Longevity - Canvas Tent
Canvas Tent - Longevity Issues
Canvas Tents normally last 15-30 years depending upon on how well it is taken care of and how much the tent is used..
The main reasons canvas tents are ruined:
Putting the canvas tent away wet. Regardless of the water & mildew treatment on tents the canvas will get rot and mold if put away wet.
Holes in the canvas tent roof from stove sparks landing on the roof. Always use a fly to protect your roof.
UV deterioration. Canvas exposed to direct sunlight for lengthy periods will destroy canvas. Always use a fly.
Leaving a tent set up for extended periods of time. Water can collect on the roof in an "eave trough". The trough is the area at the bottom of roof just before the side horizontal tent frame poles. Canvas should be very tight on frame if set up for extended periods of time and a fly used. Fly should also be tight to avoid water and snow in an eave trough. Canvas saturated in water will rot and mildew regardless of water mildew protection applied. There is no warranty for eave rot.
Snow loads. Canvas tents are not designed for heavy snow loads like a wooden structure. Houses have rafters every 2 feet to carry the weight of snow on the roof. If you plan on leaving your tent set up during winter you need to have at a minimum rafters every 2 feet. Remove snow daily from the roof or every couple of days depending upon snow loads..
You must also have a fly/tarp on your tent. A poly fly allows snow to slide off much more easily than canvas.
The tent and fly must be very tight to prevent snow, rain and ice from collecting in the eave trough. The more water and ice accumulates in the eave trough the deeper the eave trough becomes. Ice and water in the eave trough can collapse a tent.
Not securing tent properly in high winds. A tent is just like a sail and will blow away if not roped and staked down properly. Use a minimum of 18" stakes in high winds for each eave grommet. Also secure tent with rope and stakes at ridge grommets.
Not using a fly/tarp. A fly protects your tent roof fand significantly increases tent life span.