Tarp to shelter camper

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 00:55
ThreadID: 65555 Views:14744 Replies:10 FollowUps:5
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Recently purchased camper and as an added insurance would it be advisable to cover roof of camper with a tarp?. Any long-term effects if it is thrown over the canvas, wear??. If air gap is required how do I go about erecting tarp above camper without to many complications. Be great to hear from your own experiences. Thanks.
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Reply By: Malleerv - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 01:26

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 01:26
Just spent three weeks in Qld with our camper. Every time we set up a tarp was thrown over the roof with about 1 to 2 feet over hang. Mainly to keep moisture off the walls and roof, not that it leaks but it allows us to have the windows open for ventilation.

Had no probs with rubbing and I would imagine it would have to be there for a long period to cause any wear. I had a pole on each corner and ropes pulling it down so it did not move much.

It also helps with heat. Our tarp is silver reflective and it was cooler in the camper during the day with it on. I am thinking of getting a thermal blanket to throw over the roof. I was checking out new campers this week in Adelaide in 43deg heat. We stepped into a camper with a thermal cover over the roof and it was lots cooler than the camper next door with out the cover.

We never had any problems with mildew or mold from our trip and we packed up a few time while it was raining but always under the tarp.

Cheers Matt
AnswerID: 346815

Reply By: Hairs & Fysh (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 07:01

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 07:01
Hi Lores,
When it comes to a tarp over the top, Matt has explained it the same way we do it. Never had any problems. And if it's raining, we can pack up under it. Can be a bit of a pain if setting up in gusty winds, but we manage. Ours is a Silver & Green 8M X 6m, which gives us about 1.8M over in length which we use as a verandah out the front. Which is great on wet days, so your not stuck inside with three bored kids ;). In the picture below, It could possibly be another 600mm wider because it only just covers the width.
.Link to picture. Another Picture, Awning out the front, We also now use spreader bars in the four corners to help strengthen it(not shown in pictures). Hope these help

Matt, You wouldn't have a name for the mob that make the thermal cover? I'm just interested to have a look at it. See how much it weights, how big is it, and how much room it would take up when packed up for traveling.

AnswerID: 346825

Follow Up By: Malleerv - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 08:56

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 08:56
Hi Jon,
I saw it in Cavalier camper-trailers in Adelaide (08)8297 9244.I have a Price list and a 9' Solar blanket is $329 and the 14' is $384. I did not see it folded up but would imagine a bit bulkier than a tarp as it is thicker.

My setup is similar to yours Jon but I have a 6'awning out the front so the tarp only covers the camper tent sides and back. I do need 2 more poles across the back as well.

Cheers Matt
FollowupID: 614897

Follow Up By: Hairs & Fysh (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 14:29

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 14:29
Thanks fort that Matt,
I'll chase them up.
FollowupID: 614949

Reply By: aka_db - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 09:06

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 09:06
Hi Lores,

We also do this and have found it quite useful. It also stops staining / damage from birds, bats and tree litter etc..... If you can get it high enough to create an air gap, this makes an amazing difference to the heat underneath. We put ours up on long enough poles to allow this and keep it taut with rubber o-rings from sewer line connections in the rope. These allow very flexible movement of the whole tarp and are far more forgiving than springs etc... We have been doing this successfully for over twenty years with tents and camper trailer for the past 8 years with no problems. Certainly helps when having to pack up in rain or full sun as well as we always pull this down last.

Cheers, db.
AnswerID: 346836

Reply By: Bearly - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 10:24

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 10:24
If its a cover you are looking for to store the camper for long periods I have a new one still in its delivery pack that I purchased just before I traded the camper in on a different type of van, going cheap if anyone is interested.
AnswerID: 346849

Reply By: brushmarx - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 11:23

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 11:23
A cheap and simple method of raising the tarp off the camper roof is by shoving a few partially inflated wine cask bladders between them, or if you don't have access to these, go to a cheap toy shop and get some inflatable plastic balls to do the same.
I'll get there someday, or die wanting to.

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AnswerID: 346854

Reply By: OzTroopy - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 14:57

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 14:57
I always use a tarp on any trip of more than one night, regardless of what needs covering. Dont have one of those huge floorspace campers though.

The benefits of shade or rain / dew protection, make the max 20min setup / pulldown time more than worthwhile.

Does mean you need to carry more stuff though .... liked the idea of the goon sacks for a quick fix on lightweight tarps.

Regularly use a 20x20 canvas (approx) with home made A frames for the endpoles ... only need one tiedown per end and the shower bucket goes on as well. Height adjustment is by simply leaning the A frame to a desired angle. Side pole qty depends on weather conditions ... best of all ... a one person job.

As stated above ... this allows you to pack up a dry camp ... and then just lash the wet tarp/poles on the roof rack or trailer.
AnswerID: 346886

Reply By: Wayne David - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 15:33

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 15:33
Lores - I'm pleased that you raised this topic because I have toyed with the idea of a tarp as both a way of keeping things cooler & cleaner but haven't cracked what I consider the ideal way yet.

Essentially I'm hoping to come up with an idea that will get around the need for extra poles & ropes by attaching some type of 'add-on' to the poles I already use for my CT annex or awning. The tarp would be attached to the existing poles and sit at a nice height above for air flow, etc.

Anyway I knew I'd seen something in my research that might be of interest to you & I've just now tracked it down.

So here it is & I hope you find it interesting. It's from the excellent Australia Camper Trailer website and the bloke shares his findings with attempts to cool his camper.

Enjoy http://www.campertrailers.org/solar_blanket.htm
AnswerID: 346894

Reply By: Wherehegon - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 16:15

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 16:15
Always used a tarp over ours for the exact reasons mentioned above, bird s h i t can be painfull to get off and without leaving stains on the canvas, the heat difference ia amazing if you can get that air gap. Some people think its just extra work but once you have set it up once and work it all out the next time will be heaps quicker and from then on. I love the idea of the rubber rings mentioned above.

This was ours set up for about the second time, since this pic I used one of those rubber balls they use for yoga etc and stuck it under the centre. I had a big enough tarp to make a carport out of as well to stop the weather on the car. I can actually put the car write back under, just had it forward in this pic for more room under the tarp, hanging towls etc.

AnswerID: 346905

Follow Up By: Wayne David - Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 11:12

Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 11:12
Wherehegon - That's a mighty fine looking set-up that you have there.

I reckon you've motivated me to have a crack it at it myself as a way of keeping that possum poo and other stuff of my canvas.

On the heat difference - Has it been measured? I mean is it 5% cooler, 10%, 20% or what ever?

Mind you, just keeping it dry & clean is reason enough.
FollowupID: 615138

Follow Up By: Wherehegon - Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 23:21

Sunday, Feb 01, 2009 at 23:21
Hi Wayne, I have never taken any temps so cant give exact temps but just generally we can feel that the heat hitting the roof of the canvas definately doesnt feel anywhere near as hot with the tarp in place and as you would know the queen size bed is on top of trailer so you are reasonably close to the roof. WHG
FollowupID: 615324

Follow Up By: Wayne David - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 00:38

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 00:38
WHG - Thanks for that.

By the way, what the hell is that a pic of?

Piles of tin, a wheel barrow and a helmet. Was it taken following a thunderbox explosion or something?
FollowupID: 615326

Reply By: Member - colin M (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 16:16

Saturday, Jan 31, 2009 at 16:16
I have one advertised in camping gear section of this site you could probaly get 2 campers under it if you travel with a friend.
AnswerID: 346906

Reply By: PradOz - Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 16:33

Monday, Feb 02, 2009 at 16:33
Hi Lores - you could buy this van fly from ebay but its a bit pricey.

I fit a 20' x 20' tarp over my jayco swan camper and annexe and have a gap between roof and underside of tarp. it drops the temperature inside considerably and noticably. my brother also fits tarp but with no gap between his roof and the tarp. his is always hotter in his camper and annexe than mine - probably around 5 degrees hotter in his. apart from temperature, allows setup and pack up in the dry and a more comfortable all round holiday
AnswerID: 347258

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