Replacing Your Pop-Up Camper’s Canvas: Can You Do It?


Image Source


Pop-up campers are a great way to enjoy the great outdoors, but they require regular maintenance to keep them in tip-top shape. A key component of a pop-up camper is the tarp – it keeps you dry during a rainstorm, provides shade on a hot day, and keeps the bugs out at night. But what do you do when the canvas on your camper starts to wear out? You could take it to a professional for replacement, but that can be costly. 

Instead, consider doing it yourself. You can reduce extra costs while spending on other useful upgrades. In this article, we’ll show you how much it will cost and how to replace the canvas on your camper like a pro. 

Costs Of DIY Canvas Replacement 

Replacing your pop-up camper’s canvas can cost you some money. Therefore, it is best to figure out how much you’ll need to spend to restore your canvas’s fresh look.

Material Costs

The cost of the canvas will vary depending on the size and quality of the material you choose. A high-quality, UV-resistant canvas can cost anywhere from $200 to $500 or more, depending on the size of your pop-up camper. In addition to the canvas, you will also need thread, zippers, and other hardware, which can add an extra $50 to $100 to the cost. It may cost further if you’re looking for a specific pattern or color. Or, if you want to add a window or door screen, you’ll need to pay more. 

Tools Needed

To replace the canvas on your pop-up camper, you will need a sewing machine, scissors, measuring tape, and a fabric marker. You’ll also need a few other basic tools, such as a needle, thread, and a zipper foot. In some cases, you may also need a drill, screws, and other hardware if you’re attaching the new canvas to the frame of the travel trailer. Some people prefer to use a heavy-duty industrial sewing machine, which can be rented or borrowed, but a standard sewing machine will also work. 

Comparison To Professional Replacement Costs

The cost of having a professional replace the canvas on your pop-up camper can range from $1000 to $1500 or more. The total costs incurred would depend on the size of your camper and the quality of the materials used. Be mindful that some professionals might charge extra for customizing the canvas or adding screens. 

It’s important to note that DIY canvas replacement can save you money. However, it’s also a time-consuming process that requires a certain level of skill and attention to detail. You must understand the canvas replacement process well and the materials you’ll need before starting the project. Ensure you have enough time and patience to complete the project.

How To Replace The Canvas 

Here are the instructions to replace your pop-up camper’s canvas.

Step-By-Step Instructions For Removing The Old Canvas And Attaching The New One

  1. Start by removing the old canvas from your pop-up camper. This will typically involve undoing any zippers, snaps, or Velcro closures that hold the canvas in place. Carefully remove the canvas, taking note of how it was attached to the camper frame. 
  2. Measure the old canvas to get the dimensions for your new canvas. Be sure to measure all the areas that need to be covered, including windows, doors, and other openings. 
  3. Cut your new canvas to size using your measurements as a guide. Be sure to allow for a little extra fabric around the edges to account for any stretching or shrinkage that may occur over time. 
  4. Attach the new canvas to the camper frame. This will entail using a sewing machine to sew zippers, snaps, or Velcro closures in place. If you’re attaching the canvas to the frame using screws, you’ll need to drill holes in the canvas and frame to accommodate the screws. 
  5. Once the canvas is attached, test it for proper fit and function. Ensure that all zippers, snaps, and Velcro closures work smoothly and that the canvas is tight and wrinkle-free.

Tips For Measuring And Cutting The Canvas Correctly

The following are some tips that will help you measure and cut the canvas properly.

  • Always measure multiple times to avoid any mistakes. 
  • When measuring, consider that canvas stretches over time, so it’s better to have extra fabric on the edges. 
  • Use a sharp pair of scissors or a rotary cutter to ensure a clean edge for cutting. 
  • Be sure to mark the canvas with a fabric marker or chalk before cutting to ensure that you’re cutting in the right place. 
  • Make use of a cutting table or a large, flat surface to ensure your cuts are straight.

Suggestions For Reinforcing Weak Areas Or Making Repairs

You might end up with some issues, especially if it’s your first time replacing the canvas. Therefore, we have listed some suggestions to ensure you do it perfectly.

  1. You may find weak areas on the old canvas, such as frayed edges or holes. Use extra stitching or patches before attaching the new canvas to reinforce them.
  2. Consider adding a UV-resistant coating to the canvas to help protect it from sun damage.
  3. If you’re adding screens to windows or doors, use a heavy-duty mesh that will hold up to regular use.
  4. Make use of heavy-duty tape if you are adding any Velcro closures.
  5. If adding a new zipper or replacing the old one, test it for proper function before attaching the canvas to the frame.
  6. While attaching the canvas to the frame using screws, use rust-resistant screws and predrill the holes to avoid splitting.
  7. If you’re adding a rainfly, ensure that it’s properly attached and doesn’t interfere with the opening and closing of the travel trailer.

The Best Material For Your Pop-Up Camper’s Canvas

The material for your travel trailer is an important decision that will define your camping experience. We have come up with some options to ensure you make an informed decision.


Acrylic canvas is a synthetic material known for being water-resistant, UV-resistant, and mildew-resistant. It’s also lightweight and easy to work with, making it a popular choice among buyers. Acrylic canvas is suitable for those who want a canvas that’s easy to clean and maintain.

Vinyl-Coated Polyester

Vinyl-coated polyester also exhibits similar properties to acrylic canvas. However, it offers added durability, making it a good option for campers exposed to a lot of wear and tear. Vinyl-coated polyester is more expensive than acrylic canvas but can last a while.


Poly-cotton canvas is a blend of synthetic and natural fibers, thus making it resistant to water droplets, mildew, and UV rays. It’s also lightweight with a user-friendly design. Poly-cotton canvas is an excellent choice for those looking for a low-maintenance canvas.


Sunforger canvas is a marine-grade canvas with all the properties of a premium-grade canvas. It’s super-sturdy to withstand harsh climatic conditions and other elements. Sunforger canvas is pricier than all the other options, but its durability is unmatched.

Ultimately, the type of canvas you choose will depend on your budget, the intended use of your pop-up camper, and your personal preferences. It’s recommended to research and read reviews to get a sense of the pros and cons of different types of the canvas before making a final decision.

Tips To Avoid Damaging The Canvas

Here are some tips to avoid damaging your canvas while making it last longer.

Regularly Inspect Your Canvas

It’s essential to regularly inspect your canvas for any signs of wear and tear, such as frayed edges, holes, or tears. If you notice any damage, address it as soon as possible to prevent it from getting worse. 

Keep Your Canvas Clean

Keeping your canvas clean is an ideal way to prolong its life. Use mild soap and water to clean your canvas, and rinse it thoroughly to remove any soap residue. 

Store Your Canvas Properly

When you’re not using your canvas, store it properly. Fold it neatly and store it in a dry, cool place away from direct sunlight.

Avoid Using Harsh Chemicals

Avoid using strong chemicals on your canvas, such as bleach or solvents, as they can weaken the fabric and cause it to degrade over time. Instead, use mild soap and water to clean your canvas, and avoid using abrasive materials when scrubbing it. 

Use A UV-Resistant Coating

Applying a UV-resistant coating to your canvas can help to protect it from the sun’s harmful rays. This will help to prevent the canvas from fading or becoming brittle over time. Professionals can apply UV-resistant coatings, or you can do it yourself. 

Use A Rainfly

A rainfly is a waterproof cover that goes over the top of your canvas. It’s designed to protect your canvas from rain and other forms of precipitation. This will help to prevent water from seeping into your camper and causing damage to your canvas. 


Overall, replacing your pop-up camper’s canvas yourself is a cost-effective and rewarding way to keep your camper in top condition. With the right materials, tools, and attention to detail, you can give your pop-up camper a fresh look. Don’t let a worn-out canvas hold you back from enjoying your camping trip in the wilderness. Take on the challenge of a DIY canvas replacement and see how easy and satisfying it can be. Happy camping!


Leave a Comment