I bought 10
feet of 3" PVC, cut off the wider "female" end and divided the rest into
four equal parts. (If you're going to fill the PVC with concrete, you
could get a larger diameter, but if you're going to use lead weight, as I
did, don't get anything larger than 3".)
For each weight, get two end caps.
For the hanging end of each weight, I got a large eye bolt, two large
nuts and two large washers (one set each for the inside and outside).
I got a one-piece metal handle for each weight and bolts, washers and
nuts with which to attach them. The handles are handy for picking up and
carrying the lead weights and they help keep the weights from rolling
around in your vehicle.
After attaching all the hardware, I glued the bolt end to the pipe
using special PVC adhesive. I did this end first so that the filler would
arrange itself around the long bolt inside the pipe. I filled each pipe
section with leftover lead tire weights. You should be able to find these
for free at tire stores. If someone wants to charge you, say "No, thanks!"
and go on to another shop. The smaller (non-chain) stores tended to be
friendlier and more helpful to me. I took along a pair of gloves in case I
needed to do the actual filling, but in every case, the mechanics did it
At this point, the pipe
weighed around 16-17 lbs. As the lead tire weights are bulky and leave a
fair amount of space in between, I decided to fill in the space with lead
shot purchased at a sporting goods store. While the shot is tiny and fills
in all the empty space, it's also fairly expensive. I ended up using a 25#
bag of lead shot in each pipe in addition to the tire weights, which makes
each one a hefty 40+ lbs each. They're definitely the most compact and
heaviest weights I've seen, but I'd advise using as much free weight as
possible before having to spend money on the shot.
I will use Velcro straps or small bungee cords to secure the hanging
weights to the legs of my tent.