When is the canvas too old?

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by Trevornewfoundland, Jun 29, 2018.

  1. Trevornewfoundland

    Trevornewfoundland New Member

    Jun 29, 2018
    I'm a first time buyer and wondering how to tell if the canvas is too old?
  2. 1380ken

    1380ken Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2013
    Good question, I guess it depends on many factors. My canvas is 20 years old and still in good shape.
  3. Trevornewfoundland

    Trevornewfoundland New Member

    Jun 29, 2018
    Yes, it is those factors that I was wondering about .
  4. Fuzzy Bear

    Fuzzy Bear Active Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Norwalk CT
    As was said, there are a lot of factors in determining the wear as opposed to the actual age of the canvas. I've seen ones that were 30 or more years old in great shape and ones that needed to be replaced after 5 years or less. Ask how and where the camper was stored (and hope you get an honest answer). First obvious thing to check is for any significant rips, tears, or rodent damage. Check the seams for any signs of the stitching disintegrating or coming undone. Tap around on the canvas to see if there are spots that seem hard or brittle that may indicate dry rot in the early stages. If there has been any patching, check to make sure it was sealed properly to form a watertight seal around the patch. Look closely where the canvas is attached to the box and/or roof for signs of weakness or fraying. If possible shine a light in the camper and see if the amount leaking through the canvas is relatively the same, lighter spots may indicate excessive wear. When you find the right one for you keep in mind the maintenance that needs to be done to prolong the canvas life. Keep the canvas clean and dry. Use one of the many types of waterproofing products recommended for your type of canvas and keep the seams sealed. Always try to keep it out of direct sun if open for extended periods of time.

    Good luck
  5. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2018
    Brittle, cracking, thin(you can see through it). For starters. Lots of patches.
    J Starsky likes this.
  6. davekkk

    davekkk Active Member

    Oct 7, 2013
    Everything above.
    I've seen some old campers with original canvas still working fine.

    The only exception to this might be Evolution III as it breaks down with time. Does Sunbrella do the same, I am not sure.
  7. J Starsky

    J Starsky Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2017
    East Central MN
    I'm at 34 years on original fabrics. I see it like a wiring repair = a splice or two is fine, but if you're got a splice per foot ratio happening, time to replace the wire in totality.

    Seriously, I've got small hole, patches, pin holes. I've repaired a few seams and all is well. If someone left mine out all year long, I'd be dead in the 90's.
  8. MsMac

    MsMac Active Member

    May 19, 2016
    Our canvas is the original. As Fuzzy Bear said, it's less about the actual age than how it's been taken care of.
    nineoaks2004 likes this.
  9. rich2

    rich2 Active Member

    May 3, 2007
    Northampton, PA
    Just replaced 52 year old canvas on my 65' Cox Campsquire...all depends on how well taken care of it was...

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