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Tent Fly Leaks!


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I just bought a new tent and set it up in the back yard before a big rainstorm. When I checked it out this morning I noticed there is rainwater leaching through the fly fabric and dripping on down through the mesh onto the floor of the tent. The fly doesn't seem to repel/bead water like the fly on my Coleman Exponent tent. I bought the new tent for more room, but I think "dry" is more important than "roomy." I called the manufacturer (Eureka) and they told me they couldn't send me another fly for that tent model until they tested my fly; they gave me a return auth number; they said it will take about 3 to 4 weeks; I have to pay to ship the fly to them. My question is this: Has anyone had good luck with a Scotchguarding tent material? Or is there another product out there that will work to cause water to bead up and roll off the surface of nylon rather than soak through? I hate to send the fly into Eureka and lose the use of the tent for 3 to 4 weeks (plus pay about $7 to mail it to them). frown.gif

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You need a stronger tent! After trying it out for the first time on a trip last week, I am now firmly convinced that this is how doG intends for me to camp:



(Sorry I can't provide any real assistance with your question)


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You're sure the rain isn't leaking thru at a seam? The last couple tents I bought have sealed seams from the factory. Usually this means there is a clear tape on the backside of the seam. No leaks with this type of seam. Otherwise I'd use the clear petroleum based Coleman seam sealer available at Wally world etc.

To answer your other question....I haven't used any kind of water repellant spray on a tent fly.

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Are you sure it was not condensation on the underside of the fly? That happens on our tent, then will drip through the mesh.

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I didn't sit in the tent to watch where it's dripping from, but I'm pretty sure it's not condensation (too much water in puddles and not spread out all over the tent floor). I checked the Eureka website and learned the fly material is "75D StormShield polyester" and that it's supposed to be coated with polyurethane. I think the coating is missing (or wasn't applied sufficiently) because there is hardly any beading of water on the fly; the water is soaking through the fabric and then either dripping through the fly fabric onto the mesh and into the tent or soaking/running down the sides of the fly fabric to the ground. I guess I'll probably send the fly back to Eureka and ask them to re-treat the material with polyurethane to make it more of a "StormShield." My other Eureka tent (Sunrise model) works fine and it's fly is made of the same 75D StormShield polyester material. Maybe I just got a bad one from the factory? frown.gif

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Agree. Looks like you got a dud, one that slipped through quality control. take it back, or bite the bullet and send it back to Eureka. There should be no reason you have to do anything 'extra' on a new tent. (my 2 cents)

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Condensation inside of inexpensive tents during a rain storm was common when I worked in Glacier Park as a ranger; the reason was that the tent fabric was waterproof - not allowing moisture out of the tent.


When it is not raining, set up your tent and hit the fly with water from a hose - that will likely be more force than nature supplies. If the water gets through the fly, then it is defective.


All of the better tents are made of breathable fabric (to let moisture OUT of the tent)... the tent is not waterproof except for the bottom; the fly is waterproof - keeping the water out.

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Make sure that the fly is not touching the body of the tent. The fly fabric may be waterproof, but flies (flys?) frequently are only water repellent and depend on the design of the tent to keep the water out. If the fly touches the tent, water can wick through to the inside of the tent at that location.


I have a Eureka! dome tent that is free standing, but it is worth the time to stake out the guy lines attached to the fly if the weather looks bad to make sure the two don't touch.


The water probably beaded up some when my tent was new, but the water-repellent coating is on the inside of the fly and it doesn't bead up any more. OTOH, I've been using the same tent on and off for about 15 years and I've never gotten soaked, even in storms with wind that squashed the tent flat momentarily.


Good luck.

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