Geodesic dome purchase, good company?

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Geodesic dome purchase, good company?

Postby fountainpen6 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:37 pm

I am attending for the third time this year. The first two years I was lucky enough to have an RV. This year I'm on my own and looking for a geodesic dome. Does anyone have experience with the company System Shelters and their product the Playadome? I am looking to purchase the 18' dome, but want to know others' experience with them. How did it hold up to the wind? Dust? Heat? Cold? Advice? Thanks!
Here's their website: http://www.shelter-systems.com/playadomes.html
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Postby Boijoy » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:52 pm

We have either the 14 or 18 im not sure. I think 14.
they are pretty good on the playa. we use ours as an escape from wind storms & not to live in. It won't keep out all of the dust because there is no floor & the doors don't completely seal. they get pretty hot inside during the day. im not sure about how they are in the cold.

We now use a simple shade & Kodiac tent. This tent keeps all the dust out except what you bring in on your clothes.
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Postby fountainpen6 » Wed Mar 23, 2011 12:58 pm

Thanks Boijoy, good information. I am looking for something with some room inside so I can set up my craft and clothing stations inside. It was suggested on the company's website to use duct tape to seal the doors (except one) and to use a tarp floor that you tape also. Do you think this would work? How hot does it get?
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Postby Boijoy » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:12 pm

Im not sure about the duct tape. someone else might be able to advise re: that. I think I would opt for velcro to put on in advance of hitting the playa. duct tape might not stick to the plastic material as well if it gets all dusty & the heat might melt the glue ?????

I remember it being very hot in the full sun. I think you can throw some kind of shade over it though & put a osculating fan inside. I would recommend aluminet cloth. But now your getting into some $$'s.

& you will want to put some carpet reminants or something on top of the tarp floors. Make it more homey.
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Postby Boijoy » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:14 pm

oh, Have you looked at canvas wall tents??

( im a canvas over plastic kinda gal ) :)
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Postby Elderberry » Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:38 pm

We used one on playa last year, worked great.
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Postby robotland » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:53 am

Duct tape's great for wrapping connectors and rebar stakes if you pre-wrap them with cling wrap or pallet wrap first... for flat sheet work it either craps up with playadust or becomes Eternal Goo on surfaces. I like to use spring clamps or tarps clips (they're PERFECT for 3/4" conduit!), or if you can use a grommet kit, lashing is good too.

If you're worried about dust blowing under your sides, make sure they're extra long and tuck 'em under with gear and water jugs for ballast. I've also cut 2x4s (and drilled stakeholes) to correspond with the distance between stakes and laid them down over the side-material, pinning it to the ground. Then at week's end you burn them or donate them to BWOB.
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Postby Isotopia » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:25 pm

There are several threads regarding Shelter Systems. My own experience has been that they're solid, semi-portable shelters that work well under ideal conditions. Certainly they work well during a light rain and aren't too hot during the day so long as the temperatures remain below... 90.

What really sucks about them is that they don't work for shit for keeping out the dust during the inevitable dust storm. The dome is designed with no real consideration for the bottom six inches where dust will blow through with absolute impunity. Figure out a way to construct a skirt all around the dome base and you'll be ahead of 80% of the folks who have comparable shelter. Another thing that has worked for me is to consider setting up a smaller dome tent under the larger dome for sleeping. A pain in the ass for sure but well worth a comfortable night's sleep or riding out the 1:00pm dust storms.
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Postby dr.placebo » Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:25 am

I've used the shelter systems dome on the playa (18' diameter). It's not perfect, but it's portable, not too hard to set up, and cuts the wind and dust way down, although you never get a perfect seal. It shed the rain last year quit well. It's reasonably strong, although a few extra guy lines might be needed.

If you use a floor tarp (highly desirable, IMHO), then you can use spring clips to fasten the floor to the bottom of the sides and get a pretty good wind and dust block at the bottom. A sun block (shade cloth) on the outside reduces heat and dust for the top and sides. We also clip on decorative fabric inside, which looks nice and reduces the wind and dust.
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Postby fountainpen6 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:26 pm

Thanks for all the great input. I will definitely use clamps and a tarp for floor. Getting new carpet in my house soon so I will save some of the old for a dome floor! Nothing like bringing a little bit of home with you to the playa! I'm still up for more advice . Thanks everyone!
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Postby Bob » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:42 pm

Shelter Systems domes aren't strictly 'geodesic', but I'm not sure if that's your issue.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby fountainpen6 » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:14 pm

Hey Bob, you are right! I was using the term rather liberally. So, let's call it just a dome. :-)
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Postby Bob » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:21 pm

Just chose something and make it work for you.
Amazing desert structures & stuff: http://sites.google.com/site/potatotrap/

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Postby JStep » Fri Mar 25, 2011 9:40 pm

Our camp is probably going to be using this DIY option:

http://www.spacelounge.com/dome_instructions.html

Lowe's hardware sells the 1/2" x 10' conduits for $1.98 per.
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