As Tucas Trailstar door prototype

Most of the time, the MLD Trailstar doesn’t need a door. The porch is very deep and provides a lot of protection. However, there are times when a door is useful. Most obviously, a door provides some privacy on a camp site.

A door is also useful to protect from wind driven rain when the wind direction changes. On Dartmoor in April, this happened to me twice. The second time, the wind swung round 180 degrees overnight and blew light rain a surprising distance into the porch.

I do have an OookWorks door, which is very clever but it is a bit fiddly to get right. So I decided to design my own, based on a triangle. I made a mock up out of some old nylon. This enabled me to get the dimensions right as the rough copy was too small.

The next step was to ask Marco at As Tucas whether he would be willing to make one. Very generously, he offered to make one for free as he was interested in adding it to his product line. Yesterday, the postman delivered it.

IMG_1024.JPG (2)It’s a very simple design. It’s a triangle of cuben fibre with a grosgrain loop at the apex and line lok tensioners and cord at the two base corners.

IMG_1028.JPG (2)Using it couldn’t be simpler. Attach to the Trailstar door apex using a mini karabiner, the tension the base using the lineloks and cord.

IMG_1025.JPG (2)It’s angled back into the porch, which should protect the gap between the door and the body of the Trailstar. On the production model, the base will be about 5cms longer.

IMG_1031.JPG (2)On the cords I’ve added a loop of shock cord, which helps to maintain tension. These will be standard on the production model as well.

IMG_1033.JPG (2)Originally I was going to add some Velcro so that the door could be furled to one side. However, this can be achieved by folding the door in half, then furling it, securing it by looping the the shock cord over the line lok.

IMG_1034.JPG (2)This is a surprisingly neat solution.

IMG_1030.JPG (2)Obviously, I’ve not field tested this yet, but I’m very pleased with the results. I’m confident that it would keep out most of the rain even if the wind were blowing directly into the door. some more photos:

IMG_1032.JPG (2)

IMG_1029.JPG (2)

IMG_1027.JPG (2)

The weight of the door is 25g with the added shock cord loops (2g) but without the karabiner (2g). Additionally, you need two pegs. My intention is to use the lightweight “toothpick” pegs that came with my Nitro Lite (1g each). Total weight is 29g. Marco is indicating a price of €55. As with all Marco’s stuff, the workmanship is first class.

For this trial pitch, the centre pole is 120cm. I didn’t measure the entrance height but the pole is also 120cm. With this door, you can adjust the height of the door by varying the angle inside the shelter. For a low pitch, just peg the base further back inside the porch.

I’m very pleased with the results. As you can see, it pitches pretty tightly. I don’t think it will rattle in the wind. If it did, I would add a grosgrain loop at the centre of the base line and tension with some shock cord. I think that is probably overkill, though.

Disclosure: As Tucas made this door to my design, free of charge. I have no formal or financial relationship with As Tucas. However, I do liaise with Marco regularly with ideas and suggestions. Even though I’ve not met him, I count him as a friend.

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