Is anyone here (hopefully another female of average strength) setting up their tents on their own?

I am using a craigslist emergency purchase pop-up tent. It's really hard to set up. Specifically, I have hit or miss success getting the corners to snap into place. I can't seem to really get the stretch I need without another person to pull/hold opposite of me. (Or a big strong dude nearby to come to my rescue and pop in the corners, but who wants to count on that every time?)

Yes... I keep the canopy loose, but those corners are still a hit or miss.

I see videos of tents that show a single person pushing up the center and it clicks into place making (or so it seems?) the corners extend. Then they push the corners up (just a few inches as opposed to my 6 or more inches) as though there is no resistance at all. 

I will only need the tent for 6 months or less... so I don't need a "tank" or to sink a bunch of money into anything. I just something that I can handle on my own.

Suggestions? TESTIMONIALS? 

oh...just a thought: has anyone just staked one corner so it is stable to pull against? I guess I could just try that, too?

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  • It pays to practice at home. I saw some new people at a show with one of those pop ups that accordions out from the center. During take down they were having problems with collapsing it, and I was going to help them on my way back from the head. When I got back they were stomping the metal frame into a pile of twisted metal. Felt bad for them but, "que lastima".

    • Yes... I have been "practicing" and just when I think I have a "system" it fails me during my actual set up.

      By the Way: the one I have now is called an "InstaShade". And it's not even a full 10x10 as I discovered the first time I had it next to a "pro" pop-up. 

      Upon further interviews with several of my associates at the event over the past few weekends, I bit the bullet and bought a new rig. I only need it as I said for 4 to 6 months, so I bought what another vendor WANTS and they will buy it from me when I am done. They were about to replace their tent and were thrilled to make this arrangement! As am I!

      That means I bought what they wanted, but after talking with several owners of this brand, it seems like it will be just fine. I bought a Eurmax.

      (wow...It's going to be nice to have the FULL 10 feet by 10 feet to work in!)

      Thanks to everyone who replied here. This is the exact community that makes all of us stronger, smarter, and ultimately more successful!

      • EURMAX is a one person orientated design. The covering stays with the structure so when you're done you release the legs,  lower, and then push the whole thing into one bundle. Pull the travel bag over it and go. 

        • Yep... I have had such a great experience for the past two shows. So easy to open, and to close and stash into the bag. And, I am able to lift it into my truck. Perfect. Very happy!

          OH...And it survived some BIG winds (gusts to 40/50 range) and rain last week which my previous set up would not have. So my timing was right on!

  • I have the Undercover R3, commercial tent. It's a great tent, overall. Used it many times and mostly put it up by myself. Now I consider myself a strong person but it is hard to get the corners to snap into place unless it is fully open, which is not that easy to do unless one leg is secured to something, or someone else is helping.

    I have tried to raise it using the method Larry Sohn describes but it doesn't really work for me. (although, next time I open it, I'm going to try it one more time just to make sure!)  

    So if you are able to do it, secure one leg to your car or something similar after you get it open as far as you can, and it will go up a bit easier. 

    Good luck! 

    • Thanks, Nancy. That's what I am going to do. I am going to open it as far as possible - try Larry's technique and then if all else fails I will secure one corner to give me the second person "advantage". I will be doing that in about an hour from now.

      I will report my results (and the name of the tent) when I get back.

      • The trick to getting it to snap, at the top of the legs...

        Take the roof eaves, at the corners, flipp them up. Higher than the location of the snap position. Raise the corner slide brackets, till they snap. Then fold the eaves back down.

        This took a little while for me to learn.

        I have NEVER secured a leg against anything. To the contrary, I have lifted the entire side (both legs on one side) while expanding. It allows the legs to move away easier. I do this by merely pushing up in the areas I described (labeled) on the accordion frame. This will easily lift one side of the tent.

        You do have to walk around to the different sides, a couple of times. This allows it to spread more evenly.

        You may also try loosening the center control knob, as it may be pulling the top too tight, impending setup. It can then be tightened afterward.

        Hope this helps :-)

        • This sounds like it will work well. Every time I have tried opening it from the sides rather than the corners it just seemed like it wouldn't move at all...will give it a go with your more detailed instructions. Loosening the top sounds logical as well. 

          Glad you had the question McKenna, I'm happy to have it go a little easier! Oh and I definitely felt like stomping it like the people described below when I first got it...:0)

  • I find it difficult to understand that a Pop-up type tent takes more than one person to set up.

    As you have not listed the tent brand and model, we can't advise on your tent. Perhaps you should contact the manufacturer. Find if they have a video showing the best setup. They might be able to discern if you have a defective tent.

    If you want a pop up and desire an extremely easy, quality tent, I recommend "Undercover R-2" or "UC-2". They are very, very easy to set up by oneself as well as very quick.

    I can take it out of it's bag and set up the tent (without the sidewalls) in less than 5 minutes.

    If installing the sidewalls, add about another 7 minutes. That is without rushing.

    One idea to look at with your current tent. Don't try to stake a corner or pull the legs apart from each other. Instead hold the accordion framing and lift or stretch to get it to expand the proper way.

    You would go to the center of each side. grab the accordion (diamonds) approx. 1 1/2' from the center, on each side of center point, on the bottom rails. Lift upward, lifting the entire side , with legs off the ground. This might separate the legs enough to allow easier lifting of the locking joints.

    • Does the UC push up into the center? 

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