Modifying a Costco Carport?

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Tuullii
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Modifying a Costco Carport?

Postby Tuullii » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:13 pm

Hey folks! What do you all think about modifying the 'leg' poles of a Costco Carport to reduce the height of it? I'm considering sawing off the legs all the way around and redrilling the footing holes. Here's why I'm thinking about it:
1. I get annoyed with having to use a step-stool to get the last bits of 'fabric' on
2. It's really heavy and I'm looking for ways to make it lighter
3. Maybe it will make storage easier? Not sure on this one because I'm not sure if the roof poles are as tall or taller than the leg poles, honestly. It's been a few years since we've set it up

Basically I detest putting the damn thing up, and if I thought I could get away with it, I'd probably skip it and just rig something from the top of my subaru over our 3+ season tent.

Ooooooor, are there other more creative (non standard ) permutations of putting a carport together that I haven't considered? I've seen the clamshell before. Don't have strong feelings about it either way.

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BBadger
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Re: Modifying a Costco Carport?

Postby BBadger » Thu Jul 06, 2017 6:52 pm

You won't be saving much by chopping off a foot or two on your carport. Most of the weight is in the roof that you have to lift up to put the second set of legs on. Usually it's not a pain if you have a second person. Moving the carport parts around isn't too bad either if you use pallet wrap to bundle multiple sets of pipes.

Also be aware that reducing the size of the pipes means that the side walls won't properly fit. The pipes are also the height they are so that you can walk into the carport without bumping your head.

If you want something lighter and different, why not just buy a different canopy material that doesn't weigh as much (like aluminet), so that you don't have to put so much effort into putting it up? You can also use some regular tarps and then use running rigging to attach it to the horizontal poles, and not bother much with the sides. It might be easier than having to reach up and fit that canopy, which always feels like it was made too small for the frame.

I like the clamshell configuration myself, but I use a King Canopy carport rather than a Costco carport. It weighs less, uses a single tarp, and doesn't take me much effort to set it up, even by myself. Plus it's cozy and spacious. Since all the poles are interchangeable, you can also use the longer poles if you need more height or to fit the tarp better. The only pain is that you have to buy another carport if you already have one, and also use ratchets to hold the structure together. Otherwise, I'm happy with that.
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Papa Bear
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Re: Modifying a Costco Carport?

Postby Papa Bear » Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:41 pm

Are you just reaching up to attach the sides? I've found the best way to do the roof is just to do it on the ground before raising it up (though you do want a second set of hands helping, lest a dustdevil blow up from behind you... or so I "hear").

JoeIn posted an example a while back of just using a great big piece of aluminet, which might also be an option: viewtopic.php?f=277&t=80362&p=1133095#p1133095

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Joeln
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Re: Modifying a Costco Carport?

Postby Joeln » Thu Jul 06, 2017 7:48 pm

There's also the clamshell idea courtesy of AntiM viewtopic.php?t=73702
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Tuullii
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Re: Modifying a Costco Carport?

Postby Tuullii » Thu Jul 06, 2017 8:14 pm

Papa Bear wrote:Are you just reaching up to attach the sides? I've found the best way to do the roof is just to do it on the ground before raising it up (though you do want a second set of hands helping, lest a dustdevil blow up from behind you... or so I "hear").

JoeIn posted an example a while back of just using a great big piece of aluminet, which might also be an option: viewtopic.php?f=277&t=80362&p=1133095#p1133095


oh shit, that looks WAAYYYY easier. I'm just turning into a grumpy old lady camper, and since we drive all the way from MN, space is at a premium in our Forester. We broke the box finally (after having the damn thing and shleping it all over hell-and-gone since 2013), so we can't really throw it on the roof as in years past. We spend almost zero time in our shade structure, other than when actually sleeping or cooking a meal. Otherwise we're almost always out wandering, so I'm chewing at the idea of why we're spending so much energy to try and wrestle a carport, ykim?

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Re: Modifying a Costco Carport?

Postby Elliot » Thu Jul 06, 2017 10:54 pm

Good Dawg! Shorten the legs?! I want to EXTEND mine!
And whatever you offer under a lowered unit, I will not participate in. I absolutely l-o-a-t-h-e hitting my head.

To install the roof canvas, first install the legs on ONE SIDE ONLY. That makes it much easier to put the canvas on. Install the other side legs last. Done.

In my camp, we have had some discussion about how much these canopies perhaps trap heat. We use both... these canopies, and also our home-made higher tarps, and the Costco-covered areas seem hotter. We are considering fabbing leg extensions for that purpose, primarily (though I will enjoy the additional skull clearance).
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Ratty
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Re: Modifying a Costco Carport?

Postby Ratty » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:35 am

Do it clamshell. I put it up by myself in about an hour start to finish. Its well worth the bother hauling it out there. The one year i had only umbrellas was not so great. Message me if you have any questions
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Tuullii
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Re: Modifying a Costco Carport?

Postby Tuullii » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:34 am

You all have inspired me. I think we'll clam shell it, then lay aluminet over it as in the other example. :D

Am I just really short? I've never hit my head on any part of the carport. Setting it up without ANY legs crossed my mind, but the tent won't fit under it. I agree that it does seem to get warmer under the carport, espcially since ours doesnt have the groovy roof vents.

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Re: Modifying a Costco Carport?

Postby FlyingMonkey » Fri Jul 07, 2017 11:44 am

Papa Bear wrote:Are you just reaching up to attach the sides? I've found the best way to do the roof is just to do it on the ground before raising it up (though you do want a second set of hands helping, lest a dustdevil blow up from behind you... or so I "hear").

JoeIn posted an example a while back of just using a great big piece of aluminet, which might also be an option: viewtopic.php?f=277&t=80362&p=1133095#p1133095


Not that anybody actually reads them but the instructions (mine anyway) say to put the roof fabric on before raising the second side. :)

I was thinking of modifying my carport but more along the lines of supporting hammocks without compromising the structure. The tubing I have for mine doesn't seem like it would support the weight of one or more people loafing in hammocks. I've thought that thicker walled tube would work but that's more weight & a PITA (Pain In The Ass) to make. I was wondering if anyone has ever made additional bracing for this. Something that would just bolt on to the area where you want to hang them.

Or am I over thinking this? Will the upper tubes support the weight of people in hammocks? I've never tried (just thinking out loud).
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Zubeneschamali
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Re: Modifying a Costco Carport?

Postby Zubeneschamali » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:29 pm

Instead of bringing the whole 10x20, leave half the fucker at home?

And yes, multiple hammocks work just fine under a Costco carport. I've personally accidentally walked in while it was being used by what we could call a full figured couple. Based on my cocktail napkin calculations, the stress test will allow up to three hammocks @ 162.5lbs each.

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Re: Modifying a Costco Carport?

Postby FlyingMonkey » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:02 pm

Zubeneschamali wrote:Instead of bringing the whole 10x20, leave half the fucker at home?

And yes, multiple hammocks work just fine under a Costco carport. I've personally accidentally walked in while it was being used by what we could call a full figured couple. Based on my cocktail napkin calculations, the stress test will allow up to three hammocks @ 162.5lbs each.


Thanks for the visual :oops:
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some seeing eye
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Re: Modifying a Costco Carport?

Postby some seeing eye » Fri Jul 07, 2017 2:26 pm

Have you thought about making a better way to transport the carport pieces on your roof rack? Like a shallow plywood box that the poles lie in the bottom and all your other gear is piled on top of that? Or have an ATA box made. Plumbers and electricians have this problem, so there are things like the Thule conduit carrier and the Van Guard pipe carrier, sure others. Check local adventure sports racks and tradesperson supplycos. You could likely resell to a plumber at some future date, or find one used. Or even sell the carrier and the carport to another burner as a unit when you no longer need. Not cheap, you could look into replacing the steel pipes with aluminum.
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Kljones77
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Re: Modifying a Costco Carport?

Postby Kljones77 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:24 am

Thanks for the tips. How exactly do you clamshell the Costco frame? Also, what dimensions of aluminet are you using?

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Ratty
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Re: Modifying a Costco Carport?

Postby Ratty » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:25 pm

You leave the legs off on one side. That's all.
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Re: Modifying a Costco Carport?

Postby Kljones77 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:49 pm

Thanks, that's easy. How many pieces of rebar (or lag bolts) should I plan on to anchor it? Appreciate the playa advice btw. Have relied on an army parachute for shade in the past but setting up a new camp this year sans playa tested shade structure.


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