Monkey Hut Plan

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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PL_FL
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Monkey Hut Plan

Post by PL_FL » Fri May 27, 2016 11:25 am

Question on Monkey Hut construction.
I’m a fly-in, so I’ll plan here, drop-ship some materials to Home Depot, and drive in from there. Been to BRC 3 times, but first-time building a hut.

I’m planning on a modified lovemonkey hut, 20x20 (12x20 footprint if my math is right), with two tents underneath (7x7 or 7x9)

Questions:
* Am I ok with all 1 inch PVC instead of trying to find 1” to 1.25” T and X connectors, etc?
* Any suggestions on tarps is welcome. Is the brown ply ok ($20 each, 8x8 weave) or do I need the silver ($40 each, 12x12 weave). Both are 3’ between grommets.
* Home Depot. I understand their length-of-stay for materials is 30 days, is that your experience? So I can order stuff and make sure it’s there sometime in August… Will probably order/drop-ship 10’ pieces and tarps, bringing the rest in. Probably give away the ten-footers on the way out. (damn airline luggage restrictions)
* Rebar: Home Depot sells 2’ lengths of 3/8 or 1/2 … is 3/8 ok?
* Planning to orient this structure with open ends N/S to use both walls for am/pm shade. I assume I’ll I pull back the tent on the south side a couple of feet, since not sure of the rays/angle in the time/place (I’m a south Florida boy).
* Is a 2 pound sledge ok? They’re $12 at HD.
IMG_7111b.jpg
Thanks,
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by Roundabout » Sat May 28, 2016 1:01 am

You can answer all these questions yourself by reading relavent threads on ePlaya. The information is all there. Many of your questions are judgment calls that you have to make based on the wealth of information contained herein.
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by PL_FL » Sat May 28, 2016 7:13 am

I was asking for opinion and experience. I've looked through dozens of threads here about monkey huts and took what I could use from them. These are the questions I have left after that.
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by maladroit » Sat May 28, 2016 11:09 am

http://www.chromatest.net/Lovemonkey/

The biggest problem with your plan is just using X connectors for the spine and ribs. The monkey hut plans very obviously DO NOT DO THIS. They show a secondary sleeve of larger PVC joining the rib pieces together. This is necessary. Do not change the plan.

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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by krly » Sat May 28, 2016 3:48 pm

PL_FL, almost all the threads I've read re: monkey huts came to the conclusion that X's and 90's were NOT needed. Nor was a spine usually used....just the ribs. A few did use a rope/cord for a make-shift spine though. Also, the great majority used the silver tarp. If you can't travel with full 10" lengths of 1" PVC most just cut it and used a 2-3' 1 1/4 piece as a sleeve. Some used a screw in the middle of the sleeve to prevent it from sliding off.
That's the main points I got from "most" of the posts.............
Good Luck
krly

P.S Oh yeah, 2'x1/2" rebar, a sledge hammer and a set of vice-grips to aid rebar removal.

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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by ZigZag » Sat May 28, 2016 6:37 pm

I experimented with the X's and T's in a prototype. Don;t even go there. The lateral stress is way too much and they shattered. Using a multi segment spine is useless because you can't fully seat the cross tubes in the X. If you do a spine just make one out of 10 ft, 1 1/4" pvc lengths with a 24" 1" insert connector then bungie or lash it to the ribs. Works great, much easier and fewer parts.

As to the canopy I made mine out of radiant attic foil. You can get 60" widths but it takes a lot of taping with 6" filament tape to put it together. That may not work for you since you need to do it pre-playa in a big flat space without dust. However, its a lot lighter and more efficient at reflecting the heat.
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by Capinator » Wed Jun 01, 2016 2:41 pm

I've used 1-1/4 PVC cross, tee, and other fittings with 6" sleeves for 1" PVC. I know that most others use tied spines (or even no spines at all), I prefer the fittings. I haven't had an issue with shattering. Some of these fittings were used in extremely high bending tension to make a PVC dome.

Using 1" fittings with no sleeves is a recipe for disaster.

If I were starting from zero, I would probably go the "no fitting" route. I would probably use a spine (as opposed to no spine). But my designs are a little elaborate and depend on fittings now, so that's what I'm doing.

I'm thinking about a design with sleeves sewn into the tarps. It would go up so easy! But - that may be too much to ask of the sewers in my camp. We'll see in 2017.

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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by lucky420 » Wed Jun 01, 2016 3:39 pm

I don't use sleeves just x connectors. I do duct tape around the X where the rib fits in and use bungee cords along the top of the spine from section to section
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by PL_FL » Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:29 pm

maladroit wrote:http://www.chromatest.net/Lovemonkey/

The biggest problem with your plan is just using X connectors for the spine and ribs. The monkey hut plans very obviously DO NOT DO THIS. They show a secondary sleeve of larger PVC joining the rib pieces together. This is necessary. Do not change the plan.
thanks, yes, I'm going to make sure I have the 2' or 2.5' sleeves.
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by PL_FL » Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:32 pm

ZigZag wrote:I experimented with the X's and T's in a prototype. Don;t even go there. The lateral stress is way too much and they shattered. Using a multi segment spine is useless because you can't fully seat the cross tubes in the X. If you do a spine just make one out of 10 ft, 1 1/4" pvc lengths with a 24" 1" insert connector then bungee or lash it to the ribs. Works great, much easier and fewer parts.
thanks, yeah, I'm going to do the sleeves for sure. Still looking at full-length spine (seen a couple) or the 10ft 1.25, lashed to the ribs... not sure about that yet, got time.
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by PL_FL » Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:35 pm

lucky420 wrote:I don't use sleeves just x connectors. I do duct tape around the X where the rib fits in and use bungee cords along the top of the spine from section to section
yes, I have seen one guy do that, basically holding the ribs together at the spine with bungees.

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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by lucky420 » Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:53 pm

PL_FL wrote:
lucky420 wrote:I don't use sleeves just x connectors. I do duct tape around the X where the rib fits in and use bungee cords along the top of the spine from section to section
yes, I have seen one guy do that, basically holding the ribs together at the spine with bungees.

Yep along with duct tape on the x's
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by ZigZag » Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:35 pm

I used a spine thats bungied. The ribs have a little pad glued to the middle so to reduce the squeaking as the whole rig moves in the wind. Thats not necessary, just a little thing I dreamed up that probably won't make a difference.
The brown duct tape are the stops for the 1 1/4" connecting sleeves, the entire rib is made of two 10 foot and one 5 foot 1" pipes. The spine is all 1 1/4" PVC
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by hooker » Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:46 pm

I would avoid the 4 way pvc connectors. Just use a 1.25 inch sleeve to connect 2 10 foot, 1 inch pipes to form each rib. I have always run one spine along the top. It's just another section of 1 inch pvc. Two ten foot lengths with a 1 foot section of 1.25 connecting them, just like the ribs. I've used zip ties to connect the spine under the ribs. Never had a failure. You can skip the rib and run rope from rib to rib and then down to an anchor in the ground on each end. That makes things really solid, but you have an anchor on each end that you can trip on. The standard 20 x 20 design is really solid. I prefer concrete stakes to rebar for the bottom of each rib. A 3 foot stake makes a really solid footer for each end of the ribs. Bang the stake in 1.5 feet and slide the pvc over it. Bring vice grips to twist them when you want to get them out. To remove them, give them a few taps with the sledge in each direction and then lock on the vice grips and give them a few twists. They'll come out easy.
JR

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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by PL_FL » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:16 am

ZigZag wrote:I used a spine thats bungied. The ribs have a little pad glued to the middle so to reduce the squeaking as the whole rig moves in the wind. Thats not necessary, just a little thing I dreamed up that probably won't make a difference.
The brown duct tape are the stops for the 1 1/4" connecting sleeves, the entire rib is made of two 10 foot and one 5 foot 1" pipes. The spine is all 1 1/4" PVC
Thanks ZigZag, I noticed you did two guy wires, which I've been considering too, but both attached to the spine..
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by PL_FL » Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:03 am

hooker wrote:I would avoid the 4 way pvc connectors. Just use a 1.25 inch sleeve to connect 2 10 foot, 1 inch pipes to form each rib. I have always run one spine along the top. It's just another section of 1 inch pvc. Two ten foot lengths with a 1 foot section of 1.25 connecting them, just like the ribs. I've used zip ties to connect the spine under the ribs. Never had a failure. You can skip the rib and run rope from rib to rib and then down to an anchor in the ground on each end. That makes things really solid, but you have an anchor on each end that you can trip on. The standard 20 x 20 design is really solid. I prefer concrete stakes to rebar for the bottom of each rib. A 3 foot stake makes a really solid footer for each end of the ribs. Bang the stake in 1.5 feet and slide the pvc over it. Bring vice grips to twist them when you want to get them out. To remove them, give them a few taps with the sledge in each direction and then lock on the vice grips and give them a few twists. They'll come out easy.
JR
Thanks hooker,
I've revise that plan like 20 times since posting, below is latest, no 4-ways, using your idea of the sleeve connecting two ten-footers, but I'll probably stay with the 1.25 for that spine.
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by ZigZag » Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:43 am

PL_FL wrote: Thanks ZigZag, I noticed you did two guy wires, which I've been considering too, but both attached to the spine..
That could work. I attached the guys to the ribs because the spine is actually beneath the rib and not on top. My logic was that if some "big air" came along, I wanted the entire structure anchored. Since the spine is only bungied to the ribs I was worried that if the guys were anchored to the spine, the ribs and the canopy could lift away from the spine and the bungies could break.

One other thought on your design: You may want to consider making it longer. Your tents are very near the ends of the hut which means that one end or the other is going to be in the sun depending on your orientation. If the Hut is running North/South, the South end will get a lot of sun coming in. If its east/West, one end will be in sun in the morning and one in the afternoon. I planned for the outer edge of my tent to be at least 5 feet in from the edge of the hut.
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:54 pm

It struck me the other day, that with all the talk about connectors, no one has thought of using EMT structure connectors for a monkey hut.

Seems perfect for the spine and ribs, plus they have set screws in them to keep the PVC from sliding apart. :?
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by BBadger » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:10 pm

I think the problem is that you'd need to pre-bend the EMT into shape, which is a pain to transport and get right. Plus, it'd be a rigid structure, so not really a MH at that point, more like a hangar.
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jun 16, 2016 8:14 pm

No EMT!

Still use the pvc for spine and ribs, but use the metal connectors.

One time purchase and won't ever break! 8)
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by BBadger » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:08 pm

Ahh, now I gotcha. Though my current thinking is that using just a long piece for the spine and some duct tape is a great way to go. For fonnecting up extra long MHs with multiple spines the EMT connectors would still work great though.
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by ZigZag » Fri Jun 17, 2016 7:03 am

I initially thought about using EMT for my MH but three things came to mind:
1) Because it would all have to be bent, it would take up way too much room in my van
2) It seemed the flexibility would be compromised and the rigidity would not work well in in a curved shape because the canopy would not be contributing to the integrity of the structure.
3) If I have learned anything from ePlayans, its: "Go with playa proven solutions." Like many others, I can over think anything and that doesn't necessarily make it better.

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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by Popeye » Sat Jun 18, 2016 3:50 am

FIGJAM wrote:It struck me the other day, that with all the talk about connectors, no one has thought of using EMT structure connectors for a monkey hut.

Seems perfect for the spine and ribs, plus they have set screws in them to keep the PVC from sliding apart. :?
EMT couplings come in either die cast or stainless, you can find both types in set screw or compression. Die cast, both set screw or compression, break easily under lateral stress. Compression couplings, except top dollar, will pull apart if they are not made very tight. Compression rings (inside the couplings) do not work very well the second time. Stainless, setscrew couplings might work.
Of course my experience is with EMT. YMMV if you use PVC.
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by mcgyver2k » Tue Jun 28, 2016 1:52 am

I didnt use any X or T connectors for my minimal invest 12x20 ft Hut. Just the 1" Pipe and 1 1/4" Sleeves. The spine was the same as the ribs. The connections were made with duct tape and an rope holding the Spine together against the forces of the two ratchet straps at the ends. Maybe ill just use one ratchet strap and a longer rope this year.

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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by MyDearFriend » Mon Jul 04, 2016 12:31 pm

The thing to remember about a Monkey Hut, friends, is that it's meant to give way before it breaks. So avoid connecting the pieces too tightly or connecting too many pieces together.

I have set up multiple Monkey Huts in BRC for 5 straight Burns now, on-playa for 12 days each time, and in the hardest blows and most unfavorable orientations the original design WORKS. The Monkey Hut will FLEX and MOVE and NOT BREAK as long as you keep it loose.

What has saved my aging huts has been their ability to drop one section of spine or leg without any structural damage at all. Pop the PVC back in place and it's all good.

So I would never hold my 1 1/4 PVC spines with anything but bungee cord, one section at a time, and yeah that means loose-as-fuck X-connectors. Balance the tension between the leg sections with a 5 foot length of 1 1/4 inch PVC spacer held in place by a 4 foot bungee. It doesn't have to be pretty in order to work. In fact, neat & pretty will probably NOT work. 8)

ONCE in 5 Burns I have found a spine section popped; the Hut stayed up, nothing was damaged, took a few seconds to fix.

Had a Hut leg lift off the rebar ONCE, because a neighbor had tied his shade to it. :roll: Same story: Hut stayed up. Nothing damaged. Seconds to fix.

The only rope on my Huts is the rope that runs along each side edge of the shade net, and that is stretchy old climbing rope tied to PVC. No guy lines.

NO GUY LINES.

The hut needs to move. The ground will not move. Ground versus hut: guess who always wins????

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Seriously, if your heart desires tight, solid, wiggle-free connections and guy lines to feel happy, then get you some EMT conduit and build your shelter frame out of metal. It will break :lol: but hey, right up until it does it will LOOK FANTASTIC. 8)

And if this is your first Burn and you are looking at building a Monkey Hut because it's light and easy to transport and Playa-tested, Yay! And if your tight-connection-loving safety-craving self is out of your comfort zone already, then Double Yay! You're doing great!! Keep going!!!
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by BBadger » Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:42 pm

I think I only used a single guyline at each opening to flatten the MH down a little. It didn't affect its ability to bend back and forth though. I'm not even sure if it was worth the tripping hazard it presented. Using two as in PL_FL's post above would prevent the MH from bending back and forth. As MDF said: keep it loose!
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by PL_FL » Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:07 pm

BBadger wrote:I think I only used a single guyline at each opening to flatten the MH down a little. It didn't affect its ability to bend back and forth though. I'm not even sure if it was worth the tripping hazard it presented. Using two as in PL_FL's post above would prevent the MH from bending back and forth. As MDF said: keep it loose!
Thanks all, I'll probably just go with the single guy wire...
Got my bolts and chain segments..!
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by FIGJAM » Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:33 pm

I'll be doing a modified half hut this year to shade my nieces van.

I got these for about 6$ apiece to use as the connectors for the 1" pvc.

They're made for 1 and 3/8" EMT, but the fit on the pvc is a perfect sleeve.

The eye bolts are nice and big for adding straps for anchorage. 8)
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by FIGJAM » Fri Jul 22, 2016 2:19 pm

Some seem to think the eye bolts will split the PVC.

I've never split PVC, unless it was old and brittle.

There would also have to be room in the connector for the PVC to split.

The fit is so good you almost have to twist it to get it in, but only almost!!!

I've yet to have one of my playa designs fail.....................maybe this is my BIG chance!!!!!!!!!! 8)
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Re: Monkey Hut Plan

Post by Capinator » Tue Aug 02, 2016 3:34 pm

For those following the various attic foil monkey hut threads. Here is a photo of our first prototype build. We made some changes to seal better, and I think it will work pretty well! (knock on wood). We will be at 4:45 and E with four of these if you would like to check it out! See you all there!
new tent small file.jpg
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