Saving a tent.

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Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,218
986
Lancashire
Another family tent has started leaking. At least this time we know its the seams not the fabric. What is the best option to save it? Reusing is better than throwing away and consuming another plastic tent.

I'm thinking seamsure the seams where the tape looks like it's pealing away. The tape doesn't look like it's completely failed but it's got the edge slightly delamination in several areas which don't all leak. BTW it's only leaking with the heaviest of recent rain we've had and only in four or five places. I thinking treat those main leaking seams then do the rest to be certain.

Does fabric gold type surface treatments help much or not worth bothering with?

Right now we're using a large tarp over the top which works but isn't ideal.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,086
1,208
Berlin
You could put seam sealer onto the outside, but it's expensive.

And after the tape will surely fall off the coating.
 

TLM

Native
Nov 16, 2019
1,946
902
Vantaa, Finland
A DWR treatment might help, it did on one of my old tents (where the original treatment was almost totally gone).

A seam sealer would be better but usually DWR and seam tapes start to fail at about the same time.
 

Stood

Full Member
Feb 21, 2012
72
1
Lancashire
Hi Mr Pb,

I have used Fabseal treatment and Thompsons waterproofer for stone etc.

Both worked well, spray on witha hand sprayer, old kitchen cleaner type well rinsed, start at the top, keep a wet edge, bit more on the seams, leave up till the smell reduces.

They are both more cost effective in 1gallon tins and usualy the builders stone sealer stuff is cheaper.

Did all a scout groups tents and it worked well, good to do new tents as well as the 'cheaper' makes are not 100% watertight in heavy rain.

Have fun

Boots
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter through and through
Jul 14, 2008
5,218
986
Lancashire
It's a bit annoying really. It seems that tents don't last as long these days. We've had a few family tents over recent years and most start leaking after only a few years. Other smaller 3 man car camping tents have lasted as long as 3 of the larger family tents and still going!
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,086
1,208
Berlin
@Hammock_man
I own a 3 man igloo polyester tent where most of the poly urethane coating inside did fall off.

It is too heavy for hiking anyway, because a 4 pole geodetic construction. A canoe and car camping tent.

Do you think I can save this tent with your trick, although it's approximately 30 years old? Otherwise it looks OK, just the coating did fall in pieces.

Is it worth the investment? What's the cost to repair such a 3 man igloo tent if I have to paint from outside the whole surface of the outer tent wall.
Is one Silicone tube enough?
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,086
1,208
Berlin
@Paul_B

If you need to buy regularly family tents, you surely spend a lot of money.

Did you think about a Tschum 4 Person tent?
You can sleep in a circle around a little camp fire in this tent and because it's sectioned in two pieces it is still portable for hiking tours.

It's more comfortable for adults and of course much more impressive for children and teenagers than a usual camping site tent.

Daddy becomes a super hero, you know?

I assume that this tent will last you a lifetime and the maker surely would repair it if you make a damage, however.

You need at home space to dry the two tent sheets of course, because it's made of cotton. You need washing lines in the attic or even your living room. Such a tent must be dried the same evening if you don't continue to use it, latest the next day.

If hiking you dry it with the fire inside pretty fast, but of course sometimes you pack it whet Sunday afternoon.

 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,086
1,208
Berlin
That here is a larger option from the competition, that's the most beloved group tent in my own collection.

I have the 280g/m2 version because we used it mainly for hiking. 4 teenagers can carry it, because it's constructed in 4 tent sheets.
4 adults can live in there comfortably, but you can manage to fit in there 6 to 8 adult persons.
Usual is to sleep on 4 German army ponchos that lay under every tent sheet around the fire.


 
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Hammock_man

Full Member
May 15, 2008
1,323
359
kent
Bear in mind that you only need a very very thin layer of silicone so a single tube of sealant goes a long way. I have got my silicone from poundland which lowers the cost. A 3Mx3M tarp used less then a quarter of a tube.
 

Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,086
1,208
Berlin
Did you paint it ones or several times to get a convincing result?

Do you think it's even possible to paint a camouflage pattern with such silicone in different colours onto a tent?
 

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
9,369
2,137
McBride, BC
I have a rip-stop nylon fabric tent to sleep 3 with packs and no sealant at all.
It breathes, even at -10C and condensation is not an issue.

Over that is the water proof rain fly which works better than I imagined.
Useful summer morning shade as well.

Twice, I had to set up the tent in a roaring rainstorm.
1. Spread out the rain fly.
2. Throw the tent underneath and stake it out.
3. Raise the whole business and stake out the 2 tentpoles.
4. Spread and stake out the fly.

I guess it isn't fashionable any more but a roomy tent and some sort of very large tarp for a rain fly makes a good nest in a storm to light the stove.
 

Hammock_man

Full Member
May 15, 2008
1,323
359
kent
Did you paint it ones or several times to get a convincing result?

Do you think it's even possible to paint a camouflage pattern with such silicone in different colours onto a tent?
Did in 4 or 5 batch as was not concerned about different shades, ridge line and a test panel, then part of each side. Only ever used clear silicone so could not say about Camo!
 

Hammock_man

Full Member
May 15, 2008
1,323
359
kent
Answer "15" was from my phone so a bit abrupt! I used a 2 inch paint brush and a single coat seemed to work. It was diluted 10 (maybe 15) to 1, all the white sprit will evaporate over a day or so. I did use a thicker mix on the hanging points on the ridge line as there was more stitching there. Towards the end the mix was very thin as it painted better and water had run off the test area so well. I did think, just how much silicone the manufacture used is the first place?
 

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