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Old 08-14-2018, 09:50 AM   #1
Miles65
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Beginning my all 2" PVC RV shelter.

Hi, all! I have just broken ground for my 31' X 12' x 18' (peak) all 2" PVC, RV shelter. I will post pics as I proceed. So far, I've invested $50 for the four-way corner couplings (6). At my cost-out projection, I should spend, about, $1000, total, on this project. My goal is to keep my brand new Springdale 252RL out of the blazing Texas summer sun, from here on. Comparable kits, online, get into the $1.6-3.0 G's range. We'll see how this goes. I've built free-standing screen houses and sheds, my designs, before. No problems.

If any of you, out there, have some great ideas, having built a shelter before, yourself, please let me know, here. I'm always open to sound advice, based on past experience. Thanks!
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:15 AM   #2
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It should be a fun project. I built a greenhouse, 7' wide, 7' high and 12' long using 1/2" PVC. In my case I drilled 3" into the edges of the wood 2x6 raised bed frame, and inserted 12" rebar, so that the PVC uprights slid right onto them. How are you securing to the ground so the whole thing doesn't blow away? Also, be sure to peak or slant the roof so water sheds off, or the weight can collapse it. Even with really tight fabric it will stretch in time and sag, creating a pond effect. I bent 8' PVC to make a rounded top, but still had to go inside and bang off snow when we got 2" or more. I never glued any of the PVC, just stuck it tight together, because the clear plastic film I used is stapled to the wood on the bottom and keeps it together, and I can easily disassemble if I need to. Post a picture when you get it done, or even better, a few showing your progress.
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Old 08-14-2018, 11:58 AM   #3
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I have dug a 2"deep, rectangular trench to inset my base, which is joined. The PVC should be able to stand up to drive-over, when it's snug in the trench. My roof will be made of 45 couplings joined to 8.5' 2" PVC. The rise comes out to about six feet. I may splice in 4-way T's mid roof, to add cross pieces for strength, with 3-way T's on the perimeters. I am building the roof, first, on the ground, to see if I'll need the cross pieces. The roof, itself, will have tarps over it, held very tightly by adjustable cordage. The complete structure may be guyed, at its corners and mid sections. I'll see how sturdy it feels, once completed.
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Old 08-15-2018, 06:23 AM   #4
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STEP 1 : I have dug a 2" deep trench, after setting my string line and checking for 90 corners with the strings marked at 3' and 4' to give the hypotenuse of 5'. The challenge will come when I lay my pipe and then work to get level, since my yard slopes up to the fence line, albeit to a very, very slight degree. I'll use my long level to check each side of the run, and dig or fill in the trench as needed. My main concern is that the front run, the one the trailer will go over as it's backed into the shelter, is completely in the trench to lessen the chances of it cracking and/or offering any resistance as I back my RV in.
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Old 08-15-2018, 06:44 AM   #5
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As long as you use Schedule 80 you should be OK to drive over it, though I would suggest filling that piece from the ends with spray foam insulation beyond the points where the wheels will go over it for a bit more rigidity, or even just fill it with soil.
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Old 08-15-2018, 06:56 AM   #6
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As long as you use Schedule 80 you should be OK to drive over it, though I would suggest filling that piece from the ends with spray foam insulation beyond the points where the wheels will go over it for a bit more rigidity, or even just fill it with soil.
I am planning on using Schdl 40, but I like your idea of filling the pipe with soil. I'll do that, or use sand, after capping the end with foam, internally, before I glue it to the elbows. Thanks! In researching loads on Schdl 40 pipe, it seems pretty indestructible, especially if it's buried, a bit. Lots of guys post about driving trucks over S40 that's laying flat on the ground, with no trouble. If it did crack, it wouldn't be that big a deal. I could always saw out the bad part, and replace with a new piece, using slip connectors.
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:35 PM   #7
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PVC is easy to work with but I am guessing there will be a canvas or similar cover? What will keep this deal from blowing away in the wind if it isn't anchored?
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:51 PM   #8
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I wonder if it would work to fill the buried piping with cement. That would give you strength and weight to help hold the whole thing down.

Sounds like an interesting project and something I've thought about doing so I'll be watching your progress!
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:25 PM   #9
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PVC is easy to work with but I am guessing there will be a canvas or similar cover? What will keep this deal from blowing away in the wind if it isn't anchored?
I will cover the roof with two very large tarps, held taut by cordage.

Where I'm placing the shelter is somewhat away from any wind, since it's at the back of my yard and surrounded by a fence, brush and a shed. As I mentioned, above, I may guy it out when I'm done, if it seems like it wants to go Wizard of Oz on me.
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:33 PM   #10
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I wonder if it would work to fill the buried piping with cement. That would give you strength and weight to help hold the whole thing down.

Sounds like an interesting project and something I've thought about doing so I'll be watching your progress!
You guys are giving me some interesting ideas. Filling the entrance pipe with cement might take some doing, although I suppose if I use a funnel and a fairly liquefied cement mix, I'd be able to fill the pipe. Problem then would be enough airflow to allow the cement to harden. Still, the weight would be there to help hold down the front end.

I'm also thinking about sinking rebar hooks into the ground, over the base pipes, using cement around the rebar, as well, to add weight and hold the rebar down, more effectively. I may use rebar in the shape of "∩".

Lots of things to consider. My corner fittings won't be here for another week, so I've got time. Keep the ideas coming. Thanks!
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:00 PM   #11
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I would fill the pipe with sand, and if it becomes a problem, you could always protect it with concrete over the pipe, a lot easier to do. We used to use rebar to anchor the big full sized soccer goals, and we would use 3’ length, and drive them nearly all the way into the ground at a very sharp angle, then weld to the bottom of the frame. On the sides, you could just drill holes at an angle through the pipes and drive in 2’ pieces. Bending it into a U shape is not easy and the can still pull out if vertical, 90 degrees to the ground.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:37 PM   #12
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Just ordered all of my couplings/fittings. Total is $215.36. Pipe should be another $650, so I'm doing OK, budget-wise. I found a 32X20 tarp, online, for $85. I'll still need the rebar for staking the structure, and the purple primer and glue. All in all, I think I should just about hit the $1000, total, that I was aiming for.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:49 PM   #13
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Just FYI! I haven't used the purple primer in years. Get the Rain n Shine (I think that's the name) glue, 1 step only, no primer & you can use it if water is running out of the pipe. It's blue, so if purple is your favorite color might stick to using the primer.
You can also pour the dry cement into the pipe, it will still set up from just condensation in the pipe. When setting fence post I just tamp dry sack crete around post & sprinkle a bit of water on top, done.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:58 PM   #14
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I have seen builds where the poles had a "T" on the bottom and were placed in buckets filled with cement which were buried in the ground. They looked pretty sturdy and you wouldn't have to drive over any part of the PVC.
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:11 PM   #15
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I have seen builds where the poles had a "T" on the bottom and were placed in buckets filled with cement which were buried in the ground. They looked pretty sturdy and you wouldn't have to drive over any part of the PVC.
Hmm - - - That sounds like a good idea, but I have already ordered the fittings to give me a continuous, rectangular base. I may sink the rebar hold-downs into cement, though. If the front, drive-over pipe breaks, despite being completely in the trench, it'll not be that big of a deal, since the base, itself, will be completely in the trench, too.
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Old 08-17-2018, 03:32 PM   #16
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I believe cement is a chemical reaction it doesn't need air to cure. Sand should be enough. What about the PVC and UV rays?

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Old 08-17-2018, 06:12 PM   #17
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I believe cement is a chemical reaction it doesn't need air to cure. Sand should be enough. What about the PVC and UV rays?

Jack
My greenhouse is 4 years old with only clear over it, and no sign of degradation of the pvc pipe from sun. Of course, we dont get much of that here.
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:19 PM   #18
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Here is an idea (not sure if it's a good one?) Reading where a guy filled his PVC with water! So if needed to be moved later on, drill a small hole and drain. He did use a mixture of Antifreeze as he was in colder weather during the winter.
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Old 08-21-2018, 05:11 AM   #19
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Here is an idea (not sure if it's a good one?) Reading where a guy filled his PVC with water! So if needed to be moved later on, drill a small hole and drain. He did use a mixture of Antifreeze as he was in colder weather during the winter.
I'd be worried about the weight on the roof pipes. I suppose I could fill right up to the third level framing, and then leave the roof pipes empty. Interesting idea.

UPDATE: We have up to ninety 100+ days in Austin. I'd be concerned that the pipes might become pressurized by the heated water inside them, even with empty roof pipes serving as an expansion check. Then, I'd need to install relief valves in a few places in the system, on the roof pipes. I think I'd be making the project more complicated than necessary. No water, for my pipes.
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Old 08-21-2018, 05:20 AM   #20
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Cost is going down! I found a local vendor for the pipe. I did order the fittings, online. The 600' of Sch 40, 2" PVC pipe will run me $370, total. The fittings were $165. The tarp will be about $100. The cement will be about $50, and I will be buying the glue that sets up slower than the "normal" stuff, since plumb and level are ultra-crucial, right up to the final placement of the 45 roof peak caps. One small error, and I'm stuck (pun?) improvising with flexible couplings for the final connections. So, total cost for this project is now seen to be approximately $700, and you can't beat that, anywhere, unless you have the materials just sitting around. I may have been able to shave another $50 off if I had found the local vendor, first, and bought my fittings from him, although I need some out of the ordinary ones that he may not have carried.
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