Sandbags for PVC Ring Dividers/Gates/Fencing

08 Dec 2019Steve Schwarz

I built eight sections of PVC ring gates to keep my dogs in our play/practice area when the rest of my yard is too wet/muddy to use. They worked well. But when there were windy days some would get knocked over. So I tried to make the legs on them longer. With two foot long legs they were more stable, but some would still be knocked around/down by wind gusts.

So I took gallon ziploc bags, put sand in them and set one on the feet at the end of each gate. That worked OK until storms blew through:

Gates blown over by 50mph wind gusts
Gates blown over by 50mph wind gusts

I could stake the gates down, but I still want to be able to move them periodically, even in the winter, so I don’t want the stakes frozen into the ground.

I bought 2 packages of 4 AmazonBasics Photographic Empty Sandbags for Light Stands. Each one could hold two ziploc bags of sand, doubling the weight. They also look pretty durable and I’ll see how they hold up to Chicago’s weather.

AmazonBasics Photographic Sandbag for Light Stands
AmazonBasics Photographic Sandbag for Light Stands

I filled the sandbags by first putting a one gallon ziploc bag into each of the sandbag’s two zippered pouches. Push the ziploc into the bottom corners of the sandbag. Then, using a plastic cup, I carefully filled each bag with sand and shook the bags to settle the sand and sealed the Ziploc bags.

Filling Ziploc bag with sand
Filling Ziploc bag with sand

It was a little tricky to get the zippers closed, but after carefully straightening out the zipper sections I was able to get both zippers on each side closed.

Then I put one sandbag on the legs at the end of each fence section:

One sandbag on the end legs of each gate section
One sandbag on the end legs of each gate section

I’ll see how well these heavier sandbags work as the winter weather comes. So if you are using lightweight gates outdoors, photographic sandbags might be a solution.

Update 2019 Dec 20

The heavier sandbags did keep the gates from being thrown around after 30 mph wind gusts. But, after the storm passed, I noticed some of the legs were sliding out from under the sand bags.

Gate leg sliding out from under sandbag
Gate leg sliding out from under sandbag

So I found some 1” x 12” velcro straps and looped them around the uprights and through the sandbag handle to keep everything together. The velcro makes it easy to remove the sandbags when I move the gates.

Velcro strap connecting gates and sandbag
Velcro strap connecting gates and sandbag

I think I’m done with this project now!

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