I camp in an EZ Up.

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

I camp in an EZ Up.

Postby C.f.M. » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:21 pm

(I searched for an existing thread here, and have looked on Tribe and googled.)

I love my EZ Up. Best (non) tent ever.

I can't seem to find much on using one on the playa, however.

One great friend says I'll be fine, he's done it and will help me stake it properly.

I have qualms.

Anybody around here have any opinions/ - no, I don't want your opinions, I know y'all got plenty of those.
:wink:

Anybody have any practical advice?

For example (in addition to swapping my stakes for rebar), tucking the nylon walls under, and weighing them down. In addition to staking down the four legs and four corners of the walls, also criss-crossing it with additional rope, over the top, and staking that down.

I can't find another tent that strikes my fancy (and I've been looking http://playabound.wordpress.com/category/tents/ )...
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Postby bdeywoo » Fri Jul 10, 2009 1:31 pm

You are not finding any information cause it just is not practical to use an EZ up out there. Everything you described is what needs to be done, the time, effort and resources to do that generally leads someone to more of a tent type structure.

The EZ up will be fine, but you are basically turning an EZ up into a tent. Its likely the first time you wrap that thing like you explained you wont touch it again. That will make it completely unbearable in the day time with the heat without lots of air flow. So in essence you will use it only at night when you really dont need it.

If it were me, i'd stake that sucker down tight leave the sides off use it as an oasis durring the day and pull your sleeping bag out of the truck and sleep under the EZ up at night.

Less hassle and you will appricate the use in the day far more than having and enclosure at night to sleep in. If you have not bought it yet, you may want to look at the costco carports, for the money there is nothing more solid straight out of the box.
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Postby C.f.M. » Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:01 pm

Thanks for your reply.

I've been camping in it for years, in lieu of a tent. It is far preferable, for me, to a tent.

One reason being airflow (the other being it takes up less space, and is ridiculously easier to set up and take down). Instead of having to pull a rainfly on and off, I simply pull back the walls on both sides (I have mesh behind it).

I do not have the resources for one of those carports. My theme camp has plenty of shade structures, to boot.
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Postby phil » Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:34 pm

> One great friend says I'll be fine, he's done it and will help me stake
> it properly.
>
> I have qualms.

Having qualms is fine, but what you really need is a backup plan.

It _may_ be that the wind collapses your EZ-up and breaks poles, even though it's well and properly staked. Do you have a backup plan for that?
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Postby DoriumLux » Fri Jul 10, 2009 6:52 pm

I always enjoy take a nice bike ride after a good dust storm and checking out all the mangled EZ ups. They will break. The end.
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Postby Deb Prothero » Fri Jul 10, 2009 11:43 pm

Yes, it is the poles that will be done in by the first dust storm. If you manage to get them well secured at least they will only be mangled, instead of becoming dangerous projectiles causing danger and harm to all around you.

Personal experience.
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Postby AntiM » Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:33 am

We take ours, but it is secured tightly between two carports and the solid canopy has been replaced with double camo netting. The wind has nothing to tear or lift. But that's the trick, it is sheltered/anchored and not free-standing. Most free standing EZups are trash after a good wind.
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Postby unjonharley » Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:46 am

My camp mate uses two 10x10 EZ ups over his van. He reinforces the side joints with 2x2. (lots of work) Otherwise they colapse in the center. The 8x8 EZ up seems to stand up in heavy winds.

I'm building a wood frame in the vans rain gutters to attach the shade tarps. Pre attach the tarps and roll them against the frame for travel. Less camp more fun
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Postby justfred » Sat Jul 11, 2009 8:56 am

Swap the stakes for rebar? Then swap the re-bar for decent stakes - I recommend 12 inch military stakes. Rebar is useless for small structures, it's also a pain in the shins and harder to get in and out than stakes.

I use an ez-up over my tent, and over my dining/lounge area, and one for my movie theater. I use guy wires from the corners out to good stakes. Doesn't move at all. I actually use the stakes that came with it, which aren't bad, to keep the legs from moving sideways.

I've also covered it with a parachute or car cover to keep out sidesun, which works fine in the calm but catches the wind in a windstorm and tends to overstress the ez up.

Thing about an ez up is it protects from overhead sun, not from sidesun, unless you add material of some sort. There's also not a good place to connect the guy wires at the corners, I just use a rope tie around one of the struts, this probably isn't good for the structure long-term. Mostly they last a couple 3-4 years of playabuse.
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Postby EB » Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:08 am

I think there's a difference in EZ-UPS. Some, like mine, have sturdy square poles others are more flimsy and look like they could blow over with a loud fart.

I've re-bar'd mine to the playa at the corners for seven years running and haven't had a problem. I use the panels for two sides, leave one open (with camo netting) and the other abuts up to my car port.

A two-foot length of rebar at each corner, followed by saran wrap followed by duct tape and you're good to go.
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Postby fciron » Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:11 pm

I suspect that using an EZ UP as your primary shelter on playa will be hot and dusty during the day and cold and dusty at night. You may want to think about something that will give you a little cozy, less dusty place to hang out.

My EZ up hasn't been to the playa, but it has been though a couple of thunderstorms with 60mph winds. Even with the sides on it does not feel like a shelter the same way that a tent does. It really depends what you're looking for.
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Postby Sail Man » Sat Jul 11, 2009 12:18 pm

Here's my camp from last year...
Image

2' rebar through the foot pads topped with 4' EMT. 4' rebar drove in besides ea leg, all duct taped together. Guy lines to both the legs and the cover itself secured to rebar stakes and the F150, as well as going over the top of the ez up.

DO NOT use the solid side wall that come with the ez up, use something breathable. We used camo netting like Anti M did but only a single "layer". This year we'll dbl it.

You can see our tent under the shelter on the left. You need to have a tent at the least under them that ez ups, even if you buy an inexpensive one at Wally World please, do yourself a favor and get one.

We had not one problem with our set-up. Maybe it was beginners luck :D but after spending the previous year on eplaya and tribe (shade geeks) I felt we were good to go. Unlike the ez-up that went airborne 100 yds to the west of us :lol:
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Postby yellowdog » Sat Jul 11, 2009 2:58 pm

Personal experience: we used a 10x10 e-z up last year as a kitchen area, rigged almost exactly as you described

swapping my stakes for rebar), tucking the nylon walls under, and weighing them down. In addition to staking down the four legs and four corners of the walls, also criss-crossing it with additional rope, over the top, and staking that down.


Only difference, we used a tarp with wind-holes cut into it for 2 walls, and open on two sides (lee sides). I sat under it during the Monday dust/wind storm with a cocktail and watched the jointed roof ribs buckle, one by one. The only thing that made it usable the rest of the week was the spare re-bar reinforcement I zip-tied to the ribs after they bent. one by one. It was a form of entertainment. That e-z up is still usable, but will not be returning to Burning Man. We're trying a carport this year (found a used one). Bottom line, it DID hold up, with help, all week. They're not terrible. They're not great. Good luck.
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Postby C.f.M. » Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:49 am

I'd love to have a carport. A yurt. An underground cellar cave.

However, I am coming across country with very limited space, and trying to procure supplies with very limited income (and yes, I freecycle, Clist, thrift store, etc.).

I am taking notes...and still keeping an eye out for a tent. I just can't find one that seems big enough, and easy enough for one person to set up (and that I can afford).

Thanks for all the input!
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Postby AntiM » Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:47 am

Do the EZup as best you can, find a $30 tent for sleeping only, and play the playa lottery: fingers crossed for good weather and a lucky week.
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Postby C.f.M. » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:24 am

AntiM wrote:Do the EZup as best you can, find a $30 tent for sleeping only, and play the playa lottery: fingers crossed for good weather and a lucky week.


That's what this thread got me thinking, use the EZ up for changing and stuff, and a small tent just for sleeping...
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Postby AntiM » Mon Jul 13, 2009 8:32 am

That's basically what we do with the carports. Our tent is tiny.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:54 am

EZ Up = EZ Down???
Is this the law of the playa?
Strap some pvc pipes to the uprights in hope of forstalling the inevitable?
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Postby Token » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:26 am

Guy lines are not the right strategy with EZup structures. The metal poles in the EZup are not strong enough to survive the combined compression of guy lines and wind.

The guy lines will actually accelerate the buckling of the metal tubes.

Inserting the full length of the four corner posts into conduit of appropriate size could help solve this problem and allow for effective guy line application.

This would only leave the flimsy accordion truss at the top to deal with. Some aircraft cable and turnbuckles should do the trick if the structure is guyed such that it provides sufficient tension on all horizontal members of the truss.
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Postby C.f.M. » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:34 am

Token wrote:Guy lines are not the right strategy with EZup structures. The metal poles in the EZup are not strong enough to survive the combined compression of guy lines and wind.

The guy lines will actually accelerate the buckling of the metal tubes.

Inserting the full length of the four corner posts into conduit of appropriate size could help solve this problem and allow for effective guy line application.

This would only leave the flimsy accordion truss at the top to deal with. Some aircraft cable and turnbuckles should do the trick if the structure is guyed such that it provides sufficient tension on all horizontal members of the truss.


Innerestin. So, put the hollow legs over some rebar? I guess I'm really just not...how you say...able to connect the wind speeds I read with any sort of reality. It's been very sturdy in downpours and windy thunderstorms (yes, I realize that is not the same as what the playa can be like).

I'll google turnbuckes, to see what you mean.

I wonder if I tie/weight down the top part (from the inside), if that would help...

One of the first things I loved about the playa was all the creative, practical, wonderful domiciles people concocted for the duration.

Inevitably, it'll probably just end up being whatever I can afford when the time finally comes... :?

http://playabound.wordpress.com/2009/07 ... two-tents/
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Postby Fire_Moose » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:32 am

because it worked so well for me, and how great it is to have...check out the monkey hut.


http://www.chromatest.net/Lovemonkey/
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Postby C.f.M. » Mon Jul 13, 2009 11:59 am

Fire_Moose wrote:because it worked so well for me, and how great it is to have...check out the monkey hut.
http://www.chromatest.net/Lovemonkey/


No doubt that is great. I would love something like that, or a Hexayurt. I'd also love the money for the supplies, money to buy the tools to put it together, the know-how to put it together, and some way to get all of the materials and tools back and forth from home to the playa. 8)

Maybe one or two of the cute boys in the photo, to boot.

As it turns out, my friend who said the EZ Up was A-OK misunderstood what I was talking about*, so I'm back to !@#% square one, looking for a suitable tent.

*sigh*

*He thought I had this

Image

I have just this

Image[/img]
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Postby Fire_Moose » Mon Jul 13, 2009 12:14 pm

"No doubt that is great. I would love something like that, or a Hexayurt. I'd also love the money for the supplies, money to buy the tools to put it together, the know-how to put it together, and some way to get all of the materials and tools back and forth from home to the playa. Cool"


the supplies are only going to run you 80-100$ which is about the price of an ezup, the tools to put it together...you mean a saw to cut the tubes? or the hammer to pound rebar...which you gotta do either way. The know how is all on that page...the directions CANT get easier. Now the transportation aspect is your best excuse...it does get hard to carry 6, 10ft poles out there...i got a truck though so it works
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Postby Sail Man » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:28 pm

Token wrote:Guy lines are not the right strategy with EZup structures. The metal poles in the EZup are not strong enough to survive the combined compression of guy lines and wind.

The guy lines will actually accelerate the buckling of the metal tubes.

Inserting the full length of the four corner posts into conduit of appropriate size could help solve this problem and allow for effective guy line application.

This would only leave the flimsy accordion truss at the top to deal with. Some aircraft cable and turnbuckles should do the trick if the structure is guyed such that it provides sufficient tension on all horizontal members of the truss.


We had zero problems with our set-up. I explored inserting wood dowels or emt up throught the legs but was not able to insert past the first leg section, I assume due to the pop out part that holds the leg in place. Going with something over the leg would entail a pipe at least 4" in diam. to account for the foot pad. Not practical imho. Using 4' emt over the smaller rebar, and 4' bigger rebar duct taped to each other and the legs worked great. I will use this set-up again this year, even with the addition of a camper, placing the ez-up between the camper and the F150.

I might assume that there are different versions/brands of ez-up shelters with variations in the leg designs, ours are square and get largers each section closer to the top.
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Postby Token » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:43 pm

Geez, cut off the foot pad and use 1 inch conduit ...

I doubt the OP has a trailer and full sized truck to use as a windbreak.
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Postby C.f.M. » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:54 pm

Token wrote:Geez, cut off the foot pad and use 1 inch conduit ...

I doubt the OP has a trailer and full sized truck to use as a windbreak.


Yeah, I thought I made that fairly clear.

If I had a trailer and/or a truck, I'd just sleep in there!

I'm considering this tent:

http://www.outdoorreview.com/cat/outdoo ... 55crx.aspx
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Postby Fire_Moose » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:02 pm

The one thing i regret about last year was having a tent i could not stand up in.
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Postby C.f.M. » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:07 pm

Fire_Moose wrote:The one thing i regret about last year was having a tent i could not stand up in.


Which is why camping in the EZ Up is so wondeful. Plenty of room to stand up, fall down and go everywhich away.

Alone or in groups. :lol:

Crouching and trying to change gear and what-not is a pain - literally and figuratively.
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Postby bdeywoo » Tue Jul 14, 2009 1:30 pm

C.f.M. wrote:
Fire_Moose wrote:The one thing i regret about last year was having a tent i could not stand up in.


Which is why camping in the EZ Up is so wondeful. Plenty of room to stand up, fall down and go everywhich away.

Alone or in groups. :lol:

Crouching and trying to change gear and what-not is a pain - literally and figuratively.


You may be missing something about the EZ UP. Yes standing up will be great, yes you can make that sucker totally perfect for sleeping in. Doing that WILL make it completely useless in the day. Unless you intend on taking down the sides and putting them back up when wind, sleep or time to change clothes comes you will not spend 1 minute in your EZ up during the day 9am to 7pmish). It will cook you instantly if you dont allow for airflow, its that same airflow that becomes the problem with the wind. So you either beef it up so it wont blow away and deal with the fact it no longer can be used in the day, or you lessen the surface area the wind pushes so it wont blow, then you lose the privacy of walls. I can speak from experience that having the best of both worlds with an EZ UP takes far more effort out there than its worth.

So again I think you need to ask yourself do you want this to be a daytime retreat to chill at or a night time dream to sleep in? Unless you plan on an hour or two a day cumulatively of working on it you cant make it good for both.

Personally you can find a million places to hang in the day or night, but I'd much rather be comfy when i am at camp in the day than the few hours of sleep i can get at night. I'd leave off the walls, bring two blankets to hang from the top when you want privacy and what not, then enjoy the cool breeze at night and early in the AM just before the next heat wave.
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Postby C.f.M. » Tue Jul 14, 2009 2:01 pm

You may be missing something about the EZ UP.

I've been camping in it for years (as stated previously) in about 40-90s degrees, rain and wind (just not crazy playa wind).

Unless you intend on taking down the sides and putting them back up when wind, sleep or time to change clothes comes you will not spend 1 minute in your EZ up during the day 9am to 7pmish).

It has mesh walls, and the regular walls, both of which simply tie back. I'd zip it up when I left, proverbially battering down the hatches.

I can speak from experience that having the best of both worlds with an EZ UP takes far more effort out there than its worth.

That's what I'm thinking...but there's also the cost and effort of figuring something else out...

So again I think you need to ask yourself do you want this to be a daytime retreat to chill at or a night time dream to sleep in?

It'll be both, whatever I end up using...thanks for your input!
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