Tarps as sunshades

Submitted: Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 14:34
ThreadID: 55329 Views:5349 Replies:9 FollowUps:12
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The standard cheap blue tarps are next to useless as sun shades, they seem to block little sun and even less heat.

Can anyone comment on the more expensive silver tarps in this situation? And, if possible, suggest brand names and/or places of purchase.

Mike Harding
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Reply By: Kev & Darkie - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 15:16

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 15:16
Mike,

I have 3 8' x 10' Silver/Olive HD Poly Tarps.
They are made by Outdoor Connection and I purchased them from an Army Surplus store for about $20 each.
I think BCF and Ray's Outdoors have similar ones as well

They claim that these tarps are 1000 denier H.D.P.E what ever that means as they are made in China LOL

I have used them a few times to protect loads in the trailer as well as a sun shade at the Pyrenees gathering and they are a shed load better than the cheap blue ones.

Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Louie the fly - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 15:58

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 15:58
Denier is the unit of measurement of the linear density of textile fiber mass. It is defined as the mass in grams per 9,000 meters. i.e. 1 denier = 1 gram per 9000 meters Got that from Wikipedia...

H.D.P.E. is High Density Polyethylene. Therefore, 1000 denier would 1kg of fibre mass / 9000 metres.

I have used a large silver/olive tarp as a shade cover. I like the fact that they are reinforced on the edges and have steel eyes sewn in. Works OK if you have enough air height to allow the air to circulate properly. Keeps the rain off nicely too. Don't know what their UV rating would be. I have a small one of these tarps (8 x 12 feet) in the 4wd in case I need to get underneath. They are certainly thicker than the cheap blue ones and definitely worth the extra $$eroos.
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Follow Up By: Kev & Darkie - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 16:17

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 16:17
The destructions on the ones I have show that they have a 50% UV Rating.

Cheers Kev
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Follow Up By: Member - Michael J (SA) - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 22:51

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 22:51
Got the lady down the road to make me one,,,,,,,
good price, good quality.....if'n you want one let me know.

Michael
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Reply By: Member - Axle - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 15:25

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 15:25
Try the green shade cloth from nursery outlets. not totally waterproof but not bad all the same!.

Cheers Axle.
AnswerID: 291609

Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 16:03

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 16:03
Mike, the silver one side, green the other tarps are great. I have extended the annex on our CT with a big one. Only put it up if stopping in one place for a while. Silver / black in some brands are even tougher. Polytuf is a good brand, but there are others. Most good camping goods stores will have them in heaps of sizes. Blackwoods also has them.

In the middle of the day, it is noticeably cooler under the silver tarp than under the canvas annex. If used as a fly over a tent, keep an air gap between the two to prevent direct transfer of heat from the tarp to the tent.

To make them secure in the wind, you need lots of tent poles; one for each D ring. I also use horizontal spreaders due to the size of mine (the tarp that is).

Norm C

AnswerID: 291611

Follow Up By: Steve - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 16:16

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 16:16
I'm glad you meant the tarp Norm ;-))

exactly the same as Moi.

Get yerself fixed up Mike - they're good and the spreaders (horizontal poles) make the rig so much more sturdy but the cost can get up a bit depending on size of erm.......tarp, and therefore poles but an excellelnt rig. Probably start without the spreaders and see how you go - just make sure you get some of those guy ropes with tension springs.
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 16:26

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 16:26
Hi Guys

>I also use horizontal spreaders due to the size of mine (the tarp that is).

I almost hesitate to ask... :) but... I know, of course, what tent poles are and I see Steve's mention of the horizontal spreaders being poles (shame; I have a bit of a thing for Hungarians :) but how do you use them and to what do they attach etc - I suspect this is one of those things where "a picture is worth a thousand words". Keep in mind I'll just be setting up a tarp shelter and don't have a caravan/trailer etc.

Also; tension springs? I have always just used a few bits of nylon rope to ground pegs/trees - do the springs help much in high wind conditions?

Sounds like it might be time to go "camp stuff" buying tomorrow - I've been itching to blow some cash on camp things for weeks but I already have two of everything :(

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Member - Oldbaz. NSW. - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 16:45

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 16:45
The siver ones are good stuff. 20 by 12...$50 or less on Ebay.
Oztrail brand. Oco straps very useful to tension...oldbaz.
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Follow Up By: Steve - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 16:53

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 16:53
spreaders Mikhail, are like those telescopic aluminium poles, only instead of having a spike at the end, the end is flattened out with a hole drilled thru the middle so that they sit, horizontally, on top of aforementioned vetical pole with spikey bit, which goes thru the hole. The spreader is flattened and drilled with hole @ each end so you can put a vertical pole thru each end ofthe spreader - tus making something like a soccer goalpost thing.

Sorry if that's a bit jumbled mate but couldn't Google image a pic for ya. The guy ropes are much stronger than the usual tent ones and they have a spring at the bottom bit with a loop that you put your peg thru. The spring serves to absorb a bit of tension, given that you do actually tighten these buggers up pretty tight - so the spring gives bit of flex.

I think Rays have one of those sales on right now, so get down there cos this gear does add up a bit. They'll probably explain a bit better than I did too.
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Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 17:02

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 17:02
Thanks Steve - got the picture eerrr... words :)

I'll pop down to Rays tomorrow and see if I can force some cash on them :)

Mike Harding
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Follow Up By: Shaker - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 22:24

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 22:24
Mike, if you really want to spend some of your 'hard earned', the Open Sky Bag Awning is a very good product.
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (Yalgoo) - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 16:46

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 16:46
What makes you think that Mike? they certainly have no problems blocking most of the sun as you can see - was much cooler under it than in the sun

AnswerID: 291617

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 16:52

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 16:52
To be fair Davoe, my tarp shelter tarps are orange but exactly the same material and weave as the blue ones.

A year ago (or was it two?) I spent a week in the High Country prospecting and it was 45C+ every day - I put the tarp up in my camp for shade but found the radiant heat through it was similar to sitting in full sun - I gave up and spent the middle of the days rotating around large trees seeking shade.

Mike Harding
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Reply By: Steve - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 17:05

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 17:05
there you go mate:

http://images.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://www.tree-guy.com/art4.gif&imgrefurl=http://www.tree-guy.com/tree02.htm&h=193&w=190&sz=29&hl=en&start=18&um=1&tbnid=FNZpZTqvNgFwHM:&tbnh=103&tbnw=101&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dguy%2Brope%2Btensioners%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG


not quite the same but damn near. 2nd photo from bottom is your tensioner and the one above that is the spring - the ones that Rays sell, the spring is at the bottom and you put the peg thru a metal eye in it.
AnswerID: 291623

Follow Up By: Mike Harding - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 17:17

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 17:17
Thanks Steve - I'll let you know how it goes :)
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Reply By: Peter 2 - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 17:31

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 17:31
Yes the silver/green tarps are much cooler than the blue ones. block the heat and light well.
Peter
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AnswerID: 291631

Reply By: Dave B (NSW) - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 19:44

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 19:44
Mike, maybe you could throw a rope between a couple of trees and use that as spreader , and throw or drag your tarp over the aforementioned rope.
Tie down each corner and Bob's your cousin.
Alright if there are a few trees around, a bit hard to do that on the beach.

Dave
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AnswerID: 291662

Reply By: mike w (WA) - Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 21:51

Saturday, Mar 08, 2008 at 21:51
Mike,

Ill concur, the silver sided tarps seem to be much better. Whether the silver finish goes some way to reflecting heat away, I dont know?

I have used a couple for various shelters over time, and have found that the more expensive tarps seem to hold up a bit better to the elements and time. The blue one's seem a lot thinner as far as the weave goes.

Personnally though, I use a canvas tarp for shelters. Have had the thing for years, covered in dust, been soaked in diesel once or twice, a couple of holes here and there (I will repair one day), but shes' my old faithful. Doubles as a ground shhet for the swag and the young bloke to play on.
AnswerID: 291682

Reply By: Rick (S.A.) - Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 10:29

Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 10:29
Mike,

I realise you asked a specific Q about poly & silver tarps.

I have used a 10 x 12' silver/green tarp for some years when stationary camping. They are OK, but do not wear well - they are subject to holes, abrasions etc to a greater degree than canvas, in my experience.

But when mobile I often find myself in areas where shade is a premium, so I have had this canvas shade made. It is 5 m long - I figure you need a bit of room to move about, rather than be under a pocket handkerchief.

Should the weather turn inclement, I plan on parking my bus at right angles to that weather, and using the poles in different positions to get more & more shelter. But that has not yet been necessary - here in the land of the longest Autumn heatwave since 1930's !!!

http://s255.photobucket.com/albums/hh134/moundsprings/4%20x%204%20%20vehicle%20stuff/?action=view¤t=bestposition2.jpg

AnswerID: 291744

Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 10:30

Sunday, Mar 09, 2008 at 10:30
Hmmm,

I obvoiusly don't know how to do that link thingy.
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