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Thread: Tarp tensioners

  1. #1
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Tarp tensioners

    Anybody know what works better for tarp tensioners; thin stretchy or thick not so stretchy?

    My chiropractor brought me some surgical tubing he uses for therapy with his patients. There are two distinctly different types. One is blue and pretty stout; the other is green and more stretchy. Both are stiffer than the sling shot replacement tubing. I made a set of the blue ones last night and will make a green set tonight, but I'm wondering if there is any real difference in performance. The weight difference is slight and I'm done counting grams.....for now.

    I KNOW I'm not the first one to try this. No rain forecast in the short term so I'm wondering if anybody has any comments.

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    Senior Member angrysparrow's Avatar
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    If they are both stiffer than the sling shot tubing, I'd use the more stretchy of the two. It seems to me that it doesn't require TOO much stretch to keep a tarp taut. JMO
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Probably right. I was thinking maybe the stiffer one would allow me to use a shorter length than the 10" length I use with the sling shot stuff. If nothing else, it gives me a good excuse to go outside and play in the rain.

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    Senior Member cavediver2's Avatar
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    I used a form off of justjeffs site from one that he had posted and emailed him about which one he liked best and made mine with about 5 inch's of sling shot tubing. see them in my pictures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    Anybody know what works better for tarp tensioners; thin stretchy or thick not so stretchy?
    Ideal: A tensioner that will pull the tarp taut, but has about half its stretch remaining.

    Why? Because the tensioner has two jobs: 1) to take up the sag as rain/dew/moisture in the air wets the tarp and causes it to stretch and sag during the night; and 2) to absorb wind shock that makes a tarp flap and fail.

  6. #6
    Senior Member headchange4u's Avatar
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    I used surgical tubing for a while but know I just use 1/8" shock cord. It's lighter and works just as well.
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  7. #7
    GrizzlyAdams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by headchange4u View Post
    I used surgical tubing for a while but know I just use 1/8" shock cord. It's lighter and works just as well.
    yeah, I was in Home Depot last week, saw and bought a bag of 10 mini bungee cords for maybe $2, removed the metal hooks, and made a set of tarp tensioners. On tie-outs made from braided mason line I also got at HD on a previous pilgrimage.

    The stuff you learn up on this site...

    Grizz

  8. #8
    slowhike's Avatar
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    i use shock cord that's about the size of a common shoe lace... maybe 2mm?
    got it at the backpacking store.
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

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    Senior Member Greg Dunlap's Avatar
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    Tarp Tensioners

    I took about 16 inches of 1/4 inch shock cord and ran it between a spring loaded cordlock making a loop. I attached this to the contact points on the tarp and then attached the line that I use to stake the tarp out to the other end of the loop.

    I stake out the tarp and then just take hold of the ends and give them a tug to snug them up. Quick and easy and really inexpensive to do.
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  10. #10
    Peter_pan's Avatar
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    FWIW... All of the Therabands have different wall thickness and inside diameters..... you have to get the id of the tube to match the od of the cord and still be flexible enough to get over the knots.... JRB tested all five colors and found the green to work best and match 2mm line for the STLs.

    Pan
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