"Monkey Hut" Help

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
4PartsWhisky
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"Monkey Hut" Help

Postby 4PartsWhisky » Tue Aug 08, 2017 2:32 pm

Hello all! My first time posting - oooo so excite :mrgreen:

Hokay, so....I needed a shade structure, so I started building one with a friend. It turned out to be a bastardized monkey hut, but I wanted to run it past all you smarties (and snarkies) to see if it will hold up on playa, or if we need to make adjustments.

I've never built a shade structure for a tent, so this is all new to me.

Here's what we have:

1. Structure is 16'x17'x9'
2. There are 7 ribs
3. Each rib is about 2 1/2 ft apart, I think a little more since it's 16' long
4. Each rib is made using 1 1/4" PVC => 10' piece connected by a 45* coupling to a 5' piece that goes straight across into an X-joint, to another 5' piece into another 45* coupling into another 10' piece. So each side is 10' with 10' across the top, a spine down the middle using X-joints, and the sides are connected with the 45* couplings
5. Medium-duty green/brown tarp that's 16'x25' for shade covering, to be staked into playa to make everything secure
6. Ribs are slid over rebar that will be pounded 12" into playa with 20" sticking out for the PVC

My concerns: Couplings will shatter/pop, too much rebar sticking up that will hinder flexibility, 1 1/4" PVC is too rigid for the winds. My friend that helped me build this is convinced that it will hold up, but he's never been to playa before. So I want to run it past to see if it can be adjusted to make sure it will hold. Skeptic is skeptical. I did try researching it using couplings, but couldn't find much of anything. So if you know of a thread that has already discussed this info, please kindly point me in the right direction to it!

Attached are pictures - let me know your thoughts! Thank you!
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Popeye
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Re: "Monkey Hut" Help

Postby Popeye » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:03 pm

The couplings will probably shatter.
I'd probably pound the rebar a little further but.....
Use a proven design, you seem to have the same idea that many virgins have "I can do it better" but you probably can't. At least go one year and see what the playa is like, then make improvements.
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BBadger
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Re: "Monkey Hut" Help

Postby BBadger » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:19 pm

The thing to remember with Monkey Huts is that any side that has wind resistance is meant to bend to take the shock. If your connectors are not meant to bend (and those ones are not), they will probably shatter under stress. The only reason the X and T connectors are used in the traditional design is that there are no loads on the connectors themselves since there are thick PVC tubes taking the stress. Still, some can break if there is twisting, so people often switch to flexible connectors like old inner tubes.

If you want to test the connectors, try pulling the side of your hut's roof to the ground. The wind loads can and do bend the structures substantially, and I expect those elbows would not take the stress.
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Token
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Re: "Monkey Hut" Help

Postby Token » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:25 pm

That design will pretty much fail in the first mild wind.

PVC pipe used in hoop house designs works only if it is under high tension.

When the pipe is pre-loaded into an arc, it becomes rigid in the dimension of the curvature.

All those straight lengths and minimally curved ribs will flex and buckle in the wind.

Ditch the flat-top idea and replace the 45 degree couplers with 1 to 2 feet (experiment a bit on length) of 1 1/2 pipe and tape it in place so you can get all spans well curved and pre-loaded.

4PartsWhisky
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Re: "Monkey Hut" Help

Postby 4PartsWhisky » Tue Aug 08, 2017 4:39 pm

Thanks for the feedback! I figured that was what was gonna happen to the structure out on playa, but my friend just ran with the idea, and I wasn't around to stop him when he came up with the idea of using 45* couplings :P it looks pretty, but I told him it probably won't stand up to playa. He wasn't as convinced.

I have been to playa myself, and I don't have the assumption that I can do it better myself. If I did, I wouldn't be asking for advice :) I was in panic mode because my original plan for shade fell through and I needed to get started on the build, and this is where we've ended up.

So should I still use the 1 1/4" pvc, making the long couplings out of 1 1/ 2", or should I drop down to 1" pvc with 1 1/4" couplings? Thought the 1 1/4" pvc might be too rigid in the wind.

Also, will it still be ok to make the ribs with 3 pieces of 10' pvc? So 30' total for the arc length?

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BBadger
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Re: "Monkey Hut" Help

Postby BBadger » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:17 pm

The 1" into 1/14" should be sufficient I would expect.
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some seeing eye
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Re: "Monkey Hut" Help

Postby some seeing eye » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:54 pm

I have used 11 ribs 2' spacing using whole pieces of 1" pipe and a 20x20 tarp with a bottom horizontal 3/4 pipe near the ground for the bungie balls. I am a believer in full length 20' pieces tied to a vehicle roof rack with overhang front and back. YMMV
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