Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.

Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby Kaos Salmon » Thu May 08, 2014 10:21 pm

I built a Monkey Hut for 2012 roughly following the Love Monkey design and really love it. I didn't use it in 2013 because my camp had such a massive shade structure that there was actually no room for it (not a terribly common playa problem, methinks), but I plan to use it for some other events this summer.

A couple recommendations based on my experience:
--10' is too short, you should definitely add on at LEAST one more section. I made mine 15' and even then I had to choose between morning shade or evening shade for my tent. As long as you're going through the trouble of setting all this up, and especially if you're planning on this for a long-term shelter, do yourself a favor and extend it to 20'. You can buy an appropriately sized cover to match whatever size you wind up with online.
--Heavy duty silver reflective tarp works great. I can't compare it to anything else and couldn't say about its durability for 7 months of continuous use, but I'm definitely a fan.
--Someone else mentioned UV resistant spray paint for PVC. I've also read up on those and heard that they are fairly effective. I think that's a better idea than experimenting with different kinds of tubing.
--Bring the tarp all the way to the ground along the sides, run a rope through the grommets along those edges, and stake it down frequently.
--Guy lining may or may not be necessary, but I felt like running a few ratchet straps on the inside and outside of the shell from end to end tied the structure together really nicely.
--Know which direction the prevailing winds blow where you're planning to set up, and orient your hut so that the breeze will blow straight through it. If you're adequately staked down, lift should not be a problem, and you'll get a much better cooling effect.
--I didn't build the optional end piece add on that Love Monkey describes, but I definitely would if I was calling a Monkey Hut home for 7 months.

Have fun!
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby GypsyMike » Fri May 09, 2014 4:46 pm

Thanks again everyone for your continued help. The question of the day is...

What are the opinions of using the original pvc pipe spine vs. rope or ratchet straps for a spine? I'm leery of using the 4' bungee cords to keep the spine together. If I bolt the connectors (assuming I'm going with the pvc spine) does that negate the need for them? I worked with someone who had a heavy duty bungee cord snap on him and he lost his eye in the process. I'm especially concerned that being up in the desert for so long would dry them out and make them even more likely to snap. Stretchy rope without steel hooks sounds more appealing to me. Something like parachute chord.

Not having the extra piping for the spine would certainly help in making it more portable.

As for size, I am planning on going with 20' length for the purpose of all day shade and enough room to fit my tent as well as a table, chairs etc. I went really minimal last season and am looking to create a bit more comfort next season.
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri May 09, 2014 4:55 pm

I'm not sure, but I think that the idea of the monkey hut was to build something pretty much idiotproof. Therefore, if you have more skills than the average idiot, and know how to tie parachute chord into some knot that will work, it will work.

Am I making much sense?

Try this. If you're putting a load on your pick-up truck (under a tarp) and you know how to tie a trucker's hitch, you don't need the bungee net.
I know someone who had a bungee related accident--no loss of limb or organ, but it made her leary of them, too. And it's something that I do keep some awareness of as a result, too.
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby GypsyMike » Sat May 24, 2014 10:27 pm

Has anyone tried using wider pvc pipe, such as 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" for the main ribs? Any stronger, or too thick to bend?
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby BBadger » Sun May 25, 2014 2:46 am

You know, I think you're * * * REEALLY * * * over-thinking the Monkey Hut here.



Can I add more headroom? Give yourself more headroom.



What if I need it a little wider? YEAH. OK. Make the Monkey Hut wider.



Can I use ... green ... tarps?



YES. BUY AND USE GREEN TARPS.



Is slightly thicker PVC really going to affect this purposely rickety, bendy, thrown-together, $50 temporary.....?

HOLY SHIT!! Ask yourself this: Will it bend, and twist? Will it spring right back into position? Will it not fly away because it is strapped down or bound by friction?



Yes? Then you're good to go.




Repeat after me: "The Monkey Hut is a structure made of PVC, rebar, duct tape, tarps, and bungee cords."


That's it!


If you're pondering questions like "will this PVC last 200 years in the sun" or "what about these diagonal side-loads...." or "will six inches of vertical room affect the structural integrit...."



WHOA!! WHOA!!! STOP RIGHT THERE !!

Image


The Monkey Hut is a structure made of PVC, rebar, duct tape, tarps, and bungee cords.


Think about it.


And then stop.


A monkey hut is a structure made up of more glue than materials to glue. There is nothing more to it.


You should really be pondering questions like: "why did someone even bother writing instructions for creating a Monkey Hut, and not just post some photograph and expect people to figure it out?"


Or, what kind of person has so absolutely nothing better to do with his time than to sit down and draw a picture like this:


Image











Because people would over-think the Monkey Hut.
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby GypsyMike » Mon May 26, 2014 9:53 am

Whoahoho Mr. Snarky. I can appreciate the sentiment, but just a tad overstated. I've been getting some good and useful input from my questions. To me, still, after re reading your reply, I feel my last question is valid. I've never made a monkey hut, nor I have I worked with pvc in any way. I'm just wondering if 1 1/4" or even 1 1/2" pvc will bend as needed and ultimately be better or worse in any way.
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby unjonharley » Mon May 26, 2014 10:22 am

After building a first monkey hut..The orignal design is the best.. It can not be ridget with heavie pvc.. The way it is designed is to let it flex in the wind.. Without thar ome thing has to give..
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby Jackass » Mon May 26, 2014 11:08 am

GypsyMike wrote:Whoahoho Mr. Snarky. I can appreciate the sentiment, but just a tad overstated. I'm just wondering if 1 1/4" or even 1 1/2" pvc will bend as needed and ultimately be better or worse in any way.


Actually Bbadger's trying to drill a point into that thick-assed skull of yours. Your time leading up to the desert is finite, you have monkey hut plans available to you, from which I'd guess a few THOUSAND huts have already been produced. Build the hut as per instructions and you'll have successfully made yourself a shade structure. Continue to ponder all these increasingly minute details through out the rest of your building/gathering and you may just find yourself going ape-shit and rather short on time... YOU CAN'T BUILD A SECOND FLOOR, PLEASE KEEP SHIT SIMPLE, WHENEVER POSSIBLE KEEP IT SIMPLE. Now please, continue enjoying our nation's great holiday with friends and loved ones.
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby unjonharley » Sat May 31, 2014 10:03 am

Having a monkey hut set up in the yard.. I have to cut my foot print.. Sadie has suggested an off the car topper rack hut.. I am putting a topper on the van this year.. Figure on placing the receiver tubes in the topper.. Then measure out six foot for the rebar stakes.. This will allow a passage on the slider door side with storage along the lower part..Then add a pvc on each side of the front of the van. Or continue all the way around the van to make a complete shade.. Am planing a cabana for he rear hatch.. The van top will be insulated..
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby FIGJAM » Sat May 31, 2014 10:56 am

Why cut the footprint?

Use the same dimension hut, only instead of the 1/2 circle of a standard hut you'll do a 1/4 circle with a lot bigger shade footprint on the slider side!

Kowtow got 178sq ft of shade by doing just that on the side of his trailer! 8)
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby sadie » Sat May 31, 2014 11:03 am

unjonharley wrote:Having a monkey hut set up in the yard.. I have to cut my foot print.. Sadie has suggested an off the car topper rack hut.. I am putting a topper on the van this year.. Figure on placing the receiver tubes in the topper.. Then measure out six foot for the rebar stakes.. This will allow a passage on the slider door side with storage along the lower part..Then add a pvc on each side of the front of the van. Or continue all the way around the van to make a complete shade.. Am planing a cabana for he rear hatch.. The van top will be insulated..


I think this is a great idea.. I must, however, give credit to FIGJAM for planting the seed in my head. It solves the challenge of "bridging the gap" between a standard hut and the van and also creates shade for the van.
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby FIGJAM » Sat May 31, 2014 11:06 am

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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby MyDearFriend » Sat May 31, 2014 11:53 am

Yay for all of this!

Drawing a Blank and I have opposite ideas about Monkey Huts, and though we have shared a truck & set up next to each other we still disagree about which Hut is more comfortable. 8)

DAB's is heavy tarp all the way to the ground.

Mine is aluminet with a 12-inch gap at the ground on each side.

He drinks beer in his and sleeps in his box truck.

I live in mine and can sleep in my tent until mid-afternoon. 8) 8) 8)
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby BBadger » Sat May 31, 2014 7:24 pm

GypsyMike wrote:Whoahoho Mr. Snarky. I can appreciate the sentiment, but just a tad overstated. I've been getting some good and useful input from my questions. To me, still, after re reading your reply, I feel my last question is valid. I've never made a monkey hut, nor I have I worked with pvc in any way. I'm just wondering if 1 1/4" or even 1 1/2" pvc will bend as needed and ultimately be better or worse in any way.


After writing that rant, I hoped it didn't scare you off from making a Monkey Hut. Yes, your questions are valid, but my joke reply is more about how parameters like those really don't make a huge difference in the Monkey Hut. The Monkey Hut is an abomination of living structure. Don't get me wrong, it works great -- but you ought to spend any additional time, effort, and thought on a more significant structure that doesn't use underground piping as its main support.

My advice? Just build it according to the instructions as others have stated too. Maybe the 1.5" PVC won't bend enough, or maybe it will. It's hard to know without trying it, and the current MH design works well for basically everything. There are other problems that can arise from changing the size of the components, such as having to source other materials to fit everything together (like even wider pipes to slide the ribs into), or just paying more for materials that just don't improve things significantly. Increasing the size or height of the structure really makes no difference. You ought to have enough ropes/ratchet straps on hand to keep the MH anchored to the ground, but I've found that it really doesn't make a difference anyway other than it doesn't wobble as much.

Also, I was also the one who drew up that diagram at the end of in my reply. I threw that in there because I, too, have over-thought the MH.
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby kowtow » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:02 am

FIGJAM wrote:Scroll down this page to see how Kowtow did it!!!

https://eplaya.burningman.com/viewtopic.php?f=365&t=68694&p=1012324#p1012324


I finally went out this weekend and strung a tarp over the monkey hut for the first time.

It worked out well, but one improvement I'm going to make is to have a 10' or 12' 2"x6" board out at the playa (ground) side of the hut. This board will be used fix mount the ribs via 5/8" bolts that will be mounted through the board (threads up) and the board will have eye bolts affixed at 18" intervals that will be used to secure the tarp to. This will reduce playa setup time because all that will be required is to secure the board to the playa (5/8"x14" lag bolts) all other hardware will be affixed to the board before arrival.

Image

I'm using a silver 12'x20' tarp (this configuration will provide a shade structure mounted 16' out from trailer) with the following clearance numbers:

At trailer PVC are affixed 82" off the ground
4 feet in from the playa side the height is 82" off the ground
8 feet in from the playa side the height is 91" (max height)
Provides for a monkey hut with 12'x10' (120sqft of space) that is over 82" in height
Total actual shade structure area is 10'X16' (160sqft of space)

The height and usable area is much larger than what a typical monkey hut of the same design can provide.
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:19 am

This would work with almost anything with a roof rack!!! 8)
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby fernley1 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:39 am

Kowtow, your monkey hut is looking good!
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jun 09, 2014 11:45 am

I think I'll call it "The Monkeyawning"!!! :lol:
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby BeeWeeDee » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:18 pm

A monkeyawning...
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jun 09, 2014 12:21 pm

Yup!

The normal reaction when setting under a great shade structure!!! 8)
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby kowtow » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:08 pm

Here is the ledger board that I made. This board will be screwed into the playa with 5/8" x 14" lag bolts. Then all of the ribs from the "MonkeYawning" will slide over the lag bolts and the tarp will be secured to the eye bolts. NOTE: The washers will likely be disappearing, I've found that after a few strokes of the file on the corners of a 5/8" nut the 1" PVC will slide right over the top and be secure.

This not only makes less work, threading each attachment into the playa, but it makes for great reuseability no matter where I'm camping.

Image

Image
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby kowtow » Mon Jun 09, 2014 7:21 pm

My question now is how do I wisely close off one end of the hut? Here are my concerns:

The excellent height of the "MonkeYawning" has a down side, it makes it very easy for the sun to shine through the structure and leave very little shade and/or rapidly changing shade. By closing off one end it will be much easier to predict what areas will always be shaded and what areas will impacted by the movement of the sun (or should I say the earth's movement around the sun).

My other concern is, once I close off one end, am I going to fall victim to the strength of the wind. I don't want to create a situation where the wind funnels in and creates a huge force of lift on the "MonkeYawning"

NOTE: Because the solar panels are on the opposite side of the trailer (south facing side), I'm concerned it limits my flexibility in pointing the trailer. Does the prevailing wind mainly come from a NE direction? I know it's hard to predict, but if that's the consensus, then I can close off the SE side of the MonkeYawning (side closest to the camera) and have the wind mainly travel up and over the Awning rather than through and into it.

Image
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:09 pm

IF you need to put shade on one end, drape some shade cloth.

I would park the trailer north/south cause your panels will still get sun from 6AM till 3 or 4PM.
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby kowtow » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:20 pm

FIGJAM wrote: I would park the trailer north/south cause your panels will still get sun from 6AM till 3 or 4PM.


Why north south? I was thinking of having the tongue pointing West, because I thought that would give me the most southern exposure. If I point my tongue N then I will only get the full on sun from sometime after noon, until it sets. If I face W I was thinking the panels would grab the sun from no later than 10:00am until sunset.

I do have some options if I face N-S, I would be able to raise the panels higher than perpendicular, so I will be able to catch early morning sun and then be able to lower them as the sun reaches high noon.

Hmmmm something to think about.
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby TT120 » Mon Jun 09, 2014 8:33 pm

You actually want the wind to be able to blow through there so it won't turn into an oven. If you close off one end, it will heat up fast. The shade will move around but you've got a large enough structure that there will be some area that is shaded all the time. You probably won't want to spend too much time around camp anyway because there is SO much to see and do. If you like to sleep in a bit in the morning, then setup so your bed area is shaded in the morning.
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby Roundabout » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:07 pm

The wind funnels between the mountains that are on the east and west of the Playa. Primarily, the wind comes from the south, but it will on occasion switch around and funnel down from the north.
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Jun 09, 2014 10:09 pm

If the drivers side of the trailer is to the east, the suns arc will be going over the shade instead of sneaking under the ends.

Same reason I park facing the sunrise.

This is at noon..........

Image
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby kowtow » Tue Jun 10, 2014 6:58 am

FIGJAM wrote:If the drivers side of the trailer is to the east, the suns arc will be going over the shade instead of sneaking under the ends.

Same reason I park facing the sunrise.

Image


So the camera is looking east, the front of your truck is pointing south, your back is to the west and your tarp stretchs down to the playa surface in a northerly direction?

Wont the high angle morning and evening sun when it's near the horizon take away the majority of your shade? If so, that's probably okay given the sun isn't as hot during those times.

Forgive me for I live in the PNW, where shadows caused by the sun aren't very common. :-)
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jun 10, 2014 8:00 am

Sunday I just park and sleep.

I get up early Monday and point my truck right at the sun peeking over the hills. (East)

This way my shade is affective all day without having to move my chair chasing the shade.

The camera angle is facing almost due north.

This pic was taken at the same time from the west on the 5 o'clock spoke and you can see how much shade is on the other side. 8)

Image
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Re: Yet another monkey hut enthusiast

Postby kowtow » Wed Jun 11, 2014 10:45 am

So is the image below the placement you are suggesting?

This would have my shelter openings to the N and S and the monkeyawning wall facing south. The solar panels would be on the NW side of the trailer, but I can raise the leading edge so that grab the early morning sun on the opposite side of the trailer and then lower them to parallel with playa as the sun rises.

Image
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