*Storm Proofing An EZ Up Shelter*
17 March 2011
I have had a problem with EZ Ups in the past. Especially the big 12X12 ones. They make great camp gathering spots, but they seem to like to collapse in a heavy rain. I noticed after a bad storm that the problem seemed to be EZ Up frames were only as stable as their bottom canopy frame. Since the bottom canopy frame is scissored to allow easy folding, any lateral stress (wind) allows it to become loose and when it loosens the top fails.
My solution was to get chain link fence top pipe. It can be found at Home Depot or Lowes. It comes in 10' sections. You will need 4 sections (one for each side) and some 8in zip ties. You will need to cut the pipe sections in half for transport. One end will be tapered so you can fit them back together as you set up your EZ Up. If you take the pipe to the plumbing department, they will cut and ream it for you.
Once you have the pipes cut and reamed you can begin to make your drain holes. Set up your EZ Up on your lawn and either use your hose to see where the water gathers, or I found the best spot for a drain hole is about 7 inches in from the middle of the side. Set your grommets on all 4 sides and check for flow with your hose.
When you get to your camp set up the EZ Up with the drain grommets normally. Then fit the pipes back together and attach the pipes to the bottom canopy frame with zip ties.
By stabilizing lateral drift you make the bottom canopy much more stable and increase the stability of the roof supports greatly. Since I have made these additions my EZ Up has weathered 2 heavy T-Storms quite well. The only thing I've had to add has been an additional drain grommet where the rain stretched the roof material, changing the drain point.
This has made a huge difference in our camp. I hope you and yours can stay drier too!
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