Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Ideas, advice, tips, and tricks regarding shelter, shade, tents, and camping. Yes, this includes RV's too.
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Grazelda
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Postby Grazelda » Fri Sep 11, 2009 10:35 am

DoriumLux wrote:It isn't only the sun that poses the problem. It's dust on adhesive that also causes crap to pull off. Sounds like it is worth a try though!


How did the patch stuff work out DoriumLux? Did it hold as you hoped?

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Postby dragonpilot » Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:04 pm

I sewed triangular cut sections of Goodwill acquired baby blankets (fleece-like) to the mesh vents...worked great! Just a slight dusting inside and that can not be avoided. Plus covered bedding with a big sheet...all good!

Tent next to mine, interior was covered in thick dust. Me happy.
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Postby Lord Of Ruin » Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:03 am

I had plans to clamp a sheet of painter's plastic drop cloth over my vented ceiling.

I tested it at home and it worked fine.

But I decided to try a different tack last minute.

I erected my tent normally. My tent has a rain fly that also has it's own lighter poles. Instead, I put the fly over the top WITHOUT it's poles, but still connected the shock cord connectors at the 4 corners (Mine is a square Eureka Copper Canyon).

So essentially the rain fly was secured directly over teh roof vents.

Worked like a charm.

I also had a plastic painter's dropcloth (about $2 for a huge 20 X 40 one) that I tucked in between my tent wall and my inflatable mattress. Made my bed with blankets and pillows, etc.

Each day when I'd leave the tent, I'd simply pull the drop cloth up and over my bed to the ground. I'd then push the inf. mattress against the tent wall to secure it.

All my clothing was in plastic bags inside duffel bags on the far wall, so those were good.
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Postby roponor » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:00 pm

[quote="RedHeaven"]I just got this cheap pup in the mail! While it is a cheapie, its NO MESH except for the zip up windows! The top material is thin, but not mesh, so although its still gonna let fine stuff in theres no OPEN mesh. I think its gonna rock:

http://www.practicalsports.com/trek-233.html
[/quote]

So how did that tent work out for you last year? Was it worth the money?

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kman
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Postby kman » Thu Aug 12, 2010 1:41 pm

Rosalily wrote:I just thought of another idea, it's a little bit of work, but might be worth it if your tent goes with you everywhere like mine...

Hot Glue velcro (soft side) around the perimeters of all the mesh windows. And hot glue or sew velcro (tooth side) around fabric pieces cut to the shape of your window.

I'd do it on the outside of the tent with the soft side of the velcro so that when the covers are not in use you don't have to deal with scratchy stuff on your tent.

And on the outside b/c I imagine the dust might otherwise gather between the inside of the window and the cover, so that when you take them off you'll have a pile of dust to deal with. PLUS you can choose some cool funky fabric to pimp out the outside of your pad ;-D

Just use something other than hot glue.

Hot glue has a nasty tendency to melt when the heat of the playa spikes up.

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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby sharpstick » Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:55 am

I used ripstop nylon, tackstitched every foot or so with gorilla tape along all the edges. That lasted a couple years as a playa tent before the tape started to come loose. Ripstop does allow a small amount of fine playa dust to pass through. I ended up covering the entire ceiling and hanging down as far as possible with housewrap(Tyvek or cheaper "EasyGard" or "Pactiv") and 3M spray glue. That has held for another 2 or 3 years now. I've never seen a tent survive the playa this long before! we planned to junk it last year, but it's not dead yet!
I don't bother cleaning this tent anymore, but the best way to clean playa gear is to soak it in vinegar and Calgon water softener. Calgon loosens up that alkali dust.

2014 update:
I don't bother making a tent convertible for playa and other environments. Once it's a playa tent, it's always a playa tent. A cheap $100 cabin tent is good for 3 or 4 years at best. A true $400 four season tent with full length fly won't last much longer on the playa.

This year, I'm trying something new. We're using an old small dome tent for storage. The fly barely covers the screen ceiling and I KNOW that the wind will blow the dust right up under it and dump inside. I'm painting every square inch of it with latex paint. I started with regular paint, but found some latex roof repair that is much thicker. It will still need one touch up after the first application dries to close up a few pinholes. The only opening left will be the door, so it will get hot. A tent with multiple doors will be more livable, or you can leave some zip up windows intact.

I suspect this will last longer than the housewrap technique I used before. I'm surprised nobody has thought of paint before for this.

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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:01 am

I suspect that the paint will flake and chip when you repack it for transport.

May be a MOOP issue.
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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby sharpstick » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:15 am

The paint has completely enclosed the mesh. It might crack, or stick to itself, but I don't think it will go anywhere. I'll report in September.

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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby Dustyrusty » Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:21 pm

I machine- sewed old sheets over the outside of the large mesh ceiling vents of my large tent. The sewing took a couple of weekends because manipulating a large tent through a regular non-commercial sewing machine is a pain but very doable.

The only dust we had was from entry and exit during dust storms. Of course that was a year that it rained and we didn't put the rain fly on. A little damp, but it dried within an hour.

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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby shroom » Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:40 pm

nice ideas in here, thanks!
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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby AntiM » Sun Jul 27, 2014 4:43 pm

Y'all work too hard at this. We used to have a small tent with mesh ceiling vents. All we did was take a lightweight comforter, or a press-fiber blanket, and spring clamp it down tightly to the exterior poles. Two spring clamps per pole, one high, one low. Not only did we have a nearly dust free tent, it cut down on ambient light and provided temperature stabilizing insulation. Always left the rainfly off, those things are dust scoops.

We use a larger comforter, and even with our new meshless tent, we still top it for insulation and light reduction. Campmates used a small microfleece throw successfully as dust prevention. This is their tent.

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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby Jackass » Sun Jul 27, 2014 5:12 pm

The choice is obvious. Seal your tent mesh with this stuff.

snake oil.jpg


Need more proof?? BOOOM!

snake oil claim.jpg



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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby sagittandy » Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:12 pm

How best to seal the bottom of this canvas tent door flap?
doorflap.jpg
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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby Elderberry » Sat Feb 28, 2015 5:20 pm

My first thought was to say Velcro, but then I remembered that playa dust gets through Velcro. We tried using it to attach the windows to the yurt so that we could remove them if we wanted to let air in. Big fail.
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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby sagittandy » Sun Mar 01, 2015 2:24 pm

Thanks Elderberry. That's amazing about velcro. I've heard it from other folks too.
I am now experimenting with magnets in the hem of the flap.
Still searching for better ideas...

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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby FIGJAM » Sun Mar 01, 2015 5:09 pm

Add a zipper.
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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby sharpstick » Mon Mar 02, 2015 5:32 am

sharpstick wrote:The paint has completely enclosed the mesh. It might crack, or stick to itself, but I don't think it will go anywhere. I'll report in September.

It worked great. It sealed better than any fabric.

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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby timschapker » Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:56 pm

I cover my mesh with a very thin cloth (you can use old sheets or ripstop nylon). I set up my tent, pin the fabric over the mesh. I use an extra long upholstery needle (about 8") to lightly stitch the fabric to the edge of the mesh. I then trim off the extra fabric. The long upholstery needle makes sewing pretty quick. I remove the fabric when I'm camping elsewhere and re-sew it for burning man.
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Janet Planet
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Gorilla Tape?

Postby Janet Planet » Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:36 am

I hate duct tape. I hate how it ends up with sticky residue all over whatever it touches.
But I'm considering taping nylon fabric over the mesh on my tent because I want to be able to remove it the rest of the year.

I don't have any experience with Gorilla tape.
Would it hold up on the playa?
Will it leave the same sticky residue on my tent that regular duct tape does?

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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Aug 08, 2015 9:55 am

It's thicker and stickier than duct.

And yes it will leave a residue.
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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby Janet Planet » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:03 am

Figjam! Dude!
They should make you a moderator.

So, I can assume that Gorilla tape will hold up on the playa?

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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby FIGJAM » Sat Aug 08, 2015 11:47 am

I wouldn't, but that was what you asked.

Anti M swears by clips or clamps, but I don't know what she uses.

Moderation doesn't look like fun to me!!! :wink:
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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby Canoe » Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:37 pm

Janet Planet wrote:...So, I can assume that Gorilla tape will hold up on the playa?

Many people have assumed that. Some assumed correctly. Many assumed incorrectly. The performance of Gorilla tape is very variable in heat, or anywhere else.
Unclear if this is batch quality assurance issues or tape that is old stock. The manufacturer will not publish its specifications. Independent testing indicates widely variable results, from dollar store tape through to some of the pro tapes. Gorilla tape - anywhere - and particularly on the playa due to the heat, comes with a huge YRMV. So if it's for something you want or need to work, I have to say skip Gorilla tape.

On-playa:
  • Some people get lucky with Gorilla tape or other generic duct tapes. They can fail if they're in the heat or sun, or simply fail period. Like Gorilla tape, some leave horrible residue on some surfaces and/or try to destroy them when being removed.
  • There are some professional duct/duck tapes ($) that have worked on the playa. Residue varies.
  • There's always the pro bi-direction filament packing tape ($) that is used for taping Hexayurt panels together. Hugely strong. Residue.
  • Aluminum foil tape holds, essential for some applications (hexayurt panel edges, radiant barrier sealing), but huge residue issue. Different thicknesses available.
  • Gaffer's Tape ($$$) works on the playa. Good adhesion. Removes easy with low/no residue. Many different colours available. (i.e., white for heat)
  • New comer is Stucco Tape. The red poly version (not the cloth versions - untested). Cheap. Widely available. Comes off with low/no residue. A tiny fraction of the cost of Gaffers.
  • Painter's/freezer tape works for some applications on the playa. I used it to seal an RV windows on both the inside and the outside. Held all week. (Not the "delicate surface" type. And, some failures in recent years: indication that they're making it cheaper with less adhesive now? or old stock?)
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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby bolamin » Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:49 pm

I have always owned cheap Coleman tents where all the mesh zippers shut except the top vent. Ventilation is mighty nice in the morning to let you get a few more hours of sleep. Can't imagine having a completely sealed tent.

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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby Janet Planet » Sat Aug 08, 2015 12:56 pm

Good point bolamin.

My tent has two big mesh doors that can be zipped open to reveal the mesh for ventilation or zipped closed to shut out the dust.
I want to seal off the ceiling mesh. My first burn in 2009 I had a tiny triangle of mesh at the top of my 2 person tent and the fly acted like a dust vacuum, sucking dust in and dropping it through the ceiling mesh.

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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby AntiM » Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:00 am

FIGJAM wrote:I wouldn't, but that was what you asked.

Anti M swears by clips or clamps, but I don't know what she uses.

Moderation doesn't look like fun to me!!! :wink:



Moderation isn't fun right now.

I use spring clamps. This is a campmate's tent. All it takes is a polar fleece throw and 8 clamps. No dust.

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Re:

Postby Janet Planet » Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:05 am

cunfuzelled wrote:i went to wall mart today to look for this stuff because i cannot get what i was gonna get and when i asked the lady in the fabric section about it and told her that i was using it for burning man she showed me this glue called "fabri-tac" which is the same glue on the botom of these sheets evidently and said she has used it for covering her mesh to go to burning man and after all she has to do is cut the fabric away from where she had glued it to the tent to reveal the mesh agian. she also told me that you can put the glue on the edges of loose cloth to stop them from freying and mooping all over the place. it is like sewing without the thread.


THANK YOU cunfuzzled!
I got some Fabri Tak and some ultralight ripstop nylon that had been coated with polyurethane. It was easy to use and I'm confident it will work well. I even tried a test piece where I peeled the pieces apart and it worked, leaving some residue but not sticky.

Brilliant!

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Re: Fantastic Way to Seal Mesh Tent Screens

Postby The Hustler » Wed Aug 19, 2015 1:39 pm

Heavy duty trash bags or Tyvek adhered to the windward side of the mesh would probably do the same thing with fewer seems.

If you really want to go pro, cover both sides of the mesh, but leave a small opening or window or something to allow some sort of ventilation.

It's not possible to dust proof a tent, since you track in the dust with you and some will blow in when you open the tent.

Another option is to get a large emergency blanket/tarp -- orange on one side, silver on the other, grommets in the corners -- and cover the whole tent, staking the tarp to the ground. That and sealed mesh should keep the tent cooler and less dusty.
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