5 forum posts
Hey all, first post here on Trailspace—hi!!!
I've got a first-generation MSR Mutha Hubba tent that's given fantastic service since my wife & I purchased it in 2011, since which time we've probably slept in it several hundred times. Despite caring for it, storing it dry, and protecting it from UV as much as is practical, the seam tape on the underside of the fly is starting to peel, flake, and generally disintegrate like zombie flesh. The coatings on the outside & inside of the fly (which I believe to be silicone / urethane, respectively) seem fine, however, despite reports that I've read from other users experiencing hydrolysis of the coatings on the earlier hubba series flies (flys?).
MSR is generously offering to replace the fly with one of their newer flies, but I'm hesitant to do this for a number of reasons: first and foremost, aside from the seam tape, this fly seems to be in great condition, and it seems a complete shame to consider it disposable, without first resigning myself to a bit of maintenance, which I don't mind doing if it's practical.
Also, our tent fly is the older orange version, which my wife and I are rather fond of (we're in coastal British Columbia, where camping frequently means rain, and the color of the light inside the tent goes a long way towards feeling less gloomy inside), and which is vented, whereas the newer MSR fly for this tent is not.
On the flipside, MSR claims that the newer flies have better, more durable coatings; since aside from the seam taping I'm not having an issue with coatings, I'm not sure how much of a factor this should be in my decision regarding how to proceed.
Anyhow, getting to the point: I'd like to attempt re-sealing the fly prior to resorting to a warranty replacement, but some exploratory attempts to remove the flaking seam tape as per McNett's instructions (the manufacturer of seam grip) have resulted in the tape partially pulling away while leaving behind a shiny residue; it seems like the tape's backing is pulling away, and leaving a thin film of old adhesive behind, along with tons of tiny flakes of decayed tape.
Does anyone have any experience or advice regarding:
- how the heck to clean off all of this gunk so that the seam grip adheres properly? I've tried alcohol and a scotchbrite pad, and it pretty much doesn't work. Short of spending the next 3 days going at it with my thumbnail, I'm at a bit of a loss for how to successfully clean up the seams prior to re-sealing.
- just how clean do the seams need to be for the seam-grip to be successful, and not bubble or delaminate prematurely?
- is it even worth repairing the darned thing, or is this a fools errand? Should I bother, or should I just suck it up and accept a replacement fly, with all of it's perceived shortcomings?
Thanks in advance for any insight—this tent was the first piece of really great outdoors gear that we purchased, and the sentimental value, as well as the fact that it seems like it should last for many more years, are making it hard to figure out what to do here.