Sierra designs Velox 2

4:45 p.m. on April 18, 2016 (EDT)
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I have this tent for I don't know how long. The floors and seams of the fly are starting to crack. should I use Gear Aid tent sure tent floor sealant or something else. And sound I peel the cracking pieces of before I do so? I have attached pictures. Thanks for the help. 
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5:58 a.m. on April 19, 2016 (EDT)
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3,344 forum posts

IMO reconditioning water proof sealing is:

  • A lot of work.
  • Often only partially successful.
  • Often makes the tent more heavy.
  • Repairs tend to age even quicker than factory water proofing.

As for the floor, I wouldn't even bother.  I use a ground cloth to keep dry.  Back when tents seemed to cost more (or I earned less) I would have an equipment seamstress make a new rain fly of the appropriate fabrics, and DYI the seam sealing.  Not cheap, but the outcome is certain.  Nowadays, however, tents are relatively cheap so I would just replace such worn items. 

It does not hurt to see if the manufacturer is willing to accommodate you.  In some instances they let me purchase a replacement rain fly.  The last time I had this problem was with a MSR tent.  I contacted the factory and they let me swap out my old fly for a new one, and charged me only for the shipping.  
+1 for MSR (Cascade Designs) customer service. 

Ed

9:09 a.m. on April 21, 2016 (EDT)
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Resealing/recoating your tent fabrics is a ton of work. First for it to succeed you have to get all the old peeling coating off (similar to painting a house). Then you should wipe down the entire area to be recoated with a solvent/alcohol to remove dirt and residual camping funk. Then apply the recoat. Let it dry. Do it again. Let it dry. If done correctly it might last another year or 2 in moderate use and it will be heavier. And you still have not addressed the fact that the DWR coating on the individual threads of the nylon has deteriorated. So the nylon absorbs water rather than repels it. To fix this you need to spray the outside (uncoated side) of the nylon fly, floor and exposed sidewalls with some sort of Silicone or similar water repellant spray in order to restore it. Hours and hours of work and the silicone spray will leave a smell that will linger for at least a few months or even years. The recoated PU will never be as good as it was and will likely be harder to fold and begin to show signs of wear almost immediately. Having done this more than once and selling tents for the last twenty plus years I would suggest that unless you have some deep abiding love for this tent that you retire it and get a new tent.... Or you could purchase a sil/nylon tarp a bit bigger than the tent (8x8?) and just use that as a new more encompassing fly (leave the old fly home) and still enjoy your old decrepit friend. It would not be too hard to rig and might provide better ventilation.

Over time and through use tent fabrics/coatings age and sometimes smell. No matter what you do you cannot restore their youth. You can only forestall the end. And it is a lot of work to do so. And there are some really nice new tents out there, that are lighter yet roomier and just better in general in terms of construction and materials used, albeit pricier than your old trusted Velox.

Good luck.

9:37 p.m. on April 21, 2016 (EDT)
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Agree with both of the posters. It simply isn't with the effort to try to redo the coatings on the fabric. I too have tried and success was marginal. There are too many great tents and too many great deals on those tents to warrant the time and effort on an old ones hating worn out. And the bonus is, a new tent could very well save two or three pounds over the old one. Not an insignificant factor. 

1:42 p.m. on May 27, 2016 (EDT)
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Hi there Branden! Recoating/seamsealing your fly isn't TOO much work if you really like everything else about your tent. I'd say set aside an afternoon or two.

You're going to want to use that Tent Floor Sealant with a wide foam brush to coat over the body of your fabric. For the seams, I recommend using Seam Grip and applying it with a small square brush. Allow at least 24 hours for complete drying. The Seam Grip is particularly gelatinous, so if you get it somewhere where you don't want it, you can use a bit of acetone to get it off. 

Pro-tip: If you don't want to deal with scrubbing off all the residue and flaking seam tape/coating, apply these products to the exterior of your fly. Same results with a bit less work. 

Hope this helps! 

11:45 p.m. on June 2, 2016 (EDT)
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A lot has been written on Trail Space regarding this topic. When I first became acquainted with the website I spent some very enjoyable and informative hours reading a multitude of posts related to restoring older tents. Why they stink, coating delamination, sticky coating, mildew and mold, removing aged coatings, silicon recoating concoctions, seam sealing and more have been addressed. Just a few posts south of yours there's a discussion of removing and recoating the factory polyurethane that has partially flaked off the floor and fly of a TNF Ring Oval Intention that I recently acquired. The project has moved along slowly but the broken pole sections are now at the TNF and logged in. From my perspective, whatever remedy you decide upon to keep your old tent going, at the least, physically remove as much of the peeling, loose and cracked coating as possible without damaging the fabric. I washed and dried the Ring Oval Intention and found that the pre-wash partially remaining coating stayed put. There was no further delamination. It seems in the restoration process as regards the floor, I am now considering 4 options: (1) Recoat the floor with the Gear Aid or similar product or a home prepared silicone solution over the originally coated surfaces. Old coating entirely removed or partially removed but remainder solid. (2) Apply new coating on the reverse surfaces of the originally applied as Rainy Pass suggests. (3) Have a local gear manufacturer design and add a new floor and sidewalls insert over the old that would be sort of a free hanging bathtub inner floor. Then the original floor would act as a fitted ground sheet. (4) Spare the expense of the added floor and just use a waterproof nylon tarp on the inside and up the sidewalls a bit somewhat as Whomeworry recommends. As to the rainfly, I think I will try adding a new coating on the opposite side of the original. Or at the very least, reseal the seams with Seam Grip and apply a heavy coating of repellency spray of some sort and renew as needed. Good luck, it will be an adventure!

8:52 a.m. on June 3, 2016 (EDT)
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"Pro-tip: If you don't want to deal with scrubbing off all the residue and flaking seam tape/coating, apply these products to the exterior of your fly. Same results with a bit less work." 

One company tried using the coating on the outside face of the fabric way back in the last century. Quest and it was an unmitigated disaster.

I get the urge/need to 'fix' your tent. Been there, done that, a few times. But when factoring in the value of your time x cost of materials x results, I just think that the time spent on fixing this thing could be used to actually go camping with another tent. Especially since today's generation of tents surpasses what has gone before by leaps and bounds.

But I sell tents, so take that for what it is worth.

Cheers,

10:45 a.m. on June 3, 2016 (EDT)
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Interested to know what happened with Quest tents outside coating? ultraviolet light deterioration? 

11:00 a.m. on June 3, 2016 (EDT)
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UV may have been an issue if any of them survived that long. We got returns almost immediately with complaints about flaking coatings. It seems that almost anything that could abrade the coating did abrade the coating. By the time we had gotten enough back to raise the issue with Quest they had been sold to an offshore group and we ended up eating all the returns. And then there were some customers that noticed flaking before use. 

July 19, 2019
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