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I have a nice and small tent I really like that is around 30 years old. It is from Sierra West, but I don't remember the model name. Here is a picture so that you can see the size and general construction:

This tent is held up with two bows of fiberglass rods that fit into each other. A small bow of 4 rods makes the arch at the foot end, and 6 rods are used at the head end.

Unfortunately, one of the rods has just broken:

The rod is 14 inches long, the fiberglass part is 6.5 mm in diameter, and the outer diameter of the aluminum piece is 9.5 mm.

The fiberglass is cracked near the aluminum sleave, and it is rough with fibers sticking out at the right end where it fits into the aluminum sleave of the next piece.

The problem is, the company that made this tent seems to have vanished and I don't know how to get replacement rods. I'd like to get a complete set of rods, since if this one went the others are probably not far behind. There seem to be aluminum rods available with bungy cord in the middle, but finding a set that is exactly the length this tent requires seems to be impossible.

Anyone know how to get parts for this old tent, or have any other ideas?

Added:

Yes, it's easy to find generic replacement tent poles, but the ones I have seen are all quite different from what my tent uses.

This is a particularly small tent and the radius of curvature is significantly smaller than other tents. This means the thicker poles that are easy to find would be stressed much more. Mine are only 6.5 mm diameter, probably for a good reason.

The replacement poles are also much longer than mine. I suppose the long poles could be cut down, but cutting fiberglass is tricky and can easily damage the material if the right tools aren't used, which I probably don't have since I don't know exactly what the right tool would be. I am imagining just cutting with a saw would fray the fibers, which is basically cracking the fiberglass, which can't be a good thing.

Another issue is that the pole ends need to fit into the grommets on my tent. I rather doubt there is such a thing as a standard grommet diameter.

This is not as easy as just Googling for "tent pole replacement". Surely someone here has been thru this process before and has some words of wisdom?

Added 2:

This is in response to a comment asking for more details of the rods.

  1. The grommets that the end of the tent poles fit into are just circular metal disks with holes in them. I don't have the tent here, but the inner diameter of these holes is a little larger than the diameter of the tent poles, which is 6.5 mm. The picture shows a middle piece, but the end pieces have black plastic end caps, with the tips of those being about the same diameter as the fiberglass rod (6.5 mm).

  2. The fiberglass rods are solid, so have no inner diameter.

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If you post 'blueprints' of sorts of your specific poles, we may be better able to find places that sell them, or provide solutions to fabricate them yourself. You could cut fiberglass to fabricate new poles with a hacksaw, no problem. –  whatsisname Aug 5 '13 at 15:44
    
@Whats: What "blueprint" information do you want beyond the measurements I already gave? –  Olin Lathrop Aug 5 '13 at 21:24
    
the size of the grommets, descriptions or pictures of the pole/grommet interface, the inner diameter of the fiberglass rods, etc. –  whatsisname Aug 5 '13 at 21:26
    
@Whats: See information added to the question. –  Olin Lathrop Aug 5 '13 at 21:46
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3 Answers

These are actually so incredibly easy to get, it doesn't really warrant an answer, but here goes anyway:

Because these sort of poles are the de-facto standard these days, they are available everywhere. A google search on tent pole replacement gives me two pages of shops, Amazon, GoOutdoors (and some ebay sales)

All you need is the length, diameter and how many pieces you want the pole to be and you can get them dirt cheap anywhere.

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It doesn't appear to be that easy. Yes, it's easy to find "replacement tent pole", but most seem to come down to two products, one from Coleman and one from Texsport. Those two and other "replacement poles" are all too thick and too long. They claim to come with "pole caps", but nobdy seems to mention the diameter grommet they are intended for. I am afraid that too thick would cause too much strain for the small radius of curvature of my tent. Too long could possibly be cut, but that is tricky and can easily damage it. It's not as simple as you make it out to be. –  Olin Lathrop Aug 3 '13 at 22:01
    
What country are you in? Here in the UK we have a wide range, and even Coleman do 6.5mm poles. If you get a pole replacement kit, you should get longer than you need, so you use a hacksaw to trim to length. –  Rory Alsop Aug 3 '13 at 22:12
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One trick is to get an aluminium tube the same size of the exiting one, about 3 inches long and slide it down over the split. A bit of glue or tape to hold it in place and you're good to go.

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That might fix the one immediate problem. But, all the pole pieces are 30 years old and have all been subjected to about the same stress. I'd really like to replace the lot. –  Olin Lathrop Aug 4 '13 at 13:32
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If the only Problem is that the replacementpoles don't fit your grommets. i'd suggest you have to replace the grommets too. It doesn't look like 6.5mm poles would break, you'll have to keep in mind that in those 30years the materials also got alot better than back then.

Another possibility is visit a tubingstore and find something similiar, alltough you won't find fiberglass there, but i'm sure if you really wanted to replace the pole, you'll end up with a good solution in a large hardwarestore.

When i wanted to replace the poles from my dads old tent, i ended up buying a new one, because time is money too.

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