Gear: The Ozark Trail Screenhouse

Need instructions? If you have the 13’x10′ model, your prayers are answered! Here is a PDF of the owner’s manual. Commenters report good service by calling 1-800-775-1965 for other models. Commenters have also, in the spirit of empiricism and reverse engineering, written their own instructions for the 14′ x 12′ and the 10′ x 13′ (same as 13×10?).

This seems to be a widespread problem. Since you don’t need to leave a comment begging for instructions, how about leaving one with your location instead? We’ll see how many screenhouses across the country we can rescue. You don’t even have to bother reading the following review, whose purpose in life has become feeding the search engines and getting you here to end your desperate plight in the face of that pile of little white tubes…


Now and then I walk into a store, it tends to be named ___Mart, and buy something I know is going to bring nothing but grief and heartbreak. But I hope it won’t. Yes, I know it will, so what gives? Is it plain stupidity? A Pavlovian reaction to super-size doses of advertising? Greed, optimism, stinginess, and materialistic guilt thrashing together in a dance of futility that leads straight to the checkout counter? To make matters worse, sometimes I’m so ashamed of the purchase that I can’t even bring myself to return it.

So far this sounds like a poor review, so let me say that, as the picture shows, the product did eventually reach a state of functionality of sorts. I know there is more grief and heartbreak in my future, but hey, I’m using it.

One mad idea often begets another, and that is how this $34.95 purchase came about. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere in the blog, I’m getting married in Joshua Tree on August 2nd, outdoors. It occurred to me that if I insist on inviting people into a blazing Mojave inferno in the height of the summer it would be polite to provide some shade. Shade can be a matter of survival there if you’re outside at midday. So the idea was born. Then I started having other wild fantasies, like effectively adding a room to the desert shack where I live by erecting the shadehouse in the backyard. Hope. Optimism. Greed. Stinginess.

When I got the thing home and deboxed it, the reality began to set in. Dozens of two-foot sections of pipe spilled onto the floor with stickers labeling them ‘1B’, ‘4’, or ‘2B’. Or not 2B. Childhood memories of failures with Tinker Toys came flooding back. But, with determined hope, I began to wade through the instructions.

This is one of those products where the instructions are basically a complete fantasy. They make one false unstated assumption after another. And even then, they’re not simple. What you wind up with is a web of pipes and plastic pieces that falls apart at one end as you assemble the other. Then the instructions start to get really funny. ‘Insert the leg poles into the hubs to raise the screenhouse frame’ got the first laugh. The “frame” barely stayed together on the ground. Any attempt to lift a corner and insert a leg pole resulted in pipes flying everywhere. I thought of resorting to duct tape, but since I had none handy, with great finesse I managed to lift each corner one pipe segment at a time. Some middle sections fell out but I had a standing frame of sorts, swaying and wobbling. Then came the real punchline.

‘Drape the screenhouse body over the frames.’ I thought I had never read a more ludicrous suggestion. Drape the body. HA! Not only was the frame more than a little unstable, the body is BIG, and HEAVY. Where would you start draping? At a corner? No way, the thing would explode. The only slight possibility was starting from the inside, in the middle. With great trepidation and many prayers I managed to do some draping. I had to take some pieces out to drape from the middle, hold everything together, drape, and put them back underneath the canvas. I could hardly believe it when I had the entire thing draped. Victory!

The rest of the process was funny too, with wimpy frizzy guylines, and inexplicable bits of plastic that are supposed to tighten them. I had to use every knot I’ve learned from rock climbing. But it went up. It’s pretty nice. There’s shade, and fewer bugs than outside the screenhouse. I do have some reservations left, though. I wonder what will happen when the wind comes. Will I come home and just find the screenhouse gone, or will I see it blowing around in the street, trailing pipe segments? What about the rain, or the potential for 120-degree heat? We’ll see. For the moment, my dream of an extra room in the back yard has come true. Wish me luck putting it up at the wedding.

177 responses to “Gear: The Ozark Trail Screenhouse”

  1. Thanks!!! We also lost the instructions…its is the hardest screenhouse to figure out!!

    Son is going to a concert and is very happy you posted the instructions!!!

  2. Um, if someone has a file that can be emailed then why can’t it be posted on this site for download?
    Thanks for the picture though, a lot more useful than nothing. Shame I don’t have time right now to call up the company.

  3. hey
    call 1-800-775-1965
    model number is WMT-1390S-1
    they will email u the instructions.. got them is less than 2 minutes… it took 6 people and over 2 hrs to put this thing up last night.. at the end we didn’t care if it was right as long as it stood! for the 13X10 tent.

  4. really enjoyed my 14×12 after i shocked corded the poles together. after only two uses i set up in my yard to clean and left overnight not staked down. strong wind destroyed it. perfect size and shape for what i want it for. any of you out there wanting to sell yours please let me know. subject-ozarkscreentent

  5. I would like to thank laura razo for putting the phone number in her message. I was able to call them and get the directions for the 10 x 13 screen tent.

  6. I have an Ozark Trail ScreenHouse 12X12. I can’t seem to figure out what needs to be done to get this thing up. I have all the poles and know where they go. Do the stakes go in 1st then the inside poles for the center(roof) and then the outer ones for the frame?

  7. Hi I have an Ozark Trail Screen House 13×10 I need instructions. I called the 1800 for the manufacturer and I need a WMP number wondering if anyone can give me the Serial number since I dont have it with me. Or instructions would be great. My email is


  8. Hi I was wondering if anyone had instruction for a ozark trail 14×12 screen house that they could email me or if anyone knows where I could down load them.I need Them before Thursday.If anyone can help me out please let me know.Thank you

  9. If anyone can e-mail me the instructions for an ozark trail 2 room dome tent 14′ x 9′; 6-person I would greatly appreciate it. I’m camping this weekend.





  11. I need assembly instructions for the 11’x8’ozark trail dining canopy if anyone has them would you please scan them and send them to my e-mail address. Thank you in advance for your help. Bert

  12. We bought a 9X6 4 person tent, and it seems that we have not assembled it correctly. The one red pole bows out once the black small pole is assembled. Has anyone experienced this, and if so, how did you correct it. Thanks

    Julie C.

  13. I can’t believe people are STILL asking for the instructions, when all they have to do is call the number to get a PDF sent to their inbox. Seriously, I called just now and within 45 seconds it was in my email inbox. That quick guys… whew.

    I may just publish them on my own website and put up a link here, since this is the ONLY site that comes up in a Google search.

    Good luck!

  14. After I submitted that comment I called North Poll and after waiting about 16 minutes I talked to a repersentitive whitch was very helpful and I had my instructions in my e-mail box in about a minute. Very good. Thanks for number.

  15. Call 1-800-775-1965 and they will send you directions. They are open 7-5 central time and they take lunch from 11-12. Good Luck Everyone!

  16. Hi, Please Help!!! I need the manual for Ozark Trail, 14 X 12 Screen House. They don’t make these anymore so I cannot get it from the company. However, I found a site that will custom make the poles that bent, but I need the Model Numbers ect….. I love this screen tent. Its a pain to put up and I have had to color code the poles myself, but once it is up we call it the Tashmahall!! (spelling wrong, im sure)

    thanks in advance,

  17. I’d like to give a big cyber thanks to cyberhobo for posting the pictuire of the instructions, mine were lost somewhere on Henry’s Beach in Santa Barbara, CA, I’m getting ready to go on a week vacation to Yosemite, and we notice we had fogotten how it went together. This helps BIG TIME thanks
    Big Mike in Bako, SoCal

  18. Thank you so much for having the instructions here. I got one of these at a yard sale, but the instructions had apparently gotten wet and were now a little grey mass. I already know that one of the bottom leg sections is missing, but I can easily replace it from the tubing from an old canopy. Now I can figure out whether another part is missing or not.

  19. Me & My husband won ours @ one of the few events that we go to. I have been having it now for about fours years. When we first got it I took it out to use it for my Husbands 50th birthday and found out there were no instructions. So I called Academy “at the time that is where it was purchased from” they had no instructions for it either. I searched on the internet an could not find them either. I gave up till now, low and behold the first thing that pop up when I entered my search was this sight. Thank You so!!!!!!!!!!! much. You are a blessing in disguise. Oh! by the way we are from Broussard, Louisiana.

  20. I have to laugh when I see how long this blog has been going on. It’s amazing how many people have had a need for this! I too thank you for providing the instructions on-line. We are going camping in the rain tonight and would have been lost without the instructions (tried to put it up once without the instructions – 1 1/2 hour project)

  21. Thank you sooooo much for the instructions! I searched the web for hours last year and could not find the instructions anywhere. Your help came just in time for the summer! THANK YOU!

  22. i am getting this pop style gazebo square in size, 11.8 by 11.8 . and i need a model number for it. It is coming from ebay and i need to know the model number so i can find out set up for it and what type of materialit is so i can use it for camping when it is raining

  23. Does anyone have instructions/manual for the Ozark Trail 17×11 Dome Tent? Or can I possibly get them from Walmart? I need them like yesterday…

  24. Well, might as well chime in. I was just given a 13 x 10 screenhouse with no instructs. Thanks so much for posting them! And I’ll keep duct tape in mind as I try to put it together today.

    I hope everyone has an enjoyable summer of 2008.

  25. Bless you, bless you! We’ve had our tent for a couple of years (actually 3 years), it was a pain to put up the first time, the tubes kept coming apart while we were setting it up. We did eventually get it put together. Then just didn’t use the darn thing because it was such a pain. Well recently I decided to give it another go, with duct tape in hand to tape all the tubes together and found that the instructions were gone. Thank you very much for posting them. Wish me luck on the second attempt to actually get some use out of it.

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