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GKlose

old tents: restoration?

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We just rewaterproofed troop tents and used waterproofing by the gallon spraying it with a back pack weed sprayer. Pack was $20. and waterproofing was less the 35.00/gal. Took more time to set tents than spraying them. Dry time was 6 hrs. A gallon easily did 4/5 tents of our 10x10's.

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Not to hijack this thread, but when talking about troop tents, I like Perdidochas's approach. We have troop tents (nice new Alps, with which we are pleased). We are up to 12, 2-man tents, and expect to buy more this spring. We are just in the process of forming a Venture patrol, and it has been our intention to invite scouts in the Venture patrol to use personal tents. Two of our expected "founding" members of the Venture patrol already have personal, lightweight backpacking tents.

 

Back to the original discussion. I do not like silicone products for one main reason. Silicone has no UV resistance. If you use a silicone sealer, every time you dry it in the sun, the sealant is breaking down.

 

I worked in the marine restoration industry for several years. Almost all the boats which came in with leaky seals had been caulked with silicone. (There are other reasons I do not use silicone in a marine environment, but these are not applicable to tent repair and restoration).

 

Another trick I have used is a 10% ammonia/water solution in a spray bottle. The ammonia acutally kills the mildew. Spray on (while the tent is set up) and allow to dry. Reapply to particularly dark spots. When dry, almost all the ammonia has evaporated. Then wash as you please. Remember: DO NOT MIX AMMONIA AND BLEACH. Once the ammonia solution is washed off, following up with the above mentioned bleach bleach is perfectly acceptable.

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B-Skip -- that sounds like a great method (ammonia/water). No problems with nylon coatings?

 

thanks,

Guy

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I used the bleach and water solution 2xs on a canvas teepee that had mold.. Worked well removing the odor and getting the bulk of the stains out, but there was still some discoloration.

 

As for old tents, if you take care of them, they will last a very long time. My troop did away with their original tents 20 years after purchasing them. And they only replaced them b/c our shed sprung a bunch of leaks and and they got mildewed beyond repair. That's a different story though :( .

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I asked Eureka a few years ago about resealing Timberline tents. They've tested many products, and the only one they recommend is Polycoat by AquaSeal. Here's a link:

 

http://www.aquaseal.com/polycoat.html

 

You might have to call around - I was able to find only 1 retailer in my entire state. Of course, I haven't tried it, yet - after all: never do today what you can put off 'til tomorrow...

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