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Do you need a Pole Tent or a Frame Tent?

A pole tent is supported inside by center poles and outside by side poles. At each side pole, guy ropes must be staked into the ground approximately 3- 6 feet away from the pole. Therefore, you cannot use a pole tent on concrete or asphalt without drilling holes. You also cannot butt the tent up to another structure because the guy ropes must extend out a certain distance from the side poles to support the tent, causing a gap. The center poles must be supported by a solid surface. (As a note, a pole tent cannot be installed over a pool.)

A frame tent is a framework of rafters and perimeter bars that form the roof support of the tent and these are lifted up on legs. There are no center poles inside and no need for downward pressure to support the tent. The structure does need to be secured by a proper means, whether it is by stakes or water barrels, but they do not need to be a particular distance from the legs of the tent, so they can be butted up against another structure. The actual "tent" is a vinyl top that attaches on top of this framework and is secured by strapping it to the frame. This type of tent can be used on concrete, asphalt, decking and stone pavers where you do not want to, or are not able to, put stakes in the ground. Water barrels are used in these cases. It is also prudent to use a frame tent anywhere that underground utilities cannot be exactly located, so that there is no chance of hitting electrical, gas, sewer/septic, cable, or telecom facilities which may be buried in the area. Frame tents are also good options to use when center poles may get in the way, for instance, when installing a large dance floor or centering an aisle for a wedding ceremony.  

Both tents can utilize the same sidewalls, but some lighting options may differ.


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