Saturday, September 19, 2015

New tent poles


Tent poles arrived this morning to replace fractured fiberglass pole segments that were damaged the afternoon of July 22 in Billings, Mont.

Shortly after I arrived at the BMW MOA Rally venue and set up my tent, a powerful windstorm swept in and threatened to destroy my tent. Happily, a couple of my Indianapolis BMW Club friends came to the rescue with guy lines and extra stakes, but I discovered later that a segment of one of the two cross poles that form the dome of the tent was fractured. The photo shows the tent being deformed by wind even after the guy lines were in place.

Two shorter poles shape the fly into a kind of an eyebrow over the front and back of the tent. I forgot that they extend from front to back and in my road-addled condition, tried to flex one to fit both pockets at the rear of the fly, fracturing one of the fiberglass segments. Happily, it held together for the duration of the rally, which included a couple of smaller wind episodes.

I got this tent for Christmas and love it for its extravagant 9x9-foot roominess and the fact that I can stand up and not hit the 6’ high ceiling with my head. There’s even room inside for a camp chair next to my riding gear and sleeping kit.

When I got home, I hung up the tent and fly in the garage to let the Montana dew dry before packing them for the next rally. I went to the Eureka! (the exclamation point is part of the name) web site operated by Johnson Outdoor Gear Inc. and ordered some pole replacement segments, found them to be the wrong size, sent them back and ordered another set that also proved to be wrong.

I had several back-and-forth email exchanges with customer support which culminated with a request to check the tent for a tag indicating the lot number. I did: YF-259-2314. I was advised to continue the conversation by phone.

I got around to calling the company’s customer service folks on Wednesday morning and found myself talking with a very helpful woman named Tammy. She determined the appropriate pole lengths and graciously offered to send replacement free. I accepted gratefully.

The FedEx driver delivered them to my front porch this morning.

I bought extra stakes at the rally and now I need to add guy lines to the package. I think I’ll look for glow-in-the-dark lines. (A hapless drunk rode a bicycle into one of my guy lines one night during the rally.)

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