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I did a show in downtown Philadelphia this weekend where there were heavy wind gusts.  Saw 1 tent (not sure of the brand, not an EZup, but was aluminum) have its one front leg lift up 7 feet off the ground and onto the tent next to it. Saw another tent (a Trimline) end up upside down on the other side of a 4 foot fence that ran behind our booths. 

A few reminders:

1) If you have weights hanging from your tent, secure them to your tent legs. In the first instance, the person's weights were swinging in the air after the front of the tent was 7 feet off the ground.

2) if the winds are strong and are coming in from the front of your tent, roll up your sides or at least unzip the back two corners to let the air flow thru your tent.  Both tents had their roofs and 3 sides on them.  Both tents ended up becoming kites. As soon as the wind started, I removed all three of my sides.

3) Have enough weight.  I had 6 GreatWeight bags (from Trimline) each with around 40 pounds of pea gravel.  Both tents that had issues did not have enough weight.

Both exhibitors got off pretty easy - no one got hurt and there was minimal damage to merchandise. Could have been way worse.Please be prepared for wind.


Views: 2433

Comment by Robert Wallis on October 11, 2016 at 6:50pm

It looks like all the weight was up in the front on that Trimline. Bad placement with nothing on the rear legs, as it probably made it even easier for the back of the tent to lift up. This brings back memories of vector force classes in engineering school. I could have done without that flashback, but it does illustrate what those classes were about. 45-50 pounds on each leg , except in Chicago where it goes to 70 pounds, has always been the the mantra for staying grounded.

Comment by Barry Bernstein on October 12, 2016 at 6:52am

A couple weeks ago, I picked up some "HappiFeet." I couldn't be any happier. Unfortunately, they are out of business, so, look for them in the secondary markets like this site or on the various FB sites. They screw into the bottoms of your tent poles. I'm not a fan of swinging weights or those sand bags. To me the most effective weights are those that touch the ground. I used to use cinder blocks, the old heavy ones, and would get a lot of criticism from all the know nothings with an opinion. Those people hardly can add 2 plus 2, let alone understand the principles of physics. The only time I had a problem, in 35 years, was when I used cement filled pvc pipes that I hung from the top of my booth.

Comment by Sheree Sorrells on October 12, 2016 at 10:39am

If the hanging weights are strapped to the legs, is that sufficient?

Comment by Steve Sawusch on October 12, 2016 at 10:46am

We use 4' sections of 2" steel rod. They only weigh about 43 pounds each, but we have 8 on our double. Many people underestimate the actual weight of their weights. I have helped many people that say their weights 40-50 pounds and they feel way lighter than our steel rods. You want to make sure the weights are hanging and not sitting on the ground. When a weight is on the ground, the ground is supporting the weight and does not transfer to the tent until the tent starts to lift which can be too late. Our double tent only has 1 entrance/exit. This allows us to use the stay bars (trimline) on 5 walls. We also Velcro our propanel legs to the stay bars along with using the hooks on top and the propanel support rods. The tent is extremely sturdy and will be one of the last to go. When the wind blows, we hike up any vinyl walls that are down to allow more air flow through the tent.

Comment by Steve Sawusch on October 12, 2016 at 10:48am

When the wind blows out here in Colorado (and it can be bad), I am more worried about others tents blowing into mine than mine blowing away.

Comment by Kathleen J. Clausen on October 12, 2016 at 10:55am

Last weekend I was positioned at a show where the wind came down a street of tall buildings and into the side of my tent.  The tent stayed in place, but the velcro on the sides tore free from the sides.  The velcro was left ringing the poles, but the sides were flapping in the wind.  Unfortunately, the wind also blew my jewelry displays over.  It was a mess.  The organizer helped us move to another site, but we got started about 2 hours after the show opened.  

Now for the repair to begin!

Comment by Kathy Ross on October 12, 2016 at 12:17pm

Comment by Kathy Ross on October 12, 2016 at 12:20pm

I am a believer in: the weights attached to the legs BUT sitting on the ground. Otherwise I think the weights will start to swing in a wind, which makes it all worse. Also, I guess everybody knows enough not to trust the weights to the loop on the canopy roof, better to attach to the frame itself. I use 5-gal or 6-gal water bottles for weights. Takes up alot of room but I hate to make my truck carry all that weight on a long trip.

Comment by Michael Reimer on October 12, 2016 at 12:48pm

To answer the question about "If the hanging weights are strapped to the legs, is that sufficient?"

That was my point - her weights were just hanging, not strapped to anything, so when her tent lifted off the ground, the weights were swinging around.  So, yes, strap the weights securely to the legs.

Steve - agree, I made this post for others because I don't want to be hit by their tents (plus I also care about other artists).  The first person's tent literally ended up on top of her neighbor's tent. Luckily, it was only 1 leg, so myself and another artist were able to lift it off after someone else held the swinging weight in place so we didn't get hit.


Comment by Michael Reimer on October 12, 2016 at 1:00pm

Robert - he had 4 weights, 1 near each leg.  The back ones were already taken off by the time I took the picture.  That said, each bag was not filled properly.  Each one weighed around 15 pounds.  The front of his tent lifted up first and his tent did a back flip over the fence.


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