Air Tents / Tips You Should Know:
Air tents are the new camping must have and Air Tents are a very well designed. O'Meara Camping believe that there are a couple of things everyone should know before considering buying an Air Tent.
- New to the Market.
Air Tents are relatively new to the industry and there is not that many Air Tents in circulation. People know very little about Air tents. If something goes wrong customers don’t know how to fix them and other campers have no idea at all how to do repairs.
- More Expensive.
The cost to produce an Air tent is still an expensive process and therefore the sale price of these tents reflect this. Many people believe that the Air tent due to its cost price should be indestructible. Please remember the Air tents are still only held up by “Air”. Camping in the elements, heavy rain and the Irish winds it’s worth remembering that no tent is “bricks and mortar”.
- Heavier & Bulky.
The Air tents are heavier and bulkier then the pole tents of the same or similar model.
Air Tent Pros:
- The fabric is generally a heavier grade normally 150Denier.
- The Air tubes are zipped into the tent and are not stored separately.
Air Tent Cons:
- Easy to put up. An air tent can be very quickly set up by 1 person. You can now purchase a tent for a family of 8 and not need any help to erect it.
- You can also take down and put away your tent yourself. This might take a little bit of practice as the bags provided for all tents are tight.
- Peg First + Pump + Guy ropes = Done.
- Air tubes can bend but don’t break in wind so you should no longer ever have the issues of having to replace a pole mid camping.
- Modern, different, easy, an air tent stands out from the rest of tents on site.
- Fast to put up and again take down just minutes. What more could you ask for?
Situatons O'Meara camping have come across:
- More expensive then the same size tent in a Fibreglass version. In many cases, almost double the price.
- The weight is heavier than the fibreglass pole tent. Air Tents can range up to 45Kgs in weight.
- You will need enough boot space as the air tent takes up a large amount of room.
- Requires a pump. So, don’t forget this and always have a spare.
- Air tubes deflating: Kampa our main Tent supplier have a 2-year Air Tube guarantee and therefore your tubes should not “just go down”
- There are many reasons an air tube can deflate.The reasons are as follows:
- The close off cap / air intake valve is not closed fully or tightened enough.
- The rubber behind the self- sealing valve is loose, missing or bent. Rubber not sealing can allow air out of your tube.
- You have over pumped your tubes and caused your rubber bladder to stretch or expand beyond its specification. Thus, the tube has perhaps burst or started to leak air.
- Your air tube is faulty. In this case, you are covered under warranty. Replacement tubes can take a couple of days to order in. They would not always be available on the day of ordering.
- Your air tube has a hole in it. Holes can be patched on site like a bicycle tube. Patch kit is normally provided with new air tents by the supplier. if they are not supplied we advise you do not go camping without first getting one.
- Air Tubes Bending (First possible reason) On most of the Air Tent models I have seen the tubes are internal and sit on a Velcro base at each side of the tent. The tubes can move and come away from these Velcro base sections causing the tube to bend or look off line. It is easy to fix just deflate the tube and place the tube back in the correct position. Re pump.
- Air Tubes Bending (Second possible reason) Air Tubes can also tend to twist within its zipped compartment. This usually only happens to models which have an internal air connection valve. It can also happen on older models of air tents. The Air Tube has a natural angle or bend just like a steel pole would have. The angles are positioned at the top right and left hand side of the tube. If the tubes twist then this angle will be wrong and start to face in the wrong direction. The air tubes will start to bend inwards rather than outwards.
- Front or Back Tube collapsing in on your tent: Most tent models come equipped with Guy Ropes or Buckle Straps which give tension to the front and the back of the tents. If the buckle straps are not supplied and suggested as “An Optional Extra” I advise that you ought to have them. These buckle straps are very important to use as the front tube and back tube slant to the ground. Because of these big sails of fabric (Front & back of tent) the wind tends to force this fabric inwards. Without the guy ropes or buckle straps in position and well pegged with good strong pegs the “wind will win”. You must have these ropes in place and pegged.
- Under Inflated Tube: The tube can sag not support the material properly if under inflated, Experience is the best teacher in this case.
- Zips broken or will not close: As the air tent is been inflated have the zips pre-closed. As the material tensions the room for the zip to close becomes less and less. If you find the material too tight to close your zips you may have to deflate the tent and start over.
- Leaking: Leaking is something Air Tube tents have battled with since the beginning. The Tubes are pumped with cold air from a manual pump and generally at a pressure of somewhere between 5-8 psi. At night, the outside temperature drops and most campers have a heater on inside their tents. Air in the Tubes is still cold and when the hotter warmer moist air hits the cold tubes it turns to moisture. The moisture can then either drip or run down the tube. The moisture can even puddle at the base of the tubes. It may not have been raining at all for this phenomenon to occur. Even if it was raining you must see is it water that is leaking through from outside or is it the moisture / condensation on the tubes. It is almost certainly condensation.
- There is very little you can do about condensation other than ventilation and camping at night can be cold. Either live with a small bit of moisture or turn off the heaters. If your tent is leaking rain water, then of course it is covered under a 12-month warranty. If you are outside your warranty and your tent has started to leak rain water; you may have to reproof your tent or see if there is any damage to the skin of your tent. Reproofing is a good practice to follow always.
- Pumps: Most tent manufacturer’s supply their Air Tent models with a Double Action Hand Pump. Double action meaning the pump will continue to pump air into the tube on the Up and Down motion. Some pumps will have a built-in PSI reader on the pump letting you know how much air you have pumped into your tent. Most people have purchased 12 volt or electric pumps for size and convenience but these DO NOT work on the air tubes. Any plastic hand pump can break! and trust me they do. Please we recommend that you have at least 2 hand pumps with you when going camping with an Air Tent. Most pumps have been damaged in storage or transport. Some pumps fail when you are either too strong or too forceful with the pump. +