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Long-Term Camper Trailer Canvas Maintenance

Tips for Extending the Life of Your Trailer

Keeping Your Camper Trailer Canvas in Top Condition: Tips and Tricks

Congratulations on your decision to invest in a Platinum camper trailer! With proper care and maintenance, your new trailer will provide you with many years of enjoyable camping experiences. One of the most critical elements of your trailer is the canvas, which provides shelter and protection from the elements. To ensure that your canvas remains in excellent condition and has a long life, it’s essential to take the time to prepare and maintain it properly. In this article, we’ll provide you with some expert tips on how to maintain your canvas, so you can get the most out of your camping adventures.

Seasoning your Canvas

Seasoning your canvas is crucial for waterproofing your camper trailer tents. During the manufacturing process, the canvas is stitched together creating needle holes that can allow water to penetrate, making seasoning a necessary process. In short, to season your tent, set up your trailer on a sunny day in your backyard, complete with poles. Use a hose to thoroughly wet the tent, focusing on the seams, and then let it dry. Repeat this process three to four times, allowing the canvas to dry completely between each round. This will ensure your camper trailer is ready for any inclement weather.

It’s important to note that the waterproofing agents are applied to the canvas during manufacture, making additional waterproofing products unnecessary and potentially harmful. Overusing these solutions can clog the material’s pores and lead to condensation build-up, reducing the canvas’s breathability. Repeating the seasoning process regularly and keeping the canvas clean and dry is key to maintaining its waterproofing and extending its lifespan.

For more info on what you should do with your camper on day 1 – check out the article “Day 1 with your new camper trailer”

After Trip Canvas Care​

Always make sure your canvas is dry before storing it away, but if you have to pack it up wet, set it up again when you get home to allow it to dry properly. Wash off any dirt, bird droppings, or sap that may have accumulated during the previous trip with a soft brush and lukewarm water. Leaves and vegetable matter can stain the canvas, and bird droppings should be treated as soon as possible because of their acidity. Avoid using detergents and soaps that damage the canvas and reduce waterproofness over time. A simple spray down with the hose is best to keep dust and dirt from becoming ingrained. While this simple method will remove the need for more severe cleaning, in most environments, thorough cleaning will still be required every two to three years. Reproofing with a purpose-specific product like Dynaproof, may be necessary after extensive cleaning, but sticking to a water-based solution will ensure the fabric pores don’t become blocked with petroleum or silicone-based compounds. Thoroughly wet down the camper trailer after the waterproofing product has fully dried to make sure water beads along all surfaces for a good, even job.

Clean Mould ASAP

Mould and mildew thrive on dirt, moisture, and decreased airflow, forming if you store your camper trailer in a damp place or pack it down wet. If you find mould or mildew, dab on a solution of nine parts water to one part vinegar and let the canvas dry completely before you remove any traces with a brush and vacuum cleaner. If this doesn’t do the trick, check out Canvas Magic – it really works! However, it takes away the waterproofing agents, so you will have to re-waterproof the canvas. Mould growth can degrade the canvas very quickly, and if it gets bad enough, your entire camper may be written off by insurance. Therefore, it’s essential to remove mould the moment it is discovered.

canvas magic mould remover

Always be careful to not close your camper trailer with canvas hanging out. This not only damages the canvas, but also allows water to soak through your canvas into your camper! 

Other tips for the Maximum Life from your canvas

If your camper hasn’t been used in a while, before setting off on your next camping escapade, be sure to check the forecast to avoid any weather surprises. If rain is in the cards, it’s a good idea to season it once again. This will help the fibres and help them expand and contract, maximizing their waterproofness. (Note: this is only required if your camper has been stored for a long time)

To ensure the longevity of your canvas fabric and camper trailer, proper maintenance is key. This includes checking for rips and brushing off dirt as part of your camp chores. Don’t forget to vacuum out and remove all food scraps and other “nesting” items like scraps of paper or packaging after every trip to avoid unwelcome ant trails or a rat’s nest. Keep in mind that hairspray, spray deodorant, and insect repellents can impair water repellence and cause staining, so avoid using them inside the tent or near the fabric. Also, never expose the canvas to petrol, solvents, or related fluids for the same reasons.

To reduce the risk of wear and tear, develop a careful and methodical pack-up routine. Avoid jamming the fabric against the poles and getting pieces caught in the door jams that could result in tearing. With these tips and tricks, your canvas will last you a lifetime, ensuring many years of memorable, dry camping experiences. Happy trails!

While maintenance may not be the most exciting part of camping, it’s a crucial aspect that will keep your Platinum Camper running smoothly for years to come. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube for more helpful tips and tricks!

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