1. Welcome to TalkBass 2014! If you're new here, we just went through a major site upgrade. Please post all concerns and bugs to the Forum Usage Issues forum. We will be monitoring that forum. Thank you for all of your feedback.

    The TB Android app is working, you may need to uninstall/reinstall. The iPhone app is now updated and should work after you upgrade. TalkBass is responsive to any screen size, so we recommend using your mobile browser for full functionality.

    Please read the TalkBass 2014 FAQ for lots of great info on the new software.

Bass case/touring help!!

Discussion in 'Accessories [DB]' started by eee, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. eee

    eee

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey guys and gals

    I'm going on an extended tour across Canada in a month and a half, and we're traveling in a pickup truck. The bed has nice weather-tight cap on it, but I'm still nervous about my upright being back there. It's going to be cold and bumpy!

    I'm wondering if you guys had any tips or recommendations on how to ensure the safety of my bass. Right now I only have a soft case, so I'm planning on wrapping the whole thing up in a bunch of blankets while we're driving. I would invest in a quality case if I knew where to look!

    eee
  2. PaulCannon

    PaulCannon

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Likes Received:
    1
    The main problem will be weather. If it's very cold and dry back there, your bass will be prone to cracking and open seams. If the humidity is below 30%, I would highly recommend using several dampits (be sure to keep them moist -- dry dampits just make things worse). Anything you can do to keep the temperature warm in the back of the truck will help. Touring orchestras usually have space heaters installed in their trucks, but I have no idea what's available for smaller vehicles. Blankets might help with the bumpiness of the ride, but they won't keep the bass warm.

    You probably don't need a hard shell travel case unless you're planning to stack heavy equipment like amplifiers on top of the bass. Still, if you're worried about protection then you could invest in something like this: http://store.gotofmi.com/34upbalihaca.html

    Those cases are half the price of a fiberglass case, weigh about 18 pounds empty, and are thick enough to protect against most accidents.
  3. eee

    eee

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the tips, keep'em coming!
  4. sowilson

    sowilson

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Likes Received:
    1
    Blankets won't help in keeping it warm. The bass will be the same temperature as the pickup bed within a 1/2 hour or so. If you're traveling through the heart of the midwest, it will be very, very cold. Can your bass take extended periods of -20F? It's much better to take these trips in a Van.
  5. carl h.

    carl h.

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Likes Received:
    2
    Seal the pass through window between the cab and cap with a gasket. Take some dryer vent and attach it to the floor heat duct of the pickup to divert warm air to the back.

    Won't make it a sauna out back, but it will keep the temps more reasonable for your instrument.

    No pass through? Insure the hell out of it, or take an electric.
  6. eee

    eee

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2009
    Likes Received:
    0
    Insurance...good call. And as for the blankets, those would only be for the bumps. Obviously the bass wont keep itself warm.
  7. KUNGfuSHERIFF

    KUNGfuSHERIFF

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Likes Received:
    2
    Forget the blankies. A thick foam pad under the body of the bass would be much better.

    My bass travels in the bed of my pickup. I have short ropes attached to the tie-downs on the passenger side, so the bass can lay on its' G string side (which helps the soundpost not fall) with the butt end facing the cab. I tie the front rope tightly around the endpin and the other loosely around the neck underneath the nut. I figure that, unless something nasty enough to break the neck out of the block happens, I'm safe.

    Maybe some company makes a unit that's a combination electric ceramic heater and humidifier. This is a plywood bass, right?
  8. carl h.

    carl h.

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Likes Received:
    2
    Are you good with positioning the bridge and setting a soundpost? If not, I'd think hard about bringing an upright, as these are the least of your damage concerns and very likely to need attention.
  9. carl h.

    carl h.

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2009
    Likes Received:
    2
    Canada + January = most folks in the lower 49 have no clue what the temps can do to hide glue.
  10. Yango

    Yango

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2008
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would most definitely invest in some type of hard shell padded case to protect your bass. It just makes sense.

    One unexpected abrupt stop, or massive pothole, and your blankets will be filled with splinters...

    I know a guy who had his electric bass in the trunk of his car in a soft case. He had a minor car accident (no injuries, with some damage to the car) and when he got home and took his bass out of the trunk, the neck was broken at the headstock. If he'd had a hardshell case, it would have been the case taking the impact instead of the headstock and neck of the bass.

    Just a cautionary tale.

    Cold is another issue altogether.
  11. JeffKissell

    JeffKissell Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2004
    Likes Received:
    0
    +1
  12. KUNGfuSHERIFF

    KUNGfuSHERIFF

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Likes Received:
    2
    Duly noted.
  13. MikeCanada

    MikeCanada

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Likes Received:
    6
    I completely agree that if you're doing a cross Canada tour in January with a bass in the back of a pickup, you are more than tempting fate. Canada is a big place, so there's a good chance your bass will be spending entire days or nights worth of driving in the back. -30°C is on the warmer end of temperature estimates, and humidity is pretty nonexistent too. As much as Paul's suggestion of several dampits makes sense, they are going to freeze regardless, and I'm guessing frozen dampits are going to do more harm than good.

    For the sake of your double bass, and any of the other music gear you are travelling with, renting one of those big vans instead of taking a pickup will be a lot better idea. It might add to the cost of your tour, but it will save your bass, and any other instruments travelling with you. Even electric guitars and amps and such really shouldn't be exposed to those conditions for an extended period of time. Think of it this way: the cost of renting the van will be lower than the cost of repairing all of your gear. The last thing you want to do is get to a gig in a strange city and find out that your instrument is unplayable. Best case scenario you can find somewhere to rent something or a shop to repair it. Worst case... I'll let your imagination go there.
  14. PaulCannon

    PaulCannon

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2002
    Likes Received:
    1
    If it's below freezing, your bass is screwed no matter what. If you can't rig up a heating system, you need a different vehicle.
  15. neal davis

    neal davis

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Likes Received:
    0
    where are you located? I have a few flight cases that I hire out.
  16. RSBBass

    RSBBass

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am with those who say get a van. If you are using any kind of electronics (amps, Pa, etc.)your band mambers should agree. At Canada temps, you are going to get condensation on the cold metal parts of electronics as soon as you bring them inside. Unless you are going to have many hours to let them acclimate, you are just looking for trouble.

Share This Page