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Old 04-25-2009, 11:50 PM   #1
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Burning Man SMB past experiences

We are headed to Burning man this year and actually hung out with some guys that have been past 5 years. They looked over our rig and think we will be cleaning up PLAYA dust for years and gave some good recs on keeping it covered. I am interested if anyone has been with a SMB and can give some insight into covering the vents, doors, PH, etc. I dont mind the dust as it is all part of the experience, but would like to limit it as much as possible.

James
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Old 04-26-2009, 11:20 AM   #2
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Re: Burning Man SMB past experiences

I've camped quite a bit on the Black Rock Desert (see my avatar). Yes, you will get dust inside the van, but it isn't the end of the world to vacuum it up when you get home.

When you're not in the van, just keep everything closed and zipped up (I usually leave my penthouse top raised). You might still get some dust leakage through the rear door seals. Make your bed (or otherwise cover it) so dust doesn't get on your sheets.

When you're with the van and need a breeze (and you're not in the thick of an obvious dust storm), keep just the penthouse windows open -- they're often above much of the basic dust from foot traffic, etc. I keep all the lower windows and doors closed.

Once I forgot to close the penthouse windows before going out walking -- and a dust storm hit while I was far from the van. When I returned, every surface of the interior of the van (bedding too) was covered with a few millimeters of that beige playa dust. Believe it or not, I sometimes bring a small shop-vac for this kind situation.

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Old 05-01-2009, 01:02 AM   #3
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Re: Burning Man SMB past experiences

Good advice above. I also highly recommend changing or cleaning out your air filters once you are out of the desert. That dust is very fine and can clog the filters.

And it's funny you ask. I had my hood popped a few days ago and noticed a nice dried layer of playa dust on a flat surface in my engine compartment. This is after two years, thorough cleanings, and it still shows up. And I'm positive it was playa dust and not from another adventure.

Oh, don't pass up the fire hose car wash in the first town when you leave. If they do it again you won't miss it as it's right on the only road through the town. It was cheap and cleaned pounds of the dust off the van.
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Old 05-01-2009, 10:00 AM   #4
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Re: Burning Man SMB past experiences

That playa dust, once it gets wet, is very persistent. It is dried alkaline mud after all. It will stick in a way that plain water won't readily remove. Washing using water with a bit of added vinegar works wonders. The acidic vinegar cancels out the alkalinity of the playa dust.

I must admit I've been lazy about checking my air filter, but so far so good. I do my best to not to run the engine in dust storm situations, and to keep my dust behind me.



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