What is tent doing service

Repair tent and awning zippers

«Make camping tents fit for spring»

The neighbor at the parking space is annoyed: The zipper on his entrance door to the Awning no longer closes. As a helpful neighbor and because you do not want to look into his awning all the time, offer your help and use your knowledge to repair awning zippers. Here you will receive valuable tips on the care of zippers and tools that you should always have with you for repairing zippers.

Zipping - the ingenious connection of lengths of fabric

Zippers are a wonderful invention of the modern age. With this ingenious system, lengths of fabric can be tightly joined together lengthwise, without using a lot of fabric due to overlapping. On jackets, travel bags, suitcases as well as on cases, trousers, tarps or tent entrances, such as on the awning or on the sleeping and living tent - you can use the zipper everywhere. In the tent there are usually several entrances one above the other, which can be opened and closed with zippers. Fly screens can be closed as required.

The zipper is already so firmly a part of our everyday life that we no longer pay any attention to it. All the more annoying when the zipper fails and no longer works. Is there an alternative to traveling with an open pocket? Is there an alternative not to lock the tent entrance in order to spend the night protected from prying eyes and animals? No, so what can you do to improve the service life and ease of use of your zipper?

Maintaining tips for zippers - spontaneously or with preparation

In spring, when the camping season consists of going through your belongings in your mind, adding to them and planning your vacation more specifically, you should also check whether the equipment is still working properly. If necessary, you can do this with "ancamping", a short camping stay around Easter, or a little later, depending on the weather conditions. Even during trial camping, however, it is more pleasant when the tent entrances close reliably, so it is definitely worth taking out your equipment and at least taking care of the zipper.

With the zipper, both fabric edges consist of numerous small teeth that are pushed into one another by the glider. The teeth hold reliably tight until the slider separates the connection again. In order for the glider to slide up and down easily, the teeth must be free of dust or mud. To clean a dirty zipper, it is recommended to apply a lubricant that softens and removes the dirt. The glider can then slide well again.

WD 40 is suitable as such a lubricant. The petroleum-containing oil is recommended for a wide range of applications, from door locks to bicycle chains to hinge oiling.

One of the numerous life hacks related to WD 40 is to repair stiff zippers. Simply spray on briefly, let it work in and try it out. Mostly dried-on dirt, rust or other adhesions loosen and the zipper can be used again.

Caramba oil is also a good contact agent for the zipper teeth. Like WD 40, Caramba is silicone-free and an all-rounder. However, silicone spray is also suitable for maintaining the zipper and is often recommended as the product of choice. To prevent sticking, you can also paint your zipper with a pencil: The graphite is applied between the teeth as a lubricant and ensures easy movement of the slider. By taking preventive measures, you save yourself having to clean the zipper. One of these aids can certainly be found at the campsite if necessary.

However, there are other reasons why the zipper suddenly fails.

Repairing tent zippers - from gnawing fabric to broken glider

Sometimes a piece of the fabric is pulled into the zipper and sticks there. The glider then neither wants to go backwards nor forwards, which is particularly annoying, as you can feel the fabric being shredded with every movement. Soap is an aid.

In liquid or solid form, it is carefully applied to the fabric and the glider is then moved bit by bit until the fabric comes free again.

Work slowly and carefully so as not to cause any damage. If nothing works anymore, you have to score the fabric with a pair of pointed scissors or a small knife underneath the glider until the glider runs again and repair the damage in the fabric later.

A small but unpleasant problem is when the zipper falls out when zipping. Often the only problem with a non-functioning zipper is that the glider can no longer be gripped because the guide for the fingers has broken off. This can be remedied by using a thread or a cable tie that is simply inserted into the eyelet and replaces the handle.

Sometimes the zipper has to be removed from a zipper.

To do this, proceed as follows: at the bottom there is a seam that ensures that the whole zipper stops and does not come out completely. This seam must be cut. You can then take the zipper out there and replace it with a new one. Check its functionality before you close the securing seam again.

The slider should zip up and have some friction. Most tent zippers have medium-sized gliders. If you have different zippers to choose from, test them all and choose the one that runs the most comfortably.

Zipper repair kit

If the slider can be pushed, but the zipper accidentally opens again, it may be necessary to squeeze the slider together or to open it a little wider. For this you need a pair of pliers, which should be included in every zip repair kit.

If a tooth is missing, you have to repair it professionally or replace the zipper completely. Check with the tailor about the cost. Compared to the cost of purchasing a new tent, you can usually get away with a professional replacement for less. In any case, it is more resource-efficient, if you don't need another model of tent anyway, you should have it repaired.

If so, you can sell the broken tent cheaply on the second-hand market, someone may take on the repair costs.

Repairing zippers and tent fabrics when camping is often not a big problem if you proceed carefully. All the more gratifying when you can stand by your fellow human beings with words and deeds and a suitable pair of pliers. That’s what makes camping a community.

BergerCampingCamping tentsDouble-handle sliderSpringCable tiesZippersRepairRepairTipsAwningTent2021-03-29