Tarp spreader bar question

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 10:51
ThreadID: 140321 Views:1039 Replies:4 FollowUps:7
Hi, My tent is 2.4m wide by 4.4 metres long with a height of 1.9m. I want to put a tarp over it all that is 3m wide by 6m long. If i use 3 spreader bars will the joins need centre support as this will be impossible with the tent under it. Thanks!

Cher the grey nomad newbie
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Reply By: George_M - Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 11:17

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 11:17
I've used 3M spreader bars to support tarps over previous tents that I've owned - both round bars and square bars. The square bars are stronger but much heavier. Both types worked ok with a tent pole at each end, and no centre support.

I suspect that your proposed arrangement with a tarp that size, and three spreader bars, will take forever to setup and take down.

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Follow Up By: Cheryn A - Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 11:32

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 11:32
Hi George
Thank you for that. Do you have a simpler solution for covering the tent and creating an outdoor covered area please?

Cher the grey nomad newbie
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Follow Up By: George_M - Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 14:20

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 14:20
I think the answer to your question depends on your style of camping, and how much (space and weight) you can carry.

If you normally camp for more than a day or two then using the 6M x 3M tarp you mentioned in your original post would probably work. That's what I used to do.

If, on the other hand, you camp for one or two nights while you're on the move then this setup will drive you nuts. In this situation we slept under the same tarp slung off the side of the vehicle (or sometimes in a smaller tent).

Have you considered one of the collapsible 3M x 3M gazebos, and do you have the space to carry it?

George_M
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Follow Up By: Cheryn A - Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 14:43

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 14:43
Hi George..
I don't like the dangerous scissors action gazebos. I have seen a cheap one at Kogan for $39 where you shape the roof with poles and joiners. I wonder if it would be to flimsy. The pack down size seems good.




What do you think?

Thanks
Cheryn
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Follow Up By: Member - McLaren3030 - Thursday, Aug 06, 2020 at 16:11

Thursday, Aug 06, 2020 at 16:11
Hi Cheryn,

We had one similar to the one in your diagram a few years ago, takes a while to put together, and not very strong. Changed to the “scissor” type instead, but bought a heavy gauge one, not the light one. The light ones will bend in any sort off “stiff” breeze.

Macca.
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Reply By: RMD - Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 12:41

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 12:41
Cheryn
Depending on your vehicle and carry space, length etc. You may be able to, as George suggested, use just two spreader/hanger bars which join BUT are se, pre bent, with a slight curve one way, ie, Upwards curvature. That allows for tie down loading trying to bend the bars downwards. Because the bar ends will be drilled vertically, I presume, the bar won't rotate. The middle join would need a small cross bolt to hold it together with smooth acorn style nut so not to catch the material above. The bolt also allows tension on end ropes to ensure it stay put.
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Follow Up By: Cheryn A - Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 14:28

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 14:28
Hi RMD
I get what you mean. I think we may do as George said and get a gazebo.

Thanks for your reply

Cheryn
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Reply By: Cheryn A - Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 16:00

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 16:00
Maybe I could just forgo the idea of a spreader bar and do a simple pole each end of centre and lower height poles each side in an A Frame configuration. Would that work?
AnswerID: 632827

Follow Up By: Member - Bigfish - Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 16:28

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 16:28
I used to use 3 x 5 , 7x 4 all sizes. Pain in the butt really. Now I have 2 gazebos...3x3 and 4.5 x 3. Plus 2 side walls. Set up is quick..only take 1 gazebo that suits the camping time and place. Lot better than a tarp. I now have a forward fold camper and use the 4.5 x 3 gazebo...Works brilliantly and gives heaps of sun shade and rain protection...I also bought good quality ones.
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Reply By: Gbc.. - Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 17:28

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 17:28
No, 3m isn't a long way for a spreader. Just get them well over length so they self support, and use shorter side spreaders around the outside between the poles. I would be tempted to go for a bigger tarp to gain some living area. I have a 9 x 6 with the tent in one corner. This allows for centre poles x 2.
AnswerID: 632828

Follow Up By: Cheryn A - Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 18:15

Tuesday, Aug 04, 2020 at 18:15
Brilliant idea on putting the tent to one side to enable centre poles! I never thought of that. Thanks!
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