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Tools of the Trade: Inside Tents

Tools of the Trade: Inside Tents

THOUGH TENTING HAS ALWAYS BEEN popular, says Ralph Manuel, president of Torrance, Calif.-based Anza Tents, recently clients have come to appreciate the variety of shapes and colors and the sense of a blank canvas' on which to create any environment or theme.


Ease of installationwhich accounts for savings in laboris one of the most crucial factors in both purchasing and renting tents, Manuel says. Our tension-frame tents cut installation time in half.

Likewise, Bill Bie, executive vice president of Aztec Tents & Events, also in Torrance, says the company's Legend Series frame and pole tents are known for their modern look and fast installation.

Tentnology of Surrey, British Columbia, produces Saddlespan tension structures that can be expanded to any size. Vice president Suzanne Warner says the company's tents are faster to install and use 30 percent less parts.

To save money, Warner suggests, buy used tents rather than new. Start with smaller modules such as a 20-by-20-foot and connect additional units to make larger space.


In October, Eureka! Tents & Seasonal Structures introduced its first Losberger University, presenting a detailed, hands-on product demonstration to 35 representatives from 17 companies. The two-day event incorporated classroom-style instruction, giving attendees the chance to learn more about the safe installation of Losberger clear-span structures. Carol Lee Cundey, marketing associate of the Binghamton, N.Y.-based company, says, Eureka stresses the importance of following all guidelines for the proper and safe installation and use of tents.

To increase the longevity of any tent, advises Josh Garner, event coordinator for Party Time Rental of Denver, inspect all tent canvas before placing it on your shelves, while Cundey suggests storing tents clean and dry, thus helping to prevent mildew. Bie agrees, adding that it's important to store and transport [tents] in bags. Use dropcloths or ground cloths on installs and takedowns. Cundey also suggests avoid[ing] extreme temperatures that can cause cracking in the vinyl.


Setting up camp in different regions of the United States might mean being regulated by different local building and fire codes. At the Mid-Atlantic Tent Renters Association meeting in November, Spencer Etzel, president of Special Event Consulting in Wilsonville, Ore., spoke about the new international codes being developed by the International Codes Council. As Etzel explained in his presentation, this family of codes is being designed to offer a single set of regulatory documents covering the entire building industry, including a single code governing tents. To learn more about the ICC, visit its Web site at

RESOURCES: Anza Tents, 888/637-8086, 310/320-6200; Aztec Tents & Events, 800/258-7368, 310/328-5060; Eureka! Tents & Seasonal Structures, 800/235-2607, 607/779-2200; Party Time Rental, 303/935-4545; Special Event Consulting, 800/621-2495, 503/570-8700; Tentnology, 800/663-8858 (U.S. and Canada), 604/597-TENT (8368)

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