696 forum posts
In January of 2016, I found a vintage TNF Ring Oval Intention in a local thrift store that I decided was worthy of some renewal work. After the initial inspection and since I hadn't attempted anything of this sort previously, I began a Trailspace Gear Repair topic......Advice Needed: Ring, Oval Intention. Although the original post has been closed to further comment, you can catch up on the history of the project at..........https://www.trailspace.com/forums/gear-repair/topics/174280.html.
Just recently I received a message from Apeman inquiring as to the status of the project. Nearly an entire year had gone by since receiving the new pole set from The North Face and perhaps 1/2 dozen camping nights in the tent. We began a dialogue on vintage tents, repair and restoration which resulted in renewed interest for me "to get on with it". For those undertaking or considering such a project, here are some selected messages as work went along:
June 17, 2017
Yesterday, partly because of inspiration coming from our correspondence, I began my own soak in warm water and Mirazyme and using a lofa type sponge removed the remaining seam sealer from floor and sidewall seams that was not entirely separated during washing. When I acquired the tent over a year ago my 1st step was to spot treat the red dirt splash up stains and then machine washed the tent and fly using Woolite. I wasn't concerned about delamination because it was already well along in that regard and I wanted to remove more if if could. Interestingly the intermittent patches of remaining coating were fairly stable and there wasn't any residue stuck in the netting or elsewhere. The seam sealer took the extra work that I began yesterday and I understand what you are going through. It certainly is painstaking. I am tempted to go ahead with the recoating without removing the remaining more stable polyurethane as you are undertaking. I'll be using Tent Sure which comes with 2" wide foam brush. I think it is pretty runny so I expect to have problems applying it. Especially on the side walls?
June 19, 2017
I began the Tent Sure recoat today and things were going well until I ran out of the liquid portion and discovered about an inch of pasty, partially solidified goo on the bottom of the bottle. This despite a long initial shake and regular shaking throughout the application. My first thought was the urethane had at least partially separated from the liquid and what I used although milky looking was a diluted solution that would possibly be not as waterproof. I called McNett and the rep was unsure what the effect would be but thought that it would at least give some waterproofness. He thought that it was more likely since it was an 8 ounce bottle with a 2 inch wide foam brush which they don't market any longer, the urethane had begun to set up in the bottle and it was old coating I bought, ie. over 2 years old. I just opened a 2nd bottle purchased at the same time and found the same thing. Anyway, I'm unsure whether I used a weakened product with less urethane or that the coating was aging and began to harden in the bottle beginning at the bottom? Any thoughts?
Sorry to hear about your mishap with the tents sure stuff. I just do not understand that product. When I looked it up before it just came in a bottle with some foam paint brushes. Then when I went to take a better look at it they switched the bottle and the paint brushes to a 1in round applicator brush at the top of the bottle. That just seems utter ridiculous when one is trying to cover the entire floor of a large tent. I was going to suggest that you buy two bottles and mix them together in a glass jar and paint it on. Sorry you found that it had separated. If you look up how to seam seal the new silnylon tent material, silicon treated tent material/Hillebergs tent material(Kerlon), you'll find a number of ways to thin down GE Silicone II so that you can use it as a seam sealer. I'll be doing that and use it to recoat my tent and also seamseal it/them.
June 26, 2017
I have ordered 3, 10oz containers of Kenyon Recoat 3. Not messing around with 2 ounce bottles of Tent Sure and a dabber as it is now offered. After the Tent Sure dryed, the floor and sidewalls feel a little more boardy and have a little gloss so I think there was at least some product in what I applied. I will do the entire inside another time with Recoat 3 and then the rainfly. I have read the reviews on this product and can only hope my results are of the 5 star sort. Some have had problems with it drying properly.
(Prior to the Kenyon application, it rained here and some water that seeped under the floor did come up through the nylon although it seemed the diluted Tent Sure did have at least some water repellentcy as best I could tell.)
June 30, 2017
I have finished the recoating and am very satisfied with the result. As mentioned earlier, I used Kenyon Recoat 3 beginning with the interior floor. It brushed on very well and was dry to touch in a short time. Next, I applied a coat to the exterior lower sidewalls, the underside of the fly and inside and out of the entire door. I notice that recoating deepened the blue slightly and tended to even out the variations in color fade due to use over time. The outer lower sidewalls below the fly were sun faded and there were red dirt stains remaining after washing and spot treating. Application on the outside did improve on the fading and stains blend better with the fabric. My next step was to seal all the lower coated sidewall and ground perimeter seams with Seam Grip from the outside also. I wanted to reinforce the stitching and stop water from soaking into the exterior thread from the outset. For the perimeter and the center floor seam running from side to side, I attached the tent upside down, fully erected with taut seams between 2 clothes lines and suspended above the ground. This made the work much easier and kept stitch holes stretched to allow sealer penetration where possible. All this required 3, 10 ounce jars of Recoat and a couple tubes of Grip. Finally, I bought a can of Atsko Silicone Water Guard spray and coated the entire exterior of the rainfly and the lower exterior sidewalls exposed below the fly. Its very easy to apply, coats uniformly and without wasted spray in the air. It has been showering quite a lot here in Estes Park and the entire sprayed surfaces bead up very well and there is no water entering the tent at any location. Kenyon Recoat gave the nylon a little luster and a stiffer, little bit boardy feel.
This was my first restoration and although very time consuming and painstaking from start to finish, I feel it was a project well worth doing and now have a Ring Oval entering its next stage of useful life. Thank you for all your input as it was very helpful through the process.
Acknowledgement to Whomeworry - Indeed quite a process. Almost requires retirement to undertake. Thanks for your input!