How To Clean A Pop Up Camper Canvas; Steps To Take

With continued use, the canvas of a pop-up camper will become dirty and soiled, making it essential to know how to clean a pop up camper canvas.

However, it can quickly develop mold and mildew, which can cause serious health problems. Yet, restoring the canvas of your camper to its original condition can be easy.

Follow the steps in this manual to clean your camper canvas, get rid of mold and mildew if necessary, and then seal it to prevent water damage.

Basic Tent Canvas Maintenance

The canvas of your pop-up camper shields you from the weather, but it still collects dust and filth over time and needs to be gently cleaned regularly.

You may use a simple household cleaner to clean your canvas without spending much money.

In reality, regular detergent for the washing machine will do just fine.

Woolite is a favorite laundry detergent among campers because of its gentle yet powerful formula.

Use Woolite detergent to clean your canvas by doing the following:

Put a couple of liters of water in a bucket.

Add one Woolite detergent capful to the water in the bucket and stir.

Use a regular sponge to clean the inside and exterior of the tent’s canvas.

Then, wipe the inside of the canvas down with a fresh, wet sponge.

To remove any trace of soap from the exterior, spray it down with a garden hose.

Once cleaned out your canvas, it might be wise to figure out when to get rid of a sponge to ensure you keep bacteria at bay.

Make sure the canvas is still watertight after giving it a quick rinse with the garden hose.

After you see water beads up neatly on the canvas, you will know you’ve succeeded. If water penetrates the canvas, read on for information on how to make it waterproof.

A Guide To Removing Mold From A Pop-Up Camper’s Canvas

A specialized mildew cleaning that includes anti-mildew chemicals will help you keep your home mold- and mildew-free.

Mixing bleach, dish soap, and water make a quick and effective mildew remover.

Star Brite Mold & Mildew Stain Remover + Cleaner is considered to be among the best mildew stain removers for canvas, and we use it ourselves.

What is even better?

In this method, vigorous scrubbing is unnecessary. The mildew remover you have on hand can be used instead.

Pop-Up Camper Canvas: How To Get Rid Of Mildew and Mold

Apply a mildew spray to the area in question.

Just wait around for the mildew stain to go away.

Use clean water to rinse.

It is clear that Starbrite Mold & Mildew Cleaning dramatically simplifies the procedure. If you want the mildew remover to be as effective as possible without damaging the material, read and follow the instructions carefully.

Waterproofing Camper Canvas

Removing the waterproof layer on all camper canvases is one of the potential risks of aggressive cleaning. While canvas is a dense material, it needs additional assistance to be completely waterproof.

This thin waterproofing layer is subject to wear and tear, particularly around seams and sections of canvas that experience regular movement.

If the waterproofing layer has been compromised, you risk allowing the build-up of excess moisture into your camper.

In addition to promoting mildew growth, moisture can cause structural damage to your camper.

You will have a stifling, unpleasant, and moldy environment at best.

Worst-case scenario: costly repairs and extended downtime.

You can quickly determine whether your canvas is waterproof. When sprayed with water, a waterproof canvas will exhibit the formation of minute drops on its surface.

This area’s waterproofing layer is still intact. Any sites without beaded water require either a spot or more extensive treatment.

Waterproofing typically degrades significantly more rapidly in high-friction locations than in others.

This includes places where other components of the camper brush against the canvas and areas where the canvas rubs against itself.

When Should A Canvas Be Waterproofed?

The frequency with which you must waterproof your canvas varies on how often you camp and how much wear and tear your canvas endures.

Canvases that are exposed to more sun and rain and frequently used require more frequent waterproofing than those that spend most of the year in a garage.

It is advisable to conduct spot checks at least twice a year or more frequently if you camp often.

After a year or so, you will better understand how frequently you must apply additional waterproofing.

What Steps Should I Take Before Waterproofing My Canvas?

Before beginning to waterproof your canvas, be sure to remove any soap residue.

Many cleaners leave a residue, and your water-repellent will bind to the residue rather than the canvas. This can result in removing both the waterproofing agent and the rubble.

Additionally, allow your canvas some time to dry after cleaning it. Having excessive moisture in your canvas will reduce the waterproofing’s effectiveness.

You even run the risk of retaining moisture in the canvas, which might cause future difficulties.

How To Waterproof A Canvas Pop-Up Camper

You will need a superior-quality product to waterproof your camper’s canvas.

Numerous products are available for purchase, but it is recommended to use 303 Fabric Guard.

This popular, high-quality product is manufactured by Sunbrella, which also manufactures several pop-up camper canvases (so they know what they are doing).

There are two ways to give your canvas the waterproofing treatment:

The spray container is ideal if you only need to treat small areas.

A spray bottle can still be helpful, but you should switch to a paintbrush or roller for larger sizes.

This approach uses more material, but the coating is uniform and consistent. No matter what you do, keep the waterproofing spray off the vinyl and other surfaces and only use it on the canvas.

If the 303 treatment is left on your vinyl for too long, it could become discolored or damaged.

Masking tape is the most convenient method for protecting vinyl during treatment application. Any liquid that pools on the vinyl can be wiped up or blocked off using plastic.


Washing the canvas of a pop-up camper is easier than it may appear.

Following the above easy methods and utilizing the correct products can quickly restore your camper to its original condition.

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