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  • Restoring an old tent...How to...

    After 20 years, our good old LL Bean dome tent has lost it's water repelling abilties...as found out in a Floodwood area downpour last August.

    What spray products work best for this project???

    Thanks
    Scott
    "We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us." Albert Einstein
    "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father." Matthew 10:29 "But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows."
    Luke 12:7

  • #2
    You'll have very limited success with any kind of spray on silicon impregnation. It will mostly wash away during your first rain.
    You could get some Polyurethane (Kenyon or Eureka) to brush on to the fly, but it is a slow, messy job. The replacement PU's now are water base and will not hold up like the older flammable types.

    You could also try Seam Grip - It is probably the best on the market and not waterbased. still made by St. Goban in good ol' worcester, but I doubt if you will get very far with their tiny brushes.

    I would recommend either carrying a blue tarp to put over the fly if car-camping, or just break down and get a new tent. Odds are you cannot expected bean to have a replacement fly on hand 20 years later.
    .And 20 years is a pretty good life to get out of a tent...
    Rick
    The measure of your ignorance is your belief in tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the universe, the master calls the butterfly...
    ...unknown...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by solve4x View Post
      After 20 years, our good old LL Bean dome tent has lost it's water repelling abilties...Scott
      It may not be worth the cost and effort. I know it may be emotional but buy a new tent.

      Let the kids campout in the back yard in dad's old tent while you tell them your stories and adventures using it.

      It may spark their spirit of adventure in them.
      Let there be peace on earth and good will toward all.

      "One touch of nature makes the whole world kin."

      William Shakespeare

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      • #4
        uh oh...I'm asking my "camping gear friends" how to not buy a new tent.
        Next, I was going to ask my barber how to keep this hair out of my eyes!
        "We still do not know one thousandth of one percent of what nature has revealed to us." Albert Einstein
        "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father." Matthew 10:29 "But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows."
        Luke 12:7

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        • #5
          Originally posted by solve4x View Post
          uh oh...I'm asking my "camping gear friends" how to not buy a new tent.
          Next, I was going to ask my barber how to keep this hair out of my eyes!
          When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail....

          Yep - you are more likely to get 'buy a new one' advice than anything, but Rick is right - 20 years is a long life for a tent. There are definitely some good deals out there right now...
          “Death is the only wise advisor that we have. Whenever you feel, as you always do, that everything is going wrong and you're about to be annihilated, turn to your death and ask if that is so. Your death will tell you, 'I haven't touched you yet.” Carlos Castenada

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          • #6
            Doesn't L.L.Bean have a lifetime warranty on their brand of merchandise? I would call them.
            "Like" my FB page http://tinyurl.com/FB-BuffaloPaddles and visit my map ALGonquin Bob's "BUFFALO PADDLES" Paddle Guide

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            • #7
              Originally posted by ALGonquin Bob View Post
              Doesn't L.L.Bean have a lifetime warranty on their brand of merchandise? I would call them.
              They do. But at some point I think it's fair to ask whether it's worth it or not. Some things fail after many years because of a defect or failure to live up to promised performance. Other things just deteriorate. Just a thought, that maybe it's time for a new tent, and not make it L.L.Bean's problem after so many years.
              Videos --- Camp Loonsong --- Mountains Climbed

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              • #8
                Consider Granger's Tent Waterproofer:

                http://www.rei.com/product/794913

                http://www.altrec.com/grangers/super...ing-for-fabric

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                • #9
                  I've never had any problem returning even quite old items to llbean. They're pretty cool about that kind of thing. I made it from 1st grade through college on one backpack from them that we kept returning every few years. What's the worse that can happen? They say no? you're not going to hurt the customer service rep's feelings.
                  He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.

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                  • #10
                    LL Bean's philosophy:



                    So your tent is worn out. Are you still satisfied? If so, the sale is complete. If not, LLBean will replace it.
                    Scooting here and there
                    Through the woods and up the peaks
                    Random Scoots awaits (D.P.)


                    "Pushing the limits of easy."™

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                    • #11
                      Interesting!
                      Last edited by chairrock; 01-04-2010, 07:04 PM. Reason: overcome with a flash of wisdom...
                      Be careful, don't spread invasive species!!

                      When a dog runs at you,whistle for him.
                      Henry David Thoreau

                      CL50-#23

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by randomscooter View Post
                        LL Bean's philosophy:



                        So your tent is worn out. Are you still satisfied? If so, the sale is complete. If not, LLBean will replace it.
                        Excellent!
                        Videos --- Camp Loonsong --- Mountains Climbed

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                        • #13
                          Some have had relatively good success making their own waterproof (resistant?) fabric with a clear silicone and mineral spirits mixture and then applying it. Perhaps this would also work to re-waterproof your rainfly?
                          "There's a whisper on the night-wind, there's a star agleam to guide us, And the Wild is calling, calling . . . let us go." -from "The Call of the Wild" by Robert Service

                          My trail journal: DuctTape's Journal

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                          • #14
                            I am not entirely comfortable with the "lifetime Warranty" approach. I think of the lifetime as the expected lifetime of use of the product, not the lifetime of the owner.
                            I usually expect there to be a transfer of goodwill between the shop and the customer. If the product demonstrated failure within a few years, or even 10 years, then yes, you have a good case of a dissatisfied customer, but you really need a bg set of cahoons to walk in there with a tent from 1989 and tell them that you are finally not satisfied with the product.

                            here's a thought, though - If you paid $200 back in '89, then amortized it is $10/year. pretty cheap. Take it back and explain you were happy with this tent up until recently and obviously since you are a long-time Bean customer - can they give you any additional discount on a new tent - you don't look like you are trying to take advantage and your showing you want to remain a repeat customer....

                            As for the Granger's tent waterproofing - that is silicon spray which provides repellency, not a coating that provides waterproofing - it acts like an anti-surfactant and increases surface tension so that water beads up and rolls off. However, these products usually wash off fairly quickly (ask anybody with a waterproof breathable jacket that "wets out" every time it rains...)
                            Last edited by Rick; 01-05-2010, 12:32 AM.
                            Rick
                            The measure of your ignorance is your belief in tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the universe, the master calls the butterfly...
                            ...unknown...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The biggest waste of money was the $50 for the jars of waterproofing in an attempt to rewaterproof a 25 year old tent. Yup, an old 6 man base car camping Timberline that had given me several decades of satisfaction. Incidentally, bought in Bean's when it was a second floor walkup with not much more selling floor than my living room.

                              The best money I ever spent on a tent was when I stopped throwing good money away and bought the new tent. Yup, the new 6 man base car camping Timberline that is giving me several new decades of satisfaction.
                              Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass.
                              It's about learning to dance in the rain.

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