How do you repair a canvas on a tent trailer?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How do you repair a canvas on a tent trailer? We will explain how you can easily fix a trailer canvas, including how to repair a tent trailer zipper all by yourself. 

How do you repair a canvas on a tent trailer?

It is possible to repair canvas on a tent trailer, as long as the damage is not too big to interrupt your trip.  With the right materials and a little guidance, the canvas can be detached and holes can be patched and grommets replaced. The fixed canvas can be placed back on the tent trailer. You will then be able to be back on the road for the camping trip in virtually no time.

Here’s how to repair a canvas on a tent trailer:

  1. First, remove the canvas from the tent trailer. You do this by using the screwdriver to remove the tension spring pins and screws from both sides of the roller assembly that the tent trailer canvas is wrapped around. 

Then, with the tent trailer canvas separated from the tent trailer, unroll the canvas and lay it on a flat work surface. Unroll the canvas until the roller is visible at one end of the tarp.

  1. Measure any holes that you see in the canvas of the tent trailer. Take notes by writing across all the holes you see.
  1. Cut the lengths and widths of tape needed to place it over the holes in the canvas. Then, using the appropriate tape lengths and widths, place the canvas tape over any holes. Make sure the holes are completely covered.
  1. Look for any damaged grommets that may be on the canvas. Then use the scissors to cut the damaged rings out of position. Now use the measuring tape to make measurements for the size of the replacement fabric pieces that will be needed to put in new buttonholes.

 Make notes on the length and width of the fabric pieces you need and the number of fabric pieces you will need.

  1. Cut the lengths and widths of fabric pieces that you will need. Cut this from the rip-stop fabric material. Make sure you get the number of parts that are needed to repair all the places where the grommets were not damaged.
  1. Sew in place the new rip-stop woven pieces where they are most needed on the canvas. This will then allow you to put new washers in place on the canvas.
  1. Cut holes for the new rings in the repaired areas using the cutting hole side of the heavy-duty eyelet pliers. Then fit the grommets into the holes you have created. Now use the eyelet-drive side of the heavy-duty eyelet pliers to be able to lock the washers into position. 
  1. Roll the canvas up around the roller that is at the end of the trailer canvas. Then put the rolled canvas back onto the roller assembly. Use the screwdriver to put the bolts and pins in place on the tension spring on both sides of the roller assembly in order to hold the tent trailer canvas in position.

Some tips and warnings:

  • Most canvases can be unrolled and repaired in approximately 3 to 6 hours, depending on the damage they have sustained.
  • There is considerable energy stored in the tension spring that is inside the canvas roller of a tent trailer. Do not attempt to repair and unroll the canvas until all the pins and screws are separated from the roller assembly and the canvas has been unrolled and laid flat on the flat work surface. Failure to do this can result in injury!

6 practical tips for repairing your tent trailer yourself

Do you end up with a broken hoop or a hole in the trailer canvas? Should you throw away your beautiful trailer tent now? It’s not necessary! We are happy to give you some tips for small repairs to your tent canvas. 

  1. Repairing fibreglass poles. Did a fibreglass pole break? No worries, because a fibreglass pole is very easy to repair. Often you don’t need to buy a new roll bar, but you can just replace the broken part of the roll bar. You can use a set of fibreglass poles for this. 
  1. Small repairs to the trailer canvas. You can also repair small tears or holes in your tent canvas yourself. For synthetic materials, there are special self-adhesive pieces for tent fabrics. They stick easily to where you need them. We recommend that you do this on both sides. 

The self-adhesive fabric is water-resistant and will therefore also work in the rain. For cotton or blended fabric tent canvases, you can use an iron-on repair fabric. This type of repair fabric is available in different colours. As the name suggests, you must apply this fabric with an iron.

  1. Small repairs to the trailer floor. For groundsheets, you can use the same method as synthetic tent fabrics. Do you have a PVC floor mat? You can also repair the area using a small piece of PVC and PVC glue.
  1. Leakage close to the canvas seams. Got a synthetic canvas and leaking seams? Then use sealant. We always recommend that campers take sealant with them. The sealant is liquid and hardens after application. 

This way you apply a permanent waterproofing layer. However, for cotton or mixed fabric canvas, the sealant is not the solution. Then use an impregnation spray.

  1. Stiff zipper. Does the stiff zipper of your tent trailer canvas bother you? Use dry PTFE spray or silicone spray. After the treatment with one of the above sprays, the zipper will be flexible again. We advise you to do this every now and then if you want a long life for your canvas zippers. However, be careful not to spray the spray on your tent canvas.

Hope you can give your tent trailer a second life with these tips. Do you have any tips for us that are not listed here?

FAQ on How do you repair a canvas on a tent trailer?

How to repair an awning canvas?

To repair an awning canvas, gently rub the small area around the tear using VERY fine sandpaper (minimum 1000 grit) around the tear in the awning for better adhesion. You just need to rub to get a rough surface without weighing so as not to damage the canvas in depth.

How to clean and maintain a camper awning?

Here’s how to clean and maintain a camper awning:

  1. Always use mild soap.
  2. Water should be cold to lukewarm. Never over 38 ° c / 100 ° F.
  3. Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue.
  4. Let the air dry only. 

How do you repair a tear in a pop-up canvas?

To repair a tear in a pop-up canvas, you can use a simple repair kit. Please review our articles for more information and a step-by-step guide. 

How to fix a hole in a canvas?

Here’s how to fix a hole in a canvas:

  1. You must first take care of the REAR PART of the tear.
  2. Clean the surfaces to be glued by removing dust.
  3. Using a brush, paste the contours of the tear on a surface equal to the strip you are going to position.
  4. Lay the fabric strip to cover the tear.

Other FAQs about Travel Trailers that you may be interested in.

How long do galvanized trailers last?

How many sq ft is a 40 ft trailer?

How much below MSRP should I pay for a travel trailer?


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