Tired of dealing with leaky canvas seams

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Repairs & Maintenance' started by Orchid, Mar 29, 2018.

Best long term idea to keep canvas seams from leaking.

  1. Idea #1 - Use caulking on the seams

  2. Idea #2 - Tape off the offending seams with Enternabond tape.

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  1. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    We have an ongoing issue with our bunk ends leaking at the seam along the end pole. We will seal them up, it will last for a few months, then start again. I've tried beeswax as well as several other suggestions after traditional seam seal repeated failures.

    We apply the seam sealer with a brush, making sure it goes in the all the holes, and let it dry completely. Still yet, it's a job that's never ending. We spray the entire canvas, including the seams, with 303. Never had any trouble with leaking anywhere else.

    So, here I am at my wits end. I have two options in my mind at this point. I am beyond caring what anything looks like. I just don't want to buy a new canvas yet.

    Idea #1 - Use caulking on the seams
    Idea #2 - Tape off the offending seams with Enternabond tape.

    I've giving up on things looking pretty on the outside of the camper, so not concerned about the appearance. So, would you try either one of these ideas, or have a better idea?
     
  2. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    i don't think either one will handle folding very well.
     
  3. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I'm desperate. Do you have any better ideas? Eternabond tape will hold up to being folded. That stuff is on forever, but will look tacky.
     
  4. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    Why not use Gizmos or homemade Gizmos from emergency blankets.

    20150520_171555~3.jpg
     
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  5. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

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    you could go my way and cover the whole thing. I would try the tape or you could get The Gizmo thing.
     
  6. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    I don't know if it's better, but I have heard of some using flex seal on their canvas. I have to believe that Flex Seal would look better than the EternaBond would look.
     
  7. BelchFire

    BelchFire I speak fluent vise-grip

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    Every time I open our camper, I find small bits of an opaque rubberized sort of stuff on the bunks. After a while I finally realized that it's a material that was sewn into all the seams and is cracking and flaking off where it sticks out on the inside of the seam. Our seams don't leak, so I've never worried about it beyond vacuuming it from time to time to stay ahead of the dribbly mess.

    It seems to me that, if you're willing to go to the trouble of doing "whatever it takes", why not consider re-sewing the seams that leak with a new layer of the rubberized material in place? I don't sew anything (don't even have a machine), but for someone who does (like Orchid, hint, hint) it doesn't seem like it would be a big deal to do. Once and done for years....
     
  8. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

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    Have you tried using a clear flexible adhesive tape such as Gorilla tape to overlap the sewn seams? I have used clear gorilla tape on the edges of some of the vinyl window where the thread has pulled through and so far, after a few years they have remained water tight. Also, another product a friend used for patching a hole in the vinyl is Tear Aid. Found on Amazon. There are two types Type A and B.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000K6WKN...6d279&ref_=pd_luc_rh_bxgy_02_02_t_img_lh&th=1
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001DZDCNS/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1
     
  9. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    I use 9X12 tarps over my two tent beds ends,,, Dry as a bone inside and I get the good effects of having the gizmos without the high cost...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I have the rain gutters on the roof just below my marker lights and can lay the 9x12 tarp end into the rain gutter and hold in place with stretch rope. Then I just tie off the tarps to the stretch ropes down to the trailer fame. All wraps up neat for me to use...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I store all of my stretch ropes hooked into the railing of the front deck.
    [​IMG]

    Can get three seasons out of the cheap WALMART tarps when the SUN UV RAYS finally start deteriorating the tarps... Have found the 9x12 tarps as cheap as $6 during sales at WALMART. Been doing this since 2009 on my new purchased 2008 OFF-ROAD Camper. The OEM roof material still looks like brand new hehe...

    Sure knocks down on being very bright inside from the sun during the day... I can play games with leaving my tent fabric windows opened and allow the fantastic fan on the roof to really pull in nice cool night air when sleeping...

    Was a good move for us at any rate...

    When camping in the Smoky mtns where it rains every other day it was quite common to see alot of setups including trailers under large tarps like we did here with our tent camping setup alot
    [​IMG]
    All images here are Roy's images...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2018
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  10. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    That is likely to be the basting tape used in construction. It has no other use than to hold the pieces together then, and isn't really noticeable until it begins to flake.

    Orchid: which traditional seam sealer did you try? We've had best luck with this one: https://www.gearaid.com/products/seam-grip-sealant-tent-fabric
    They also make ones that are more glue-like, such as: https://www.gearaid.com/products/seam-grip-sealant-waterproof?variant=28044147153. Those definitely need to have the seams prepped before application, cleaned with alcohol. I'm not sure how either would work after the beeswax application.
     
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  11. DJS12354

    DJS12354 Well-Known Member

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  12. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

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    The flex seal did not help me and looked like crap when done.
     
  13. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Good to know. I have been hearing about flex seal on a pup for a while but this is the first time on the Portal that I have heard a first hand account.
     
  14. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

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    Ya I used half the can on one seem it worked the day after I did it. I let it dry and closed it up 2 days later. Than we went camping a week later with an overnight rain I woke up to a wet pillow.
     
  15. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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  16. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    Shoe Goo/Goop is some good stuff. You can smooth it nicely with a wet fingertip.
     
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  17. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    If you are keeping it up at home you need to have the gizmos on. UV is gradually killing your canvas and thread. That is what happened to mine. A prior owner must have kept it open for extended periods and by the time I got it the stitching was on its last legs due to age and sun rot. That is the main reason I put new canvas on it as every trip I would have more come undone.
     
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  18. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I honestly didn't think about the threads. I know the Gizmos came with a warning that they are not for long term use. Maybe I will just have to go through cheap tarps at home, as I don't like my camper down. I'll hit up Harbor Freight tomorrow, when I go out for Shoe Goo, and just replace them as they deteriorate.
     
  19. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    We always had the PUGs on when the pup was open - with our sun/UV in the high desert, deterioration of the tenting was a real possibility. We figured replacing the PUGs was easier and less expensive than the tenting. Since at the time, we had pine trees over where the campers have lived, it was also more protection from bird poo, sap, and some sort of black powdery stuff the trees dropped.

    As to you continuing leak - are you sure it's an actual leak, not condensation? On one of our pups, the issue was not the vertical seams but the horizontal ones, and then only in extended rains. Once we seam sealed those we had fewer wet pillows. Even with plenty of air circulation, we still had to be careful at the bunk edges, under certain conditions we still got a bit of condensation there. (Especially under freezing, but that would not be your problem, I bet.)
     
  20. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    It's definitely a leak. In Florida, it doesn't rain for long periods of time very often. Usually just 15 minutes at a time. I have been in there and can see the the seam that it's actually leaking from and running down the pole.

    I am always worried about leaving it up like I do. Because I like to hang out in, and even spend nights in, the camper, it's pushing me more and more towards a small TT.
     

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