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Competition BBQ *On Topic Only* Discussion regarding all aspects of Competition BBQ. Experiences competing or visiting, questions, getting started, Equipment, announcements of events, Results, Reviews, Planning, etc. Questions here will be responded to with competition BBQ in mind.


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Unread 04-29-2013, 01:58 AM   #1
bigbeef24
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I am preparing myself for competitions and would like to get a tent to work under for events and at home. Any suggestions where to find a tent and what kind and size to buy?

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Unread 04-29-2013, 06:04 AM   #2
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You will get a lot of opinions on this. My suggestion is go with EZ-Up or another major brand that is built well. You can get cheap ones at discount stores for under $100.00 but they are the ones that are destroyed in high wind or rain. I also suggest you get weights to hold the tent down and a can of waterproofing spray to coat it when rain is expected.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 06:39 AM   #3
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We use a 10x20 canopy that seems to be only found at Costco. 2 people can get it set up in 30 minutes, once you've done it a couple times. All the poles lock together so it holds together well in the wind. It also has 4 windows and a door for plenty of ventilation and privacy. We're thinking about getting another one for the comps were we expect lots of visitors.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 08:24 AM   #4
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We use a carport it has thicker walls and is more stable than an ez-up. Its a bit more money but canopies twist in the wind, rip and snap under heavy rain. Just a pain. I would have gone through a ton of canopies if not for my carport.
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Unread 04-29-2013, 08:44 PM   #5
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The 10x10 EZUp is the way to go. It's up in a minute and when you add more you can lash them together. We have three now. Love em.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 08:17 AM   #6
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There are two theories when it comes to canopies: Go Cheap & Go Premium.

The Premium approach is to spend three to four hundred dollars on a heavy duty pop-up from one of the name brands like EZ-Up or Caravan. The strategy is that a better-built tent will last you longer. There is no question that under normal conditions, the Premium tents will give you several times the service life of lesser models.

The Cheap approach is to buy the hundred dollar Chinese-made tents from a mass merchandiser like Walmart under whatever brand they currently carry - FirstUp, QuickShade, etc. This is the disposable strategy, where you plan on buying a new tent every so often and if you get more than a couple years out of any one tent you are ahead of the game. This is a reasonable approach if you will use your tent where strong thunderstorms are frequent, as no pop-up tent will resist gale force winds, no matter how much you pay for it. In such conditions where your tent will inevitably be destroyed, better to have a minimal investment in it.

Neither approach is right or wrong, you just need to decide which fits your own personal circumstances best.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 08:52 AM   #7
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We got caught in a thunderstorm at our last competition, there was one gust of wind so strong it literally moved our 84 Lang a couple of inches. The only damage our 2 EZ-UPs sustained was a tear in the side wall where the gust stretched the fabric too tight and it ripped at the seam.

Needless to say, I'm a fan of the "premium" model, and at $200 from Sam's, it's not that expensive.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 08:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeBBQueen View Post
We use a carport it has thicker walls and is more stable than an ez-up. Its a bit more money but canopies twist in the wind, rip and snap under heavy rain. Just a pain. I would have gone through a ton of canopies if not for my carport.

How easy are they to set up?
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Unread 04-30-2013, 09:19 AM   #9
ique
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CivilWarBBQ View Post
Go Cheap

In such conditions where your tent will inevitably be destroyed, better to have a minimal investment in it.
And a backup in the trailer.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 09:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WannaBeBBQueen View Post
We use a carport it has thicker walls and is more stable than an ez-up. Its a bit more money but canopies twist in the wind, rip and snap under heavy rain. Just a pain. I would have gone through a ton of canopies if not for my carport.
We went through 3 canopies before our car port. Car port is awesome.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 09:48 AM   #11
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The carport-style tents are assembled, not opened like an umbrella as with the EZ-Up type canopies. Basically you assemble a frame of metal pipes and then attach tarps to the frame with bungees. There are a few dozen parts in the kit to put together.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 02:03 PM   #12
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Whatever direction you decide to go; be it "umbrella/EZ-Up" style or pipe-framed carport style, get one with walls. Walls make all the difference in the world.

I have used both styles and the ez-up kind are nice. They're light, easy to pack, take up a lot less space and look good. The problem is that they are wind-chow. The legs - even the "premium" brands - are fairly thin and will fold and/or buckle under a strong wind. I have a 10x20 that I've used three times. The first two times it was awesome. In a pinch, I can put up by myself. On the third time, we had winds gusting at 50 miles per hour. Even with 150# of weight holding it down, it started to move across the parking lot. As it did that, one of the legs buckled and it's pretty much ruined now.

On the other hand, the pole-style carport types are heavy, take up a lot of room to pack and require at least two people to set up and tear down. They are much more sturdy though. The one I used prior to my ez-up withstood severe thunderstorms. I once turned in my brisket with tornado sirens going off. Half that competition lost their canopies, but mine didn't even move.

That's my take on the two. Like all things, both have their pros and cons. You just need to figure out which one works best for you.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 02:32 PM   #13
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One advantage of the carport type that is worth mentioning is the fact that if it does get damanged, it's easy to replace the damaged part since you are assembling it every time anyway. The pop-up types are factory riveted, so pretty much the only two components you can replace are the entire frame and the tent fabric.

I agree with the other posters that the carport type is more robust. We used one that survived that monster storm at the Sevierville contest back in 2006. That said, we've moved to the pop-up style since simply because they are so much easier to set up and break down.

Oh, and +1 on the walls. You should consider them a must-have addition to any tent.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 03:04 PM   #14
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We use two to three EZ-UP tents. The legs get zip tied together in a few spots and the spikes are used when on grass. We also tie down the legs with some old 12.5 pound plates. We use a simple rubber bungy cord with an "S" hook and the tent stays still.

In really strong winds there can be a problem with everything.
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Unread 04-30-2013, 04:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CivilWarBBQ View Post
There are two theories when it comes to canopies: Go Cheap & Go Premium.

The Premium approach is to spend three to four hundred dollars on a heavy duty pop-up from one of the name brands like EZ-Up or Caravan. The strategy is that a better-built tent will last you longer. There is no question that under normal conditions, the Premium tents will give you several times the service life of lesser models.

The Cheap approach is to buy the hundred dollar Chinese-made tents from a mass merchandiser like Walmart under whatever brand they currently carry - FirstUp, QuickShade, etc. This is the disposable strategy, where you plan on buying a new tent every so often and if you get more than a couple years out of any one tent you are ahead of the game. This is a reasonable approach if you will use your tent where strong thunderstorms are frequent, as no pop-up tent will resist gale force winds, no matter how much you pay for it. In such conditions where your tent will inevitably be destroyed, better to have a minimal investment in it.

Neither approach is right or wrong, you just need to decide which fits your own personal circumstances best.
Sound advice. The only additions I have would be I think the premium pop-ups will run closer to $700, the good mid range units are around $300-400 and colored tops block the sun much better than white one.
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