Inflatable Quick-Tips

Inflatable Tips & Tricks: How to Set Up & Take Down Truck Bed Parade Floats

How to Set Up a Cold-Air Inflatable Parade Balloon Inside a Truck Bed

It’s becoming more common to haul cold-air inflatables via truck at local parades. Not only do parade inflatables attract attention and generate buzz for organizations and local business, they also are easy to set up, manage, and take down. The information below was put together to help you pull off a successful parade float using cold-air inflatables. People Needed: 1-2 People Based on 7′-10′ tall inflatable (as recommended in post)

Set Up Time: 15 minutes

Things You’ll Need:

  1. Inflatable with fan system (blower)
  2. Tether Straps with Caribiners to Secure the Inflatable
  3. A gas generator (Power Source) 2000W
  4. A truck with Hardware in the truck bed for attaching tethers.

Before the Parade: Set Up Instructions

  1. Start with a clean, empty truck bed.
  2. Place generator in the truck bed near the cab.
  3. Center inflatable in the truck bed. Locate front and back of inflatable based on how you want displayed.
  4. Attach the inflatable’s tether straps to the attachment hardware (cargo hooks) in the truck bed using caribiner clips (usually provided by inflatable manufacturer).
  5. Tighten the tether straps so the inflatable will remain inside the truck bed.
  6. Close all zippers on the inflatable.
  7.  Start the generator.
  8. Plug in the fan system (blower).
  9.  As the inflatable inflates, slowly loosen and adjust the tether straps as necessary so that the inflatable is secure in the truck bed & facing the correct position.

During the Parade

  1. Enjoy the ride!
CAUTION: Do not drive faster than 5 MPH while the inflatable is in the truck bed. Exceeding 5 MPH could cause damage or injury.

After the Parade: Take Down Instructions

    1. While holding a tether strap, open the deflation zipper.
    2. Unplug the fan system (blower) from the generator.
    3. Gather the inflatable toward the inside of the truck bed as it deflates.
    4. Unhook the tether straps from the truck bed.
    5. Remove the inflatable from the truck bed and place onto a clean area where you will be able to roll out and pack it back into the inflatable storage bag.
CAUTION: Do not pack the inflatable or tether straps when wet. Packing an inflatable wet will cause mildew and damage the inflatable.




Sizing Up Truck Bed Parade Floats: Inflatable Design Quick-Tips

“I’m Using an Inflatable in the Back of My Truck at a Local Parade. How Big Can I Make It?”

Using custom inflatables in truck beds are a very popular option for parades because they’re easy to set-up, cost effective and require very little management. There are two basic configurations for hauling custom inflatables on the back of a truck; inside the truck bed or on a platform above the truck bed. The dimensions of your inflatable will be based on which configuration you use.

#1. Place the Inflatable Inside the Truck Bed

  • Recommended height: 9 feet
  • Maximum base dimensions for parade balloon: 3 feet wide x 4 feet long

Tip: We suggest adding a pedestal to the bottom of a parade inflatable. The pedestal will lift the inflatable so that it will be seen over the top of the truck bed.

#2. Build a Platform for the Truck Bed & Place Inflatable on Top

  • Recommended height: 7.4 feet
  • No need for an additional pedestal on your custom inflatable
  • Base dimensions: 3 feet wide x 4 feet long

Tip: A 12-13 foot height restriction is typical for parade floats due to power lines. Be sure to check your specific parade rules and regulations for size requirements.

Looking for parade float inspiration and ideas? Browse our online gallery full of inflatable parade balloons that are sure to get your creative juices flowing!