Camping skills: How To Fix A Puncture In An Inflatable Tent
On inflatable tents, the air tubes are tough and should provide years of trouble-free camping if you follow the instructions.
But if you do get a puncture it’s possible to fix it yourself, at least until you can contact your dealer to organise a replacement.
Beams differ from one manufacturer to another, but they are all fairly similar and can usually be removed in the same way.
Don’t open the protective sleeve until you’re sure you have a leak. If a tube loses pressure, it could be down to environmental factors – pressure can drop in cold temperatures so you may need to add air to compensate, particularly at night.
Check there is no dust or grit in the valve, causing air to escape.
If you’re certain you have a puncture, deflate the beam, completely undo the zip on the sewn-in sleeve and detach it from the Velcro on the groundsheet. You’ll now be left with a beam in a thick polyester casing.
Open the casing zip – these are often fastened with cable ties so you’ll need to carefully snip it – and remove the inner tube from the casing, carefully pulling the valve through the hole in the sleeve.
Try to locate the damage. Look for visible signs of a puncture and if that doesn’t help, pump in some air and listen closely for air escaping or feel it against your cheek. Apply a little water to the spot you suspect or dip it in a bucket of water and look for bubbles.
Once you’ve found the puncture, mark the damaged area and completely deflate the tube.
Clean the area around the puncture thoroughly with an alcohol swab to remove grease and allow to dry.
Cut out and carefully but firmly apply a repair patch (Stormsure, Tear Aid and Storm all supply suitable products. For a temporary fix, you can use Duck Tape.
Make sure the patch is smooth and there are no creases or air bubbles present.
Leave the patch to dry as per the instructions on the pack.
Once the adhesive is dry, carefully replace the sleeve, ensuring the zip doesn’t catch on the plastic and avoid the twisting tube so there are no blockages.
Inflate the tube, and leave overnight to make sure the repair has worked.
Zip the inner tube to into the tent sleeve, carefully pushing through the valve at the required area.
On your return, contact your retailer as soon as possible to arrange a replacement tube.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
- Sharp knife or scissors
- Marker pen
- Repair patch kit or Duck Tape