HexaYurts

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

Postby jkisha » Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:26 am

My 'guess' is that it wouldn't reduce the insulation value much, if at all, should you paint it. I just would stick to the lighter colors. I am just basing this on the way those panels are used in building--they are covered by whatever the external finish is--wood, brick, etc.

We painted a flower garden scene on the front panel of our yurt and decorated the other panels with bumper stickers.

Though there would be air space between the panels and the finish material.

You might want to go to the website of the company that makes the panels you are using and send them an email about this. I'd be curious to hear their reply too.


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Postby cullen » Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:20 pm

i have a door question i noticed some used a box shape fore the door and modified the roof to make it fit.

wouldn't that catch the wind more? has anyone tried a triangle piece instead of a box? i don't think it would catch the wind as much.

sort of a modified igloo look.
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Postby jkisha » Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:37 pm

cullen wrote:i have a door question i noticed some used a box shape fore the door and modified the roof to make it fit.

wouldn't that catch the wind more? has anyone tried a triangle piece instead of a box? i don't think it would catch the wind as much.

sort of a modified igloo look.


Not sure exactly what you mean. Unless you are talking about the "Anwar" style door which comes up above the 4' walls. Which never looked like a good idea to us.

We simply cut a 2' wide by 3'6" high door in one side, which we hinged with a tape hinge and also made a tape latch. Worked great. It won't catch the wind if you remember to close and latch it.

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Postby cullen » Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:13 pm

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yeah like the one here, but instead of 4' walls maybe 6'.

the main reason i was thinking of it was because we used a 2 door entry system in iraq, it helped keep the dust of our tents when entering and leaving during dust storms.
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Postby jkisha » Sat Nov 08, 2008 9:03 am

We are entertaining the idea of six foot walls for next year too. I'm a bit older and don't like having to bend over to get into the yurt. Eight foot seemed a bit high.

The double-door thing is interesting and certainly will give me some food for thought. But the dust storms were pretty bad last year, and we didn't find the one door system to be that much of a problem. We tracked more dust in on our shoes and boots than ever seemed to blow in when the door was open.

We have also been considering making more of an entry way--like a 4' x 4' mini yurt to implement the double-door thing too. But at this point, we are still in the thinking stages about it.

We definitely didn't like the idea of the higher door that protruded over the walls though, for the same reasons you questioned; just seemed like it wouldn't fair well with the wind.

One other thing we did was to cut holes for ventilation as in our picture, except square. We did one on each wall and alternated one as a window one as a vent.

We velcroed plastic windows for and forced air filters on the alternate windows for ventilation. Next year we will tape the windows and vents directly on the yurt as the velcro proved to be a big leak area for dust. Our original thought is that we could just velcro on either windows or filters based on the weather; so we originally had eight windows and eight filters; but during the first dust storm we ended up taping them to seal out the dust. Just mentioning this because velcro is expensive and it might save someone some money.

One other thing that I would suggest you do is after you build your yurt, do a trial run at home setting it up. It sure makes it easier to do on the playa--especially if there is a breeze.

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Postby Sail Man » Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:07 am

Toolmaker wrote:
somekind wrote:Pics or it didn't happen.


Whats this mean? Are you trying to imply that folks don't bring air/swamp coolers out to BM?


LOL, come on Toolmaker, me thinks he (or she) was just trying to be humerous :lol:

Personally, i wouldn't mind seeing pics either, a visual aid always helps when ur contemplating one for urself.
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Postby jkisha » Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:25 am

Sail Man wrote:
Personally, i wouldn't mind seeing pics either, a visual aid always helps when ur contemplating one for urself.


I posted a link to pics of our yurt.

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Postby Sail Man » Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:26 am

JK, did the addition of your ventilation sources (openings w/furnace filters) allow in hotter air that caused the ac unit to work more? I could understand using them if u were going for a more passive cooling system, i.e. misters and I can also appreciate them for the need to have fresh air flowing through. Also, what about the use of a solar powered vent, i.e. nicro brand like that used on boats, for ventilation/air movement purps. ?
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Postby jkisha » Sat Nov 08, 2008 10:41 am

Good question, I left out an important point.

We also saved and tape hinged the parts of the square holes that we cut out so that we could close the windows and/or filters during the heat of the day and open them during the night.

Didn't even know about solar poward vents. Another good idea to think about for next year.

We did try the misting thing to see how it might work. Probably would have been ok had we not had the a/c, but there really is no comparison. Even if you felt some cooling from the mist, in short order it got muggy and unconfortable.

Also, we had carpets on the floor. If you were relying on misting for your cooling, it would probably be better to just leave the tarp on the floor uncovered so that you could take advantage of the cool ground. (The ground temp gets surprisingly cool after it has been shaded from the sun for a day or so.)

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Postby guonbeeman » Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:20 am

Just wanted to say that this is an awesome thread for someone like myself who is seriously considering building a Hexayurt for next year. Thank you!!

---Ellen
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Postby jkisha » Sun Nov 09, 2008 9:52 am

guonbeeman wrote:Just wanted to say that this is an awesome thread for someone like myself who is seriously considering building a Hexayurt for next year. Thank you!!

---Ellen


Hi Ellen!

First, welcome to eplaya.

Second, stop considering it and just decide that you will do it; you will not be sorry.

My partner has gone to BM several more times than I; he always used a tent. The first year I decided to attend with him, we both saw the Yurt on display at center camp.

I immediately thought it would be a great idea and it took me about 7 months to convince him that the next time we go we should take a yurt.

He thought it would be to bulky to transport, too hard to assemble, it wouldn't hold up to the wind, and I could go on and on about his objections.

When he finally got with the program, we build it and tested it and then took it to the playa. He was totally SOLD; literally NO DUST, even without the A/C it stays cool enough to sleep till noon. (The only caveat regarding the dust is that you have to make sure you tape all the seems well, especially the tarp on the floor, both inside and out.)

We will never go to BM again without one. This year we are adding a new wing! we'll do one with 6' walls that will be sort of an entertaining area; and we are going to attached our original one with the four foot walls to it for our sleeping quarters.

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Postby cullen » Sun Nov 09, 2008 2:17 pm

yurt village.
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Postby jkisha » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:41 pm

cullen wrote:yurt village.


I heard there already was a yurt camp. We tried to find it last year; but in vain. Though we saw quite a few individual yurts throughout the playa.

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Postby VelcroChicken » Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:10 pm

cullen wrote:yurt village.


protected by a yurt castle? and a yurt moat?
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Postby motskyroonmatick » Sun Nov 09, 2008 8:18 pm

I've had good luck with this solar powered vent.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 26otn%3D12

A computer fan hooked up to a 12 volt battery will move much more air if you already have 12 volt power available in camp.
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Postby Sail Man » Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:08 am

West Marine and other boating suppliers also sell solar powered vents. Their a bit pricier then the one Mots linked to although they are designed for marine use, i.e. salt water resistant etc RV suppliers may also sell them, although I'm not familiar with any.

Covering the vent windows etc with the cut-out pieces makes sense during the day time.

I had a couple and their kids camped across from me in Kidsville with a small yurt. While I never ventured inside, it did seem to hold up quite well. They also transported it on top of a sm car.
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Postby cullen » Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:24 pm

VelcroChicken wrote:
cullen wrote:yurt village.


protected by a yurt castle? and a yurt moat?


hmm yurt castle may require a sub structure for stability, and a moat of fire.
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Postby Clown Shoes » Tue Nov 25, 2008 8:57 pm

I have an idea I want to bounce off you all and see what you think. BM 09 will be my first time and I'm going with a Hexayurt. What I was thinking of using for ventilation is a 12v inline bilge blower and a cone style car air filter on the roof. The blower neck will protrude thru a hole from under the roof, taped to seal out dust, the cone filter will clamp onto the blower neck above the roof line. Here's some pictures of the parts I'm talking about:
http://shop.bayshoreproductsinc.com/cgi/display.cgi?item_num=31479
http://www.car-stuff.com/coldairintakefilter.htm

The parts in these links are way expensive but they're just examples. I was thinking if you have two filters mounted on the roof one attached to the blower with the blower moving air out of the hexayurt, the other mounted the same but without a blower, you'd get a clean source of circulating air at the roof line.

In addition, setting up a homemade 12v bilge blower swamp cooler out side of the yurt. It would draw it's air thru a tube running from the side wall of the yurt and return the output air back into the yurt with another tube.

My hope is that the evaporation cooling effect would take place in the mid-line area of the yurt. Giving you constant cooling at about head level.

What do you think?
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Postby Sail Man » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:21 am

Well Shoes, my thoughts on this set up. The Rule blower is a good brand/buy. My concern though is I dont think it was designed to operate with the amount of resistance the filter would give it. I would be worried that you would overheat the motor and burn it up. With 2 of the filters, 140$ and the blower at 20$ your talking 160$ so why not just go with a solar powered vent http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|6880|45749|320600&id=860961 120$ from defender.com and install a furnace style filter along the side for intake? Also I have read from other posters that the playa stays cooler under a yurt due to shade and the retention of cooler playa from nighttime temp.
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Postby fciron » Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:27 am

Part of the Hexayurt strategy is to keep is sealed during the day because the ground will tend to maintain the average temp of the environment. That is, it is cooler during the day than the outside air and warmer at night. Other than running a swamp cooler ventilation may be counterproductive.

The evaporation at a swamp cooler should be taking place at the pad that where the moisture enters the system. It should be blowing cool damp air into the yurt. If you were going to put a vent at the peak of the roof you could potentially put a damp swamp cooler pad at your air intake without needing a second fan.
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Postby Clown Shoes » Wed Nov 26, 2008 9:03 pm

The evaporation at a swamp cooler should be taking place at the pad that where the moisture enters the system. It should be blowing cool damp air into the yurt. If you were going to put a vent at the peak of the roof you could potentially put a damp swamp cooler pad at your air intake without needing a second fan.


You're right the second fan could be over kill. But, I wasn't exactly trying to set up a flow thru system. I was reading on the hexayurt site about using a hand held mister to cool down the yurt, It said this works great for about 15 to 20 mins and then you have to open the door to flush out the hot humid air and do it all over again. What I'm trying for is to automate this. Possibly using a swamp cooler or mister set up to create the water vapor and put the roof blower on a timer to run every 2o mins for a short duration to evacuate the humid air.

My thought on setting up a passive vent and a blower vent on the roof is to create a dry air flow thru the top of the yurt while a closed loop swamp cooler setup creates a cool humid air flow by the ground. Hopefully, giving you a nice evaporative cooling effect in the center of the yurt.

Well Shoes, my thoughts on this set up. The Rule blower is a good brand/buy. My concern though is I dont think it was designed to operate with the amount of resistance the filter would give it. I would be worried that you would overheat the motor and burn it up. With 2 of the filters, 140$ and the blower at 20$ your talking 160$ so why not just go with a solar powered vent http://www.defender.com/product.jsp?path=-1|6880|45749|320600&id=%20860961 120$ from defender.com and install a furnace style filter along the side for intake?


The filter I listed was just a good picture example. Cone style air filters can be purchased for 7 to 10 bucks at almost any parts store. They're available as cold air intake replacement filters (they're just cheap paper filters). The ones in the links are for racing applications, total overkill.

I'm not set on using a bilge blower, the housing just seemed to lend itself to mounting tubing or a cone filter to it. Alternatively, a piece of 3" pvc and some cooling fans could fit the bill. Possibly be quieter. My only concern about the solar vent is dust blow back if the fan is not running. I suppose you can tape a furnace filter to the under side of it. You can find these vents listed on e-china-bay for about 20 bucks. So, they could save some money.

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Postby klondike_bar » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:15 am

im a first timer, and the more research i do, the more the hexayurt looks like it would be far superior to a tent.

a few questions arrise:

a) it essentially appears to be constructed of [special] cardboard and tape. Is it that simplistic/lightweight?

b) should it be premade and unfolded on site, or constructed on site (ideally with help of experienced burners)

c) if it rains and the playa becomes a mudpit, how do you keep the interior dry? I saw that blue tarp was used, but rain would land on it and roll underthe walls?
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Postby jkisha » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:28 am

klondike_bar wrote:im a first timer, and the more research i do, the more the hexayurt looks like it would be far superior to a tent.

a few questions arrise:

a) it essentially appears to be constructed of [special] cardboard and tape. Is it that simplistic/lightweight?

b) should it be premade and unfolded on site, or constructed on site (ideally with help of experienced burners)

c) if it rains and the playa becomes a mudpit, how do you keep the interior dry? I saw that blue tarp was used, but rain would land on it and roll underthe walls?


All of these questions have been asked and answered--right here in this thread. Not to be snarky, but you haven't done your homework on this, nor, will I bet, have you read the survival guide.

However to reiterate:

a) 4' x 8' x 1" building insulation panels--available at Home Depot or any building supply store. 6" wide bi-directional filament tape; available here http://www.findtape.com/product328/JVCC-762-BD-Bi-Directional-Filament-Strapping-Tape.aspx?bc=F.

b) Construct it on site, but do a test run in your back yard or local park before trying it on the playa.

c) Rain or shine you need to tape the tarp on the floor to the sides of the yurt BOTH inside and outside.

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Postby jkisha » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:38 am

Clown Shoes wrote:I have an idea I want to bounce off you all and see what you think. BM 09 will be my first time and I'm going with a Hexayurt. What I was thinking of using for ventilation is a 12v inline bilge blower and a cone style car air filter on the roof. The blower neck will protrude thru a hole from under the roof, taped to seal out dust, the cone filter will clamp onto the blower neck above the roof line. Here's some pictures of the parts I'm talking about:
http://shop.bayshoreproductsinc.com/cgi/display.cgi?item_num=31479
http://www.car-stuff.com/coldairintakefilter.htm

The parts in these links are way expensive but they're just examples. I was thinking if you have two filters mounted on the roof one attached to the blower with the blower moving air out of the hexayurt, the other mounted the same but without a blower, you'd get a clean source of circulating air at the roof line.

In addition, setting up a homemade 12v bilge blower swamp cooler out side of the yurt. It would draw it's air thru a tube running from the side wall of the yurt and return the output air back into the yurt with another tube.

My hope is that the evaporation cooling effect would take place in the mid-line area of the yurt. Giving you constant cooling at about head level.

What do you think?


I don't think you'll need it. We got pretty carried away with windows and vents too--they added a lot of cost for very little benefit. Except for the windows for light and to be able to see out. But you actually get enough light through the tape in the roof of the yurt.

But hey, it was a lot of fun planning our design, and if you think this would be a good addition, let us all know how it works out.

We will only be using viewing windows covered with plexiglass (saving the cut-outs to use as shades) this year. And the only other hole we will cut will be for the air-conditioner. We will use all the other money we saved to add a second room to the yurt! :D

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Postby klondike_bar » Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:28 pm

sorry for asking answered questions JK, im a slow learner at times.

my real concern is/was that the entire stucture appears to be built of lightwieght panels and tape, with no obvious fortification.

my plan (upon the arrival of spring-time weather) is to try and build one and figure out the best way to transport it atop a car in the smallest possible form, yet be able to reconstruct quickly as possible.
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The cardboard box solution

Postby Oldguy » Fri Nov 28, 2008 3:05 pm

The yurt's strength is in its stucture not its material. Like an egg it spreads its loads like a continuous arch in a 360 circle. Similar to an arch, the load is down and around. It's weakness is in the tape joinery not the flimsiness of the rigid wall. Pretape edges to give them strength. The more the sections are wellfitted, the stronger they are. I'd suggesst angling the cuts so that the edges butt up against themselves. Somewhat like the angled cut on the jack-o'lanterns lid , fitted edges are even stronger under wind load and push inward upon themselves. :idea: Paint outside diferently than inside to simplifly assembly, or just use different color tape on ouside seal from interior seal. A plastic or canvas floor tarp will cool faster than rugs or carpet, of couse in a winter environment you'd want to insulate your floor with cardboard or foam sheets. Round hobbitt-like door and window retain wall strength . Biggest opening per cut edge length also. An oval plug for as door would be easier to enter. I'd like to see some semicircular pumpkins out there...
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Postby jkisha » Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:30 pm

klondike_bar wrote:sorry for asking answered questions JK, im a slow learner at times.

my real concern is/was that the entire stucture appears to be built of lightwieght panels and tape, with no obvious fortification.

my plan (upon the arrival of spring-time weather) is to try and build one and figure out the best way to transport it atop a car in the smallest possible form, yet be able to reconstruct quickly as possible.


Oldguy is correct regarding where the yurt gets its strength. Also on taping the edges, which serves a couple of purposes--it prevents the panels from dropping moop on the playa and it helps to preserve the panels when you disassemble it so that you can use it again next year.

And using the 6" tape helps to assure that your joints are going to hold. Cutting the building panels at an angle would be difficult based on our personal experience and not necessary.

Watch all the movies in those links at the top of this thread.

The only pre-assembly you should do (IMO) is to pre-tape some of the side panels and some of the roof panels like this: Sides--there are 6 panels. Tape them in 3 sets of two. Roof--you cut the panels into two diagonally and then join them to make the triangles for the roof--join each of the two roof sections.

Everything can then be packed into one neat and not too heavy 4' x 8' x 1' package that can then be wrapped with the tarp you will use for the floor and tied with the rope you will use to tie down the yurt after you construct it. Should easily fit on a roof rack.

If you watched the movies and read the info on the links, the hexayurt project was concieved to help in disasters for temporary shelter and in third-world countries as permanent housing--so, they are quite sturdy once assembled.

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Postby Turnip » Sun Dec 07, 2008 10:56 am

My group of four people are considering bringing a yurt for BM 09.

What size would you recommend for 4 people?
Also, what did you use to make sure it doesn't blow away in the wind?
I'm told regular tent stakes don't work on the playa, so did you just use the bent re bar?

We were thinking for out first time we'd just build a medium sized yurt, then bring a small tent for storage.






What's your number one tip when it comes to using a yurt? =]
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Postby jkisha » Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:41 pm

Turnip wrote:My group of four people are considering bringing a yurt for BM 09.

What size would you recommend for 4 people?
Also, what did you use to make sure it doesn't blow away in the wind?
I'm told regular tent stakes don't work on the playa, so did you just use the bent re bar?

We were thinking for out first time we'd just build a medium sized yurt, then bring a small tent for storage.






What's your number one tip when it comes to using a yurt? =]


Number one tip--follow the directions on building it at the beginning of this thread.

For all intents and purposes there really is only one size--the one built out of 4' x 8' standard insulation boards. It will hold 4 people nicely.

Rebar to the ground. Follow the directions in the movies on how to make the tape fasteners.

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Postby Gravybrain » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:53 pm

Thought I would weigh in on the Hexayurt discussion as we (Camp Gravybrain) made a 8' Hexauyrt last year and it was the bomb. We went from Monday to Monday with very little dust and it slept 4 very comfortably and we shelter many of our neighbors during the storms. We used a swamp cooler that worked pretty good but we didn't have enough power to run it all the time as we were using 2 deep cycle batteries and a 60 watt solar panel. We made our own custom 4' door in a metal frame that worked killer and we could lock it if we wanted to.

For this year we are going to be building 2 yurts and using air conditioning for the early morning sleeping times. At night no swamp cooler or A/C necessary. For this year we are also going to add solar vents. You can see pictures of our yurt on our band's webpage www.myspace.com/gravybrainband

I can't say enough about the Hexaurt, short of an RV, the only way to go, forget about a tent, this is an awsome little house on the playa. We are planning on being somewhere around 7:30 and B this year so stop by and check us out!
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