After much research, we decided to purchase an UnderCover 10x10 Commercial Grade Canopy with Curtain Walls, and Display2go panels to display my framed art.

First show was last weekend. 

Undercover Commercial 10x10: We practiced setting it up at home before doing any show. It weighs about 60 pounds, so no liteweight. I'm 68 years old I needed my wife to help me unload it and set it up. I doubt I could set it up myself. Maybe with some more practice?

It's pretty easy to set up. Wheels help, although they tend to splay out. I don't think I'd roll it more than 20-30 feet. Certainly not from a block or two away. The wheel might break off.

Set up was pretty simple. Spread legs out to about 10 feet, then raise the bottom section. The clamps work great. Then raise the top sections a bit maybe first notch. Key here is attach curtains BEFORE the curtain cables are 7+ feet high. Also, affix curtains outside the horizontal supports/ not around the supports. 

There is a plastic pull on each corner. Pull the top up, put curtain around the corner posts, then pull down.

Then raise posts to desired height.

It's all relatively intuitive once you've done it. 

The tent disassembles quicky. Remove curtains, collapse tent, done.

I don't have any idea what the Dial A Peak Extender does. I turned it but it didn't seem to do anything.

We had intermittent rain all weekend. Sometimes heavy. We stayed dry, and no water pooled on the top. About 80% of other tents in show had water pooling on their tops, and the owners had to constantly hit the top to get the water to run off. Other tents leaked. Not the Undercover. Well, we did get some random drips from the center. The Undercover has a "feature" with a vent opening in the center. It's supposed to be for ventilation, but it could let water in if it was a really big storm with wind. Not sure why this is a feature or asset. It seems more a liability. Ours was closed but we still got a few stray drops. 

I can't imagine needing any tent more expensive. I give it a solid A.

 

We also used Display2go racks to display and hang our art. Four sets of 3x3 panels. Went together in 5 minutes. Very sturdy no swaying. I think they will outlive me. Again, I can't imagine needing any more expensive rack system. I give it a solid A+. I will also use them indoors at my gallery, and for any indoor shows. They look great work great and go together super-fast. We also bought their hook hangers, which also work great with their racks.

 

After the show, it took us 30 minutes to pack everything up and leave. Pretty easy for our first art fair.

 

And yes we made some sales, too!!!!

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  • We have an Undercover also.  We use the top dial to change the tautness of the canopy.  We rarely have water pooling on the top.   We use Gravity Tube weights as well, filling them with water. That gives us more room in our car.  We can usually find some kind of water source.

    Congrats on your first Undercover show!

     

     

  • Take along a stick to push off pooled water. I've yet to see a tent that didn't pool water in a Colorado thunderstorm. I had over 50 gallons pool (Measured it as I bailed it off) from an overnight storm in Evergreen CO back in 1990's. It bent center line top pole but  it didn't leak. It was a custom tent made by Davis Tent and Awning in Denver (known for their moutain hunting camp tents). I found the bigest and strongest volunteer and we bent the pole against a pine tree more or less staight and went on with the show.

  • I agree with Connie about sealing seams. Needles used on heavy fabric can be as large as pencil-lead diameter depending on size of thread used. You literally have thousands of holes along a seam where water can seep in. Seal all of your stitch lines.

     

  • Water pooling in the corners is usually the result of an improperly installed top. You have to make sure that it is 'even' on all 4 sides. On the UnderCover, this is done by lining up the fabric's top seam with the corner of the leg at the top. You do this BEFORE you raise and lock the inner framework. When water pools in the corner it stretches out the fabric and you will never be able to get the top tight enough to prevent this from happening again. That is why 80% of the other canopies had problems.  Hope this helps

  • Thank you for this thorough report, Mark. Taking it all down and being ready to go in 30 minutes is kind of an art fair artist's dream. Obviously you have been preparing for this for quite some time, attending other events to see what other people were doing, tracking how long it was going to take and preparing so thoroughly ahead of time.

     

    One tip in case you're concerned about the drips, every season we would spread out the tent and use "seam sealer" on all of the seams to protect against leaks.

     

    And you made sales! That's pretty tricky too, especially when you're starting out. I hope this all continues and I know people enjoy reading your reports going forward.

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