ABOUT CANVAS TENTS – “Cut size” of a tent is the size before seams & seam overlaps. Canvas is 100% cotton & cotton shrinks. You should expect your tent to be smaller after the tent has been preconditioned.

SHRINKAGE All tents made from natural fibers, like cotton, will shrink and will affect the “finished size” measurements of the tent. The exact amount of shrinkage is impossible to predict.  CAUTION: Be extremely careful not to use leverage when staking down the bottom of the tent. Over driving the stakes will result in torn stake loops or torn fabric.

PRECONDITIONING YOUR TENT – In order for your tent to have its own natural water repellency, the tent must be wet down thoroughly to allow the fibers to swell & shrink to a tighter weave. The easiest way to do this is to set the tent up, you must guy out the sides, the front end & the back end, & stake down the bottom if using a freestanding frame. If you do not guy the sides, the roof may sag & water could collect above the eaves causing the frame to collapse under the weight.. Before wetting down the tent, zip the door shut. If the front corners of the tent are guyed out too tight, the zipper door may not operate smoothly. Check the tent often to make sure it is not straining or sagging. If using a freestanding frame be sure to allow your tent to dry thoroughly on the frame before putting it away. NEVER PUT A DAMP TENT INTO STORAGE.

FREESTANDING FRAMES – Because of the unpredictability of fabric as to shrinkage, it is almost impossible to get an exact fit on any tent frame. Our years of experience with fabrics have given us an “average” shrinkage factor. This average is what we use when figuring what measurements to use when making frames. However, there are still times when some adjustment of your framework will be necessary to get a good fit. The best time to decide if adjustment is necessary is after the tent has been set up on the frame, wet down & dried thoroughly.  When using a free-standing frame, it will be necessary to use a fly or tarp over the top of the tent. When the tent roof rests on the rafters, water will have a tendency to “wick” through and you will get drips inside the tent. A fly will keep the roof of the tent dry and wicking will not occur.

MILDEW – One of the most common problems that occur in canvas is mildew. It is very destructive to cotton fabrics as well as other materials. Mildew usually forms when tents are put in storage when damp. Mildew can start in a very short time under certain conditions of humidity and temperature. If mildew has started to grow, it can be stopped from spreading by thoroughly drying the tent, preferably in the hot sun and applying a cleaner such as IOSSO Tent & Camping Gear Cleaner. This cleaner will remove tough dirt & mildew stains. Afterwards you may find it necessary to treat the tent with a water-repellent compound such as Canvak. If using another treatment, be sure to read the label to make sure it is safe for use on canvas. After any treatment has been applied, make sure the tent dries completely before putting into storage.

WOOD BURNING STOVES – Always use caution when using a wood burning stove in your tent. Flame retardant fabrics will burn when in contact with a flame source. Unless flame retardant material is specifically ordered, we use non-flame material in our tents. With a little care & common sense you should have no problem with these fabrics. There are several things you can do to reduce the chance of damage when using a stove in your tent. Sparks & embers that make it out of the stovepipe & fall back on the tent are the main problem. Remember to set the tent up so the prevailing wind will blow sparks away from the tent & not onto it. Use of a spark arrester cap on your stovepipe is highly recommended & in fact, required in National Forests. Additionally, it helps to put small holes in the stovepipe above the ridgeline. This provides oxygen for more complete combustion of the sparks before they leave the pipe.

WINDS – Intense winds can cause extensive damage to your tent and frames. Be sure to set you tent up using all the stakes and ropes provided, even if using a freestanding frame. It will be necessary to also guy the tent out front and back using the grommets provided in the ends of the ridge if used in windy conditions. Frequently checking the stakes and tightening the guy ropes if they loosen during periods of high winds will keep things together.

SNOW LOAD – Snow should not be allowed to accumulate on the tent. The simplest & most economic method of dealing with snow is to use a common plastic tarp as a tent fly. It not only provides a waterproof & slippery surface for snow to slide off, but also provides an air space for greater warmth in the tent. Maintain an air space between the fly & the tent roof to increase breathability and insulation.  Proper use and care of your tent will insure many seasons of camping pleasure.



Reliable Tent and Awning warrants, to the original purchaser, its products to be free of defects of materials & workmanship. We will replace or repair the product, at our discretion, when returned to us, freight prepaid. Any returns for repair or replacement will require prior authorization & must be accompanied by a dated proof of purchase. Reliable Tent & Tipi makes no other warranty, whether expressed or implied, and shall not be liable for damages resulting from use, misuse, transportation or any other forces beyond our control. Damage caused by mildew or exposure to the elements is not covered by this warranty. Kindly refer to the Tent Care section of the price list for the care & protection of your purchase. If you are not satisfied with any standard stock item purchased from us for any reason, return it to us within 15 days in unused condition for a full refund of your purchase price, excluding shipping & handling charges,  Highly customized tents or tipis may be excluded from this offer