Weatherproofing of our Tents and Awnings

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Is my Tent or Awning Waterproof?

The simple answer is not really, anyone who tells you otherwise is stretching the truth somewhat. The fabric is waterproof, but as tents and awnings have windows, doors, zips, stitched seams, and other openings, by definition, they cannot be described as waterproof, as there are many ports of entry from which water can ingress.

That said, here at Leisure Outlet, we ensure that all our products are as water repellent as possible, and here’s how.

DWR (Durable Water Repellent) Treatment

The fabric on every one of our products has been pre-treated with a water repellent coating, this will ensure water beads on the surface and will not penetrate through the fabric.

Water beading on tent, or awning fabric

After a few years, the treatment will wear off, and 'dark patches' will appear when the fabric is wet; this is known as wetting out, in other words, when the water no longer beads. To rectify this, simply clean and reapply the water repellent treatment and continue to enjoy! To see the full range of tent and awning fabric water-proofer click here.

Tapped Seams

Twin Needle Stitching and Internal Tapped Seams

In the most basic of terms, a tent, or an awning is made up from various pieces of material sewn together to make a form that, when any sort of pole system is introduced, will make a temporary fabric shelter. That sounds fair simplistic, however, the problem that can arise, is that wherever the sewing needle penetrates the fabric, a hole is made that can allow water to ingress. The majority of the products Leisure Outlet sell have twin needle stitches (two parallel rows of stitches) on each of the critical seams, to increase the strength and durability of the finished product, producing twice as many holes as inferior products on the market.

There are two solutions to ensuring the needles holes that are in the fabric will not allow water to penetrate; the first is that we ensure that most tents and awnings Leisure Outlet sell have had heat treated, tape applied to the seams on the inside of the product; this taping stops any water that seeps through the thread, entering the awning or tent.


As well as relying on the taped seams, we would always suggest ‘weathering’ the product. In any products first uses in wet weather or damp conditions, it is not uncommon that your awning or tent may leak. This is normal across the industry and is rectified by a process known as 'Weathering'.

If the product is letting in water through the seams, its simply because the cotton stitching has not expanded to its permanent size. The stitching across, around and throughout the tent or awning needs to absorb water, swell, and then settle. Upon completing this process, these areas of the tent/awning will self-seal. Some manufacturers advise this 'Weathering Process' can take up-to three exposures before the awning or tent seams become watertight.

The 'Weathering Process' can be speeded up, by pitching your awning or tent in your garden and expose the seams to water, or spreading out the canvas on the ground, apply water, and then let the air dry the canvas naturally.

Zips, Doors and Windows

Storm Guards and Bucket Groundsheets

Doors and windows on tents, or awnings, generally have zips or Velcro to hold them in place. To minimise water penetrating into the product, wherever possible we have storm-guards (fabric covering the zips, specifically to keep rain out) or bucket groundsheets, the ability to raise the groundsheet and secure above ground level to stop any flow of water entering the tent or awning.

If your tent, caravan awning or motorhome awning does have water inside, the likelihood is its condensation; to understand condensation better, and to see our top tips on minimising this natural occurrence click here.

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