How To Repair Broken Fiberglass Tent Pole?

Do you have a tent with a broken fiberglass pole at home? Did your tent pole break at the campsite?

broken tent pole

When you camp on a regular basis there is a high chance that your equipment could get damaged. Accidents happen all the time and your poles could get broken as well.

This can be quite frustrating as you won’t be able to use the tent and enjoy the outdoors. In this regard, I am giving you some practical advice to repair your fiberglass pole so you will be back camping in no time.

Fix a broken fiberglass tent pole like an expert

When the tent fiberglass poles get broken, most people think that this is the end of their camping and they will have to buy another shelter. They don’t know how to handle the repairs for broken poles.

They get rid of their tents and contemplate buying new ones just because of a pole break. Are you thinking the same?

You don’t have to opt for this extreme measure. With a little bit of training and the right equipment, you will be able to fix your tent. Take a look at the process of fixing a broken fiberglass tent pole.

Tent pole repair kit

tent poles repair kit

The supplies that you will need for this process include;

Ø  Replacement tent poles

Ø  A small hacksaw

Ø  Sandpaper

Ø  Duct tape

Ø  A face mask

The process

The fiberglass poles that are used to support tents are usually made of loose pole sections that are held together by an elastic cord. The elastic cord, also known as a shock cord, runs through the length of the poles and it is knotted at both ends.

When your pole gets broken, it is most likely that only one of the sections is broken. You will have to replace it to regain the proper functionality of the tent. The process of doing so is as follows.

Measure the exact section of the tent’s pole that is to be replaced. Cut the new section a little bit longer to have enough material to work with.

You will use a hacksaw to cut the fiberglass pole and you should use a face mask when making the cut. It will prevent fiberglass pieces from getting into your eyes.

To make sure that you cut the right length of the replacement pole, use duct tape to hold the pole in place as you make the cut. This will prevent the formation of splinters as you will be able to cut in an orderly fashion.

  • Get rid of the duct tape from the pole and sand the edges of the pole to get a smooth surface.
  • Place the full pole of the tent on the floor and start to untie the knot on the end that is closer to the section that is to be replaced. Use a needle nose plier to get the end of the knot from the pole as it is unlikely that you will be able to reach it with your fingers. The knot may have been tied tightly and you may have to cut it.
  • Hold the shock cord and remove the pole sections carefully until you reach the broken part that is to be replaced.
  • Remove the damaged section and replace it with the section that you prepared.
  • As you still hold onto the shock cord, re-stretch it through the pole sections that you had removed temporarily. Make sure to return the poles just as you had found them as the sections are of varying lengths and diameters. If you mix them up, your tent may not stand properly.
  • Tie a knot at the end of the cord and make sure that it is taught just as you had found it. The cord holds the poles in place and gives the tent a defined structure. This is why you should make sure that it is taught enough.

If you notice that this is not the case when you set up the tent later on, get the end of the shock cord and adjust the knot. You can do this from either end of the poles.

Use a pole repair sleeve

Another way to fix the problem is by using a pole repair sleeve. It is one of the quickest repairing methods that use a short pole or a so-called splint that is often provided with the tent that you buy.

If you don’t see it in the package make sure to buy it so you will be prepared for the worst.

tent pole repair sleeve

So, how to repair a tent pole with the splint? First, line up the two broken pole sections. If the pole isn’t broken, just bend, slowly straighten out the bend.

Put the splint over the pole so it will fully cover the issue. You can help yourself with pliers to straighten the bend pieces.

Wrap each end of the pole with duct tape or other heavy-duty tape several times and that’s it.

Use a tent stake

You have another option if you don’t have a repair kit or a pole repair sleeve with you. If your pole breaks you can use a stake to connect the two broken parts together.

First, line up the broken pole sections. If each is bent straight it with pliers. Now take the stake and align it next to the broken part, it must be centered by the broken parts. The final step is to use duct tape or another heavy-duty tape to fix all the parts together.

How do you replace a shock cord?

Is your shock cord in the poles broken or isn’t stretchy anymore? It is time to replace it in these cases.

replace shock cord

Step #1

First, you must know how the shock cord is connected so open the end of the pole to see the cord. In most cases, the pole will have a metal or plastic tab that you can pull out to repair the cord.

Step #2

Marker the pole sections with numbers so at the end you will know how to connect them together. Untie the old shock cord, pull it out and put it down so you will cut a new cord of the same length.

Step #3

Grab the new cord and attach a tab on the end of it. You are ready to thread the cord through the pole. When you will thread the last pole section, pull the cord tightly to cut it off with the clamp or vise grip.

Step #4

Finish the process with attaching the core to the pole tip and tying the lose end.

Save the money

Tent poles break all the time but this doesn’t mean that you will have to get rid of the tent and buy a new one. You can fix a damaged pole by yourself. With my advice, you are able to repair a broken fiberglass tent pole without a hustle.

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