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TENT piece of (______)

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am so disgusted at the tents that are available now days, that I could just pitch them all at the manufacture's. :

I have been looking around pricing tents for about two months now, and in that time I have looked at the net, sporting good stores, and other major shopping centers. Due to a LIMITED budget, and the fact I have to buy all needed camping equipment this spring, something's has to be kept at a certain price range. I couldn't go hog wild on a tent. In this time frame I have bought four different(separate times) kinds of tents, which in I have return the first three, upon after opening(didn't unpack the tent yet) it to find a little piece of paper stating not to return the tent due to seam leakage (that's a warning to me).

After replacing the last tent with my fourth purchase, I once again found this little piece of paper in it. I said to myself "Ok how bad can it leak?", and decided to test the tent in my back yard. It was predicted to have heavy rain fall and high winds for the next two day, it was perfect bad weather to test out this tent.

I put the tent up with the help of my husband, and put the seam sealer glue(came with it) inside. I followed the directions and wiped the seams first with alcohol then apply the sealer. I covered every seam possible including the bottom seams.

That night I checked on the tent, the east side of it had came lose and collapsed. I re-stake the tent and went inside to look at what damages was. In that area the seam sealer glue ran and had a puddle of water the flooring, all the others seams on that side of the tent was leaking. So far the rest the tent looked like it was holding together. That morning I took a look at the tent again, and found that all the seams was now leaking.

In my past experience with tents I have never had one leak like this one was doing, and it was mainly from the bottom, not the rain fly or top seams. Plus it kept uprooting on the two side parts of the tent.

The third day, the sun came out and dried up the tent and I cleaned up all the water on the flooring. Another storm system was going to come through the next day so I cleaned up the seams that leaked and put fresh sealer on it, plus I picked up 2 cans of sealer spray for the entire tent(its a large tent for 7-8 people). This time it didn't leak, but it did keep coming un-staked.

High winds was the next day after the storm and I almost lost the tent. I had to tie it down with my wooden seats, while I picked up better tent stakes. After I re-staked it with the new (better) stakes, it held the tent down in the high winds.

Is it me or do the manufacture's really think that this is how all tents should be? (ya right)

I have camped for most of my young life and I never had these problems!

These kinds of things ruin camping for beginners, and the manufacture should put on the label what these tents cannot handle. My husband thought I was nuts for putting the tent up in our yard to test it out, but after seeing its flaws he was glad I did it.

I already sent a e-mail letter to the manufacture about how I think of their tents, luckly I have all my receipts of everything I spent to make it a better tent. I wish I could have spent MORE money ON A BETTER TENT in the first place. :

I had to rant and rave sorry guys.

[ April 26, 2002, 10:28 AM: Message edited by: SnO Eagle # ]
post #2 of 11
I've had great luck with my Marmot Swallow, but that is a pretty pricy tent, and will only sleep 2.

Have you looked into renting a tent from a local store such as REI until your funds/research deems you the tent to best fit your needs? I've rented gear before to check it out and have learned volumes from the experience.

Questions for you though: Was the seam sealer completely dry before the storm? Were you using a ground sheet? How about adding extra lines to secure the tent from the wind? Did anything rip in the storm?

Camping is a very gear intensive sport, and the gear in expensive. This is to bad, because its such a fun time. Cheaply built gear (not price, build) will turn anybody off to a new sport. Best of luck!
post #3 of 11
That does sound bad. What brand, SnoEagle?

I always look online for discounted stuff from the reputable manufacturers of outdoor gear. REI outlet, for example, has some great deals on tents. What's your price range?
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by AltaSkier:

Questions for you though: Was the seam sealer completely dry before the storm? Were you using a ground sheet? How about adding extra lines to secure the tent from the wind? Did anything rip in the storm?
The seam sealer was completely dry, but I didn't use a ground sheet because no one was going to be in it. The stakes that came with the tent was just plain straight metal stakes that a would come easily out of the ground.

Now if it was tornado weather I would have secured it with heaver objects,or just taken it down because we were not using it yet. There is no place to attach extra lines to it.

[quote]Originally posted by BadRat
That does sound bad. What brand, SnoEagle?
A friend said it was a good tent brand: Ozark Trail... I think not..

The Tent is a 7-8 sleeper(very large), we needed a large tent with a 3yr old, 8month old, two adults and two very large dogs. Renting is out because it might get damage from the dogs and kid. Now I do know how to repair rips in tents and seams (all needed is K-tape, Nylon thread, Needles, clear nail polish, and I guess seam sealer too).

The most I can go for in a large tent like this is $100. I looked at the REI and many of the tents looked nice, but I have never bought online before.

The thing is.. Do you think they will take the tent back after I had tested it????? Or should I wait to see if the Manufacture replies back?
post #5 of 11
If that tent is defective (and it is from your description) they better take it back! Let them deal with the manufacturer.

For such a large tent as your family needs, you can inquire with local stores that rent out equipment. These places typically have an annual sale of their rental gear. It's dirty, but pretty good quality stuff. A-16, in SoCal, held such sales every spring. REI in Portland just did the same, I believe. Good luck.
post #6 of 11
Backpacker.com may be a good place to start if you looking for a good tent to fit you needs. You can find their reviews as well as consumer reviews. Take a little time, explore the site, you might just find what your looking for.


Hope you find one that works for your budget. One thing that can spoil a trip quickly is a leaky tent.
post #7 of 11
I just checked at www.campmor.com. They currently have some nice deals on family tents (between $100-$150) and these are brands that I've heard of. I think that Campmor has a very reasonable return policy, so you should be safe if things don't work out.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys...

I went through the tent again this morning and looked over every inch of it. There is a spot at the bottom seam that is coming apart.

High winds came through again last night, and the damage that happen to the tent with better stakes showed its ugly head. :

I unpitch it and returning it after I am done with this reply.

I admit I have never bought a tent before, but I have used enough tents to know when something doesn't look right. Thanks for your help guys. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #9 of 11
ozark trail is what I call a big box brand, ie crap. Take a look at Eureka, it's an excellent low to mid range value that wont fail you. MOST tents need to be seam sealed with Seamgrip so they won't leak at the seams. And stay away from plastic trap bottom tents.

post #10 of 11
Originally posted by SnO Eagle #:
The most I can go for in a large tent like this is $100. I looked at the REI and many of the tents looked nice, but I have never bought online before.

At that price range you will get real junk unless you are very careful REI, CAmpmor are good places to shop.

Do you really need to put your dogs in the tent? That will trash it in a hurry.

post #11 of 11
one last thing... get a tent with a fly if you can. All the water proof spray in the world won't help a cheap tent made of loose woven nylon.

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