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Fabric For The Tropics

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Old 07-16-2020, 06:07 PM   #1
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Default Fabric for the Tropics

Hi, new here with the idea of setting up a yurt camp in Nicaragua. Because of it only having two seasons, wet and dry I was thinking of using waterproof ripstop D40 or similar instead of canvas.
Input is widely appreciated. Plus anyhting else to be aware of with yurts in warmer climates.


Thanks and stay safe

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Old 07-18-2020, 09:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: Fabric for the Tropics

My cotton canvas was perfectly livable for three years in Colorados semi arid climate. Marginal the fourth year and shot at five years. Considering cost and the fact it is incredibly comfortable inside, it was perfect. Just plan on redoing the cover every few years. Access to an industrial sewing machine is a must.

If you really want a bombproof cover, go with what the professionals use on their fifteen year covers.
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Old 07-20-2020, 06:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Fabric for the Tropics

Thank you very much. Where could I get a name for the type of canvas you are talking about, the 15 year one? I would need to see if this is available in Nicaragua or go for the next best thing. Is it the sun that eats away at the fabric or the general weather conditions, in your case semi arid Colordo. Stay safe.
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Old 07-20-2020, 07:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: Fabric for the Tropics

The 15 year rated roof is a vinyl called

Durolast

.
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Old 07-20-2020, 09:28 AM   #5
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Default Re: Fabric for the Tropics

Tropical environment kills canvas. Canvas should last the longest in desert.

I guess five years of good service in desert. Tropical climate maybe one to two years. A hut covered with leaves is a good choice. No cost and easily redone. Fry up the bugs that fall off.

Canvas covers are relatively cheap and perfect for small nomadic yurts to about 20'd in drier climates. I made my roof cover from a 20 x 20 white canvas tarp I purchased online from 'my tarp'. It was 100% cotton canvas, 17oz treated mildew and waterproofed. Not fireproofed. NOTE: NOT the olive drab army type waterproofing that is fantastically heavy and stinks to hell. That olive drab fabric has so much waxy chemical in it the smell would kill you before it wore out.

I made the wall cover from cheap painters tarps 50:50 cotton poly blend from Home Depot. They lasted better than the roof cover likely due to the polyester.

If you can make it yourself canvas is fine. If you really want a long lasting cover, and have the money to spend, the 15 year cover from pro company is ABSOLUTELY the way to go. I definitely would not reinvent the wheel experimenting with a fabric I didn't know about. Good luck.
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Old 07-23-2020, 03:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Fabric for the Tropics

I'm with Bob on this. You can reinvent the wheel and spend lots of time, energy, and troubleshooting, or you can go with a pro company who has already put in the time and proving. We work with

Colorado Yurts

at our company,

Yurts of Hawaii

. The climate in Hawaii is very similar to Nicaragua, I believe we're even at the same latitude. The materials I recommend for every yurt here is

DuroLast

for the roof and ProTech for the walls, along with a reflective

insulation

that helps keep the yurts cool and also provides a vapor barrier that does an excellent job at keeping out mold. Post and pier platforms allow for venting in the floor if more cooling is needed. Opening central skylight is a must.

I visited Nicaragua about 15 years ago, beautiful place and the people so kind and humble. How is it these days?
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Old 07-25-2020, 08:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: Fabric for the Tropics

Good post Melissa. Thanks.
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Old 07-27-2020, 07:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: Fabric for the Tropics

Quote:
Originally Posted by HawaiiYurts View Post
I'm with Bob on this. You can reinvent the wheel and spend lots of time, energy, and troubleshooting, or you can go with a pro company who has already put in the time and proving. We work with

Colorado Yurts

at our company,

Yurts of Hawaii

. The climate in Hawaii is very similar to Nicaragua, I believe we're even at the same latitude. The materials I recommend for every yurt here is DuroLast for the roof and ProTech for the walls, along with a reflective

insulation

that helps keep the yurts cool and also provides a vapor barrier that does an excellent job at keeping out mold. Post and pier platforms allow for venting in the floor if more cooling is needed. Opening central skylight is a must.

I visited Nicaragua about 15 years ago, beautiful place and the people so kind and humble. How is it these days?

I will definitely look at the canvases you mentioned. I need to ad that there will be hardly any open space in the rainforest and it will be very, very humid almost all year round. I handn't given any thought to mold and might even look at the suggestion by Mr Rowlands about a hut with leaves. Could be yurt shaped.

The country is what one might expect from a corrupt dictatorship. The people are still wonderful, open and direct on both sides of the aisle. It's the cheap populism that kills everything, and now even the US knows what that is all about. Weird how things go. Please stay safe everyone.
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Old 07-27-2020, 11:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: Fabric for the Tropics

With that additional detail about the climate I would definitely not choose canvas. I'd go with a pro cover for certain.

Mold odor can be horrendous in constant damp with no strong sunlight. We spent one night in a friends vacation cabin in the temperate rainforest around Mendocino CA on our honeymoon. I doubt the place had any kind of regular use because the mold odor and everyhing damp made it unliveable.

To repeat, I got three good years from my canvas here in dry Colorado with its awesome sunlight most days. By the fourth the canvas had turned the corner towards needing replaced, mold spots everywhere. Even in this dry climate, and with 'anti mold' application the canvas had mold on it within a couple years. At five years it was leaking in many places during rain, and dripping from melting snow with the stove going. So in other words, unliveable. OK for sun, but the canvas was a whole lot weaker than the first couple years, and would tear a lot easier. Poly/cotton canvas would be better. Whether that can be waterproofed beats me though.

Serge, I was kidding about the leaves. However, if you make a dwelling from forest materials and live in it, you should start your own youtube channel about the process. I'd be the first subscriber. lol Lots of folks start a channel just talking about/doing their interests
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Old 08-03-2020, 11:13 AM   #10
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Default Re: Fabric for the Tropics

Bob, I didn't take it as a joke. I have been looking at bamboo dwellings and found something interesting,


I will take up all the advice I can, and yes I will most probably do a youtube channel about the whole process. Thanks for your input.
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