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Tent Weights?

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Tent Weights?

Post by Psalmbook on Sat May 28, 2011 6:52 am

I had a gig yesterday & a storm blew in so fast I was caught way off guard. I have my tent weighed down with bungee cords on each corner & have 2 25 lb & 2 10 lb weights I use at the corners. It still skidded across the ground(I was in the city, so the winds were intensified by the tall buildings). It took me, my daughter & a helpful homeless guy to keep me from totally losing my tent(I hurt my painting hand because of how hard I was gripping it). I lost a wall(it ripped) & one of the bars snapped out of it's corner, but is fixable.

My question is, is there a system that really does work to weigh that sucker down? Have you seen it in action. I've seen many gadgets & hopefuls fail at other events w/ other vendors & don't want to risk losing my tent. I have an E-Z Up. Is there a plan that works to help(like lowering the tent to it's lowest setting in storm conditions).
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by nancy! on Sat May 28, 2011 7:40 am

Oh Linda, what a pity. We can have heavy storm here also, but I have no tent so I have no advice.
Hope you still can use your tent.
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by FUNFACTORY on Sat May 28, 2011 10:49 am

sorry to hear about your storm,hope your hand is ok !I just got my e-z up tent and was wondering the same thing. pretty windy here too !
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by namanda123 on Sat May 28, 2011 11:01 am

I have tried everything and to be honest nothing has worked. When it gets windy tents are basically like a giant umbrella. I was painting at an Easter Egg Hunt last month and my tent flew up out of the ground ripping the stakes out of the ground and took the weights with it. unfortunately it was Toast!! Two of the legs were bent completely in half. So I have now come to the conclusion Tents are not a wise decision when the wind picks up.
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by Perry Noia on Sat May 28, 2011 7:08 pm

if you are on the grass, I've heard that you can use those spiral screw things that they use to hold big dog chains?? I want to get some before my big festival next weekend actually. It wouldn't work on concrete, but sometimes.

My downtown market gig always has me up against a wall where there is a metal bar cemented into the ground and I tie down to that at least on the one side. The market has pier blocks that they let the vendors use to tie down to as well.
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by TheGildedCat on Sat May 28, 2011 11:16 pm

I've heard that the EZ-Ups are some of the worst, most dangerous tents when it comes to wind. The better quality ones have multiple layers on the top that channel the wind out. Some art shows ban EZ ups because of the danger!

The short-term solution that seems to come up the most as the best bet is the "Happifeet System." I do not have personal experience with these, but they get great reviews on crafter/artist sites.
http://happifeet.com/

Whatever you do, do NOT hang weights from the top, it's dangerous and does not prevent the legs of your tent from bowing out, thus allowing the weighted top to crash down with even more force. Hello insurance!
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by TheGildedCat on Sat May 28, 2011 11:18 pm

Also, check out these stabilizer bars which help the flimsy aluminum tent legs stand fast in wind:
http://flourish.com/more_pop_up_stabar.html
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by freedspirit on Sun May 29, 2011 3:58 am

Oh thats horrible Psalm..I hope your hand heals fast and your tent will alright..Once they have been compromised they tend to be a bit weaker and they are just so expensive....I had my nephews birthday at my house yesterday and I have a hexagonal shaped gazebo with mesh sides..It's my first tent.. abit cheap but it has been working great UNTIL!!! my HUSBANDS 6 month old Dog (Batman) ran clean through the mesh wall..He was trying to reach my dog on the other side What a Face .....I am looking forward to him maturing....It's gonna take some careful sewing...
Great suggestion for the corkscrew pegs too!! Must get some.
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by Beans on Sun May 29, 2011 5:21 am

TheGildedCat wrote:The short-term solution that seems to come up the most as the best bet is the "Happifeet System." I do not have personal experience with these, but they get great reviews on crafter/artist sites.
http://happifeet.com/

Whatever you do, do NOT hang weights from the top, it's dangerous and does not prevent the legs of your tent from bowing out, thus allowing the weighted top to crash down with even more force. Hello insurance!

Funnily enough these 'happifeet' are about the same weight as the water bottles I have that I tie the ezup roof cords to ( the cords supposedly used for tent spikes) when I'm on ashphalt. I have four 12 liter water bottles that weigh the roof down over the frame and I haven't had any problems yet.
I also keep the tent legs on its lowest height which suits me being 5ft4. I think that helps.
Linda I hope your hand heals fast, muscle strain is a bummer. Mad
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by Psalmbook on Sun May 29, 2011 8:12 am

The hand is feeling better, but I chose not to take my tent to the "Wind Channel" downtown. It was probably a good choice as it was quite windy... Stinks as I sat in a teekee hut at a theme park & made $29 dollars all day... I'm havin' a bit of a pitty party & wish I was at FABAIC instead Very Happy
Gilded, thanks for the info on the "HappyFeet".
Keep the info coming... "Thinking of hammering steel rods into the concrete & pissin' off the city" Razz
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by aussiemarie on Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:41 pm

Last weekend at a street festival I spied lots of interesting weights. Many were homemade : like large metal coffee cans filled with cement and an eyehook embedded in the top, or pvc pipe filled with cement and capped and eye loop attachedl. But the BEST and BADDEST were the giant 6 inch diameter by 24' PVC pipes with caps. The vendor said they weighed about 50 lbs. each! Her husbandhad to load them in the van for her at home and she dragged them into place with a strap. We also noticed that she had special metal tags (like the size of a license plate with notched out holes) slipped around the tent poles so to put the weight ontop and anchor the tent down.
Hope this helps.
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by leapinglizards on Thu Jun 02, 2011 5:43 am

The weights we use on our tent are 5 gallon buckets filled with cement... they weigh a TON. We do attach them at the top corners, but we wrap the cords around the legs before attaching them to the chain in the middle of the cement.

Now, in a bad wind all this will do is keep the pieces in place.

It won't save the tent.

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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by Sweet Loretta on Thu Jun 02, 2011 3:48 pm

The reality is simply more weight. There are so many ways to do it but you need more weight. Yes lowering the top also helps.
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by ChangingFaceDesigns on Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:57 pm

As long as the wind/air has no where to escape to...it is going to keep lifting/taking your tent no matter how much you attempt to weigh it down. You need to get another top that is vented or find some way to cut vents into the top you already have.

Take a look next time it's windy and rainy at someone with a traditional umbrella and one that has an umbrella with a vented top.

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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by Psalmbook on Fri Jun 03, 2011 12:11 pm

Thanks for the info. I'm thinking vented top is the best way to go. That or 4 gorgeous beefy guys on each corner... hmmmm Cool
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by IamGinaW on Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:10 pm

Right now, I'm just using 4 barbell weights like these:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Cap-Barbell-1-Hole-Weight-Lifting-Plates/11099734

Sometimes I just lay them on the tabs on the bottoms of the legs, and sometimes I work the legs into one of the holes in the barbells.

What I'd like to have is this:

http://www.buyhardwaresupplies.com/?t=5&m=g1&itemNumber=8304990

These look intriguing though:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=380277545228#vi-content

Here's a tutorial on how to make tent weights:
http://etsymetal.blogspot.com/2009/06/tent-weights-tutorial.html

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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by Sparklyone on Mon Jun 06, 2011 10:02 pm

Such good info....I am listening and learning! Thanks everyone and Psalm, hope your hand is all healed up now. I love you

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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by Psalmbook on Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:22 am

IamGinaW wrote:Right now, I'm just using 4 barbell weights like these:
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Cap-Barbell-1-Hole-Weight-Lifting-Plates/11099734

Sometimes I just lay them on the tabs on the bottoms of the legs, and sometimes I work the legs into one of the holes in the barbells.

What I'd like to have is this:

http://www.buyhardwaresupplies.com/?t=5&m=g1&itemNumber=8304990

These look intriguing though:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=380277545228#vi-content

Here's a tutorial on how to make tent weights:
http://etsymetal.blogspot.com/2009/06/tent-weights-tutorial.html


Thank you all. My hand is all better(I think I strained the tendons/muscles in the back of my hand).
Gina, I use the barbell weights & thought they'd be perfect. They became very dangerous projectiles & scared me to death. Thankfully by the time the real wind had hit, no one was near my tent as they'd all taken cover inside. I would love to try the weights you showed in the pic. I think I fixed my tent enough to make it useable, but I really want to make sure it never takes flight & hurts someone. I don't want to be the painter that uses up our Specialty Insurance Cap...
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by Criss on Tue Jun 07, 2011 2:49 pm

I vote for the men Smile
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by IamGinaW on Wed Jun 08, 2011 1:30 am

Here's another type that should stay very securely attached: http://www.soccergarage.com/ezdwb.html
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by Psalmbook on Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:26 am

Sad to say... I've seen tents fly away with those:

http://www.soccergarage.com/ezdwb.html
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by IamGinaW on Thu Jun 09, 2011 12:13 pm

Hmm, maybe they're not heavy enough.
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by Lynnie on Thu Jun 09, 2011 3:40 pm

I've had one of my EZ-Up for 5 years. Addressing whomever it was that said she heard they are the worst...if you get the garden ones, they are horrible. However, they have commercial grade and this thing has been through downpours, high winds, thunder/hail storms, everything. Last year we had an event where we were not allowed to weigh down at all (long story short: the park thought weights or stakes would ruin the park...my girl who was working forgot to lower the tent and it rolled like a turtle. She caught it in the morning, put it upright and kept right on using it. Only damage was a slight bow in a crosspiece...everything else including walls and canopy are fine.) I have 3 commercial Ez-Ups and I love them. For $200 at BJ's they come with sign holders, awning, rolling case, sides...everything. It's not failed me yet.
Only one fair here bans them and it's for the look...they want traditional canvas at their event.

As for the weights, the ones Gina put up that fit around the legs have to be stacked. Singly they are 10lbs each. We have anywhere from 4 to 6 on each leg, and if we can stake down we do that too. We stagger where the opening is and have had no problems with them. We used them for our entire season last year. They are about $30 for 4 at naughty word's so they can get a little bit pricey. They are filled with cement/sand so I highly advise against dropping one on your foot, speaking from experience. My 5-year-old EZ-Up has been out to three festivals this season with these, one of which had windy thunderstorms, and it stayed put without needing to be held down.

I've also filled milk jugs with play sand and tied that to the leg. We've one event that's a wind tunnel for 8 years (started there with my henna booth) and I've used the tubes of play sand at that, putting them in the middle of the back and non-entry sides and tied the corners down to it. Worked awesome.

I've also tied to trees, the ground grates around trees, sign posts, nearby benches and had a non-weighted neighbor tied to us- all successfully.

I don't have a vented tent and have kept them from flipping using those things. At night we always move all of our stuff to the center (table, chair, etc) and drop the tent to the lowest setting (half up) which has always helped as well. We've come back to find other tents flipped around us and ours right where we left it.

Whenever looking at weight systems my main concern is loading. We have 5 girls (not including me) and 3 guys. If I can't move it without one of the male hawkers, then there is no way 4 of my girls can and I need them to be able to un/load everything. The homemade 50lb things are great in theory but if you are on your own and can't move it, then it won't work (or if the added weight to the car does damage).
No matter what you consider, please keep that in mind. It won't help you much if you throw out your back and can't paint.

I'm glad to hear your hand is doing better, Linda, and that you were able to fix your tent. Best of luck to you!! <3


Last edited by Lynnie on Fri Jun 10, 2011 9:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by IamGinaW on Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:14 pm

Hmm... We don't have a "naughty word" store anywhere around here. LOL! Laughing
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Re: Tent Weights?

Post by Lynnie on Thu Jun 09, 2011 11:24 pm

Hey! That "naughty word" is my Dad's name!!! lol

Perhaps they're available in other sportsman stores (BassPro or Gander Mountain?) that sell the tents and all of the tailgating supplies, which is the section I found them in. Maybe?
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