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Are you talking about sealing the seams? or about repairing worn fabric coating?

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I am not sure that is it possible or even desirable to make a tent "waterproof" Condensation will probably form inside a totally waterproof tent.

 

Water resistant is another issue. For sealing seams, many people use a comercial seal sealer product. Most come in a little bottle with a daubber on it for easy application. I re-apply seam seal at least once a year or when needed.

 

For the rest of the tent fabric, I do use a heavy duty "camp dry" product that comes in a spray can - seems to work. I patch holes as needed also.

 

Other things that can help make a tent water resistant are using a plastic ground tarp under the tent (don't let any of the ground tarp extend out from under the tent - it will catch water and cause it to run under the tent). Also, a tarp on the floor inside the tent (most water leaks occur at or near ground level - using a tarp inside the tent will result in most of that water staying between the tent floor and the tarp, helping keep you dry - it has worked for me)

 

 

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For the lower end tents, a tube of seam sealer works well. It looks like and applies like glue. I use a solder flux brush to daub it on. Let the tent sit overnight to dry and spray the seams with Camp Dry or the like to fill in any bits you might have missed. You do not want to spray the uncoated nylon that is under the rain fly as this is not waterproof and is breathable.

 

Higher end tents no longer require sealing. They have "bathtub" floors- the floor material comes up the side without a seam- the only seams is the corners that are permanently sealed with heat tape. The fly is also sealed with heat tape. These tents usually have "footprint" goundcloths that are shaped to the tent.

 

Ed

 

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Modern nylon-type tents come pre-waterproofed these days.

 

If you're looking for advice on how to re-waterproof older tents, my advice to you is DON'T! If the waterproofing of your tent is worn-out, your tents are probably ready to be replaced.

 

When I was SM (6 years back), we made the mistake of trying to re-waterproof our (then) 15 year old Timberline-like tents (Eureka Vista/LL Bean Summerbreeze). We bought liquid waterproof recoating liquid similar to this at Campmor:

 

http://www.campmor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=12390&memberId=12500226

 

We painted it on the surfaces of the tents in question and allowed it to dry in accordance with the directions on the package. Problem was that it never really dried. oh, it felt and looked dry when we put them away after leaving them out to dry for days. But they weren't dry as we learned the hard way the next time we tried to pitch the tents and found the floors and flies had fused together. The tents were ruined. We couldn't pull the fused fabric apart.

 

So, our attempt to get a few more years of life out of those old tents was a waste of our time and money and we had to replace them anyway.

 

Sometimes "A Scout is Thrifty" doesn't work and you have to bite the bullet.

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I recently picked up a high end Mountain Hardware tent with the fused seams. It came with a tube of seam seal. All the seams are taped and sealed. Can't quite figure out what they want me to do with it. I guess it will sit on the self.

I agree about trying to resurrect an old tent. Just ain't thrifty. Put it down with short quiet service.

REI has their Half-Dome on sale for $109. Can't beat that price.

 

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I have used the heavy duty Scotch guard spray with success and no problems. Mostly just on the rain fly and around the lower 1/4 of the tent walls. Seems to work well.

 

You have to be careful spraying in - don't breath it and try to apply it evenly. And since it is flammable, it probably makes the tent more flammable. But I am a lot more concerned about staying dry in a tent than having a tent catch fire. (I have never personally heard of or seen a tent catch fire but I suppose it is a possibility).

 

I once used "Camp Dry" but I found it did not really work very well.

 

 

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If you want to waterproof your tent, first you need to ensure whether your tent is leaking or not? If leakage is found then, you can use waterproofing spray on leakages. Silicon spray is considered as the best waterproof spray due to its water-resistant characteristics. It also has a moisturizing property.  Silicone spray waterproofing provides the ideal way of coating fabrics. It helps the rainwater to roll off the material without soaking. Starbrite Silicone Water-Guard is a good spray for silicone waterproofing. And it can be used for tents, outerwear, sleeping bags and more items. It is easy to apply. Or, you can use tent seam sealant to fix leaking seams. Reseal seams using a tape. 

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9 hours ago, juanfox said:

If you want to waterproof your tent, first you need to ensure whether your tent is leaking or not? If leakage is found then, you can use waterproofing spray on leakages. Silicon spray is considered as the best waterproof spray due to its water-resistant characteristics. It also has a moisturizing property.  Silicone spray waterproofing provides the ideal way of coating fabrics. It helps the rainwater to roll off the material without soaking. Starbrite Silicone Water-Guard is a good spray for silicone waterproofing. And it can be used for tents, outerwear, sleeping bags and more items. It is easy to apply. Or, you can use tent seam sealant to fix leaking seams. Reseal seams using a tape. 

I used this stuff as well and it worked great on a couple 10 year old tents. Had to use a hand pump bottle but it was much cheaper than the smaller spray bottles. Made mistake of spraying the inside floor of little tent's 'bathtub' just to be through and now whenever I am on uneven ground (which is almost every time LOL) I slide all over the place while I am sleeping. I never know which corner of the tent I will wake up in. :)

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Ive used Kiwi spray on some of my larger tents.  Great stuff.  Let it sit up for a couple of days (garage) to air out before you store it back up

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@VentureScoutNY Are we talking about new tents? A lot of new ones come with the seams already sealed. It's not exactly a fun job sealing seams, so if it's a small difference in price for a tent that is pre-sealed, it's probably worth it. 

Older tents (or new ones with unsealed seams) can be sealed up using the products mentioned above. 

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