Keeping your canvas in tip-top condition requires regular maintenance with special canvas cleaners for pop up campers.
Regular maintenance with canvas cleaners for pop up campers will prolong the life of the canvas. Pop up tent trailers have a canvas tent enclosure that can get dirty or damaged with mildew, dirt and debris during use and storage.
Preventing dirt and mildew is most important. Avoid parking your pop up camper underneath trees that drop wet or messy fruit, pods, and leaves. Always make sure the canvas is completely clean and dry before rolling down your pop up camper for storage. Check for leaks in the camper top frequently while storing and using the pop up.
Canvas has some built-in waterproof qualities, but in addition, most canvas is treated with a waterproof repellant. After you clean your canvas you may need to re-treat it with a flouropolymer or petroleum product. Do not use any product that has silicone as this may break down the canvas.
Before you begin to clean your canvas, check it for rips, tears, holes, loose grommets, zippers or fasteners. Repair any problems first so they will not incur more damage during the cleaning.
Cleaning the Canvas
Brush the loose dirt off your canvas before cleaning. Use a broom and sweep of the dirt. Gather together a large bucket, a car washing sponge, a soft scrub brush, and a hose. Follow the directions on the container of canvas cleaner. Dry the canvas completely before putting the pop up down.
Homemade Canvas Cleaner
Canvas cleaners can be made with household products. Mild, non-detergent soaps are perfect for cleaning canvas. Detergents may ruin the canvas finish and should be avoided. Mild soaps such as Lux or Ivory soap make good canvas cleaners.
Mold and mildew can eat away at your canvas. Remove signs of mold and mildew as soon as possible. Vinegar is one of the best canvas cleaners for pop up campers. Mix a bucket full of two parts water and one part vinegar. Dip a scrub brush into the vinegar solution and scrub the mildew off the canvas. Let the canvas dry in the sun without rinsing off the vinegar. If vinegar does not work, try soap and water. Bleach should be used as a last resort as it may leave white spots on the canvas.
Store Bought Cleaners
When purchasing a canvas cleaner, take a look at the ingredients. All ingredients should be biodegradable and safe for the environment. Make sure the product states that is safe to use on canvas and will not bleach or discolor it. In addition, the product should be safe to use on chrome, vinyl, aluminum and gel coat finishes as it will surely drip or get sprayed on other parts of the pop up camper. All-purpose cleaners should state that it gets rid of dirt, grime, mold, and mildew.
Try an all-purpose oxygen cleaner that does not bleach the fabric, but removes stains. Oxygen cleaners claim:
- Will not bleach fabrics
- Safe for animals and the environment
- Brighten fabric
- Can be mixed safely with other cleaners
- Act as a disinfectant
Oxygen cleaners should be much safer to use on canvas than bleach, however still check to make sure they will not discolor or ruin your canvas, gel coat, chrome, aluminum, plastic, or the environment by testing the product on a small inconspicuous area. Products on the market are:
- Clorox Oxy Magic
- Stain Solver
- White Wave
- Ajax Oxygen Bleach