The Southern Glamper: Replacing Your Pop Up Camper Canvas


Learn more about the Colman-Mach ® line of RV AC's for your best season of camping!!

Replacing Your Pop Up Camper Canvas

Friday, March 2, 2018

No matter the age of your pop up, a good canvas is one of the most important pieces.  Overlooking signs of wear and tear can be a costly mistake.  A stiff and brittle canvas even without tears is an indicator of bad things to come.  Canvas care, canvas replacement, and canvas treatment are 3 key components in owning a pop-up camper.

Canvas Care

First, let's discuss canvas care.  How you treat your canvas effects your overall investment.  Mildew is a common problem in the pop-up camper canvas.  Mildew will cling to grease and dirt particles that linger on the interior of your camper.  Discourage mildew growth by keeping your interior clean.  This is one of the main reasons we cook outside of our camper.  Use a mild detergent to clean the interior of your canvas once a month during the camping season or times of high use.

Humidity will also cause mildew to grow.  Make sure that your camper is completely dry before closing it up.  If it is raining or damp when you are packing up, open everything back up at home allow everything to completely dry.  You can also use products like DampRid Moisture Absorber to help with moister when in storage.

Paying close attention to moisture and cleanliness are vital steps in the life of your camper.  These two simple areas can be maintained as part of basic maintenance and good camping habits.  A dry, clean canvas is a happy one.  But what if your canvas is not in good shape?

Canvas Replacement

Our canvas developed big tears soon after purchasing her.  Basically, it was dry rotting.  Over time, sun exposure, cleanliness and lack of vinyl treatment had lessened the lifespan of the canvas itself.   I asked pop up camper owners in a Facebook group to recommend a reputable company for canvas replacement.  We settled on Canvas Replacements after overwhelming recommendations from campers.

If you are about to make this decision, here is why we chose Canvas Replacements:
  1. They answered their emails quickly and politely throughout the decision-making process.
  2. They came highly recommended by other campers.
  3. Canvas Replacements have been in business since 1973 - 45 years!  
  4. It is a Christian run company, and I like supporting them.  I believe this business operates on that principal and set of beliefs.
We struggled with the decision to install the canvas ourselves or having a professional to do it at our local dealership.  Well, I struggled.  My husband had made up his mind long before the conversation started.  

After polling on social media and fielding comments, my husband won out!  A camper I follow on Instagram said her husband replaced their canvas on his own and it took about 5 hours.  The dealership said that they have a guy that can do this job in his sleep.

I've said many times that the cost of doing work yourself may not be cost-effective.  This is yet another one of those times.  One friend Josh pointed out to us the cost of the investment and that a simple mistake in the installation could be even more costly.  

This cost of professional installation for this job was $380.00.  With the cost of the canvas and shipping, the total cost of the new canvas was $1,280.   We love the end result, and feel like it was worth every penny!

And was it worth it?  Totally!  The whole point of the pop up is to have an easy, towable camper that we can tow with our current vehicle.  Having air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter is amazing.  We want a comfortable place to lay our heads at night.  Our camper checks all the boxes.

Canvas Treatments

For any canvas,  make sure that you keep it looking and performing its best for a long time.  Canvas Replacements recommended that we use a Vinyl Protectant to treat the vinyl periodically.  Before treating, use a mild cleaner such as 303 30215 Clear Vinyl Protective Cleaner - 32 fl. oz..  You could also use a mild soap and water solution.  But I would ere on the side of caution here so you don't damage your canvas.  Stay away from anything harsh - especially bleach!

With our new canvas, we can sleep easily without worry of rainy leaks at night from a failing canvas.  Set up will be much easier.  And, Peggy Sue will look so much nicer!

This duct tape below is literally what was holding our canvas together for our last trip in November!  While that design might be cute, this is not how I'm opting to camp.  Many thanks to our friends for helping us pull it together for that Thanksgiving trip last year.  (pun intended)  But, I'm glad that will be a memory we can laugh about and not our camping style!

If you are thinking about buying a used pop up camper, consider if your new investment will need a new canvas.  Look for dry rotting, repairs, and tears.  If the canvas looks like it might be in trouble, factor this into your price negotiations.  Check the NADA Guides for RV's before buying your camper to help you through this process too.

I still think that Peggy Sue is the right camper for our family, formerly with a bad canvas and all.  The guy that sold her to us showed us all the repairs that he made to her and how he did them.  Full disclosure was totally on the table.  These decisions have a lot of details, and it can be overwhelming.  Your diamond may be a hidden gem beneath a lot of elbow grease and hard earned cash.  Ours was.  And we have a great year ahead of us in practically new Peggy Sue!

This post contains Affiliate Links.

Many thanks to Canvas Replacements for their help in this process and information about canvas care!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your feedback and comments. I always review before sharing with other readers. Have a great day!

Subscribe to The Southern Glamper

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan