Monday, October 6, 2014

Quick Tent Zipper Gap Repair #Camping

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Written by Bobbie

My family loves camping.  We have a huge three room tent that I bought umpteen years ago that fits my family perfectly.  After years of use, and some massively strong winds one camping trip, the zippers started giving us problems.  I would go to close up some of the flaps, and they would not catch and leave a huge gap in the zipper line before catching and closing again.  We pushed through the rest of the camping trip fussing with the zippers, and started talking about new tent options.

After we came home, I was not to thrilled with the idea of having to get a new tent.  I really love my tent, it has closets for longer camping trips, and one room can turn into a fully screened sun room.  It even has two sun roofs for goodness sakes!  It's like the Taj Mahal of camping tents and I was not ready to give up on it yet.

I dragged both my daughters outside and set the tent up in the driveway to get a better look at the zippers.  My first thought was it was just the wind while we were camping that was giving us issues.  Nope, still had problems with gaps at home on a calm day.  I started thinking that maybe the wind was just enough to make the zipper pull open up some and not able to catch the zipper teeth and connect them properly.  I ran over to the shed, and found a pair of pliers to pinch the zipper pull together.  I did not put a lot of grip strength into to pinching the zipper pull back together, as I was afraid  of just full on busting it.  But with a little pressure at a time on each side and then the back, I started testing the zipper and noticed that it was not skipping as much.  A little more pressure, and few more tests and BOOM.  Tent zippers were back to working perfectly again!

While my oldest daughter and I were giving all the tent zippers a quick tune up, my younger daughter was working with the zipper for the tent bag.  It had a tendency to get stuck and not want to move, driving poor hubby nuts when it was time to pack it up.  Even just unzipping the bag became a problem, it got stuck when we set the tent up at home and I had to use pliers get get it past the stuck spot to open the bag up all the way.  I grabbed a plain old tea light from the house and removed the wick. I had my youngest daughter rub it along the zipper teeth.  I figured the wax would act as a kind of lubrication and help the zipping and unzipping action.  It helped greatly to smooth out the zipper action and it was not getting stuck, but I knew the real test would be the next time we went camping.  Just for good measure my oldest also took a tea light and ran it along all the zipper teeth on the tent.

Flash forward a few months, we are out camping again, and NO PROBLEMS!  Hubby had zero issues with the tent bag, and all of the tent zippers worked smoothly, and not once did any of them skip or get stuck.  Looks like we will be keeping the tent for a while.