Protecting your car on the playa

Bikes, trikes, personal mobility and getting to/from the event - this is the place to discuss general transportation issues.
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claybcook
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Protecting your car on the playa

Post by claybcook » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:57 pm

I'm hoping to not require access to my car once I get there, all goodies being carried in a rented trailer. Once parked, I was thinking about either a fabric car cover, and/or blue painters tape over door seams to keep it as clean as possible. If I seal the exhaust pipe and the air intake as well, feels like that's sufficient. Anyone else have experience they'd like to share?
...extremely gruntled...very ept and full of ruth.

Zubeneschamali
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by Zubeneschamali » Thu Mar 09, 2017 2:27 pm

Dust cares not what false attempts you make to disrupt its path.

hint - Stay away from car covers for many reasons. Think about it.

LowePro
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by LowePro » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:00 pm

Emotionally prepare yourself now for a dusty vehicle. Car will never be quite the same after Bman (neither will you), not matter how careful.
There are ways to minimize the impact. Keep it closed up as much as you can. Blue tape on windows may be overkill--but do take a soft mini broom and sweep off the windows on the last day. You don't want to roll the dusty window down into the door slot---dust will get inside the door panel and never come out. Dry cleanup of thick standing dust is best. Don't get it wet or it becomes sludge. Rubber car mats will help and try to dust off your gear before loading out.

Plan a vigorous carwash with vinegar and extensive vacuum when you get home. Also a leaf blower works great to clean up.

Car cover will buffet and beat against your car all week = sandy friction. Not ideal. But those foil windshield shades are great for keeping sun out.

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Chowski
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by Chowski » Thu Mar 09, 2017 3:08 pm

Do not bring anything to the playa that you cannot bear to have destroyed.

If you insist on doing so, unpack your car when you arrive, close and lock the doors and never open it again until you are ready to leave. Bring a little beater tent and store all your things in there, so you aren't tempted to open it.

Once you hit the playa surface, close your air intake vents and do not put them back onto fresh air intake until you reach pavement again at the end of the week. Buy and carry a new air filter, and put it in the minute you get off the playa.

When you get home, pay a professional to do a thorough deep clean, inside and out, engine and everything. Expect it to still never be quite the same.

maladroit
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by maladroit » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:27 pm

This is your first year, correct?

You're going to get to Greeters, there's a little ritual for first-time burners that involves you getting EXTREMELY dusty, and then getting back in your car to continue to the city.

You'll make Greeters sad by refusing their dusty hugs and little dust ritual and that's baaaaaaad juju.

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BBadger
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by BBadger » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:59 pm

Let's see... at a minimum, you're going to be driving through about 10 miles of actual playa -- each way -- on the way to your camp, kicking up dust the whole time, and possibly driving through thick dust clouds. Your car will be sucking in dust the whole time no matter what you do.

Then you'll be in the gate line for about 3-10 hours or so depending on when you arrive. If you arrive during the day, you won't have enough gas to power your AC the whole time (and why would you given the weather), and you'll no doubt roll down your windows or open your door to allow in a nice breeze unless you fancy standing outside all the time. You'll be getting out of your car and back in, and out, and back in, each time you want to see how far the gate is, or taking a piss, or grabbing some food or something in the trailer, or checking something out, or just stretching after your hours of driving. Dust clouds will hit your car intermittently as all this happens.

Then you're going to get really dusty when you finally arrive at the greeter station, and what are you going to do, hop in a body bag to spare your car the dust? Good luck with that. Someone may even sit their bare, dusty ass on the hood of your car just for good measure.

When you arrive at camp, you'll probably be pretty tired, and your car will be packed to the brim -- even if you have a trailer. Unloading that car is going to take an hour or so, and in that time dust is going to get inside. After all that is done, even if you bother taping over cracks and stuff, the dust is going to get inside. It's just how it works. Nothing less than driving your car into a zip-lock bag will help.

After the event is over, you need to get your dusty and ruined stuff back into the car, including your dusty self. No matter how hard you try, the dust will coat everything. It'll literally pour out of your stuff and rub all over the surfaces. Even the "clear" air is full of dust (use a flash light at night to see). Your car will have piles of dust on it that will only start to dislodge once you use your wipers or move the car. I find it amusing just to see how messy my car is afterwards.

All is not lost though. After the event go get a car wash, and get some water + vinegar and towels and wipe down the surfaces of your car. Use one of those portable air blowers and a shop vac to suck dust out. Then wipe down again and the car looks pretty much good as new, beside the dust you'll find months later in cracks and stuff.
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claybcook
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by claybcook » Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:52 am

You guys are cracking me up. No doubt because I'm cracking you up. OK. Fair is fair. I fully expect to make a bushel of virgin mistakes, I'm just hoping to minimize the ones where a bit of forethought might have made a difference. Good gouge guys. Thanks.
...extremely gruntled...very ept and full of ruth.

FlyingMonkey
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by FlyingMonkey » Fri Mar 10, 2017 12:40 pm

Each time I take a "new" vehicle it the Playa I consider it a rite of passage for that vehicle to embrace the dust. But I have taken a 2005 Honda Odyssey, a 1991 School bus, & a 2003 Suburban so it was Ok for them to become one with the playa. They had already served me well.

Do what you can to keep them clean but expect that they will get dusty inside & out despite your best efforts. Clean them the best you can & return next year knowing that "It's all good".

DON'T take anything that you really care about or can't replace to the Playa.
In your wildest dreams you can not imagine the marvelous SURPRISES that await YOU.

Zubeneschamali
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by Zubeneschamali » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:51 pm

Bring an extra air filter. Stop and swap when you get miles away from that cursed dust.

When you get home use compressed air on everything. You, your car, your crap. Then use pressurized water. Want a hint? Do this anywhere besides your own abode, or anywhere inhabited by someone you love. I find a truck wash offers the best equipment and for $20 and a 6 pack they'll happily watch from a shady spot while you do your thing.

Now you're ready to bring your beloved chariot back home and begin the cleansing rituals.

Another hint? In one years time from today you will still see dust. Know this: you will have gone thru 13 carwashes, a pint of vinegar, three toothbrushes, and a sham-wow. And the dust will still be there.

And your power door locks may work intermittently.

Final hint? Rent a white cargo van. No passenger seats, no carpet or cloth. Open the fucker up when you get home and hose it out. Return it at opening bell on Tuesday after Labor Day. Everyone is horribly hung over at 7am on the Tuesday after Labor Day. They won't notice.

You've maxed your quota of free hints. Next advice will require a good story.

maladroit
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by maladroit » Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:58 pm

One more hint, after you get back you'll wonder why you ever wanted to avoid the dust. You'll wish your car was dustier. In spring you'll turn on the AC for the first time and you'll get a cloud of dust in your face, and you'll just say "Mmmmmm."

The other day I grabbed a dusty bag out of a bin and beat the shit out of it, just to see and smell the dust.

FlyingMonkey
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by FlyingMonkey » Sat Mar 11, 2017 2:07 am

maladroit wrote:One more hint, after you get back you'll wonder why you ever wanted to avoid the dust. You'll wish your car was dustier. In spring you'll turn on the AC for the first time and you'll get a cloud of dust in your face, and you'll just say "Mmmmmm."

The other day I grabbed a dusty bag out of a bin and beat the shit out of it, just to see and smell the dust.
+1000
I love Playa dust surprises like when you move a bin in mid winter & get that Playa smell.

Makes me smile :mrgreen:
In your wildest dreams you can not imagine the marvelous SURPRISES that await YOU.

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Ratty
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by Ratty » Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:03 am

I love some playa smell pouring out of the A/C. What about when you unexpectedly smell it? Like at work in the back hallway or at the hospital. Am I delusional or having a stroke?
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FlyingMonkey
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by FlyingMonkey » Sat Mar 11, 2017 10:59 am

Ratty wrote:I love some playa smell pouring out of the A/C. What about when you unexpectedly smell it? Like at work in the back hallway or at the hospital. Am I delusional or having a stroke?
I pity those Burners who actually clean their gear each year after the Burn. :D

They have no idea what they are missing.
In your wildest dreams you can not imagine the marvelous SURPRISES that await YOU.

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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by Captain Goddammit » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:57 pm

What no one is talking about is corrosion.
Playa dust is extremely corrosive. I've had really nice trucks turn all rusty on the bottom because I was stupid enough to take them to the playa.
I've fought electrical gremlins with vehicles that went to the playa.

People who think all you have to do is wash the car and clean the interior are blissfully unaware of what's really going on.

If it's a really nice car, don't take it to BRC.

DO NOT put a car cover on it. The dust will get under it and the wind (which can get very strong) will abrade it like steel wool.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

maladroit
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by maladroit » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:30 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:What no one is talking about is corrosion.
Playa dust is extremely corrosive. I've had really nice trucks turn all rusty on the bottom because I was stupid enough to take them to the playa.
I've fought electrical gremlins with vehicles that went to the playa.

People who think all you have to do is wash the car and clean the interior are blissfully unaware of what's really going on.
Yeah well, you live in the PNW where moisture is readily available...dry dust never hurt anything.

Wait a minute, *I* live in the PNW...sudden urge to wash bottom of car....

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EGAZ
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by EGAZ » Sun Mar 12, 2017 5:19 pm

Another hint? In one years time from today you will still see dust. Know this: ......

Can confirm. After every rain I still see playa dust making its way from under just about any trim piece, cover, seal, etc on my truck. I washed with vinegar/water in a three gallon yard sprayer, used brushes, cloths & my shop air compressor to dry (and push it further into the nook and crannies). :wink:

All one can do is 'reduce' the amount of dust getting into the vehicle interior. That is best done by putting the A/C on re-circulation before driving on the play and not opening the doors/windows after unloading the entire week.
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Captain Goddammit
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by Captain Goddammit » Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:45 pm

Calling it "dust" makes it sound so harmless, like a friendly sentimental reminder of fun times.
Folks this shit is corrosive dust, about as bad as salt.
GreyCoyote: "At this rate it wont be long before he is Admiral Fukkit."

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BBadger
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by BBadger » Mon Mar 13, 2017 4:25 pm

It's like sea water vs. fresh water. Even "rust proof" stuff can't hold up.
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dragonpilot
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by dragonpilot » Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:38 pm

maladroit wrote:This is your first year, correct?You're going to get to Greeters, there's a little ritual for first-time burners that involves you getting EXTREMELY dusty, and then getting back in your car to continue to the city.You'll make Greeters sad by refusing their dusty hugs and little dust ritual and that's baaaaaaad juju.
This is avoided by performing the greeting ritual naked.
Don't bore your friends with all your troubles. Tell your enemies instead, for they will delight in hearing about them.

Zubeneschamali
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by Zubeneschamali » Thu Mar 23, 2017 8:43 am

Truth. Be prepared for intermittent electronic failures once the dust permeates the vehicle. Accept that auto window and door lock controls will be compromised.

This goes for everything you bring. Car, RV, trailer, bike, camp stove, sound system, iphone. Just like you, it will not be the same after.

Suchied
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by Suchied » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:09 am

asr9754 wrote:Emotionally prepare yourself now for a dusty vehicle. Car will never be quite the same after Bman (neither will you), not matter how careful.
There are ways to minimize the impact. Keep it closed up as much as you can. Blue tape on windows may be overkill--but do take a soft mini broom and sweep off the windows on the last day. You don't want to roll the dusty window down into the door slot---dust will get inside the door panel and never come out. Dry cleanup of thick standing dust is best. Don't get it wet or it becomes sludge. Rubber car mats will help and try to dust off your gear before loading out.

Plan a vigorous carwash with vinegar and extensive vacuum when you get home. Also a leaf blower works great to clean up.

Car cover will buffet and beat against your car all week = sandy friction. Not ideal. But those foil windshield shades are great for keeping sun out.
Hey mate, thanks for those idvies, they are verry usefull, will folow them!

Various
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by Various » Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:34 pm

I've found the best way to protect my car on the playa is to leave it in my driveway and rent a cargo van to go to BRC.

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Tyrion
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by Tyrion » Wed Dec 29, 2021 1:33 am

Various wrote:
Mon Jun 26, 2017 11:34 pm
I've found the best way to protect my car on the playa is to leave it in my driveway and rent a cargo van to go to BRC.
I was thinking on doing the same thing this upcoming 2022 but last year I left my car out next to the beach and it was there for maybe 4-5 days before we got back to it. It was so overheated that you could not touch anything inside and the engine actually overheated after some 25 miles. Sooo I want to get some good window shades but I cannot seem to find anything that actually does the trick. I have been asking around and looking up online but I cannot find shades that actually will do the trick after a couple of days out in the heat. I went through this also without much luck https://www.carwindshields.info/car-window-shades but it seems like there are only different shapes and I care about the actual width and how much sun is going through them. No luck so far... :roll:

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some seeing eye
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by some seeing eye » Wed Dec 29, 2021 2:55 am

Blue painter's tape and space blankets or reflectix, cut to size with scissors, on the outside. If you put the sunshade on the inside, it has already lost effectiveness because if the greenhouse effect.

It may not be elegant enough off playa, but it is very common on playa.

The beige masking tape adhesive turns to concrete when exposed to sun.

The dust is the consistency of baby powder with some abrasive grit mixed in and smells like ammonia.

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unjonharley
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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by unjonharley » Wed Dec 29, 2021 1:53 pm

Suggest . Do not use a car cover . . The wind will use it for sand paper
I'm the contraptioneer your mother warned you about.

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Re: Protecting your car on the playa

Post by Savannah » Wed Jan 12, 2022 3:33 pm

Some seeing eye with the visual proof of why I would never show up without at least a whisk broom and dustpan. (Heck, you can shake much of it out of the tent without a broom, but it's nice for the finishing touch).

Heck, a whisk broom is easier to use than a full-size, if your tent is low to the ground.
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