Gone Outdoors

How to Repair Pop Up Trailer Canvas

by Edwin Thomas

Canvas is a tough fabric, but the canvas on a pop-up camping trailer spends a lot of time in the elements and absorbs plenty of wear and tear. Rips, holes and even rot along the corners or in the walls of a pop-up trailer are inevitable. One might think the solution is sewing the canvas back together, but simply stitching the hole up ruins the water-resistant properties of canvas. To repair your pop-up trailer's canvas, you need to patch it.

1. Measure the dimensions of the hole or tear in the canvas with your tape measure. If the damage is the result of rot or a burn, trim away the rotten or burnt fabric before taking this measurement.

2. Cut out identical pieces of canvas from a roll of fabric or trim your canvas patches from a patching kit to sized to cover the hole or tear, with an extra margin of one or two inches in all directions around the damage.

3. Go inside the pop-up trailer, coat one side of one of your patches with the canvas adhesive from the patching kit, and stick the patch onto the inside of the hole or tear.

4. Wait five minutes. Then prepare the second patch with canvas adhesive, go to the outside of the damaged canvas, and press the patch over the top. The tear or hole should now be covered by canvas patches on both sides.

5. Allow the pop-up trailer to remain erected at least overnight, and preferably 24 hours before taking it down. This allows the adhesive to form a bond without being crumpled, which could cause permanent, glue-bound wrinkles.

6. Rub some waterproofing wax or spray on a silicon fabric waterproofing spray to the area around the outside of the canvas patch. Canvas is naturally water resistant, but this extra step will ensure a proper seal around the patch.

Items you will need
  • Tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Matching canvas fabric (recommended)
  • Canvas patching kit
  • Waterproofing wax or spray

Tip

  • If the patches from your patching kit do not match the color or texture of your pop-up trailer's canvas, look around at local fabric shops or with online retailers for some fabric that does. This may take extra time, but it will pay off in giving your repair job a smooth, even appearance that blends in with the original canvas of the trailer.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images