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Seam Sealing tent, weather timing questions
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Mercedes Clemens
(motorlegs) - M
Seam Sealing tent, weather timing questions on 03/24/2014 11:48:09 MDT Print View

Ok, newbie here. I just got my Tarptent Contrail (yay!). And, of course, need to seam seal for a trip this weekend (Friday; it's Monday today).

My issues are, even though it's sunny and upper 30s now in Maryland, snow is forecast for tonight & tomorrow (0.5"-4", so who knows how much if any). I would have loved to pitch the Contrail outside this afternoon to seam seal, except for the forecast snow.

Tomorrow (Tues) is out due to snow forecast.

Wednesday is supposed to be sunny & upper 30s temps, but windy with gusts to 38 mph. Not ideal seam sealing conditions.

Thursday looks like the best weather day -- sunny, near 50. But I need to pack the tent up Friday mid-afternoon at the latest.

So I guess my 2 questions are:

1) If I seam sealed the tent Thursday AM, would it be ok to pack up Friday afternoon?

2) Or should I attempt to pitch it inside in a spare room & seam seal it there (windows open)? Then it would have a couple of days to dry & I could then pitch it outside on Thursday and run some water on it to see if the sealing needs touching up. I'm leaning toward this latter option, but worried I won't be able to get the tent taut enough inside during the seam sealing for optimal penetration.

Any help/suggestions appreciated.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Seam Sealing tent, weather timing questions on 03/24/2014 11:52:07 MDT Print View

I think it's best to not rush the curing, you don't want to weaken it

Maybe don't worry about seam sealing until you get back. Are you going somewhere it's going to rain a lot?

Mercedes Clemens
(motorlegs) - M
Re: Re: Seam Sealing tent, weather timing questions on 03/24/2014 11:55:53 MDT Print View

It's supposed to rain this weekend; not sure how much (mid-atlantic in spring can be pretty volatile). I'll be in the mountains, too, which of course makes the weather a little crazier.

I've got a down bag - worried about getting it wet.

Andy F
(AndyF) - M

Locale: Midwest/Midatlantic
Re: Seam Sealing tent, weather timing questions on 03/24/2014 11:58:08 MDT Print View

I'd do it inside with the windows open and a dropcloth on the floor. Use additional cordage (just whatever you have laying around) as anchor cords (tied to or around furniture, window locks, stacks of books, etc), and then connect your guylines to those using a small carabiner.

Edited by AndyF on 03/24/2014 11:59:00 MDT.

Mercedes Clemens
(motorlegs) - M
Re: Re: Seam Sealing tent, weather timing questions on 03/24/2014 12:18:37 MDT Print View

Thanks -- I've got a heavy corner desk in the room which should be good for tying. Hadn't thought of window latches, that'll work too. Books we have plenty of as well, including some large heavy textbooks. I think it'll be doable.

Now I just need to manage not to trip over everything. ;-)

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Seam Sealing tent, weather timing questions on 03/24/2014 12:29:35 MDT Print View

I would do it inside too. The fumes are not too bad. I have done it inside before. I wouldn't even worry about the ventilation too much if you can close off the room.

The sealer is a bit sticky when it first goes on. I think its nice to let it dry out a few days if you can.

Hope you have a good trip.

Mercedes Clemens
(motorlegs) - M
Re: Seam Sealing tent, weather timing questions on 03/24/2014 13:52:06 MDT Print View

Thanks, everyone, much appreciated! I'm almost hoping for a bit of rain this weekend to see how the tent handles it. :-)

Derek M.
(dmusashe) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Seam Sealing tent, weather timing questions on 03/25/2014 02:24:51 MDT Print View

As everybody else said, definitely just try to do it inside.

To cut the silicone, I used Naphtha as a solvent (very similar to white gas), and the fumes weren't that bad (though I did do it outside). Certainly keep the place very well ventilated and just move the tent outside on the day you have sun. Most of the solvent will have evaporated off after a few hours and the tent will therefore not off-gas too much after the initial drying. You'll figure it out without too much trouble.

If you are ever uncomfortable, just stop. No harm done.

Edited by dmusashe on 03/25/2014 02:27:39 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Seam Sealing tent, weather timing questions on 03/25/2014 07:37:52 MDT Print View

White gas inside house?

I hope you have up to date fire insurance : ) or would that be explosion insurance?

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Seam Sealing tent, weather timing questions on 03/25/2014 08:40:26 MDT Print View

Use permatex flowable windshield sealer it is odorless, no mixing,dries overnight and works great. HERE is one of many threads on people who use and like it AND ANOTHER ,you can do a search on this site and find many more,I have used it for years and it works great,I wouldn't bother with the mess ad smell of mixing especially inside my house.

Mercedes Clemens
(motorlegs) - M
Re: Re: Seam Sealing tent, weather timing questions on 03/25/2014 09:46:18 MDT Print View

Thank you for the suggestions on alternative sealers -- I'll keep those in mind for the future. I already had mineral spirits & silicone on hand, so used those.

I ended up pitching outside (was going kind of stir crazy inside), seam sealing, leaving the tent out for 6 hours, then bringing it indoors. At that point there were absolutely no fumes. All of the seams were fairly dry, the dots I "painted" on the floor were a bit tacky but nothing too bad. I turned the tent inside out so the floor would get good air flow.

I still have to seam seal the floor seam on the underside, but that's easily done inside at some point today. When I'm not shoveling snow. (Will spring EVER get here?!?).