Enough poles?

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Enough poles?

Postby two89w » Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:40 pm

I know there is no hard and fast rules when it comes to how many poles you should have however, I have a 17 x 23 foot tarp and my plan is to use 10 poles (with the appropriate amount of ropes) and two spreader bars.

Does anyone think that the above will be OK ? Or does anyone have any suggestions?
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Re: Enough poles?

Postby GypsyLady » Thu Dec 17, 2009 3:03 pm

You do not say if this is a free standing tarp setup or not....I presume that it is not.

The rule of thumb for a stable setup is one pole every second eyelet especially in windy or inclement conditions. I personally would not go any less that 14. Don't forget to use double ropes on the corner poles.

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Re: Enough poles?

Postby Ricklanga » Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:50 pm

I have an 18 x 20 tarp & as GL says, 1 pole every second hole & 2 ropes at corners. I only have 1 spreader bar with 2 ropes at eather end & I doubt you will need more than that. Don't skimp on the pole quality & use springs on your ropes if the budget allows. BCF has pole kits which include everything you need for $299 & I know they are good quality as I have one myself. Some of the other camping outlets may have the same kits for a little cheaper. Have a look at my setup here viewtopic.php?f=106&t=2430&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=60 to give you some Idea. Mine is the 6th post down.

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Re: Enough poles?

Postby two89w » Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:21 pm

Thanks Richard.

What is the best way to put up the tarp? Start from one end? Start in the middle?
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Re: Enough poles?

Postby GypsyLady » Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:37 pm

Richard's set up is ideal with enough poles and ropes but also a good air flow between the tarp and the tent/camper.

I reckon start from one corner and work your way around is the best way to go if it is stand alone. If you are using it over a tent/camper then start at the highest point and work out to the corners.

Wooden tensioners are the best to use with your springs too....don't bother with plastic ones, they are useless and often break under strain.

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Re: Enough poles?

Postby sienna » Sat Jan 02, 2010 9:53 pm

Hi
I've just come back from 3wks camping and can say a little about tarps. I put up an 18x20 tarp, with the help of a neighbourly camper. I had bought a ridge pole to go through from one end to the other at the highest point. I started with a pole in every second hole but after a day or so, I had poles in every hole.
For a tarp that big, I reckon you need one in every hole especially if it gets windy and stormy. I even went as far as puttng double ropes on all the corner poles, too. This trick I learned from another camper who's tarp remained standing through last year's big storm down the gold coast when others fell down. Also, I put two ropes over the whole thing to help keep the tarp down in the wind. Basically, I was not worried when it was raining or windy or both.
Of course, this requires a lot of setting up and pulling down but at least it came down when I wanted it to, not when the wind decided.

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Re: Enough poles?

Postby MDC » Sat Jan 02, 2010 11:25 pm

Our tarp is 20 x 24 and we use poles in every second eyelet and a ridge pole in the middle. It's been through a lot of heavy rain and strong wind and we've never had a problem. The trick is to keep everything tight, use long pegs, double ropes on the corners, heavy duty springs and ropes with metal tensioners. We even throw a rope over the middle for extra protection.

Gypsylady recommended wooden tensioners but we've been in conditions so bad that the wooden ones broke. It's metal all the way now!

As for set up, lay the tarp on the ground and peg out your corners and middle. Pole and rope each corner side starting at one side then the other. Next pole and ridge pole the middle. You'll now have a basic A-frame and can work your way around pegging and adding poles.

Just a bit of warning though - the poles for a large tarp will weight a lot. If your budget extends a bit, look at aluminum poles. They're $15 each :shock: but lighter and stronger. We'll hopefully replace ours with them slowly.
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