2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Planning to build and bring a mutant vehicle? Talk about your plans and recruit crew members here.
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drpanda
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2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby drpanda » Sat Sep 20, 2014 12:29 am

Hello all. So this year was my 2nd burn and my wife’s first. I thought it would be cool to try to make a mutant vehicle as my gift to the playa and share a little bit of my thoughts with you if you are considering doing it yourself. I had a great time building it, but it was a lot of work and a lot of money. It was a pretty fun solo project. I self-funded it and pretty much did most of the work with some final touches competed on the playa with my wife.
I spend the first couple days getting the car ready, and unfortunately, had to leave the event early due to some bad news at home. I made a little video if you are interested in checking it out. It is a little slow to start, but gets better when the music starts.

[media]


I have to say, it is very rewarding building a mutant car for anyone who has thought of doing it. It does however change your burn quite a bit. Consider yourself like a non-paid taxi driver shuttling people around the playa. Want a drink? Sorry, you gotta be sober the entire time. So unless you want to NOT drive your car around, pretty much are not partying at all. You really do need all of your resources when you are driving because people are everywhere and can’t see 12 foot noisy, super lit up vehicles. You have been warned. You will meet a lot of very thankful people when you give them rides. It is amazing how nice they are and it is amazing to hear how few other people give rides, so if you decide to make one, make it so you can share rides. Mine had a bed on the back.

I am considering adding a trailer on the back so I can tow around a food cart at nights and serve up some killer Asian street food next year. Wondering if anyone has any experience doing that?

I am pretty new to all of this. Made some good choices and learned the hard way about some unforeseen issues. One mistake was that I didn’t insulate some wires and didn’t consider that the very rough ground of the playa, especially after the hard rains were going to cause the cart to really bounce. All of the bouncing, caused a wire connecting my Aux 12 volt batteries, to be cut by rubbing back and forth on some metal. BOOM, instant short and the shorted wires heated by instantly almost causing a huge fire. So... don't do that!

I am more than happy to share, so check out the video and let me know what you think or if you have any questions on the build.
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Playa Pandas.jpg
Playa Pandas 2014- Tracy, Eric and Derpy.

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lucky420
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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby lucky420 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 7:16 am

So cute!

I don't have a lot of fabrication type skills but I would love to build/mutate on a golf cart....
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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theCryptofishist
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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Sep 20, 2014 10:17 am

In 2003 a young woman was killed because she fell down (either entering or exiting an MV) and was run over by the trailer the MV was towing with the generator on it. The DMV adopted rules to keep that from happening again. That's something you are going to have to wrestle with. Is it something you want to take on. I think you'd need two people, one to drive, and one to walk beside MV and be ready to stop you if something happens.
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drpanda
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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby drpanda » Sat Sep 20, 2014 2:59 pm

I was thinking more of a small hot dog cart sized trailer. I want to pull it with my golf cart, so it isnt going to be very big. Something I can leave at camp while I am out durring the day and hich up at night to dish out food and stuff at night in the deep playa :)

lucky420 wrote:So cute! I don't have a lot of fabrication type skills but I would love to build/mutate on a golf cart....

- I decided that I didn't want to teach myself how to weld, so I built my cart using PVC tubing. It is really easy to use, easy to shape, durable, easy to repair, and pretty cheap. My video shows what the cart looks like on the inside.

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Captain Goddammit
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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat Sep 20, 2014 3:22 pm

This is from the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter:

If you are planning to make and give away food or drinks to the public on the playa including fresh squeezed juice, coffee with dairy, or even snow cones, you need a permit. Here's the scoop from Ellen Kunz, Environmental Health Specialist with the Nevada State Health Divisions Public Health and Clinical Services Environmental Health Program:

"In order to fight the threat of food-borne illness on the playa, the Nevada State Health Division (NSHD) has requirements for camps preparing food including the need of a health permit and an inspection. You must apply for and be permitted as a Temporary Food Establishment by the NSHD if:
1. You will be cooking or serving food to large groups of more than 125 FELLOW CAMPERS of your camp on a consistent basis. (If you have a communal kitchen shared by 125 or more campers, but meals are prepared individually, or in smaller quantities than for 125 persons, a permit is not required, however we highly recommend you research and review safe food handling practices, starting with the Nevada State Division of Health information.)
2. You wish to share, cook or serve food or non-alcoholic beverages to the general Burning Man population (gifting food).
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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby lucky420 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 4:53 pm

drpanda wrote:I was thinking more of a small hot dog cart sized trailer. I want to pull it with my golf cart, so it isnt going to be very big. Something I can leave at camp while I am out durring the day and hich up at night to dish out food and stuff at night in the deep playa :)

lucky420 wrote:So cute! I don't have a lot of fabrication type skills but I would love to build/mutate on a golf cart....

- I decided that I didn't want to teach myself how to weld, so I built my cart using PVC tubing. It is really easy to use, easy to shape, durable, easy to repair, and pretty cheap. My video shows what the cart looks like on the inside.



Sweet! I shall check out the video. Thank you
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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spacetime
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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby spacetime » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:32 pm

Hey! Thanks for posting this. I checked out your video, it is sweet. Looks like you guys had a great time sober anyway!

I was wondering if it was possible to do a mutant vehicle year 2 and you have illustrated it is so. Based in part on your feedback I won't be attempting this for next year, instead focusing on building out a small encampment.

Just the same I am curious about the details of your build process and timeline to make it happen. Also the resources you relied on the most to venture in this direction.

I'm also curious, were you a part of a camp or did you camp on your own?

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Captain Goddammit
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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby Captain Goddammit » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:55 pm

Build process? Buy golf cart. Decorate.
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theCryptofishist
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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby theCryptofishist » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:03 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:Build process? Buy golf cart. Decorate.

Run out of money. Get told by DMV to mutate more. Have Kickstarter.
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gypsy68
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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby gypsy68 » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:33 pm

Enjoyed the video. Thank you for posting it.

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burner von braun
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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby burner von braun » Sat Sep 20, 2014 9:59 pm

Yep, Nice video and MV drpanda, Thanks!

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drpanda
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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby drpanda » Sun Sep 21, 2014 2:37 am

spacetime wrote:Hey! Thanks for posting this. I checked out your video, it is sweet. Looks like you guys had a great time sober anyway!

Just the same I am curious about the details of your build process and timeline to make it happen. Also the resources you relied on the most to venture in this direction.

I'm also curious, were you a part of a camp or did you camp on your own?


I wasn't involved with a camp this year. My first year I was involved a bit with a camp, but this year decided to solo camp with my wife. Since being married with kids, it has been over a decade that we have spent a week alone together, so I thought it would be pretty cool to just go at it solo. That said, having a mutant vehicle that you build solo, have to get ready, license,etc, is a pain in the ass. Your budget will be 3 times what you plan, that's for sure. I really liked the idea of being able to retreat to camp and just relax, but then meet out with people on our terms. Not sure how we are going to do it next time.

Build time is hard to say. I live in a place with a home owners association. I basically built the thing over a 4 month period. But I would say that 1/8 of that time was taking stuff out of the garage, bringing it outside, then packing it all up and bring it back inside, then back out, then back in. Then another 1/8 of the time answering neighbors questions about that the hell I was doing, trying to explain why I was doing it, what burning man is, "no it isn't ALL about free love, sex, drugs and anything else crazy you have hear". If I had a workshop, I think I could have gotten it done in about 120 straight of build time (tune up, install secondary battery system, charging system, car prep, installing stereo equipment (amps, 4 speakers, subswoofer), satellite radio, reinforcing of roof, metalwork, PVC structure, furring of the car, LED systems, bed, installing bed).

Then you have to factor the planning time/ design, concept, and planning for the application process (20+ hours) . That includes all of the time you are going to spend sourcing parts, electronics, online ordering, websurfing ideas, etc (40+ hours) Then you will need to add another 20+ hours shopping at the local Home Depot, and going back and forth for all of the things you keep forgetting. For me, I didn't build it and just tow it in, I built it, had to disassemble it to put into my trailer, then build it again on the playa. So designing a cart that was modular was really important to me. If you are able to just build a car and then tow it out there in one piece, then that is a lot easier, because you don't have to plan an entirely new element of dis-assembly.

All said, I think I have at least 200 hours into the project. Again, if I had help, that time would be significantly less. ( or more, depending on the people you have)

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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby tatonka » Sun Sep 21, 2014 9:05 am

"no it isn't ALL about free love, sex, drugs and anything else crazy you have hear". Dam Im not going :wink:
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spacetime
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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby spacetime » Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:55 pm

drpanda wrote:I wasn't involved with a camp this year. My first year I was involved a bit with a camp, but this year decided to solo camp with my wife. Since being married with kids, it has been over a decade that we have spent a week alone together, so I thought it would be pretty cool to just go at it solo. T...


I forgot to reply, but I did check out your response. Thanks for sharing more details of your build experience.

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drpanda
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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby drpanda » Thu Oct 23, 2014 12:31 am

I was asked by a bunch of people when I was on the playa about the mutant car build process. I decided to throw together a "How To" video of what I did on my mutant vehicle. This is a little time lapse video I made last week to document the process. It was a fun project. Hope the video inspires a bunch of new people to follow their hearts and build a car too. It was a very rewarding experience.

[media]

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gypsy68
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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby gypsy68 » Thu Oct 23, 2014 9:38 pm

That looked like a fun project. I like the video. Thanks!

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Loren Ipsvm
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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby Loren Ipsvm » Fri Oct 24, 2014 5:36 am

Very cool work- thanks for sharing your video. It is inspiring to see the whole thing come together from
Start to finish.

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spacetime
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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby spacetime » Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:08 am

Thanks for posting that. Cool to show the reality behind the build.

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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby tamarakay » Fri Oct 24, 2014 10:20 am

Our problem would be transporting it back and forth from Texas each year. I've started eyeing old tractor/trailer rigs lol

Great job and thank you for sharing your build process, and for bringing the car out! Wish i'd seen it live.
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Re: 2nd year to Burning Man and my first Mutant Vehicle

Postby Elorrum » Fri Oct 24, 2014 11:13 am

this is one way I could do it. tow vehicle fits in MV/trailer.
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