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Email Questions and Answers 2008-

Also see: Q&A 3/2011  5/2009  3/2009  11/2008  2008  2007  3/2007  2003  Testimonials


On Oct 27, 2008
what is the difference between the pond dome cover and the shell cover?

Subject: Re: pond covers

The dome covers are a full domes while the shell covers are just the top of domes. All pond covers come with our greehouse covering while the shells can be orders with the greenhouse or shelter coverings.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On Oct 25, 2008, at 7:01 PM,
Hello Bob,
I purchased a dome made from 1/2 inch metal conduit...I'm going to use if for storage. From what I've read here on your great site, attaching a tarp to the frame using your grip clips would be a good thing. I think the pros are the model I need, but would defer to your expert opinion...I live in New England and we get some severe winters. >From what I've read here, your suggestion would be to secure the tarp on the inside of the frame. Is that correct??? I also would like your input as to the # of clips in order to secure the tarp. The dome is aprox 11.5 feet high and 20 ft round. Thank you very much for your help.
Regards,
Bob

Subject: Re: Grip clips for a 20" geodesic dome

Bob

Simplest is to pull the tarp over your frame and attach HD GC to your tarp at about 10 " from the base of the dome then use a 3/8" or so rope to "lace" the tarp to the bottom of your frame. Then go around the dome with a marker and mark your tarp for placement of HD GC on the overlapping folds (mark all layers and even have a person inside mark the inner layers) that your tarp as it has been pulled tight and shaped on your frame, such that after you loosen the "lacing" rope you will know where to attach the HD GC to join the overlapping folds to each other and create a fitted cover for your dome. Re-attach your "rope" and make adjustments to the overlapping as needed to get a tight but not too tight fit.

Another way is to tension the tarp to the inside of the dome. I would start with the top center and use Heavy Duty Grip Clips. Pull the clip tight to the hub at the top center. Next add hd gc to the tarp and pull them tight to the next 5 hubs. You should get the tarp as tight as possible or else your tarp will flap in the wind. In one or more of the hubs you will need to gather a pleat in your tarp with your clip. Proceed to the next lower hubs etc till you reach the base of the dome. One advantage of hanging your tarp is that it will not rub the poles which may with time wear on it.

The last way would be to attach Grip Clip Pros to your frame and drape or pull up your tarp to the pros and attach the ring part of the clips. You must get the tarp as tight as possible. This approach is the easiest and quickest but for the same number of clips is not the strongest.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On Oct 4, 2008
hi bob, I have a 30' metal dome that my son made for me - I would like to retrofit it with some sort of cover. It is about 25' tall and all triangles. Can you give me some advise on how to go about getting a cover for either over or under it? Thank you.

sherry

You are right you could hang a cover within or cover the outside. If you cover the outside is it smooth were your hubs are?

To hang a cover use gp gc or hd gc. to attach cover to out side use gp or hd gc on the edge of your covering to pull it to the bace of your dome and use the same to gather the covering if need be. The Pro gc can be used to attach the covering to the frame to prevernt or less lift up and flapping in wind.


On Oct 2, 2008

Hi Bob,
If you don’t have figures
Can you tell me which will be strongest:
A general purpose or pro attached by rope to an awning
A HD attached by rope
A pro screwed to the face of a beam with the awning pulling about 60 degree from the face
A pro screwed to the bottom of a beam with the awning pulling about 30 degree from the face

The awning is about 5 metres by 5 metres the position is sheltered.
Does it make for greater strength to add the grip clip through patches of other materials? At the moment I am assuming standard blue tarp.

Derek

Subject: Re: loads for grip clips

In most circumstances the GP is stronger than the Pro. The Pro is best when you need to attach a tarp directly to a surface.

The HD will spread the load better than the GP and will handle thicker tarps. The GP will work in most situations.

So go with the GP I would say. try to have one about every meter or two

Patches do not add strength but can increase holding power by making the tarp thicker and there by preventing slippage if your tarp is thin and loaded.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


Date: September 30, 2008
Subject: Re: Tent cabins

Bob:

Greetings from Endless River Adventures. I am interested in seeing one of your Yurt Domes. If you check our web site you will see we do white water kayak and rafting trips to Ecuador. We have property on the Quijos River and are thinking of developing a custom camp there for our trips.

The property is located in the cloud forest of the Amazon Basin at about 6000 feet. This area is very humid and as you might imagine gets a tremendous amount of rain. I am looking for potentially 7-10 18'-20' tents that can be set up as cabins. The idea I have is to connect a private bathroom with an outdoor shower to each tent.

The questions I have for you are;

Has anyone used your tents in a jungle environment?
Can the tent be attached to a platform?
Are the tents or can the tents be fitted with screening for bugs?
I noticed that some folks talked about the tents getting hot, can you give me any feed back on the solution for that problem?
Do you have any tents in our area that we can look at. Or do you have a demo that you could send to us that we can set up and get a better idea of what it looks like?
Do the tents come in any other colors? Given the area we are planning to use the tent in, green would be great!

I am excited to see one of your tents. Feel free to contact me via phone or email.

Sincerely.
Ken Kastorff

Hi Ken

Sounds like a great project.

Has anyone used your tents in a jungle environment?

Yes, I am not sure if we have a posted testimonial: http://www.shelter-systems.com/yurt-dome-testimonials.html

Can the tent be attached to a platform?

Yes: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html

Are the tents or can the tents be fitted with screening for bugs?

We offer net doors and velcro: http://www.shelter-systems.com/accessories.html

I noticed that some folks talked about the tents getting hot, can you give me any feed back on the solution for that problem?

Shade is essential if you are not in the shade then get or make sun shades: http://www.shelter-systems.com/accessories.html

Air flow is important: set and use upper vents: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html Keep the 4 doors open; use porches over doors so they can be open in the rain. We offer porches or you can make your own: http://www.shelter-systems.com/accessories.html

Do you have any tents in our area that we can look at.

We cannot give out customer information.

Or do you have a demo that you could send to us that we can set up and get a better idea of what it looks like?

We do not have demos.

Do the tents come in any other colors? Given the area we are planning to use the tent in, green would be great!

No, colored tents tend to be oppressive and effect the color sensitive pigments in the eye. White transmits the most light making for a bright interior. I do understand the desire to blead in. Perhaps you could shade the domes with thatch.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


Date: September 21, 2008

Hello, I have been reading about your yurt domes and I had a few questions that I couldn't find. I am living in Portland, OR and I am planning on living in the yurt dome for the winter season which means rain, rain, rain. I was looking at the 14' one. Can you put a woodstove in the 14"? Also, which type would you think would be best? I also was confused about the extra strong version, should I order that one? Have people ever complained about http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html? I know of quite a few cats in the area and fear that they might try to sharpen their claws on it. Any suggestions?
Thank you,
-sarah

Hi Sarah

You can add a wood stove to our domes: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html but do note that the 14' is quite small (7' tall Only in the center). You might be happier with an 18'. You can use either the standard dome (with 4 clear vinyl windows or the extra strong windows (only the windows are different). Cats are not often a problem but if you have one to make a pin hole or two use 100% silicone rubber glue to seal it up.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


chem-senstive housing
Date: September 21, 2008

Bob, as per our conversation,I am writing to endorse your product for mold sensitive and chemically sensitive individuals. I have suffered from chronic fatigue, MCS(mutiple chemical sensitivities),asthma,and a host of other ailments since my first exposure to toxic mold-many years ago. A permanent solution to my illness is elusive-as any home I have lived in has eventually failed me. Moving to NM from damp and moldy VA,has not significantly helped me-as the illness is progressive. But I am still alive, and would not be in Moldy VA. Housing has become a difficult issue-both financially and medically. I am now living in the desert in a shelter system tent. It is the only housing that has proved suitable. I first moved here in a small travel trailer that had been off-gassing for 6 months, and washed totally-it since spued spores and toxin from the AC-and leaked from the shower-it is now useless. The Dome tent held up through the very windy spring with some damage that I managed to repair. Next I bought a Morgan metal building-nearly killed me in a week. Next I bought a TEE-Pee-very strong in the wind-but the linseed oiled poles made it impossible to spend much time inside, and by the time they off-gasses-other things had started growing, making the Tee-pee unusable. So I am back to the dome tent-and have bought another one for a separate bedroom-the new 14' will be under the carport-with a shade cloth on the windy side to break blasts of winter wind. The repaired 18' will be living room and kitchen. I plan on this working well through the winter. The plastic fabric does not have any perceptible smell to me. The plastic plumbing tubes may have an smell, but they are on the outside so they present no problem. I highly recommend the product for the chemically sensitive, or mold victims who need to evacuate to their own backyards-just remember to be upwind from the house.

Thanks, Karen

Hi Karen

Thanks for the email which may be of value to some of our potential customers who ask about this issue. People ask but all I can say is I have not heard back negatively.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On Sep 19, 2008

Hi

I have an 18ft dome I bought from you in 2002. I have to say, that it's held up very well over 7 years at Burning Man, and other events. It was a demo dome that had some extras included with it.

However, it is also now in need of some TLC. I'd like to ask how much it would be to repair the following:

* Velcro holding doors and windows are shot and need to be replaced
* some of the screen window panels are ripped.
* there was one place where a grip clip failed, and tried as I could I couldn't get a replacement grip clip on 4 panels of fabric. I then patched it by poking holes in the fabric, and (gasp) holding it all together with a few zip ties. These 4 panels should probably be replaced.

Despite all this, It's done very well! I was amazed how well it held up this year, even when it broke away from several pieces of rebar holding it to the ground in a huge dust storm (the rebar had worn away the cords holding it to the ground).

Also I will need to ship this to you from Seattle. Any idea how much shipping will cost me.

Thanks!

Sam

Sam

Sounds like you got a lot of use out of the dome; I like the zip tie fix.

We can ship all the parts you will need including panel replacements if you let us know which ones are spent. The trick to clipping the replacements at the 4 way junctures is to use the Heavy Duty clips not the General Purpose ones that came on the dome. They are bigger, have more room for the layers and are easier to put on. Let me know if you want to go this way; which panels you need way and I will get you a price. If you have to ship the dome here then you will have to pay for shipping both ways and the labor to put it together.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


September 8, 2008

Hey Elanor

Dougal here from the newly formed Magic Bubble Events.
Thanks so much for the domes... they worked quite well... We survived force 10 winds so I guess they are strong!!
We are very interested to become your european distributor if you are looking.... as we had so much interest.
I have also taken the liberty of passing on your contact details to Konarka indusries , maker of solar material. They are interested in my idea of making a solardome to provide power for things like lights etc.
I would love to be included in any developments that may happen with them and would love to see it happen.... then we could really be self sufficient at the festivals..
Check out www.myspace.com/magicbubbleevents to see some pics of our first event.
Thanks again
Dougal and the Magic bubbles.


On Sep 12, 2008

Hi Bob

We are thinking of how to shelter our tropical plants this winter - long island new york...

Lately winters have been mild - little snow / day time 30 - 45 degree, some nights last year got down to 10 degrees farenheit.

My tallest plant right now is about 7 - 8 feet

Can you tell me the R insulating factors for your models - what is best for me in New York - how much heat I might need?

thanks
Madelin Bauer

Madelin

Winter greenhouse gardening requires quite a bit of effort. Our greenhouses are best suited to fall and spring use, unheated, where you can dramatically increase your growing time. You can start gardening earlier in the spring and garden later in the fall. You can heat our greenhouses to winter over plants but many tropical plants require lighting as well as heat to thrive. I would talk to the people who provided you with your plants to get a handle on what the needs of your plants are. I do not have an R value for you for our greenhouses as we have never tried to determine this. I can tell you they are very easy to heat, due to the fact that they are domed shaped, having a minimal surface area for the heat to escape. It is the translucent nature of all greenhouses that makes them not the best insulators. You want the light to come in but this means the heat, as inferred radiation, can escape.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


Date: September 3, 2008

Hi Eleanor:

I am sure you get this question a lot.

We are considering an 18' dome to bring out to Burning Man.
We have been camping in our van for the last several years and it just gets way too
dirty and does not seem spacious enough. You can never have enough space.

I had a few questions about the floor.

This is a separate purchase isn't it?

...Yes but you can use a blue tarp to save money.

How is it attached, via a rope intertwined between the two flaps, floor and siding?

...The floor comes with 12 GP Grip Clips which after you spread out your floor inside the dome you attach to the floor and then use the cords on the clips to tie it to the clips on the inside of your dome.

I would assume that you would rebar stake down each strut along the bottom
and I guess tie it down too.

...Thats right; most just use the stakes we provide; pounding them below the surface.

I know there is something on your site about it.

...See the online manual: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html

We experienced 60 mile an hour winds this year. Do you think the dome will hold up under that
pressure?

....We have had good reports so far for this year. The 18' is very strong and drum tight. You would not want that kide of wind to go on for days and days. Parts would wear out.

They look really wonderful and beautiful too. Just not sure if this would be something we would have to
worry about or not. Transporting it, I guess it would fit in the back of a Toyota Forerunner?

...Should not be a problem

Thanks for your time...

Jan


On Sep 5, 2008,

Hi Bob, LOVE the site and will be purchasing either a 18' or 20' dome for camping on the beach in NC with my wife and 3 kids. I really want the 20' because of the extra room but have read that the 18' is better in wind and is sturdier. I also read that you can tie on extra bottom leg poles to make any of your domes sturdier in wind. I have 2 questions:

1. Instead of adding an extra 12 poles to the 20' to make it better in the wind, could I buy 12 larger size PVC pipes and slip the provided dome legs into the lager PVC pipe? I could cut the larger pipe so that the ends of the smaller pipe would stick out and would fit the tent connectors. Would this work to make the tent sturdier in the wind?

2. Do you think if I did this, or added the extra legs as you have suggested in the users manual, that the 20' would be ok on the beach in mild wind?

Thanks a bunch,

Chris

Hi Cris

I do think #1 would work and I do think a 20' would hold up to mild beach wind (most likely even without the extra poles).

Do be sure to have very good anchors on the beach; you could bury fire wood as anchors. One person should have a hard time to pull one up.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis

I was going to carry empty sand bags, (because they are light and easy to carry). Fill them with sand at the beach, and then bury them and tie off to those. Then after, dig them up, dump the sand and away we go. Will that work? THANKS, Chris

That sounds good, just make sure you hold your dome down well.


On Sep 3, 2008

What makes the 18' and 30' domes stronger than the 20' (which seems to be implied on this page: http://www.shelter-systems.com/playadomes.html )

I saw one of your 18' domes on the playa this year and was very impressed. Is there a reason to prefer the 18' over the 20' in terms of "strength"?

Thanks,

Brian

Brian

The 20' uses the same diameter poles as the 18' but each pole is longer so the poles end up less stiff thus the dome is not as strong. At the same time the 20' dome presents more surface area to the wind then the 18' so it is hit harder by the same wind.

The 30' dome uses a larger (stiffer) pole than the 18' and 20'. The pole is shorter than the 20' dome, which also make the dome strong. The 30' dome is a less than a full hemisphere, only 1' taller than the 20' dome, so it does not present much more height to the wind.

All this being said the 20' dome, for its weight and size, is a strong dome, just not as strong as the 18' or 30'.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On Aug 20, 2008,

Bob,

I would like to get your advice on the best product you sale for a family of 6 for our emergency preparedness plan. I saw your tents on the internet and I was very impressed. I have a lot of camping tents but in a major disaster where long-term (6 months or more) would be necessary, I think a traditional camping tent might not be the best option for my family. I have looked at military style canvass tents but the nice thing about the dome shape is better wind protection. Your guidance in this matter is much appreciated.

Thanks,

Chris Burris

I would suggest 2 - 18'. This way you would have two rooms. Three would be even better. You could make one a kitchen/ living room and two divided into bedrooms. Be sure to read our wind and snow warnings.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On Aug 15, 2008

Bob,

Thanks so much for your help on the phone. As we discussed I would like to create some shade outside my 18 foot dome for burning man and currently have 2 shade cloths. Please email me your ideas on how to pull the cloth out to a "porch" and what supplies you think I may need so I can bring them with me.

Thanks so much!

C.

Here is the drawing of a possible porch you could make. Be sure to study the manual as to how to attach the sunshade to the dome and how to set the stakes safely: Manual: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html

 


On Aug 16, 2008

Avalible at many hardware stores.

A customer tells me There is a clear long lasting duct tape. Lets recommends this also not as ugly as the gray on our white domes.


On Aug 12, 2008

Dear Bob,

1. What is the estimated setup time of the 31' Yurt Dome?

Two strong people 45 minutes. The first time longer

2. What is the expected lifespan of the domes, that are used frequently but for
short periods (one setup per week, for one or two days time?)

It is the sun that most times wears the dome out. It should last at least 3 years in most climates. Less in high elevations more with shade.

3. Is the fabric easy to clean? What detergents can be used to obtain original
colour?

It cleans well with most detergents.

4. Is it possible (with reasonable use of energy) to heat up the interior of the
largest domes (30 or 31') to 30 Celcius degrees in winter (outside temperature
-15 Celcius)? What is the best heating option?

Lets see ... 86 F from 5 F . I have not had personal experience with the 30 and 31 heating but we have sold them where people have used them in winters so my guess is yes. I have found it easy to heat a 20' with liner in below freezing temperatures with a small wood stove. Why so hot? The domes are easy to heat but do not hold the heat well if you turn your heater off. They also collect and are warmed somewhat by the sun.

5. Do you supply any prefabricated "tunnels" for connecting several domes with
each other?

The domes can be connected door to door: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html
We do make tunnels but they are not made to connect the domes: http://www.shelter-systems.com/tunnle-shelters.html

6. What are the possibilities (prefferably in 30, 31' domes) of attaching
anything (like lighting elements) to the structure of the dome? What is the
maximum weight that can be attached?

At each pole crossing there is a clip on the inside of the dome that can support about 8 lb.

7. What is the delivery price and time (if you can also arrange intercontinental delivery) of the domes to Warsaw, Poland, counting from the
day of the order?

Please contact 831-464-2002 eleanor@shelter-systems.com for shipping and timing questions.

Thank you in advance for your reply.

Sincerely,
Rafal


Dealing with wind blown dust on the playa and your Shelter Systems Yurt Dome. Use Scotch Heavy Duty All-Weather Duct Tape 1-800-494-3552 (regular duct tape does not hold up in the sun) available at many hardware stores for sealing up unused doors, floor to wall or shingleing when in extream dust conditions. Apply tape to dome when it is clean and dry Use only one door for entering and exiting your dome. Seal your other doors with tape. Attach sticky back Velcro on the door you use (apply when clean and dry - it takes about 24 hours for the glue on the velcro to set). Consider using just one side of your door when conditions are windy. Tuck your dome's skirt under your tarp floor and then tape your floor to your dome's skirt on the inside of your dome. Weight down your floor with all the objects you have (in high wind, wind will blow under your floor and lift it up shaking dust into the air. Seal the horizontal shingles with tape on the windward side of your dome and or any shingle that leaks dust.


On Aug 10, 2008

Bob,

I'm close to ordering a 30' dome with an intention to install it at my
parent's farm in Western Pennsylvania. I plan to live in it year round.

I have a few questions:

Is it possible and/or recommended to install the woodstove stack up
through the center of the dome? I like the idea of centralizing the heat
source, getting a good draft and taking advantage of the heat that comes
off the stack

What is the best way to seal the wall/floor juncture against rodents and
unwanted bugs
? My plan is to build a 5-6 inch gravel mound for the base
of the dome. I do plan to install a liner.

Thanks for your help. I hope to be enjoying a dome before this coming
winter.

Chris

Chris,

I imagine this could be done but it is not something I have done, in part do to the leakage problems that may occur from the hole you would need to cut. Note that you would want to use insulated pipe and keep it away from poles and the dome covering so that it does not melt either. Also, note that the domes poles cross in the top center of the dome. We recommend putting your stove pipe through a door opening: see our online Manual: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html The dome is easy to heat especially with a liner.

You will want to install a vapor barrier in your dome which can be a large blue tarp. Gravel can if not toped with soil can make for a "crunchy" floor base. The dome has a short skirt that sits on the ground outside your dome; inside your "tarp floor should be cut so it goes up the inside wall of your dome. You could tape your floor to the wall with UV stabilized "Gray" Duct Tape, but this is usually not needed. Rodents and bugs are best detoured by keeping your dome clean and storing all food in mouse proof containers. You cannot entirely exclude them but if they do not find food they will tend to stay away.

Be sure to read our wind and snow warnings: http://www.shelter-systems.com/warning.html

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On Jul 17, 2008

Hi Bob

we were using an 18' dome at a festival and at about 10:30 at night an approximately 70 mph wind blew in for 20 or 30 minutes and caught our dome and pulled it from the ground and rolled it for 1/4 mile into a barb wire fence. I wanted to tell you how impressed I was to find that it had only 4 small holes the size as a finger nail, one pole broke and one clip pulled off. It is just incredible


Jul 17, 2008

We bought an 18' dome for projection. It is fantastic, looks great and the projection screen is excellent. We are Thrilled. Thanks


On Jul 11, 2008

Dear Shelter System People, See answers in text below

No, you don’t know me but I’ve been studying your website for 14 months, dreaming about your shelters and how one or more of them will change our lives. I’ve had many conversations with you in my colorful imagination and have almost called you countless times. I’ve quietly fought a continuous stream of opposition from friends and family who seem to be against my yurt idea from the moment they hear about it. But since they already think I’m nuts I’m going ahead with the idea in spite of popular opinion. I’ve saved up all the money I’ll need and am now working on the preparation of two sites on my own 10 acres in Valparaiso, Indiana, 40 miles outside of Chicago. My shelter(s) will function as overflow housing for my children and their children, friends and partners, as my office, an art studio for one daughter, and/or a grow shelter. They may make a trip to Rock City, the Everglades, or the Outer Banks. If nothing else one will provide a place of quiet privacy for me and my cat.

I have some questions. I’d written them down before calling you today but got an answering machine. I couldn’t leave a message because I may not be available when you call back. (I’m working from home).

Here is an outline of the things I want to talk about


Your Suggestions for which size or type?
I’m leaning toward one 30’ and one 20’

........Take a look at: http://www.shelter-systems.com/sizes.html

Potential Uses:
Overflow housing
Art studio
Office
Grow shelter – can a yurt’s material be half clear and half white?

........We can make a greenhouse that is half white and half greenhouse but note that the greenhouse covering is not fire retarded.

Decisions

Materials– greenhouse or white

Could there be 2 Doors?

........The 20' has 4 doors. The 30' has 8.

A backdoor tunnel connecting to the camper door?

........See: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html

Instructions for Attaching a Door to Door Connection Strip

Parts: Strip 3' by 16' for 18' dome or yurt, 8 Grip Clips, 8 clip cords. This strip when attached properly will join two dome doors tightly and create a gutter between them that redirects water to the base outside the domes.

On a windless day set up two domes next to each other such that two doors are facing each other. Roll up and tuck the two door coverings over the poles at the top of the doors. Move the domes together so that the base of the door openings touch each other. Follow carefully the instructions in you manual to secure your dome to the ground using all means necessary.

1) Knot end of each cord. Feed the un-knotted end of the cords through the concave side of each the "button" ends of the clips. Using the Clipping Instructions at the end of your manual attach two clips to the center end of the connection strip about 8"from the end, such that these clips are about 4" from each other.

2) Enter one of the domes and lay out your connection strip under the two door openings so that the button clip cords are to one side and centered in the door ways. The cords should be facing up and close to one of the sides of the openings.

3) Slip and tie tight one of the connector clip cords through the clip hole at the base and inside the doing closet to that clip. Repeat this with the other button clip cords inside the other dome. You will now have join these two domes together with the connecter strip.

4) Keeping the connector strip centered and tight apply two clips to the connector strip so that the button cord is on the same side of the strip as the first two clips and such that when these two clips are tied to the inside upper clips of the two, they pull the connector strip tight and centered. You may need to remove and reposition these two clips to get the connector strip tight, centered and even.

5) Next proceed to do the same for the next two door way clips. Keep the strip centered and tight.

6) Finely, secure the remaining two base clips. The connection strip should now be secured tight to the walls inside both domes creating an air closure and water tight connection.

7) You may carefully trim excess material from the strip.

8) If your soil does not drain well then make a ditch around your dome to direct water away from the domes.

9) If you need to make more connection strips you can remove the one you have fitted and use it as a pattern to make other strips.


Windows
How big are windows?

......20' has 4 about 1.5 sq foot each

......30' up to 8 can be added about 3 sq foot each. These are extra $35 each.

Do any come with it? How much extra for each? How many can you have in one yurt?

Floor –Compare buying your floor to making one out of storebought tarps or your fabric.

Tarp used as a floor is less expensive and works fine.

Chimney – I live in a cold climate how common is woodstove use in yurts for cooler days? I may move it inside the barn in winter to avoid snow accumulation.

........See: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html

........Be sure to read our snow and wind warnings: http://www.shelter-systems.com/warning.html

Cost of options (chimney, windows, whatever else is available).

.......see: http://www.shelter-systems.com/accessories.html

Site Idea– one is now grass, fairly level but lumpy. The other is a spot where truckloads of fill has been dumped but not yet smoothed and leveled. I thought I’d have it leveled with clay or sand then lay some kind of dark stone, tile, asphalt, or concrete to absorb solar heat in the winter. In the summer I’d create shade and use rugs.

I’m excited by the thought of finally communicating with you and moving forward toward my shelters. If you’d rather talk on the phone than answer via email let’s set up a time when I won’t have to worry about work interruptions. I live on Central Time but my work hours end at 4:20 Eastern Time. (I telecommute to New Hampshire).

I feel confident that you will be there to help me prove my family wrong about the craziness of it ordering yurts.
Thank you for being who you are and having such a wonderful website.

Bye for now.
Debbie


On Jul 10, 2008

Hi Bob,

I have been using one of your 18' extra strong yurt domes at Burning Man for the past four years, to great success. This year I am considering modifying the doors to secure the loose material from flapping in the wind. I would greatly appreciate your insight as to the feasibility of what I propose.

I would like to attach velcro to the side of the doors. I am considering using a self-locking variety to avoid the prospect of dust clogging the loop side of traditional velcro. I think that sewing through the dome's material would cause tear-out problems, so I'm leaning toward glue. Do you know of an adhesive that would work with the dome's material and wouldn't flake out under intense sunlight?

Thanks for your help. I love your product. I just recommended your domes to two friends in Minneapolis who I think are planning on making a purchase.

Sincerely,

Pete Loeffler

Hi Pete

Sewing will not significantly weaken the domes covering. Preferabley choose 10 or less stitches per inch.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


Date: July 8, 2008

Hello:
I am excited to see your product. It could put an end to an ongoing problem we have. My husband and are ranchers in northeast Wyoming.
During the month of March,when the weather is at its' worst we calve out our heifers. We bring in our heavies to a barn with an attached shed that measures 70' X 90' with an opening of 16' x 12' where the opening is makes it impossible to hang a sliding door, or a split swinging door. We can't lower the opening as we need it the full 16' to accomadate a semi truck and trailer as well.Every year we go through the brain damage of hanging quality heat holding tarps, that are expensive,heavy and difficult to work with.
Then we watch the extreme winds, ice,snow,rain and eventually sun shred the tarps off leaving only the grommets. We have tried every product available and had our best luck with tarp bungies, but they rot in about a year as well.
Do you thik you grip clip will hold the weight across the top of the opening, holding a heavyweight waterproof tarp 16' long and attach the sides to framework to hold the tarp in place? If so what size and how far apart for the top, and what size for the sides and how far apart. Woudl it be okay to graduate smaller as we come down the sides. Could we incorporate bungies along the sides for more flex against the wind or would that not be necessary with your clip?
Thank you in advance for your help and will purchas as advised.
Cricket

Hi Cricket

I think our Grip Clips would help hold your tarp. They grip a much larger area of tarp then the tarp's standard grommets and do not poke holes in the tarp which weaken the tarp even more. I would recommend you try some of the Heavy Duty and some of the General Purpose. Bungies of the heavy duty black rubber type are a good idea also as these can help dampen down tarp's vibration, which contributes a lot to the degradation of tarps.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


Date: July 7, 2008
Subject: yurt pictures

Hi Bob-

As per our conversation, attached please find photos of our damaged yurts.

I am hoping you can give me some guidance on why this may have happened and how I can get the yurts repaired or replaced under your guarantee.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Cathy

Cathy

Thank you for sending the photos of your two wind damaged yurts. Unfortunately our guarantee does not cover wind damage. However you can repair the domes at your location or ship the two damaged domes to us and we can repair them here for a small fee and ship them back to you.

As to why it may have happen; since I was not there, I can only guess that you had some very strong wind blow through. Some of the stakes may have been loosened by rain or just the soil was loose; the two damaged domes could have pulled free except for one stake, which then being overloaded, ripped out the clip from the dome.

The damage to coverings appears to be were clips where attached. This type of damage is difficult to patch and we suggest you replace the damaged panels.

If you chose to repair the yurts at your location we can ship you replacement panels ($65 for each panel which includes 3 Heavy Duty Grip Clips and cords). You would then need to remove the damaged panels and insert the new ones reattaching using the Grip Clips.

If you wish to ship your damaged dome's coverings (no need to ship the poles) to us for repair, we would replace the torn panel or panels and ship them back to you. From your photos and assuming there is no other damage, we would need to replace the two torn panels one for each dome see attached estimate for pricing.

Please contact eleanor@shelter-systems.com to arrange your repair.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On Jul 6, 2008

Bob,

I am so happy I found your dome site. I have been looking at the Pacific Dome -- I like it but it is very expensive compared to your dome what would you say the main difference is other than cost?

David

Dave

I do not know Pacific Domes well enough to compare in detail however our dome is lighter in weight, much faster and easier to put up, much more portable.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On Jul 3, 2008

Hi--I am a spinner/weaver and the house I'm moving to doesn't have enough room for all my equipment, supplies, etc. I'm wondering if an 18' tent on a wooden floor would work as a studio space. It may take a couple of years to get enough saved to build a more permanent structure so it would be used non-stop for 2 years or so. Thanks Hilly

My guess it would but be sure to check out our http://www.shelter-systems.com/yurt-dome-testimonials.html and http://www.shelter-systems.com/warning.html You may not need a woden floor: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html Let me know if you have questions

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


Date: July 2, 2008

I was wanting to know if you can put a wod stove in the 20' dome. does it come with an opening in the ceiling for the stove pipe to go through? Any information you could provide to me about this would be helpful. Thank you.

Hi Amanda

We do not include a stove jack with our domes but they are not hard to install: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html :

Keep all flames and heat away from your dome's covering and other objects in your dome. If possible have your stove pipe come out the back of your stove and pass through the plywood wall. If your stove pipe exits your stove at the top then place an elbow as close to your stove as possible.

Attach a horizontal section of pipe to this elbow and pass this pipe through the wall such that it will slant slightly down towards the outside. This will keep rain from following the pipe and dripping inside your dome. We recommend using insulated stovepipe throughout. Place an elbow on the outside. Attach a vertical pipe on the outside pipe and a spark arrester cap on top. Use steel wire to support and stabilize the pipe outside the dome. Loop it around the elbow so it lifts and supports the weight of the horizontal pipe. Another wire will be needed around the vertical pipe to keep it upright and stable in the wind. Tie the other ends of the wires to the dome and or attach them to wooden poles driven into the ground. The wires should be tight enough to lift the horizontal pipe so that it is centered through the hole in the wall and not touching the fabric. Local codes may require other installation procedures.

Carefully follow the instructions given with your heater. It is best if you can get a vented heater so that combustibles are expelled from your dome. When a fuel is burn it produces water vapor which will add to the dampness of your space; and carbon dioxide which can suffocate you if you were in an airtight room. The other reason is the fumes which the heater produces can smell and if burnt incompletely produce carbon monoxide (this not the carbon dioxide we mention above but more dangerous and can kill you. Now there are heaters which claim to be safe with out being vented. Read and follow their directions.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


Date: July 6, 2008

Hi Eleanor,

Many thanks once again for our wonderful yurt dome - we received it yesterday and put it up immediately!

It's a wonderful thing and we are so pleased with it - we have just a small query - we tried taking one side off in order to make it an open fronted dome (for use at festivals/trade shows etc) but it made it really unstable. Are we doing wrong just to take out one arc?

Regards,
Ian

Ian

Try this: First stake out your dome then un-clip the tension band on two adjacent doors; un-stake under the arch that connects the two doors; remove the poles under the arch; roll up the covering under the arch; tie the rolled up covering to the arch clips.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


Date: July 4, 2008

Hi Bob

We at the Eden Porjetc are trying ot encourage kids to go out and play instead of sitting in front of computers.

For a demonstration, we have got events on site showing how to build Dens that they can invite friends to play games in.

Can you possibly tell me the cost of the clips if we were to buy for small kits for kids to make a simple Tee Pee shape? We can put the poles inside the kit, if we can give them a easy clip to fit the Cover/Tarp and protect them a bit from the British rain..

We would be looking at 200 pieces only at a start.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Regards

Sushma

Sushma

I would recommend the General Purpose if you are using blue tarps and the Heavy Duty if canvas. The # clips per tee pee depends on the size of the tee pee. If you tell me as size of the tee pee I could suggest how many clips but as a guess I would say about 18 - 25. You will need stakes to hold the covering to the ground.

I will ask the order desk eleanor@shelter-systems.com to quote you a price.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On Jun 30, 2008

Hello

A few years back I purchased a 31’ dome for the Black Rock Boutique to take to burning man. Bob and I have several conversations about whether it was playa worthy. He mentioned that the 30’ was probably a much better choice for the playa and would handle the wind better. At the time, we really need a larger, taller dome, and despite not being sure if it would work, the 31’ shelter-system dome was our best choice.

I logged into your website the other day to try and figure out how many large poles we are supposed to have for the dome (it’s inventory time). I noticed a section on burning man domes on your site. I figured I should get back to you with our experience with the 31’ dome, in case customers ask.

For the most part it handled fine. Setting it up was no problem. We covered it with a huge aluminet cloth, and a colorful cover over that.

In 2006, there was one pretty big storm. Our camp all had to hold the dome down and it was lifting off the ground. We also pulled the bottom row of poles out, as suggested in the manual. At some point several poles bent and the dome caved in on itself. After the storm ended, we grabbed some extra poles, popped the bent ones out, put the new ones in, and the dome popped right back up.

Last year we had a few storms. Same thing happened. Our whole camp furiously held the dome down to keep it on the ground. We also bungeed open several of the upper windows, which helped a little bit with air flowing through. I believe the dome collapsed due to bent poles at least once, but possibly twice.

We are hoping to replace the dome next year with something a little more playa sturdy. In 2006 the boutique was a very weak camp, with low participation, so the most important aspect of our main structure was that it would set up quickly and easily, which it did. Now that we are a solid camp, I think we can handle a more strenuous set up.

We also have two other shelter-system domes, (a 12’ and an 18 or 20’) both have been great on the playa. Overall have been very happy- the 31' has served us well, despite the collapses.

Just in case anyone asks about a 31’ on the playa, please let them know they will want to bring extra poles and may be holding it down in a storm.

Thanks

Eric

Hi Eric

Thanks for the feed back.

I am wondering: you mentioned you "held the dome down" did it pull out the stakes? was it staked all the way around? If you decide to use it again at BM see the added section in the online manual:

http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html

Another way to make your dome stronger in the wind is to add an additional set of "base poles" (12 extra poles for the 14', 18', and 20') (20 extra poles for the 30' or 31').

You will also need two "connectors" and two " clip cords" for each of your extra base poles so you can tie them tightly to the Grip Clips cords that support the existing dome's base poles.

This is best done with your dome set up. Tie the connectors tight to the Grip Clip cords above and below the domes base poles and then bend and insert your extra poles into these connectors.

You do not have to remove these connectors when you take the dome down. Just remove the extra poles by bending as you would any of the other domes poles. With your dome well staked out set guy-lines off of each the clip cords at the top of your base poles. Be sure to hang strips of cloth, etc. to your guy-lines to avoid tripping hazards. Include a heavy duty shock cord in each of your guy-lines so that the dome will have some give and take.

Using this same approach an extra set of ring poles can be added for additional strength. See our online manual for more information on staking above. Even though stronger, your dome can still fail: be sure to read our wind warnings below and: http://www.shelter-systems.com/warning.html Extra poles, connectors and clip cords can be found at our Accessory Page: http://www.shelter-systems.com/accessories.html

You might find these SuperStakes of use also: http://www.shelter-systems.com/accessories.html

SuperStakes™
Super strong 18" galvanized steel stakes for extra holding power. Be sure to face the hook away from the dome and drive the hook so it enters the ground. This will prevent the stake from rotating and releasing its hold on the dome. Use a 3/8" cord to make a stake loop on the Grip Clip cords to drive the stake through. To remove stake from the ground slip another stake under the hook and lever the stake free.
Price Set of 4 for $32, or $96 for a set of 12

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On Jun 27, 2008

Hi, Bob.

I would like to buy a 30' dome, with the nylon fabric. If it's at all
possible for me to have it open at the bottom, say up to 6' or even
8', that would be ideal, but I think you have the best product out
there regardless.

Our plan right now is to use heavy-duty grip clips to suspend
shadier netting underneath the nylon fabric, within the dome,
to create a "homey" atmosphere. Is it possible for us to have
this ready by early August? We would like to test-fly it a couple
times before going out to the Playa with it.

I know that you recommend against putting any shade over
it other than the black shade covering -- do you also recommend
against painting it?

Are there chemicals in water-based latex paint
(ie, housepaint) that would hasten breakdown of the copolymer?

Thanks,

Conni

Hi Connie

I will try to answer your questions.

I should point out that the covering we use on our domes is not nylon. The 30' dome we make is standard with 8 doors. You can open up more wall panels but since the covering adds strength to the dome doing so will weaken the dome somewhat. Replacing the diagonal tension lines with rope (corner to corner) in the panels you open will help maintain the tension you lose by opening the panel.

Please check with the order desk to see if have the 30' in stock. If we do not it is usually just 3 or 4 days but as we get into August we can get very busy.

Many people have applied paint to their dome and so far none have reported problems. I do not know of any problems useing latex paint; but try it first on the skirt of the dome.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On Jun 13, 2008

Hi Bob

Thank you for spending time with me today to discuss the dome I'm building for BM and the clips you think are best suited for the billboard vinyl I will be using for my cover

After we spoke, I purchased the vinyl. It should be here by the end of next week

This is the company I purchased it from
http://www.pointonepremiums.com/

I called Elenaor to discuss ordering the clips, but I had to leave a message. I'll catch up with her shortly .. I'm not concerned about it. It was the vinyl I most wanted to get sorted out ASAP... as it's heavy and has to be shipped "ground"

Attached I've given you a picture of the dome (as is current in my backyard). [note some of the colors on the bars are wrong, i need to correct them]. I also don't have my "entrance" defined yet.. I have some ideas but wanted to work them out in conjunction with the cover (and I need that in hand first).

Once I have the cover finished, I'll send another picture for you

I'll also send you a sample of the billboard vinyl once I finish the cover and know what's left over (which should be a lot since I got the 20x60 tarp)

Thank you again for your help

Hi Matt

Thanks for the update and photo. I appreciate the link and any future details on about how your covering works out. including photos and vinyl sample. If I can be of further help let me know.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis

Some other tips and links: Frame: http://www.desertdomes.com/index.html      Use Heavy Duty Grip Clips: http://shelter-systems.com/gripclips/     Drape vinyl over frame and pull down all around. Attach clips to tarp about 1foot from bottom of dome's frame Use rope or strong cord attached to clips cord then under bottom frame poles. Pull up on rope and tie. Be sure to stake our your dome so it will not blow away.

On Jun 11, 2008

Hi Bob,

My apology for suggesting you had referred to your dome/yurt materials as "biodegradable." Reviewing your statement on this topic in Q and A, I realized I'd misused the term. Of course the materials can't be biodegradable and stay intact in the weather for very long! Sorry.

We would still like your opinion on off gassing, though, if you would. Is there somewhat of a chemical odor for awhile after raising the dome/yurt? If so, does it completely disappear in a relatively short period of time (hours? days?)?

Thanks,
--Jeanne

Hi Jeanne

I do not notice any odor from the dome but that is not to say that someone else may not but then I have not had any customer tell me they notice an odor from their dome. We offer two types of windows. One is vinyl the other of the same material as the covering. My guess is to skip the vinyl. We do not use urethane, or vinyl in the domes covering.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On Jun 9, 2008

How can I make my dome stronger in the wind.

The simplest way to make your dome stronger in the wind is to add an additional set of "base poles" (12 extra poles for the 14', 18', and 20') (20 extra poles for the 30' or 31').

You will also need two "connectors" and two " clip cords" for each of your extra base poles so you can tie them tightly to the Grip Clips cords that support the existing dome's base poles.

This is best done with your dome set up. Tie the connectors tight to the Grip Clip cords above and below the domes base poles and then bend and insert your extra poles into these connectors.

You do not have to remove these connectors when you take the dome down. Just remove the extra poles by bending as you would any of the other domes poles. With your dome well staked out set guy-lines off of each the clip cords at the top of your base poles. Be sure to hang strips of cloth, etc. to your guy-lines to avoid tripping hazards. Include a heavy duty shock cord in each of your guy-lines so that the dome will have some give and take.

Using this same approach an extra set of ring poles can be added for additional strength. See our online manual for more information on staking: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html    Even though stronger, your dome can still fail: be sure to read our wind warnings: http://www.shelter-systems.com/warning.html    Extra poles, connectors and clip cords can be found at our Accessory Page: http://www.shelter-systems.com/accessories.html


On Jun 7, 2008

Dome frame question

Bob,

I just discovered you domes. As one who is leery of introducing any nore
pvc into the envioronment, are there any other tubing materials (and
joiners) that would work? I assume you have investigated this.

Jim

You can use bamboo, branches, wood strips, aluminum tubing, fiberglass (solid rod or tubing) or any material with sufficient stiffness to flexibility relationship. To get the right stiffness compare to one of our PVC poles of the same length. You will also need to make connectors that your replacement poles fit into with about 1/4" of slack and with the same bending strength as your poles. Connectors are 6" with a hole in the middle (two per pole intersection with 12 for the ground level.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On Jun 2, 2008

Hello.

I'm looking into dome structures for Burning Man, and naturally found my way to your site. I'm looking for something a little larger than your 30' dome, and was wondering about the feasibility of connecting two 30s together in opened-arch form. From your photos, it seems that this would work, but I'm wondering how it would hold up under playa conditions. I'd appreciate any insights you have.

Thanks,
-mattb

Hi Matt

This has been done with the 20' and could be done with the the 30 also. The dome is weaken somewhat because of the truncated poles. I would suggest that you add to the junction arch at least 2 other arch poles. I would also remove rather than tie up the unused wall sections. An arch juncture strip need to be attached inside and to both sides of the juncture, similar to the way two doors are joined (see the online manual: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html ) If you decide to do it please send photos: (Thanks).

Let me know if this is not clear.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On Jun 2, 2008

Bob -

Thanks for your call. Sorry I couldn't talk long. Please send along an estimate for how much it would cost to convert our 30' dome to a 31' x 16' dome.

Appreciate your help!
Kathleen

--
Kathleen

Kathleen,

A conversion kit to turn your 30' dome into a 31' dome including all the parts you would need: 16 panels,36 long poles, 4 short poles, 20 HD Grip Clips each with 2 attached connectors is $840 plus about $90 shipping.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On May 26, 2008

Hi Bob,

I have an 18' dome I bought from Shelter Systems in
2001. This summer, I want to install a woodstove,
venting out one of my doors. According to the website,
you sugget rolling up a door and putting a sheet of
plywood with a circle cut in it to vent the pipe. My
confusion lies in the fact that the width of the door
is wider than 4' (plywood comes as 4' x 8'). How do I
seal the walls of the tent to the plywood to keep
weather and insects out? What inch plywood do you
recommend for this purpose?

Best, Josh

Hi Josh

Use 1/2"plywood that is made with exterior grade glue that will hold up when wet. The plywood "door plug" should be slightly bigger than the door opening and should fit inside the dome with the sides of the door openings lapping over the outside of the plywood. The plywood needs to be widen at the bottom. This can be done with some of the scrap that you cut from top of the plywood. A small triangle can be cut to fit the gap and then attached to the larger "plug" with a 3" wide strip of plywood on both sides of the joint. You can then screw this juncture together or alternatively it can be glued with urethane glue. Drill two small holes near the top of the "plug" so you can tie the plywood to the two clips on the inside of the door opening. You can attach the door opening sides to the plywood with 1" by 1/4" strips of wood nailed or stapled over the over lap of the door opening. More info at: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On May 23, 2008

Hi Bob

I'm looking forward to buying a bubble dome 18 for use in Southern California.

Is there a technique you might recommend for setting up a (semi?) permanent entry to the dome from a house? I'd like to be able to link a doorway (not built yet, any shape is possible) from the back porch to the dome so I could walk right into the dome from the porch, without opening up anything -- just having a "hallway" or portal to the dome. I don't mind spending a bit on materials, but I'd like to end up with something reasonably weatherproof.

Could a second identical dome be linked to the first one I get fairly easily? If I plan to do that, is it possible to get one with two doorways? (One doorway to the porch, one to the second dome)

I see some curves (folds?) on 4 of the rectangular panels in the 20' bubble dome pictured. Are these a required part of the dome, or some option of the purchaser?

I'm aware that the bubble dome is not so stable, so I plan to surround it with piers and lines -- we do occasionally get some wind here.

Thanks

Nick

Hi Nick

See our online manual: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html The following is extracted:

This or a modification of this approach may work to create a water shedding connection for you. Our domes flex in the wind, so create some slack to avoid stressing the connection.

Instructions for Attaching a Door to Door Connection Strip

Parts: Strip 3' by 16' for 18' dome or yurt, 8 Grip Clips, 8 clip cords. ( you will need a longer strip if you use the tall door say: 27') This strip when attached properly will join two dome doors tightly and create a gutter between them that redirects water to the base outside the domes.

On a windless day set up two domes next to each other such that two doors are facing each other. Roll up and tuck the two door coverings over the poles at the top of the doors. Move the domes together so that the base of the door openings touch each other. Follow carefully the instructions in you manual to secure your dome to the ground using all means necessary.

1) Knot end of each cord. Feed the un-knotted end of the cords through the concave side of each the "button" ends of the clips. Using the Clipping Instructions at the end of your manual attach two clips to the center end of the connection strip about 8"from the end, such that these clips are about 4" from each other.

2) Enter one of the domes and lay out your connection strip under the two door openings so that the button clip cords are to one side and centered in the door ways. The cords should be facing up and close to one of the sides of the openings.

3) Slip and tie tight one of the connector clip cords through the clip hole at the base and inside the doing closet to that clip. Repeat this with the other button clip cords inside the other dome. You will now have join these two domes together with the connecter strip.

4) Keeping the connector strip centered and tight apply two clips to the connector strip so that the button cord is on the same side of the strip as the first two clips and such that when these two clips are tied to the inside upper clips of the two, they pull the connector strip tight and centered. You may need to remove and reposition these two clips to get the connector strip tight, centered and even.

5) Next proceed to do the same for the next two door way clips. Keep the strip centered and tight.

6) Finely, secure the remaining two base clips. The connection strip should now be secured tight to the walls inside both domes creating an air closure and water tight connection.

7) You may carefully trim excess material from the strip.

8) If your soil does not drain well then make a ditch around your dome to direct water away from the domes.

9) If you need to make more connection strips you can remove the one you have fitted and use it as a pattern to make other strips.

It is possible to get a bubble dome with two doors but this will weaken the dome. As you note the bubble dome 20 is already weakened by the fact that it is higher in the wind and has a smaller base than the dome. If you are at all concerned about the wind consider using our standard 18 or 30' domes, which are our strongest domes.

Bob Gillis


On May 18, 2008

Hi,

I'm contemplating a 14' star dome as a portable shelter for my astronomy gear. My question is how well these domes hold up to repeated putting up and taking down, perhaps a few dozen times per year? Would the grip clamps eventually wear out the cover material? Are there any other issues with wear and tear if frequent assembly/disassembly is required?

Thanks,
Greg

Hi Greg

Using your dome 12 or more times a year should not wear it out. We had a customer use the dome a a puppet theater putting it up daily for several years without wear problems.

Sincerely, Bob Gillis


On May 13, 2008

Hi Bob,
I'm trying to set this thing up. Only had it up once before and had plenty of help at a festival. Now it's just me and my brother. Am I going to be disappointed with the end result if I shorten some of these poles by a few inches?
Thanks and peace to you,
Jimmy

On May 15, 2008

At most shorten all the poles by only 1/4" each with a hack saw; put it up and see what you think. If it is still tight you could take off another 1/4" off each poles. Shortening all the poles a little is better than shorteing a few a lot. Shortening poles too much will remove tension but could make you covering shaggy.

Sincerely, Bob Gillis

Thanks Bob,
I wasn't brave enough to do any chopping until i heard fro you and so we kept fooling around with it and discovered some techniques that worked well. The uprights go in much easier if you start at the bottom. The tent is now up and doing its job. Thanks.
Peace brother,
Jimmy


On May 21, 2008

Hi,
I wonder how big is the tent you are showing on
the how to put up a tent video: http://www.shelter-systems.com/yurt-dome-set-up-2.mov

Sincerely
Sabina

It is an 18'.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


April 29, 2008

Dear Bob,
Thank you for your advice and suggestions regarding the size and use of the domes for us to live in. I have been trying to find the most suitable size for the situation of our land in Queensland, Australia. My husband and I would like to live on the land for a while to find the most suitable site for our house construction.

I made models of your dome tents as in photo below

(the figures are not to true scale, but these were models of the 8', 14' 18' 20' and 30', so that we had an idea of how the size changes by height and volume as well as base size.)

"Make your own modles: http://www.shelter-systems.com/modle.html "

The land has a gradient relief map - see below

I enlarged this map to house the models to approx scale. It looked wonderful, and we were able to see the earth works needed for us to camp in a larger size dome. In the end, we dug in a 20 ' platform big enough for us to have either a 10' + 14', or to have one larger 18' dome. We are still debating the pro's and con's of one larger or two smaller domes, and reading what others in a similar situation have done, on your website.

Here is my dream ideal of a tent set up that could be permanent (but not very practical)

As you can see, I am having quite a bit of fun with your domes, without having even purchased one yet! The domes are here on a sharp incline, on decking with Australian Shade cloth designs over head, ranging from a 20' at the bottom to a smaller 10' at the top. They were planned as a kitchen/living space, bedroom for our daughter and finally the top was a meditation and yoga tent. - We might start with something a bit more simple!

Warm regards,
Kate


Our two strongest domes are the 18' and the 30'. These have survived gusts of up to 55 mph for short periods of time. If you are in areas known for strong winds I would not recommend our domes or for that matter any tent. Tents by nature are light weight and portable but problematic in strong or continual winds. Our domes, for the materials used, I believe are the strongest in the world but this will not keep them from failing in extreme conditions. Constant wind will wear on components until one part fails causing the rest of the structure to fail. Be sure to read our wind and snow warnings and our manual about wind and anchoring.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis

On Mar 11, 2008

hi. I am wondering what the highest gusting wind speed you expect your designs to be exposed to in a mountain environment is.


On Mar 5, 2008

Hi Bob, we have one of your 30 domes that we have been using to great effect for exhibitions for a few years now and I would like to know what possibility there is for hanging lights and other objects inside the tent, can we use grip clips on the tent itself ?
Look forward to hearing back from you soon.
Thanks very much.
Best regards

Rory

You can hang objects from the clips inside your dome. Use common sense as to how much to hang: do not hang so much that the dome or clip is over stressed or sages in.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On Mar 8, 2008

Hello Bob,

We are the couple that called you last weekend with questions concerning our 20' greenhouse we were putting up. We got it up and everything but I notice that the temperature doesn't seem to be getting any warmer inside the dome than the outside temperature. Me have it mounted to a huge concrete patio and I am wondering if the concrete is acting like a huge heat sink preventing it from heating up. If that's the case it will be great in the summer (we live in Texas!), but what would you suggest we do when we actually need heat?

Laurie

Hi Laurie

It might be that your concrete is absorbing heat. Is the greenhouse in full sun? Are you checking with an indoor and outdoor (keep in the shade) thermometers? If it is the case that your patio is absorbing most of the heat, it should eventually heat up to the point that it holds heat into the night. An old rug with or with out foam back could help insulate the air in your dome from the heat sink of your concrete. You could alternatively lay down plywood or wood decking as insolation. Or, how about chopped tree bark with stepping stones trails to your plants.

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


Hi,

I run a camp in Hawaii, and am interested in some temporary shelters – wondering how many the 18’ dome would sleep? And do the optional floors seal for waterproofness, as well as the optional porch? Do doors have zipper closures or how do they fasten? I would be interested in shipping rates to Colorado and Hawaii, for comparison.

Aloha,

Todd

Todd

Answers to your questions:

Our 18' will sleep four to ten depending on if in cots or not.

Our floors fit inside the dome and up against the walls about 4 " (bathtub type; they tie in. - rain runs down the outside of the dome and since there is no sewing does not wick to the floor).

The porch is tied to the dome's poles over a door opening so that the door can be opened without vertical rain falling into the opening. It also allows you to take off wet gear before entering the dome.

Our doors hook close at the two lower corners. Zippers a a nuisance if you are using your dome more than just for one night and they brake or jam with use. Our doors overlap the dome side walls by about 3 ". We also include binder clips to secure the doors to walls in wind. Optional sticky back velcro can be used. A pole is provided that can be added to the bottom of the door that functions as a weight, such that when one corner of the door is hooked, you can walk up to the door, grab the other side of the door, swing it open, walk in and the door will swing closed after you (try that with a zipper door).

Please contact Eleanor for shipping details: 866-777-1066 eleanor@shelter-systems.com

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


On Mar 2, 2008

Hi There,

I purchased an 18' Playadome from you in January, and I just set it up in my backyard as a test. The primary purpose of the dome is for use at Burning Man. I'm very impressed so far with the design and the easy set up.

I'm curious about securing the dome against the high wind gusts that sometimes happen on the Playa. Are the 12" included pegs sufficient in your opinion, or should I use guy lines as well? Very few pictures on your site show the use of guy lines, so I get the impression that would be overkill.

Thanks,

Karl

Hi Karl

Generally we have found our 12" stakes are sufficient for the Playa; but heres the rub: you never know what the condition is of the Playa is going to be and once you are out the closest home depot is in reno; so its only smart to at least take along 10 or 20 - 18" rebar stakes with heavy cord to attach them to the domes clips: see manual: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html Guy lines: most of the time the domes do well with out but be prepared for that one and ten year wind storm: at least bring them along and watch the wind and if you have any doubt set guy-lines with bungee cords as described in the manual: http://www.shelter-systems.com/lighthouse-manual.html

Sincerely,

Bob Gillis


February 11, 2008

Eleanor,

Outdoor Classroom

Last year, we searched the internet for a solution to a good problem. Our educational programs for youth had outgrown our indoor classroom facilities. While most of the education is outdoor-based – it is important to have a covered, weather-proof zone to gather and conduct some instruction. When I happened upon the your website, and saw the dome yurt – I thought our search was over. The holding capacity, shape (blends in with our cold-frame greenhouses), and sturdy construction made the decision an easy one. It did take a bit of convincing for the board to release the funds, which for a non-profit, are very precious. But they saw what I saw – an opportunity to increase the scope and breadth of our educational outreach to youth.

When the packages arrived, a team of four weathered the cold to construct the dome yurt – only hours before a group of 25 girl scouts were scheduled to participate in a full day of nature exploration. It was an instant hit with the entire staff, and most importantly the young ladies whose laughter and song filled every “round” inch of the dome. With our new classroom firmly in place, the sky became the limit in terms of scheduling more and more youth programs.


Bronwyn
Education Director


On Jan 4, 2008

1. Can an 18 ft. yurt/dome be kept warm with an electric radiator heater when the temperature is in the lower 20s or upper teens?

The answer is yes, with a large enough heater. How large... can't say... but it would only take a small wood stove. Electric heat is expensive but if you are willing to sit in front of a radiant heater you can heat your body but not the whole dome's air. Another issue with radiant heater is that many are not "vented" and will add moisture and carbon dioxide to the air in your dome. For these reasons you should use a vented heater.

2. Would a lining be necessary to keep it warm at these temperatures?

Adding a liner will save fuel but with a big enough heater you will not need a liner.

3. I am interested in your "extra strong" version. If I understand correctly it does not have windows. Can it be made with windows?

The Extra Strong has 4 translucent windows that let through more light than glass (yet you can not see clearly through it). If you want to see out, order your dome standard which comes with clear vinyl windows.

Thanks, Fonda

Also see: Q&A 3/2011  5/2009  3/2009  11/2008  2008  2007  3/2007  2003  Testimonials


1 1/2-YEAR GUARANTEE. If for any reason you're not completely pleased with your purchase, return it in original, dry and clean condition within 30 days of receipt for a full refund or exchange as you wish. All items in this catalog have a warranty against defects in materials and workmanship for 1 1/2 years. Should any product prove defective we will repair or replace it at no cost to you. Special Orders are not returnable. Read Snow and Wind Warnings.

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