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View Full Version : Gazebos / day tents - experiences and opinions



whitevanwoman
15-07-2015, 10:25
Hi all

I'm looking for a gazebo / day tent / frame tent to use as a craft stall at fairs and festivals and am after your experiences, good and bad, of different types and models.

I've looked at traditional market stalls (usually pretty solid steel frames with tarps) but they are expensive to buy new and rare as hens teeth to pick up second hand, and are also heavy and cumbersome, and the smaller ones won't be big enough to allow a display and a workspace under cover, and the bigger ones are beyond my budget at present.

A lot of the time I'm going to be on my own, so although I'm pretty experienced at putting up tents, I need something that is manageable for one person without it taking too long.

I've been looking online for a good while now and although in the short term, until I get established and know that this is something worth putting money, effort and time into, I don't want to shell out a lot of money, I've realised from reading reviews of gazebos etc that most of the cheaper gazebos simply don't stand up to much wind and rain, and are barely showerproof. I'm going to be looking at doing Christmas markets etc so I need something which will cope with not just British summer weather, but also Spring and Autumn weather.

In addition, it needs to be flame retardent to meet with H&S requirements of some venues.

My best option I suspect is to look out for cheap old style frame tents, the walk in type without built in ground sheets, which were often classed as Kitchen or Day tents, which will allow space for a display and also for a table for me to sit and work at. Ideally it needs to be able to secured easily at night and with a means of opening up the front for the public during the day and also at the back, to be able to site it next to the sliding door of my van so that I have easy access to the back of the tent from the van.

But not many second hand suitable tents like this on ebay, so if anyone has one in a loft or garage, which could be given a loving new home in return for some beer or diesel tokens, please do let me know.

Otherwise, I've narrowed my search down to these 2 options - links below - and would be grateful for any feedback from anyone who has used either model or similar models.

Hi Gear Dome Shelter 125 Hi Gear Dome Shelter | GO Outdoors (http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk//hi-gear-dome-p321450)


Kingfisher Heavy Duty Garden Gazebo with Side Curtains 103.50 Kingfisher Heavy Duty Garden Gazebo with Side Curtains | UK | World of Camping (http://www.worldofcamping.co.uk/kingfisher-heavy-duty-garden-gazebo-with-side-curtains)

The other thing is that if possible, I want the fabric to be light coloured, as coloured fabric will affect the colours of the items on display and will be prone to becoming unbearably hot and stuffy in hot summer weather. I don't really want a built in groundsheet either as in bad weather, this will end up becoming covered in mud and then a nightmare to pack up and clean afterwards.

So your opinions, experiences, etc wanted. And do let me know if you have something suitable which you might consider selling.

Ty.

caledonia
15-07-2015, 10:38
The go outdoors hi gear one looks like it would suit your needs. The king fisher one looks more like a garden room and would be heavier and more of a pig to erect.

whitevanwoman
15-07-2015, 10:48
The go outdoors hi gear one looks like it would suit your needs. The king fisher one looks more like a garden room and would be heavier and more of a pig to erect.

My thoughts exactly, The Hi Gear one looks pretty good, certainly robust in bad weather, and pretty much what I'm after in terms of specs. I just wondered whether anyone has any experience with them.

The other one, the gazebo type, as you say is more of a garden room, but as it's apparently heavy duty, I thought it might be more robust than the cheap gazebos.

I will probably go for the Hi Gear one unless I get any bad feedback. But nervous about wasting my limited funds so just wanted to check first.

I'm not far from a Go Outdoors shop and so will probably go and buy in person so that I can maybe see one put up and check the label for fire retardency etc.

MORGANTHEMOON
15-07-2015, 10:54
I was looking at this about 2 years ago for a similar thing and thought the waterproof pop up ones were brill, you can get them with .
So quick to put up and put down.

yorkslass
15-07-2015, 11:07
You mentioned winter fairs. I guess most would be hard standing so you need to bear in mind some means of being able to fasten it down in windy weather. In reality anything that is going to be weatherproof is going to be fairly heavy. It may be worth getting extra waterproof lightweight covers that in an emergency, you put over your display tables and secure with welding clips. Oh, and don't forget plenty of bungees.

whitevanwoman
15-07-2015, 11:20
You mentioned winter fairs. I guess most would be hard standing so you need to bear in mind some means of being able to fasten it down in windy weather. In reality anything that is going to be weatherproof is going to be fairly heavy. It may be worth getting extra waterproof lightweight covers that in an emergency, you put over your display tables and secure with welding clips. Oh, and don't forget plenty of bungees.

Yes, you're right. I was thinking in the short term of using 5 litre water bottles as corner weights, but in the longer term would look at some of the proper weights - I've seen some flat metal discs which surround the poles.

As a former tent camper, I am a strong advocate of always having bungees, spare tent pegs, spare elastics, spare guys etc. I will probably buy some dog tether screws for the guy lines in bad weather if on a grass pitch. I will probably look at hanging shower curtains from the poles along the sides - cheap and lightweight.

whitevanwoman
15-07-2015, 11:25
I was looking at this about 2 years ago for a similar thing and thought the waterproof pop up ones were brill, you can get them with .
So quick to put up and put down.

That was my first thought, to just get a cheap pop up gazebo with side panels / tarp but having seen stall holders having to hold on to poles of a pop up gazebo during a gusty rainy half hour summer shower a couple of weeks ago at a carnival, I feel that they may simply not stand up to some of the extremes of weather which we do get - last year whilst at Farmer Phil's, we had the tail end of a hurricane and it was very windy for a couple of days, and all around us, people were taking down gazebos etc, and there were plenty of broken gazebos in the piles of rubbish left at the end of the festival. So for the odd occasion in summer in good weather, a pop up gazebo may be fine, but I don't think they can be relied upon for regular use in normal british weather.

Caz
15-07-2015, 12:22
I had a cheap 12.99 gazebo which stood up to some heavy rain and winds on the side of a hill near Scarborough - I think half the time folk don't peg them and guy out properly.

The two you mention:

Hi Gear Dome Shelter - I think this is more of a sun shelter than a serious bad weather contender, only fly screens at the side so rain would come in.

Kingfisher Heavy Duty Garden Gazebo with Side Curtains - looks very heavy and big for carrying about and doesn't seem to have many pegging points, not sure how stable it would be in wind.

Aside from problems you may encounter if pitching on concrete/tarmac in winter, I think you would be better off with a proper driveaway awning. I know they are expensive but secondhand ones often come up on e-bay etc.

whitevanwoman
15-07-2015, 13:07
I had a cheap 12.99 gazebo which stood up to some heavy rain and winds on the side of a hill near Scarborough - I think half the time folk don't peg them and guy out properly.

The two you mention:

Hi Gear Dome Shelter - I think this is more of a sun shelter than a serious bad weather contender, only fly screens at the side so rain would come in.

Kingfisher Heavy Duty Garden Gazebo with Side Curtains - looks very heavy and big for carrying about and doesn't seem to have many pegging points, not sure how stable it would be in wind.

Aside from problems you may encounter if pitching on concrete/tarmac in winter, I think you would be better off with a proper driveaway awning. I know they are expensive but secondhand ones often come up on e-bay etc.

OK, thanks for the suggestion, food for thought for the longer term.

outtolunch
15-07-2015, 13:28
I'll second exactly what Kainene said especially after being in a mesh sided one in the rain last weekend, we got wet.

the only shelter I would consider would be a coleman event I have been under these in heavy rain and hail and you can get solid sides for them but with a set of sides this puts the price up I would go for a second hand drive away awning with an internal steel frame ( or aluminium if you can find a reasonable one but they will be more recent and be worth a lot more ) avoid the fibreglass poled awnings they need a lot more pegging out whereas a steel frame if not too windy can be erected on a tarmac surface with a couple of scaffold boards to peg the sides too.

yorkieowl
15-07-2015, 14:09
I know the pop up gazebos are quite heavy, but can be erected/taken down fairly easily by one person, we have one and highly recommend it, good in all weathers, we use extra ropes to tie the corners down if it's likely to be windy, (only had a problem the first year when we hadn't bothered), although you can use straps straight over the top (we'd have to buy these and we're tight), the material is a lot more heavy duty so would last longer. With the dome tent I would be cautious of the cross connector as we've found these are a weak point, we have also used (operative word), a coleman event shelter about 5 years ago, but had to send it back as the poles bent the first time we used it, I think they have changed the design now so might be better.

antiquesam
15-07-2015, 14:47
I used to work the 3 and 4 day antiques fairs and never found a sensible gazebo. Without sides the rain blew in and no matter many guy ropes or weights the wind would blow them over leaving the stock damp. The only decent covers were the professional metal stalls with a good quality tarpaulin cover and lots of clamps strappped firmly to the ground.

Haaamster
15-07-2015, 15:04
Lidl had an offer a short while ago on gazebo's
Our Offers From Thursday 30th April (http://leaflet.lidl.co.uk/3f3b3b87-c325-41fa-87c0-100213e85819/index.html#/16)
Don't know if you can order online from but they are sure to come up again

Fazerloz
15-07-2015, 15:47
Buy 3m x 3m Gala Shade&#153 Pro-MX&#153 Gazebo (White) 3x3m Waterproof Pop Up (http://www.galatent.co.uk/more_details.asp?itemcode=08772)
These are what we use on the markets all year round anything lighter will not last very long. If damage does occur spares are available. We work with two of these fastened together with a gutter between the canopies. They will stand gusts up to 35-40 mph any more and you are likely to sustain damage. On hard standing we hang old 56lld weights off each leg and at times it still lifts these .On grass we use very large steel pegs and ratchet straps.They are of a size that is manageable by Lorraine on her own. She has been doing this for the last 10years so has plenty of experience in dealing with these things. Buy cheap and sustain damage and its your days wage out of the window. Water bottles will be far too big and still not heavy enough. Hope this helps.

antiqueman
15-07-2015, 16:14
I have seen more "gazebos" at fairs flying away and smashing stuff to pieces than enough even with 4 56 lb weights fastened to them. they do not like wind I am afraid and how would you fasten them on hard standing. I have a drive away awning and its very good cost 750 but it also hates wind. I find if I get to a fair and its windy leave stuff in the van take the stall rent as a loss (150 or more for pitch 120 for diesal soon adds up) and drive to the pub. sorry to put dampeners on the idea but only safe thing is something professional. The white marquees with big straps over seem to do quite well if it helps. See Link. Good luck in the venture.

3 metre span, original commercial heavy duty marquees, multiple lengths, multiple access points (http://www.crocodiletrading.co.uk/marquees/original-heavy-duty-marquees/3m-span-heavy-duty-marquee/) similar to this.

Deleted user 21925
15-07-2015, 16:29
.......................... sorry to put dampeners on the idea but only safe thing is something professional. The white marquees with big straps over seem to do quite well if it helps. See Link. Good luck in the venture.

3 metre span, original commercial heavy duty marquees, multiple lengths, multiple access points (http://www.crocodiletrading.co.uk/marquees/original-heavy-duty-marquees/3m-span-heavy-duty-marquee/) similar to this.

I agree. Many pubs use these for extra shelter when they cater for large functions. I would say that the 10x7 would be ideal for what Jess wants.

Large milk cartons full of water make good ground anchors, if you use enough of them.

whitevanwoman
15-07-2015, 19:07
Thanks for all the comments which concur with my gut feelings about gazebos, that in bad weather they probably simply wouldn't be up to the job. The one I posted a link to above, the garden room type, seemed to have a sturdier frame and included all the wall panels which was why I considered it but I do doubt it's ability to stand up to windy weather, even though it may be sturdier than the cheap gazebos.

I'm quite keen on the Hi Gear one, simply because it is so much more streamlined and therefore more likely to perform better if it's windy. I would look at covering the mesh panels with clear plastic on the outside or hanging shower curtains behind them on the inside to give protection from rain. I like the idea of having 2 poles to support each corner.

Having done a fair few car boot sales and market stalls myself, I've learned the hard way and also seen others come adrift with unsuitable stalls in bad weather which is why I know I need to spend time to research and find the right thing. I do agree with Antiquesam that the traditional market stalls are probably the most sturdy and durable, which is probably why I've been struggling to get hold of a second hand one for a while now.

I'll check out the Coleman Event and the other links, thanks to everyone for the suggestions. Keep them coming, it's all food for thought for me to mull over.

Tbear
15-07-2015, 19:34
Depending on what you want it for look at Fishing Bivvys and Shelters | GO Outdoors (http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/fishing/fishing-bivvys-and-shelters). Good protection for you and goods at a car boot and may do you for a stand alone awning. Some are a full tent but beware that some are single skin if you want to use them for more than summer camping

Richard

sasquatch
15-07-2015, 21:49
I've used event shelters Amazon.co.uk: coleman event shelter (http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=coleman+event+shelter&tag=googhydr-21&index=aps&hvadid=23270938969&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=10048221381419099344&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_898a9j5zdk_band) EZee up gazebohttp://www.amazon.co.uk/Airwave-Waterproof-WindBars-Colours-Available/dp/B002882JRO/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1436997114&sr=8-2&keywords=popup+gazeboss,both come with side walls.

donkey too
16-07-2015, 16:48
mY DAUGTER AND i ATTEND EVENTS EVERY WEEK END AND HAVE ONE EACH OF THESE: Aluminium 40cm Gazebo Catering Trailer Market Stall Pop Up Tent Branded BLUE | eBay (http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Aluminium-40cm-Gazebo-Catering-Trailer-Market-Stall-Pop-Up-Tent-Branded-BLUE-/221813120005?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_3&hash=item33a5179c05)
they cannot be beaten and the best part is that all parts are available seperately from the company in case of damage. The company deals with a lot of local authorities supplying these as market stalls. so they must be pretty solid. we can erect both of ours in 15 minutes. We shall have one of them at the Riverside festival in Brandon next month if you want to have a decko.

channa
16-07-2015, 18:37
Hi WVW

As you are well aware last year I was working two markets, Morecambe and Tir Prince. If i had a fiver for everytime a gazebo went flying by ..I could be wealthier than I am . Some no doubt were poorly erected but others weighted down with storm straps all to no avail.

I personally would go an old fashioned market stall, they are normally stored in the van by creating an artificial floor. I still have contacts in Morecambe and can ask if one is for sale ? often get bought by other traders rather than find Ebay. I opassed on a beauty a fella selling garden ornaments making them himself out of pre cast concrete for 120 almost brand new with new and spare tarpaulin!!.

if it is of interest send me a pm on FB

Andy


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