Everything you need to know about Gazebos - your guide to prices, accessories, setting it up, and maintaining it correctly.Although gazebos are a classic piece of outdoor camping and shelter gear - finding the right one for you can be a challenge - as well as knowing the best way to set it up, clean it and maintain it for future use and prolonged lifespan. Read our full gazebo guide below to get all the knowledge you need to upgrade your outdoor shelter game.
Typically made from a variety of plastic, PVC, canvas, and other materials - gazebos can serve a variety of purposes. You can set it up in your general outdoor area as a shady place to sit and relax while enjoying the fresh air and view of the scenery around you. It can also be used as a classic shelter during outdoor markets or stores or for use on outdoor events or special occasions, like weddings and birthday parties.
Assembling a gazebo isn’t time-consuming and usually doesn’t require too much effort. Most smaller gazebos are simple enough to set up single-handled, although some more complicated products or larger gazebos will require some assistance from a friend or two. It is always advisable to follow the appropriate instructions that are supplied with your gazebo purchase - as well as to practice setting it up in a secure place ahead of time so that you are familiar with the process.
Lastly, it is also important to know about the correct way to set up a gazebo with appropriate accessories - such as tent pegs, guy ropes, weighted sandbags, or end and side walls. If you will be using your gazebo in windy or wet conditions it is especially important to use the correct accessories to avoid having your gazebo take off and fly away during a big gust of South African wind.
What size Gazebo is best suited for you?
The gazebo size that will best fit your needs will depend upon the number of people that you wish to shelter and how portable you need your set-up to be. If you decide to go with a smaller gazebo that may only shelter 50% of your intended guests, it is also significantly more portable and easier to set up than a larger size. Weight and portability are important factors to consider and especially if you will be using them on overnight hikes or camping trips.
If you are unsure about investing in a very big gazebo it is also possible to use two smaller gazebos and set them up side-by-side and secure them together tightly. This will allow for twice the amount of shelter but, the gazebos will still be quick and easy to set up and transport.
Scroll to the bottom to see some of our gazebo product picks - or click here to browse our full gazebo range.
How to Correctly Set Up a Gazebo
Important: Always refer to the specific instructions for setup and maintenance provided with your gazebo. These are general guidelines that are adequate for most common gazebo products.
1. To begin, remove the contents from the storage bag if your gazebo has one
2. Leave the canopy or covers to one side briefly.
3. Pull the legs apart slightly to allow for grip on the truss joints
4. Squeeze the roof mechanism together whilst moving backward. The legs will part automatically. Do not fully extend the frame yet.
5. When the frame is semi-erected, take the canopy and pull it over the top of the frame.
6. Ensure the Velcro strips - or other connected materials - are lined up with those on the legs, and pull the protective sock (if provided) over the peak pole to ensure the canopy remains in place
7. Continue to pull the legs apart using the truss joints until the tent is fully extended
8. At each corner, push the slider on the legs up until it clicks firmly into place.
9. Extend the legs of one side of the tent together, and repeat on the other side.
10. Fix the gazebo canopy in place using the built-in clips, guy-ropes, pegs or weighted sand-bags, and straighten your canopy into the correct place.
General Tips and Advice for Maintaining your Gazebo
Firstly, the most common gazebos are not designed to be left out all year round. The sturdy frameworks generally come in one piece and can be quickly deployed and dismantled in minutes to help make it easy to store your gazebo away safely when not in use.
Most gazebos have adequate UV protection; however, this does not stop dust, grime, tree sap from building up. Cleaning your gazebo cover will increase the life span and keep it looking fresh and helping make your future outdoor adventures far more comfortable.
Tips and advice for maintaining your gazebo
Investing in a gazebo also requires one to invest time and care into maintaining, cleaning, and storing it correctly - especially if you want to make the most out of these versatile pieces of gear for many years and adventures to come. All gazebo tents stocked at Outdoor Warehouse are easy to clean as they’re made out of either plastic and polyester/PVC coated, canvas, or PVC materials. While these materials already offer high levels of protection against wind, rain, UV rays, dust, and other dirt or pollutants, your tent still needs to be inspected and cared for regularly to increase its lifespan and keep it looking fresh and feeling comfortable.
- Inspect your gazebo at least once every winter and summer, and expect to clean it a couple of times over the year - especially if you are using it often.
- A gazebo or tent setup is more likely to gather dirt and grime during the set-up or dismantling process, so it is always advised to take care during these stages to help minimize future cleaning efforts.
- Always consider where the best place to erect the structure is: for example, if it’s set up underneath trees, it’s more likely to gather tree sap, dust, or grime that falls off the leaves - especially when it rains.
- Grime from traffic or urban pollution will also build up over time and can be seen as a grey tinge on the light material. Once this type of grime has built up, it’s difficult to remove and needs specialized chemical detergent and brushes to clean fully (which is why it is suggested that you inspect and clean your gazebo regularly!)
- Ask out a team of in-store experts for advice and help on cleaning your gazebo
How to clean a Gazebo correctly
- Rinse off any visible dirt with clean, warm water.
- For regular cleaning when there is no ingrained dirt or grime, we recommend simple soapy water or a specialist tent cleaner. Do not use any strong acid, alkaline, bleaching, or oxidizing cleaning agents, as these may damage the surface of the tent covers.
- The soapy water can be spread over the tent covers using a large sponge, cloth or mop, depending on the size of the tent that needs to be cleaned.
- If there is stubborn dirt or grime, you may need to use a brush or even a deck scrubber for more intensive cleaning. If you are going to use this technique, however, contact with stitching must be avoided, as aggressive cleaning could destroy it and cause leaks. Careful manual cleaning is preferable wherever possible.
- Do not leave the soapy water on the tent covers for more than 5 minutes. Rinse thoroughly with clean water until no soap residue remains. A hose is great for this part of the job.
- The gazebo and all materials must be completely dry before being packed away, otherwise, mold could form and the material could perish. Wiping off excess moisture with a clean cloth or mop is advisable, as is hanging the tent covers outside and in the shade to dry off completely. If you’ve used the opportunity to clean the pieces of the frame too, then also ensure this is dry before packing it away.
How to store a Gazebo or Marquee Correctly
The conditions in which you store your gazebo are important for its general maintenance and lifespan:
- Never put your tent away until it is completely dry. It is advised to try and hang the covers out for at least 24 hours.
- The optimum temperature for storage is between 10°C and 30°C. Lower temperatures could increase stiffness and lead to permanent creasing, while higher temperatures could cause the covers to stick together or even for the coating to slowly come apart in places.
- Store the gazebo sidewalls or covers in outdoor areas that are completely dry and protected from rain, snow, and direct sunlight. The environment should be free from condensation and humidity.
- Bending the tent covers could lead to permanent creasing; therefore, always roll them if possible for storage and transportation.
- Do not pile additional weight on top of the covers once folded.
- Store on a dry, clean floor; for example, in a garage or utility room.
- Avoid leaving your gazebo in storage for more than 6 months. After this time, discoloring can occur. Even if you’re not using the tent at this time, it is advisable to take it out, inspect it for dirt or damage and clean it again if necessary.
TOP GAZEBO & ACCESSORY PRODUCT PICKS
Bushtec Standard Ripstop Gazebo Medium is the perfect starter 3X3 Gazebo out there, with everything you need for quick and simple assembly. This is an ideal gazebo for an add-on to your campsite or setting up a stall or sun-cover wherever you want to.
- Open Size 300x300x230cm
- Fabric- Ripstop Canvas 320 gsm with W/C, 550mm
- Frame- 25mm fully galvanised steel frame
- Steel Corners
- PVC carry bag included storm ropes and pegs
- Packed Weight 18.9kg
- Packed Dimension-148x40x40cm
The Natural Instincts Easy-Pitch Deluxe Gazebo is easy to assemble and fold due to its integrated frame. Ideal for picnics, camping, sports events, the garden, or the beach - this versatile nylon gazebo is lightweight and easy to use on the go when needed.
- Fabric: 300D PU Polyester, fire retardant, UV50+ and 600 mm water-resistant
- Frame: 28 mm diameter and 0,7 mm thick powder coated spring steel poles, integrated frame.
- Ventilation: Vent roof for airflow.
- Guy ropes: 3,5 mm Nylon guy ropes with steel sliders.
- Pegs: 4 pieces, 200 x 6 mm steel L-type pegs, and 4 pieces, 254 x 6 mm steel nail pegs.
- Carry bag: Polyester (28 x 18 x 122 cm) with wheels.
- Optional side walls and ends.
- Weight: 17KG
- Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 2.85m
Campmor Safari King Canvas Gazebo is the ultimate gazebo for all your outdoor or camping adventures. Although slighter more labor is required to set it up, you will have more than enough space inside the sturdy structure once it is erected.
- Fabric: 320 g/m2 ripstop Polyester Canvas
- Frame: 22 mm diameter galvanized steel poles
- Guy ropes: 7 mm Nylon with slider and reflective tag
- Pegs: 12 pieces, 300 x 5 mm straight
- Carry bag: Canvas carry bag with zip (123 x 30 x 126 cm)
- Care guide: Instructions and warranty included in a canvas pouch.
- Optional side walls and ends
- Dimensions: 4.5 x 3.3 x 2.5m
- Weight: 26KG
Natural Instincts Gazebo Sand Bags (4 pack) are the perfect addition for any gazebo and make these structures far more sturdy in windy or wet conditions.
- Provides additional and compact weight to legs.
- Easy to transport and use.
- Comes in a pack of 4.
This side wall is perfectly fitted to accompany the Natural Instincts Side Wall for Easy Pitch Standard 3x3 Gazebo. Side or End Walls, like this one from Natural Instinctints, are the ideal piece of gear to turn your average gazebo setup into an insulated tent that can take on most outdoor weather conditions.