This will be a page about my daycamp setup, which I will use for quick stops, or just overnight stops, in areas where I feel it can be set up without being objectionable.  It’s an easy tarp setup, that will extend off the back of the truck to cover the RoadArk, and give me enough room to sit and enjoy my surroundings in relative comfort.

February 5, 2011

I will eventually put up pictures of my daycamp setup, when I can actually set it up.  Right now, I have the design, and most of the parts required to make it happen, but, as I’ve pointed out before, I live in a small apartment, and I have nowhere to set it up, besides that, it’s winter now, and even the local parks are snowbound, so it won’t be until spring, that I will have the opportunity to set things up, and see how they work out.

I can still give an overview of what my intentions are regarding this setup though.  So, with that in mind, let me explain how I feel this might work out.

I wanted it to be as simple as possible, and also, to be a quick setup, since that was the main purpose of having a day setup in the first place.  Having a tarp that extends out, over the back of the truck to cover the RoadArk seemed like the most practical way to approach this.  Something tells me, that I will be using this setup more often than I think, just because it’s quick and simple.

I will mount two extendable aluminum poles on the roof of the truck.  These extendable poles are made for painting in high, hard to reach areas, or some of them are meant for cleaning out the gutters on houses, and they are available at most hardware stores.  Once they are extended, you can twist them to lock them in position.  Some of these types of poles have large plastic hand grips on them, but the ones I found, have no such grips, and are just two pieces of aluminum pipe fitted inside each other, so there are no grips to get in the way of mounting them fairly flush with the top of the truck.

The poles I have, can extend to 15 ft. at full extension.  Now, extending them that far, with the weight of the poly tarp on them, would push the limits of what they could support at a 90 degree, horizontal angle.  So, I would need some kind of support.  I didn’t want extra vertical poles, because they get in the way, with their guys wires, and also, I just didn’t want the extra parts.   What I decided to do was to support them from the top, rather than the bottom.

At first, I was going to run a couple of pieces of paracord from the tips of the extended poles, up to a higher point on top of the truck, which would be the cargo box that I have mounted up there.  This would pull up on the tips of the poles, and support any downward force that the tarp caused.  However, after thinking it through a bit more, I thought, why not just mount the end of the tarp right up there, in place of the paracord, and have a sloped tarp, that way I could eliminate the need for another part.  However, in this scenario, I would need a tarp that’s almost the right length.  It couldn’t be longer than the poles could extend, and it couldn’t be too short to provide, what I felt was, enough coverage.

I do already have a tarp, and I believe it is 12 ft. x 15 ft., so it might work, but I won’t know until I can try it out.  The sides of the tarp, which would be the 15 ft. side, would be staked to the ground using bungee cords, in the front, and the back holes, of the sides of the tarp.  Again, I won’t know exactly how long the bungee cords need to be until I mount it all up and see how far the tarp comes down on each side.  I won’t be bringing them straight down, they will be angled out, but there will most certainly be a gap between the end of the tarp, and the ground.  Most off the shelf tarps don’t have the narrow width, and long length required in such a setup, to bring the sides right down to the ground.  This would require a specially constructed tarp, and I didn’t want to get into special parts.  I want to be able to replace this tarp by just walking into the store and buying what I need.

Once the tarp is in place, and the RoadArk opened, all I need to do is put out my chair, and Bob’s my uncle.  I also have a folding multi-use stand, made by Coleman, that I made a table top for, that I could setup.

So, that’s the idea behind the daycamp setup.  At this moment, I don’t know if things will actually work out like that, but that’s all part of the fun of life, isn’t it?  I’m sure I will have to make adjustments as I go, and I’m ok with that.


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