I made a Freeform Stretch Tent!

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Toe
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Camp Name: Empress

I made a Freeform Stretch Tent!

Post by Toe » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:18 pm

Image
Image
And the original that I copied from:
Image
TLDR:
It works. Cheap, flexible, repairable. One person set up. Four way spandex, zigzag stitch seams (stretchy), 2"x2"x8 foot sticks (or larger bamboo) with protective mountain bike inner tube turbans. Secured with paracord (intentionally weakest point), tennis balls (fabric wraps around the balls), lag bolts. Big things can be dangerous in wind.



Set up:
-Stretch thoroughly to prevent flapping.
-Anchor corners first.
-Slipknot the fabric around the tennis balls with paracord.
-Paracord is intentionally the weakest point of failure.
-Tie cord to lags, pull tight.
-Put in support sticks every 10 feet or so especially along the perimeter. Careful not to stab through, but also shouldn't be loose.
-Adjust wall height, wall angle, supports to taste.
-In order to prevent falling supports, maybe tie supports to tent from outside of the tent somehow.

Ingredients:
-'Four way' 120% stretch spandex (AKA Lycra) jersey fabric in various colours and weights (can be found cheap on sale).
-Fabric wrapped around tennis balls (or bunched inner tube) and tied with paracord to secure points along the perimeter.
-Simple, single zigzag stitch (to allow for stretch) on each seam.
-Lag bolts every 5 feet or so.
-Supported by 2x2 x 8 foot lumber (or bamboo) with turbans made from mountain bike (wide, long, free) inner tube rubber to protect the fabric.
-Longer poles made by lashing poles together with inner tube.
-I used ~1.5 x 6 metre (5x20 feet) strips of fabric like this:
Original: 4 pieces sewn in roughly a square like this: llll
Expansion: 4 more 6 metre pieces added, two along each edge like this:
llll,ll
__
__
This left an open corner that made a nice entrance.

Performance:
-Cheap!
-Repairable.
-Totally silent (unlike flapping tarp)
-Covered 500 m^2 (1600 square feet)
-Fit in a big backpack (fabric only).
-Roughly comparable to aluminet.
-Versatile/flexible
-Expanded this year for 12 people, 7 tents, three vehicles (partial)
-Shade for four tents last year.
-Works better when seasoned with dust.
-Effective and comfortable.
-Easy set up with one person and without precision.
-Perforations did not propagate :D
-Resisted all wind in 2018 and 2019.
-Single point failures have not affected the overall structure.

Considerations:
-Machine washable as regular laundry.
-Unknown resistance to extreme wind.
-Supports can fall out when wind inflates the tent.
-Spandex/Lycra is rumoured to wear out after several burns, time will tell.
-'Trucker's hitch' block-and-tackle type knots can saw through paracord.
-Large sail area can be really powerful and dangerous especially with flapping, flying rebar tied to the end; hence the intentionally weak paracord and lag bolts (not rebar).

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Ratty
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Camp Name: Tiger Man

Re: I made a Freeform Stretch Tent!

Post by Ratty » Fri Sep 13, 2019 1:58 pm

I'm super impressed. I have spandex that's 20 feet wide from commercial factory. I may have to try this at some event. Thanks for posting. Good job.

If you screwed tennis balls to the top of each pole you could tie them to the fabric. It wouldn't completely prevent collapse unless you also secured them to the ground. Just a thought.
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah

Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote

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Jackass
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Re: I made a Freeform Stretch Tent!

Post by Jackass » Fri Sep 13, 2019 2:44 pm

That's cool, a small circus-like dwelling. Do you have a pic of it at full capacity?
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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lucky420
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Camp Name: Dye with Dignity
Location: Reno, NV

Re: I made a Freeform Stretch Tent!

Post by lucky420 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 6:35 pm

Very cool
Oh my god, it's HUGE!

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Elderberry
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Re: I made a Freeform Stretch Tent!

Post by Elderberry » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:13 pm

Interesting idea.
JK
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http://www.mudskippercafe.com
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Then I realized that the Lord doesn't work that way so I stole one and asked Him to forgive me

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SnowBlind
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Re: I made a Freeform Stretch Tent!

Post by SnowBlind » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:27 pm

That looks pretty awesome. Where did you source that Spandex fabric? And if you don't mind, how cheap is cheap?

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Canoe
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Re: I made a Freeform Stretch Tent!

Post by Canoe » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:03 pm

Could we see closeup photos of the top of poles, fabric over top of poles and the guyline attachments?
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Ratty
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Re: I made a Freeform Stretch Tent!

Post by Ratty » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:18 am

Snowblind, Try looking at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse. Telegraph Ave in Oakland. You may have to make several trips but it's a fun store. They usually have bolts of extra wide width. Cost...Somewhere between $1 and $4 a yard.
Those aren't buttermilk biscuits I'm lying on Savannah

Pictures or it didn't happen Greycoyote

Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see.
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SnowBlind
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Re: I made a Freeform Stretch Tent!

Post by SnowBlind » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:51 pm

Awesome, thanks for the tip, Ratty.

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