We recommend that you annually maintain your tent. This means checking seams, flysheet, poles, groundsheet and pegs.
Ultraviolet rays (UV) will damage your polyester tent if you expose it to direct sunlight for longer periods of time. Our exclusive Outtex® flysheet fabric used on all Outwell tents increases the lifetime of the tent.
However, after prolonged exposure to the sun seam tape may start to come off. If this happens you can repair your tent by removing loose tape and apply a seam sealer and waterproof spray to re-seal seams.
Even though we have used special waterproof thread for all seams, we recommend that you use a seam sealer or a waterproof spray at regular intervals for all seams around the zips and toggles, these seams are some of the weaker points on your tent as there can be a lot of tension around them.
We recommend that after use all metal poles be lightly greased with a nonacidic oil. See a more detailed guide for pole maintenance below.
Although groundsheet wear can be minimised by the use of a footprint it will happen over time. In fact, a waterproof footprint used under a damaged groundsheet is probably the best/easiest/cheapest option to stop water entry. Some campers will purchase groundsheet material and sew in as a complete patch using the existing groundsheet as a template.
Once the coating starts to wear you will get water seepage through the fabric when pressure is applied. This can be stopped for a short period by coating the area with numerous external applications of a proprietary waterproofing agent like our Outwell Waterproofer, or those produced by Nikwax, Storm and Granger’s (Fabsil) after cleaning and then repairing any small holes.
It must be remembered that these treatments only resist water penetration and water can still be forced through the fabric. Repeated applications will help fill the miniscule holes between the fibres to reduce this — especially if the waterproof treatment contains a wax agent. However, if the original fabric coating is badly compromised then applying a wax (similar to that sold by Fjallraven and Barbour) to the outer face to fill the weave holes may be a consideration. This can be made economically at home using a mix of beeswax and spirit — recipes can be found on Google.
Other solutions that we have heard about, but not tested, are spraying a very thin layer of acrylic paint onto the outer face or painting on a silicone sealant that has been diluted with white spirit. Before going down these routes it is worth testing on old fabric to ensure it works without damaging the base fabric and to note that it may stain.