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Drying out our wet belltent - advise me, please!

(9 Posts)
alabasterangel Sun 24-Aug-14 19:20:28

We had to pack our new 5m belltent up yesterday after a lot of rain in the preceeding 12 hours.... The canvas was wet, especially round the seam/overhang where the wall meets the roof panels. We'd had leaks too but that's another story....

So we don't have room to re-pitch it in our garden, or a driveway to drape it over a car, and the forecast is dire tomorrow anyway. I've created a construction involving our dining table and chairs, broomsticks and a fan heater, propped it open and sent the air from the fan heater inside. I've done an hour on and and hour off all day, and it was propped in the same way overnight without the heater on. I've rotated it so the floor is in the air and vice versa. It feels dry but I'm concerned it fully isn't. How long should I leave it like this? Its unlikely to be used again till spring so really concerned I don't open it to festering mildew!

As for the leaks... We were pitched on a very very slight slope (2% maybe) and our tent is a pegged in groundsheet variety. We tucked the rubber part under the groundsheet but round the groundsheet pegs avoiding using the holes in the rubber skirt (as on the instructions) but still water leaked in like a trickle at the top of the slight slope. Unfortunately it saturated the edge of DDs quilt, sleeping bag and sheet. Anyone got any ideas what we did wrong? It wasn't obvious! We also had drips, but I understand on a canvas during first 'wetting' this can be normal and it certainly wasn't from a specific seam or hole, it was seeping through the canvas in the odd spot when the rainfall was exceptionally high.....

Anyone got any words of advice, please?

MirandaGoshawk Sun 24-Aug-14 19:25:03

Can you hang it up in a garage? When this happened to us we were camping on a farm and hung it up in one of their barns for a day.

Water usually leaks in where something touches the canvas, so you need to keep everything (sleeping bags etc) away from the sides.

alabasterangel Sun 24-Aug-14 20:23:43

No, no garage. Neighbours have a big garden but they were out all day today and I didn't like to help myself and the forecast for tomorrow is dire. DH says he is going to rig up a heavyweight hook up in our vast loft and in future we can hang it in there, but for now I've got to make sure its dry. It feels dry, but does that mean it really is? Should I just leave it like it is for a couple more days? Its a PITA having it taking up the whole room, but I'd rather that than mildew....

As for the leaks, yes, completely know about contact leakages and this wasn't that. It leaked at ground level, where the groundsheet meets the walls, despite tucking it as well as I thought we were supposed to, and about 7ft up in the odd spot on the sloping roof panels..... Hoping it was just because it was new, and not because its a dud!

George9978 Sun 24-Aug-14 22:24:33

Leave it out, open a window and whack up your heating. I always leave mine out in the spare room for a week before winter storage.

Just keep moving it around to dry it.

George9978 Sun 24-Aug-14 22:26:05

As for the leaks were the windows open?
Sound obvious I know.

alabasterangel Sun 24-Aug-14 23:15:37

No, no open windows. I'm sure it was something to do with the rubber skirt round the bottom. The belltent instructions were to peg the groundsheet, lay out the canvas, put the pole in, peg out the tent putting the legs through the bungee cord hoops round the bottom of the tent, then go round tucking the rubber bottom edge of the tent (which is lower than the bungee rings) under the groundsheet, tucking round the previously inserted pegs in groundsheet. It says in very stable weather you can remove the groundsheet pegs, but we did not have stable weather, so the instructions say tuck round them. It was round this 'tucking' at one peg that the leak happened. I'll call them tomorrow, they seem really helpful.....

UterusUterusGhali Wed 27-Aug-14 01:29:12

Bumping because i have this problem.

I can't even drag it indoors myself because i hurt myself tripping over a guy rope and cant walk!

UterusUterusGhali Wed 27-Aug-14 01:31:22

Oh, and we leaked becausewedidn't have the "hat" on the a-frame.

alabasterangel Wed 27-Aug-14 08:04:32

Our a frame was fine (but I did have bunting wrapped round the peg outside blush so maybe that helped.

I still don't understand what you do with the rubber bit (the fillet). You peg the groundsheet, place the tent over, raise the pole, peg the tent with the pegs adjacent to the groundsheet pegs, go inside tent and tuck the rubber fillet UNDER the groundsheet. The only place you can't tuck it under, obviously, is where the groundsheet has its pegs in. It says in very fair, still, weather you can unpeg the groundsheet and tuck under. The weather was blowing a hoolie so we didn't, so the rubber fillet can't be tucked under the pegs in those areas. It was at one of these peg positions that the water leaked in, like a river, and because we were on a very very slight decline the water then trickled down the tent wetting DD's bedding...

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