Apr 25, 2014 at 12:38 pm #1316059
I'm thinking of buying a sewing machine and making something like this for my Land Cruiser:
The truck's too short to stretch out in without the tailgate down. I've previously just left it open, but it was warm and bugless those nights.
I've never made any such thing so I'm not sure what material would be most logical. Any suggestions?
Weight's not much of an issue, probably a bit of elasticity would be nice; quietness, ease of construction, sturdiness also.
(Disclaimer: I realize I'm a bit off-task for lightweight backpacking here, but I thought this crowd would have good ideas. Also, not counting the giant truck, I go pretty light and minimal :)Apr 25, 2014 at 12:51 pm #2096281
I have RV that's bigger than several of your trucks : ) Wife not into sleeping on ground.
Silnylon would work pretty good. http://diygearsupply.com/product-category/coated-fabrics/ is pretty cheap. If you find it's not waterproof enough, just coat it with mineral spirits:silicone. Or buy the Shield from thru-hiker.com.
You could get heavier fabric. Maybe 1.9 oz/yd2 silnylon. But the 1.4 oz/yd2 sil is pretty strong.Apr 25, 2014 at 1:43 pm #2096295
Jesse AndersonBPL Member
@jeepin05Locale: Land of Enchantment
In addition to Jerry's suggestion you could also look at the Argon silnylon that just became available. It's received pretty good reviews so far and according to Richard's testing, the waterproofing seems to be of a pretty high quality.Apr 25, 2014 at 2:56 pm #2096331
I'd use vinyl coated polyester. It's reasonably cheap, it's (with proper seam construction and sealing) really waterproof, it's abrasion resistant, and it's UV resistant. Nylon isn't really suitable for the application, because it's not UV resistant. That's not a big concern for lightweight backpacking tents, because they don't spend a huge amount of time in the sun, and tend to wear out for other reasons before the sun kills them. But this is not lightweight, and done right, should last for many years. Making it of nylon will not get you that. If you do decide that nylon is the right material, do not use nylon thread. Nylon thread fails from UV exposure very quickly, and it will fail well before the tent does.Apr 25, 2014 at 3:57 pm #2096358
Nylon should be good for maybe a year of in the sun? 365 days of using it on your truck will probably be a lifetime for you.
If you're setting it up in the evening and taking it down in the morning it won't get hardly any sun.
If you were going to have like a basecamp that was set up all the time for years, then nylon wouldn't be good because of UVApr 25, 2014 at 6:13 pm #2096389
@packfanLocale: Sierra Nevadas
Eric, first I'll say that I loved my land cruiser. I had to let it go. I'm very happy with what I have now.
Rockywoods has a lot of fabric that would work for this project. Sunbrella would work. They use it in boats so it would last a long time. The good thing about it is it breaths. Might be pretty thick and harder to sew. Rockywoods has samples. You might want to go that route. You might just find the perfect fabric you want. If I was needing a quick solution that would be multiple use. I would just take a easy up and modify it to the back of your rig. Some have walls or attach bug netting. When your done using it for sleeping you have shade too. Also works as a back up tent. I hope this helps some. GOD BLESSApr 28, 2014 at 12:54 pm #2097237
Thanks everyone! I'll post here when/if I make it.Apr 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm #2097285
Sam HaraldsonBPL Member
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
That same project is on my summer list for my FJ62 as well, Eric. I'm leaning toward a wrap for the entire top of the rig so I can block out all light if desired.Apr 28, 2014 at 3:32 pm #2097295
Ryan SmithBPL Member
"Sunbrella would work. They use it in boats so it would last a long time. The good thing about it is it breaths. Might be pretty thick and harder to sew. Rockywoods has samples. You might want to go that route."
Bingo. I would use Sunbrella. It's the same fabric used in a lot of Pop-up campers and also patio umbrellas.
RyamApr 28, 2014 at 5:18 pm #2097328
I bet Sunbrella would be hard to sew
And way overkill
If you wanted to put it over a boat for multiple seasons then that would be good
I'm thinking of doing something like that for a pickup. Just occasional use. I have this plastic intended for greenhouses. Maybe 10 mil? Heavy plastic from the big box store would work, heavier than 3 mil which is marginally okay, good for a prototype.Apr 28, 2014 at 6:54 pm #2097368
I'm not sure why folks are recommending silnylon. You aren't backpacking. If water is no concern, just use no-see-um/mosquito netting. Breathes well, cheap, and will keep the bugs out.
It you want more water proofness, perhaps polyester or even PVC. Want breathable and warm, can't beat good old fashioned canvas/duck cotton. It's heavy, but largely waterproof, warm, breathable, and even flame resistant!Apr 29, 2014 at 9:39 am #2097581
Ryan SmithBPL Member
"I dunno. I bet Sunbrella would be hard to sew .And way overkill. If you wanted to put it over a boat for multiple seasons then that would be good"
I've never tried to sew it, but it's not especially burley. I think most home machines could handle it provided they were good quality. Sunbrella is good for applications like this because it's waterproof, UV resistant, and breathable. Things that some silnylons can struggle with.
RyanMay 20, 2015 at 10:08 am #2201016
Well, I've got a desert trip coming up on Friday and I finally got around to making the tent.
I bought a sewing machine from Amazon and slapped it together. I was going for simplicity of construction but it still took me a good twice as long as I'd hoped.
It's canvas duck cotton so nice and breathy, and nanoseeum mesh. I used navy canvas to be able to keep it dark in the morning.
It's held on with 6 bungees, with hooks at the front four corners, then one under the tailgate from one side to the other, and another at the back to hold the two sides in. I messed up the one under the tailgate in that there's a couple gaps (see picture link below). I'll probably just drop a shirt or something on each side if there's bugs/cold, and maybe someday sew on a flap.
The door is simple – just the mesh hanging down inside and canvas outside. I should probably add some weight to the bottom of the mesh but I'm done for now. Then the canvas flap outside is held at the bottom by three rare earth magnets, since I couldn't think of a better way. They can also be used to quickly hold the flap open. But for more permanent raising of the flaps, I just made some loops and toggles. I carved the toggles by hand since I couldn't find a suitable stick in the yard. (There's some blood on a couple of the toggles…)
While sewing the canvas door flap, I accidentally captured some of the mesh (which I should have sewed on second). I couldn't rip the seam because the thread is so heavy-duty, so I ended up just ripping the mesh and just patching it. Seems just fine.
It was fun to make, and I haven't used a sewing machine since mom's old black Singer way back when.May 20, 2015 at 11:03 am #2201038
Sam HaraldsonBPL Member
@sharaldsLocale: Gallatin Range
Solid work, Eric. The bungees, toggles, and overall simplicity look like they'll serve your purposes well. How small does it pack down?May 20, 2015 at 11:09 am #2201039
Stephen MBPL Member
@stephen-mLocale: Way up North
Nice work Eric,
That reminds me to do something similar for my 4runner.May 20, 2015 at 11:26 am #2201043
Thanks! It's right about the size of my REI Quarter Dome tent. Maybe 3 or 4 liters.
I'll mention also that it's really quick and easy to put up. Clip the top corners onto the roof rack, open the hatch and tailgate into the tent, and clip on to the wheel wells.Jun 1, 2015 at 11:39 pm #2203999
Took it to the desert and got rained on quite a bit. I should have prewashed because the rain+drying caused it to shrink a bit, but it's still okay. Also, in the case of very strong winds or heavy bug pressure I'll need more magnets to hold the flap closed. Honestly, zippers are the probably the right call.
But in general, it was great! Very airy, nice and dark, incredibly easy to put up and take down – probably less than 1 minute. Also I could close the truck if I was worried about rain or thievery while I was gone and let it hang there, and then open the hatch and tailgate back up without removing it.Jun 2, 2015 at 11:28 am #2204095
Mike YoungBPL Member
Great job! If you don't mind I'm going to link this to our facebook group "Truck Cap Camping". And if anyone has any other cool tips we would love to hear them!Jun 2, 2015 at 1:29 pm #2204159
Yes, please feel free to post to your group
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