Replacing fiberglass poles with aluminum

12:44 p.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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I have a decent tent that's good for the family except the fiberglass poles are beginning to split regularly.  I've replaced a few of the sections with a replacement kit but I can't trust the poles as a whole anymore.  I was thinking of going to DIY aluminum poles.  I know aluminum is stronger than fiberglass but is it stiffer?  How do I pick the right diameter of aluminum to bend over my dome tent properly?

1:40 p.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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I dont know how big your tent is. But this guys has been selling them on ebay for a while now.

2:32 p.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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3,956 forum posts

Welcome doh45244,

For tent pole replacement try the guys at Tent Pole Technologies Inc.

Aluminum tent poles aren't made from run of the mill aluminum tubing. You can get what you need at the link I provided above, you will need to know the Make & Model of your tent as well as the length of your fiberglass poles. The guys at Tent Pole Technology can help you choose the right stuff and can make the poles up for you, shock cord, terminals, and all.

Hope that helps.

5:07 p.m. on June 14, 2011 (EDT)
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Hi and Welcom to Trailspace doh45244,

I would ask what kind of tent this is?  How many poles and long are they? Do you know the dia. of the poles?   New  alum. poles are expensive.  The poles that mike told you about have been selling for $11-$13 each for a 13 ft section.  That will cost a bit if its a big familey tent.  Even thru some of discounts web sites they can be quite pricey.  I would check Craigslist and or Ebay and see what you can find as far as familey tents.  If you really, really, like the tent you have, then you might look for the same model you have.  That way all the parts from both tents could be used in the event of tent failiure.  I think in the end if you like your tent and you want to keep using it with limited expense, I would just buy some fiberglass replacment poles off of Ebay.  I have found a lot of inexpensive fiberglass poles on ebay but still think you can get a whole new or quality used tent for less than the price of seperate poles.  I myself have some fiberlagss poles that I might just be willing to PIF (Pay It Foward), and I think there might be some others here that might have some as well (though I do not  presume to speak for other, just a thought).  You would have to know the dia. of your poles to see if they would work.  If you are interested in PIF here on trailspace we can let you know how that works. 


add on: here is an Ebay find:



$9.99 right now with no bids.  Though some of the poles are "damaged", it appears a lot of them in the box are only there as a result of the shock cord being broken.  Easy fix.  If you take the picture and enlarge it I think you will find many good sound poles.  Fiberglass poles can also be shortened as needed.

12:09 p.m. on June 15, 2011 (EDT)
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The tent is a Wenzel Catskill 5.  It's a tall tent so people can stand up in it.  The two poles are each 19 ft long, span about 12 or 13 ft, and are about 6 ft high. 

It's looking like the cost of new poles is approaching the cost of a new tent.  I just hate to throw out a tent with some life left but the poles are not trust worthy.

1:52 p.m. on June 22, 2011 (EDT)
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1,469 forum posts

I just bought a Mountain Hardwear tent (Skyledge 2.1) and am very happy with the aluminum poles and fittings supplied.  Better than my previous Alps tent.  Go online and check them out.  Maybe a good choice for you.

May 23, 2018
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