Mutant Vehicles - the Pros and Cons

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Mutant Vehicles - the Pros and Cons

Postby Major Mallet » Mon May 17, 2010 7:59 pm

Mutant Vehicle operators: what are the best and worst aspects of operating a Mutant Vehicle?

Everybody: what do you think are the best and worst aspects of Mutant Vehicles?
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Re: Mutant Vehicles - the Pros and Cons

Postby bm_cricket » Mon May 17, 2010 8:16 pm

Major Mallet wrote:Mutant Vehicle operators: what are the best and worst aspects of operating a Mutant Vehicle?

Everybody: what do you think are the best and worst aspects of Mutant Vehicles?


That you must be STONE-FUCKING-SOBER when you drive it? It's almost like people are trying to get run over!
)'(
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Re: Mutant Vehicles - the Pros and Cons

Postby Major Mallet » Mon May 17, 2010 8:31 pm

bm_cricket wrote:That you must be STONE-FUCKING-SOBER when you drive it? It's almost like people are trying to get run over!


Amen brother! Hurting folks is not what I have in mind as I think about building a MV.
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed May 19, 2010 6:53 am

I've ranted extensively about this subject and won't bore everyone again today...

The Pros are obvious, but guys like me whose favorite means of artistic expression is through mechanical engineering and fabrication love MVs for that.

The Cons; Cost and logistics to transport to the desert, always having to stay totally sober or risk a genuine, real-word DUI, and dealing with drunk and otherwise intoxicated people. The happy fun ones are fine, but the belligerent ones suck. Oh, and people expecting point-to-point taxi service.

Overall the MVs are my favorite part of the whole thing.
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Postby AntiM » Wed May 19, 2010 7:15 am

I never know how to ask for a ride, and I hesitate because I know I can't walk back from Bum-Fuck Deep Playa on my two bad feet. I know they aren't taxis, which is what I'd actually need!
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed May 19, 2010 6:32 pm

Well if you see my boat or LeChat's Contraption or Tub-a-Hurl's tub or any of the other MVs built by people you know from eplaya, all you have to do is say "Hi I'm AntiM!" and you probably won't even have to ask for taxi service.
It's just too much to do it for every stranger that sees you - I've tried, and I couldn't get back to camp, where I was headed, damn near all night!
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Postby Elliot » Wed May 19, 2010 8:53 pm

:D
What the Captain said. I'll be MV number 296.

Image

Image

Image


Wheel chair ramp, too.

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:D
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Postby Major Mallet » Thu May 20, 2010 7:11 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:I've ranted extensively about this subject and won't bore everyone again today...


Actually, I would not mind being bored. I had no luck finding previous posts on this topic. Post the links or rant on as far as I am concerned.

I am looking for any information that a new MV owner should know about before arriving on the playa. It can be on any kind of subject (Mechanical, social, where to avoid driving, etc. Specific things I am wondering about are: Do engines need additional cooling to cope with the heat? What is the prevailing wisdom on what "obligations" (if any) a MV owner has to the community? Is vandalism a real problem? Safety concerns. Etc.

PS – AntiM, we’ve met and I assure you I would be more than happy to give you a ride any time you wanted one.
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Postby Dr Helix » Thu May 20, 2010 7:38 am

I have brought small MV's to the playa for the past two years. A perception that I have seen from some people at the Burn is that I built it only to have a personal vehicle to get from a to b. I think its extremely important to make sure I'm interactive on the playa (This year it's the Interaction Deli Truck - Come take a spin of the Interaction Wheel!) but also that I give rides to anyone who needs one which I do. Since I'm small and don't have to cruise its an easy and fun way to meet people. I don't know how you guys with the big land yachts do it , but I tip my cap to you. AntiM I will happily give you a ride wherever you want to go. I'll be the small MV painted red and white like an ice cream truck. Ice water on request will be served! If I knew how to post a picture on this forum I would show it to you. Ah maybe someday I'll be more savvy.
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Postby C.f.M. » Thu May 20, 2010 8:00 am

Captain Goddammit wrote:Well if you see my boat or LeChat's Contraption or Tub-a-Hurl's tub or any of the other MVs built by people you know from eplaya, all you have to do is say "Hi I'm AntiM!" and you probably won't even have to ask for taxi service.
It's just too much to do it for every stranger that sees you - I've tried, and I couldn't get back to camp, where I was headed, damn near all night!


Maybe we could be issued special passes/badges to flash. 8)
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Postby Fire_Moose » Thu May 20, 2010 8:45 am

As a non-MV owner, it seemed to me that many many (especially the big party MV) MVowners pass up burners looking for a ride because they do not fit their criteria.

when was the last time you saw an uggo swinging from the stripper pole on that octopus?
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Postby Sail Man » Thu May 20, 2010 8:52 am

Dr Helix wrote:I have brought small MV's to the playa for the past two years. A perception that I have seen from some people at the Burn is that I built it only to have a personal vehicle to get from a to b. I think its extremely important to make sure I'm interactive on the playa (This year it's the Interaction Deli Truck - Come take a spin of the Interaction Wheel!) but also that I give rides to anyone who needs one which I do. Since I'm small and don't have to cruise its an easy and fun way to meet people. I don't know how you guys with the big land yachts do it , but I tip my cap to you. AntiM I will happily give you a ride wherever you want to go. I'll be the small MV painted red and white like an ice cream truck. Ice water on request will be served! If I knew how to post a picture on this forum I would show it to you. Ah maybe someday I'll be more savvy.


Bless you my good Dr for your gift, and all the other MV owner/operators as well.

Captain, I sure hope your bringing out the land yacht this year, I missed my keel hauling last year :wink:
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Postby Major Mallet » Thu May 20, 2010 11:27 am

Fire_Moose wrote:As a non-MV owner, it seemed to me that many many (especially the big party MV) MVowners pass up burners looking for a ride because they do not fit their criteria.

when was the last time you saw an uggo swinging from the stripper pole on that octopus?


I have heard that complaint before. I also have seen MV's only used as personal transport as well. Personally, I think that defeats the some of the purpose of an MV but that's just my opinion.

What other issues are there? I sincerely appreciate the replies.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu May 20, 2010 11:41 am

Fire_Moose wrote:As a non-MV owner, it seemed to me that many many (especially the big party MV) MVowners pass up burners looking for a ride because they do not fit their criteria.

when was the last time you saw an uggo swinging from the stripper pole on that octopus?


I ran after one Party Float (I now no longer call them Mutant Vehicles or even Art Cars) expecting to join the crew on board. One of them warned me that the railing was covered with broken glass. They didn't seem to be in the mood for gifting a ride.
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Postby Dr Helix » Thu May 20, 2010 11:43 am

"I have heard that complaint before. I also have seen MV's only used as personal transport as well. Personally, I think that defeats the some of the purpose of an MV but that's just my opinion."

Major Mallet

Unfortunately Major, I have seen plenty of evidence of this behavior in the smaller MVs. Barely decorated golf carts zipping around and not bothering to even slow down to help someone out on the open playa who's all in.
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Postby Captain Goddammit » Thu May 20, 2010 11:45 am

Major Mallet wrote:I am looking for any information that a new MV owner should know about before arriving on the playa. It can be on any kind of subject (Mechanical, social, where to avoid driving, etc. Specific things I am wondering about are: Do engines need additional cooling to cope with the heat? What is the prevailing wisdom on what "obligations" (if any) a MV owner has to the community? Is vandalism a real problem? Safety concerns. Etc.



If you have a cooling system as good as your engine was originally intended to have you'll be OK on the playa. An extra electric fan is a good idea for super-hot daytime use.
MVs have been hijacked, joyridden, and/or stolen completely. Set yours up with a kill switch or some sort of way to make SURE it stays where you park it.
Obligation to the community is a grey area; generally you are expected to let people ride if you have a vehicle with passenger room, and that IS half the fun of it. However, you can refuse or evict anyone too drunk, obnoxious, or otherwise troublesome. You're free to take people where they request, but taxi service is strictly optional. You can set your own safe number of passengers limit.
Bring spare parts! As many as possible... and tools, as many as possible. I bring alternators, starters, fuel injectors, relays, tires, a radiator, hoses, belts, oil, etc. and have used them! It's a lot of trouble to go through to build and bring an MV only to have some part fail and put it out of action.

Going out to the trash fence late at night is one of the best things to do on an MV, but be sober and have your ticket. You SHOULD be allowed to be anywhere inside the trash fence, but I've had the cops order me and other MVs away from it, thinking that people are being smuggled in. I've also been randomly stopped by the real police just to check for DMV permit, ID, and level of intoxication. NEVER drive your MV when you've been drinking! People have been stopped and given real DUIs within 50 feet of leaving their camp.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Thu May 20, 2010 1:03 pm

someone fucks with every MV sooner or later (or every night) trying to start it and drive off. Be sure you can prevent this by disabling the vehicle some how. Do not count on a golf cart key alone.

Have some way of minimally lighting your rig at night, assuming 100% vehicle electrical system failure, in case you break down away from camp and have to leave the vehicle exposed somewhere.

If you have a second (or higher) level that passengers can access, be sure that you somehow limit how many can be up there. Be aware that passengers like to move around suddenly (to look at art, or nude people, etc), often all rushing to one side at once. This has tipped over vehicles before.

People will offer you drugs and/or alcoholic drinks as gifts. Some of these people may be undercover officers.

An open alcoholic container that the driver can reasonably access is verbotten. This means passengers cannot carry drinks within reach of the driver.

People will put out cigarettes in any convenient crevice or depression. this has resulted in fires in the past.

Lighting to the front-sides is almost as important as light to the straight-front. Bicyclers often try to circle your vehicle at night to see it, coming out of the darkness suddenly (Often unlit) and veering in front of you. The more you can see these dark-wads coming, the greater your ability to avoid colliding with them (which would be bad).

Logistics are at least 50% of any MV. How will you safely get it down there with all your other stuff? What happens if your tow vehicle breaks down (better hope it is not your MV)? Where will you park the MV when BM is not happening?
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Postby Major Mallet » Thu May 20, 2010 1:55 pm

Now we are talking. I would not have thought of having kill switch and/or lojack-type of unit on the vehicle. But now that you mention it, however, it seems really obvious.

The cigarette burns are another obvious issue I had not fully thought of.

I also like the lighting on the front sides for night driving.

Sounds like you have to make the MV about as bullet / idiot / theft proof as possible.

I am also interested in hearing more from folks about what makes a MV fun as a participant (as opposed to owning one). Also, what bad MV experiences have you had that could have been prevented by a better MV design?

This is good - keep the ideas and thoughts coming.

DJ - good to hear from you sir!
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Postby Fire_Moose » Thu May 20, 2010 2:20 pm

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single person MV?

Postby swampdog » Thu May 20, 2010 2:20 pm

I've wanted to build an MV for a long time. I'm a bit of a tinkerer and technical nerd, but don't have real experience in drive trains or metalwork, which always seemed required.

This year I got the idea to use a powered wheelchair as a base and build something cool on top of it. So I"m planning to build a single passenger flying pig.

The drive train is rock-solid, and I don't think it will bog down too much (big wheels). Its built in max speed is conveniently 5 MPH.

Is it art? I can't give rides, there's no direct interaction (other than people saying, "COOL, a flying pig!". Yes, I'm looking forward to being able to get around further, faster, and with less effort. But that's not WHY I'm building it, it's a side benefit.

Anybody think this is a bad idea, not interactive/artistic/burny enough?
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Postby Fire_Moose » Thu May 20, 2010 2:23 pm

my favorite little one i saw out tehre was a skeleton pushing a grocery cart full of food.

guess the driver sat INSDE the grocery cart..under the food
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Postby Elliot » Thu May 20, 2010 3:31 pm

:D
Great thread!

From what I've been reading, any single-person MV needs to have a HUGE wow-factor.

Mine is tentatively licensed as "You're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat", but I think we are going to wind up calling it "The Piano Boat".
:D
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Postby ygmir » Thu May 20, 2010 4:25 pm

Elliot wrote::D
Great thread!

From what I've been reading, any single-person MV needs to have a HUGE wow-factor.

Mine is tentatively licensed as "You're Gonna Need A Bigger Boat", but I think we are going to wind up calling it "The Piano Boat".
:D

will you then be "the man in the boat"?............
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Thu May 20, 2010 5:22 pm

some of the good parts;

You instantly become a rare commodity, with only ~800 vehicles registered each year. If you wanted to, you could easily spend the entire event driving around other people and have a very interesting time.

You have a static location for the burn, that your friends can use as a reference to find you and/or others (or drop stuff - which can quickly become a negative, so I always give a disclaimer), so you tend to be a center of action during the burn.

You can truly help some people. A broken down bicycle rider at the trash fence, people who over-estimated there limits, the injured. If helping others is your gig, there are many opportunities with a MV.

When your camp needs to do an ice run, you sometimes get free ice for driving everyone.

Since you are sober, you often remember things better.
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Postby Elliot » Thu May 20, 2010 6:07 pm

:D
Since you are sober, you often remember things better.


Now recruiting Designated Drivers!
:D
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Postby Elliot » Thu May 20, 2010 6:16 pm

:D
"the man in the boat"?............


You lost me. Man of the hour -- man of the oar? Man slips on banana peel and goes ass-over-applecart? The banana man in the piano boat?

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Postby littleflower » Thu May 20, 2010 6:44 pm

swampdog .... i can't wait to see your flying pig!!!!!
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Postby ygmir » Thu May 20, 2010 8:53 pm

Elliot wrote::D
"the man in the boat"?............


You lost me. Man of the hour -- man of the oar? Man slips on banana peel and goes ass-over-applecart? The banana man in the piano boat?

Image


maybe google "the man in the boat"......or ask Simon or SailMan........
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Fri May 21, 2010 10:10 am

Yon Viking rockhound doth speak in riddles. 8)
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Postby gyre » Fri May 21, 2010 11:30 am

This was my idea.
Wish I was getting paid for it.
You must operate another switch after turning the key to start the vehicle.
And still replace any golf cart or gm keyswitch with a real lock.
http://www.ronfrancis.com/prodinfo.asp?number=AT-70
I can tell you how to make your own if you want.

I like delay kill switches too.
Very effective because the thief has to defeat it in a more public area.
I have one that mimics a breakdown.
Good for carjackings.
Allows you to hand over your key without hesitation.
Needs to operate separately from the alarm system for that.

I love these lights.
Dual filament, so they make great side marker/ turn signals on cars.
You can get clear and tint the bulbs.
The bulbs really are unique, contrary to usual practice, so this is the only source for them.
They are bright.
http://www.ronfrancis.com/prodinfo.asp?number=BL-69A
http://www.ronfrancis.com/prodinfo.asp?number=BL-69R
Image

Remember that lighting needs to exceed street lighting requirements, especially on the sides.

I recommend 3M diamondstripe reflective material for when the lights are off.
It is available in solid stripes, rather than the zebra used on semis.
!" up.

Alcohol
DUI laws apply, but burning man dmv rules are stricter.
The rule is NO ALCOHOL for drivers.
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