Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals
This is the first season I've added the 20" extensions to my 7 foot Propanels. What I thought was going to be an easy add-on has turned out to be a giant PITA. My old step stool turned out to be too short to safely assemble the extensions on top without having concerns about falling off the top step. So a folding and locking 4-step ladder had to be bought. The problem is that going up and down the ladder plus having your head almost 10 feet up in the air is taking way too much time to assemble the booth and tear it down. The extreme example was this past weekend at the Madison Chautauqua with a double booth taking a solid 4 hours to tear down and pack up.
What are other people doing to speed things up when using the extension panels? One suggestion I've heard is to use bathtub caulking (RTV) to glue the connecting pins into the extensions. That doesn't seem like enough of a savings in time. Another possibility is to use the caulking to attach pins, panels, and extensions together in one piece. I have all three back seats out of my E-350 van and there is enough room, barely, to fit the assembled package in there. The only problem with doing that is that the middle Velcro strap isn't able to be wrapped around the adjacent panel pipe. I'm wondering if skipping every other strap like that in the middle is still sturdy enough? I'm even considering attaching four panels together, heavy as it may be, and just put up with the heavier weight. What's everyone else doing for a work around, or is this just the price to pay for the two section panels?
This isn't an answer to adding the extensions, but another way to get a taller booth. When we wanted an extra tall booth we cut lengths of electrical conduit - cheap and easy - and when we get to the show we slip each booth leg into a longer piece of conduit. The carpeted bottom of the panel rests on the conduit. I took felt that matches the booth color and sewed velcro on and attach this as a skirting all around the bottom so the panel looks solid and you don't see any legs at all. We first went very tall, but I ran into some of your issues with climbing up a ladder to do everything and we ended cutting them down a little. We've used this system for a long time and it works great and takes up almost no extra space.
I did pick up 2 foot leg extensions for the EZ-Up to extend the height. Unfortunately they were designed for another model so I had to drill another two holes in the foot pads. They fit now, but the EZ-Up construction is sloppy enough that the foot pads on the tent legs are not perfectly level and a couple of the leg extensions angle out by about 2-3 inches at the bottom. It looks wonky to say the least. That particular booth gets oriented so the wonky legs are at the rear to keep from getting noticed. The leg extensions stay on, but it makes it harder to get the top put on. I use a painter pole to raise the top up over the legs so that's managable.
Aside from the wonkiness, how are the ez up leg extensions working out? Bascially, are they sturdy and safe. I have an ez-up, but switched to a Trimline a couple of years ago, in part for the height. However, the Trimline is a bear to setup for one person, so I was thinking of going back to my ex up witht he extenders.