Insects, plants, wild weather, and the general wear and tear of holiday travel can all take a toll on the canvas tent on your camper trailer. Here are some tips on how to keep yours in top condition.
Keeping it clean
One of the best ways to keep your canvas looking good and free of odours is to regularly spray it with the garden hose. This will keep dirt from becoming ingrained and should be done at least once a year.
Tree sap, bird droppings and other debris should be stopped from accumulating or remaining in contact with the canvas. To avoid damaging the fabric, don’t use soap, detergent or solvents to remove them – instead, use a clean cloth or soft-to-medium brush and cold to lukewarm water.
Mould and mildew
If you are caught in a rainstorm and the inside of the camper tent gets wet, air it out as soon as possible as mould spores can degrade the canvas and cause allergies and asthma. If there is mould or mildew present, don’t attack it with chemical mould removers or bleach as they can interfere with the tent’s waterproofing, colour and UV protection.
To kill the mould, dab it with a solution of nine parts water to one part vinegar. Let the canvas dry completely and then remove all traces of mould using a brush and vacuum cleaner.
Here are some more tips on how to prevent mould in caravans.
If rain is forecast at your holiday destination, it’s a good idea to ‘pre-condition’ the camper trailer’s canvas prior to the trip. This simply involves setting it up outside for at least 24 hours to expose it to humidity. This will make the fibres expand and contract, as well as become waterproof.
On arriving home, set up your camper trailer and spray it with a hose. This is especially important if you have been away on a long trip and the canvas is contaminated with animal droppings or plant matter that can degrade the fabric, such as damp leaves or eucalyptus sap. Make sure metal items such as tent pegs are packed away separately because they can corrode and stain the canvas.
Repairing the canvas
If the canvas is pierced or has snagged against a sharp object, you may be able avoid the expensive route of getting it replaced. Most camping stores sell patches that can be sewn onto the tent’s inside surface. Alternatively, you can buy repair tape if your sewing machine skills aren’t up to scratch.
Looking for other tips for maintaining camper trailer? Read our tips on do-it-yourself camper trailer repairs.