Over time, your canvas could become dirty, develop mildew, and start to lose its waterproof quality. With some great products and a lot of elbow grease, you can make your pop-up’s canvas look like new! First, give your canvas a thorough cleaning with a mixture of about 1/4 cup of mild detergent to five gallons of water. Many recommend Woolite, however it is always best to check your owner’s manual first, and always perform a spot check with any product before applying to the whole area of your camper. If you find black streaks inside or out, which can be caused by grease from moving parts, use an appropriate multipurpose cleaner with a generic white eraser sponge and those streaks should wipe right off! If you find that mildew is present, either purchase a mildew spray made especially for fabrics, or use a mixture of 1/4 cup dish soap and one cup of bleach per one gallon of water, and gently scrub the stain. Never vigorously scrub your canvas or you could ruin it! Rinse your canvas, making sure to completely rinse any residue, and allow it to fully dry. Once it is dry, apply a water-repellent fabric protectant. Sunbrella fabrics, whose fabric comes equipped on some pop-up campers, has a great line by the name of 303 which has numerous fabric cleaning and protecting after-market products. Try out their fabric guard, which will give you a great seal that will last up to a year. Be sure to check your canvas periodically for mildew, and test its water resistance to see if you need to reapply a fabric guard.
The vinyl fabrics on the tenting of your pop-up will require a little bit of care as well to keep them looking like new! Use a vinyl cleaner and protectant spray, which cleans your vinyl and applies a great layer that protects and polishes your vinyl in one easy step! Follow the manufacturer’s directions for application. The windows of pop-ups are typically made of vinyl as well, so you can use this same cleaner to get the grime and buildup off for a crystal clear view!
Before you move on to cleaning your hard sides, allow your canvas to completely dry out for a few days before folding it back down. Folding down a pop-up when it is still wet is a surefire recipe for mildew! Fold down your camper, then use a mixture of dish soap and water to clean your hard sides! Give a little extra attention to tough areas with a brush and extra soap, and try your white eraser sponge on paneling and the roof! Once you have rinsed and given the hard sides time to dry, apply an appropriate wax with UV protection, making sure you get a wax that won’t harm your vinyl decals! Be sure to show the rubber roof seal some TLC as well with a rubber seal protectant!