\ Canvas Tent Set Up

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When You Receive Your New Canvas Wall Tent FIRST DO THE FOLLOWING: Before using your new tent I recommend you wet it down on your frame. When wetting canvas wall tents, especially the seams for shrinkage, and also when it snows/rains, insure that you have wall stakes and guy ropes/side ropes on your new tent to insure it only shrinks the normal 1-3% shrinkage and that it shrinks evenly. If guy ropes and stakes are not used it may shrink more than 3% and unevenly and won't fit your internal frame properly. NOT REQUIRED IF YOU HAVE A FLY.

Setting up Internal Frame & Canvas Wall Tents:

  1. Remove rocks and sticks in set up area.
  2. Lay tent floor on ground where tent is to be located. By using a floor your tent will stay cleaner during set up and take down.
  3. Position angles and frame on floor in appropriate location for set up.
  4. Assemble frame except legs on one side. By installing legs on only one side of the frame, the ridge wil be 5-6' high to allow you to easily drape tent over ridge. If your tent has a tall roofline it is best to not install legs.
  5. Unzip all door zippers to prevent strain on zippers.
  6. Drape tent over frame. Fold the sidewalls in toward the inside of the roof to keep sidewalls off the ground.
  7. Put fly over canvas wall tent.
  8. Install legs on remaining side
  9. Adjust your tent to the frame. Do not pull hard on canvas wall tents or you will weaken seams and zipper doors. If tent is too tight you must cut down your frame rafters or tent length as necessary. The tent should be snug on the frame but not taunt or require any forcing to make it fit the frame.
  10. Over the lifetime of your canvas wall tent it may continue to shrink slightly and require you to cut down the frame.
  11. If your door zipper is tight you must cut down the rafters to reduce stress on the zipper.
  12. Place sod cloth under floor for an air seal and to prevent any rain water from getting on top of floor. Some campers that do not have a floor put the sod cloth to the outside to direct rain water away from area.
  13. Install stakes and guy ropes and tensioners. Stakes should be driven in at a 45º angle away from the canvas wall tents. Guy ropes are at the same angle as the tent roof or less depending on personal preference. If I am in an area with high winds I tie my corner guy ropes to trees, stumps or logs. Another method is to use 3' or 4' rebar stakes.
  14. Guy ropes. Cut your ropes 8-10 ' long depending on the angle you take the ropes down from your eaves. Tie one end of the rope to the eave D rings. Put the end of the eave rope through one end of tensioner then through the other end of the tensioner. Adjust guy rope and tensioners so there is a loop in the guy rope. Put the guy rope loop behind the stake. Adjust the tensioner to tighten the guy rope.
  15. If rain is possible, dig a 4-6" wide trench 2-3" deep around your tent to insure water drains away from your area.
Rope Tightener

Taking Down Canvas Wall Tent:

  1. Clean your sod cloth. If your sod cloth is dirty you will get the inside of your tent dirty.
  2. Unzip your door zippers.
  3. Fold your walls to the inside so the inside of your tent always touches the inside of the walls to keep the inside of your tent cleaner.
  4. Take down in reverse order of assembly.

Internal Frames:

  • If your frame is not marked, color code your frame parts, i.e., legs, rafters and frame lengths at 1-2" from ends where the paint will be hidden in the angle joints.
  • Clean Your Frame if the frame has a coating that makes your hands dirty. Dirty hands results in a dirty canvas wall tent.
  • If you are making your own frame do not allow any shrinkage the first cut. After you place the tent on the frame you can decide how much more you need to cut the frame down. If you cut the frame too small initially you will have to repurchase all the EMT pipe.

Tent Maintenance:

  • Zipper Maintenance: Always have zipper unzipped when placing/removing tent over frame to prevent too much stress on zipper. As your roof shrinks the tent will fit tighter on the frame and increase stress on the door zipper.
    • Recommendation: Cut rafters down as necessary to prevent unnecessary stress on zipper. You do not want to be camping in cold weather and have an unserviceable zipper.
  • Mildew: If you have mildew on your canvas wall tent mix 2 cups of bleach in a 5 gallon bucket. Wash only the area with mildew. A tent with mildew will leak at the mildew spot regardless if treated with bleach.
  • Washing Tent: Use only mild detergent like "Woollite". Use a hose and scrub lightly.
  • Storage: Never store a damp or wet tent. Always let it dry naturally. Your tent will get mildew if stored wet regardless if you have a mildew treated canvas.
  • Cleaning: Alwasy brush off caked on dirt or mud (let mud dry) with a soft brush.
  • UV Rays: Long exposure to the sun's UV rays will damage all canvas wall tents. A fly is recomended to prevent UV damage if you set up your tent 2-3 weeks or longer annually. A fly also keeps your roof clean, snow slides off the roof better and acts as another weather barrier.
  • Leaking Seams: Use Canvak or a tent seam sealer to stop leaking seams or purchase a fly.
  • Stoves or Lanterns: Keep stoves, propane cook stoves and lanterns away from canvas.
  • Set up Location: Be aware of which trees emit resins and avoid setting up your canvas wall tent under these types of trees.
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