(Un)Common Install Issues
As the producers of fabric shelters, we at Celina Tent can sometimes forget that most people (even those who purchase tents for home use) don’t spend the bulk of their waking hours thinking about tents. Little thought is given about how they’re made, how heavy they can be, how much material is used to create them, and so on.
One topic of overlap, perhaps the most common thread between us and our customers, is about installation practices. We often get asked a very specific subset of questions about our proposed instructions – you can find out more about those here at our Knowledge Center FAQ page. This blog, however, is going to cover areas that we don’t hear about very often, but feel that a quick reference to couldn’t hurt.
Let’s Meet the Contestants!
While you may never have thought about these mix-ups, there has been a time or two that we’ve had to remind ourselves that tenting isn’t an everyman’s hobby. Take for reference, for example, the following.
Styles Shmyles: Using the Wrong Top Style with your Poles or Frame Supports
While they do look similar – vinyl, metal bits, stakes, guy lines – it would be very difficult to use a frame tent top with a series of poles, and vice versa. Always make sure that your style is the same across all hardware and fabric. While sidewalls can be used interchangeably, trying to mix and match the tops and supports will put holes in your nice new frame tent top, or leave you without any way to connect that top to your frame.
Flipping and Flopping: Installing a Tent Top Inside-Out
While this isn’t a problem for most people while getting dressed in the morning, it’s always a good idea to make sure you know which side of your tent fabric is the inside and which side is the outside for your installation. In general, the interior of the tent will have your reinforcement; patches at corners or pole locations (for pole tents), webbing along hip lines, and so on. The top interior is also the location of the rope line, used for when sidewalls are installed.
It is possible to install your tent top flipped, with the following drawbacks:
Pole Tent Tops: This installation will expose patches to the light, which can be extremely noticeable when the tent top is colored. Any installed sidewalls will only shield you from the wind, as the connection method on the outside will allow any rain that falls on the top to run down the inside of the wall.
Frame Tent Tops: Good luck getting to the end of this installation, since frame tent tops attach to the frame perimeter with a series of alligator buckles and straps that are connected to the interior side of the top. Flipped installations on frames are extremely rare due to this fact alone. If you did manage an upside-down install, you would have the same water problem as an inverted pole tent top.
Anchors Away: Make Sure you Stake
This topic deals more with our frame tent installers than pole tents, since it is very hard not to stake a pole tent (hint: they fall down if you don’t). Just because a frame tent can stand on its own doesn’t mean that it should. Anything from light breezes to your uncle who is fond of silly pranks could not only cause harm to your hardware through bent fasteners or even poles, but safety also becomes a concern. Frame tents can be pushed and pulled, and when it’s Nature doing the pushing and pulling it’s a little harder to stop. This doesn’t even begin to cover water barrel usage.
Just Stop and Think
Each of these situations may seem silly, but represent only a small portion of similar instances we’ve come across in our 20+ year history in the marquee business. While you may smirk at your screen thinking I’ll never do that, just remember that Celina Tent is here to help you, even if your question boarders on the “do tents go outside?” arena (some can go indoors!). Feel free to give us a shout with any and all concerns – that’s what we’re here for!