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titanium_hiker
2005-08-08, 18:07
first of all, sorry that this isn't more backpacking related, but you guys seem to be the sort of scientific/engineers who would be able to answer my question.

Some background info:
At the moment I'm working with a project designed to send a doctor and his family out to remote country towns to do medical work. So, the bus is the home, and the awning is the office. (I'm the researcher- my fingers are busy on google :) )

Ok, since you guys are experienced tenters/engineers/military - would this work: ?
roll on the side of bus. unroll, two support sticks/posts/things are unfolded (one on each corner) and somehow made secure (guylines + pegs?) then the sides are unvelcroed from the top and secured to the posts. tada! instant (ok, not quite) doctor's office.

again, apologies-

titanium_hiker

Seeker
2005-08-08, 19:01
you mean like the awning on one of those big RVs, with the lawn chairs, astro turf, pink flamingo and christmas lights?

sure, that would work. you might look into having the posts hinge off supports at the bottom of the bus. the weight of the cross member would keep it taut without need for tiedowns, except if it got windy. and if you wanted 'walls' (not sure where you plan on sending your doctor), you could make curtains that attached to the 'roof' with velcro, like a military command post tent. we called them "SIPS Tents", but there are actually more letters, and there's a C in there somewhere too. Rock or Scout should know what i'm trying to mean. anyway, those curtains could be custom made by a good canvas shop (any boat dealer would know where to send you). just heavy plastic/canvas (i don't kwow what it's really called, but it's not cloth) with velcro sewed to the edges. even had plastic windows in them. you can get an old field desk at a military surplus store if you need it. don't know squat about medical equipment, so i can't help you there, but maybe someone on this forum is/was in a military field hospital unit and can give advice on folding medical equipment issues.

titanium_hiker
2005-08-08, 21:01
thanks for the reply seeker- yeah- I'm talking about an RV type thing (minus astroturf, pink flamingos and christmas lights. :) ) The weather isn't that bad, the worst could be a large gust of wind or a rain storm, no snow, blizzards, etc.

My biggest concern is foldup and folddown ability. I'm not sure I know what you mean about bottom supports? please elaborate.

oh yeah: for checkups etc- no major surgical operations etc. diagnosis etc, he will be working in concert with the hospitals in the area.

are you talking about that blue woven tarp stuff (the elcheapo heavier stuff?)

thanks again.
titanium

CanoeBlue
2005-08-08, 22:07
Why not? I have a friend who goes to the outer islands of the Bahamas every year and is known as the "kitchen table doctor".
When he first went their the Government clinic was in ruins and so the kitchen of his cottage became his clinic and he has, in fact, perfomed surgery on his kitchen table.

Ya just goes with what ya got.

dropkick
2005-08-09, 09:19
For cost, ease of use, sanitary considerations, privacy, and weatherability (if that is a word) I'd go with a wall tent over an awning.
While an awning might seem like a good idea, I've seen several ripped off by the wind and/or had the mechanisms required for use bent and destroyed. They also don't have a floor, cost more than a tent, and will require you to add walls.
New wall tents are easy to set up, don't cost alot, and can withstand the weather.

SGT Rock
2005-08-09, 13:58
What you want is the poles to be permanently attached with a hinge to the side of the bus. You also want to make the attachment point of the tarp to the crossbar have the ability to rotate and put a hand crank. This way you can use the tarp to be a raising and lowering mechanism with the system. You just need to work out the length of the poles to get the right distance and angle, so they may also need to have the ability to be lengthened like a telescoping pole.

Somthing to consider is a velcro attached insect screen with a weighted bottom.

Seeker
2005-08-09, 14:32
thanks for the reply seeker- yeah- I'm talking about an RV type thing (minus astroturf, pink flamingos and christmas lights. :) ) The weather isn't that bad, the worst could be a large gust of wind or a rain storm, no snow, blizzards, etc.

My biggest concern is foldup and folddown ability. I'm not sure I know what you mean about bottom supports? please elaborate.

oh yeah: for checkups etc- no major surgical operations etc. diagnosis etc, he will be working in concert with the hospitals in the area.

are you talking about that blue woven tarp stuff (the elcheapo heavier stuff?)

thanks again.
titanium

bottom supports-not a separate leg that sets off by itself away from the RV, but a hinge at the bottom of the RV to which the leg attaches. then it leans out, away from the RV, from the top. there are two of them, say 10 ft apart. the tops are connected by another pipe. the tarp/canopy runs between that pipe and the rv roof.

no, not the poly tarps... the army used to use cloth canvas. now they use some sort of heavier plastic/rubbery stuff. have no idea what it is. Rock might be able to help. it's tougher than the blue stuff, and they make tents, truck covers, and hummv doors out of it. can even sew plastic windows into them.

Just Jeff
2005-08-09, 16:27
The military used to make a mobile medical kit. When stowed, it folds into a box about 3'x3'x4'. It unfolds into a "field desk"...it's got cabinets on the sides to store stuff for easy access and a desk area on top. I don't know what the inside of the shelves look like, but they're designed specifically for medical use.

I saw a few in Iraq in 2003, so we're still using them at forward locations.

peter_pan
2005-08-09, 17:39
See if you can find a surplus Army TEMPER tent....it is modular, expandable the side have large window panels, there is a white liner available( this really improves lighting) ... There are airconditioning units for these as well... Hospitals use them, as do most units for general application....all this presumes that you actually set up some place for a few days....

There are also actual hospital operating rooms in ISO 20 foot milvans with expanding sides....find a US Military Hospital unit and check for leads to these in surplus.

Pan

titanium_hiker
2005-08-09, 23:04
thanks guys for all the help. kitchen table? well, I've seen the vet work on our kitchen table (two dogs and a cat) - the standard fixing operation (why is it called "fixing..." it is more breaking but anyway...)

hmm... I'll see if I can look up some US army surplus- however those are scary places to be because of national sentiment towards the whole drug (cocaine) eradication thing... (don't get me started!) and most of the stuff is snapped up by the pitiful Bolivian army...

thanks for the tips on tents- I can see how blowing away would be a problem. My thought is basically a box that juts out from the bus and then is neatly folded away for travel. Also it should be easy takedown/putup.

thanks guys- you've given me lots of food for thought.

again- I have to emphasise this is more general medical work, diagnosis, nutrition etc, no major surgical procedures. :) there are only two of them after all! It also is one of those social work type things- using the medical stuff to share (emphasis on SHARE, not force, you potential flamers :) ) the gospel.

titanium

arctic rambler
2005-09-08, 22:46
The easiest is just to get an RV awning. Check out www.campingworld.com . Screen houses are also useful. I have one made by Eureka that is great.