Ep62 – Aussie Pegs & Poles with Supa Peg

Save

Episode Overview:

Ever walked into an outdoor store (*cough* Snowys *cough*), asked for advice on a product, and wondered how there could possibly be so much to say about a single sand peg?

Let’s tap into that.

In this episode of the Snowys Camping Show, Ben and Lauren chat with Supa Peg’s Sales Manager Isaac about everything from poles, pegs, and steel spreader bars, to plastic componentry and quality control. In that, Isaac educates us on what’s required to guarantee the robust durability, kick-butt strength, and door-busting resilience typical of every Supa Peg product.

Listen to the full episode here:

Or watch the video version here:

Shortcuts:

00:00 – Intro

00:29 – Introducing Isaac from Supa Peg

01:30 – Isaac’s Story

02:58 – New Gear

05:42 – The History of Supa Peg

07:03 – Aussie Manufacturing

09:27 – The Supa Peg Crew

10:10 – Componentry

11:24 – Supa Peg’s Range

12:18 – Supa RV

13:54 – Poles

18:09 – Plastic Components

20:37 – Spreader Bars and Poles

25:06 – Pegs

30:44 – Quality Control

31:55 – Most Common Questions for Supa Peg

34:03 – What’s in the Pipeline?

Mentioned in this episode:

Podcasts:

Ep54 – Talkin’ Tent Pegs

Ep59 – Shelters for Rainy Days

Products:

Supa Peg (brand page)

Supa Peg Supa Cube Fire Pit

Supa Peg Outbound Shield 6 Freestanding Awning

Supa Peg Frontier Grill

Supa Peg Supa Cube Grill and Plate Set

GME (brand page)

Supa Peg Polycarbonate Sand Pegs

Supa Peg Big Foot Aluminium Tent Poles

Supa Peg C-Clip Spreader Bar Support Inserts

Supa Peg Eye-to-Eye T-Nut Spreader Poles

Supa Peg Single Guy Rope Light Trace Springs

Supa Peg Croc Bin V2

Supa Peg Galvanised Steel Ridge Rails

Supa Peg Aluminium Twist-Lock Big Foot Tent Poles

Supa Peg Big Foot U-Clip Aluminium Ridge Rail Support Poles

Supa Peg Pole Spigots for Round Tubes

Supa Peg Nylon Tent Pole Inserts

Supa Peg Double Guy Rope Light Trace Springs

Supa Peg Standard Guy Rope Trace Springs

Supa Peg Gazebo Saver

Supa Peg Polycarbonate Tarp Pegs

Supa Peg Polycarbonate Screw Pegs

Supa Peg Ground Anchor Tent Pegs

Other:

Supa RV – online customer outlet

Introducing Isaac from Supa Peg

Those who follow Ben and Lauren weekly in the Snowys Camping Show may remember Ep54 – Talkin’ Tent Pegs, in which Lauren consistently speaks highly of Supa Peg. No, that episode wasn’t attributed to any paid promotion or monetary deal – we just love Supa Peg products!
In Ep59 – Shelters for Rainy Days, Ben and Lauren also detailed the various ways in which to create a cover for unpredictable conditions involving rain and/or wind.

The content generated from both episodes meant that an interview with Isaac from Supa Peg was both a natural and necessary progression.

Isaac’s Story

Now their Sales Manager, Isaac has worked for Supa Peg for five years. He was initially involved in the metal work, constructing poles and awnings, and worked his way up to Sales. As a result of his gradual progression, his extensive knowledge now spans across each department. In the last couple of years in particular, Isaac has also been privy to the progression of Australian Manufacturing.

Beginning in the factory building awnings, assembling poles, and packing pegs – Isaac developed his metal work skills entirely on the job. The more training he acquired, the handier a man he became – which bode well around his family home! Now, his hands are off the tools and his equally-valuable sales skills applied to his office role.

New Gear

In June 2022, Supa Peg issued their Supa Cube Fire Pit – hot on quality, keeping those campsite dynamics cooking!

Other recent releases include their first freestanding awning in November 2021, the Outback Shield 6 Awning – impressive and, ironically, a stand-out! Ideal for summertime use with a vast 17 square metre coverage, Isaac admits that he and the team are excited to observe how well this product performs over time. The freestanding design acts as large sail, prepared for the occasional flail and gale, flexing with the wind to relieve pressure from the hinges. For those still suspicious of the apparent strength of a freestanding model – on Queensland’s Bribie Beach in Queensland, Supa Peg’s Outbound Shield 6 Awning effortlessly withstood winds that reached up to 30 Notts!

Other fresh frontliners include an addition to the flat-pack fire pit models, the Frontier Grill, while the Grill and Plate Set released in June/July 2021 has also proven popular. Isaac owns both the Cube Fire Pit and the Grill, each compatible with the other to achieve that five-star smoky char in your campfire cooking.

A 4WD is parked on the beach, hosting Supa Peg's Outbound Shield 6 Freestanding Awning.

The Outbound Shield 6 Awning is Supa Peg’s first freestanding awning – both impressive and, ironically, a stand-out! Credit: Supa Peg

The History of Supa Peg

In 1974, Supa Peg began as a small, family-run business with the vision of building high-quality products suited to Australian conditions. In 2020, the original family sold the company to new owners.

As their business name suggests, Supa Peg’s initial product line was solely pegs. While this mostly covered their renowned key-head pegs, their range extended to swags, cargo carriers, and basic-style awnings.

Today, Supa Peg have streamlined their product line to awnings, poles, pegs, and a variety of componentry.

Aussie Manufacturing

Most of Supa Peg’s products are manufactured in their factory in Yatala, Queensland. With moulding machines to create their plastic pegs, Supa Peg’s canvas is supplied by Wax Converters in New South Wales, both sewn and cut in Queensland.

Given the shortage of supplies over the past couple of years, and suppliers thus restricting production, Ben and Lauren query how Supa Peg have approached sourcing materials like metal. Isaac admits that the last two years have been challenging, with wait times ranging between six and eight weeks. In response, the team prepared for longer lead times by ordering as much supply as they could at one time.

Supa Peg use Australian-based raw materials, such as aluminium and steel. Sourcing their aluminium from Abra Aluminium in Victoria, Isaac assures that as a business they aim to obtain as much material as they can from Aussie suppliers. That said, Ben reminds us that there will always be a percentage of supplies only obtainable from overseas due to its absence here in Australia.

Given the lead times and issues with international supply, Supa Peg maintain their aim to source most to all their materials within Australia and avoid relying on overseas manufacturers.

The Supa Peg Crew

With roughly 30 members in their dream-team, Supa Peg’s headquarters is based in Yatala, ten minutes from their storage shed. Geographically speaking, Yatala is located south of Brisbane, halfway to the Gold Coast.

Componentry

Ben queries which of Supa Peg’s componentry are sourced internationally. For example, GME products are 100% Australian-assembled, though some components are required from overseas.

Supa Peg mirror this, with some key-heads required from beyond the Australian border. That said, Isaac confirms that the team is looking into eventually having these locally-made too, moving with a push of patriotism and directing manufacturing back to Australia. If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the importance of supporting Australian-made, where Supa Peg acknowledge this as an opportunity to revamp what has potentially been lost over the years.

Supa Peg’s Range

Until she began working at Snowys, Lauren attributed Supa Peg solely to pegs, poles, and fittings. In fact, their range is far more extensive, including pegs, poles, bars, ropes, trace springs, 4WD awnings, and the croc bin – a portable, hygienic bin designed to help keep campsite rubbish under control. 

Isaac also notes that their Outbound range – specific to 4WD awnings – features models to suit any camper… and now requires its own factory dedicated to its manufacturing!

Supa RV

With their extensive range of gear, gadgets, and gizmos, stocking the full Supa Peg range here at Snowys would almost be like opening a candy store!

While this may not be the case for Snowys (*wipes tears*), customers can nonetheless purchase and enquire direct from Supa Peg’s online outlet, Supa RV. Covering their full range, customers are welcome to peruse, extend their weird and wonderful ideas for new products, and seek advice from the Supa Peg team.

In that, Supa Peg still offer their range of tarp kits suited to the many setup sizes and styles. The perfect beginner’s kit, a customer simply reveals the size of their tarp and Supa Peg directs them to the suitable kit, complete with the relevant pegs, poles, tarp, and spreader bars. As covered in the previous episode Shelters for Rainy Days, a camper doesn’t necessarily require the whole kit and kaboodle to erect a suitable tarp cover – though Supa Peg’s superbly assembled tarp bundles certainly provide the means!

Poles

One of the most common questions for Ben and Lauren is often ‘which pole material is best – aluminum or galvanised steel?’

While galvanised steel claims the better price point, aluminium is both lighter and easier to use – so while one may not save money, they save weight. The twist-lock feature is also only found in aluminium poles, as a galvanized steel model lacks the adequate grip. Given its more slippery nature, the fitting would slip inside the pole, while aluminum’s better hold has it more capable of supporting more weight.

For upright poles, Isaac prefers an aluminum twist-lock model, owing to its ability to support the weight of his setup. For ridge rails, he recommends choosing galvanised steel instead, offering a longer span for greater strength. Essentially, galvanised steel offers superior strength from a sideways position, while aluminum handles greater downward force.

But hold up (literally) – where does alloy fit into all this?

The difference between aluminum and alloy is that aluminum is a chemical element – found in its pure form on the Earth’s crust – while alloy is a combination of several chemical elements, such as aluminum itself and steel.

On that, Isaac explains that often the difference between a Supa Peg pole and that of another brand asking for a third of the price, is the former’s greater strength and ease of use. In the case of Supa Peg’s Aluminum Twist-Lock Big Foot Tent Poles, grip lines are there to provide resistance in twist-locking. When it comes to customizing one’s setup too, chopping off a segment beneath the press line only loses a small part of the pole in the process. Nonetheless, when it comes to custom designing and manufacturing, Isaac suggests galvanized poles.

Plastic Components

In the case of basic poles, the plastic sleeves that fit over the pole joints tend to crack over time, and the caps on the base of the feet split. Instead, Supa Peg use nylon in all spigot components.

To guarantee strength, Supa Peg’s ‘recipe’ includes both nylon and glass-filled nylon. Glass-filled nylon refers to a percentage of nylon in which a filament is applied to improve the component’s rigidity, meanwhile keeping its shape and form.

The C-Clip spreader bar support inserts are produced from a singular mould. Supa Peg have many moulds for use in conjunction with the plastic injection machines, including for C-clips, U-clips, and spigots. While it depends on the application, C-clips are advantageous for attaching to the side of the tube over the flat-tabbed tent pole inserts with spigot holes. The latter are best fastened over the top of spigots.

That said – in an instance where one could choose where to insert a spreader pole, a spigot would work more sufficiently than a C-clip. This is because the pressure is directed downward into the upright pole and locked via the spigot, offering a greater hold.

A guy rope is looped onto a silver spigot, which pokes through an eyelet in the corner of a grey tarp.

Supa Peg use nylon in all spigot components. Credit: Supa Peg

Spreader Bars and Poles

Most of Supa Peg’s spreader bars reach a maximum length of 310 centimetres, where some galvenised ridge rails can lengthen to support a 24-foot awning. For the latter, supporting upright poles are required – and this applies to any awning that exceeds 12 feet long so as to relieve the pressure from the canvas.

Isaac recommends a supportive upright pole every 12 feet. With the option of either a square or rounded ridge pole, Supa Peg’s limit for the use of a round is the three-metre mark, at which point they deem it best to transition to the stronger, square-shaped ridge pole.

When setting up a tarp, both an upright ridge pole and a spreader bar are recommended at every second eyelet, with a peak to promote rain run-off and reduce the chances of the shelter ‘bellying’ out. The number of spreader bars required depends on the size of the awning. For example, a 7 x 9-foot awning with a ridge rail across may require between two and three spreader bars too.

For a standard tarp size of roughly 12 x 24 feet, Isaac again suggests an upright pole at every second eyelet, and a spreader bar across the 12-foot area to create a sufficient peak in the centre for both height and rain run-off. In addition, guy ropes are recommended at each corner and off every pole.

A tarp shelter is set up on a patch over lawn, covering a collection of deck chairs and a barbeque. The shelter is anchored to the ground with white guy ropes. A red car is parked in the background with its boot open.

When setting up a tarp, both an upright ridge pole and a spreader bar are recommended at every second eyelet. Credit: Supa Peg

Isaac also advocates for trace springs in windier conditions, as they allow for movement and remove the stress otherwise applied to both the fabric and the pegs. At a sudden gust of wind, the force is absorbed by the trace spring as opposed to ripping the peg from the ground.

Pegs

Typically, plastic pegs are constructed with either polypropylene (black) or polycarbonate (yellow) materials. The latter usually makes for a stronger peg, best hammered into rocks and tough surfaces, while the black pegs are better used in sand.

With the more brittle nature of polycarbonate, Lauren questions whether the greater flex from black polypropylene pegs would hypothetically bode better to anchor a windy beachside set-up in the sand. Isaac clarifies that screw pegs would be more ideal, referring to the longer models with the large hook on the head. Despite Supa Peg’s Outbound awning wild weather kits including pegs, ropes, and all the necessary knick-knacks – Isaac recommends upgrading the pegs for the sandier set-ups.

The most effective method to insert a screw peg is by positioning it vertically and screwing deep into the sand. This way, the pressure is on the stem travelling directly upwards as opposed to on an angle. Key head screws and anchor pegs, however, perform best when inserted on an angle. The more the peg is hammered in the further and more secure it digs into the soil. These pegs are mostly used for soil or firm surfaces, and while they handle a greater wind load their reliability ultimately depends on the nature of the ground. 

In respects to all pegs mentioned, trace springs are still beneficial in removing the pressure from the peg itself. Supa Peg’s strength test involves gauging with a forklift to determine how much pressure a peg can handle before it surrenders. Again, while this is a fairly fool-proof testing method, the reliability and strength of a peg will still always depend on the nature of the surface on which a camper is set up.

Quality Control

With respects to brands that manufacture both overseas and within Australia, there seems to be a perception of a lack of quality control among internationally manufactured products.

In the case of Supa Peg’s awnings, the team carries out fittings and Quality Assurance (QA) testing. The same is applied to their plastic componentry, where a specific ‘recipe’ is followed, the first batch tested, and the final product confirmed as above-board before hitting the shelves.   

Most Common Questions for Supa Peg

‘Will this awning suit my set-up?’

To this, Isaac recommends sending in an image of your vehicle, and the Supa Peg team will establish an awning system to suit. Ultimately, the right awning and where it’s mounted will depend on the size of the vehicle and roof racks. Supa Peg’s awnings have a low profile, so keeping it away from opening doors is always a consideration when fitting to a vehicle.

Here at Snowys, we also receive questions concerning whether an awning will fit a particular roof rack. At times, it can be hard to provide advice on the floor – but if a customer is seeking more guidance or information on an Outbound awning, Supa Peg can intervene and respond quickly and accurately.

With such a busy and bustling factory, Supa Peg no longer facilitate awning installations like they used to – though offering extensive advice will always be an ongoing service.

What’s in the Pipeline?

Put simply by Isaac, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’.

Supa Peg’s innovative process begins around the campfire, where discussion unfolds as to what may make something ‘better’ or more user-friendly. From there, Isaac takes his scribbled notepad back to the drawing board on Monday morning, with the intention to trial their newest invention on their next camping trip.

Ultimately, Isaac and the Supa Peg crew aim to expand their range for the sake of providing more options to campers and adventurers – all while supporting Aussie-made.

Thanks for listening, tune in again for next week’s episode!

Thanks for tuning in to this week’s episode of the Snowys Camping Show Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to us on YouTubeSpotifyiTunesAmazon MusiciHeartRadioPocket CastsPodcast Addict, or Stitcher so you never miss an upload.

If you have any questions for Ben and Lauren, make sure you head over to our Facebook group and let us know as we’d love to hear from you.

Catch you out there!

About the writer...

Joined back in October, 2015

Similar posts...