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New Tent/canopy


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I would appreciate some input on tents/canopy's.

 

We took good advice early on and started out with a good ez-up canopy and its been fine but have decided we want to upgrade to a sturdier one that can also be a pipe and drape system for indoor shows. We are in the NW and the wind kind of kicked us around at more than one show.

 

We have kind of zeroed in on the light dome because it's light weight. They seem to get great reviews, kind of taken back by the website as it really is so dated, has very little information, no store and I guess we have to call to order. Not sure what's worth it and what's not and hate to get on the phone and try and figure it out with a salesman.

 

We want to have a back 3 feet curtain to make a storage area for stock and one of us from time to time, at least 2 awnings, middle zippers on the sides and the curtain system for indoor shows.  

 

I've seen the inside curtain with logo imprinted, does anyone know where you can have this done?

 

 

Any advice or other considerations or canopies anyone might suggest?

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I have a Light Dome and recommend it highly. Don't worry about the basic website. When you are ready to call them, they are easy to work with. You can get all the features you want from them, except for the curtains.

 

I got a nice fabric banner with my logo printed at http://bestdecal.com.

 

For 10 x 7ft curtain walls, I found the best way was to buy the fabric and sew them myself. You can find very wide fabrics at http://rosebrand.com. RoseBrand is a theatre supply house, therefore many of their products are flame-retardant. Some indoor show venues require flame retardant booths.

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(and the wind kind of kicked us around at more than one show.)

You need better weights . I suggest 25-30 lbs per leg. Buy some 36 inch 2 inch square stock steel. drill a hole thru near end of steel square tie a loop of nylon- hook it to top in corners

This is for outdoor shows. No need indoor.

There is nothing worse than neighbors who are not properly weighted if you are a potter .(well almost nothing worse-I can think of a few worse)

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THIS is what I will probably get as my next canopy. I love the speed of a pop-up, and this is the beefiest one on the market. 2.5" legs, 1.5"x.75" trusses, fiberglass reinforced nylon fittings. I met a guy who's been using them as a double booth for the last couple of years and he's never had a problem with the weather.

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We have been using one of the Impact canopies Neil posted for about 10 or 12 years for outdoor shows. We have the commercial grade steel one.

 

One person can set it up but it’s easier with two. We leave the canopy on when we fold it up at the end of the day. There is a cloth bag that goes over the whole thing when it’s folded up, keeps the canopy clean. We do have a tiny bit of rust on the legs but not much. If we had room to open it up and dry off the legs after a market that might have avoided the rust.

 

The walls we have are like white tarps with velcro at the top, one wall is zippered in the middle to use as a door. I can only remember a couple times when we have used the walls. If there is an option for fabric walls like the roof is made from I would get those instead, the tarp walls we have are not that attractive. I’ve seen mesh walls that attach, so breeze goes through but adds some shade. Those looked like a good idea too if you do a lot of shows in hot sunny areas.

 

Canopy top doesn’t leak at the seams when it rains, and we have been in some downpours. Costco sells the lighter weight version of the canopy but I know for sure the seams leak, friends of ours have one of those.

 

We don’t have a partition but it would be simple to hang a drape from a pole across with holes in the end of it then zapstrap it to the cross struts.

 

The accessories that Impact sells are silly expensive, for weights we filled lengths of white PVC pipe with concrete with an eyebolt inserted in the top and hang those.

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I to love instant canopies-I like the aluminum for lightness and quick up and down. I have been thru many of these units-The tops were out.I keep a full repair kit with me for all nuts and fittings(any manufacture will supply a repair kit with all the parts).

I do a few shows (3) with no canopy like my Boulder City show as its a windy site always.I use two canopies for double booths 3 times a year.

Always buy them at the top or near the top of the line-I always avoid low end big box canopies-these die fast

I like the light dome but its to slow for me-I would have one if I was in the midwest with those fast moving thunder storms.Nothing sheds water better than the light dome with the plastered walls and top-there are a few brands that have the same look and setup.

For indoor shows the fastest lightest  easy up one will work fine.

I used to use vented sides  etc but all that stuff just made set up and breakdown longer.Now my side walls are not fancy.

Have a reputation for getting out of show before the jewelers and a quick take down is key(this is another subject)

I have  new canopy in a box ready to roll as a backup-I leaned that the hard way years ago when I had one die between a back to back weekends of shows.I carry to in my space case on van top always.

 

PS the top stays on when folded up with a bag slipped over it.

some other tips are spray your legs  and leg slides with spray silicone as it makes them slide open and close easier.

If the top is wet when you pack up -open it up when you get home in dry weather so its dries well-this is a key point.

I long ago had my side wall zippers give up -my side panels (6 of them for double booths) are custom made with heavy duty zippers and longer velcro hangers and are just a bit oversize so its easy to zip no matter what the layout or if a rack sticks out an inch or so.

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As always you guys are great, thank you.

 

Thanks GEP for the links exactly what we needed as well as the reassurance for the website. I hear nothing but great things about the company.

 

Great suggestion on weights Mark. We do use about 30lbs or so a leg. We have some heavy rubber weights that take water or sand. My truck, trailer pottery and gear get really close to my max load so its nice adding and removing the weight on site. I might make a set like you describe for local shows because getting water is a challenge sometimes. The biggest problem we had in some big wind gust was the whole tent is so light weight that is just blew around with the legs walking in. We could do things like braced between the legs and such. We are still planning on using it as the one day tent and should get years out of it.  

 

Hi Neil, Min those do seem nice, would certainly consider for one day shows if we didn't have the ezup.

 

Another thing driving this decision is the 3' back area and indoor pipe and drape, along with things to tailor it too us and doing a bunch of custom work on a $300 tent seems unproductive.

 

Thanks everyone!

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I should mention that I also have an ultra-lightweight aluminum pop-up canopy (about 20 lbs) for one-day shows. For a one-day show, I find that the 20 minute setup time for the Light Dome is not worth it. My pop-up does not have any walls, again for a one-day show it's not worth it. I just hang the fabric logo banner across the back. The walls are only necessary when you leave your work/display out overnight, to keep out weather and nosy people.

 

The vinyl roof of the Light Dome needs to be pulled on and pulled off every time. This is much easier when I am wearing tight-fitting gardening gloves that have a grippy palm surface.

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You can get accessories for pop-ups at Fred's. An awning at the back of the booth is the best thing ever. Without it you either fry in the sun or are cramped into your booth. The best thing you can do to a pop-up to increase strength and stability is to add cross rails between the legs. I use them on my Caravan, and it does very well in the wind. I like THESE brackets better than the one's Fred sells, because they don't stick out, which makes it harder to zip down the sides.

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Many of my setups have back storage space as Its something I need.For shade I hand a few wood sticks and fabric as I do not sit in sun ever .

I use a few walls to hide this stock . I use the rest of side panels to close up. The more open the booth the better for me.

 

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