First Thoughts

Tarp for shade, wind and rain protection

This is an important piece of the puzzle. Most of my time will be spent out of doors. The only in-the-truck-bed activities will be sleeping or waiting out a nasty piece of weather. I will cook, read, putz, hike, walk, investigate, work on projects, comb my hair, brush my teeth all out of doors. Yum. So the tarp is important, I think. Some people, who have had their tarps blown away or shredded by wind, no longer use tarps at all. I gotta try. I like shade. I don’t like wind.

Dry Top  12-by-20-Foot Super Heavy-Duty 10-Mil UV Treated White Tarp, 8.5 lbs.

imaginary measurementsStaring at the back of the truck, measuring distances, scribbling the above drawings and adding up the numbers  didn’t answer too many of my questions.


The 12’X20′ size is great, even for casual measurements and added height of rack on top of the shell. Still prefer white, even if it doesn’t match the color of any truck I would buy.


How to make it efficient  to unfurl and install, roll up and put away?

The poles and tarp and stakes and rope  and tarp clips will  probably all live in the basket/rack on top of the shell. The top of the shell is approximately 7 feet 4 inches above flat ground level. Then add x amount for the rails and basket/rack on top of the shell. (Hint: find a ladder first.) How to gracefully and quickly drape the tarp over the rack and arrange the tarp? How to make it easy to put down fast in a wind storm? (Just remove the poles? How are the poles attached to the tarp and the ground? Do I have stakes for sand, grass and rock? How much paracord are you going to need? Why not get bright orange paracord so it won’t be tripped over?)

How to adjust the coverage on the sides and the end of the tarp?

The tarp will be anchored onto the wheel wells. Depending on the rack/basket height, the tarp could be as little as 2′ off the ground  on both sides.  The poles could be moved to only 4′ from the extended tailgate, fully enclosing the area (except for the open 2′ on the bottom of each side). There would be a kind of private washroom. But if I wanted lots of sunlight or breeze or view, then different configurations have to be considered. How to make this set up so that everything can be changed? PVC pole to roll up the end?  Be able to have the tarp 6′ off the ground on one side and staked to the ground on the other? Have mesh sides? Am I asking for too much?  Will I have to find peace with my dislike of wind?

Should there be some kind of protection from the corners of the raised shell glass door? Will that be a concern if the “outrigger” poles are set to 8′? 7′? 6′?

Are the grommets where they are needed?  If not,  whatcha gonna do about it? How about tarp clips?

TEKTON 6268 Tarp Clips, 4-Piece

TEKTON 6268 Tarp Clips, 4-Piece

Catching rain would be a wonderful thing. How ya gonna do that? Into what?

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