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For flatbed truckers and campers alike, a flapping tarp is the absolute worst. In the trucking world, a billowing and flapping tarp can mean unsecure cargo and even reduced fuel mileage. For campers, a flapping section of tarp can lead to a windy, restless, and uncomfortable night of sleep. There’s no need to worry, though—we’ve put together plenty of tips, tricks, and suggestions for all types of flapping tarps, whether they’re part of a truck or camping setup. Read on and see if any of these solutions work for you!
Method 1Method 1 of 2:Securing Tarp on a Truck Bed or Trailer
- 1Lay down your back tarp first and layer your front tarp on top. Tarp is more likely to billow and "parachute" backward when you tarp the back of the load last. Instead, it’s always better to drape your backmost tarp first, followed by your frontmost tarp.XResearch source
- A parachuting tarp can reduce your fuel mileage, which you definitely don’t want.
- Think about investing in mesh/webbed tarp—it’s a lot more durable and is less likely to flap in the wind.XResearch source
- Always pad any sharp edges or corners of your cargo with furniture blankets first. This protects your tarp and helps it last longer.XResearch source
- 2Drape each tarp super snugly over the cargo. Make sure that there are no major gaps between the tarp and your shipment. Instead, flatten down the tarp as much as possible so it's flush with the cargo. The more wiggle room a tarp has, the more likely it is to flap.XResearch source
- If it’s pretty windy when you’re tarping, secure bungee cords between the corner D-Rings of the tarp and the base of the truck. This way, all of your tarps will stay put.
- 3Tuck or roll in any leftover sections of tarp. Check around the perimeter of the truck and see if there are loose flaps or sections of tarp dangling over the edge of the truck. Roll or tuck these sections into the rest of the load so they aren’t able to flap.XResearch source
- 4Hook bungee cords into the rest of the D-Rings. Once your tarp is totally secure, check along the perimeter of your tarp to see if there are any unused D-Rings on your tarp. If there are, attach a spare bungee cord between each tarp D-Ring and the base of the truck. That way, your tarp will be extra tight and secure.XResearch source
- 5Add extra ratchet straps for extra security. Walk around the perimeter of your truck, carefully examining each section of the tarp as you go. Does it cover the cargo snugly, or does it have the potential to billow out once you hit the road? Secure a ratchet strap over any section of the load that still seems loose.XResearch source
Method 2Method 2 of 2:Securing a Tarp for Camping
- 1Pitch the tarp lower to the ground if you’ll be camping in bad, windy weather.XResearch source A high-pitched tarp shelter has its benefits, but only when the weather is calm and pleasant. A low-anchored tarp shelter offers less space there for wind and rain to blow in from the sides. Your tarp also isn’t as likely to billow upwards.XResearch source
- Some campers like to stake their tarp in an "A-Frame" formation, where the backside of the tarp is facing the wind and anchored flat against the ground. The front 2 corners of the tarp are also anchored close to the ground, but the tarp has a triangular, A-shaped opening that a person can fit through.XResearch source
- Set up your tarp in a diamond formation if you’re anchoring it from a tree. Imagine your tarp is placed flat in the shape of a diamond—going in a clockwise direction from the top, label each corner as 1, 2, 3, and 4. Secure corners 1 and 3 to the guyline and stake corners 2 and 4 into the ground.XResearch source
- 2Thread a length of paracord from right to left through 2 tarp grommets. Grab a length of paracord that’s 8 to 12 ft (2.4 to 3.7 m) long and pull it through the grommet to the right of the corner grommet. Then, create a big loop beneath the tarp with the paracord and pull it upwards through the corner grommet.XResearch source
- 3Pull the paracord to the left through the next adjacent grommet on the tarp. Continue pulling on the bundle of paracord so it gives you more slack. Then, thread the end of the paracord downwards and through the next adjacent grommet.XResearch source
- Make sure that you’ve used most of the paracord.
- 4Tie both ends of the paracord to the side grommets.Use an overhand knot or half-hitch knot as a quick, sturdy option.XResearch source You can also use a bowline knot to get the job done.XResearch source
- It’s okay if you have a little extra paracord slack hanging off to one side—you don’t need to cut it off.XResearch source
- 5Tug on the threaded sections of paracord until they look like 2 big loops. Once the paracord is tied down, grab the base of each paracord loop with your hands and pull them downward, creating a loopy "W" shape. Make sure that both loops are about equal in size.XResearch source
- 7Tie your tent stake to the carabiner and anchor it into the ground. The combination of the carabiner and the paracord offers some extra security to your tarp, and prevents the grommets from ripping out of your tarp during a windy day.XResearch source
- Use this method to secure the remaining corners of your tarp.