Portable Shelters and Summer Parties Go Hand-in-hand

For the last few blog posts we’ve been talking about the advantages of carports in the changing seasons and how to keep portable garages cool in the warmer months. In addition to storage uses, there are also reasons to invest in a portable shelter – especially if summer parties are a frequent occurrence at your house.

Here’s why.

Summer parties are a great way to gather a large crowd of friends and family or even have a corporate picnic. The weather is great, there are activities you can do and the headcounts don’t have to be as limited as indoor seating capacities.

Summer is a popular season for graduation parties, weddings, retirement parties and more. The challenge at all of these events is having cover. Food coverage from mosquitoes and flies and table coverage to shade and protect guests trying to enjoy the day.

One thing that can change the plans is an unexpected rain shower or other weather popping up during the event. Plus sometimes the summer sun can get really hot. Instead of worrying about whether or not your summer party will fail or if the sun is going to be unbearable, opt for a covered canopy and offer guests the comfort of shade as well as protection from the elements.

A portable canopy can also double as a place to store your vehicle or equipment in your yard at other times so it’s not going unused. There are also an array of sizes and options you can choose from to fit user specific needs.

Shelters of America offers temporary or permanent portable garage and carport building products. Our canopies and portable shelters are made from the highest quality galvanized steel frames and long lasting polyethylene covers so your investment will be protected for years. Shop today!

Get Your Portable Shelter Ready for Spring with these Tips

Warm crisp air, cool breezes, birds chirping and flowers growing. This paints the perfect picture of the spring season for many areas of the nation. If you’ve been waiting to break free from the cold and start enjoying the outdoors again where you live, perhaps you’ve been thinking about getting a portable shelter.

Portable garages and canopies are great for seasonal storage and for keeping valuables safe from adverse weather conditions. Or maybe you already have a portable shelter in your yard and will be pulling out the winter items you had stored for the season – like a boat, motorcycle, RV or even lawn equipment.

Before you do, here are some tips for getting your portable shelter ready for spring.

Clean Up

Before you can enjoy the outdoors or your portable garage for the season you need to do some spring cleaning. That means mowing the lawn, picking up leaves, branches and debris, cutting back trees and bushes.

Once you’ve cleaned your space you can select the right location for your portable garage based on what will be stored, any zoning laws in your area and the condition of the ground (think flat, level surface.)

Likewise, if you already have a shelter, you want to clean up the contents. Pull out the stored items. Clear clutter and contents that have accumulated and clean the interior by sweeping, mowing and blowing away debris to have a newly cleaned space you can use.

Set-up/Inspect

If you’re just putting up the portable garage for the first time, be sure to follow all manufacturer instructions for set-up, tie down and added stability. You need to inspect the dwelling when completed as well to ensure it’s been installed properly.

If you have a portable garage you’ve been using for years, it’s a good practice to examine it each season to look for any rips and tears in the cover or rust and other damages that can weaken the integrity of the structure. The great thing about portable garages too is that it’s easy and cost efficient to replace covers and other parts when needed.

Fill with Contents

Before you start filling the portable garage back up with the things you removed to clean the space, take a purpose filled and intentional approach to its use. Why did you get a portable shelter to begin with? Is it to keep your car safe from the elements? Then put only your car back in. Don’t store all those boxes of extra stuff you haven’t had use for years again. Did you need extra storage space and purchased a portable garage to fill it with contents? Then do so wisely. It’s pretty easy to quickly fill-up even your extra space. Spring is the perfect time to go through your clutter organize and toss what you don’t need.

Shelters of America carries a wide selection of portable garages, canopies and replacement parts to ensure your valuables always have the protection they need – year round. Shop today!  

Proper Boat Storage for New Owners: Portable Boat Canopies

As a first-time boat owner you may not be thinking about boat storage just yet. Perhaps you’re just getting it ready to use for the upcoming season and have only been thinking about enjoying the sun in your eyes and splashing water as you cruise around lakes, rivers and oceans. But storage is actually a very important element of owning a boat and the responsibility falls on the boat owner to keep it protected and operational for the upcoming season.

Here are some tips for proper storage and why boat canopies are the perfect option.

Boat Storage Options

Depending on the type and size of boat you have you may be thinking about putting it in your garage in the off season or using a shrink wrap or tarp method to keep it covered. Unfortunately these options aren’t always the most efficient. Tarping can lead to mildew or rot and losing all of your garage space (if it fits) for months at a time will get frustrating.

Without protection however, your boat will be exposed to harmful UV rays that can fade and crack the surface not to mention the fact that rain or snow can lead to damaging moisture that ruins interiors, electronic components and the body.

Portable Boat Canopies

Portable shelters are a great option for those who either don’t have a garage, or require additional storage, but don’t want to make the permanent and expensive commitment to a dedicated dwelling. Boat canopies are designed the same as other portable garages but are created on a smaller scale. The reason is to offer coverage around the vehicle without taking up unnecessary space.

The frame is made from galvanized steel with a polyethylene canopy for the roof, walls, and a roll-up or zipper door. Perhaps most beneficial is the fact that once the off season has passed, you can take the portable shelter down and store it or use for other needs.

Shelters of America carries a wide selection of truck and boat covers, car garages, kits, portable shelters, and so much more.

If you’re in the market for a boat canopy or searching for solutions on how to store your boat when it’s not in use, contact us today!

How to Fix a Torn Canopy

fix torn canopyA canopy can provide much needed shade on a hot summer day and protection from rain. A canopy can protect you and your family or guests so that you can enjoy an outdoor picnic or a relaxing day at the beach or a park.

Canopies are made from heavy-duty materials that are designed to stand up to rain, wind, and the sun’s UV rays, but occasionally they can become worn out through long periods of exposure to the weather or can be torn by debris. In that case, making a repair is fairly simple and straightforward. You should fix the tear in your canopy as soon as possible in order to keep it from getting larger.

The first step is to clean the area with the hole. Clean the top and bottom surfaces of the canopy around the tear with an oil-free cleaning solution. Then let the fabric dry completely before you repair the damage. If the fabric is damp, the tape will not stick properly to the fabric.

Buy a roll of canopy repair tape from a hardware store. Read the instructions carefully before you attempt to repair the hole in your canopy. Hold the two torn edges of the fabric so they fit together and put a piece of canopy repair tape on the top side of the tear. Press the tape to remove any air bubbles and then put another piece of tape on the bottom side of the tear.

If the tape is not positioned correctly, you should not try to remove it. This could cause the fabric to tear even more. Put another piece of tape on top of the one that is placed incorrectly to secure the fabric.

Check the rest of the canopy for any other signs of damage. Place pieces of tape over any other holes you find to prevent further damage.

Uses for a Pop-Up Canopy

pop up canopy usesNow that spring is here, people will be planning many outdoor activities, such as parties, barbecues, weddings, markets, and trips to the beach. A pop-up canopy is an ideal way to protect guests from spring and summer sun and rain to enjoy time spent outside.

If you plan to host an outdoor party or barbecue this season, you will want a way to shield your guests from sun and possibly rain. You will also need to protect food that you set outside from the elements. A pop-up canopy is an easy way to enjoy your party, even if the weather is not ideal.

Spring is a popular time for weddings, and many couples choose to take advantage of the weather and hold their festivities outdoors. However, there is always the threat of a spring rainstorm, so you should set up a canopy to protect your guests, tables, chairs, and food from the weather.

Visiting the beach is a popular way to spend a summer day. The blazing summer sun can cause sunburn, which can ruin a relaxing day. Shield your family and friends from the hot sun with a canopy that you can easily set up at the beach.

A pop-up canopy is also a good option for a flea market or farmers’ market. If you plan to sell goods outside, you will need to protect them from weather that could cause them to become damaged. A canopy will enable you to keep the items you are selling in the best condition possible.

Canopies are easy to set up and are durable enough to stand up to heavy rain and sun. They are lightweight and easy to transport to the location of your choice. Contact Portable Garage Depot today to learn about our line of canopies for outdoor events.

Portable Canopy Resembling Flower Creates Solar Power

Lotus Canopy

A new portable solar power canopy called the Lotus Mobile is looking to change the solar power market. Solar innovator and creator of this product, Joseph Hui, modeled his design after his love for flowers. Hui’s design allows for the canopy to fold up to protect itself from severe weather.

The Lotus Mobile portable canopy is designed to resemble a Lotus flower. It is lightweight and pole mounted, with a solar canopy composed of 18 petal-like solar modules. The unusual design is delicate-looking but tough enough for its intended use and hopes to chip away at some of the “soft costs” that have been keeping solar power out of reach for many people.

Lotus Flower Inspiration

The Lotus flower is Hui’s inspiration for the design and overall concept of the Lotus Mobile. He is the President and CEO of the company behind the solar powered product, Monarch Power (He is also a big fan of butterflies). Here is a quote from Hui explaining how the Lotus Lotus Mobileflower inspired him;

“Best of all, you know that you are learning from nature to protect nature, just like the Lotus plant that takes sunlight and water and turns that into fuel, without creating a carbon footprint. The only footprint is a nice architectural shade that your neighbors would find attractive.”

Avoiding “Soft Costs”

One of the major benefits of the Lotus Mobile is that it can avoid many of the “soft costs” of solar power. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, about half the cost of a typical solar array consist of installation and grid connection, as well as regulatory obstacles including zoning, permitting and inspections. Because the Lotus Mobil can be a non-permanent or semi-permanent shade canopy, it is possible that it could avoid many of the “soft costs”.

Creating a Low-Cost Solar Power Canopy

There are a few other design elements of the canopy that contribute to low cost solar power. The Lotus Mobile is designed to be an off-grid device with a lightweight design to cut down on the installation costs. Plastic and aluminum parts are the main factors in the reduced weight. They are not as strong as steel frames or glass-based solar panels when it comes to withstanding extreme weather, but that it why the Lotus Mobile easily folds up like a flower. The canopy uses solar tracking and highly efficient solar cells to convert sunlight into both electricity and hot water. Hui anticipates an installed cost of $1.50 per watt, which is better than the conventional $4.00, but falls short of Energy Department’s goal of $1.00 per watt.

The anticipated cost for an installed Lotus Mobile is about $9,000. At that price the payback period should be relatively short, especially in warmer areas where AC is used often. The unique design, lower “soft costs”, and lower price per watt should make the Lotus Mobile a successful solar power product.

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Solar Powered Tarps for Electric Vehicles

Solar Powered Tarp
With gas prices rising, the popularity of electric vehicles is also increasing. Many people are turning to hybrids and EVs to help alleviate some of the financial burden caused by high gas prices. Many car companies are developing hybrids and EVs to help create a supply for the demand. As more and more people buy EVs, more innovative accessories for them are also coming out.

Many towns and businesses are installing solar carports to provide a fueling station for electric vehicles. They use the sun to create electricity that can be used to charge EVs and also provide overhead protection from the elements. One industrial engineer has created a solar powered car cover that can charge electric vehicles.

Named the V-Tent, this innovative tarp will not only protect your vehicles from being damaged by the elements, it will charge your car. Hakan Gursu is the mind behind the V-Tent, and it is designed to charge any electrical vehicle that is parked underneath it. Hakan hopes to extend the life of EVs and to build up the electric charging infrastructure, as well as re-imagine urban parking meters.

The way the V-Tent works is, after you park your electric vehicle and pay, the solar powered cover will unwrap itself over your vehicle. You will be able to use a credit card for payment, and drivers will be able to check the status of the charge through a smartphone app.

Digital depictions of the V-Tent have already been created. They do not take up a lot of space, seem easy to use, and provide both energy and protection for your vehicle. They solar-powered cover provides energy for both your vehicle and for nearby street lights that will make the charging stations more visible at night. With the popularity of EVs and solar power on the rise, V-Tents may just be a reality in the near future.

You can see a video of the V-Tent by clicking on this link: YouTube.

 

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Tarps for Kids Program Helping Local Schools

Finger Painting

A tarp distributor out of Palmdale, California found a way to put its overstocked items to good use. Many companies are not sure what to do with their overstocked products, but this company is using theirs for a program called Tarps for Kids.

The California-based company, Tarps Plus, has created the Tarps for Kids program by donating their overstocked supply of untreated white canvas tarps, as well some portable building tarps to local schools. The company collaborates with the local schools to set up an event where Tarps Plus shows up with the tarps and painting Portable Garagesupplies and the kids paint them with their teachers.

The Tarps Plus truck will arrive at a school and lay out a 30 x 30 foot white campus tarp. Then a 10 x 10’ white pop-up tent is set up on top of it. The Tarps Plus employees then lay out all of the painting supplies for the kids so they can create their masterpieces! The children dip their hands in the paint and imprint their hands onto the tent along with their teachers, symbolizing the unity of the school. The tarp on the ground is for the children to free paint anything they can imagine.

Tarps Plus CEO said this about the creation of the program;

“We were trying to think of a unique way to use our overstocked tarps and tents. What better way than donating them to schools and getting the children involved with painting them?”

After it is all said and done, the schools use the tarps and tents for fundraisers,
assemblies, and various outdoor functions. Tarps Plus hopes to do the program all throughout California, but for now they are starting with the Southern half. If your school is in the Southern California area and wants to participate in the Tarps for Kids program, you can contact the company at 1-800-838-3057.

New Tent Design allows you and your Motorcycle to be protected from the Elements

portable shelter

Many people enjoy camping and riding their motorcycle or dirt bike. Wouldn’t it be great if you could easily combine the two activities? Redverz Gear has a product that allows you to camp and protect both you and your bike from the elements.

The Series II Expedition Tent by Redverz Gear makes it possible for you and your motorbike to sleep safely and stay protected from any of the outdoor elements. The Series II Expedition fits into a carry bag that only weighs 13 pounds and measures 10 by 21 inches, making it extremely portable. However, once it is unpacked and assembled,motorcyle garage canopy the versatile portable shelter increases to a size of 100 by 201 inches.

The tent is made from ripstop nylon, with a double wall designed to eliminate condensation. There are two separate areas in the tent, one for you to sleep in, and a larger secondary area that can be used to park your bike. Now whenever you are not using the bike, it can stay completely covered, protecting it from the sun and rain. Inside the tent there is also a mosquito and privacy door. The sleeping area can easily fit two people comfortably.

The tent, that is essentially a portable garage, has enough space in the bigger area to fit up to two bikes. The same area you can park your bikes doubles as a utility area that you can use to cook. There are many times when you are camping and an unexpected rainstorm may hit, making it difficult to cook and stay dry. The Series II Expedition will allow you to complete many tasks with a height large enough to allow most people to stand up inside. So whether you want to stand up and get dressed or park a motorcycle inside, the Expedition has enough space.

Portable Garage

 

The Stingray Suspended Tent Canopy

Stingray Tent

A United Kingdom-based tent manufacturer, called Tentsile, recently unveiled their newest product, the Stingray. The company says that the Stingray is the perfect combination of hammock and tent. The tent’s design allows you to sleep inside, suspended in the air.

When you go camping, a tent’s canopy will protect you from rain and other elements. However, on the ground you are more susceptible to frost, bugs, animals, and rocks. The Stingray allows you to sleep off the ground, suspended in the air. It works like a canopy that protects you and your belongings, but you can Suspended Tentstay inside of it and not have to be on the ground.

Tentsile’s newest tent uses three tree straps, two poles, and a polyester tarp to keep its tenants safe above the ground. The Stingray can be assembled or disassembled in just five minutes! It weighs only 13 pounds, and when set up, it is large enough to sleep up to four people. The suspended tent is accessible from the ground through a collapsible ladder. You can enter the tent through either a floor hatch or side door.

The Stingray has optional accessories available too. For an added price, you can get a shoe drying rack, luggage nets, or even iPad pouches. The company is marketing the Stingray to the avid camper, United Nations, and military. The tent’s lightweight design and relatively low price make it enticing for use in natural disaster situations. If there are areas that have been flooded or where the ground is unsuitable, the Stingray would be a great temporary shelter for those affected.

Right now, Tentsile has turned to Kickstarter for help with bringing their new product to the market. The minimum pledge is around $1,400 and you will be guaranteed one when the initial units are released around March.

Tent