View Full Version : A How to Question on Tarps

22-01-2007, 03:18 PM
Hi all, as you can see I am only a newbie to this site, but I am also a newbie to the fine art of selecting and erecting the right type of tarp and the basic fundamentals on putting up a tarp (was going to say tarp erection, but I can only imagination the great advice that I would have received).

Anyway back to business, I am travelling down to wonderful Kiama and the sites at Kiama usually measure about 8x8. I have Sprotiva Odyssey and I would like to have the tarp not only to protect the tent but also give the kids somewhere to play (should it rain) and a place for the family to eat.

Bearing in my mind that I will be site by site, I was hoping that some one might have a step by step guide in what size tarp I should use, what types of ropes, poles and anything else that would be needed. Any pictures of some sort or even detailed descriptions would be of high benefit.

Once again thanks for your time and I look foward to hearing from someone soon.

22-01-2007, 09:04 PM
My setup is a gazebo 3x3m under an about 21fx18f tarp
The gazebo gives great support to the center of the tarp and allows you to use half the amount of poles.
And if its only sun shade you need remove the tarp.
Useing ropes with springs is a must and poles that the extention is on the top side are good. ie so rain does not run down inside the pole.

22-01-2007, 09:14 PM
Sorry photos are a bit small but you get the idea.
The other thing i have been thinking about is one of those tempory car ports from super cheep . They have their own support (on extra poles) their own waterproofing (no tarp)and optional side curtians. But i would still use better ropes to hold it down.

25-01-2007, 07:01 AM
With camping gear it is a case of buy the best quality you can afford, there is some very cheap nasty crap on the market today. Get your tarp from a reputable camping store and see to it it has reinforced eyelets preferably with D rings sewn in to insert the poles into. DO NOT be tempted buy a cheap tarp, as soon as the wind gets up they usually tear. Buy poles that have the extention piece over the top of the bottom section as they don't fill with water. Buy pegs suitable to area camped ie sand pegs for beach bloody strong pegs for rocky ground etc. The pre made ropes in camp shops are suitable and you are hard pressed to make them cheaper buy buying all the components. Always take extra rope pegs poles springs etc. I like to have 3 long ropes on hand to throw over the top of the tarp on very windy days to help support the tarp as it baloons up a lot if it is real windy. Don't forget the hammer to keep those pegs in the ground and keep the ropes firm nothing worse than a loose flapping tarp.

25-01-2007, 09:48 PM
REgarding those carports with sides.

We use one of those instead of a tarp. Great when its windy. Just put the side up thats facing the wind. Leave one end(about a third) fully enclosed to store the gear.

Always have extra ropes and springs on the corners and if its breezy we put a couple more down the sides. Only once did we put two ropes over the top. That was on the eastern beach at Moreton. Blowing close to 35 knots and it staid solid.

One thing I did do when I got it home was to spot weld the half sections together. All the poles and roof pieces. Made a longer but thinner package. And you only have to fart around with half the number of poles when erecting.

An electrician mate set up a battery and inverter for us so now we run three of those long life fluro bulbs in it. It easy to find from the beach on a dark night.
Just look for the cathederal with the light shining from it.

And if it looks like its going to piss down we just throw a tarp over the whole lot, Tent and carport.

26-01-2007, 07:37 AM
Good advice all round there.

I agree with the ' silver ' tarp, re-inforced eyelets and ' D ' rings.

Size, well there is a couple ways to go. The site is 24' x 24' so you would think a tarp of that size would be too big, allowing for guy ropes to extend outwards etc. But. you can always place the poles on a D ring in from the corner of the tarp thus leaving a ' dangly ' bit down each side that will then double as a 1/2 wall. I always reckon it's better to have too big a tarp than run short and let rain etc blow in under it.

Poles.... the extension ones are best, large size.

Guys ropes....... well, I make my own out of good sisal rope and dowel. I make doubles for each corner and 1 for the spreader bar in the middle of the tarp.

Springs........ always use the H/duty ones, they are usually galvanised and NOT a colour. You will find that a nice 20ltr painters plastic bucket with lid, will hold all ropes and springs for your needs. ( tying ropes to springs permanently )

Spreader bar...... that is a ( usually 3 section ) square tube that gets erected under the middle , or there abouts of the tarp, making an apex ( hip ) in the tarp for strength, rain water run off and also tightens up the whole thing to decrease flapping. These bars spread up to 20 plus feet. I also drill a hole ( one side, the down side ) in the middle section of this bar to fit pole that will be used to support the bar.

Spreader bar type 2...... these are round 2 section bars that only extend to about 6 - 8' and are placed over the top of the corner poles to ' brace ' the tarp. That is set up at 45* to make a triangle at each corner. A must for large tarps IMO>

Pegs.......... I use reo.. that re-inforced steel bar used for making footings in house slabs. Or some call it D-form. Ideally you need to heat it up and make the hook ( bend ), but it can be done with a tow bar and muscle. The pegs are usually 30 - 40cms long. I have never found anything better for sand and being steel go into hard ground as well, but no need to hammer them in all the way there. A good ' lump ' hammer is handy.

Around the outside of the tarp I hang Shade cloth to give a little privacy, protect from driving rain. I also have shade cloth placed on the ground under the tarp. Lets all sand fall through and can be swept off.

Can't find pics................:(

Cheers Phill

28-01-2007, 10:19 PM
You won't get any better info than Phil's.

The only thing I'd add is to wrap the ropes around the poles about an inch underneath the tarp before putting the loop on the pole "spike". This keeps most of the pressure on the pole and off the eyelets, which are normally the points under the most strain.

Good luck,

31-01-2007, 05:40 PM
Guys I would like to say thank you everyone that has given me the information that I need................This will make camping just that much better.

Once again thanks

05-02-2007, 10:05 AM
could not agree more with Phils info i just bought a new 34x 24 silver tarp on ebay has re-inforced eyelets and D rings and it was $100 bucks cheaper than camping store. Also make sure you have a pole for every eyelet and D ring and springs are a must.

08-02-2007, 08:44 AM
Nearly all my poles are those heavy ones where the extension comes from the top so eventually fill with water.
Easy fix, a 3/16" hole drilled just flush with the plastic cap on the bottom allows them to drain.

18-02-2007, 08:06 AM

Cylinder beach at christmas - there are some of the best tarp setups. Standard size lot is 6m x 6m. Some people go to an amazing amount of effort and in return have a very comfortable arrangement.


06-03-2007, 01:06 PM

All good points thanks.
We Purchased enough poles and guy rope @ the local Anaconda here in Brissie ( yep u know the dowling guy ropes @ 2 mts length + poles that extend 2.5mts as our tent stands a majestic 205cm whch will do us just nicely.

All we need to know is thow o rig up the tarp facing which aspect to stop the rain end most of the hot afternoon sun...


07-03-2007, 05:44 PM
Some good advice there.
Ive one thing to add .
Lay out your tarp all your poles ,ropes and ground tackle where you want them.
I start by doing the four corners first.

1ST *Bang in your pegs so when you tension the guys it is in line with each edge of the tarp.

Its a lot easier if you do all the corners together. Get the kids to hold up a pole while you tension it off.
Once the corners are up all the rest of the poles are a piece of cake.

Phils advice on a big tarp & a ridgepole is the way to go.
You can get a pole with a bracket to fit the square ridge pole ,,,saves drilling it.
have fun ,love my camping holidays.

10-03-2007, 09:59 AM
My wife,kids & I go camping 3 weeks ayear, have spent a heap on camping gear and still have a heap more to get, which isn't so bad as now I have to get a bigger boat to fit it all in...lmao we normally go to sth straddie for a week we go the week after easter (once all the clowns have gone) be there this year to, the photo's are from the vmr base at sth straddie.

happy camping... Chris

11-03-2007, 04:15 PM
Our set-up at new years 20x24 with a ridge pole. Plenty of room for 10 Adults plus kids