Rainy night in an Oztent

#1
I recently spent a very rainy night in my Oztent RV-5. It rained almost constantly through the night- heavy at times. I didn't have too many leaks, but I did have a couple.

One leak was from the door zippers. I did not put out the awning and I think if I did, I don't think it would have leaked here.

The second leak was from the middle section of the canvas on the highest part of the roof. The water just wicked straight through the canvas right there. Not sure if this was condensation or something inherently flawed with the canvas in this area (dirty?). I've used the tent in rain before and not had any leaks. But I think this was the heaviest it's rained on my tent as well. I did not have any panels open for ventilation- Utah, temps in the 40s, 2 people in the tent. I've since read about how others allow for ventilation and I'll try that next time.

It actually dripped from the seam just below the above mentioned section of canvas. Not sure if the seam was leaking or it was just the collection point from above.

Here's the part that worries me the most: when I got home and set the tent up in the garage to let it dry, it was soaked inside. If I shook one leg of the tent, I could hear a bunch of water hitting the inside floor. The canvas was saturated. Granted when we broke camp, the tent was still wet and it was raining during the final steps of getting it in the bag AND it rained/snowed on the drive home. But if I was setting up camp again because I was on a multi night trip, all of those factors could have been true and I would be spending the night in a very wet tent. Anytime the wind shook the tent, droplets would be failing on me.

Any ideas?

I did NOT season the canvas like I should have when I initially got it. I apparently didn't see that note. The tent has always been set up and allowed to dry as soon as I get home if it's been packed away wet. Condensation isn't normally an issue since I primarily camp in CO, UT, WY where humidity is typically super low (unless it's raining).
 
#2
I can't comment on your particular problem but I know that I have experienced condensation on cold and/or wet nights rather than leaks. After a while I wised up and bought the fly. Since then I haven't had the problem. The fly stays attached during pack-up but does take a little extra time to set-up.

I couldn't find a good photo - this is the best I could do.

P8242896 small.jpg

John
 
#3
Had not thought about leaving the fly on full time, makes sense though. Does it cause any additional problems folding it up to put in the bag?
Watched a video of a company that makes bags and they also do OZ tent bags with a bit more room but since mine is fairly new an has no rips I haven't thought about getting a bigger better bag.
 
#4
From my experiences with all sorts of tents, from nylon to canvas, the most common cause of "leaks" are condensation (which amazingly can be a lot of moisture) and seams that haven't been properly sealed. Even with assurances from manufacturers about their level of quality control, I always take an hour or more to completely seal the seams, and any areas of threads, on a new tent before ever using it. I also apply seam sealer along the edges of any zippers. Water can hydrostatically enter the floor of a tent, so I make sure the area around the perimeter of the tent has a small trench if there is going to be any significant rainfall (old Boy Scout trick when all tents were canvas). I've woken up after a heavy rain fall only to be floating on my sleeping pad in a tent that was otherwise well sealed.
 
#5
Had not thought about leaving the fly on full time, makes sense though. Does it cause any additional problems folding it up to put in the bag?
Watched a video of a company that makes bags and they also do OZ tent bags with a bit more room but since mine is fairly new an has no rips I haven't thought about getting a bigger better bag.
No great problems packing up it is just a little bulkier but not by much.

John

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#6
I dont know enough about the material of the OzTent but could you use a towel and wipe down the interior of the tent if you had to set it up again wet? Or would that "create" tons of little leaks where water would continue to come through if rain continued (I remember the old days of canvas where my Dad was always making sure we didnt touch the tent cause it would "start" a leak). Would 5 minutes with a tent heater help? (Mr. Heater or the like). There is nothing worse than a wet tent. Cant get dry, cant get warm. It can ruin time away.
 
#7
Seasoning a canvas tent will waterproof it - usually you soak with a hose a couple of times and let it dry. It can be done at any time. This will 'swell' the tent and close up the seams....sometimes you have to use seam sealer. The issue with the zippers may be associated with seasoning, lack of seam sealer, or with the incorrect zipper covers. Condensation inside of a canvas tent is indicative of poor ventilation. You need to keep a small flap open on each side of the tent to allow air flow, heater or not. Heaters can actually create more issues, especially if there is not enough air flow. Two people create a lot of moisture in the air & ventless propane heaters dump a huge amount of moisture into the air and can make this much much worse. A closed up tent is a miserable tent...like you, it needs to breath a bit.
 
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