Marquee Wheels: Yay or Nay?
As tent and marquee industry veterans, our first instinct on gazebo with wheels is to don our thinking hats. But then again, we’re a business, and keeping up with the latest fads is essential for us to survive. Marquee wheels are quite popular and despite claims by manufacturers that wheels make a gazebo more versatile, we’re sceptical; to be honest. In fact, if you ask us, adding marquee wheels constrict the gazebo on several fronts.
Look, we’re not refuting the fact that a gazebo on wheels is not stylish, neither are we suggesting that it doesn’t make carrying the marquee easier. A set of castor wheels bolted to the foot plate of a marquee’s legs appears fascinating, but if your marquee already has a wheeled carry bag, do you really require additional wheels on your tent too?
From an engineering perspective, mobile marquees are not efficient structures and marquee wheels just end up compromising the structural design of the frame. Plus, there’s always an underlying feeling of the marquee relocating due to strong winds, irrespective of whether the wheels can be locked into position. Most experts feel that it’s simply a marketing gimmick and that the wheels are absolutely useless knick-knacks on a marquee.
Think yourself. Except for the promotional video from your supplier, what use do you think wheels serve on a tent? Once erected, your tent is supposed to stay at one place, isn’t it? Unless, of course, you HAVE TO MOVE the tent from one location to another in a dire situation…
Structural engineers here in Australia along with several safety instructors have voiced concerns over using a gazebo with wheels. As per them, bolting castor wheels under the marquee legs are obscure and they weaken the structural effect of an otherwise soundly built marquee.
To answer the question why, here are our supporting answers:
- Wheeled marquees are not very ergonomic. Their mobile design makes them susceptible to being blown away in heavy winds.
- Tent weights, anchors, and stake applications are severely compromised with the addition of wheels. This means that the marquee is vulnerable to moving, jeopardising the safety of those inside.
- The overall foot surface area of the marquee is reduced to the wheel footprint, leading to incorrect engineered computations for wind speed rating. To make your marquee compliant with the Australian safety standards, you, therefore, need new wind speed tables; increasing your work.
With regards to claims of marquees becoming more versatile with the addition of wheels, we’ve observed that most customers remove the wheels after a few uses and just use the marquee with regular feet.
- As far as portability is concerned, one can always team up to assemble and erect the structure. This way, the structural integrity of the marquee is not compromised and it adheres to ABCB’s outdoor shelter safety standards.
- As with mobile shopping carts and chairs, wheels somehow seem to have a mind of their own. More often than not, they take any structure resting atop them in a different than intended direction. This is not only undesirable, it is also dangerous in case of a heavy assembly such as a gazebo. Reckless and unguided movement can lead a marquee towards collision, damaging the frame and fabric.
If indeed there is a need for a truly portable marquee, then branded pop-up gazebos are better alternatives than a gazebo with wheels. They’re lightweight, compact, and can be erected without the need for a second partner.
But, what if you really, really wanted a gazebo on wheels?
Well in that case, we strongly suggest that you get a custom marquee designed with wheel function specified.
Also to help you setup a gazebo with wheels here is a blog and a video tutorial.
Mobile marquees must have their own special engineering specification. Simply attaching a set of castor wheels renders the engineering certification of the marquee invalid by weakening the overall strength and reducing the contact area. Specified wheeled certifications on the other hand, make your marquee compliant with the Australian safety standards.
Without the right certifications, your marquee will not meet Australian outdoor shelter standards and you might not be able to install it at public spaces and venues.
Before you buy a mobile marquee, speak with a reputed and trusted seller; for example, Extreme Marquees. Our experts will be able to help you out in determining if you really need a customised marquee with wheels or a regular marquee with a portable carry case. Give us a call on 0800 424 313 or write to us.