How to Fix a Tent Pole?
What are Tent Poles?
Tent poles are quite an investment and can also be quite expensive to replace. Infact, to repair a fiberglass tent pole may be more expensive than to buy a new one. So it’s always better to do your best in order to keep the poles in good working condition and try not to damage them in the first place.
However, tent poles are usually of fiberglass and may break as a result. Fiberglass is stronger than it appears, but you should never test its limits by putting weight on it or standing on it. If the pole snaps, you’ll end up with a bigger mess to clean up and perhaps an injured foot if the pole hits you!
What Matters ?
Most important is how you tackle the tension of the poles, the strength of the fabric which is being held up by them and the stakes that attach everything to the ground. If you know how to fix a tent pole, you’ll also want to ensure that the fabric has been properly attached and evenly tensioned.
Materials Needed to repair a tent pole
- Tent Pole Repair Kit (usually includes one pole connector & several splints)
- Heavy Duty Glue (use a glue that is supposed to be used with fiberglass)
- Sand Paper (grit depends on the fabric, usually 200+ grit will work fine, but if you can find something more precise for your particular tent it will help)
- Spare tent pole (if you have one, sometimes it’s just better to replace the broken pole)
6 Steps to Repair a Fiber Glass Tent Pole
1. Carry a Spare Pole for Each Affected Area or Purchase Repair Kits When You Buy Your Tent
This may be an obvious step but nevertheless extremely important. Upon purchasing a new tent, check with your retailer (or purchase online) whether they supply repair kits for individual sections of your chosen model of tent (a pole, including the joints). If so, stock up on extra sections and carry into the field for emergencies .So if you’re willing to invest a few dollars and $4 in a duct tape, you may just be able to save your tent!
2. Ensure the Fabric is Not Frayed or Torn
If you were unlucky enough to land a puncture because a branch fell on your tent roof, it may be possible to repair a fiberglass tent pole before proceeding with the replacement of a pole section or even a complete pole. Use a needle and thread or if you have it, duct tape to fix tears no larger than two inches in length. If you’re not too comfortable sewing , just use the duct tape that’s what it’s there for! Be sure to avoid placing any over stress on the area while you attempt to mend the tear. Replace immediately if stitching becomes difficult as you risk permanent damage by forcing through holes.
3. Inspect Poles Carefully
Next, to repair a fiberglass tent pole, you need to start at one end of the fiberglass pole and run your hands up and down every section, pulling any joints apart. Look for shaved or frayed spots that may indicate a need for replacement.
4. Remove Old Tape from Sections
If you have a repair kit, remove the old tape carefully so as not to tear it. Otherwise, use a sharp knife to cut through the existing tape in order to separate sections of poles. This should be done while being careful not to slice into the pole itself which could result in weakeness at this point of connection . The reason why you want to remove this is because a new duct tape does NOT stick to old duct tape! If you do decide that using duct tape might just work , then go ahead and try it out on a section which is not visible.
5. Apply New Tape to Sections of Tent Pole
If you have a repair kit, follow the instructions provided to repair a fiberglass tent pole. The instructions will be on how best to apply the tape. If you are using duct tape, be sure that it is with firm pressing into place with no air bubbles or tears/holes. In most cases, this will mean that you need to overlap the old and new pieces by approximately 50%, ensuring there are no spaces between layers of tape. When complete, begin from one end and use your hands to run up and down each section a few times in order to tighten the fabric around it so as not to lose tension later whilst erecting your tent! You can also try putting a bit of pressure on the middle of the pole with your knee while doing this.
6. Assemble Poles
Finally, to repair a fiberglass tent pole, lightly tap two pole sections together until they fit tightly, then tape them together using one of the methods explained above. You must also be sure to overlap at joints by about 50%. Test for stability and return to step 3 if necessary. Continue in this manner until you repair or replace all sections. Next, you are ready to continue putting up the rest of your tent.
To sum up with, it is not a hassle to repair a fiberglass tent pole as far as the process goes. Just be sure to do the whole job right and you’ll be ready to head back out there . Further, repairing your own tent pole saves time and money . You will be more than ready to camp next weekend.
Best of luck!
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