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Date: January 19, 2006 

Date: January 19, 2006
Subject: Burning Man


We purchased a 20′ dome tent in 2000 and have used it every year at Burningman. It goes up for seven days every year and has been great. We have done minor repairs over the years on the structure. One thing that we did was very helpful. At Bman, we have to use rebar to secure the base of the dome to the playa. We’ll the small pieces of rope eventually tear due to rubbing back and forth on the rebar. We fixed this by replacing all of the rope and using good, solid, key rings – problem solved!

However, after five years in the desert (and many, many wind storms) the dome has been damaged beyond our ability (to repair it). I was wondering if your wonderful company can rebuild the section that ripped. We tried to fix it in the desert, but I think we made it worse. Do you offer any kind of repair service that can help us get our dome back into action for the 2006 Bman event?

You have a picture of our dome tent from 2000 (  – we are Sloth Camp.



I like your idea of rings to avoid wear on re-bar. We have found that our stakes seem to hold fine if driven below the surface. They also do not create the hazards that re-bar can.

We do not repair used domes here because it gets our clear room dirty and ends up costing too much. We do offer replacement panels which the user can replace themselves at a reasonable cost of $60 per double panel. These panels come with 4 replacement Heavy Duty Grip Clips. Place your order on line or by calling 866 777 1066. Let us know which panels you need to replace. If you have questions about doing this call 650 323 6202.

Repairs: Your yurt is designed to be durable and problem free. However, some of our customers use their structures for so many years that eventually they need some maintenance. A broken pole can be repaired with a wooden insert such as a piece of broom handle or a straight stick. Poles can usually be obtained from a building supply or plumbing store. Ask for class 200, class #125 or schedule 40 will also work. Poles may also be ordered from Shelter Systems (send length and size).

Broken connectors can be replaced with class 200 PVC (1-1/4″ for the 20′ and 18′ domes and 1″ for the 8′, 10′, 11′, and 14′ domes). The simplest way to repair a hole or cut in the covering is to cut a patch from the material the dome came wrapped in. Use 100% silicon rubber to glue your patch on the outside of the tear. If the tear is small you may be able to plug it up with a blob of silicon rubber alone.

If a clip is torn free of the covering or if a tear is immediately adjacent to a clip you can patch the tear with a patch cut from the skirt of your dome or the wrapping material that your yurt came in. Use a patch about 12″ square, if this is sufficient to completely encompass the torn section with at least a 2″ overlap on good sound material. This will allow you to spread the stress that the Grip Clip generates over a large # of stitches. Make your stitches about 1/8″ long using doubled cotton covered polyester button thread. You do not have to remove the torn section of the covering. Preferably, but not absolutely necessary, glue the patch in place first with 100% Silicon Rubber bathroom caulk first, as this will make the sewing somewhat easer and provide a better seal. You will then have to wait while the glue sets which takes about 12 hrs. Make sure the covering is clean and dry before gluing. Press the glued patch between two heavy flat objects such as large books or flat rocks. After you set up the shelter you can apply Silicon Rubber to the now stressed seams to seal them and along the edge of the patch if you did not already glue the patch.

Alternativly you can replace a whole panel if a tear is immediately adjacent to a clip. Order the same panel from Shelter Systems. 1) Arrange the replacement panel over top of the damaged panel so that it is in the same orientation. 2) Remove only one clip from your dome being careful not to disrupt the layering sequence of the panels on your dome. 3) Take your time to carefully slide out the corner of your damaged panel and insert your replacement panel into the same layering sequence as that of the damaged panel. 4) Now with all layers in the same order and orientation as before; gather these tightly around the male clip and slip over the female clip as described below. When many layers are involved as is the case with the corners of the windows, attaching the female clip can be difficult; practicing on scraps and making the layers warm with the sun or heat lamp (be careful not to melt the covering by getting it to hot) can help. If your dome is flattened by snow, carefully remove the snow without tearing its covering. You may find it will pop back up or that you have to remove some of the poles and set up again. Replace any broken poles.


Bob Gillis