Author Topic: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover  (Read 1182 times)

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Offline Aaron Schubert

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Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« on: October 16, 2018, 08:33:15 PM »
G'day guys,

After our 3 month trip up north, I washed the camper trailer, and found that the top PVC cover for our soft floor had a fair bit of chafing. The previous owner built the boat loader a little too close to it, and over thousands of corrugations its obviously chaffed some of the cover off.

At first I thought it was just cosmetic, until I removed the cover after some rain. It seems to soak through the cover now, where as it was 100% waterproof in the past.

Given the camper is outside all the time (although mainly protected by solar panels) its imperative that it is water tight.

Is there any product (like a canvas waterproofing agent) that will work properly with the PVC? I rang a canvas trimmer who said its basically a bin job

Any advice is appreciated

Cheers
Aaron

« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 07:47:34 AM by Aaron Schubert »
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Offline jwb

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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2018, 04:32:44 AM »
I concur!
A bin job :(

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Cheers

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Offline Bird

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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2018, 06:53:51 AM »
I concur!
A bin job :(
yep, and piss the boat loader off - doesnt look like you use it, or get it modded.
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Offline Aaron Schubert

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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2018, 07:43:56 AM »
I concur!
A bin job :(

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yep, and piss the boat loader off - doesnt look like you use it, or get it modded.

Bugger. I do use the boat loader - it has 400W of panels mounted to it. I can modify it myself, but was hoping not to touch it

Cheers guys

Aaron
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Offline Bird

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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2018, 09:05:08 AM »
Quote from: Aaron Schubert
Bugger. I do use the boat loader - it has 400W of panels mounted to it. I can modify it myself, but was hoping not to touch it
Just raise it 2 inches to give reasonable clearance to the new cover.  New cover will be round 500 for custom made good quality (when I got mine done)  :)
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Offline Lobster

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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2018, 09:07:44 AM »
Keep the loader. Ditch the old PVC cover and get a new PVC cover.

As a suggestion, where the chaffing happens, mod the new PVC cover with extra PVC strips for added protection.  If the strips chaff again, youwill just have to replace the strips and not the whole cover. :cheers:
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Offline tryagain

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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2018, 09:41:09 AM »
Had a similar issue, I'll post up a pic of what I have done to stop it reoccurring, but as others have said, probably easiest to replace the existing one, depending on size, you can get ones from about $180 https://m.ebay.com.au/itm/Travel-Cover-For-Camper-Trailer-Tent-Universal-Fit-For-Most-Models-2-3x1-75-M/252650154142?hash=item3ad31f689e:g:UEMAAOSw4PRaqyKB

Would obviously be Chinese made at that price
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Offline Craig Tomkinson

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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2018, 12:54:13 PM »
Hi Aaron, How big of area are you talking about that is chafed, As years ago I had a Vinyl back deck boat cover it got rubbed and leaked I just lightly sanded it and put Sika all over the area lasted for a few years, Craig   
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Offline Aaron Schubert

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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2018, 02:33:16 PM »
Hey mate,

There's a few patches - maybe a metre square in total. I am going to look around to see if there is anything similar that can be painted/rolled on. Asides from silicon/sika being impractical to apply I can't see why it wouldn't work.

Most of the camper is protected by the panels anyway, and I suspect its only leaking through where the water pools, so a bit of shuffling around with the canvas should make it run off

Aaron
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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2018, 04:04:52 PM »
You could try and find  some vinyl to use as a patch  then super clean the areas that need covering and use this type stuff ..
We chopped up an old vinyl caravan annexe end wall and made fold out window shades for the old mans caravan .. Glued the pvc vinyl with blue PVC pipe adheasive, never came unstuck in all weather in 10 years ...https://www.bunnings.com.au/our-range/bathroom-plumbing/plumbing/tools/pvc-solvent-cement   do a small out of the way test section first to be sure ..
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 04:08:05 PM by edz »
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Offline Craig Tomkinson

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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2018, 06:26:22 PM »
Yep worth try if it does not work get a new one made, Craig
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Offline tryagain

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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2018, 03:46:26 PM »
Had a similar issue, I'll post up a pic of what I have done to stop it reoccurring,

As promised, think it was under $20 for all the bits from Bunnings.



Might not be the exact same issue but my cover was catching on the boat loader leg when it came down, these straps now keep it out of the way, I also have one across the middle which stops it billowing up as much which I think might be your problem, you can also see the most common issue with the imported cover, and that is the straps deteriorating in the sun and breaking my fix also addressed that as well.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 05:40:13 PM by tryagain »
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Offline Aaron Schubert

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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2018, 08:00:09 AM »
So, not being too keen on spending $500 on a new cover, I started looking harder for options to re-waterproof it.

There's nothing much out there recommended for PVC, but I did see a few options for other materials - mineral turps and silicon mixed together, and there's another one with bees wax, linseed oil turps.

I decided to give the first mix a whirl - Selleys roofing silicon and Mineral turpentine mixed at a ratio of 1:3. Give it a good shake, paint it on and away you go.

I did a small section to start with, and it looked good and didn't do any damage, so painted the whole lot last night. Looks and feels very waterproof, so should be fine for at least a couple of years.

Total cost about $17 for a tube of silicon, a litre of turpentine and a paint brush

Aaron
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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2018, 08:34:57 AM »
first off, thanks for the info... very interesting...

i wonder if this would work for canvas?  or even fabric outdoor furniture cushions?

i assume it was a very thin mixture that resulted?

could you use it in a garden sprayer, for example?

no stiffening of the PVC?  or colour change?

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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2018, 08:52:10 AM »
So, not being too keen on spending $500 on a new cover, I started looking harder for options to re-waterproof it.

There's nothing much out there recommended for PVC, but I did see a few options for other materials - mineral turps and silicon mixed together, and there's another one with bees wax, linseed oil turps.

I decided to give the first mix a whirl - Selleys roofing silicon and Mineral turpentine mixed at a ratio of 1:3. Give it a good shake, paint it on and away you go.

I did a small section to start with, and it looked good and didn't do any damage, so painted the whole lot last night. Looks and feels very waterproof, so should be fine for at least a couple of years.

Total cost about $17 for a tube of silicon, a litre of turpentine and a paint brush

Aaron

This is how we water proof the seams on our hiking tents! We also put some powder on the finished seam so it doesnt grip/stick to the rest of the tent when its packed up but I dont think that will be an issue in your case.
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Offline Aaron Schubert

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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2018, 08:57:56 AM »
first off, thanks for the info... very interesting...

i wonder if this would work for canvas?  or even fabric outdoor furniture cushions?

i assume it was a very thin mixture that resulted?

could you use it in a garden sprayer, for example?

no stiffening of the PVC?  or colour change?

People seem to use it for everything from boots to canvas and even cushions, like you mentioned.

The mix is quite thin - almost like coconut milk, but I suppose you can adjust the ratio to what you want. It would spray out easily enough. The trick is to mix small quantities (or use a drill and mixing stick) as it takes quite a bit of time to break the silicon down.

No stiffening of the PVC, and it gets a little darker, like if you varnish wood, but nothing substantial

Aaron
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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2018, 09:25:31 AM »
People seem to use it for everything from boots to canvas and even cushions, like you mentioned.

The mix is quite thin - almost like coconut milk, but I suppose you can adjust the ratio to what you want. It would spray out easily enough. The trick is to mix small quantities (or use a drill and mixing stick) as it takes quite a bit of time to break the silicon down.

No stiffening of the PVC, and it gets a little darker, like if you varnish wood, but nothing substantial

Aaron

thanks, mate... might give it a go on the outdoor furniture this summer...

what size quantities did you mix it up in?

Offline Aaron Schubert

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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2018, 11:06:19 AM »
I used about 1/2 a tube of silicon and maybe 450ml of turpentine. Covered the cover which is about 2.3 x 3 metres with one coat pretty easily

Aaron
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Re: Re-waterproofing a PVC camper trailer cover
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2018, 11:28:53 AM »
It may be totally useless, but there is a liquid vinyl crack and rip repair product marketed to John Deere owners whose bright yellow tractor and ride-on seat covers get damaged. It is a paint on product, and if artfully applied could be passed off as camouflage paint for parking in sunflower fields.

https://www.greenpartstore.com/Good-Vibrations-Seat-Magic-Tractor-Seat-Repair-Yellow-GV191.html
 
https://youtu.be/e8xJzStYyAQ

The sales spiel does say "resists weather" but that is open for interpretation.
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