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Old 12-09-2012, 08:43 AM   #1
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Ok, I am not a big company, and I am spread a little thin at the moment, but I am still here.

Australia is my next big push, and I think yurts are a natural for New Zealand. My Kiwi friends here are telling me the government estimates it will 5 years before things will be rebuilt and normal after the earthquakes. But I am getting ahead of myself.

I am: Home Page.

Things are a little shaky at the moment, not business wise, but getting things landed is being a little difficult. Maybe someone here can give me a suggestion?

The gal who was receiving for me in Seattle is getting a divorce, and I am not getting answers from her when I email her, but I am honest, and I won't lie to anyone about what is going on from my end. Know a good honest person who lives around Seattle or Tacoma that has a good dry garage and can hire a U-haul with at tail gate lift and a pallet jack a few times a year?

My home is in Montana, but I am currently living in China, near Hong Kong and Macau. It is weird and crazy, and wonderful and the most frustrating place I have ever lived, but things are happening here. Unfortunately I can't be on both sides of the Pacific at once, and selling yurts is not how I earn my primary living.

Have a look at my website, and feel free to ask any questions you can come up with. I will answer to the best of my ability, and I will tell you if I don't really know.

I have gotten really excited lately when I started investigating LED lights. They are a natural for yurts and I am currently engineering a set-up that would make them a cinch to install using low voltage wiring (12V) for off grid, or using a 120V transformer and having the rest of the wiring still run at 12V. I am hoping to have this all worked out before spring "yurt" season.

I am not talking about little mood lights, though they are available, but nice, bright, white or yellow lights that are great for reading and food preparation or what ever other work space or casual lighting you might need. I use them here in my apartment, and bounce a 4 watt 12V off the (10 foot) ceiling for sitting around the house, and read using a 7 watt in the same manner.

I am excited about it. Maybe I am just a miser, but when I think about the 3 - 75 watt bulbs that I used to be burning in my living room before I started playing with these, I am just aghast. I could use the LED for more than 30 hours and use the same wattage?

That can't be good, and electricity DOUBLED in price here last spring. Luckily I am not a big user.

I am not sure how this works, or if I am stepping out of bounds, but I am counting on Mr. Moderator to straighten me out if I am in the wrong by writing here.

Rod

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Old 08-23-2013, 04:28 PM   #2
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Hello!

I hope that you were able to find a new receiver since this was posted. I've been lurking around the forums and had a few questions about your yurts. I hope it's not too imposing to post the questions here.

I'm very intrigued by the metal framing you use in your yurts. It's very different than what I see elsewhere, and I was hoping you could give me some more information about how it differs from most of what you find in North America?

Are the steel beams hollow, and what are their approximate dimensions? Do you know the approximate weight of a 14'8" or 13'2" yurt? Or, more importantly is it lighter or heavier than a wooden yurt of the same size?

How portable do you think it is? Can two people put it up or take it down easily?

I'm also judging by the photo of the steel frame on your website, but does style not have a lattice style wall construction?

I have a few more, but these are my primary questions. I like how candid you are in your website description! It makes it sound like you are working and speaking with an actual person instead of a large, polished, PR oriented company.

Also, have you had anyone take you up on the "weird discount" program so I can see images of the setup, etc?

Thanks again!
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Old 08-23-2013, 11:08 PM   #3
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Hi OE,

At the moment I don't have a new receiver, but I am talking with a couple guys,and I feel sure will be worked out my the first of the year when my normal shipping process starts again. You can talk to me if that is a problem. Also this is no imposition to me, as long as Jafo doesn't have a problem with my self-evaluation.

The metal framing is different than you see in most yurts. It is both better and worse, depending on your frame of reference. (pun intended)

The metal uprights and rafters are standard pipe, and the spacers are standard angle, so if you lose or damage something, it is easy to get a spare made. Take a sample to your local metal working shop and they can make it pretty quickly. Back over some of the pipes and bend them? Take a hammer, tree stump and a little sweat and things are as good as new.

A yurt locker is always the same diameter, and always fits the cover the same way, and it is "self-rounding". The rafters enforce the circular shape and are well interlocked. no spiralling and no twisting of the rafters.

Lattice can have a little more leeway as to height and roundness. Less so with the US factory yurts, more so with the Mongolian style yurts.

Is the metal it as beautiful as the crossed sticks of a traditional yurt? Maybe not, but mostly the walls are covered with a liner, so it isn't really too big a issue for me. You have decide if the utility or the wooden diamonds are more important for you. I very quickly don't notice it.

Storage? The metal frame can take more abuse, of course you should avoid abusing it if you can, whether wood or metal, and always take particular care with the covers.

If I had to guess I would say the metal frame might be a little heavier in the smaller yurts, and much lighter in the larger yurts. I have not done the actual comparison, but it seems almost impossible unless you have a particular model and know if you will order the snow load kit or have extra bracing, etc. The approximate weights of each size of my yurts are on the order page in a downloadable pdf called (since you are in the USA):

Basic Pricing Information and General Specifications Using Feet, Inches and Pounds.

The weight is broken out separately by frame weight and cover weight if that is helpful. The covers, top and walls come standard insulated with polyester felt that nothing wants to eat. The walls have 3 zip-open plastic windows with bug screens inside and canvas covers outside, one larger, two smaller.

There is no lattice in my yurts. I don't have a problem with lattice, it just isn't for me. No, just joking, it just isn't the style I am doing. Metal frames do make it easier to add "hard windows" should you ever decide to put it in a permanent place. Just weld brackets into the frame. They are also just as easy to remove. Pull them out, patch the cover, and put an original style wall support back in place.

Which is stronger? I have no idea, and it would depend very much on the cross bracing and snow load packages and all that stuff. At the factory they were happy to hang half a dozen guys from the tono, and laughed about it. They said they had never had a bent frame, and they said they have hung 250 kilograms (550 pounds) from the tono of a covered yurt with no problems. I was there when there was a good 18" of snow on the yurts, no problems.

I appreciate the feed back on my website. I am trying to let people know they are dealing with a real person, not a corporate entity. Once again, there are advantages both ways. I am not trying to fool anyone, just offer another option.

So far I have had 2 people who said they wanted to take advantage of the weird discount... but I have never heard from them again, and it has been almost a year now.

Again, both good and bad. I would have really liked the pictures, but I also presume things went smoothly for them since I have never heard back from them... and I haven't changed my email or phone number, hahaha.

Since I don't have more to offer you in that department, have you downloaded and looked at the:
"Erecting a Yurt Locker Yurt - Model 12m2 to Model 80m2" ?

It is on the "Other Stuff" page, under "Interesting stuff that may be helpful to you"

See what you think, and I would appreciate any questions or feed back on that pdf. A lot of people were there helping, but it would be almost as easy with 2 or 3 people I think. They had it up and covered in about an hour (+/-) if I remember correctly. No piece is really heavy, accept the top cover. I have since learned another way to place the top cover that seems a little less dangerous than getting on the tono. I should modify that pdf again...

I saw you were talking about floors in another post. My wife and I were just travelling in Mongolia, where they move many of their yurts at least 2 times a year.

They used rolled out and cut-to-shape linoleum flooring as a temporary floor, at least in the summer, I haven't been there in the winter, but I think it is the same. They used a wide clear piece of tape to join the two parts of the linoleum in the ones I stayed in this summer.

I saw where yurts had been moved after having been erected over the grass for about 3 months, and the grass was pale yellow, but was coming back without a serious problem. I think 6 weeks after they were moved you would hardly be able to tell where they were.

You could probably do the same with a pool liner, or an above-ground pool cover, if you found the right size.

They put a scrap of wood under the legs of the furniture to keep it from cutting through the linoleum, and maybe to level them up? A scrap of carpet might be as effective.

Sorry, I tend to be long winded, long typed? long fingered? Not sure what to call it. Hahaha

Let me know if there is anything I didn't make clear, or anything else you want to know that I could help with.


Rod
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Old 08-24-2013, 12:41 AM   #4
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Hi Rod,

Thank you so much for the awesome reply! I was going to get around to asking my random/unusual/weird nomadic question, but you've beaten me to the punch.

I love the simple alternate flooring ideas. Since we would be floating from place to place, it's a little hard to imagine asking someone "Can I set up my yurt here?" and immediately follow that with, "Great! I'm going to grab some cement/hay bales"etc.

The pdf was immensely helpful and answered nearly all of our questions. It made us want to set one up and try it ourselves! I think this would be helpful if it were flagged under the main page or the FAQ as well. Since I've been spending every spare moment researching yurts, my weary eyes skimmed right over it.

I have a few small questions which will be (once again) a bit weird:

Are the materials fire resistant? I didn't notice this called out on your website, but once again I'm starting to dream in yurts.

Also, (here's the really weird one) have you ever heard of them being struck by lightning since it has a metal frame? I'm not sure what the climate is like for the Kazak's, but it's something that popped into my head.

My remaining questions would just be regarding company specific logistics, which I think may be better for a PM? We're still in the beginning stages, but there are lots of things that we are curious about!

A few random observations regarding the website: A few of the photographs are oriented sideways when you enlarge them. I just thought I'd let you know.
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Old 08-24-2013, 02:25 AM   #5
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Hi OE,

Thanks for the feedback. I will try to highlight the yurt setup pdf and make it more prominent.

I will be the first to admit that it was not a beautiful yurt, but it was pretty amazing that they dug it out of storage for me one evening, made a frame for me the next morning, (the paint was still a little tacky on some parts), and put it up the next afternoon.

It went up quick, and there was a lot of people there, but to tell you the truth, most of the guys were running around playing grab-ass, and the gals were mostly talking.

The cover material is treated with fire retardant, but I have been hesitant to put that out there since I am not exactly sure what it means... I know what it should mean, but what does it means in technical terms I am not as sure. I saw plenty of the canvas against the stove pipes in places, but I never saw it charred. No matter what they said I would still be careful and don't trust fire retardant to save you.

Some people aren't as careful as I like to be. I have a healthy respect for fire. I have had the privilege of walking naked, except for a t-shirt, skivvies and my boots through a late deer season rainfall at 5:00 AM the 4 miles back to the truck, teeth chattering and shivering all the way.

A lantern gasket blew out and made the lantern turn into a white gas spewing flame thrower. It was even less fun than it sounds. I remember thinking, at least I remembered to get the truck keys out of what remained of my smouldering pants. My buddy had dug his keys out,and then left them sitting on a rock in camp as we started back, so we drove to a friends house and borrowed clothes so we could walk back up and see what we could salvage, and so he could get in his house when he got home.

I have never seen a chimney in Asia that did not go through the tono, and I have never seen one with a spark arrestor either.

You know, I have not heard of a yurt being struck by lightning, but of course it could happen. Where I was staying at Heavenly Lake, the village was right on the ridge of a good size mountain, the wind was sure active there, and it was pretty exposed.

There were more than a hundred yurts in the village below the ridge, and maybe 40 on top of the ridge. I think they would have had a much better chance of being struck up top than the village under the mountain, but I can't really give you a definitive answer about more. Of course there is a chance.

Many buildings and barns used to commonly have lightning rods. It might work like a lightening rod and draw the electricity into the ground around you, as long as you weren't hanging onto the frame or something metal and creating a better grounding strap than the steel pipe.

By the way, there are 75 pictures, (but some of them may be sideways too) in my yahoo group. You have to join to see them, and some of them you will have seen, but it is just a place to put some pics.

The_Yurt_Locker : The Yurt Locker

If you have other questions you can ask away, or you can email me.


Rod
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Old 08-25-2013, 01:32 AM   #6
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Hi OE,

I agree with you, the commercial companies have a lot more glitz than mine do.

Personally, I could move into that yurt out of storage tomorrow and not be concerned at all. I have enough experience to know it would keep me warm and dry and I would have room to stand and move around. What more would I need that a portable shelter can provide?

Having a yurt order in 2014 seems about right. I have a conversation going with a guy in Seattle, and I think it is going the right direction so that we can come to an understanding, and he may turn out to be my receiver in Seattle. I am not worried there.

On to details:

Like all the other yurt companies,

Yurtlocker

yurts are FOB... Free On Board, which means I pay the shipping to Seattle, you can pick it up in Seattle at no additional cost, or you can arrange shipping from the storage place in Seattle at your cost.

From Seattle to your location is technically your shipping issue. It does not mean I won't try to help.

Check out all the yurt companies, we don't have much choice about it. Shipping charges are different and very varied where ever you go.

Here an example from

Pacific yurts

: Pacific Yurts-Yurt Shipping Info

That being said, I can try to use some contacts to help make the cost more painless, and there are some "tricks" that can make it cost a little less as well. They aren't really tricks, you are just pandering to the convenience of the trucking companies. We can talk more about that if you get closer to an order.

Windows: The standard set up is one larger and 2 smaller windows. Standing at the door and looking inside the yurt, if you were standing at 6 on a clock painted on the floor, the larger window is at about 9, the smaller windows are at about 2 and 4. I hope that helps you visualize it.

A second door is possible, but the smaller the yurt, the more impractical a second door is. Having the necessary walking space eats up a lot of your floor space. We do not recommend a second door in a yurt smaller than the 20 foot diameter (model 30m2)

That being said, a second door is $250.00.

A stove jack through the side wall can be added. The jack itself which is easy enough for you to install is $40.00. If we install it the cost is $60.00. We encourage you to install it yourself to get the location exactly where you want it, but we will happily do it for you.

Personally I like the stove to the right of the door, and I stack wood inside close to the right side of the door so I don't have to carry the wood far inside. Others have told me they like it on the back side of the yurt. They feel like the heat doesn't escape so fast when someone opens the door.

All the yurts I have stayed in in Asia had the stove vented through the tono (the ring at the top) and that puts the heat in the center of the space, so take your choice.

As far as magnets sticking to the frame, I have no doubts about that. I am not sure if they would be as effective as sticking magnets to your refrigerator, not a lot of flat surface there. There is a ring of metal wall support spacers. You can hook onto these pretty safely.

Of course don't go crazy and put something really heavy on them, but anything you might hand on a sheetrock wall you could hang from the wall support spacers.

As far as using yurts in other climates. The guys who bought yurts from me so far in the USA were saying they would use them in Minnesota and Michigan instead of building a cabin.

Yurts (unfortunately not all of them are my yurts, hahaha) are all over the USA, Canada and Alaska in state parks and in the back country. In Montana you can rent them as ski cabins in the back country from MT Parks Department.

On the other hand about 2 hours from where I live here in muggy southern China, there are yurts I have visited in Guangzhou, and there was a big display in Hong Kong a few months ago that was based in an immense yurt.

More questions as you like.

Rod
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Old 08-25-2013, 02:39 AM   #7
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Thanks for the clarification. I thought that FOB meant "Fresh Off the Boat". Hahaha.
That makes quite a bit of sense. Thanks for that.

I knew that there are quite a few yurts around the U.S. but it also seems like quite a few of them are highly specialized for a particular climate (making it a bit harder to decide when you want to ramble). Much like the rumors that Mongolian style yurts (in their original traditional design) may not hold up as well in certain areas of the United States.

So, being someone that doesn't know much about the climate that your yurts call home (other than it getting quite snowy in the winter) - it was really helpful to know where your other customers were taking them!

I think you've given me enough to chew on. I'll let you know if I come up with any other odd questions!
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:54 AM   #8
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Hi HJ,

I am glad it was helpful, and I think this forum is full of helpful folks.

Asking questions is a great way to learn, and there is a lot of combined knowledge in this group.

I feel safe in encouraging you to fire away, um, hopefully after using the search to see if it has been answered.

Rod
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