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Subject Topic: VANGO TENT - LEAKING
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Message posted by sterobinson on 28/8/2011 at 1:08pm
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Hi, Bought a large family Vango Maritsa 700 tent from outdoor world about 16 months ago.

Used it for a week last year - no issues. It never rained though.
Stored in house since.

Took it to Dorset last week. After a few hours rain the tent leaked badly - right through the roof - it just seeped through. Following morning, entire tent was flooded, and to save family holiday had to move into caravan on holiday.

My brother, who has a similar tent (not vango, his was outwell) was camping with us, his tent was totally dry all week. He was stunned by the failure of my vango tent - he inspected it and suggested that it had not been waterproofed ?

This was an expensive tent that I expected to live up to the high standards of my smaller vango tents that I use for weekends away with mates.

What has gone wrong here ? I have not approached vango or outdoor world yet and as its over 12 months old (but only used twice) do I have any claim for a repair or exchange ?

Many thanks for any responses ?


Message posted by Bob61 on 28/8/2011 at 1:35pm
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Welcome to UKCS.

I have never known any tent leak directly through the material. If there is a problem in the manufacturing of the material itself then it should be easy to prove that you bought it in that condition and providing you can prove where and when you bought it (receipt etc.) then it is worth contacting them and seeking their advice. Bearing in mind that tents aren't made individually, they are cut from large sheets of material, then other tents may well be the same and have been reported as faulty.

Having said that, I have to suspect that perhaps the tent was leaking through a seam and running to a central area on the material so it looked like it was coming from there...or...condensation can create a huge amount of water if the conditions are right. How many of you were in the tent? Were you cooking in the tent? Were all the vents open etc? All these things need to be considered. Perhaps erect it in your garden and play a hose on it to see if the problem still persists and if so, from where the water comes.

Hope this helps.



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Message posted by morgz84 on 28/8/2011 at 2:07pm
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Might be worth setting it up in a garden and spraying the tent with a hose or watering can and get OH to stand inside and find the leaks If as you seem to suggest, it is literally seeping though all parts of the roof and not just seams it seems (hoho) that the tent is not properly proofed. It could have just missed a stage at the factory? I think it is worth pursuing through the Sale of Goods Act but as it's after 6 months the burden of proof is on you to establish that it was faulty at purchase.

I've only had one seam leak on my Weathermaster which could have been down to cooking, it was in an area where the cooker is usually used.   I seam sealed it and the one opposite and now it's fine. I have used the cooker inside my other tents and never any leaks.

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Message posted by Valk_scot on 28/8/2011 at 4:25pm
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I'd do the hose test on it first. Synthetic tent flysheets aren't proofed as such, they're made up of a number of layers laminated together. It's a bit difficult to imagine that one of these layers has been missed out, ot that the lamination has failed this early in the tent's life. Does the fabric feel stiff or crunchy, or does it look milky? These are signs of delamination.

The most likely causes of water inside a tent are condensation, leakage through a seam and (as a very poor third) leakage through the fabric. Tents with a lowly 1500HH still meet the UK standard of water resistance in tents so I feel that since the Maritsa has a HH of 4,000 then it's less likely to be leaking through the fabric than suffering a severe case of condensation plus (possibly) leakage through the seams. So it's worth checking it out with a hose first. This will show up seam or fabric leakage very easily.I doubt you'll get an exchange or refund after

Condensation. It is indeed possible to end up with a groundsheet swimming with water due to condensation. (I've done it myself in a very inadequately ventilated Lichfield.) In very rainy conditions the air is saturated with water and the flysheet outer is kept cold by the rain, so excess moisture has no option but to condense out on the roof. How many people did you have in the tent? Were you cooking or boiling kettles? Wet dog or coats or towels? Did you have all the vents open and did you air out the tent once a day? I know you said the Outwell was unaffected but it would be a different design and (possibly) used differently as to cooking, people etc.

So yes, after you've tested and considered then you may still feel you've got a faulty tent. Start with the retailer. I doubt you'll get a refund or exchange after a full year but they may offer to send it back to Vango for testing. If you have photos or such of the problem, take them in too. They strengthen your case. Make sure the tent is clean and dry btw otherwise Vango won't touch it. Vango are pretty fair as to customer service in my experience and they will replace it if it's found faulty.



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Val.

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Message posted by morgz84 on 28/8/2011 at 6:15pm
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Quote: Originally posted by Valk_scot on 28/8/2011

I'd do the hose test on it first. Synthetic tent flysheets aren't proofed as such, they're made up of a number of layers laminated together.



Now THAT is something I didn't know Val. Is it therefore not possible to "re proof" a nylon tent?

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Ploppy son of Ploppy.

Message posted by krazykamper on 28/8/2011 at 6:22pm
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We camped last year with friends who also had a maritsa 700 on its first outing. We also had rain and their tent leaked really bad but not through the roof as you describe but at the windows. They had to leave early it was so bad. I believe it was a problem with alot of the models from last year. Our friends got a full refund from Go Outdoors which was good.

Try some of the suggestions folks have posted for you and see how it goes. Good luck and let us know how you get on.

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Message posted by Valk_scot on 29/8/2011 at 12:00am
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Quote: Originally posted by morgz84 on 28/8/2011
Quote: Originally posted by Valk_scot on 28/8/2011

I'd do the hose test on it first. Synthetic tent flysheets aren't proofed as such, they're made up of a number of layers laminated together.



Now THAT is something I didn't know Val. Is it therefore not possible to "re proof" a nylon tent?


It's perfectly possible to put a layer of proofing spray on a synthetic tent, but it's a bit of a waste of time with a leisure tent. It doesn't need reproofing till it's own inbuilt proofing has started to break down (due to cumulative  UV exposure causing delamination)....at which time the flysheet will be starting to become brittle, so it's on it's last legs anyway. Time for a new tent at this point, perhaps?

Some very hi tech synthetic tents that are used in extreme conditions do get reproofed on a regular basis but this is a sort of eggs and apples situation. Expensive technical tents are very different beasts from 2-seaon leisure tents.



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Message posted by nicola1972 on 29/8/2011 at 9:22am
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Also with new synthetic tents aren't you are supposed to spray them with hose pipe before 1st use to bring the fibres together (it said that on my Vango instructions from 2004 that i had from new)

We had a floor seem leak in that Vango but was very bad weather and no footprint and they sent some seem sealant. Current 2nd hand 2008 Vango hasn't leaked at all touch wood.

Just been in a Hi Gear Kalahari and it leaked through the door seems at the top but that was some horrendous weather, also you got a fine mist spray coming through the roof in the rain, even with that was as bad as original poster describes, we just had patches of wet by the doors.



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Message posted by Valk_scot on 29/8/2011 at 9:49am
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Quote: Originally posted by nicola1972 on 29/8/2011

Also with new synthetic tents aren't you are supposed to spray them with hose pipe before 1st use to bring the fibres together (it said that on my Vango instructions from 2004 that i had from new)


This is an absolute given with cotton canvas tents (light first rainfall will do nicely) but with synthetic tents the only fibres that have any possibility of swelling up is in the thread used for stitching. So it depends on what that's made of. 100% polyester thread won't swell, polycotton will, a bit. And if the seam is taped there's no necessity to weather the seams.

Sealing the seams is such a quick and simple job though. Many tent manufactuers recommend you do it anyway as a matter of course and some even supply a tube of sealant. Just paint it on using a small artist's paintbrush, on any seam which might be under stress. The roof seams are a classic place to need sealing, especially round toggle and hanging points where the stitching may be pulled slightly open with the weight of the inner or whatever. Give the tent 24 hours for the sealant to dry in situ then you're set for the season. Always worth taking sealant for using on site as well, just in case you do spring a leak. If you don't think you'll have 24 dry hours for the sealant to dry out before leaving, mark the leaky area with a soft pencil so you'll remember where to do it first thing next trip.



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Val.

Northern Campsite


Message posted by sterobinson on 29/8/2011 at 8:05pm
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Many thanks for the responses.

I do not think it was condensation. No cooking in tent, only 2 adults and a toddler. Tent open most of the time.

Some really advice, so I will clean it up, try a hose, and check to see what happens. Will also give Go Outdoors a call too.

Thanks again.

Steve

Message posted by happycampers98 on 30/8/2011 at 4:58pm
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My vango amazon leaked this weekend. Had it for 14 months. Got it from towsure but they don't want to know as its over 12 months old. Vango have said to print off a repair form and take it into tissues but I don't know what this will achieve. Not only had it leaked like a sieve but 2 of the tension straps have snapped as well. I'm not sure what else to do....any advice?

Message posted by Speedcamp on 30/8/2011 at 5:28pm
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Quote: Originally posted by happycampers98 on 30/8/2011
My vango amazon leaked this weekend. Had it for 14 months. Got it from towsure but they don't want to know as its over 12 months old. Vango have said to print off a repair form and take it into tissues but I don't know what this will achieve. Not only had it leaked like a sieve but 2 of the tension straps have snapped as well. I'm not sure what else to do....any advice?

Vango do an extensive guarantee so I'd have thought this would cover the tension straps and any obvious error during the proofing process. They also can arrange repairs.

Must admit, I often do repairs or improvements myself just with a domestic sewing machine or using supplies obtained from online tent repair accessories retailers or the local haberdashery. This last weekend I put another row of stitching around the zip on the inner tent of our Kairos where it could have done with one for added robustness. We've also Tenaceous tape reinforced a taped seam on our Kampa tent, added extra toggles and loops for the inner tent divider on our big Vango and made condensation catchers for our Coleman tent along with reducing the pressure of the poles on the ring and pin fitting that is recognised as overly tight on the Coleman.

With the heavy rain a few weeks ago, the rain cover over one of the zips on our Columbia got blown back in strong winds so we had a small amount of leaking through the zip at the bottom, but we'll minimise this with waterproofing spray over the fabric part of the zip. Obviously the zip teeth are never waterproof, but that's where the zip's rain cover comes in. Seams in contrast can be readily seam sealed with one of the Seam Sealing products. 

Note: Condensation will run to low points and then drip (e.g. from toggles) and can make quite a puddle when there are several people breathing out moist hot air in a sealed tent, cooking or wet coats (an adult supposedly breaths out a pint of moisture a night). Fine mists from the roof of the tent are more often than not condensation being dislodged by rain hitting the top of the tent.

However, if you are getting large drips repeatedly forming and dropping on mass from the roof of the tent not near a seam or an obvious low point you might have an issue or the odd drip may indicate a pin-prick hole sealable with such as Tenaceous tape.

I hope this helps...



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Message posted by timpro on 30/8/2011 at 8:30pm
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I've got to say something about this post!!!!
I have recently returned from a week in Bournemouth on our third night we had medium heavy rain if u can get my drift?
In the morning my friend (owner of a Vango Maritsa 500!!!!) asked for some tea to warm up they had to spend the night in their car!!! I was mad as I have a Montana and could of accommodated them !
Anyway back to the tent ! I walked in and it was like a monsoon !! It was still raining and it was still raining inside the tent !!!!! Infact it was just pouring through the roof!! In all places !!!! I'm sorry but THIS WAS NOT condensation And I feel this excuse is used way to many times as a get out clause !!
I've seen a few gripes about this tent!! Hopefully they have fixed it? Maybe my friends tent was from the same batch??
It was so bad I dove my friend to Southampton to buy a new tent !!! An outwell Nevada which stood up to a storm two days later with no leaks and boy was it a storm flooding everywhere but a dry tent
He has had the tent collected by the retailer who has sent it to Vango 3 weeks no answer yet But he wants his money back he has lost all faith in Vango and looking at this post it seems he won't be the last!

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Message posted by grahamy on 30/8/2011 at 9:00pm
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i am sure the maritsa 700 had bad reviews last year, mostly about leaks !

Message posted by riddles on 31/8/2011 at 5:35pm
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Just to add to the issue, my Vango Tigris 400, and the side extension leaked Friday night

I didn't take any photos (mostly as my phone ended up in a puddle ) but it was leaking directly through the fabric.

I must admit I just assumed that it exceeded the hydrostatic limit for the fabric (the water droplets were about golfball sized & hurt!), but looking at the above I'm now not sure.

If it was that, would re-proofing help, or is it time to persuade my DW we need to change the tent a couple years early...?

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Message posted by peelaaa on 13/9/2011 at 9:45pm
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My tent a wild country halo 73 leaked the last time I used almost 2 weeks ago. It leaked from the porch area which has the flysheet covering it. The main part of the tent was fine. The main part has an inner tent covered by the flysheet.. The porch only has the flysheet above it, single skin. This is the first time it has leaked EVER. I have camped in very bad weather a few years back and all was dry.The rain seems to store on the porch and drips through gradually, it isn't a constant stream of water. When the wind blows the porch lets more in. Is it faulty? Its about 4 years old.

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