Tarps over camper trailers

Submitted: Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 15:28
ThreadID: 35071 Views:6394 Replies:9 FollowUps:12
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G'day all,

My wife and I took our new soft floor camper trailer for its first run on the long weekend with the local 4x4 club. There were four CTs on the trip and during the first two days of steady rain three leaked badly and the other not enough to worry about.

I did soak the canvas before we went but obviously not good enough and I've been told about seam treatments such as rubbing candle wax into the stitching. While I'm sure there probably is a cure for the problem I like the idea of using a tarp over the CT like we have done with our tents for the last 30 to 40 years.

The tarp is not only water proof but makes a huge difference in the summer heat and protects the canvas from birds, leaves, falling pine cones etc.

I've been thinking of removing the canvas awning and somehow fitting a tarp large enough to act as a ten foot awning and over hang the other three sides by 3 to 4 feet.

I would like the tarp to be attached and fold up with the tent but be removable if need be.

My question is has anyone found a fast and easy way to use a tarp over a CT?

Grateful for any ideas,
Keith and Sandra
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Reply By: Muddies Doe(Trippn) - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 15:47

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 15:47
Hi Bushcamper

I don't know if this will help but Trayon have a tarp that fits over their campers and it helps reduce the summer heat quite well.
It can be fitted so that it either can either stay on or off the camper as required.
How it is secured and by what means, I can't remember.
I'm sure that it or any heat reducing tarp could be secured in such a way to your camper?

Cya
:)
AnswerID: 179252

Follow Up By: bushcamper - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 16:01

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 16:01
Thanks mate, I'm in Gladstone Qld and there's not much around here to look at.
Hopfully someone will have some ideas :~))

Keith
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Follow Up By: Muddies Doe(Trippn) - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 16:22

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 16:22
Hi Keith

Trayon are made on the Sunshine Coast in Qld.
Anyway, up to you but it may be worth giving them a call.

www.trayon.com

No affliation with them, just sussed out their camper once.

Cya
:)
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Reply By: Member - uncle - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 16:28

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 16:28
We have a good set up on ours now,not because it leaks, it's for shade from the sun and we've now found out it works good against having a heavy frost on the canvas as well. Will try and put a pic on here tonight when I get home.Cheers
AnswerID: 179258

Follow Up By: Member - uncle - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 16:38

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 16:38
Just realised there's a pic on our profile page.One end of the tarp attaches to the boat rack with large cable ties, then we simply roll it out and put the poles up. I'm glad we've got the boat rack it came in handy for something else as well as carrying the tinny!
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Follow Up By: bushcamper - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 17:45

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 17:45
Thanks Uncle, unfortunatly we don't have a boat rack yet (looks like another good reason to fit one)
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Reply By: Member - Bruce and Anne - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 16:29

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 16:29
If your tent uses velcro and zippers for the awning you may be able to stick velcro on the tarp and fold it alll up together, as I do with the awning
My tent leaks as well and I told the builder about it at the caravan show last week and was told that does not happen and I'll send you something to paint on, we;ve tried everything ourselves. Ours leaks where the canvas meets the floor.
Anyway Iam going to have a look at doing what I just told you myself.
Cheers Bruce
Cheers Bruce
D.Max and Jayco Outback

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AnswerID: 179259

Reply By: Brew69(SA) - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 19:30

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 19:30
Somehow the thought of putting a tarp over a camper is defeating the purpose of the simplicity of the camper trailer. Mine is a week old now and whilst I have wet down the canvas I am sure that if it leaks too badly it will be back to the manufacturer. Funny thing is I don't know anyone with one that leaks(even a bit)
AnswerID: 179297

Reply By: Brian B (QLD) - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 19:49

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 19:49
Hi Folks,

I am really surprised to hear that people are having problems with water leaks in their campers.

We have been fortunate in that ours doesn't let any water in and we have had it set up through some heavy rain.

When we had ours built, the guy told us to put it up and then fully drench it with the hose and then let it dry and then repeat the process a total of three times. He claimed that it would seal the stitched seams and so far his advice seems good. We haven't had to go over any seams with a dry wax stick or carry out any additional waterproofing so far.

I am not a huge fan of setting tarps up over campers as like Brew said, it seems to me to take away from the simplicity of how they go up. If we get the odd mark on ours it has been easy to get rid of with some fresh water. I suppose it comes down to your own preferences however and as long as you are happy with your setup then that is all that mattters.

Hope you enjoy your camper.
AnswerID: 179300

Follow Up By: Member - Bruce and Anne - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 20:42

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 20:42
I got told by the manufactureer that he has now changed the cotton he uses well s""t happens I said to myself. The problem lies if the join between the floor and the sides gets any curl in it the water will collect, what do we say build quality. Anyway doesn't rain in Qld any more so wont have to worry about that haha. No will fix so I dont have to cover the CT as tarps are a pain in the u no wat.
Cheers Bruce.
Cheers Bruce
D.Max and Jayco Outback

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Reply By: bushcamper - Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 22:36

Monday, Jun 19, 2006 at 22:36
Thanks guys, I'll have a go and if what I've got in mind works I'll let you know
Keith
AnswerID: 179359

Follow Up By: Member - Alanc - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 08:36

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 08:36
bushcamper

Several years ago we went out and purchased a large tent fly (cost approx $100 from memory) and four extra tent poles. When set up it looks a bit like an Arabian camp site but hey it keeps us cool in the summer and the canvas dry in light rain heavy dew situations. Its not robust enough for windy conditions so I have had to pull it down a few times. Its free standing and we can pack up the camper under it if required. I'm still coming to grips with emailing pictures etc but if you can provide an email address I can send you a photo of our set up if your interested.
Alanc
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Follow Up By: bushcamper - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 16:51

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 16:51
Hi Alanc, I would like to see what you have done, my email address is: thedovetailman@optusnet.com

Thanks,

Keith
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Reply By: Sea-Dog - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 12:46

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 12:46
Mine is starting to let water in at the base where the sides sometimes get the fold at the bottom.. Water pools there and makes its way in slowly.

I will be using some of that canvas sealant on mine when I get motivated... a 1 litre tin of the stuff is about $20 from memory... I have heard that it works a treat.

If I am setting up camp and I know that it is going to storm or rain for an extended period i will set a tarp over the camper the same as I would with a tent... yes it takes away from the simplicity but not from the creature comforts that the camper offers such as a queen size mattress and kitchen etc etc..

cheers
AnswerID: 179451

Reply By: Howard T - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 15:09

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 15:09
Hi Keith

I have a Trackabout that leaked like a seive the first time I took it out. even though I did the waterproofing trick. I waterproofed it completely seams and all with some waterproofing stuff I got from gladstone camping world and got caught in 8 inches of rain in about 12 hours at Eurimbula weekend before last. Never got a drop in it.
From memory it was about $20 for 2 ltrs.
Howard.
AnswerID: 179472

Follow Up By: bushcamper - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 16:54

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 16:54
Thanks Howard, I'll have a look for the waterproofing stuff and give it a go.

How long ago did you buy it from Camping World?

Are you in the 4x4 club in town and how long have you had you camper?

Keith
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Follow Up By: Member - Ray Mc (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 21:14

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 21:14
Gday Keith
The canvas waterproofing stuff can be found at Infront Canvas. You can order from their website - infrontcampinggear.com.au
Delivery is prompt
Cheers
Ray
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Follow Up By: Howard T - Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 06:56

Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 06:56
HI Keith

No am not in any 4WD club. Campertrailer is only about 18 months old. I purchased it very basic and did all my own additions the way I wanted them. Actually got pretty good service from John at Trackabout.
Brought the waterproofing around August last year. Might pay you to shop around as I found out that some of Camping worlds stuff is about half the price at Kmart.
I am a mad sapphire miner so I spent a lot of time at the gemfields but also like to get away to a beach somewhere as much as I can to do a bit of fishing etc.

Howard.
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Reply By: Alloy c/t - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 18:03

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 18:03
Well we are on our 2nd camper trailer , our 1st we bought when it was 3rd or 4th hand so it was well seasoned and never let a drop of water in ,lack of water ingress could also have been due to that it had 18oz canvas roof and walls and was originally designed and built /sewn by a sailor /sailmaker ,, when we picked up our custom made new camper [now 18montths old] we set her up in the yard for the first 10/12days and gave her a good soaking twice a day , no leaks anywhere , as for putting a tarp over the c/t would seem to defeat the purpose of having a c/t , now if I wanted to tarp over the c/t I would have to have a 25'x25' or 30'x30' tarp and carry what ?? an extra 16+ 12' poles + pegs + ropes ect and a bl--dy stepladder to get the tarp over the c/t ,, my thoughts , each to his own .
AnswerID: 179498

Follow Up By: bushcamper - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 22:41

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 22:41
G'day Alloy c/t, I was talking to an upholsterer today and I think we've worked out a way to use a tarp that will do what I want as well as reduce set up time and use a total of 4 poles instead of 8 for a cost of around $200

If it works I'll post details and some photos

Keith
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Follow Up By: Member - MrBitchi (QLD) - Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 08:05

Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 08:05
As Alloy says, a good soaking and let her dry a few times relly tightens up the weave and the seams. Do that with ours every year and so far it's water tight. Has been known to let a few drops in through a zip in a torrential downpour but I can live with that. Can't be bothered mucking around with a tarp ;-p
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FollowupID: 435813

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