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HOME PHOTO GALLERY ORDERING/SHIPPING INFO TIPS & HINTS
 

Tent Pole FAQ's                                                                            
   

 


WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FIRST:

The main things you need to determine are the diameter of the poles, the length of the poles and whether the poles are aluminum, fiberglass, carbon fiber or steel.

Do you have poles and don’t know what size they are?  Click on the picture below to download a chart of actual size pole dimensions.

 

ALUMINUM & CARBON FIBER POLES 101:

Easton Aluminum 7075-79 tent tubing.   They are available in 9 different diameters (.312, .340", .344", .355", .380, .433", .490, .625" and .742"- outside diameter). Black anodized,  18" lengths and selective 13" and 26" lengths. Custom make your own tent poles.  Poles can be shortened if necessary to custom lengths, and shockcorded together. 

Easton's Custom Carbon 6.3 poles are extremely light, high performance carbon graphite tent pole system.  Carbon 6.3's have similar performance in stiffness, strength and deflection to Easton's .340" poles but with a 25-30% weight savings.  These poles can use all of the components (endtips, inserts and angles) as the .340" aluminum poles.

Note that Carbon tubing reacts differently than aluminum to situations involving abuse and extreme use, such as crushing, prolonged abrasion or incomplete ferrule insertion (which could cause splitting at the tubes' ends), the weight savings attributable to carbon are accompanied with a need for more vigilant care and proper treatment. With proper care, Easton carbon tubes will last as long as Easton's aluminum tubes.

If you need to shorten carbon fiber poles wrap the pole with tape over the area that needs to be cut to keep it from fraying.  Using a hacksaw or a pipe cutter (we sell it separately)  trim the pole to the proper length.  


THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU MAKE A POLE:

There are 2 types of poles:

(1)  Poles with inserts -the insert is a tube (or sleeve) that is typically glued inside one hollow end of a tent pole section and protrudes approximately 3".  This insert allows you to stack one section on top of another.

(2)    Poles without inserts-these are hollow poles (sections) with no inserts
 

                         

To make a set of poles it is usually best to map out on paper to determine how many sections and parts you many need of each.  You will usually need more sections with an insert than those without.   For example if you want to make a pole with 4 sections (this would make a 6 foot long pole), you would need to have 3 sections with an insert and 1 without an insert.  The reason you need the last section to be without an insert:  picture stacking one section with an insert on top of another.  If the last section has an insert, that would not allow you to put an endtip into both ends of the pole.  Therefore if you use a section without an insert for the last one you will have a hollow end on both ends of the pole, this allows you to put an endtip on each end of your pole.

 

HOW TO MAKE ALUMINUM & CARBON FIBER POLES:

Step #1  Lay out your poles in the order you want them. (cut them to the right length, if it is necessary, using a hacksaw or even better a pipe cutter (we stock these for your convenience).  Note: If you need to shorten carbon fiber poles wrap the pole with tape over the area that needs to be cut to keep it from fraying. 

Step #2   Knot one of the endtips onto to one free end of the shock cord and push it into one of the hollow ends of the pole sections.  Thread your shock cord through each pole section.

 

Step #3  On the other end, tie the other endtip onto the shock cord.  Push the second endtip up into the other hollow end of the pole.  Test the tension; you do not want it too tight that when they are folded up they want to spring open.  If the tension needs to be re-adjusted, re-tie the knot.  If the shock cord is not tight enough remove the end tip and re-tie it a little tighter.

 

 Pictured above are both types of tent pole sections: the two sections on the right are sections with an insert.   The last section on the left is a section without an insert.   Using the pole without an insert at the end gives you a hollow end on both the rightside and leftside of the long pole to insert the tied-off endtips. 


 You're Done!!
 

How to shockcord poles together without using endtips-(ie. ring and pin system):

For your ring and pin system the best way to shockcord the poles together is to tie the shockcord onto a small washer that is just slightly smaller than the inside diameter of the tent pole.  When the washer is pushed up into the pole the insert on the first pole will stop it from going past.  You can then feed the shockcord through the rest of the poles making sure to put one pole without an insert in the center or your chain of poles. On the opposite end of the pole sections you again tie another washer onto the  shockcord and let it go up inside the pole (note you will not be able to adjust the cord tension after this is done as the knot and washer will be way up inside the pole).  This method allows you to shockcord all of the poles together and have a hollow end on each end the pole sections to fit into your ring and pin at the bottom.  We have separate insert pieces that will fit up into the poles. This will allow you to glue these extra inserts onto the hollow ends of the poles to give you more structural support in the pin. 

 

DIAGRAM FOR RING AND PIN ASSEMBLY

 

 

 

HOW TO MAKE FIBERGLASS POLES:

   Making or repairing your own poles is easy just follow the step by step instructions below...   

Step #1  Lay out your poles in the order you want them, remember to put a ferules (connector) between poles when needed, cut them to the right length, if it is necessary, using a hacksaw or even better a pipe cutter (we stock these for your convenience).  ).  Note: If you need to shorten the poles wrap the pole with tape over the area that needs to be cut to keep it from fraying.

Step #2  Glue ferrules on

Step #3  Put a knot in one end of the shockcord.  Thread the unknotted end of your shock cord through each pole section.  When all of the poles are threaded tie a knot in the other end.  Test the tension; you do not want it too tight that when they are folded up they want to spring open.  If the tension needs to be re-adjusted, re-tie the knot.

Step #4   On the other end tie the other endtip onto the shock cord.  The tension will vary but as a rule of thumb do not pull too much tension on the cord-if you do when you break down the poles they will want to instantly spring back into shape and they will be hard to pack away.  Push the second endtip up into the other hollow end of the pole.  If the shock cord is not tight enough remove the end tip and re-tie it a little tighter.




You're Done!!


shockcord How much & what size do you need:

To determine the amount of shock cord you need as a general rule you use as much shockcord as the total length of the poles you are stringing (ie: an 8 foot pole would use 8 feet of shockcord).  Usually by the time you tie your knot there is enough tension but if you need them tighter just re-tie it tighter.
 
As a general rule to determine the amount of shock cord you need:   For 18" poles add the number of all the pole sections you want to shock cord together and divide this by 2.  ie: if you want to shock cord 8 sections together you would need 4 yards of shock cord.  For the 26" poles multiply the number of poles by 26 to get the total of inches.  Divide this number by 36 and this will give you the amount of yards. ie if you have 9 sections together you multiply 9 x 26" = 234"   divided by 36 = 6 1/2 yds


The standard size shockcord for most aluminum and carbon fiber poles is 1/8" (our item #2400) but when weight is more critical you can use 3/32" shockcord (our item #2402).    The standard size for fiberglass is the 3/32”.

 

How to attach inserts in ALUMINUM poles:

If you purchase the pole inserts separately you can use epoxy glue (like Loctite 326, JB Weld, a super glue or any glue suitable for metal) to insert them into a tube section.

 


HOW TO BEND POLES:

The best poles to bend into an arc are the .340" and the .433".  If you have at least 6 of these poles together they will arc very easily.  The easiest way is to put one end of the pole section in the tent grommet or pocket and ease the other end of the pole section over to the opposite tent grommet or pocket.  The center pole will  usually be the only pole that will have a small permanent arc in it but the arc is usually so minimal that it will not stick out when all of the poles are broken down to pack away.  NOTE: it is usually best to try to arrange your poles so that  at the peak of the arc you have the center of a full pole (not an area where two pulls meet together.  It is weaker where the sections meet with each other and could break).

       If you are only using a few poles and you need to make a very strong arc several customers have told us that if you pack it with play sand before you bend it this will keep it from kinking.  You also may want to consider using pre-bent arches (see more info below).
 

PRE-BENT ARCHES:

Pre-bent arches are available for the .340", .433" and .490" poles.  They are available in 90 degree, 125 degree and 145 degree.  All of the arches come with inserts already attached in each end, there are more detailed measurements on the order page for each available size.  Note, when using arches you may want to draw out your configuration first as you will most likely need more poles without an insert than with an insert.  If you are only using a few poles and you need to make a very strong arc, to avoid kinking, you may want to consider using pre-bent arches.
 



Below is an example of using a short connector piece between two arches to create tight angles without bending poles
                          



ARCHES FOR LARGER DIAMETER POLES

Aluminum arches are not available in the larger diameter poles but we discovered that 1/2" size PVC parts, actually referred to as CPVC (45 and 90 degree arches, T's and connectors) fit with the .625" diameter poles.  These parts can be found at local big box hardware stores (note they are typically found separate from the standard PVC parts).  NOTE: these connectors only work the the .625" poles

                                    
 

ENDTIP INFO

Endtips (those designed for grommets), regardless of the pole sizes: .340" through .742" in aluminum, .342” for carbon fiber, or any size of fiberglass poles, all fit into 9/32" grommets (also all fit into our  5/16" grommets-which are known as a #1 grommet, our item #3231).    Tie-off endtips are used when poles are to be shockcorded together.  Compression fitting endtips are used when poles are not shockcorded together. 



HOW TO DETERMINE HOW MANY POLES YOU NEED:

If you have the original poles for the tent you can just measure those for length.  If you don't have the original poles you can try the following.

You can try an internet search for the specs for your particular tent.   Many times by "googleing" the tent manufacturer their site may list the specs for your tent that will often include the pole specs.  If you can't find this information you may have to try to measure the tent from the point where one end of the pole is inserted to the location where the other end is located.  We have found the following websites useful in determining the length of poles.

Some Helpful calculator Links

http://www.worldwidemetric.com/metcal.htm   (calculator for metric conversions)

http://www.handymath.com/cgi-bin/rad2.cgi?submit=Entry   (calculator to measure length of an arc)

 

ALUMINUM TUBE SPECS             

ALUMINUM TUBE SPECS .340"

.344"

.355"

.380"

.433"

.490"

.625" 

.625"
(5086 STYLE)
.742" .346" CARBON
outside diameter of MAIN tube .340"
 (8.64 mm)
.344"
 (8.74 mm)
.355"
(9.02 mm)
.380"
(9.65 mm)
.433"
 (10.99mm)
.490"  (12.45mm) 625"
 (15.88 mm)

625"      (15.88 mm)

.742"
(18.85 mm)

.346"
 (8.79 mm)

wall thickness of MAIN tube .025"
 (.64 mm)
.019"
 (.48 mm)
.025"
( .64 mm)
.026"
( .66 mm)
.030"
( .76 mm)
.026"
( .66 mm)
.038"
 (.97 mm)

.038"
(.97 mm)

.032"
(.81 mm)

.028"
 (.711 mm)

inside diameter of MAIN tube .290"
 (7.36 mm)
.306"
 (7.77 mm)
.305"
(7.74 mm)
.328"
( 8.33 mm)
.373"
( 9.47 mm)
.438"
(11.12 mm)
.549"
 (13.94 mm)

.549"
(13.94 mm)

.678"
(17.22 mm)

.290
 (7.36 mm)


 
outside diameter of INSERT tube .287"
(7.29mm)
.303"
 (7.70mm)
 .302"
(7.67 mm)
 .325"
(8.26 mm)
 .370" .
 (9.4 mm)
 .433"
 (11.0 mm)
  .544"
 (13.82mm)

.544"
 (13.82mm)

.675"
(17.15mm)

.287" 
(7.29 mm)

wall thickness of INSERT tube .035"  (.89mm) .021"
(.53 mm)
 .034"
(.86 mm)
 .034"
(.86 mm)
.040"
 (1.02 mm)
.030"
 (.76 mm)
.045"
(1.11 mm)
      .045"         (1.11 mm)

.045"
(1.11 mm)

.035"
(.89 mm)

inside diameter of INSERT tube   .217" 
  (5.51 mm)
.261"
(6.62 mm)
 .234"
(5.94 mm)
 .257"
(6.52 mm)
.290"
 (7.36 mm)
.373"
 (9.47 mm)
.454"
(11.53 mm)
     .454"         (11.53 mm)

.585"
(14.85 mm)

.217"
(5.51 mm)

 

FOR VOLUME ORDERS:   IF YOU NEED 200 PIECES OR MORE OF ANY OF THE ALUMINUM TENT POLE PRODUCTS AND CAN WAIT APPROXIMATELY 7 WEEKS FOR DELIVERY CONTACT US FOR OTHER OPTIONS SUCH AS DIFFERENT POLE LENGTHS, COLORS, ETC.  (NOTE: IF YOU NEED POLES WITH INSERTS AND POLES WITHOUT INSERTS YOU WILL NEED TO GET 200 PIECES OF EACH).

 

QUEST TENT, NORTHPOLE and OZARK TRAIL CUSTOMERS: 
   
We are NOT the makers of Quest Tents and have never been associated with them or any other tent brand-  it is our understanding that they are no longer in business.  

  If you are in need of an aluminum or fiberglass pole we may have a replacement part or something that may work as a substitute but bear in mind that we DO NOT have specs or know part numbers on specific Quest Tent models or any other tent so we do not know the exact size or pole lengths needed for each tent, you may need to look in your owners manual or google your model to determine what parts you will need.  I am sorry to say if you don't see it listed on our website we do not have it    Also, note that aluminum pole parts do not work with fiberglass poles. 

If you need a steel pole with a chain we do not carry them.