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  1. #1
    SteelPlayer's Avatar
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    Hanging in a Van

    I need some input before I start my trial and error process.

    I purchased a 2020 Promaster City Van to build out as an Urban Stealth camper. The interior is small but I want to hang a hammock rather than build out a bed. I have measured 113" from a point on the passenger side diagonally to a point in the rear. That's NOT going to fit an 11' hammock. But I think it will fit a 10'. IF the average ridgeline is 108" for a 10' hammock this will give me about 2.5"- 3.0" on either end for suspension. That's assuming I'm hanging a total of 113". According to the Hansen Hang Calculator I'll need to place the anchor points at 50". That's doable for a comfortable sit height and keeping the UQ off the floor.

    So to get the proper lie in the hammock I'm thinking I'm going to need to go without a ridgeline and calculate a straight hang without. To maximize the available length I'm thinking a sort of soft shackle in place of a CL on the gathered end. Then attach to an eyebolt in the van at the anchor points. The soft shackles would stay on the CL's permanently. I know a regular biner won't work and I don't think a small Dutch Biner is going to work but it might.

    I may need to experiment with the length of the hammock as well. I have enough material to make maybe 2 hammocks right now and buying more wouldn't be an issue. If I need to go shorter than 10' could I go wider and still get a good lie in the hammock?

    Thoughts and suggestions are more than welcome. Does anyone have some better ideas?
    Got time to breath, you got time for music - Brisco Darlin

  2. #2
    LowTech's Avatar
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    Not sure why you would need to go w/o a ridgeline, and I have my 11' @ 108". I think the main issue would be how far down the sag would be.
    I live in my rig and have thought of building a sleeper on my truck that I can run a hammock in, it's the distance from mount to bottom of sag that has me thinking I'd have to hang at less than 30°.
    And why could you not use caribiners to attach?

  3. #3
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    congrats on your new home first of all. i do this too, but mine is a ...little bit larger.

    an 11ft hammock should just about fit in your 113inches (the ridgeline for a properly hung 11ft should be roughly 4in shorter than your 113in, tight, but doable)

    definitely soft shackles directly on hammock, don't bother with carabinners.

    definitely make an adjustable ridgeline out of some thin dyneema, it will help with experimenting, to keep things consistent. once you settle on the setup you like, you will decide if you need the ridge line to stay or not (the structural ridgeline will mean you can adjust the height of the hammock somewhat without changing the lay, so i'd be tempted to keep it)

    i'd recommend experimenting with the softshackles attached directly to the hammock using the sheet bend (this means you can experiment with the length without sewing, or even cutting the material). i personally prefer this method for my finished hammocks, not just for experimenting, but that's a matter of preference i guess.

    i would place the anchor points a bit too high rather than a bit too low. also, consider carefully the design of said anchor points (vans tend to be made of a lot of sheet metal, of which most is not "structural", and a bolt can be a rather focused stress area when loaded by a humans weight)

    avoid trying to compensate length through width, it typically doesn't work: because of the geometry of gathered end hammocks, it is the effective length which matters most for the lay, from a point on the width will make no difference at all.

    although most people find it weird, i find the hammock in the van an excellent solution, and if you want stealth it makes even more sense, as you probably figured out already: you can park almost on anything the van will stay parked, then get in the hammock and you can sleep confortably, regardless of the slope, no leveling needed. the other neat things are that the space for sleeping can disappear in a few seconds (not permanently reserved), the bedding is much easier to keep clean, and, quite interestingly, as the van is windproof, even improvised insulation for the hammock can be very effective.

    i've been considering ways to shorten the space needed for a hammock even further, but i haven't quite tested anything yet, so don't have a better idea to share; however, it sounds like you won't need it, as you'll be able to fit it in there just fine.

    good luck, and keep us posted
    Last edited by nanok; 01-03-2021 at 21:48. Reason: clarity

  4. #4
    OlTrailDog's Avatar
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    I'm cogitating over a similar solution for a Sprinter van ;-)

    As far as the ridge line, I use whoopie ridge lines on my hammocks because I typically use a longer ridge line yet want to be able to reef it in to fit the OEM net and top covers.

  5. #5
    SteelPlayer's Avatar
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    I'm waiting on some eyebolts to fit a specific mount point in the van. Here are some pics from a van forum showing how one person was able to hang diagonally. My big question is can the mount points support my 235lbs. I plan to lay head end toward the rear of the van shifting most of the force to the rear while keeping minimum force on the front mount. I also plan to have a piece of steel as large as possible behind the metal at the rear mount to distribute as much of the force as possible. It will also act as a sort of large rectangular washer.

    Here is the rear mount point.

    50255804996_5772f70e03_n.jpg

    The front mount point is where the passenger visor attaches.

    50255137578_3a4910d359_n.jpg

    Another poster on the van forum suggested using M6x35mm eyebolts with Amsteel looped thru them to avoid removing the visor.

    4E0B5845-25CE-4788-B0F1-B3BC0FF9A1F6.jpeg


    Looks like it works for this lady but I'm sure she ways a lot less than me.

    50255984352_f2bc6de163_n.jpg



    Any suggestions on how to test the weight capacity before I crawl in and bend or rip out the metal?
    Got time to breath, you got time for music - Brisco Darlin

  6. #6
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    To answer your last question, first- Buy a enough bags of charcoal or mulch or whatever, to equal your weight @250*. this will let you watch the anchor points as you load the hammock, but my guess is that you will be alright. happy hanging.

  7. #7
    OlTrailDog's Avatar
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    Another idea that I've thought about is using the hammock stand that I picked up for $5 at the building materials recycling store. I figure one of the ends could extend into the cab area for the night, or use outside under an awning on other occasions. It comes apart for storage.

  8. #8
    SteelPlayer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OlTrailDog View Post
    Another idea that I've thought about is using the hammock stand that I picked up.
    My little Promaster City is way to small for a stand on the inside. I will be hanging outside when regular camping. If I hang outside I'll just go with trees, my Tensa4, or a Tensa Solo with one end anchored to the van.

    On those occasions when I need to urban stealth camp or just do a quick side of the road over night it will be nice to hang inside the van.
    Got time to breath, you got time for music - Brisco Darlin

  9. #9
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    hmm. that front anchor point seems a bit sketchy. in the rear you should be able to rig up something more redundant anyway, so that should not be a big problem.

    just quick ideas at a glance: in the front, is it worth considering to loop a length of webbing across the roof of the van, and through both doors (left to right, making sure the webbing is not too tight, to avoid over-loading it and the doors)? i'm not sure, i'm mainly worried about the load on the door and doorframe, but overall seems less likely to fail; also a tensa style stand seems like it might be worth considering (it can be easily diy-ed, and it will be useful for outside of the van also). i would not use other types of stands (in most cases it's not worth the trouble, when you can have a tensa). you might also consider to utilize the turtledog concept (but not the design itself: for instance, get a length of very serious pipe to stand it up vertically (like bolt it "lightly" at the corner of the van, such that it is allowed to stand fully on the floor, not loading the bolts vertically), this will provide excellent vertical support, then use mounting points (like where you would put the eyebolt) to provide the horizontal rigidity only (and if you want, you can go further and reinforce the horizontal part too with a pipe across the roof, if you have the space).

    i would at least avoid using the front mounting point (maybe replace that one with half a tensa stand?)

    testing capacity non-destructively is a bit difficult, but you could carefully load each attachement point with some ratchet system and watch the mounts carefully, you will likely see them move sometime before failure, as metal should have some elastic deformation. however, unless you're a structural engineer, it's a bit tricky to estimate how much movement you can expect from the particular material before entering plastic defomation and then failure. i guess i'm saying: if in doubt, don't test, but rather reinforce.

  10. #10
    OneClick's Avatar
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    I'd get some government cheese and park that baby down by the river.

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