Box truck shade structure ideas

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Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:57 am

Ok.. time to start the planning for what I feel is the major gap with the box truck idea: Shade.

Every day between 11am-6pm, the truck is borderline uninhabitable due to primarily the heating of the sheet metal roof. The sides of the truck are fiberglass and are not nearly as much of an issue as the roof which heats to a point of hundreds of degrees and radiates it back inside the truck making it a complete oven.

What I would like to create is a shade structure that is semi-easy to deploy but also.. and here is the catch.. able to be transported via checked baggage on the plane.

My thought is to use some type of PVC/conduit piping as the frame and have the pieces ready to snap together on playa, then bundled up for flying. I could either carry the tarps separate in the suitcase or wrap them around the pieces. This would mean that the total frame assembly could not take up more than 62 linear inches and weigh no more than 70 lbs.

The total area that I need to frame would be the cargo area of a 16' box truck as pictured below.

The box dimensions are: 11' 6" clearance, 7' 5" wide, 16' long.

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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby Bob » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:07 pm

You're doing it all wrong. Where you need to sleep is under the truck.

Srsly, I'm not seeing a plan view of your campsite here. That might help.
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:19 pm

Bob wrote:Srsly, I'm not seeing a plan view of your campsite here. That might help.


Campsite design doesn't really matter.. I need something that would work independent of where I choose to camp. The structure needs to be totally self-reliant.

I've got some basic ideas.. I've built structures with conduit, but never anything for the playa.

One question I would have is would the strength benefits of small gauge metal conduit make up for the extra weight? I'm thinking that if I were to use PVC, then I would have to use too big of a diameter to adequately have strength against the wind load..? The big catch is that everything needs to bundle up to the baggage allowance..
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby Bob » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:25 pm

Umm... this isn't extending beyond the footprint of the truck? Tape some pool noodles on top and stretch a tarp tied to the undercarriage? Not a mindreader here.
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby 5280MeV » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:40 pm

junglesmacks wrote:This would mean that the total frame assembly could not take up more than 62 linear inches and weigh no more than 70 lbs.


Which airline gives you 70 lbs on a standard bag?
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby mudpuppy000 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 12:48 pm

Bob wrote:Umm... this isn't extending beyond the footprint of the truck? Tape some pool noodles on top and stretch a tarp tied to the undercarriage? Not a mindreader here.


Yeah, or a bunch of air mattresses on the roof with a tarp over it.

Shade will help, but what you really need is good ventilation or active cooling. It's going to be hotter than ambient temperature no matter what kind of shade you put over it.
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby BBadger » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:06 pm

Could you buy a bunch of those Coleman inflatable mattresses and put them on top of your box as an insulating layer over which a silvered tarp is placed?

For structure, and because you won't be making a "freestanding" structure, aluminum conduit could be purchased and then assembled using those aluminum powerboxes for joints for a somewhat rigid structure. Not sure what you'd do for cross-bracing. Bending them is easy. Considering that the checked bags only allow 5ft-long objects, you'd be limited by that.

You might also consider how much it costs to check extra luggage and see if it's worth just buying and then dumping/donating stuff after. Aluminum conduit is only like $2/10ft so it'd be less to just buy it when you arrive than pay for another bag.

Edit: Well shit, in the time I took to write all that, other people had suggested some of the same thing.
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby illy dilly » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:06 pm

My thought, would be keep it as simple as possible.
The first thing that comes to mind is going from the ground on the left side of the truck, up over the truck, and then down to the ground on the other side. In all actuality only the rope would need to go all the way over.
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:08 pm

Bob wrote:Umm... this isn't extending beyond the footprint of the truck? Tape some pool noodles on top and stretch a tarp tied to the undercarriage? Not a mindreader here.


It can do anything it wants, just given the constraints that I listed. It could be a full scaffolding or it could be some pool noodles. I'm looking for suggestions and am open to anything. Didn't mean to make your head implode. If it can't fly, it needs to be super cheap.

So.. interesting though on the pool noodles, really. PVC drainage pipe strung through the middle of a few of them.. placed on the roof.. bowed over.. tarp over the top.. secured to under the truck. Hey. I like that idea, really. Hmmmmmmmm......


5280MeV wrote:
junglesmacks wrote:This would mean that the total frame assembly could not take up more than 62 linear inches and weigh no more than 70 lbs.


Which airline gives you 70 lbs on a standard bag?



Sorry.. it's 50lbs. I was looking at the first class limits on first glance.. http://www.delta.com/traveling_checkin/ ... /index.jsp
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby BBadger » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:19 pm

Dang, I couldn't find pictures of the conduit shade structure for some roses around here I have.
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby Bob » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:25 pm

The "something" in your diagram could be four or six shipping pallets you could find somewhere around Reno/Sparks. Burn before Exodus.
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:45 pm

Bob wrote:The "something" in your diagram could be four or six shipping pallets you could find somewhere around Reno/Sparks. Burn before Exodus.



Very nice idea. That would the only thing really flying with is the tarp.. and I could pre-order and pickup from Harbor Freight in Reno this next time..
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby Savannah » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:50 pm

In 2010, the Home Depot (nearest my home, not in Reno) was willing to lend me wooden pallets for a deposit. If pallets figure into your design--though I'm not sure if we're talking about the same kind--it might be worth talking to a Reno HD about it.
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby Bob » Tue Dec 13, 2011 1:54 pm

And thick cloth or somesuch stapled along the edge of the pallets might help preserve the tarp.
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby 5280MeV » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:26 pm

Adding a homemade swamp cooler out of a 5-gallon bucket with a 5-10W solar panel will make a real difference.

My friend and I used a 6-man tent covered in reflective heavy duty tarps without any spacing, and we could both be quite comfortable at 1-3 pm in the tent. More people in the tent would overpower the swamp cooler, it worked best with just one person in the tent.

This is actually really airplane friendly as the bucket fits perfectly into one of those big army duffel bags with the shoulder strap. I imagine that you could fit both a swamp cooler setup and enough reflective tarp material to cover the truck in one of those bags.
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby burner von braun » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:46 pm

This is one of the things I like most about the Burning Man experience, the improvised design and the people that dream it up. To me, I think the pallet idea sounds good (if it is easily attainable) because it allows for cross ventilation between the roof of the truck and the tarp. You could easily fold corrugated cardboard box material to buffer the edges of the pallets, and then burn it too. (unless burning corrugated cardboard is too moopy?)
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby vargaso » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:48 pm

Here's a pretty good picture of the shade structure a campmate built to go over his box truck this year:
http://gallery.me.com/bsullivan#100910/ ... olor=black

I helped take it down, the conduit pieces were really heavy. It did provide some nice shade beyond the truck, though. If you're just looking to cover the truck, I like the bucket/tarp idea.
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Dec 13, 2011 2:52 pm

Wooo.. yeah.. that's ideally what I would do if I wasn't traveling by plane.. That's a lot of hardware.
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:48 pm

The bucket cooler is'nt big enough for that space and he would still need a big battery for power.

I thought about bringing a cooler for you to use JS, but there's still the battery, and I can't spare mine. 8)

I like the insulation idea, but I would look at pool air matresses from the dollar store.

Park the truck facing east so the north side is already shaded most of the day.

Cover the top of the truck with the matresses, then get a tarp big enough to cover the top and angled slightly down to the ground on the south side.

On the north side, have rope going from the grommets on the tarp, down and under to the frame on the truck, with truckers knots to cinch it tight.

This way you arn't carrying all that metal, just the matresses, rope, and tarp.

You can draft people to help blow up all those matresses, and they'll wonder what the hell is he doing. 8)
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby illy dilly » Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:57 pm

Jungle Smacks, why is it so important that you be able to bring all the material with you on a plane?
Is a fear that there will be a lack of materials in Reno?

I figure, that since you already have a ton of stuff to pick up when you get there like a couch and a mattress, would it be difficult to add a few other things to the list?

Regarding the air mattresses between the tarp and the roof:
I understand the concept that it would insulate the tarp and the roof, but once they get hot, wont the heat just transfer to the top of the truck box?
Wouldn't it be better to have air flow through the space between the tarp and the top of the box truck?
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:07 pm

The air flow idea is better, but you need 6" to 12" of space for it to be affective, that makes it tougher.

I liked your tarp idea, but reducing the size will make it easier to carry.

Just my first thought on the idea. :)
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby illy dilly » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:50 pm

Out of curiosity, why 6"-12"?

But I would suggest 6 or 8 cinder blocks, depending on the length of the truck. They would be 8" tall, and heavy enough they wouldn't blow away. Break them up into half on each side so either 3x2 or 4x2.
But, then again, it means the tarp would be sagging between cinder blocks, which also means that it would flap in the wind.

Junglesmacks, another thing to consider, is that anything specialty that needs to be altered or thats too large to fly with, could be shipped to a camp mate and hauled out. Shipping might be cheaper than extra baggage charges.
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby lemur » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:54 pm

i did this in the past... leaving the door open unless there was a dust storm..

it never got hot in the truck and always felt like 'shade'

Image


just rig that shit up!

get some wire..

get some heavy shit..

get some stakes..

maybe a broomstick..


once the wind comes figure out how to secure it better..


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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby Bounce530 » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:07 pm

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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby burner von braun » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:49 pm

Ok, how about this. Get several large robust inflatable beachballs, (deflated for travel) and once inflated on the playa, line them up in a row down the center of the roof to form a ridge line. Perhaps band them all together using duct tape so they don't get out of line, then stretch your tarp tightly over them, forming an apex roof. That would get you the additional clearance (12" or more, whatever the diameter of the balls) for cross through ventilation, yet very little surface of the hot beachballs would conduct heat to the truck roof because they are round. I'm not sure how much expansion and contraction the balls would have given the temperature extremes, and you don't want a floppy tarp at night, so you would want to test ahead of time. You might consider having all the air valves aligned and acessible as you band the row together, so if necessary, you could more easily climb up and reinflate them all, and perhaps an easy way to adjust the tension on your tarp.
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby Packoderm » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:52 pm

burner von braun wrote:Ok, how about this. Get several large robust inflatable beachballs, (deflated for travel) and once inflated on the playa, line them up in a row down the center of the roof to form a ridge line. Perhaps band them all together using duct tape so they don't get out of line, then stretch your tarp tightly over them, forming an apex roof. That would get you the additional clearance (12" or more, whatever the diameter of the balls) for cross through ventilation, yet very little surface of the hot beachballs would conduct heat to the truck roof because they are round. I'm not sure how much expansion and contraction the balls would have given the temperature extremes, and you don't want a floppy tarp at night, so you would want to test ahead of time. You might consider having all the air valves aligned and acessible as you band the row together, so if necessary, you could more easily climb up and reinflate them all, and perhaps an easy way to adjust the tension on your tarp.


You can place the beach balls in inner tubes or swim tubes to keep them from rolling around too much.

I've actually been planning on a way to make a shaded shelter out of a 24 foot rental truck. My plan is to stretch three or four 2x4s across the top of the truck with a corbel on the bottom of each side to keep them from slipping from side to side. I will fasten the 2x4s to the truck using ratcheting straps from each end of wood to the frame of the truck. Then I plan to attach a fitting foot pad at the end of each 2x4 to fasten the shade structure. Then I'll make a traditional 10x24 EMT conduit structure which will attach to the foot pads rather than have pipes go to the ground.

Image

For transport to and from the playa, I'll attach the shade structure sans tarp and bungee balls to the foot pads with EMT poles of about 8 inches in length just to hold things steady. Once in camp, I'll replace the 8 inch EMT with pieces about 20 or more inches in length to get some ventilation.

I'll then put a 10x6 extension shade canopy to attach to the one mounted to the truck for a patio shade at the back of the truck with poles going all the way to the ground. I'll put a piece of 10x30 silver tarp on top of the whole thing held taut with bungee balls, and I'll stretch 10x30 pieces of black shade mesh with bungee balls double wrapped on the sides of the shade structure directed toward the ground at an angle which will be held taut with stretch cords and rebar stakes. I should be able to back this up to our camp's common shade structure, or set it up on a street corner for an elevated bar serving area.

Other than the rental of the truck, I believe my idea can be done more economically than the same sized shade structure with all poles going to the ground.
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby burner von braun » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:05 am

That sounds like a nice design Packoderm, I hope I get to see it.

Along the lines of a minimalist approach for those who fly in, if the beach ball idea is too weird, another approach with the same goal might be created with pvc, or similar material. I'm thinking if you built five identical equilateral pvc triangles, perhaps 2' on each side (you would probably have to cement together custom connector pieces for this, 15 total, plus a spare or two), and then used twelve 4' extension pieces to connect the triangles longitudinally, basically extruding the triangle shape out to a sixteen foot length, so when placed down the centerline of the roof of the truck, again, it would provide a ridgeline that allows the tarp to form a long apex well above the roof of the truck for air flow, and be pulled down tight, angled down and out on the sides of the truck. I suppose if you didn't want to lug the pvc pipe lengths on the flight, you could just bring the connectors, then when running errands in Reno, get the pvc, a hacksaw blade, and pvc cement, and fabricate it in their parking lot in no time. I suspect you would want to wrap duct tape around all of the connectors for added strength. I wonder if leaving the cab of the truck exposed to the sun would transfer heat through the chasis, on back to the box area. I questioned that when I was thinking about my pickup truck solutions.

It doesn't provide a nice back porch like Packoderm's though.
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby Packoderm » Wed Dec 14, 2011 7:40 am

The back porch is mainly to make the total dimensions of the top tarp 10x30 which is easy to find. I'm fairy local in Sacramento, so portability isn't a big deal with me. I do have concerns about strong winds blowing some of the other tarp structure designs though. I think you could hold a piece of shade mesh tarp a bit up off the top of the truck without it flapping around or blowing away so easily. I think the beach balls held in place with the inner tubes covered by a shade mesh tarp strapped to the bottom of the truck might be the ticket for a portable system.
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby mudpuppy000 » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:38 pm

Packoderm wrote:The back porch is mainly to make the total dimensions of the top tarp 10x30 which is easy to find. I'm fairy local in Sacramento, so portability isn't a big deal with me. I do have concerns about strong winds blowing some of the other tarp structure designs though. I think you could hold a piece of shade mesh tarp a bit up off the top of the truck without it flapping around or blowing away so easily. I think the beach balls held in place with the inner tubes covered by a shade mesh tarp strapped to the bottom of the truck might be the ticket for a portable system.


I think some sort of net to hold all the beach balls in place would be necessary. I can't imagine trying to herd beach balls under a tarp in any amount of wind is going to be easy. :D
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Re: Box truck shade structure ideas

Postby bigdane » Wed Dec 14, 2011 8:56 pm

frame.jpg
would a frame like this of conduit or pvc be too complicated? I thought maybe it could be assembled on site. I was thinging several member like this linked and secured to the roof with the middle member being no ore than 8 or 9". Enough for circulation but not enough to cause significant lift? Perhaps the whole assembley secured to the underside of the truck and then the tarp angled out as describe by a previous post???
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