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Thread: What is the best tent waterproofing spray?

  1. #1
    Registered User tmwilmotte's Avatar
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    Question What is the best tent waterproofing spray?

    I just got a new tent that leaked a little during our last rain storm. The rain seeped through the fly fabric and came into the tent. I'm pretty sure it didn't come from condensation or through a seam, but through the fabric of the fly. It's a polyester fabric that was supposed to be treated with a polyurethane to waterproof it. I called the manufacturer (Eureka) and they agreed to "inspect and test it" (but didn't agree to replace it at no charge). Rather than spend the $10 to send it to them and wait 4 to 6 weeks for it's return, I thought I'd buy some Scotchguard outdoor fabric spray or silicone waterproofing spray advertised for waterproofing tents and treat it myself. I'm looking for recommendations on specific products that have worked for forum members over the years. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Registered User widebmw's Avatar
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    I have read that the 303 products are good.
    http://www.303products.com/main.php?...ge=fabricguard

  3. #3
    Lifetime Member Ridealot's Avatar
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    If the rain actually came in thru the rain fly I would not be to impressed with the tent. I don't think just spraying a tent with something like scotchguard would give me a warm fuzzy feeling the next time I went camping and the weather turned bad. Getting soaked could make for some very, very long miserable nights

    When it is raining I try to never touch the side of the tent while inside. Putting your hand against or leaning against the tent can wick moisture thru the material.

    This may be one of those times that you should pay the shipping and have it checked. It could be the best $10 bucks you've ever spent. My 6 year old Kelty has been in some horrendous rain storms and has always remained nice and dry inside.
    Tom
    Salem Or.
    '93 K1100LT w/Bushtec
    '03 F650CS '09 F650GS

  4. #4
    BMWOA ABC JOHNR100RS's Avatar
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    tent waterproofing

    I read that you said you didn't think it came from a seam.Did you seamseal the tent when you recieved it?I had a similar problem with a Eureka timberline from campmore.The seamseal took care of the problem for me. Keynon products sells a good product. Good luck . A wet atmosphere inside a tent is a lot to cope with.My tent has 300to 400 nights at this point.

  5. #5
    Polarbear Polarbear's Avatar
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    Yep on Scotchguard!

    Blue/Green can for outdoor usage like tents and I have used it over the years in hard rains, without fail. You may want to be very sure of your seams, however, with a good seam sealer. The fabrics need some upkeep every camping season to benefit from dry indoor tenting

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    twilmotte,

    Do you mind to specify which tent? The Eureka Pinnacle pass 3XTA I ordered just arrived yesterday. Should I have a sinking feeling....

    Sarah

  7. #7
    Registered User tmwilmotte's Avatar
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    Leaking tent fly

    Quote Originally Posted by greer View Post
    twilmotte,

    Do you mind to specify which tent? The Eureka Pinnacle pass 3XTA I ordered just arrived yesterday. Should I have a sinking feeling....

    Sarah
    Yep ... it's a Pinnacle Pass 3XTA. I really like the design of the tent, but it did leak when I tested it in the backyard. I just set it up for two days (rained about an inch both nights) and then looked inside to see several large droplets of water on the tent floor, on the side where the "pop-out" vent is and near both entrances (below where the vestibule zipper zips near the the top). I didn't measure the amount (mopped it up with a towel), but I would guestimate about 4 oz of rainwater. I doubt it was condensation because I wasn't in the tent breathing. I know the fly never touched the tent walls because I had the fly staked with guy wires to keep them separated, so I'm confident the water came through the fly somehow. The Eureka website says the fly fabric is Stormshield (R) polyester treated with polyurethane. The water didn't appear to bead on top of the fabric as much as other tents I've owned, which raises my suspicions about whether the fabric was treated properly at the factory. The zipper fabric doesn't appear to be treated so some of the water may have come through the zipper fabric, but there is no zipper fabric near the side vent. So ... I'm probably going to send it back and let them try to solve the problem under warranty. FWIW, I'd test yours in your backyard with a hose before camping in it to see if yours has the same problem. I'd sure like to hear back from you to see if yours has the same problem. Since Eurekas (and the 3XTA) are such popular tents, please post your results, or PM me if you don't mind. Good luck!

  8. #8
    Rally Rat paulsibek's Avatar
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    No leak tent

    I bought a new Coleman 7x7 Sundome and took it to Death Valley a few years back.

    I did exactly what is NOT recommended by the camping gods and didn't take it out of the box and set it up prior to the rally. In fact it was still in the box upon arrival at DV.

    Typically and because of that it rained like an sob all day Sunday.

    The cheap Coleman didn't leak a drop, at all.

    Goes to show, cheap tents save lives...

    Or is it loud tents???

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by twilmotte View Post
    Yep ... it's a Pinnacle Pass 3XTA. I really like the design of the tent, but it did leak when I tested it in the backyard. I just set it up for two days (rained about an inch both nights) and then looked inside to see several large droplets of water on the tent floor, on the side where the "pop-out" vent is and near both entrances (below where the vestibule zipper zips near the the top). I didn't measure the amount (mopped it up with a towel), but I would guestimate about 4 oz of rainwater. I doubt it was condensation because I wasn't in the tent breathing. I know the fly never touched the tent walls because I had the fly staked with guy wires to keep them separated, so I'm confident the water came through the fly somehow. The Eureka website says the fly fabric is Stormshield (R) polyester treated with polyurethane. The water didn't appear to bead on top of the fabric as much as other tents I've owned, which raises my suspicions about whether the fabric was treated properly at the factory. The zipper fabric doesn't appear to be treated so some of the water may have come through the zipper fabric, but there is no zipper fabric near the side vent. So ... I'm probably going to send it back and let them try to solve the problem under warranty. FWIW, I'd test yours in your backyard with a hose before camping in it to see if yours has the same problem. I'd sure like to hear back from you to see if yours has the same problem. Since Eurekas (and the 3XTA) are such popular tents, please post your results, or PM me if you don't mind. Good luck!

    Well, heck. If that ain't the luck. I guess we need practice setting the thing up anyway. I'll holler back, probably be a few days. In the meantime, if you talk to Eureka, please let us know what they say.

    Sarah

  10. #10
    Just puttsin' OldNuke's Avatar
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    I use NikWax Tent and Gear Proof. Comes in a 10oz spray bottle. REI and Aerostich sell it.
    When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

  11. #11
    Registered User tmwilmotte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greer View Post
    Well, heck. If that ain't the luck. I guess we need practice setting the thing up anyway. I'll holler back, probably be a few days. In the meantime, if you talk to Eureka, please let us know what they say.

    Sarah
    Sarah, I already talked to Eureka customer service about a week ago and they told me they wouldn't send me another fly until I sent them my fly and they inspected it. They also told me I have to pay to ship the fly to them, but they will pay return shipping. So, I'm trying to decide if they are going to inspect the fly and say no defects and send it back (for me to treat it with Scotchguard), or if they will replace it with a new one that doesn't leak, or if they will send it back to factory for treatment and repair. All three of those options will cost me $10 for shipping and 3 to 4 weeks (according to their cust serv rep) while they do what they need to do. I'm curious to see if yours leaks. If yours doesn't leak, I'm sending mine back to Eureka. If yours does leak, I'm going to assume they all come that way from the factory and I'll probably Scotchguard it myself. In the meantime, I have my smaller (but waterproof) Coleman Exponent tent in case my buds and I decide on a spur of the moment camping trip. Please do let me know how your water test goes. Thanks, Tom

  12. #12
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    Happy with Nikwax products

    I would second the opinion on Nikwax products. This would certainly be worth a try and I'd guess would cost less than shippng the tent around. I have not used the tent product but have used the wash and product for goretex. It worked great on a 10 + year old goretex rain jacket, also used the product on my Belstaff gear.

    I just purchased a leather jacket and pants and used the leather restore product to waterproof. Water beads right off the jacket after the treatment. I ran water from the tap over an arm and have not tested in the rain.

    I purchased the Nikwax from soundrider.com as they had the best price I found, I could not find the leather product locally. but be careful, the product has a recommended shelf life listed on the bottle and what I received is right at the end of recommended life. I would have rather spend a couple of dollars more per bottle and got some fresher product but you never know what you will get.

    They also have some product to waterproof gloves that I purchased but I have not tried that out yet.

    hope this helps...

    Will

  13. #13
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    Roger that , formula 303 heads up, I use it on tents ,textile riding gear (recomended by mfg.,motoport ) ,bag liners,stuff sacks,boots etc.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by twilmotte View Post
    Sarah, I already talked to Eureka customer service about a week ago and they told me they wouldn't send me another fly until I sent them my fly and they inspected it. They also told me I have to pay to ship the fly to them, but they will pay return shipping. So, I'm trying to decide if they are going to inspect the fly and say no defects and send it back (for me to treat it with Scotchguard), or if they will replace it with a new one that doesn't leak, or if they will send it back to factory for treatment and repair. All three of those options will cost me $10 for shipping and 3 to 4 weeks (according to their cust serv rep) while they do what they need to do. I'm curious to see if yours leaks. If yours doesn't leak, I'm sending mine back to Eureka. If yours does leak, I'm going to assume they all come that way from the factory and I'll probably Scotchguard it myself. In the meantime, I have my smaller (but waterproof) Coleman Exponent tent in case my buds and I decide on a spur of the moment camping trip. Please do let me know how your water test goes. Thanks, Tom
    I may bring home a pizza tonight (any excuse not to cook) and do the tent test. I'll post back. Fingers crossed.

    Sarah

  15. #15
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    Tom,

    We just came in from squirting the tent, we took turns but I don't know if we approximated an inch of rain or not. Water rolled off the fly like a duck's back, and we didn't find any water inside.

    We were impressed watching the way the fly shed water. I'm thinking if you noticed something amiss right off then maybe your fly is defective for sure.

    Did you buy direct from Eureka? We got ours from Campmor, their policy states they will replace or repair within 1 year of purchase.

    Best of luck and let us know how this turns out.

    Sarah

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