Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

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Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby fresh » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:14 am

I keep hearing how canvas tents work so much better since the actually can breathe. I am not ready to drop the $500 for a Springbar or Kodiak Tent. So I am wondering if a vintage type canvas tent would work. There are many on auction at the big site, I just want to know if it will withstand the playa storms. Most of these tents have exterior poles that attach via smaller straps/hooks. Seems like there is quite a potential for breakage of the connectors which could be bad. I do plan on building a monkey hut over the tent, thus providing good protection from the wind. Here is a shot of one of the potential tents:

umbrella2.jpg



Anyone out there use a similar like tent? Any success/horror stories?
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby theCryptofishist » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:19 am

I thought a monkey hut provided shade not a wind break...
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby jkisha » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:06 am

I think I had a tent exactly like that when I was a kid.
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby fresh » Mon Jun 04, 2012 10:40 am

Crypto,
I know it is not a complete wind break, but it has to help cut down on the wind stress on the tent. Needless to say, I would properly stake and guy the tent as well as the hut. I am just worried that the smaller strap hooks may snap with stress. I would have back up with grommet kit, but I would like to avoid disaster! Just wondering if anyone has used this type of tent on the playa....
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby StevenGoodman » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:15 am

I camped my first two years in a similar tent. And it was good nylon, not canvas. I did wind block it with my pickup truck. Also, I bungied the external frame to pickup truck to distribute some of the stress on the poles.

My old tent is still in use, a friend used it last fall. I might bring it back to BM this year for some of the out of town people in our camp.

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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby thisisthatwhichis » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:17 am

One of our campers had one of those a couple of years ago. Two of the connectors got severely bent, and we had to tie it off to an RV to keep it from falling completely over......

A cheep Wallyworld or Costco springbar will work better. Those can get laid out on the ground in the storm, but usually don't break, and will spring back after it's over.
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby some seeing eye » Mon Jun 04, 2012 11:33 am

I would be sure the frame is heavy enough. Cotton canvas also deteriorates if not stored properly, and especially at the seams where the straps attach as others have mentioned. But it would be cool to have a camp of all vintage American camp structures, gear, and the costumes to accompany them.

I'm thinking tents, but here is a chronology with a lot of trailers: http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/memories/travelogues/century/index.html

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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby trilobyte » Mon Jun 04, 2012 12:02 pm

I think the point of failure would be the poles (which may explain why they don't make 'em like that anymore). The Monkey Hut will deflect some of the wind, but if it's a particularly fierce year you may still experience some trouble. You may also want to check the stakes that come with it, if they're the little 6-inch or less dudes that some consumer tents came with you can replace 'em easily enough with stuff from a local sporting goods/camping outfitter (or purchased online). Good luck!
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby fresh » Mon Jun 04, 2012 2:28 pm

Thanks for the input!! I am re-thinking this type of tent and maybe spend the extra bucks for a kodiak or springbar (if I can even get one). @ Trilobyte, If I did use this type, I would use 12" tent stakes or rebar candy cane stakes with guy lines. Not sure if it would prevent say the top loops from failing causing a tent collapse!
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby dragonpilot » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:23 pm

For the last 7 years I have used a 6 person Coleman car camping tent on the playa...and used it for 15 years before that with the wife and kids...and it's still in decent shape, albeit a bit faded. I think I paid $60 for it new in 1991.

It has withstood whatever the playa has been able to throw at it. That said, I do secure it behind a windbreak of some kind...cars, truck, RV, other tents...using nothing more than 10" gutter nails to hold it down. I've also stitched blankets sections over the top mesh screens. It packs up to the size of a couple of big pillows.

YMMV but I just want to illustrate that you don't need to spend big bucks for "the" perfect tent to carry you thru the week if you take reasonable precautions. This one will be coming to the playa for year #8.
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby Bob » Mon Jun 04, 2012 5:14 pm

Ditto the above, just don't expect a very old canvas family tent to hold up, windbreak or not.
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby fresh » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:49 pm

So what would be better, $400 for canvas tent. Or nylon tent altered with blankets and swamp cooler?
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby Bob » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:27 am

I wouldn't alter any tent. Just add some sort of awning w/ sides, and pitch it all downwind of vehicles.
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby Ratty » Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:05 pm

I just picked up a Thermos pop-up. I swear the thing is from the 50's or 60's. It's canvas, (light-weight), and 6 fiberglass poles that run through channels. They are all attached to a heavy metal series of rings on the top of this monster. It takes 5 minutes to assemble and then I have to put in 6 stakes with ropes to make it round. Very weird but cool.
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby fresh » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:01 pm

Ratty wrote:I just picked up a Thermos pop-up. I swear the thing is from the 50's or 60's. It's canvas, (light-weight), and 6 fiberglass poles that run through channels. They are all attached to a heavy metal series of rings on the top of this monster. It takes 5 minutes to assemble and then I have to put in 6 stakes with ropes to make it round. Very weird but cool.


Ratty, Do you have any pics of it to post? I am curious!!! I'm starting to lean to larger nylon tent since the canvas ones are so pricey!!!!
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby Ratty » Mon Jul 02, 2012 4:43 pm

I have a big BBQ coming up and I'm not allowed to play with tents when I'm suppose to be cleaning the yard. I'm dying to put it up. When I do, I'll post the pictures.
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby Bob » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:10 pm

It's July. You first posted in early June. Stop dicking around, do something, and make it work.
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby Ratty » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:33 pm

Huh? Dicking around?! That's a laugh.You don't know me. I work full time in a casino. Sell at the flea. Sell on eBay. Sew costumes everyday for another hobby, work on a loading dock one day a week for a non-profit in Berkeley and I'm getting the house and yard ready for a double Birthday. I'm 60 and my husband is 70. I wish there were more hours in a week. I'ld put up that tent.
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby Bob » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:13 pm

That was directed at the OP, but feel free to take random offense at any of my comments on this fucking BBS.
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby Ratty » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:01 pm

Thank you Bob. I needed a quick rant. Now I'm motivated to put up that tent, even if I have to get up early. Uggggg.
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby fresh » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:26 am

Bob wrote:That was directed at the OP, but feel free to take random offense at any of my comments on this fucking BBS.


:cry: :cry: :cry:
Stop it, I'm very sensitive Bob!

I've been actively trying to find a springbar/kodiak tent on e-bay and elsewhere that in less than $350. I know, I know, but with everything else i'm doing it's a stretch to pay top $$$ for a tent. I've been reconnected with an old Mountain Hardware tent that I used back in 2006 (my last burn) that my brother held hostage for his hunting camp. I will see how that works out, I just remember how i had to crawl in and out of the thing!

I will admit I am not as busy as a Rat (hehe), but I did find the time to get the monkey hut built and fully constructed for the first time this past weekend. I have some tweaking to do in order to get the tarp i bought to fit properly, but it did go up in just over an hour and held up through one small storm! Just look at that puny tent in there!!!

monkey1.jpg
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby fresh » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:27 am

mokey2.jpg

another shot
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby Bob » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:37 am

Nothing wrong with backpacking tents if you can zip them up and don't mind dressing outside.

Considered using steel pipe for that shade awning? What size/grade PVC is that?
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby fresh » Tue Jul 03, 2012 8:10 am

Schedule 40 1" with 1 1/4" sleeves and spine pieces over 1/2" rebar. The standard Monkey Hut setup via LoveMonkey's site. Many testimonials on eplaya about this setup.

http://www.chromatest.net/Lovemonkey/

I really do want a tent I can stand up in and move around a bit. I do want to have a nice bed setup as well, hence a bit bigger tent, but not some huge 10-12 person one....
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby Bob » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:58 am

I defer to people who trust PVC, which I don't, having seen too many epic failures.
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby fresh » Tue Jul 03, 2012 3:50 pm

Thanks Bob. I hope that i am not included in the epic failure, but i plan on bring extra materials and formulate a plan B.
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby Bounce530 » Tue Jul 03, 2012 4:11 pm

Something that I do with my hut, that you might want to consider for a little extra insurance, is to run some screws through the joints after you set up your hut.
For me it does a couple of things, first having pre-drilled the screw holes at home, I know exactly which joint goes and where it should be. Plus I think it adds a little security to the hut, since the joints won't be able to move and pop off (especially the cross ribs)
Is it really necessary? IDK. but for the five minutes it takes, I think its worth it.
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby International Incident » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:35 pm

Bounce530 wrote:Something that I do with my hut, that you might want to consider for a little extra insurance, is to run some screws through the joints after you set up your hut.
For me it does a couple of things, first having pre-drilled the screw holes at home, I know exactly which joint goes and where it should be. Plus I think it adds a little security to the hut, since the joints won't be able to move and pop off (especially the cross ribs)
Is it really necessary? IDK. but for the five minutes it takes, I think its worth it.


MyDearFriend put me onto the same idea - having the screws also means you have extra hooks to hang things on.

In the MH we just made (not for BM but for music festivals) we didn't use good enough enough PVC - we salvaged it by putting screws in - it really did help.
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby fresh » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:05 pm

Bounce530 wrote:Something that I do with my hut, that you might want to consider for a little extra insurance, is to run some screws through the joints after you set up your hut.
For me it does a couple of things, first having pre-drilled the screw holes at home, I know exactly which joint goes and where it should be. Plus I think it adds a little security to the hut, since the joints won't be able to move and pop off (especially the cross ribs)
Is it really necessary? IDK. but for the five minutes it takes, I think its worth it.


Do you put this where the rib sections slides into the larger pvc or on the spine sections through the connectors. Or both? Thanks for the advice!
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Re: Vintage Canvas Tents on playa

Postby Bounce530 » Thu Jul 05, 2012 12:32 pm

Both. Everywhere there's a joint, I run a screw through both pieces.
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