Trampolines are popular outdoor toys which promote active play and exercise. Trampolines are constructing using a taut fabric 'bounce mat', a sturdy metal frame usually made out of steel, and a series of springs. The bounce mat itself is not elastic, with the force instead coming from the springs.
Trampolines can be found in many different shapes and sizes, and can include features such as safety nets and ladders. It is easy to find a trampoline on eBay.
Trampolines face a lot of wear and tear, both from the outdoor environment they often remain in, and the structural stress accumulated from use. There are a number of methods which owners can use to prolong the life of a trampoline.
How to Stay Safe on a Trampoline
One of the easiest and most effective ways to maintain a trampoline is to stick to a few key rules when using it.
* Always check the bounce mat for leaves and other debris before use. Though these are generally harmless to the trampoline if left still, bouncing on the mat with leaves, twigs and other debris present risks causing damage to the mat.
* Small, sharp edges can easily cause minor tears in the fabric which risk becoming significant holes over time. A particular danger to look out for is the presence of small rocks and stones, which can cause a significant amount of damage if not removed.
* Clearing the mat of debris before use also ensures a safer and more comfortable experience using the trampoline.
* Inappropriate footwear worn during use also risks causing damage to the bounce mat. Hard edges can put stress on the fabric, and small stones caught in the soles can tear the bounce mat. Soft shoes such as plimsolls may be suitable, though the best way to avoid unnecessary damage to the trampoline is to ensure no shoes at all are worn during use.
* Every trampoline comes with a maximum weight which the trampoline can endure. This weight should not be exceeded, both for the safety of the users and the integrity of the trampoline. Exceeding this weight can cause springs to snap, the bounce mat to break and other damage.
* If a trampoline needs to be moved, it should always be lifted and carried rather than dragged across the ground. Dragging a trampoline across the ground puts too much pressure on the legs of the frame, which can cause them to bend or break. In the case of large trampolines, it can take around four of five people to safely and successfully lift and carry the trampoline.
* A sign that the trampoline may be damaged is if it is making more noise than usual during use. If a trampoline is unusually loud, this could be a sign that the springs have become stretched or rusty, or that the structure of the trampoline frame has been in some way weakened.
By following these simple steps while using a trampoline, wear and tear through use can be kept to a minimum.
Protection from the Elements
The majority of trampolines, particularly those of larger sizes, are kept outdoors. These trampolines face a number of potential issues, including those caused by weather, moisture and debris.
* Rust is a potential risk to an outdoor trampoline. To fully resist rust, a trampoline frame should be galvanised both inside and out. If this is not the case, efforts should be made to keep the trampoline dry. This can be achieved through the use of a trampoline cover. While a trampoline galvanised on the outside will resist external rust, if water gets inside the frame it can rust from the inside out, eventually eating its way through the frame.
* Water damage is a risk factor to the bounce mat itself, as well as the frame. To protect a trampoline from water, be it from rain or while watering the grass with a house, a trampoline cover is useful. Water repellent can also be applied to the spring covers.
* Moisture is not the only risk to trampolines. Intense heat and sunlight also present a risk to the durability of a trampoline. The bounce mat can begin to crack under these conditions, which can cause lasting damage to the trampoline. A trampoline cover is useful for this, while a UV protectant can add additional protection. This spray is also often used to help protect swimming pool and hot tub covers, as well as trampolines.
* It is generally advisable to keep a trampoline covered whenever it is not in use. This not only protects from rain, rust and heat, but also from general hazards. This helps avoid mildew forming on the trampoline at night, which can cause moisture damage, and also protects from debris being blown onto the mat. A notable and ever-present potential risk to trampolines is bird droppings. These are highly acidic, and can cause a great deal of damage to an uncovered trampoline if not quickly cleaned off.
Regularly Check the Trampoline
Minor damage to a trampoline may not cause any immediate noticeable effects, and may be hard to spot, but if left unchecked can become a significant problem which can eventually lead to the need for costly replacements. Therefore it is a good idea to regularly check the trampoline for signs of damage, in particular after a long period of no use, such as after winter.
* The trampoline frame should be checked for any cracks or points of wear, particularly around the welding that joins the legs to the top of the frame. The undersides of the legs, where they meet the ground, are a particular important area to check. These parts can wear through and leave the entire frame significantly weakened.
* The springs of a trampoline take a particularly high level of stress when the trampoline is used. Check to see if any springs are hanging loose from the trampoline. If a spring is hanging straight down, this may be a sign that the stitching has come loose, and in extreme cases could require the bounce mat to be re-stitched or for the mat itself to be replaced. If a trampoline is over two years old, it may be a good idea to thoroughly check every spring for structural weakness.
* The bounce mat should be checked for holes caused by debris and general wear and tear. If a hole in a bounce mat is big enough to fit a finger through, it is suggested that the mat should be replaced.
* The frame pad, the soft covering which covers the edges of the trampoline, should be securely fitted to the frame. If it is not, it will not provide the protection it is supposed to.
* If the trampoline is fitted with a safety net, then this should also be checked. Ensure that the clamps are holding the net poles firmly and securely in place, and ensure that there are no tears in the netting itself. The entrance should be easily opened, and be able to close securely. Furthermore, the bungee cords which support the netting, should all be firmly connected and in place.
Buying a Trampoline on eBay
* A wide range of trampolines are available on eBay. The full listing of available trampolines can be found in theToys & Games section.Trampolines can be found under Outdoor Toys & Activities. The listings can be arranged by categories such as price, condition, and distance to seller. It is also possible to sort between Auction and Buy it Now buying options, providing flexibility in how a trampoline can be purchased.
* Key information about the product, such as the size of the trampoline, is generally prominently displayed in the item listing. This makes it easy to quickly identify whether a specific item meets any particular requirements. Further information about an item can be accessed on the item page. As well as more detailed specifications, information about the seller can also be accessed here. This includes information such as item reviews and feedback ratings, allowing a purchase to be made in confidence. It is also possible here to ask the seller a question regarding a specific item.
* If a specific type or size of trampoline is required, it may be easier and more effective to use the search function available at the top of every page. This function can be used anywhere on the site, and can return results from all available categories, or from within a specific category. For more information on effective use of the search function, visit the Search Tips page.
Outdoor trampolines must withstand not only the strain of use, but also the wear of outdoor environments. This means they can sustain a good deal of damage over their lifetime. However, if used appropriately and maintained regularly, a trampoline can last for a considerable amount of time without being replaced.
The trampoline is a popular piece of outdoor equipment, and there are a wide variety of trampolines are available on eBay to suit all varieties of buyers. Whether you want an outdoor or indoor trampoline, eBay will certainly have the right product.