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Old 09-04-2008, 10:24 PM   #441
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

At some point I decided moments before leaving on a trip that I wanted an awning of sorts. I took a pair of 8 ft 2x2's and beveled one end with my angle grinder (yes...my angle grinder). I then bored a half in hole in the top of each. When combined with a cheap blue poly tarp, some cheap clothesline rope, and 4 tent stakes it makes one of the most fantastic awnings I have ever seen. At C-Fest there was a hell of a storm. MANY commercial awnings became casualties. My $5 awning managed to only pull one stake...and it didn't make a difference in how well it held up. Sure, it doesn't look at professional, but it's effective and cheap.
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Old 09-04-2008, 11:18 PM   #442
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Notice my mention above -- of planning a roof rack of some sort, fastened to extended window pillars? The primary use of this would be a fold-out / swing-out truss system to support a sturdy tarp.

At Burning Man last year, we used a 60 foot by 40 foot hay tarp ($305,-, plus freight if you don't live in hay country). We draped one end over Millicent and tied the other two corners to other vehicles. It did tear some in a storm, but only because we did not have it properly supported along the side.

That 60x40 tarp would be a perfect umbrella for Millicent if I can build a structure to support it -- ten feet overhang on all sides.

But yes... grain hauler and other commercial tarp systems would be something to look at also! Can you direct me to a web site of a manufacturer?
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Old 09-05-2008, 09:17 AM   #443
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Oh... I think I understand what you mean. You are talking about the poor fit of my windows, which caused me to switch to riveting windows directly to the skin -- the bathroom window I installed just a couple of weeks ago. I was thinking much further back. Well, then we are finally on the same page, and I sure appreciate your input on my thread. And you could not possibly knock my work anywhere as much as I knock it myself, even if you should intend to!

And yes, indeed, the whole point of this forum is to, as you say, provide useful information for each other, and I'm glad to be able to contribute my share.

To harp on the window pillars extensions and the new window fitment just a little bit more, I dare say that few of us amateur converters would be able to get perfect "professional grade" fitment in their first roof-raise-and-re-skin. I'm not saying none of us, but the majority of us should probably be prepared to put up with some imperfections. That's why I now suggest riveting any RV type windows directly to the skin, so they "float" in relation to the (presumably) not-entirely-straight wall structure.
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:06 AM   #444
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

website? tarp manufacturer? in your search for gainful employment look at tarps for flatbed trailers and find someone located near you that is willing to do custom work sailmakers,boat cover and upholstery shops, auto apholstery shops etc, prices will vary from rediculous to mvery reasonable depending on what you want.
my experience has been to make my own frame, buy the commercial tarp fabric at the truck tarp shop and have them heat weld it to a larger than necessary cut size and then work with the boat cover/upholstery shop to get a custom ragtop that fits like OJ's glove,I have to give credit to the 30+ years of experience that the canvas shop had.
my reference to grain hauler tarps was specifically how they fasten one side of the tarp to the trailer and then use a long handcrank to roll the tarp across the top of the trailer on a pipe from the ground and then tighten it up with rachet straps.
build your roofrack with a folding/swinging frame system frame system that you can deploy and then roll the custon tarp over it and fasten from the ground, with rachet straps to pull everything tight and square. i like to carry some dog augers to tie the ends down with when the wind kicks up.
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:44 AM   #445
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Much good input!

Jimmy:
Yes, billboard vinyl is a common tarp material at Burning Man. I hear that each piece generally sells for something like $80,- in these parts, but obviously this will vary widely with demand. The "trick" is to get one with some kind of comical image on it -- something that can be left visible for amusement!

Paul:
You bet! I pulled flatbeds for a few years when I first started trucking back in the early 1980s, and there is a good truck tarp shop in Sacramento. Truck tarps are seriously Good Stuff -- heavy and bulky, but yeehah!-durable. There is also a commercial awning and tent shop in Sacramento. (The latter, by the way, sells good-sized remnants with edging and grommets already installed.) It was the idea of the crank-up-and-down equipment that grain haulers use that really caught my attention.
And then... now that I'm thinking about it.... Over the last ten years, I have sometimes pulled curtain-side trailers. (Love'em!) Those also have hardware that might come in handy. Of course, none of this commercial equipment is cheap, but useability and durability are impressive.
Now, where is my winch bar?....
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Old 09-05-2008, 01:33 PM   #446
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

These guys have a nice rack upstairs as well:

http://www.bus12.com
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Old 09-05-2008, 03:38 PM   #447
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

forgot to mention that rental company's replace their tents at regular intervals, white wedding tents are available in good shape if someone sets it up under a walnut tree, interesting green stains from the walnut husks, a 1 or 2 year old tent, canvas only should be able to be bought cheap, get the measurements for the poles and make your own side posts from 2x3's and center poles from 4x4's bevel the top ends and slice the corners off of the 4x4s with a skillsaw, drill the ends with a long ships auger and hammer in a length of steel rod, then bind the top of the post with a hoseclamp or straping to prevent the pin from spliting the post.
the down side of a tent is driving and removing the stakes.- i use T fenceposts buy 6 or 7 footers and cut them in half, get the pretty yellow plastic insulator caps for the tops and make up or buy a fencepost removal jack.
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Old 09-05-2008, 06:26 PM   #448
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess

Notice my mention above -- of planning a roof rack of some sort, fastened to extended window pillars? The primary use of this would be a fold-out / swing-out truss system to support a sturdy tarp. .

That 60x40 tarp would be a perfect umbrella for Millicent if I can build a structure to support it -- ten feet overhang on all sides.

Can you direct me to a web site of a manufacturer?
Elliot I am new to this forum thing, I am a bit of a lurker (shy), I am preparing my second skoolie, I am a motorsport fan (rally racing) and truely dig the kinetic thing.
Now on point. I am preparing a service truck for rally racing and I am in the process of sourcing a hot air balloon fly for cheap fabric. the frame is going to be fastened off of a rack on the tire rack on top. I did my best to get the link from a awning company on your coast. Holiday are very nice and I have set them up many times when I volunteered for a race team. I am going the cheap route with balloon fabric and aluminum pipe (I am an electrician) I think the gallery photo link should work. If not I am waaaaayyyyy at the end.

Mike Merbach E.central WI

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Old 09-05-2008, 07:37 PM   #449
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

I love love love the Aggies bus rear porch. Just how long is your section for hauling the kontraptions, Elliot? I'm just curious about having a big porch like that and using it to haul stuff on, but I'd like to get an idea of what that leaves for interior space. The wheels are already turning for bus #2.
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Old 09-05-2008, 07:40 PM   #450
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

Yeehah! Dem's sum serious awnings -- both the Holiday ones and your own design! Nice model!

And welcome aboard, Michael! And don't be shy -- I pipe up and put my foot in my mouth all the time and nobody seems to notice.

Rallying was THE major motorsport when I grew up in Norway. So you have no secrets from me.

The two links worked fine, but your image did not.

Now, while I am at it, I shall tie up a couple of loose ends:

I KEEP FORGETTING to mention that our own Skoolie member Xtevan came over to see Millicent at Burning Man. And I got to inspect his rig also. Nice to meet some of youse guys in person.

Then the issue of screws. This is one of those a-lesson-for- you-all things. I keep finding screws on the floor of Millicent. Rarely the screws that the factory installed two decades ago, but screws that I have installed myself quite recently. They are falling right back out. I theorize that the factory has the skill to use the right screws in the right materials with the right size pilot holes and with the right fastening torque. And they do use a lot of sticky goop in the seams. I just grab something that sort'a fits and crank it in place. Bad idea. The vibration of a running vehicle will shake the darnest things loose. Might be an idea to borrow a trick from wood workers and use glue on everything. Even pop rivets could be dipped in glue immediately prior to installation. Maybe Gorilla Glue, which expands while setting up?
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