seam sealing near zippers

12:08 p.m. on July 30, 2003 (EDT)

I finally decided on a family tent which my wife liked(after all the research I did), got it home, set it up and sealed all of the seams except those near the zippers. I read on a few sites that this was not advised. Given the weather this year, it didn't take long for a heavy storm to come in to test it. It held steady except for two large puddles near the doors so I got out the garden hose and sure enough, it leaks terribly around the doors, but steady as can be everywhere else. Is this common or should I go against the grain and seal the seams around the zippers? Any tricks or things to watch for?

3:04 p.m. on July 30, 2003 (EDT)
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I seal every darn stich I can find!

I use a small camel hair artist brush. I believe in doing both the outside and the inside of every seam.

11:37 p.m. on July 30, 2003 (EDT)
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749 forum posts

You said it was a "family" tent, which often means "large and inexpensive and made without a lot of attention to detail but having really big doors". So without knowing what kind of tent - material - etc, its hard to say but - are you sure that the water isn't coming in through the zippers themselves? A "family tent" rarely has expensive and somewhat delicate water proof zippers, and unsealed seams rarely ever create "puddles". So if the zippers are the problem, then sealing the seams around them will make little difference. The metal teeth are not waterproof and neither is the cloth part of a normal zipper. I think that someone inside the tent while you use the hose on it should be able to determine the leak mechanism. Often there is some kind of "awning" over the door in this kind of tent that is supposedly going to keep rain of it (If it doesn't blow away). Perhaps recognizing the failure and putting a couple of towels down, or turning the door away from the wind would help. Or sew somekind of covers to the tent that cover the zippers and seal those seams... but exposed zippers are gonna leak.
Jim S

7:01 p.m. on July 31, 2003 (EDT)
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749 forum posts
It dawned on me


I finally decided on a family tent which my wife liked(after all the research I did),

It dawned on me that you're the guy who was asking about Gander mountain tents and said that if your wife got one drop of rain on her that you were back to camping alone. I assume that you have no children - I don't know why.

Anyway - my wife owns a Gander mountain tent - note the subtlety there - I own 5 backpacking tents. She had to have a "big comfortable tent tall enough to pull her jeans on while standing up. Never mind that it weighs 50 pounds - afterall it goes in the 4x4 right? Never mind that a strong wind would blow it away or make it shake so much that you can't sleep in it, that it leaks, and that you can't set it in an exposed place, or that it would take 25 stakes to actually hold it up in a storm, etc etc etc.

Lately I've been taking my largest backpacking tent and she has to live with it. However its dry, strong, well vented, stands up to wind well, has a low profile, and can be pitched easily. If you want her to be happy and camp with you - get a quality backpack three pole dome tent and a really comfy airmattress for her.
Jim S

8:50 p.m. on July 31, 2003 (EDT)

I actually do have a 2 year old. We're going camping with one of her friends whose husband I started camping with. Her friend is the one driving the initiative to get her into something I enjoy. I used to backpack a lot, though my original equipment is long gone (working on getting new stuff).

As far as the family tent, she decided on a coleman which we got a dick's sporting goods. A short trip over to sam's club and there was a bigger tent by Everest Elite / Slumberjack that was a geodesic, more of what I was looking for and was for a very small price (should have been my clue) but hey, you don't argue with a 5 ft. redhead. She liked it better (more like the price) and knew it was the style I wanted. The tent ended up being a Wenzel. I have not seen anything either good or bad about this company, just that they've been around for a long time and her friend that we're camping with has a couple. The decision tonight is to take the one from Sam's club back and stick with the Coleman. My idea is to go back and get the Eureka Sunrise that I wanted. I am still hoping.......either way her mind is already working on the travel trailer (she grew up a motorhome girl) so at least I'll probably have to get a bigger new truck for that one..(not complaining though I am happy with my cherokee) for now though I'm just trying to get through the season and pray something catches on with no least her friend's husband has shown interst in doing some backpacking.......ok...long story but kind of a complex little soap opera

Thanks again for your feedback

6:18 a.m. on August 1, 2003 (EDT)
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1,261 forum posts
Dick's Sporting Goods?

Do you live near Pittsburgh by chance?


I truly miss the 'Burgh.

Ed Geary
a Bethel Park native son sweltering away in Florida.

8:48 a.m. on August 1, 2003 (EDT)

In da 'Burgh - but a transplant

I am a native of Tennessee. I married a girl that grew up in Carnegie "Char-val" and I do mean that the the upmost sincerity (she was a cheerleader lol). So now you see the issue, country boy takes city girl camping.....Actually the guy that I have been camping with lately is from Mt. Lebanon. You ought to head up to Tennessee sometime, there are some nice Pocket-Wilderness areas around Chattanooga and Knoxville. One in particular I love called Laural Falls.

10:45 a.m. on August 1, 2003 (EDT)
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1,261 forum posts
Im a headin' that way.....

August 16th I'm headin up to Bethel to visit dear 'ole mom for two weeks. No camping involved, all my plans revolve around daily trips to Danny's Parkview Pizza and running in South Park (not sure which I'll do first, eat or run).

Someone from Mt Lebo actually goes camping? No. Hard to believe they would venture far from Kaufman's and actually go somewhere where it's possible to get dust on their shoes.

Next you'll be telling me women from Upper St. Clair sometimes swet while playing tennis.

11:50 a.m. on August 1, 2003 (EDT)

Speaking of this area.........

Since you grew up in this area, could you possibly give me some decent local sites to do some weekend backpacking trips? I need some good short trips to take the Mt. Lebo boy on to break him into not having a fully functional bath house. He has done quite a bit of campground camping so at least he knows how to start a fire. I have not met anyone up here yet that could tell me and everytime EMS sponsers a trip, I either am on call that week or my wife increases her list of honey-do's. I would greatly appreciate it. for the USC girls sweating while playing tennis, got one better for you, Mt. Lebo boy married an Apollo girl (my wife's best frined) and they live in Apollo thing you know he will be in a red/black checkered shirt and a John Deere hat....

12:16 p.m. on August 1, 2003 (EDT)
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1,261 forum posts
You know, I can't help you there.........

although I did grow up in the area, I didn't get into backpacking until I moved to the Florida. I used to do my infrequent car camping at the pymatuning (?) reservoir up north.

Most of my adolescent youth was spent in the woods (with a beautiful trout stream running thru the middle) that is now a subdivision right next to Bethel Park High School stadium.

I'm a graduate of Slippery Rock Univ and used to find myself wondering around the woods quite frequently after fraternity parties.

I will do a web search to see what I can find that may be interesting.

My oldest brother (an attorney in Washington County) bought 40 acres in 84, Pa. He too ended up with a John Deere hat to wear on his trips to the feed store.

12:21 p.m. on August 1, 2003 (EDT)
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1,261 forum posts
AhA! Been so long I forgot all about..........
April 26, 2018
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