Permanent'ish tents and condensation

Posted by: willie1280

Permanent'ish tents and condensation - 01/07/21 08:52 AM

So, given the cost of building materials these days, i'm thinking about building an elevated platform and putting some sort of tent on top of it. I'm thinking 10'x10' so it'll likely be a large wall tent, outback tent or something of those sorts. So the material will likely be canvas, plastic/tarp like, nylon or some other material. Regardless, i would have a wood stove for heat to keep it warm during the Wisconsin winters.

I know condensation is the enemy when winter backpacking so i'm wondering if and how a permanent tent setup will be different? What can i do to manage this issue since ventilation within these larger type tents/shelters is non existent at the roof. My other concern is what happens when i leave after a weekend at my property and the tent sits for a couple weeks and then i go up and use it going to be extra wet because it's been sitting unheated through all the temp fluctuations?
Posted by: BZH

Re: Permanent'ish tents and condensation - 01/07/21 04:30 PM

I don't think this will be that big of an issue. Condensation is such a big issue because we camp in relatively small volume tents. Our exhaling breath can quickly and significantly increase the humidity of the environment. What you are talking about is a much, much larger volume and it will be that much more difficult to alter the humidity. If you were to construct the tent of a non-breathable fabric like plastic and really effectively seal in every exhaled breath, you might have a problem.

Also, you are not going to have a condensation problem when you are not there (and therefore not exhaling into the tent). Long term the biggest damage to the tent will be from UV light and extended time set-up in rain/snow (particularly problematic if moisture is getting trapped anywhere).
Posted by: wgiles

Re: Permanent'ish tents and condensation - 01/07/21 05:28 PM

Canvas(or Cotton Duck) will breathe, while coated fabrics will not. A Canvas wall tent with a coated synthetic fly might be a good choice. The fly should have a few inches clearance above the canvas to allow air flow. The fly should have some overhang on all sides, possibly more on the front of the tent. White is a good choice for letting sunlight in, but not such a good choice for UV resistance. I don't know how long the fabrics would last in the sun. Coated canvas tarps seem to last a couple of seasons, maybe more.
Posted by: tramp

Re: Permanent'ish tents and condensation - 01/08/21 09:59 AM

I don't have any advice but would like to ask that you share the construction and erection of this. Never seen anyone make anything on quite this scale before.
Posted by: 4evrplan

Re: Permanent'ish tents and condensation - 01/08/21 10:47 AM

I'd like to echo about UV radiation deteriorating the fabric, but mechanical strain from flapping in the wind can destroy it faster than anything else. Make sure everything is properly guyed out.
Posted by: PerryMK

Re: Permanent'ish tents and condensation - 01/09/21 04:06 PM

I’ve seen yurts in similar setups. There must be books explaining the details.