I just got done painstakingly spraying $150 of new waterproofing on Lee’s Soulpad tent.
I left it up in the rain to store stuff for a few months when I was on a push to get out of my house before the sale. He had washed it without re-waterproofing it, and it ended up getting mildewed from water that had pooled inside despite my diligent attempts to keep it bailed. I agreed when I borrowed it I would re-waterproof it, not realizing how expensive this would be with aerosol silicone-based waterproofing. The coverage estimates on the bottles were off by a factor of at least 4, probably because they’re really meant for nylon and not the absorbent cotton the Soulpad is made from. When I sent it through and industrial washing machine twice to try to remove the mildew stains, the vinyl floor also got somewhat wrinkled from the dryer. Overall it still works fine, and we took it to the Texas Renaissance Festival this past weekend, but it still is covered with nasty looking mildew stains. He’d like me to buy it from him, which is really only fair. Although it’s a great tent, I don’t really want or need anything quite this big, so I’m probably going to resell it, likely for less than I’ll be paying him for it.
The thing that sucks the most is if I’d taken more time to wash it, pre-treating it with Oxyclean in a huge tub for a few days beforehand, I bet the stains would largely have come out. But now that it’s got $150 of waterproofing on it, both re-washing it or re-staining or painting it won’t be happening anytime soon. I might experiment with re-staining the inside with some kind of dye from inside in a froggy swamp theme or something.
I’ve wanted to make a smaller camping yurt that’s the equivalent to a pop-up tent ever since I committed to living in my 12′ one full-time. Now that I’m converting the van into an urban stealth camper, that project has probably been delayed indefinitely, or at least until I get a ticket to Burning Man again.