Author Topic: Tent pole failure  (Read 468 times)

richardh1905

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Tent pole failure
« on: 17:37:06, 31/05/19 »
The front pole on my trusty tunnel tent failed last night - I heard a loud crack when I undid the zipper; no obvious cause at the time but closer inspection in the morning revealed that the pole had fractured completely at the joint near the apex of the tent, where there is a bent section.


Mull Head, 4am sunrise, June 2018

I've managed to repair the break using a piece cut from a strong aluminium cylindrical peg (ex army), and it is probably stronger than it was, although slightly more difficult to thread through the pole sleeve. Tip - fill the tube with tightly packed sand before bending, to stop the tube collapsing.



The blue covering the end of the existing poles is heat shrink sleeving, added to make the poles a snug fit in the new bent piece.

I'm pleased with the repair BUT whilst inspecting the other pole sections, I noticed several hairline cracks in the outer poles where they have a thinner inner piece added to join to the next pole. These appear to be caused by the dimples pressed into the outer tube to make it grip onto the inner. These renders the tent unsuitable for use in high winds, in my opinion - only a matter of time before the poles split. And I've just discovered another hairline crack in one of the 'female' pole ends!


Hairline crack, one of many. Plus lots of dog hairs on the carpet - time to get the hoover out!

I've come to the conclusion that the tent is beyond economic repair. I'm not going to try buying new poles and sawing them to length, as the tent only cost me 60.

RIP StormShield Ultralite.
« Last Edit: 17:53:10, 31/05/19 by richardh1905 »

richardh1905

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Re: Tent pole failure
« Reply #1 on: 17:42:50, 31/05/19 »
A few questions:

1 - has anyone else experienced a failure where a pole has been formed into a small radius bend? Seems to me as if this could be a weak point in the tent design.

2 - has anyone else experienced cracking of alloy poles where dimples have been pressed into them?

3 - are the dimples just a feature of a cheap tent? I would have thought that bonding the inner tube with a suitable glue would result in a much stronger joint, as this would not deform and stress the hard alloy tube.

richardh1905

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Re: Tent pole failure
« Reply #2 on: 17:46:37, 31/05/19 »
So I'll be wild camping in a vintage Saunders Jetpacker for a while; very cramped, but I'm not going to think about buying a new tent until I have moved south.


Dingies Howe, Orkney, April 2018

I was thinking about selling this tent - glad that I didn't!
« Last Edit: 17:50:21, 31/05/19 by richardh1905 »

ninthace

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Re: Tent pole failure
« Reply #3 on: 17:49:06, 31/05/19 »
If you had a fine drill, in theory  you could drill the end of the cracks to stop then propagating but it looks like it is too late for some of them. Well it worked for aircraft canopies anyway.
Solvitur Ambulando

richardh1905

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Re: Tent pole failure
« Reply #4 on: 17:55:12, 31/05/19 »
I suspect that it is too late for that, ninthace. Nice idea, though.


Gives me an excuse to buy myself a new tent this autumn!
Which reminds me, TrekkerTent still haven't published details of the updated Saor on their website.

richardh1905

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Re: Tent pole failure
« Reply #5 on: 18:10:40, 31/05/19 »
The only thing that I can think of doing is buying a section of larger diameter alloy pole that fits snugly over the existing pole, and cutting it into short lengths to make collars which can be epoxy glued over the cracked sections. Not sure whether it is worth the bother though.

Pitboot

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Re: Tent pole failure
« Reply #6 on: 18:49:57, 31/05/19 »
"I've managed to repair the break using a piece cut from a strong aluminium cylindrical peg (ex army), and it is probably stronger than it was, although slightly more difficult to thread through the pole sleeve. Tip - fill the tube with tightly packed sand before bending, to stop the tube collapsing."


At last a use for an IPK peg!!
If I should fall to rise no more,
As many comrades did before,
Then ask the fifes and drums to play.
Over the hills and far away.

Owen

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Re: Tent pole failure
« Reply #7 on: 19:12:16, 31/05/19 »
A few questions

2 - has anyone else experienced cracking of alloy poles where dimples have been pressed into them?

3 - are the dimples just a feature of a cheap tent? I would have thought that bonding the inner tube with a suitable glue would result in a much stronger joint, as this would not deform and stress the hard alloy tube.


2, Yes every pole I ever had it's just the way they go. I have a box of old tent poles and a small pipe cutter. It's an easy job to replace the broken section.


3, No happen to expensive ones too.

alan de enfield

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Re: Tent pole failure
« Reply #8 on: 19:28:46, 31/05/19 »

2, Yes every pole I ever had it's just the way they go. I have a box of old tent poles and a small pipe cutter. It's an easy job to replace the broken section.


3, No happen to expensive ones too.



I bought some 'pole repair pieces' from ebay - only a few pennies but made from the same 'stuff' and cut to length already - you can even put a 'bend' in one so its ready for use.


I carry a couple of these, a couple of 'pole end nipples' and a few other bits in my 'peg-bag'.



Just an example (may not be the same size as your poles)




https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/4pcs-Aluminum-Alloy-Pole-Emergency-Kit-Outdoor-Camping-Tent-Repair-Split-Tools/323675583788?_trkparms=aid%3D555018%26algo%3DPL.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20140122125356%26meid%3D795da449d4744f228be442f3726b767a%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D3%26rkt%3D7%26sd%3D264340161994%26itm%3D323675583788&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

richardh1905

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Re: Tent pole failure
« Reply #9 on: 19:31:00, 31/05/19 »
At last a use for an IPK peg!!



Is that what they are called? They come with a groundsheet and some paracord (a lot of paracord), presumably for covering a foxhole?
« Last Edit: 19:41:48, 31/05/19 by richardh1905 »

richardh1905

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Re: Tent pole failure
« Reply #10 on: 19:33:33, 31/05/19 »
I bought some 'pole repair pieces' from ebay..



I've seen those, Alan, internal diameter rather too large for what I have in mind as a permanent repair. I could just buy a whole new set of poles from China for about a tenner. But who knows what quality they will be?

Owen

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Re: Tent pole failure
« Reply #11 on: 19:38:01, 31/05/19 »

Is that what they are called? The come with a groundsheet and some paracord (a lot of paracord), presumably for covering a foxhole?


Is the right answer.

richardh1905

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Re: Tent pole failure
« Reply #12 on: 19:39:06, 31/05/19 »
2, Yes every pole I ever had it's just the way they go. I have a box of old tent poles and a small pipe cutter. It's an easy job to replace the broken section.

3, No happen to expensive ones too.



I've just had a look at the poles of my ancient Wild Country Trisar - they have some quite deep dimples, but absolutely no sign of cracking. Perhaps they heat treated them AFTER forming the dimples.

Owen

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Re: Tent pole failure
« Reply #13 on: 20:04:27, 31/05/19 »
I'm really not sure I've always just put it down to metal fatigue.

Pitboot

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Re: Tent pole failure
« Reply #14 on: 20:22:48, 31/05/19 »

Is that what they are called? They come with a groundsheet and some paracord (a lot of paracord), presumably for covering a foxhole?


Yes, Individual Protection Kit. Comes in a green pack with idiot instructions. You dig a slit trench deep enough to lie in, spread the sheet over the top, support with the paracord and pegs, then pile on a minimum of two feet of damp earth.
You then crawl in and it should protect from initial gamma and neutron radiation and some blast if you are not too near ground zero.
Never saw one demonstrated and they were throw away items but everyone grabbed the pegs for bashas , the groundsheet for whatever, and the paracord was multi use too.
Glad you found a use for it!
If I should fall to rise no more,
As many comrades did before,
Then ask the fifes and drums to play.
Over the hills and far away.