1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Heavy-duty tarp that'll last forever!

Discussion in 'Camping and Outdoor Gear' started by Psychlone, May 29, 2008.

  1. Psychlone

    Psychlone Regular Member

    Messages:
    9
    Please help, does anyone know a place I can buy multi-purpose, heavy-duty truck tarp (preferably through an online shop with an international shipping option)? It will cover stuff on the roof rack during expeditions, and when setting up camp it will be used for everything from tent flooring to make-do shade from the sun, wind, etc.

    I know the question probably sounds silly, but ...
    - if I go to the local hardware shops (I've been to quite a few now) they only have the flimsy and ugly-looking polytarp for garden use
    - if I go to the outdoor & camping places they only have the really thin tent cloth stuff
    - when I generally google and search it's pretty much impossible (for me) to see the quality of what you get and I'm not a specialist in fabrics and tarp qualities etc. :confused:

    What I need is a piece of sewn fabric that is
    1. about 13-16 feet on each side (4-5 meters)
    2. olive drab or desert tan type colors. Not blue, silver, orange or camo, but just one color. It would be fine to have, say, olive drap on one side and desert tan on the other.
    3. totally UV and waterproof without the need to treat the fabric
    4. abrasion proof, when used on the ground (sharp rocks etc.) and able to handle high winds when mounted on roof-top cargo
    5. reinforced edges with lots of grommets to tie it down with
    6. as for price, I'm almost at the point :bang: where I don't care much about the price as long as it is the best possible quality

    Any help greatly appreciated :)
  2. polarweasel

    polarweasel Where's mah cruzah? SILVER Star

    Messages:
    986
    Location:
    Gunbarrel, Colorado
    The material you are looking for is vinyl-coated polyester (VCP). If you can't find tarps anywhere, you may have better luck buying the material and having someone make exactly the tarp you want. You might try getting in touch with the Shelby.fi folks and asking them for suggestions.

    I would offer to make it for you, but shipping from the USA to Switzerland would be ridiculous. :)
  3. NorCalDoug

    NorCalDoug problems solved daily... SILVER Star

    Messages:
    6,125
    Location:
    uhhhh...duh...Northern CA
  4. ExpeditionXJ

    ExpeditionXJ Regular Member

    Messages:
    127
    Location:
    Bristol,Pa
    I recently picked up 2 US Army tent halves, when these are connected they make a tent for 2 GI's. Maybe you can source something similar?

    Anyway, i'll connect the two down the center. Cut the triangular door flaps off one end on each, and use one of the sections i cut off to fill the triangular gap in the other end left between the door flaps when laid flat. This will give me an OD mildew resistant and water repellant tarp which will be used as an awning on my rig. If i remember correctly it'll end up being 10'x8' in size. I paid under $20 shipped i believe.

    Hope you understood my description..
  5. Psychlone

    Psychlone Regular Member

    Messages:
    9
    Thanks to polarweasel, NorCalDoug and ExpeditionXJ!

    Wow, this was my first post on the forum (since signing up and - of course - buying the sticker for the FJ :)) and already great responses and help.

    Now I go hunting for vinyl-coated polyester, guess I just need to find it in the right dimensions and color.

    Looks like the "Over-the-road" tarps are only in 20 and 25 foot lengths which is a bit too big (and I can't just cut it shorter since I would then lose the D-rings an grommets on one side).


    On www.trucktarps.com I found many tarp materials:
    • Poly tarps (polyethylene, light but less durable)
    • Canvas (cotton, breathes, must be treated to be water/UV/flame/mildew resistant, requires maintenance)
    • Asphalt Lumite/Vinyl ??
    • Mesh tarps ??
    • Neoprene-coated nylon ??
    • Vinyl-coated polyester (so this is the best one, right)
    • Vinyl laminated polyester ??
    The vinyl-coated polyester comes in 10, 18 and 22 oz qualities. Do you have any tips on what is the best thickness? Is 18 or 22 too thick to handle when wrapping up stuff on the roof rack, or too heavy to handle when erecting shades?
    It looks like the 18 oz quality comes in the widest range of colors, including brown, forest green, green, and tan. I definitely don't mind a sturdy "mil-spec" quality, feel and look.

    I know, the best would be if I could go and look at and feel the actual fabric. Second-best would be if these online shops would just bother to put up an actual picture of the product they are selling (like at trucktarps.com they have the same picture for all their VCP tarps... :hmm:). Guess that's why it's so darn good to have this forum! :grinpimp:
  6. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

    Messages:
    20,678
    Location:
    Central California
    Welcom to MUD!

    Check out a military surplus store in your area. They should have the canvas type tarps. When taken care of and minimal maintenance is done, they last a really long time.

    The less expensive tarps (blue ones) come apart easily when exposed to wind while driving down the road if not totally secured.
  7. sseaman

    sseaman New Member

    Messages:
    1,736
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    canvas, or cordura would be an option, they can be found almost anywhere here in the states
  8. NorCalDoug

    NorCalDoug problems solved daily... SILVER Star

    Messages:
    6,125
    Location:
    uhhhh...duh...Northern CA
    :confused:

    wouldn't the swiss need a military to have a surplus?




    :D :D :D
  9. D'Animal

    D'Animal Rescuer of Beagle and Landcruisers Moderator

    Messages:
    20,678
    Location:
    Central California
    LOL!

    The swiss have one heck of a military. They choose to not engage in conflicts that do not involve thier soil.

    Every male joins the military right out of highschool.

    Where do you think the UniMogs come from?
  10. NorCalDoug

    NorCalDoug problems solved daily... SILVER Star

    Messages:
    6,125
    Location:
    uhhhh...duh...Northern CA
    aside from it being compulsory, the only reason they join is so they can get one of these...

    [​IMG]


    Unimogs come from Germany.


    The swiss army rides bikes.
    Come on...I thought everyone knew that...

    [​IMG]


    :D






    See what you've made me do? I "chatted" this non-chat thread all to pieces...

    :whoops:
  11. Psychlone

    Psychlone Regular Member

    Messages:
    9
    he he, you guys are funny :)

    I'm not Swiss so don't know everything about their system, but I think it's not compulsory anymore.

    But yes, they have always had some kind of paranoid tendencies, like, in every (!) house there is a bomb-shelter complete with separate air-supply etc. Whenever they have built a tunnel to put a highway straight through a mountain - and that is quite often - they have built in another mega bomb shelter. So there is more bomb shelter space than there are people in the country! Understand me correctly when I say, that I hope that they will never see the day where they are going to be happy they chose to have this insurance, but I must say, they do think ahead.

    The Unimog is from Mercedes-Benz so that's German. But the Swiss do build some fancy military vehicles besides the Swiss Army Knife. I'll have to look to find them, and figure out if I can upload pictures on this forum......

  12. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

    Messages:
    15,135
    Location:
    PRK
    yup, they're prepared. Citizens' army at its best in the old days... These guys knew how to shoot.

    Mogs and also Pinzes...
  13. cartercd

    cartercd SILVER Star

    Messages:
    396
    Location:
    Chandler, AZ
    Making custom made, weatherproof, and sun-resistant covers is very common in the boating world. Search some Swiss companies that make bimini tops, sail covers, boat covers, etc. You can get whatever you desire, but as with all things "marine" you will pay a premium.
  14. rusty_tlc

    rusty_tlc Dain Bramaged Member Moderator

    Messages:
    11,453
    Location:
    Reno, NV
    Ask for sample swatches. I bet they will send you a selection of weights and colors to look at.
  15. wierdbeard

    wierdbeard SILVER Star

    Messages:
    480
    Location:
    Raccoon City
    I would suggest if you want used items then look for military Duece or 5 ton truck or military trailer duck canvas covers, i have one thats pretty indestructible, if you want new and made to spec, here is a listing of sites that make these types of covers, all over the US, not sure of the shipping though. The vinyl coated ones tend to discolor in wear spots if used in the heat, also they are pretty heavy as well.

    Duck Canvas Covers
  16. brew8

    brew8 SILVER Star

    Messages:
    1,689
    Go to the paint store, get a canvas drop cloth treat it with canvak and it will stink like an old tent forever, cheers, Larry

Share This Page