/ Waterproofing my Phoenix Phreerunner

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Hastie - on 25 Apr 2013

I've got my dads old Phoenix Phreerunner tent which I've been using for years around the UK. However the groundsheet is getting a bit worn and is starting to let water in. I am just enquiring about the best way to fix this problem.

A small amount of water comes in at the seams, which I think can be stopped with seam sealant.

However the groundsheet itself leaks water through, it is a very light groudsheet and i'm not sure on the best method or product to waterproof it with.

If possible could you provide me with some information on re-waterproofing.

Thank you for any information
Will Hastie
martinph78 on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Hastie: Personally I'd go with fabsil
BigBrother - on 25 Apr 2013
In reply to Hastie: Use a sheet of plastic underneath the groundsheet. There is no way that you can reproof fabric at home to get the level of waterproofing required to make a groundsheet protect against wet ground.
Siward on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Hastie: For something that gets the sort of wear a groundsheet has to endure, I would seriously consider sewing a new grounsdheet in (providing the main tent is in good enough condition to warrant it). Dousing it in any sort of waterproofer won't help when its sitting in a wet bog!

That will cost though so I second the suggestion of a bit of PVC or similar underneath.
TobyA on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Siward:

> That will cost though so I second the suggestion of a bit of PVC or similar underneath.

That doesn't work terribly well in really soggy conditions though - water tends to get over the emergency groundsheet and still leaks through the real groundsheet.

It's annoying if the tent looks ok but a Phreerunner has to be a minimum of 20 years old now, so it maybe that the owner has to accept it has done its service and should be retired.
ScraggyGoat on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to TobyA: Very true, but there is no modern equivalent to the phreerunner. Looking at an old photo its remarkable how advanced the phreerunner was, one of if not the the first 'wing', the design essentially spawned the macpac microlight which has sold thousands, yet in gore-tex.

Amazing how a company can get to a time proof classic design (and for pheonix one of many such designs) and still go to the wall.
captain paranoia - on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Hastie:

Things like Fabsil won't make it waterproof, since they're water resistant treatments. You need to replace the original PU coating that provided the waterprooing.

Now, this will be tricky... The problem is that the PU coating has probably degraded, and any attempts to patch it will be temporary, as other areas will start to fail.

The ideal fix would be to replace the entire groundsheet with new material. A lot of work, or expensive.

An intermediate solution might be to apply a new coating, on the opposite side to the original PU coating (so the new coating won't fall off when the remnant of the old coating do). The PU coating is usually on the inside of the tent.

So, what to use? Well, one solution that has been suggested and used quite widely in the DIY gear world is to dilute silicone sealant with white spirit (anywhere between 1:1 and 1:4 has been suggested), and apply this to the fabric, using a brush.

iksander on 26 Apr 2013
In reply to Hastie: There is some really good, cheap light plastic sheeting available called polycro that they use for heatshrink secondary glazing. Very thin tough and light (just keep your hairdryer away from it) B&Q call it "Stormguard Secondary Glazing Film" 8
myserable old git - on 27 Apr 2013
In reply to iksander: That could be the answer !
MFB - on 28 Apr 2013
In reply to Hastie:

new tent i'm afraid
cadchimp - on 15 May 2013
I've got a few of these tents as I consider the Phreerunner to be the best solo and two up tent ever made. The groundsheet is a weak link possibly as it is very thin and likely to develop leaks over time. A couple of mine have had replacement groundsheets sewn in and the seam taping replaced as required. They are now as watertight as ever. Don't right it off as sewing in a new groundsheet is relatively simple in this model of tent as the lack of bathtub greatly simplifies the task.

These tents come up on eBay and go for not a lot of money today so selling yours is always an option. In fact I'd buy it from you if you think that replacing the groundsheet isn't an option.

The Phreeunner is an excellent foul weather tent and only the fire retardancy legislation in the USA killed the idea off as Goretext was deemed unsuitable for use in tents. This problem continues today sadly.

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