wagon


The Yurt Rack is finally complete! Now I don’t need to buy a trailer and hitch for the wagon! That saved me some serious cash! It looks very solid. The side benefit is that there is a significant amount of storage space under the Yurt Rack for carrying shade structures.

These are the structural aluminum brackets that Bill gave me years ago. They sure came in handy. This bracket had to be sunken into the stud because all three brackets are not mounted in a straight line due to their placement on the roof by the factory. This mod allowed the stud to be aligned in a straight line.

The front bracket had to be sawed in half with my horizontal band saw since the 2 mounting studs were spaced much further apart from the factory. It did a great job. Don set this saw up for me years ago and it does such a nice job.

This rear bracket did not come with any slots for mounting so I just drilled a single hole. Under each bracket mount there is a 1/8″ thick reinforced rubber pad to help spread the load out on the roof.

After being motivated by how Cowboy and Connie mounted their yurt and large shade structure to the roof of their 4 door sedan, it struck me that Bill had given me some large structural aluminum pieces way back when we were conceiving of our combat robot, Max Wedge. As it turns out I had a perfect assortment of these parts to make a very solid roof rack. Here is a bad cell phone pic of what I discovered today. A 2 x 4 will run lengthwise and attach to the 3 mounts on each side. Then by machining a 1 x 4 notch across the top of the 2 x 4’s I can put three 1 x 4’s across the roof to support the underside of the yurt. I need to shorten the last pair of mounts near the rear of the roof to the same height or slightly higher, than the other 4 mounts. It also occurred to me today that the roof rack needs to be really solid since our yurt stacks 2 feet high compared to the standard 1 foot high. The wind resistance will be about double. I have an idea on how to make the front end of the yurt more aerodynamic using just the front bumper straps, some rope and a piece of canvas. It will form a triangle in front of the yurt to help clean up the air flow a bit. The 4 inch tall space between the yurt and the roof will allow storage of a good size shade structure.

The Plymouth wagon is being retired from service after serving the world for 40 years and for serving me for 15 years. It’s replacement is a 1992 Honda Accord Wagon that I just picked up. I’m going through it now making repairs. It runs fine after installing an engine computer. The previous owners put $2k in repairs into it. So when I’m done it will be a great ride for years to come. I’ll get pics of it up at some point.

For detailed pics of our Burning Man adventure go here.

Below are pics of the Yurt as it was installed and our journey to Burning Man.

Here is the slow traffic that took two hours to get through on I-80 due to construction. There was a motorhome that I had diagnosed with a flooding carb, sitting on the side of the road. Those guys were great. I meant to visit them but never got around to it.

Bill’s car had taken a nail in the tire at the truck stop near by. So we were lead to this tire shop across from Walmart in Fernley Nevada.

We arrived at 3 am in their parking lot and slept in our cars until they opened. The van in the background is Karly’s van. We met here at the same truck stop and she tagged along with us all the way to Burning Man. We never saw her after that. Although some woman came knocking on my Yurt at 5:30 am the next morning. I did not hear her with my earplugs in. Bill did hear her, that’s how we know. We are guessing that it was Karly.

Here is the dusty road into the playa. Those are cars in the background stirring up that dust. We were arriving about noon.

Here is the greeting sign at Burning Man.

Yurt pics installed at Burning Man at the end of the week. The door gaps were the only thing in the entire Yurt that leaked any dust. Granted, foot traffic carried some in as well. One suggestion I liked from the lady across the street was to lay down bed sheets on the floor so that just taking them outside and shaking them off would make for a cleaner environment.

Here is the table where I stashed everything. It was worth bringing the table. The clear totes become so clouded with dust on the outside of them that labels will be used next time.

Here I used my spare canvas cloth to push the roof up and help close the door gaps. The problem was that the poles and roof would settle a bit and the door gaps would open up again.

The next couple pics are of the interior seams that needed to be held closed with tape. They kept the dust out nicely.

After staking down the blue tarp to the ground, and assembling & staking the Yurt on top of it, I taped the walls to the tarp. The ground was not level and so there were gaps under the edges of the walls to the outside. The tape sealed it out nicely. This 6 inch wide tape had lousy adhesive, but held fine in this application. In fact, when it was time to remove the tape it came off easily in several long pieces. That was nice!

Here is the Yurt as it was installed. Bill and I made a nice corner for ourselves. The plywood for transporting the Yurt made for a nice wind and dust break. So did the wagon and trailer.

Here is our setup from the skating surface area.

I never though I’d let my new boots get so dusty. But it just became part of my surrender to the playa dust. The traction of the skating surface was insanely great.

I used Bill’s large light for a night light. It lasted all week without charging.

Here is the corner where some miscellaneous stuff was kept.

Here is a week’s buildup of playa dust on the anchors. The anchors never came loose. Using 10 and 12 inch nails angled into the ground 60 degrees apart worked nicely.

Here is one of the locations where a piece of tape was added to seal out the dust. It might make for a handy attachment point for lights and interior hanging cloths in the future. The canvas and weather stripping did a great job of sealing out the playa dust.

Here is a complete anchoring corner. With 4 long nails staking this corner into the ground, it’s hard to imagine it ever pulling up.

Not much of a gap to get into the wagon, but I just used the other side of the wagon instead.

Here are a couple of the pieces used for me to get into the scooter. The scooter is not pictured as I have already packed it into the car.

I used a small blue tarp as a front porch so that it would help keep dust from being tracked in as much. Not sure how much it helped in the end.

Here is how and where I stored almost everything. Notice how cloudy the outside of the totes became. I ended up doing far more searching that I wanted too. Next time they get labels.

Here are a couple of shots of our neighbors Yurt interior. She used this wire shelving to organize their stuff.

Here is the box that the wire shelving came in from Target.

Here is our great buddy Officer Ray, at the truck stop in Furnley Nevada where so much great conversation occurred. Ray took fantastic care of us when Bill had a flat tire and when I was ticked off about not getting to Burning Man on time. Ray also helped our new found friend Karry with advice about her druggy boyfriend. Ray is a huge asset to the community out in Fernley. We will definitely be looking him up when we go back to Burning Man or through the area for any reason. This pic was taken as we were leaving Burning Man. So I was able to catch Ray up on how things went during the week.

The was the right rear tire from the wagon. In Sacramento on the way home, I heard a bang. I had Bill drive around the wagon as we cruised down I-80. He didn’t see any issues. This tire went 120 miles, getting me home, before it went flat. I had no idea it was in this condition the whole time. Used tires show to be a bad investment once again. The next day I used the spare and it blew all of the tread off as it was actually a recap. No more used tires.

For detailed pics of our Burning Man adventure go here.

Yesterday was the the first time the Hexayurt was assembled completely. It took maybe only 10-15 minutes. It sure felt like less. We did it in Bill’s back yard. The ladder was needed to hold the roof up initially. I thought Bill could hold it for me as I zipped the roof together. But since the walls are not hinged together as I had originally planned, they tend to float in and out freely and have to be held vertically so they keep the roof panels aligned while I zip the roof together. I could make a vertical post to temporarily hold the first couple of roof panels up. The ladder will strap onto the side of the trailer so we’ll probably just take it.

Here is the interior of the Yurt! We left one section out to be able to better photograph the insides. I purposely left all of the blue writing on the interior of the Yurt so that it would absorb as little heat as possible. You can see the black zippers on the ceiling. They are plenty strong enough in shear. The material used was just basic canvas duck. The adhesive was just Liquid Nails.

You can just seem my hand as I’m opening one of 3 roof hatches. With the door, this will be handy to ventilate the Yurt when it cools off after sunset.

I’m only a few feet in front of the Yurt. Bill’s lense makes the Yurt look a little smaller.

This morning I woke up with a great idea for internally anchoring the Yurt walls to the ground using a K-Hinge, plywood blocks and metal stakes. I’ll post a pic a soon as I make a sketch.

Here is the 8 foot long K-Hinge attached to a wall panel as of last night. The edges of the canvas are ragged because I tear the canvas instead of cutting it with scissors. Not as clean, but way faster.

Here is the bumper sticker on my wagon that was taken to Burning Man sometime before 1993-1995 when I purchased it. I’m hoping someone can identify the year of the bumper sticker.

I bought the wagon back in 1995. Two owners before that it had been to Burning Man. I’ll get a pic of the old Burning Man decal on the rear bumper in hope that someone will know about what year the wagon was at Burning Man.

I’ve also got to finish leak testing the A/C in the wagon.

I went through the wagon today and fixed a bunch of dumb things. All of the mirrors were loose. The headliner was falling down. Mostly I found that the A/C had a leak in the low side shrader valve core. So I put a bicycle core in their until I find out if the system leaks or not. That fixed it. I pumped it up with 108 psi of compressed air, with the compressor disconnected. That way when I check it in a week I’ll know for sure if it’s air tight or not. 108 psi is over 4 times the pressure that a 28 inch vacuum will create. So it’s a good method that I’ve used for years to make A/C systems reliable. I do need to find out if the bicycle shrader core is compliant with R12 oils and refrigerant.