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Old 01-02-2010, 02:44 PM   #1
solve4x
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Question Restoring an old tent...How to...

After 20 years, our good old LL Bean dome tent has lost it's water repelling abilties...as found out in a Floodwood area downpour last August.

What spray products work best for this project???

Thanks
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Old 01-02-2010, 04:38 PM   #2
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You'll have very limited success with any kind of spray on silicon impregnation. It will mostly wash away during your first rain.
You could get some Polyurethane (Kenyon or Eureka) to brush on to the fly, but it is a slow, messy job. The replacement PU's now are water base and will not hold up like the older flammable types.

You could also try Seam Grip - It is probably the best on the market and not waterbased. still made by St. Goban in good ol' worcester, but I doubt if you will get very far with their tiny brushes.

I would recommend either carrying a blue tarp to put over the fly if car-camping, or just break down and get a new tent. Odds are you cannot expected bean to have a replacement fly on hand 20 years later.
.And 20 years is a pretty good life to get out of a tent...
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:20 PM   #3
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After 20 years, our good old LL Bean dome tent has lost it's water repelling abilties...Scott
It may not be worth the cost and effort. I know it may be emotional but buy a new tent.

Let the kids campout in the back yard in dad's old tent while you tell them your stories and adventures using it.

It may spark their spirit of adventure in them.
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:54 PM   #4
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uh oh...I'm asking my "camping gear friends" how to not buy a new tent.
Next, I was going to ask my barber how to keep this hair out of my eyes!
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Old 01-02-2010, 08:43 PM   #5
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uh oh...I'm asking my "camping gear friends" how to not buy a new tent.
Next, I was going to ask my barber how to keep this hair out of my eyes!
When all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail....

Yep - you are more likely to get 'buy a new one' advice than anything, but Rick is right - 20 years is a long life for a tent. There are definitely some good deals out there right now...
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Old 01-02-2010, 09:43 PM   #6
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Doesn't L.L.Bean have a lifetime warranty on their brand of merchandise? I would call them.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:33 AM   #7
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Doesn't L.L.Bean have a lifetime warranty on their brand of merchandise? I would call them.
They do. But at some point I think it's fair to ask whether it's worth it or not. Some things fail after many years because of a defect or failure to live up to promised performance. Other things just deteriorate. Just a thought, that maybe it's time for a new tent, and not make it L.L.Bean's problem after so many years.
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Old 01-04-2010, 02:44 PM   #8
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Consider Granger's Tent Waterproofer:

http://www.rei.com/product/794913

http://www.altrec.com/grangers/super...ing-for-fabric
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:27 PM   #9
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I've never had any problem returning even quite old items to llbean. They're pretty cool about that kind of thing. I made it from 1st grade through college on one backpack from them that we kept returning every few years. What's the worse that can happen? They say no? you're not going to hurt the customer service rep's feelings.
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Old 01-04-2010, 05:47 PM   #10
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LL Bean's philosophy:



So your tent is worn out. Are you still satisfied? If so, the sale is complete. If not, LLBean will replace it.
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Old 01-04-2010, 06:02 PM   #11
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Interesting!
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Old 01-04-2010, 07:35 PM   #12
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LL Bean's philosophy:



So your tent is worn out. Are you still satisfied? If so, the sale is complete. If not, LLBean will replace it.
Excellent!
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:11 PM   #13
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Some have had relatively good success making their own waterproof (resistant?) fabric with a clear silicone and mineral spirits mixture and then applying it. Perhaps this would also work to re-waterproof your rainfly?
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:14 PM   #14
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I am not entirely comfortable with the "lifetime Warranty" approach. I think of the lifetime as the expected lifetime of use of the product, not the lifetime of the owner.
I usually expect there to be a transfer of goodwill between the shop and the customer. If the product demonstrated failure within a few years, or even 10 years, then yes, you have a good case of a dissatisfied customer, but you really need a bg set of cahoons to walk in there with a tent from 1989 and tell them that you are finally not satisfied with the product.

here's a thought, though - If you paid $200 back in '89, then amortized it is $10/year. pretty cheap. Take it back and explain you were happy with this tent up until recently and obviously since you are a long-time Bean customer - can they give you any additional discount on a new tent - you don't look like you are trying to take advantage and your showing you want to remain a repeat customer....

As for the Granger's tent waterproofing - that is silicon spray which provides repellency, not a coating that provides waterproofing - it acts like an anti-surfactant and increases surface tension so that water beads up and rolls off. However, these products usually wash off fairly quickly (ask anybody with a waterproof breathable jacket that "wets out" every time it rains...)
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:24 PM   #15
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The biggest waste of money was the $50 for the jars of waterproofing in an attempt to rewaterproof a 25 year old tent. Yup, an old 6 man base car camping Timberline that had given me several decades of satisfaction. Incidentally, bought in Bean's when it was a second floor walkup with not much more selling floor than my living room.

The best money I ever spent on a tent was when I stopped throwing good money away and bought the new tent. Yup, the new 6 man base car camping Timberline that is giving me several new decades of satisfaction.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:34 PM   #16
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Companies like L.L.Bean (and especially L.L. Bean) have built their business on the reputation earned for offering a lifetime warranty on their brand of product. Nobody should be made to feel guilty to at least ask such a company to stand behind their reputation and their well-publicized lifetime warranty. They might tell you that the lifetime of the product is past, but that's the worst-case scenario. You might also be offered a new tent at a reduced price. I say ask.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:00 PM   #17
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Companies like L.L.Bean (and especially L.L. Bean) have built their business on the reputation earned for offering a lifetime warranty on their brand of product. Nobody should be made to feel guilty to at least ask such a company to stand behind their reputation and their well-publicized lifetime warranty. They might tell you that the lifetime of the product is past, but that's the worst-case scenario. You might also be offered a new tent at a reduced price. I say ask.
I think the tread that said it best was "Are you still satisfied.?"

I often find myself asking the question and most times I am though sometimes I'm not and I address the question to them.

I had a sweater from LLBean and it was worn out. I was satisfied so I removed the LLBean label and gave it to the salvation army.
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Old 01-11-2010, 01:21 PM   #18
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I work for LLBean

While they are an accommodating company they are not stupid.

Are you sure that you have not gotten satisfaction from 20 years use?

Its NOT a lifetime guarantee. Its a customer satisfaction guarantee. Eyebrows raise when the code on the unit comes back with a year of manufacture of 1989. If you have only gotten two years of use and have a problem that is a different situation.

You can get yourself in a bit of hotwater by abuse of the customer satisfaction guarantee. There have been prosecutions.
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Old 01-11-2010, 05:57 PM   #19
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Way back when, say 30 years ago, I returned an item that I was dissatisfied with because I broke it. I should have eaten the loss , but I took advantage of the 100% lifetime guarantee. I have matured and would never take advantage again.
Well they showed me, Leon removed me from his mailing list!


Prosecutions? Wow, that is something!
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:36 PM   #20
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You can get yourself in a bit of hotwater by abuse of the customer satisfaction guarantee. There have been prosecutions.
I have a hard time believing that LL Bean has prosecuted a customer for something like this.



ANYTIME. This is a completely subjective guarantee. Whatever one's view of satisfaction is, LL Bean will back it up when it comes to their products, at ANYTIME. Now I wouldn't most items that was more than a decade old, but how one takes this guarantee is completely relative. I wouldn't think one way or another of someone depending on how they used this guarantee.

When my father was in the Navy way back in the 70s, he bought top of the line Bose speakers and stereo equipment. About 6 or 7 years ago or so they just stopped working. All of his other stereo equipment in this set up still worked fine. He called Bose, not for a replacement, but to see if they made those speakers anymore. Well they did not, but they did inform him that a top of the line, similar set of speakers was on their way to his house. Do you think he's ever bought anything besides Bose? Definitely not after that experience.

Especially today in a world where you can hardly call a customer service rep without speaking to someone who speaks English as a 3rd language, a reputable customer service and guarantee go a very long way with some people such as myself. Just like being made in the USA or being made in a natural, sustainable way.
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