Leaky Wenzel - seal or return?

8:47 p.m. on July 22, 2004 (EDT)

I bought a Wenzel Woodlands tent about a month ago and didn't bother seam sealing it. Not smart I know. This last week the family and I were camping and during a short 15 min. downpour I found out every single seam in the rainfly leaks like a sieve.

Do you think I should just seam seal it or take the tent back and get Eureka? I do like the tent and its design but the wife will quickly loose any passion for camping if we have a leaky tent.


9:41 p.m. on July 22, 2004 (EDT)
37 reviewer rep
749 forum posts

So you're saying you didn't bother to seam seal it and now you're upset 'cause it leaks? Well anyway Wenzel is a really cheap brand - if you can - return it for the Eureka and then seam seal it...
Jim S (:->)

11:11 a.m. on July 23, 2004 (EDT)
28 reviewer rep
1,261 forum posts
common mistake. I did it too on my first backpacking adventure.............

went out with a brand new tent expecting to stay dry. I never even heard of seam sealer!

Jim S is correct - even that Eureka is gonna leak if you don't seal it before using it.

12:17 p.m. on July 23, 2004 (EDT)

Yep, I messed up and admit that. If I seal the seems now do you think they would hold up. The tent is still very clean.

3:04 p.m. on July 23, 2004 (EDT)

Seal it and call it a day

I'd wipe the seams down with alcohol first (Not jack Daniels) and let dry 1/2 hr. Then apply seam sealer....several coats per instructions.. I'll work just fine.

8:10 p.m. on July 23, 2004 (EDT)
37 reviewer rep
749 forum posts
"Seam Grip" it

Use Seam Grip not the el cheapo Seam Seal stuff that came with your el cheapo tent... (;->) While several coats of seam seal will waterproof yer tent, Seam Grip will bond to the fabric and actually reinforce the seam and protect the threads, not to mention being the state of the art material for nylon tents. Buy the stuff with the little glass bottle of hardener on the same card. You only need a few drops mixed with a bit of seam seal because it will start to harden in about 5 minutes. [ just to avoid any arguements - it will have produced molecules sufficiently large as to become "stringy"] Anyway I even did my new Bibler with this stuff.
You want to apply it with an "acid brush" with the hairs cut back a bit to make them stiffer, then paint the seams allowing the seam seal to extend 1/8 or a little more out from the seam. I often fold up some aluminum foil and mix my stuff on that. Oh it smells really nasty and probably has toxic fumes so use this out of doors.

Pitch tent fully and stake it down prior to seam gripping it.
If you try to save money by buying the stuff without the hardener it may take 24 hours to fully harden and it may get all kinds of things stuck to it (like leaves, snails, dog hair, etc.)in that time and if you fold it up too soon there will be glue everywhere and you may even permanently bond the tent to its self in places that are not advantageous to ever setting it up again.

Jim (:->)

9:13 a.m. on July 26, 2004 (EDT)

Re: "Seam Grip" it

great advice!

10:53 p.m. on July 27, 2004 (EDT)

Re: "Seam Grip" it

Thanks for all the advice and comments. I'll be picking some seam grip up. REI should have it right?

8:42 p.m. on August 2, 2004 (EDT)
37 reviewer rep
749 forum posts

Jim S

June 25, 2018
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