Protecting canvas while popped up

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by NorCalKing, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. NorCalKing

    NorCalKing New Member

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    Mar 14, 2018
    Willits, CA
    Hello, my wife and I just bought our first pop up. One of the spots we frequently camp at is in a thick eucalyptus grove on the Mendocino Coast in Northern California. Eucalyptus trees tend to drip a ton of oil on everything. We’ve always tent camped before, so it was no big deal to hose off the rain fly when we got home.

    Now that we will be taking the pop up, I’m looking for ideas for protecting the canvas when the trailer is in use.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. BarryR

    BarryR New Member

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    Mar 13, 2018
    Alabama
    I think we need to begin with what year and make camper you have. The "canvas" on many popup campers isn't really a canvas. What will work to waterproof and clean one material should not be used on others.

    For example, I have a 92 Coleman Arcadia. The "canvas" on my camper is made from vinyl and "evolution" a polypropylene material.

    For my tenting, I used bleach, simple green and water to clean it, BUT other materials don't like bleach! For waterproofing for my camper it was recommended that I use 3M scotch guard "outdoor" (NOT the regular Scotchgard sold at Walmart... it can be washed out of the tenting! At least according to the person from 3M) or 303 high tech fabric guard. I bought the 303 hi-techs online. REI sells the "outdoor" Scotchgard.


    If your tent is real canvas some people DO NOT recommend ANY treatment! Just keep it clean with a soft brush and water (no detergent or soap!)
     
  3. BelchFire

    BelchFire I speak fluent vise-grip

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    Mar 29, 2012
    SE Georgia
    Get yourself a set of popup gizmos! They cover the bunk ends and protect it from sun, and various drippings/droppings (birds and squirrels included), but most importantly, they protect you from excess heat. WELL worth the expense. All you need to know is the size of your bunks when deployed.
     
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  4. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    x2 on the Popup Gizmos. ^^^

    If you can't afford them, some folks tarp the whole pup or tarp just the bunk ends.
     
  5. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    I would not camp in a popup without Popup Gizmos, for heat/cold issues, and protection for the bunk end roofs. I've never camped under eucalyptus trees, but often under various types of pine trees, trees that exude other sap, and insects that drop sticky stuff onto the camper, not to mention bird poo. Also, all of our campers have lived at home under pine trees (we removed the last one a couple of months ago), with roosting doves, sap, pollen, etc. The PUGs are easier to replace every now and again than the canvas.
    If the trees drop oil onto the sides, that's another matter, but we have coped with whatever has ended up there. We take the best care of our camper we can and don't try to keep it pristine.
     
  6. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

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    Apr 21, 2010
    Pickering, Ontario
    I have a large white tarp that I occasionally use if it's calling for a lot of rain. It covers the entire pup and extends about a foot past each bunk end. It may be a bit of a pain to set up but worth it IMO. I drape it across the roof before cranking up and the unfold it and use long ropes to trees.
     
  7. NorCalKing

    NorCalKing New Member

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    Mar 14, 2018
    Willits, CA
    We have a 2013 Jayco Jay Series M-12 BS Sport. I would definitely describe the tent as being more of a vinyl finish rather than canvas. I really think treating them would be futile. The Eucalyptus really gets everywhere. You leave with a residue of eucalyptus oil and sand on everything.

    I think covering the bunks is the way to go. I’m definitely going to check out the Gizmos. That’s sounds like exactly what I’m looking for. I just assumed nothing was commercially produced like that. If I end up using a tarp, does anyone have any ideas for ways to lay out and fasten the tarp without blocking the windows.

    Thanks for the replies!
     
  8. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    If you look close to the pictures on the PopUp Gizmo website, you can kind of see that they in all of the pics (except the Super High Wind version) they use clips to fasten the the bunk covers to the bunk ends.

    I have used binder clips to fasten tarps to my awning to create walls. This may work for what you want but probably will not stand up to anything more than a moderate wind.
     
  9. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    I am one that tarps the whole thing!
    06de9373-3ce6-4cd8-8047-5d2b6ca70252_zpsaqta9hjv.JPG
     
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  10. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    Santa Clarita, California
    Some tarps absorb heat from sun while Gizmo don't. It is worth every penny.
     
  11. Eric the P4ddl3r

    Eric the P4ddl3r New Member

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    Feb 12, 2018
    Virginia
    Any thoughts on which of the Gizmos is the most practical? Is the high-wind version really needed for most conditions or just if your preferred location is a windy area?

    Eric
     
  12. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    Super High Wind Style and ask them to add a Velcro strip to the ends (extra $5 per bunk end). It will make it easier to attach them during setup. Just add the hook side Velcro strip under your roof end.
     
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  13. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    10,928
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    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    We had the high wind version on our first popup - clips and one shock cord. Even the heftier clips we used got popped off a few times, because it does get windy where we live (high wind warnings for tomorrow, for example 25-40 mph, with gusts 45-55) and camp. After that, we went to the super-high wind version, which is all shock cords. We did a ring mod to make it easier, all 5 shock cords on each side went to a ring to hook under the bunk. The Velcro also made it a lot easier, we usually just left the Gizmo on each end as we folded things down.
     
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  14. NorCalKing

    NorCalKing New Member

    27
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    Mar 14, 2018
    Willits, CA
    I could see camping under pine trees having the same problems. Maybe even worse... the eucalyptus will clean off relatively easily compared to pitch from pine trees. The problem with the spot I’m talking about is that the combination of the eucalyptus oil, the fog (which is very common), and the sand, just makes for a mess.
     
  15. NorCalKing

    NorCalKing New Member

    27
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    Mar 14, 2018
    Willits, CA
    I saw some other ideas. One that intrigues me is using heavy duty emergency blankets like the ones you can get at Cabelas. The have grommets on the edges already, and are apparently very similar to the material that the Gizmos are made of.

    Anybody every made any covers using this method?
     
  16. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    Not even close, unfortunately. I literally have more money in homemade Gizmos, that quickly deteriorated in the Florida sun, than I would have spent just buying Gizmos to begin with. I am still kind of mad at myself about all that wasted time and money.

    The emergency blankets, even the highest quality ones, that are heavier duty than tarps, just don't last in the sun and other elements. I started with the ones that were only like $10 (give or take) at Walmart. When those didn't last, I stupidly thought getting better quality (and more expensive) ones would do the trick. UGH, I could kick myself.

    The whole affair is kind of sore subject for me. I even managed to destroy our 1-year-old roof gasket in the process of "saving money."
     
  17. NorCalKing

    NorCalKing New Member

    27
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    Mar 14, 2018
    Willits, CA
    I like your idea. I had originally thought that would be a great idea. However, this spot is a little cramped on flat camp space. I’m not sure I’d have the space to run my ropes, etc.
     
  18. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    Do They make a 20x30 Gizmo in camo? It cant be silver or blue because the property owner has outlawed there use!
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  19. NorCalKing

    NorCalKing New Member

    27
    4
    Mar 14, 2018
    Willits, CA
    Oh boy. Thanks for the input. Most of the places we’d be camping are either Northern California Coast (think lots of fog and pretty cool) or the redwoods (lots of shade). I don’t think we’d get much direct sun. I’m more worried about damage from stuff dropping on the canvas.
     
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  20. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

    We ALWAYS camp in the shade - 100% of the time. Always in the woods, on shaded sites. I just assumed the FL sun ruined them indirectly, because every tarp we've owned since moving here has turned to ash. Not in direct sunlight either. May not be as bad where you are, but please proceed with caution, as far as how much money you put in until you see if they will hold up.
     

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