Damage to the canvas of a pop up camper can be frustrating, especially if you do not know how you can fix it. There are several easy-to-follow and efficient methods you can use to ensure your pop up camper perseveres through any damage to its canvas.
Why Opt For A Pop Up Camper?
Pop up campers are immensely popular, especially amongst a specific audience, such as those constantly on the move or those looking to go camping for a few days at most. This is primarily because these campers are more compact and lighter than other options. It is particularly a good choice if you are a fan of the outdoors and want to explore nature closely since pop up campers often have net windows and are made of breathable canvas.
The maintenance of pop up campers is also quite easy compared to other camping options. This is because their material is easy to clean, and you can mostly use just water to clean any impurities. Plus, there is no risk of damaging any sensitive components.
However, there are certain disadvantages to pop up campers too, which you should consider before investing in them. Contrary to popular belief, a pop up camper does not come equipped with several sophisticated features, unlike other recreational vehicles and campers; it is more or less a tent meant to provide shelter. Although the material allows good ventilation and decent protection against the weather and insects, it is not particularly safe against other dangers like wild animals and intruders.
Additionally, although the overall maintenance of pop up campers is easy, their fabric is prone to damage under harsh conditions and may require frequent repair jobs to keep it functional. This is also why pop up campers are not the best options for long-term camping plans since neither do they have extensive amenities nor are they reliable for too long. So, anyone using a pop up camper should have some knowledge of how to repair its fabric and have a toolkit necessary for emergencies.
How To Repair Pop Up Camper Canvas?
Every camping fanatic knows how handy pop up campers are. Not only are they easy to set up, but they are equally easy to clean and maintain and durable, regardless of the terrain and climate of your camping spot. However, there is nothing more agitating than if their canvas tears because it makes you susceptible to bug attacks and harsh weather conditions like rain.
Nonetheless, learning how to sew and repair the canvas of a pop up camper is fairly easy, although the more experience you gain, the quicker you will be able to handle repairs. Learning this skill is useful for camping enthusiasts and helps save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on professional repair work or buying a new camper. By carefully applying the correct fixing technique, you can rest assured that your camper is good as new.
Steps To Repair Pop Up Camper Canvas
Follow these steps to repair your camper’s canvas correctly and efficiently:
Measure The Dimensions Of The Damaged Area
To do this, take off the canvas and lay it flat on a tabletop or another flat surface. Clean it thoroughly with a damp cloth and leave it to dry for six hours, ideally. Once it is dry, use a measuring tape to get the dimensions of the damage. This needs to be done because you will have to cut out a piece of the repair material accordingly.
Once you have the dimensions, use them to cut a piece a couple of centimeters longer on each side from the repairing material. You will need to cut two such pieces to cover the damage from both sides. The pieces do not have to be geometrically perfect.
Choose Your Repair Kit Accordingly
When you purchase a pop up camper, it often comes with an instruction manual that describes the appropriate repair materials to use on each part of the camper in case of tears. Some camper manufacturers also make DIY repair kits for each camper model, so it is best if you find one that matches yours.
Even if you buy a separate kit from the market, ensure that you get a material that has the same or most closely matching type, color, weight, and other specifications as the material used on your pop up camper.
Make The Preparations
Once your repair kit is ready, thoroughly clean the damaged area to get rid of any dirt, grease, grass, or other contaminants. Not doing so can compromise the strength and quality of the repair work.
You can use a soft-bristled brush to remove the impurities. Then, rinse the canvas and erect it so that it dries properly. Leave it to dry for at least 6 hours. You can leave it lying on a flat surface or erect it so that it dries faster. However, even if you are short on time, ensure you wait as long as the canvas is perfectly dry to the touch; otherwise, your repair work may go awry.
Repair The Canvas
Use an appropriate adhesive suitable for the canvas and repair material to glue one of the cut patches to one side of the damaged part. Carefully remove all air bubbles and wait at least ten minutes before turning the canvas and repeating the same process on the opposite side. Apply pressure on each side to ensure it sticks properly.
This is often an easy process; however, you should follow the instructions that came with the repair material and the adhesive. For added reinforcement, it is suggested to first sew the tear with a needle and thread and then glue the patches over it.
Adhesives used for such repair often take hours to cure and dry completely. Patience is key here; if you do not wait for the drying process to complete and bring your camper in use not soon after the repair, then there are high chances that your repair work may come undone. Wait at least twenty-four hours before using your repaired canvas again.
Similarly, the canvas should be laid on a flat surface while the adhesive dries. Alternatively, you can erect it completely while the glue cures. This needs to be done since premature folding and storage may also harm the repair.
Weatherproofing The Repair
Some people may not realize this, but the ability of camper canvas to persevere through any weather conditions comes from a protective outer coating on it, called weatherproofing. Due to the vigorous cleaning process during the repair procedure, you are likely to remove most or all of this weatherproof coat from the canvas. Plus, the repair material used does not have any such coating.
Therefore, you should also invest in an appropriate weatherproofing sealant, spray, or polish for when you have to repair your pop up camper canvas to ensure your camper can tolerate harsh weather conditions like it is intended to.
How To Fix Pop Up Camper Canvas If It Tears During Camping?
The complete process of repairing damaged canvas is foolproof but lengthy. Thus, most campers try to look for a shorter, more efficient method that they can use if they need to repair their camper urgently. To avoid such a situation, you must always pack a canvas repair kit on your camping ventures. This kit should include some rolled-up patches of an appropriate repair material, a small tube of adhesive, and a sewing kit.
There are instant-stick patches of repair canvas available on the market. They are easy to use and take mere minutes to apply. Although they do not offer as much security as a proper fixing job, it is better than having a hole in your camper and protecting you from the weather and insects.
If you are short on supplies, you can also use packaging tape for a quick solution, though you may have to reinforce it with multiple layers on either side of the tear. However, these are not permanent solutions since these materials do not have the strength and properties of canvas and other repair materials.
Damage to the canvas of your pop up camper can be an agitating experience, especially if you are not prepared to deal with it. Therefore, carrying a repair kit with your camping supplies is always suggested to deal with any unwanted situation in the nick of the moment. There are several quick and easy ways to repair the canvas on the spot, but they are not ideal long-term solutions.
To ensure the life and quality of your canvas are not compromised, it is best to follow all the detailed steps for repairing it correctly. These include sewing the tear, selecting appropriate repair materials, and using the right adhesive to stick the repair patches securely. Granted, this process is time-consuming and requires a lot of waiting and patience, but it still offers foolproof results that help ensure that your camper fulfills its purpose of shielding you against the harshest weather and bugs.
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