View Full Version : Roof tent cleaning and care.
03-22-2007, 08:26 PM
So I searched around and didn't find much info on how to properly care for a roof top tent, in particular the canvas. I know not to spray any form of chemical substance on them but what do you use to clean them and care for them? I recently purchased a Hannibal and intend on keeping it for a long time. If you have any pointers or tips for care please share.
03-22-2007, 08:42 PM
Is the material actually cotton canvas or is it nylon? My WilderNest has a heavy nylon with a urethane coating on the inside, which actually presents a problem since most stuff that's good on nylon isn't good for urethane and anything that is safe for both doesn't clean tough stuff like grease or pine tar. Anyway, for routine maintenance I find that just plain old dish soap and a good wash and dry is sufficient. If it's stained badly, I typically don't worry too much about it, just clean and stabilize it to keep it from deteriorating the material or coating and live with the stains. I use rubbing alcohol mostly to spot clean. I have this stuff called Sail Bath made by Davis. It's a glycol based cleaner that is made for cleaning oils and salt from sailboat sails, which are mostly synthetic now. I think the stuff has been discontinued, so I dunno what I'll use when the last couple of bottles are gone. But it works pretty well and seems safe enough on my fabric so far.
03-22-2007, 09:44 PM
Thanks Dave. The tent itself is made of wax impregnated polyimide 380g cotton rip-stop canvas. The rain fly is made of waterproof 210 denier oxford nylon.
03-23-2007, 04:42 AM
I wrote an article regarding RTT canvas and zip care after much research and much testing. Posted as a pdf here:
03-23-2007, 04:44 AM
Excellent. Thank you so much Graham that's just the kind of info I was looking for.
04-12-2008, 08:57 PM
I'm gonna bump this thread and add an additional link to Graham's very useful cleaning article:
Anyone have any tips or hints for cleaning the open cell foam mattesses....too big for a washer....
04-12-2008, 09:45 PM
I put our foam matress in the bathtub to wash, and then do my best grape stomping impression on it. It does take a very long time to dry though.
04-12-2008, 10:07 PM
Good thread. Graham's article is quite informative.
For our synthetic fabric tents we recommend the following similar cleaning process:
1. Fully erect the tent in a sunny place and remove mattress and all other furnishings
2. Brush or vacuum off all possible dust and dirt
3. General cleaning - using a small amount of mild detergent in a bucket of warm water and a stiff bristle brush, wet out one side the the tent at a time scrubbing with the brush as you progress from the top downwards. Rinse thoroughly with a hose and clear water before you progress to the next side of the tent. Let the tent dry completely before any treatment is applied.
4. Stronger cleaning - Use 303 Products' Fabric Cleaner according to directions.
5. Treatment for restoring water repellancy - use 303 Products' Fabric Guard according to directions. Let dry thoroughly, then rinse the tent again and let dry.
Cleaning of zippers - use a small brush or tooth brush to remove dirt. To provide easy operation I have had good luck using 303 Products' Aerospace Protectant - it leaves no sticky residue to attract dirt, and allows zips to operate smoothly.
It may seem as though I own stock in 303 Products, but I just like them. They work.
04-13-2008, 07:53 PM
Thanks for the great tips folks.
I'll point to this thread in the Eezi-Awn or other RTT user tips (http://expeditionportal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=13565) thread.
04-14-2008, 02:52 PM
I spent the weekend practicing my grape stomping technique thanks to Connie...and will source some beeswax for when it goes on the roof of the Troopy!
04-14-2008, 03:20 PM
I have a Hannibal seems we Hannibal owners are a rare breed. When I got mine it was rough and I had to rebuild the platform. I removed the canvas and put in in the washing machine. Though to clean canvas say on a boat cover you just use a sponge and some soap and water. Couldn't be simpler. I use a boat canvas waterproofer that I sprayed or brushed on.
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