Advice/Input on T-post + Shade Cloth Shade Structure

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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druseph
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Advice/Input on T-post + Shade Cloth Shade Structure

Post by druseph » Fri Aug 17, 2018 2:04 pm

Hello Everyone!

This is my first post so thank you in advanced and I apologize if I make any mistakes.

With that out of the way....

My buddy and I have rented a U-haul and will be using it as a relaxing/changing/rest area separate from our tents (swamp cooler, magnetic door, etc). We are trying to build a shade structure to accommodate this (covers the uhaul as well as leaving space to shade our tents and cooking area) and I think we have it nailed down but wanted some input.

Basically, we were thinking of bringing the shade cloth (we have a large amount from growing so square footage shouldn't be an issue) around the top of the uhaul, down the sides and back, and then securing it to t-posts with zip ties: the zip ties would run through the individual seams of the cloth and around the posts since it does not have metal "eyes". The t-posts would most likely be the big 10' ones (but might go as low as 6' or 7').

The main thing I am concerned about is if the zip ties going through the seams and around the posts is enough to keep the cloth safely secured. I am also worried about if we should somehow secure the cloth to the top of the uhaul and how we would go about doing that.

I have attached (rather rough and not to scale) pictures to give you an idea of what we are going for.
I have attached some (rather rough and not to scale) images of how it will look/work. Any feedback/advice is much appreciated.

I again apologize if this is in the wrong place or has been asked before.

PS we do have a monkey hut if all else fails
Shade structure Front view.png
shade structure side view.png
shade sturcture back.png
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Drizzt321
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Re: Advice/Input on T-post + Shade Cloth Shade Structure

Post by Drizzt321 » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:11 pm

The shade cloth is probably going to rub along the top edges of the uhaul, and could lead to wearing and failure. If you have poles tall enough I'd put them up so it holds the shade cloth up off the top of the uhaul at least a few inches. Secure the poles the uhaul corners, something like that. Put cross-poles across the top of the uhaul, and then put in some ties along the cross-posts with the shade cloth. If your connection to the truck is solid you can just run the shade cloth down to poles on the ground. The challenge is you'll end up using shade cloth as tension from the direction of the truck, and shade cloth is pretty springy. It'll _probably_ be OK, but I'd put some rope (paracord is OK for this as well) from the poles at the top of the truck down to the poles on the ground, and then the same rope going down as a guy line to the ground and secured.

druseph
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Re: Advice/Input on T-post + Shade Cloth Shade Structure

Post by druseph » Mon Aug 20, 2018 10:41 am

This is all awesome advice thank you!

What would you recommend we use for the poles (corner and cross)? Would very thick wooden dowels (like from the home depot lumber section) work, or would they be too prone to possibly snapping?

As for the guy-line/para-cord: how thick should it be? Would 1" thick work or should we get stronger/thicker?

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Token
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Re: Advice/Input on T-post + Shade Cloth Shade Structure

Post by Token » Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:13 am

Are you sleeping in the truck and want to shade it?

If not, why shade the truck?

The truck is the best shade you have. Park it correctly in regards to the sun and you will have shade on one side all day.

I wouldn’t tie anything to the truck.

To answer some of your questions:

T-posts - great for fencing, not very popular for much else.

Wood dowels, 2x4 etc - too weak, heavy, dry out, warp, splinter, break. - designed to be nailed in every 16”.

4x4 lumber is generally OK and used allot but seldom as just a pole. Too heavy for that.

What is popular is electrical conduit in a 1” diameter. Strong enough but not too heavy. A bit expensive but proven.

Rope: good braided rope, 3/8 inch is plenty. Paracord is a special super strong rope, 1/8 inch thick used in parachutes.

You are way overthinking this.

Take shade cloth that is 12 or so feet wide, 34 feet longer than the truck box.

Use that and the conduit to build a trapezoid shade hutch right next to the truck so the shade uses the truck box as the back wall of the trapezoid.

/——-\

Just imagine the horizontal line in my ASCII arr is actually the roof part of the shade cloth. Basically a flat-top A frame.

Use the shade cloth as a stressed member and secure to the ground.

Run some guy lines each pole and you’re done.

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Drizzt321
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Re: Advice/Input on T-post + Shade Cloth Shade Structure

Post by Drizzt321 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:43 pm

1" EMT will work, or 1-2" PVC as well. Cross across the top of the truck, that's not load bearing, PVC will work fine.

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Canoe
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Re: Advice/Input on T-post + Shade Cloth Shade Structure

Post by Canoe » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:57 pm

The thick pool noodles as spacers to limit abrasion?
Video games are giving kids unrealistic expectations on how many swords they can carry.
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Drizzt321
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Re: Advice/Input on T-post + Shade Cloth Shade Structure

Post by Drizzt321 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 2:31 pm

Canoe wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:57 pm
The thick pool noodles as spacers to limit abrasion?
That'd be useful as well, although even there I'd be worried about abrasion some.

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Re: Advice/Input on T-post + Shade Cloth Shade Structure

Post by druseph » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:57 pm

Token wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:13 am
Are you sleeping in the truck and want to shade it?

If not, why shade the truck?

The truck is the best shade you have. Park it correctly in regards to the sun and you will have shade on one side all day.
One person may be sleeping in the truck. Plus we had planned to use it to store clothing/change, cool off/have a seat (our tents are a bit too small to hangout in), and maybe smoke in depending on the situation. Because of all this, we had wanted to shade the truck in addition to providing some shade for our tents and kitchen area. I should also note that we will have a magnetic door made of insulation and wood, as well as a swamp cooler for the uhaul.
Token wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 11:13 am
T-posts - great for fencing, not very popular for much else.

Wood dowels, 2x4 etc - too weak, heavy, dry out, warp, splinter, break. - designed to be nailed in every 16”.

4x4 lumber is generally OK and used allot but seldom as just a pole. Too heavy for that.

What is popular is electrical conduit in a 1” diameter. Strong enough but not too heavy. A bit expensive but proven.
So I would use the electrical conduit as both cross poles and support poles? And if so, would I be using rebar to secure the ones on the ground? If not being used for the ground poles, what would you recommend for ground poles (since you are saying I should not use Tposts.)? Would the aforementioned 4x4 wood work or would it be overkill?
And speaking of the conduits, do you mean the metal kind or the thick plastic kind?

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Re: Advice/Input on T-post + Shade Cloth Shade Structure

Post by druseph » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:18 pm

Also, everyone seems to agree that the cross-poles will make this all work a lot better. My question is: how would you secure the cross poles to corner poles (whether I somehow attach them to the corners of the truck or have very tall ones that are in the ground near the corners of the truck.)? And is securing the shade cloth to the cross poles with more zip ties acceptable?

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Drizzt321
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Re: Advice/Input on T-post + Shade Cloth Shade Structure

Post by Drizzt321 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:57 pm

Not sure how you'd secure it to the truck. Probably simpler to just go straight to the ground, although since EMT is normally 10' lengths, you may need to extend it.

Something like https://www.amazon.com/FLAT-CORNER-CANO ... B06WD8CGRL for the corners to make a square, and then https://www.amazon.com/JOINER-CONNECTOR ... B0721HYPXY to extend the EMT to get it higher and possibly wider. So you'll need an EMT Conduit cutter, which you can get at Home Depot.

Not sure if you can get the above parts in time. Other places do sell them, look around a little bit, but time is short.

You _probably_ can get away using https://www.homedepot.com/p/Halex-1-in- ... /300183404 and https://www.homedepot.com/p/RACO-EMT-1- ... /203637725 if you're desperate because you're not using a tarp or putting serious load in any particular direction.

You're basically doing this except draping shade cloth over it.

To tie it down, get 18+" rebar or lag-screw (again, time is short, not sure you can get it shipped to you in time) and hammer it in so that you have at least 6" above the ground next to the pole. Get some quality duct tape, not cheap dollar store stuff, and wrap it around multiple times all the way from the ground up to just above the rebar. Do that on all 4 legs, and you should be fine. If you do tie the shade cloth to it, add guy lines, which you realistically will be doing already given you have the T posts out from the truck a bit.

Oh, and if you're thinking about digging the T posts, see viewtopic.php?p=19110#p19110 for some info about it. Mostly don't, unless you're sure you can remediate properly. I wouldn't.

Note: The above links are for 1" EMT conduit. Some folks say 3/4" is enough, but I wouldn't go less than 1".

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Token
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Re: Advice/Input on T-post + Shade Cloth Shade Structure

Post by Token » Mon Aug 20, 2018 5:53 pm

Wow, you are doing this real late.

Not enough time to order things.

Dollar Store and get a crap ton of pool noodles.

Then get real 3M brand blue painters tape. Must be the real McCoy. No substitutes. Otherwise you can end up with a juicy, sticky mess. Get lots.

Bring a big ladder. You need it to get the pool noodles on the roof of the truck box and tape the noodles in place, then take them off when it’s time to go home.

Pack a great first aide kit cuz some fool is gonna fall off the ladder. Guaranteed!

Park the truck facing N-E to get as much shade from the truck’s left side in the mornings.

Go with your big-ass shade cloth from the ground on the right side of the truck, that will face the sun all day, to the roof at ~ 45 degree angle —> square root of 2 x the truck height squared worth of shade cloth.

Use lag bolts, big ass 12” 3/8 nails etc to secure to ground. Every 2 feet. Can use lumber to spread load and shim the cloth.

Cut the pool noodles lengthwise to open one side of the tube. Stretch, press and tape on the top edge of the truck box to prevent chaffing damage.

Add pool noodles to roof, tape them front to back. 2 foot spacing.

Carry shade over truck and down other side. Same treatment with cut pool noodles on that edge.

On left side of truck you can carry the shade cloth out to make a porch with a few lengths of conduit.

Get it all good and tight, lots of tension then strap the poles on the corners to ground.

You are done.

Btw, if this was my camp, I’d tell the guy that is planning sleep in the truck to kiss off and sleep under the truck.

Way too much work for minimal return.

The tents in the shadow of the truck will be awesome. All else is masturbation with no payoff.

Good luck.

druseph
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Re: Advice/Input on T-post + Shade Cloth Shade Structure

Post by druseph » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:01 pm

I have plenty of extra 20ft peices of rebar, a rebar cutter, and a rebar bender: so that wont be an issue.

As for all the other stuff (conduit, connectors, etc): I work in construction (hence the aforementioned rebar and what not) so can get those things same day from our various vendors (minus the canopy connector tops but I've found some very similar ones at lowes that should do the trick).

Can I just continue to use zipties to secure the cloth to the corner and cross poles or would there be a better way ?

And I was not planning on digging holes for the tposts: just using a standard tpost driver to get them enough into the ground to be secure: is this acceptable? Should I use rebar to double secure them?

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Re: Advice/Input on T-post + Shade Cloth Shade Structure

Post by druseph » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:03 pm

And I'm aware I'm doing this late: hence why we have a backup monkey hut if we cant get this setup in time. It won't cover the uhaul but itll at least shade our tents !

Honestly, since the truck will be swamp cooled, maybe I will talk to him and just end up telling him to use a tent and shade, per Tokens advice Haha. I'm thinking the swamp cooler will at least keep it cool enough to hang out in for 30 to 60 minutes while at camp grabbing things, changing, etc.

Gonna see tomorrow morning how much it's all gonna cost from my vendors, talk to our 3rd buddy, and see where to go from there. Luckily we've got a lot of time off work to prep this week, so we technically have time to do whatever we decide to do (it will just be crunch time)

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Token
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Re: Advice/Input on T-post + Shade Cloth Shade Structure

Post by Token » Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:13 pm

druseph wrote:
Mon Aug 20, 2018 6:03 pm
And I'm aware I'm doing this late: hence why we have a backup monkey hut if we cant get this setup in time. It won't cover the uhaul but itll at least shade our tents !
Well fuck! I could have used half the words in my long-ass post and you would-a got it ;)

The recipe I gave is solid, proven.

If you got the skills, should take 30 minutes to put up.

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