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How I patched our tarptent

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    • How I patched our tarptent

      For years now my wife Kathy and I have been using a Rainshadow tent by Tarptent and are very happy with it.
      In preparation for this summer's AT section hike I decided to patch the 1 inch cut in the floor.
      I ordered a yard of silnylon to make the patches and bought a tube of clear, 100% silicone sealer.
      I used 2 tools to apply the patches, a plastic squeegee and a small, hardwood roller.
      Instead of working on the floor I decided to bring the area of the tent floor up to work on a small table.
      The first step was to cover the table top with waxed paper so nothing would stick to it.
      Then I put the floor of the tent on the table so I had easy access to the area with the cut.
      I decided to work the inside of the tent first so I cut a circular patch about 6 inches in diameter.
      Next I covered one side of the patch with a generous coat of the silicone sealer and put it down centered around the cut I was patching.
      Then I used the squeegee to work the excess sealer out. I'd hold the patch in place with 1 finger and squeegee away from my finger.

      I did that over and over, in different directions, wiping the squeegee clean after each pass. Once it seemed the patch was down flat I switched to using the roller going over the patch again and again, cleaneing the roller on each pass. Once the patch was smooth and flat I covered it with a piece of waxed paper and then stacked a bunch of books on the area to hold the patch down. A day later I removed the books and waxed paper and let the patch sit for another day. The next step was to flip the tent floor over and do the outside of the floor.
      I did the same thing as the inside with the exception of the size of the patch. On the outside I used a patch of about a 3 inch diameter.
      This summer's trip will tell how well this works out. I'll post the results after our trip.
    • Again, yesterday, I worked on our tent some more.
      I set it up out in the yard so I could go over the seams with sealer.
      The suggested (by Tarptent) sealer is 100% Silicone thinned with Mineral Spirits until it is a brush-able mixture.
      Using a cheap 1 inch brush I went over all the seams on the roof two times. I had some of the mixture left over and decided to give the flat part of the roof a coat too. I thinned the sealer out more and brushed it onto the flat center part of the roof. That panel is flat laterally, from side to side, not longitudinally. The last couple of years it had leaked just a little if the pitch of the tent wasn't tight enough. I'm hoping this will fix that. After giving the tent a good look over Kathy and I decided this will probably be it's last trip as it's showing a good bit of wear and tear.