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To seal or sell?

Redtail

Richard Proenneke
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Okay, feel free to call me lazy, but ...

I've got an MSR Fling tent. Single skin, 1.6kg, stacks of room. Only used a few times over the past 5 years. Pulled it out the other day to find the seal has decayed and looks like dandruff right through the whole bl__dy thing! Yes, hose test says no longer waterproof.

Dilemma - no shed or real workspace apart from the living room. Do I try and reseal it, or do I sell it off cheap to someone who has the time and space to renew it?
I'm thinking about replacing it anyway, but with what? One overnight walk left this season, so do I spend $100 on a cheap OzTrail or somesuch for that one outing in about two weeks time, or suck it up and fix the thing?

Over to those more experienced than me ...
 

Corin

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Depends if you want the satisfaction of repairing it or not.

Never a truer word was spoken!

Perhaps you could also consider a trap/fly arrangement. Cheaper than a tent, and a nicer option too in my opinion.
 

Moondog55

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Can I please see a picture of the flaking surface?
I had a similar experience a while ago caused by packing my tent ( Black Diamond Megamid ) away while still damp, my own fault.
I simply used a silicone solution and a plastic spray bottle.
Easy enough process but it takes time.
First you need to set the tent up in the yard and wash it well ( I used a mixture of ammonia and sodium sulphate ) and scrub, then rinse well and allow to dry, turn it so the original coated side is on the outside; then mix a tube or two of highly flexible roof and gutter silicone with either shellite or mineral turpentine and simply spray it on and allow to cure, turn over and spray the other side and again allow to cure. Costs about $40- but that was a lot cheaper for me than buying a new tent.
 

Moondog55

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Just a second thought.
It has no or very little value second hand if it isn't waterproof, even good tents seem to sell for much less than half price unless their provenance is proven
 

Redtail

Richard Proenneke
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Megan - indeed. My problem is space and time.

Corin - I've thought about that, and very much like the idea. I'd need to do a heap of research. Most of my walking/tenting is on the Bibbulmun Track. The campsites include small tent spots which tend to be mostly shallow bowls due to frequent use. Great water collectors, so a bathtub floor is essential. Is there a tarp out there with a bathtub inner - or is that just a tent, after all? Mossies are a big issue, too.

Moondog - yes, the cost of replacement versus time/cost of repair. I do like the Fling, but I can't help thinking there's better options out there. More robust, durable and lighter. I was disappointed that the seal broke down so quickly. IIRC, I paid about $450 for it about 6 years ago, and only used it maybe a dozen times.

Apart from the flaking, the whole silnylon surface now feels sticky. So I'm wondering if the fabric itself has lost its waterproofing. Looks like another hose test is in order.
Here's a photo of the ridge line inside surface:
Fling - ridge line inside.jpg
 

megan

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I'll be making up my tarp in a small space - gluing and/or taping it together. Small space construction is hard, but still doable. Time - I don't have a deadline, but if you do, then its either figure out how to fit it all in in the time you have left or go the buy option.

Guess that answers your questions - space and time for you dictate that you buy a cheap tent.

You can get a bathtub to put under a tent. See: http://www.zpacks.com/shelter/cuben_groundsheet.shtml
 

Redtail

Richard Proenneke
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Megan - more grist for the mill, thanks. I'm keen to see your project (mentioned elsewhere) as its done.

I think I'll go the repair route as it can be done where I am, then spend the summer researching the ultralight options. Things have moved on a lot, I see, since I last looked about 5 or 6 years ago.
 

megan

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Redtail - will be a few more weeks yet. Waiting on delivery of joining tape. Was quoted 2 to 3 weeks for delivery from local firms :(
Plan is: a flat tarp, used with a no-see-um mesh inner, and separate bathtub. All of it "no sew" and no zippers. Tarp and bathtub out of 48.4g/sqm Cuben. Not the lightest, but was worried about the lifespan of the really light grades for continuous use in the Australian bush. I'm aiming for easy to make and repair, simple design, long life.
 

Redtail

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Great stuff on zpacks. I was thinking the same thing about mesh and floors being a bit light for our bush. Will be interested to see how your design performs.
 

megan

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I have the same worries. Thought I'd risk it and try. Ordered from zpacks. Joe was extremely friendly, helpful and quick to respond. He would have made any of the shelters out of a heavier weight Cuben, but I want to make my own gear.
 

Redtail

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Started the process, and busily removing the loose flakes with a small nail brush.

I've noticed the silnylon material itself is quite tacky/sticky. Is this a problem?
When I first bought the tent, I had the opposite issue. The floor was very slippery, and my thermarest would slide all over the place.
Is the tackiness a sign of the tent material itself decaying, or nothing to worry about after a bit of airing out?
 

Redtail

Richard Proenneke
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Yup. Fraid so. I found that reference by Mr Caffin, and many others saying pretty much the same thing. When I get back to it, I'll give it another hose test to check the fabric itself, but it's not looking good.

I did manage to remove all the loose sealing tape from the inside, but because of the tackiness, all the flakes have just stuck all over the walls. Cleaning that up is going to be a big PITA in itself. The Fling is a single-skin tent, i.e. no fly so uber-important it's rainproof.

From what else I've read, it's a common problem, and the method of storage can contribute. I've always thoroughly dried it, but then rolled it back up in its bag between trips. Thinking back, it's been at least a year or even three since its last outing. The better way to store these things is loose in a sack like a down sleeping bag. Right now, it looks like being permanently stored in landfill.

Would it be safe to assume that cuben doesn't have these "sticky" issues?
 
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