Caring For The Airbeams In Your Tent Or Awning
Most tents and awnings that we now sell are inflatable, primarily this is due to the ease of use but they are also stronger in wind. Airbeam technology is not really a new technology and has been used in many industries for many years. For tents and awnings it has only really been perfected in the last 15 years but the same technology and fabrics are commonly used in boats, sups and kite surfers.
In general inflatable beams are very reliable, but do need to be cared for as with any part of your tent or awning.
It is crucial not to over inflate air beams, as this can damage the seam on either end of the tube. The tubes themselves are exceptionally durable but if over inflated the heat sealed end can be damaged. Damage from over inflation usually occurs on the side opposite the air valve. Also note that damage from over inflation may not be immediately noticeable but the seam can be weakened and may cause leaks in the future. If anything you are better to slightly under inflate tubes rather than over inflate.
Different makes and models of tents will have varying recommended pressures for the beams, Vango generally recommend 7psi while Outwell recommend 9psi. The pressure recommendation does infer the quality of the beam but instead its the pressure which is recommended for that design of tent or awning to give the best stability. Always make sure to check the pressure recommendation for your model and always pay careful attention to the pressure gauge on your pump, as soon as you achieve the recommended pressure stop.
Condensation can be the most frustrating part of tents and awnings, and isn't something we can fully avoid. The main point to take note of, is when using an inflatable tent or awning it is quite common to see water trickling down a beam, this is nothing to worry about. The air under pressure in the beam is at a different temperature and so the air is condensating on the beam and trickling down to the ground, or in some cases it can drip, this is mainly depends on the shape of the tent. We have a separate article on Condensation which will give you a lot more information on this. << Click Here >>
To deflate a beam simply release the valve and most of the air will be expelled straight away. With some pumps you can reverse the hose so that pump can now suck the air out, making the tent a bit easier to roll up. Always make sure to leave the valves open for packing away.
All our inflatable tents and awnings come with a manual pump. This is the quickest way to inflate your tent. And as mentioned above always keep an eye on the pressure gauge and do not exceed the recommended pressure. We do also stock a range of electric pumps that you can use with your tent or awning, These won't generally be any quicker to use, but they do allow the physical pumping. See link to these pumps on our website <<Click Here>>
Grit On The Valve
Always take care to brush away any dirt from the air valve on your tent or awning, if dirt gets into the valve it can stop the valve from fully closing and can result in a slow leak of air, it's simple to rectify but always best to avoid having to if possible.
The outside temperature will cause an increase in pressure within the beams, this is a natural occurence. In Ireland once the beams have been inflated to their recommended pressure this unfortunately isn't something we have to be too concerned with. However, if the beams are slightly over inflated the increase in temperature and the resultant increase in the pressure within the beam could bring the pressure to a level which could cause a rupture in the beam. In hotter climates it is recommended to check the pressure daily (you can do this with the gauge on your pump) and if the pressure is over the recommended level simply let a bit of air out of the beam to protect it from damage.
It should also be noted that if temperature takes a drop while you are on holidays you may need to put a bit of extra air into the beam, as a reduction in air temperature with reduce the pressure inside the beam.
If one of your beams does develop a leak, you can in most cases repair them with an Airbeam Repair Kit, You will deflate the damaged beam, and unzip it completely from the tent or awning. Once you locate the hole you can use a special self adhesive patch to cover it. You can then refit the airbeam tube back into your tent or awning and inflate. If it is the the seam at the end of the tube which has failed, duct tape can be the easiest way to fix it. When you have the tube removed you do a couple of rolls and then secure with duct tape, before refitting to your tent or awning and inflating. See link to the repair kits on our website <<Click Here>>
We carry a range of replacement Air Beams in stock. they are very simple replace, see link to them on our website <<Click Here>>