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Winter Ford Sportsmobile canvas Pop-top maintenance.

How to Clean Your Campervan Canvas Pop Top

At the end of the season, the Sportsmobiles in our fleet need a little/lot of love. After seeing rain, snow and sun their pop tops typically are starting to show signs of wear and they’re not as waterproof. Therefore, we take a few days to clean the pop tops and winterize them.

If you’re looking for information on how to clean your canvas pop top in your own campervan, you’ve come to the right place.
Over the years and countless pop tops we’ve cleaned, we’ve found that vinegar really is one of the best canvas cleaners for canvas pop up campers.
For cleaning and treating the pop top, you’ll need the following:

  • water
  • white vinegar
  • laundry detergent
  • 303 fabric guard
  • soft bristle brush
  • rag
  • fan or shop to place van inside to dry
  • mask and gloves
  • 2 spray bottles

Cleaning and treating a canvas pop top, takes us a couple hours to complete for 1 van. Luckily, we have a shop to work inside with helps speed up the drying process. However, we recommend just getting all your ingredients together and laid out and ready to go. For a detailed breakdown, just follow steps into a very easy 3 step process.

  1. CLEAN
    • Firstly, wash the exterior of the van and exterior of the pop top with soap and water. Dry completely.
    • Secondly, the recipe; for 1 van’s interior pop top, mix 1 part of white vinegar, 2 parts water and just a bit of laundry detergent (not 100% necessary) into a spray bottle and apply to interior pop top.
    • Lastly, use a rag to scrub vinegar solution into the pop top and wipe clean. Let dry completely. Open the pop top windows and place a fan inside the van!
    • For 1 van’s canvas pop top, we used 1/4 of a gallon of 303 Fabric Guard. This is when you need the mask and gloves. This stuff is super smelly, so please protect your lungs!
    • Once the pop top is dry, mix the ingredients into a spray bottle and spray onto canvas pop top (exterior and interior). Apply with a soft bristle brush for the exterior and a rag for the interior.
    • Wax the exterior of the vehicle. This helps protect the paint from the winter elements, rocks, ice, etc.

Recipe for a large batch of cleaning solution:

  • 5 quarts water
  • 1 quart white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon laundry detergent

For a detailed list of our van cleaning procedures, click here.

Photo by Ryan Flood @floodinthegorge

Look at that beautiful van! Ready for winter adventures!


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