Condensation in Oztent

Submitted: Monday, May 25, 2009 at 19:07
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Hi guys just back from 3 week trip and had an issue with condensation in the oztent. Tried opening windows etc but still no luck. Is a fly the answer??

By the way I think I was second Exploroz member across Eyre Creek west - east after Chris and Debbie from Sunshine Coast who beat me by hours!!
According to modern astronomers, space is finite..a very comforting thought particularly for people who can never remember where they left things

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Reply By: Bandicoot - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 19:30

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 19:30
Condensation is caused when the temperature of the fabric on the inside of the roof (or walls) is lower than the dew point of the air inside the tent.
If the outside air temperature drops (as it does at night), the temperature of the tent canvas drops. With people sleeping inside (or other activities??), moisture is given off and the humidity inside the tent increases. This increases the dew point temperature inside the tent, making condensation inevitable.
There's no way to avoid this, except to not sleep in the tent (!) or to have a good ventilation flow through the tent (to keep the humidity and temperature inside the same as outside), but this largely defeats the purpose of the tent.
Putting a fly over the tent will only work if it provides a double insulation layer for the tent. This is generally only marginally effective.
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AnswerID: 366665

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 19:33

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 19:33
Have not experienced condensation in our Oztent but if conditions are present where you get it despite having the small vents open, then I would say yes, a fly should provide insulation between the tent surface and the outside air.

From the Oztent web site:-
OZTENT FLY

"The OZTENT Fly is a great addition to keep the tent cooler and as a protector from bird droppings and tree sap. It is useful in areas of high condensation. It is also great to keep the tent drier in wet weather but it is not necessary for waterproofing the tent.

The Fly zips to the tent above the awning and provides extra cover over the sleeping area of the tent. It comes complete with two extra poles, all ropes, pegs and carry bag."


Bill.
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AnswerID: 366666

Reply By: Marion - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 20:07

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 20:07
Hello we have a oztent and we were having trouble with condensation we bought the fly and presto no more drips. Well worth buying the fly.

Hope this helps

cheers Marion
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Reply By: Member - Ingo57 (NSW) - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 21:41

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 21:41
G'day mate,

I guess Oztent have not picked up there act, we bought our first OZ tent back in 05 or 06 with the same problem in cold climates........ventilation my butt, we tried everything!!! never seen anything like it in a tent & our southern Cross doesn't condensate completely closed up at 6 degrees below.

The only thing that worked for us was getting a full refund after I think it was the third one replaced under warranty because of this exact prob your posting about. I have read about this prob a lot on this forum

We loved the OZ tent design/concept but in the end they are just crap for the $$$$ you outlay.

Apologies for not being any help but feel It must be known.


I started a post on condensation after a trip in 2006 POST:4497 and there is many more If you search.
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AnswerID: 366711

Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Monday, May 25, 2009 at 22:57

Monday, May 25, 2009 at 22:57
Hi
Firstly, it is great to see safely across the Simpson, it is a great place and you have had a ball.

Like others have said above, given the right conditions, condensation will happen in ANY type of tent, even inside of a swag. I have seen it in the most expensive of all canvas tents and canvas camper trailers, so do not let anyone tell you they are a crap tent. We have the RV4 with Fly and for us it is the best tent that we have ever owned.

For the record, we also have a Southern Cross Tent as well, so I can comment on both tents, both being expensive and both very different.

Get a fly and open the windows more for ventilation and you will be happy with the results.

Cheers

Stephen
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AnswerID: 366737

Follow Up By: Member - Ingo57 (NSW) - Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 13:29

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 13:29
G'day Stephen

"condensation will happen in ANY type of tent" I have to disagree, my southern cross has been in the same conditions and nothing like the pic above. There were four other tents on that same trip & not one had the same problem as our new OZ tent?????

IMO Its the type of canvas that's used on the OZ tents "made in China for Australian conditions" (just doesn't work).

As I was told a fly will fix it all but that defeats the purpose of a 30 second tent.

This pic was the outside of the tent in the early morning that caused the monsoonal rain inside the OZ tent. Over 5 weeks of this we tried everything.Image Could Not Be Found

As soon as the sun hit the canvas we had to have everything out or it all got drenched.

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 13:57

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 13:57
Hi Ingo
When you have been camping as many times and places as we have, you will understand that I am in a position to give the true facts and ANY tent in the right condition will get condensation build up in the tent - canvas or synthetic type tents. Like I have stated above, we also have a Southern Cross Canvas tent as well, so I am in a position to comment on both tents. The OzTent is not made of the same canvas for sure as the Southern Cross, it has a more synthetic feel.

There are a few points that I can see from your photo that might explain the situation - ventilation and fly.

Without knowing exactly the situation, it looks like a very heavy frost on your tent, with no windows open for ventilation. Your back window is zipped closed for starters and no fly. If you had a fly over your tent, it will prevent a dew build up on the main part of the tent, which in turn will freeze as such in cold conditions. This frozen skin over the outside of the tent will in turn attract moisture from inside the tent, which will cause the moisture build up in the tent. Years ago while on a trip through Queensland for 3 months, the first thing that we purchased for our very heavy duty canvas tent was a fly, as each morning in the tropics was like a show, The fly fixed this straight away.

We have been in our RV4 with heavy rain, and we always have the back window fully open, it does not let the rain in and allows air flow through out the tent. I am sorry to hear that you were not happy with your OzTent, but with a few simple trials, you could have eliminated to a very great degree the situation that you encountered.

The most important thing of all, you are out there in our great country with your young family. These are the best type of holidays that you can give your family and you will look back on your photos in years to come and think of the great fun that you have had.

Take care and keep the windows open.

Cheers

Stephen

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Follow Up By: Member - Ingo57 (NSW) - Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 14:56

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 14:56
Stephen,

Border line of calling me a liar with your opening comments, everything I have stated is all true facts.....Im sorry you cant except it!!

I had 3 x Oz tents that were replaced under warranty and when the fourth was being offered, I demanded and recieved a complete refund ...... True Facts!!!!!

"Crappy Canvas" is used on the Oz tent so it needs two layers (fly) to keep it dry in cold weather.......True facts!!!!!

The Fly defeats the purpose of having a 30 second tent.....True facts!!!

Southern Cross with doors and windows closed IN THE SAME CONDITIONS doesnt condensate like photos above ........True facts!!!!

Ventilation: As stated over "5 weeks we tried everything" there was no use freezing with the vents/windows open cause it did the same thing regardless!.........True facts!!!!

IMO they are not worth the $$$$$$$, My Opinion like it or not!

Guess we will have to Agree to Disagree.






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Reply By: troopyman - Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 15:45

Tuesday, May 26, 2009 at 15:45
Does sleeping with your head towards the door and the 2 top flaps open help . Or doesnt it make any diffrence . Troopyman .
AnswerID: 366811

Reply By: austastar - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:07

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 11:07
I've been camping since early 60s, from Qld deserts to Tas alpine snow.
Yep, all tents will condense in the right conditions.
We had spectacular hanging drips on the roof one morning in calm cold alpine conditions. It was a case of carefully get out of the tent before the sun warmed the water and lowered the surface tension to form internal rain.
This has happened in many different tents to different degrees of condensation over the years.
It can even happen under a flat sheet of galvanised iron in an open farm shed on a calm night, so water proofing has nothing to do with it, ventilation does. Calm night = minimal air movement so ventilation is down even though it is an open shelter.

We bought an Oztent RV3 about 2 years ago and found it very practical for vehicle camping. It is well made, and we are considering getting some of the canvas extensions such as end walls etc for extended camps. It has kept us dry in torrential rain (no fly) and condensation has not been a problem with a little ventilation. Not in any way is it an inferior tent in either design, quality or performance.

No association with Oztent other than a happy customer.

cheers

AnswerID: 366941

Follow Up By: Nargun51 - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 12:52

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 12:52
Could it be that Oztents use a superior canvas (heavier, more closely woven, more filler) than other tents?

If this was so, the more air proof tent would reduce the "natural" air flow or exchange through the canvas and therefore increase the incidence of condensation.

Be interesting to see whether a few years constant use of the tent would reduce the problem

If this is so, the irony of this thread would be that the company is damned for providing a better quality product
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 13:26

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 13:26
Hi Austastar.
It is good to see you have enforced exactly what I have stated above - Ventilation. Like you, we are more than impressed with our RV4, and we still have the Southern Cross on the shed, and it does not come out since the OzTent. Just looking at the pictures above, and the tent has no cross flow air ventilation - say no more.

Cheers

Stephen
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Follow Up By: Member - Ingo57 (NSW) - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 14:37

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 14:37
Stephen

Maybe If you took your hand off it long enough to stop squinting, you may have read twice already….. Here it is for the Third time in red.

QUOTE: As stated over "5 weeks we tried everything" there was no use freezing with the vents/windows open cause it did the same thing regardless!.........True facts!!!!

This would mean that cross ventilation was tried and without the fly could not be stopped.
Obviously there is a prob with these tents WITHOUT FLYS otherwise this post wouldn’t be called “Condensation in an Oz tent”.




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FollowupID: 634650

Follow Up By: austastar - Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 14:59

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 14:59
You can have the door open and get no ventilation if there is no wind.
No ventilation = condensation.
Even with a tin roof, and there ain't much more waterproof than that.
To prevent condensation entirely you need insulation between 2 vapour barriers. i.e. the warm damp air must not directly contact the cooler surface that it would condense on.

2 choices.

1. Block the contact with insulation and vapour barriers

2. Divert the warm air away from the contact with ventilation.

Works for canvas, plastic, tin or any other roofing material.
Works in houses, boats, fridges, caravans, cars etc.

cheers
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Reply By: Member - R and R Troop (NSW) - Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 13:22

Thursday, May 28, 2009 at 13:22
Just home from 3 weeks in Oztent from Camerons Corner to Innamincka, Birdsville and on into Q'ld. Only problem with condensation was the night we didn't put fly on. The fly is so easy to zip on - feel it should be sold packaged in with the tent.
For on the road touring the Oztent worked great for us. We had the front screens but only put on for a 2 night stay when the flies were crazy! I just love the ease of putting the oztent up and pulling it down (my job!) We use that green mesh underneath the tent and out the front which greatly assists keeping tent clean. Got rained on 2 nights - had to do a wet pack up but arrived early next destination and a drying breeze quickly dried the fly and front.
Happy Oztenters!
AnswerID: 367149

Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 08:27

Saturday, May 30, 2009 at 08:27
So in summary I would say it's Oztent owners 1 and ex Oztent owner nil.
AnswerID: 367542

Reply By: Richard Kovac - Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 00:02

Monday, Jun 08, 2009 at 00:02
takenbyaliens, Jack Hi.

The fly is the answer we have just got back from a two week trip in the Gibson Desert and got a fly at last years 4WD show, fitted it and on this trip we had NO condensation in the oztent.

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Cheers

Richard
AnswerID: 368888

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