BWCA Beefing up poly tarp edges Boundary Waters Group Forum: Do It Yourself Gear
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      Beefing up poly tarp edges     



distinguished member (452)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/26/2020 07:54AM  
High winds during the hunting season put my poly tarp fly to the test. I have it set up directly on top of my 12 x 16 wall tent. My question is, would I be better off sewing a new strip of roll material on the edges and replacing the grommets or sewing in loops, in place of the grommets along the edge. Should I use roll material on both sides or is one side enough? Also what material would be good for edge reinforcement, Poly, nylon or grosgrain?
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11/29/2020 10:13AM  
Maybe just buy a new tarp for $14? For me, that would be cheaper and faster.

distinguished member (452)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/29/2020 06:51PM  
And have the same thing happen again. I'm more in the build back better camp. I have a stove jack sewn in the original, not that I couldn't swap in out into a new tarp but just trying to make one that's better than original.

This is more along the line of the tarp I have
11/29/2020 07:56PM  
I bought a few of these for winter camping and use them on my canvas tent occasionally. Adding extra tarp clips on the edges of your poly fly may take some strain off the grommets and loops??

tarp clips
distinguished member (452)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/30/2020 07:18AM  
I'm sure the tarps your using for the fly work well for a shorter trip. I'd use them with confidence but I'm leaving the tent set up for six weeks. We had some crazy weather blow through that knocked out power for tens of thousands. Lucky for me I was there when the storm went through. The internal 1" EMT frame was rocking back and forth with me inside. I had the fly staked down with 12" army stakes every 18" on each side. When the stakes pulled loose on one side, holding down the fort took on a whole new meaning.

I'll just go with my own Ideas and go with a nylon strip top and bottom where the grommets were and sew in loops every 18". I've been impressed with American earth anchor penetrators even though at $5 a piece they will run the cost up. After that I'll rest well knowing I've done as well as I could to hold the tent down. Thanks for the reply's.

Savage Voyageur
distinguished member(14173)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
11/30/2020 08:37AM  
Sounds like you want to try to fix it so I will stay with that. Cut the entire edge that is in question off evenly. Then roll the edge over twice like the original side was and sew shut. Install twice the grommets on the new edge. The change that is most important is to use a loop of shock cord on ever grommet. This will help so the tarp does not rip again.
11/30/2020 05:00PM  
I beefed up a cheap old campmor tarp by sewing 3/4" grosgrain around all the edges. I just did grosgrain on one side and then sewed in grosgrain loops every two feet along the edges.
I think the loops are a lot less likely to pull out compared to the grommets. You could also sew a reinforcing patch at each tie out if you wanted extra strength.
distinguished member (452)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
11/30/2020 05:22PM  
I do have some 3/8 shock cord that I think would work well. The grosgrain strip along the edge with loops sewn in is What CCS uses on their tarps. I think If I used a strip on the top and bottom the thread would have a better hold. Rather than depending on the thread holding to just the poly on the bottom. It really wouldn't cost much more to do the top and bottom. I think I'll cut the loop strips to length then sew them to the top strip side by side. That will give me 4 rows of thread per loop. Then when I attach the top strip with loops to the bottom I'll have two more rows of thread going through the loops as well.
11/30/2020 09:27PM  
For your application where you aren't as worried about weight and bulk the two layers of grosgrain is probably a really good idea.

I've got a poly tarp roof over my outdoor kitchen/grilling area. I got an over sized tarp and rolled/stapled the two edges around a 2x4. It locks the edges down really good and reduces tarp flapping. My tarp has been holding strong for almost two years. Might be another option if you go with more of a permanent setup with your wall tent.
distinguished member (452)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/01/2020 07:20AM  
I have been thinking of adding a cook shack to the wall tent. Some I have seen use the poly fly extended past the tent to add the roof for the cooking area. If at some point I do that I'll go with a new tarp but still reinforce the edge.
distinguished member(1836)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/01/2020 07:51AM  
Several years ago I had some clips that gripped the edge of a tarp when there were no grommets or when one or more grommets ripped out. They were blue plastic pieces with opposing teeth and the more tension the more they gripped. When your done they just pop off. I think I purchased them at one of the big box stores. They would work well for this. The more tie-out points you have, the less stress on all of them.

They have them on Amazon - "Tarp Clip Crocodile Mouth Clamps".
12/01/2020 08:15PM  
Well, I don't use a fly over my winter tent... I was just throwing out stuff to keep your post alive. Glad you are getting some real advice from others. Although I do use the tarp clamps on occasion. A six week tent set up would need the extras you are talking about compared to my 6 day setups. Must be a UP hunting camp?
distinguished member (452)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/02/2020 07:34AM  
U P hunting camp would be a perfect place for a wall tent camp but mine is at the complete opposite end of the state. Southern Mi camp on a farm. I have a trailer full of creature comforts that go into the tent setup. I come and go for the six weeks so I need to have it set up where it won't be bothered when I'm not there.
The poly fly works well when we get snow and ice. Dryer snow will slide off, the wetter version needs the heat from the woodstove to loosen it's grip. For my extended set up the fly helps keep the canvas in good shape too.

After talking with Quest outfitters for advice I think I'll follow their recommendation and remove the old grommet area, cut a strip of mid weight nylon place it on the new edge and fold the poly twice over the nylon webbing and sew it. My plan it to use a heated tube to melt holes to put new !/4" grommets in. The melted hole should help keep the grommet from tearing and the smaller size should leave more material in place.
Grandma L
distinguished member(5518)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
12/02/2020 10:19AM  
I have done nylon webbing - a light weight type - all around the edge, a continuous length. When I wanted a loop I just made a cross over X loop out and then back to the edge to continue. Not separate sewn on loops. Gross Grain would also work but it wears out more easily with friction of a connecting rope and wind pull.
Grommets just eventually pull out and tear up the tarp edge.
You might also do corner reinforcements with a triangle of fabric before you add the new edging.
This would be so much easier to discuss with pictures and diagrams.
distinguished member (452)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/02/2020 11:54AM  
The loops you described are crossed over like an x, under the nylon then sewn on as your sewing the nylon strip on?
I've used this method that I found on You Tube for tying the corners down and it has never pulled a grommet out. The ripped grommets were near the center between the corners. Probably as one stake was pulled out more pressure was put on the ones next to it.

corner tie down
distinguished member(2527)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/09/2020 09:21PM  
Regardless of what you do, this has been my go-to place for tarps for covering boats at home. They've done well in wind and snow load.
There may be something there that aids in repairing/strengthening your existing tarp.
distinguished member (452)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
12/10/2020 07:32AM  
Thanks for your reply. That is a good source for quality tarps. I'm pretty sure that's where I bought the tarp I'm using. Grommets on mine are about 16" apart which makes a real difference on your ability to hold it in place during extreme conditions.

I have my 1.5" nylon webbing and grommets on order. I think I would loose too much material cutting off the existing area where the grommets are. There wasn't much overhang on the tent sides before so I'll end up removing the grommets, put the webbing in place and only fold once, Sew then put new grommets in.

I picked up a ping pong table for free. I'll need to set it up at the same height as my sewing machine to make it easier to work on large pieces like the tarp.
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