Pop Cover and Awning Care
Keeping Your Pop-up Fabric in Tip Top Shape
"Taking care of that little 1/8Ē layer of fabric separating you from the rest of the world may mean the difference between a happy or miserable camping trip. Don't let your spirits (and belongings) be dampened by the next rainstorm! Keeping your camperís exterior fabric in tiptop shape is a SNAP when you follow these easy steps:
Determine the type of fabric that your pop up has
There are many different materials used in the industry today, such as cotton, acrylic, polyester, vinyl or laminated products, that all require different methods of care. Check your ownerís manual to determine the particular maintenance procedure for your tenting.
Keep it clean and dry
Mold and mildew are your pop up fabricís #1 enemies. They thrive on dirt, moisture and decreased airflow. Prevention is KEY, because once it starts, itís difficult to control. ALWAYS store your pop up DRY. If packing up in the rain, open up at home as soon as possible. Before storage, remove any damp items or food from the interior. Check to make sure all seals and caulking are intact. Never store your camper covered with a tarp (unless it is tied up like a shelter) because it will impede airflow. Keep the tenting clean by lightly sweeping off loose dirt with a soft brush, and washing with water and a sponge to remove any bird droppings, campfire soot, leaves, etc. If necessary, use non-lanolin laundry soap flakes for stubborn stains. Never use detergents or bleach (unless your ownerís manual states otherwise) which could ruin the water repellency and strip the color. While camping, be careful to keep bushes and vines away, since acid from some branches could harm the fabric. Remember to avoid getting hair sprays or bug sprays on the fabric, as they can also impair repellency and cause staining. See IOSSO Cleaning products for Mold and Mildew Stain Remover
Keep your pop up rodent free
Seal off entry points with steel or bronze wool. (Bronze wool, available at marine supply stores, is more expensive, but it won't rust.) If the wool wonít stay in, use clear mailing tape, which is sticky and water-resistant, to hold it in place. You may need to crawl under your camper to find any openings, such as around plumbing pipes. In addition to shredding your tenting and screens, mice can gnaw through electric wires and hoses. Some people say that putting deterrents such as mothballs, aromatic cedar blocks, and dryer sheets inside help. Most importantly, make sure to remove all food and paper nesting material. Give your pop up a thorough vacuuming after every trip.
Care for your awning
The secret to a long canopy life, like other materials, is keeping it clean and storing it dry. While camping in the rain, pitch your awning to one side to prevent water from pooling on the fabric, causing damage or irreversible fabric stretching. Always roll it up if heavy or prolonged wind or rain is expected, or if you will be leaving it unattended. (Damage by weather isn't covered by most warranties.) A general rule of thumb: If you are comfortable sitting outdoors dining or reading the paper, then it is probably safe to have your awning up. The concern with wind is the up-lifting effect rather than the downward force; therefore the greater the pitch, the more wind resistant the unit is. CAUTION: make sure that when lowering or raising your awning, it is extended high enough to clear the entry door! For ease of operation, rub candle wax on all sliding surfaces, and make sure the bracket screws attaching it to the roof are tight.
Repair fabric problems as soon as they start
Despite your most caring efforts, mice may get by, holes may occur, and rain may leak through. Don't despair! Idaho Canvas Products specializes in pop up fabric repair and replacement, and products to help you do simple repairs yourself. Since sewing can sometimes weaken fabric further, there are patches and cements specifically formulated for canvas, vinyl, plastic and screen. When itís time to restore your fabricís repellency, use ONLY products recommended by your pop up manufacturer. Never use products that will change your canvasís color or consistency. (Canvas waterproofing products sold at home improvement stores are NOT made for pop ups!)
Know your replacement options
If you are replacing your pop upís fabric completely, decide whether you want it to be replaced with the original type of fabric or something different. Cover Replacement. In general, a full tent replacement may cost approximately $700 to $1000. Replacement of a tent section can cost up to $400, and a screen replacement can cost about $100 to $200. Small repairs will cost much less. (Nancy Rupa)
VAL-A-TEAR MENDER patch kit
Minor holes and tears can be repaired on your pop up camper fabric with a VAL A TEAR MENDER
patch kit This patch kits comes with one 16 oz. bottle of Val-A-Tear Mender Adhesive and one square yard of Sunforger Canvas
in your color choice.
Val-A-Tear Mender is a natural latex cement that bonds to most fabrics. It is waterproof and U.V. resistant. It leaves a visible shiny glaze on soft, absorbent fabrics. We therefore recommend Val A Tear Mender for your canvas pop up camper fabrics, tents, boat covers, sleeping bags and rain gear. Tear Mender smells like dirty diapers because it has a high ammonia content, and although it is only slightly worse for you than changing dirty diapers, it should be used in a well ventilated area. Also, people with allergies to latex should not touch or use this product. Tear-Mender takes about 15 to 30 minutes to dry depending on application, and holds quite well on most synthetic materials. It remains flexible, and claims to survive extreme hot or cold temperature.
NOTE: VAL-A-Tear Mender will not adhere to vinyl laminate or vinyl coated fabrics. It is only recommended for fabrics that will absorb the adhesive. VAL A Tear Mender cannot be frozen. We will not ship this product when temperatures are below 32 degrees F.
Natural (off white) Tan Gray Pearl Green
Fabric colors shown are an approximate match and may vary depending on your computer monitor.
Val A Tear Mender cannot be frozen. We cannot ship this product when temperatures are below 32 degrees F.
You may place your order but we will hold your order until weather temperatures are warm enough for us to ship.
Simply select the color of Sunforger fabric you need and order below.
PREPAID USPS Shipping to US Continental locations for on-line orders
Val-A-Tear Mender / Canvas Patch Kit
ORDER Val-A-Tear Mender Canvas Patch Kit SPECIAL $43.95 US Mail Priority Prepaid (2-3 days)
IOSSO (TM) Mold & Mildew Stain Remover
Color & Fabric Safe! Removes mold, mildew, algae stain, bird droppings, spider droppings, tannin (leaf) stain, tree sap, tough dirt, grease and oil, some food and drink stains, blood stains and more. Recommended for use on awnings, tents, boat covers, canvas, cushions, carpeting, umbrellas, camping gear, inflatables, fabrics, vinyl, plastic and fiberglass. It is non-chlorine, biodegradable and has no harmful vapors. One 12 oz. jar makes up to three gallons of solution. One gallon cleans 150 sq. feet.
PREPAID USPS Shipping to US Continental locations for on-line orders
ORDER Iosso Mold & Mildew Stain Remover SPECIAL $33.95 US Mail Priority Prepaid (2-3 days)
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