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Hi. I’m looking for weights to add to my tent. What do you use and how many pounds are they. Also do you know where to buy them or make them. I was thinking of getting PVC pipe ,filling it with cement and a hook to hang it. Please let me know. Thanks.
Wendy

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In the past I have used dumbbells - and still do occasionally. Lately I have been using planters - pots filled with dirt and flowers. The pots have a rim where they don't see the bungee cords and rope I use to keep them in place. People don't even know they are weights. Paula's answer is good though - many artists I know use the pvc pipe.
Hey Wendy, I use EZ-weights. they are four cylinders (that stand on the ground next to your tent legs). They can be filled with water (which is what I use) or sand. They can have up to 60 pds. in each cylinder although I never fill them all the way. One good thing is that I have the weight only going one way as I let the water out on some lucky tree nearby when I'm doing tear down. So my gas mileage is better. They are bulky and don't allow you to zipper the sides down on your tent unless you put them to the inside of the tent. But they were only $176 for the four whereas Stack On Weights and Happy Feet were asking for around $400 and up. I have heard you want at least 40 pds on each leg. The cylinders are very pretty and you can put flowers in the top or like me, they can hold some business cards.

What do you do if you do not have a water source?

I too use pcv pipes from Home depot filled with cement. I used a smaller diamater pipe and each is about 3 ft long and were precut at home depot. They weigh just under 20lbs each (easier to carry). Get 2 caps for each tube and some long eye bolts maybe 1/4 to 1/2 in diam and long and treaded. Get a couple of nuts to put on the threads for each weight. I may have to make a few more, the 80lbs for all 4 weights is just a little light for my ezup tent.

I would drill a hole in one cap and put the bolt through and then put on the nuts but just a little ways down. Use pcv cement and fasten that cap on the tube, and fill with cement. Make sure the eye bolt is deep in the cement and not at an angle. Fasten the bottom cap on last, but maybe put some cement in the cap before slipping it on so that there is not an empty space there that might crack. You might want to drill a little hole in the bottom so the air can escape as you put the last cap on.

The 20lb weights are not too bad to handle and you can double up on a corner if you need more weight. I used some of those straps that have a little spring clamp release which makes it easier to lower them down so they just touch the ground and they have two hook ends that attach to the frame and the weights nicely.
I made a set of the PVC pipe and quick crete weights and they work very well. I attach them to my tent with bungee cords. You can make the weights heavier by increasing the diameter and length of the PVC pipe. Just make sure you are able to lift the weight comfortably. Mine are just plain white but I have seen people cover them with fabric, carpet etc.
My first show with a tent I used 40 lb buckets of Cat Litter! Worked great and since I have a cat, it got used up afterwards. After that I bought some weight bags from Flourish.Com and filled them with sand. They hold up to 50 lbs each, and each has two tubes and straps to wrap around a leg. I learned that sand is not the best thing to fill them with - it leaks! Use small gravel instead.

One thing that has really helped me is the Sta-bars from Flourish. I bought a set of their upper Sta-bars to use in my Caravan pop-up. I mount them about half way up the legs. This keeps the tent from swaying. Last year in a particularly windy show I looked down the line of tents and mine was the only one not swaying. I also use steel gridwall inside, which also adds a lot of weight to the tent. I bungee the gridwall to the Sta-bars and to the top of the tent. I can't say enough about the added bars to the tent. Several of our local artists have purchased them since seeing mine. It's probably the best $160 investment I've made.

I need to get these Sta-bars, I'm always nervous with outdoor shows.  Do you use both top and bottom?  You indicated you  use the "upper" and mount about half way up; are they moveable to different positions on the legs?

thank you

 

I use the Flourish Sta-bar supports, too. They do a lot to steady the tent in high winds, and since I'm going to Chicago for a few shows this year, I'm sure I'll need them.

As far as weights go, I made my own sandbags from heavy suede material, filled each w/ about 25 lbs of sand, then sewed each one shut. They're leak-proof, and are made to drape over each corner Sta-bar support (two to a corner). It cost under $20 to do the whole tent.

~Jeni
JeniBuckingham.com
I HIGHLY recommend the Eaton's "Stack On Canopy Weights." I've owned mine for about eight years and they are fantastic. Jim Eaton, a sculptor, and an engineer by training, designed these super weights for art fair artists. He and his wife, Kathy, both seasoned veterans of art fairs, fully understand the need for effective, aesthetic solutions for securing canopies in challenging weather conditions.

One of the most important features is that you can move the weights from one leg to another in seconds, if needed in straight line winds. I personally have never heard of an artist losing a tent, using these weights. I recommend two sets (eight weights), which would be 30 lbs. per leg.

I had a disaster years ago at Milw. Lakefront, using the concrete filled PVC weights, which came unsecured and swung like a pendalum, flipping my tent backwards, landing upside down over a glassblowers booth. Two of the weights went flying, narrowly missing pedestrians. They can be deadly!!

Here is the link to the website for the weights: http://www.canopyweights.com/
I made PVC weights with a friend, who helped. We filled them with quik-crete, about $3 a bag. I put handles on each one as well as a ring at the top to hang them from a rope. He didn't. Mine don't roll around in the van. His do. I made them about two feet long, the width maybe 5-6 inches? Heavy, but they work well.
I'm a cheap artist! I go to a local Lowes or Home Depot and buy cement blocks, called "cinder blocks." They are 8"x8"x16", cost about $1. I bungee one to each corner of my booth. They are great on concrete/asphalt, since they have a low coefficient of drag compared to PVC tubes. I just leave them behind after the show is over. Also, Sta-Bars are great: they stabilize a booth so that it doesn't sway and the tent legs don't tuck in or "walk" during high winds. I've survived many bad storms using these methods, often being one of the few booths left standing in my area. It is surprising how many artists have seem my cheap system and now copy it. I'm glad to have them as neighbors, since they too will survive high winds!
Hi Wendy
2 years ago I bought the sand bags that Dick Blick sells for the EZ-Up tents. I started to buy the material to make my own weights out of PVC. Then I saw on the Dick Blick website the bags and they cost $40 for a set of 4 (they are now $63). The The material for the PVC weights had already reached about $114, not to mention the time to make them. I filled them with sand to a weight which I could handle. I don't know how much that is. Here is a link: http://www.ezup4less.com/acatalog/8_X_8_EZ_UP_CANOPY_TENTS.html that has them for $50. You might find them for less if you search.
Good luck!

Lila Solnick
Nights Work Art & Jewelry
nightswork.etsy.com
Wauconda, IL

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