Tent trailers offer some of the comforts and facilities of an RV at a fraction of the cost, making them a cheaper alternative for those who love camping, but are not so keen on roughing it. Part of what makes a tent trailer lighter and cheaper is that the walls and often the ceiling of the tent are made of canvas, a durable and water-resistant material. However, canvas can be torn, burnt or even become rotten. Repairing canvas by sewing compromises the fabric's water-resistance, so the best way to repair your canvas tent trailer is by patching it.
Cut away any loose or ragged threads, burnt fabric or rotten fabric from the area to be patched. Start your repair job with a clean, even hole or tear.
Measure the width and length of the hole. Use scissors to cut a pair of canvas patches that are roughly 2 inches larger than the hole, so the patches will overlap the hole in all directions.
Apply a layer of canvas adhesive from your patching kit to one side of one of your patches. Place this over the hole from the inside of the tent trailer, holding it in place to make sure it has a firm grip and that there are no wrinkles. Wait five minutes before moving on to the next step, to make sure the patch has adhered.
Repeat Step 3 on the outside of the tent trailer, so the hole has a canvas patch on both sides.
Leave the tent trailer up overnight to ensure the patches set properly in a smooth, stretched out and wrinkle-free position.
- Unless you are absolutely certain what, if any, waterproofing agent was used to treat your original canvas material, you should not apply a waterproofing agent to the canvas patches. Different waterproofing agents can react badly, so applying such an agent to your patchwork might ruin the waterproofing of the surrounding fabric. Canvas is naturally water resistant, and the two layers of patchwork will be enough to keep water out.
- Try to find canvas that matches not just the color of your tent trailer, but also the texture of the fabric. If you have the time and inclination, shop around at fabric stores or online to find a suitable match. It will help create a seamless appearance for your patchwork.
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