04 pm

Somebody recently posted that they write on their tarp. Top bottom front back etc...that sounds usefull to me. They also said they roll up the tarp in such a way to attach the windward side first. That also works for me. If you dont know which way you'll be facing you could fold it accordian style. Tie that long bundle in several places with string. Attach one side. Let the wind do all the work. The best laid plans.
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Re: Tarps vs. Shade cloth for flat roof structure

Post by gcby30 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 3:30 pm

Super helpful! I think next step is to draw a mockup design and share for critique. You've definitely convinced me to do angled side walls, and that opens up some new possibilities.

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