Seams are "shedding"

5cvlabrenzs

Member
Feb 7, 2011
58
We bought a used PUP, and whenever we unfold the bunkends, "stuff" flakes off the leftover material in the seams. It looks white, and kind of like really thin waxy flakes that break up immediately upon touch. We have have no idea whether Coleman, or the previous owner, put some kind of plastic sealer in the seams. Anyone else ever seen this, and what do we do to keep it from shedding? Is there something I can/should spray in these inside corners & roof seams that I don't know about? Since my wife doesn't know what it is, every use dictates that we take out the mattress pads & shake them - kind of a pain.
 

Full Circle

Greely, Ontario, Canada
Apr 4, 2009
1,226
Greely, Ontario
Just a guess but i'd assume, like you mentioned, it's some kind of seam sealer. I'd probably take a soft bristle scrub brush and scrub off whatever is left behind and re-seal.


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JeepMama

Super Active Member
Jun 10, 2011
2,424
Full Circle said:
Just a guess but i'd assume, like you mentioned, it's some kind of seam sealer. I'd probably take a soft bristle scrub brush and scrub off whatever is left behind and re-seal.


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I have a 2002 Coleman and mine does not do this. I would agree with Adam, try to clean it off and re-seal.
 

Dusty82

Super Active Member
Jun 23, 2008
3,511
Northern Nevada
Can you get a look at one of the flakes to see if it looks like it was like a tape or does it appear to be something that was brushed/dabbed on? Neither of our Colemans had any kind of seam sealer on the canvases, so I'm wondering if it's something applied by a previous owner or something added by the factory in later models than we've owned.

If you have a shop-vac, you might give the seams the once-over before you go camping and again before you close it up after cleaning it up when you get home. It might help reduce the amount of "snow" that falls, but it probably won't eliminate it all.

As far as resealing it is concerned, I'd follow the recommendations in your owner's manual and just pay particular attention to the seams the next time you treat the whole canvas.
 

5cvlabrenzs

Member
Feb 7, 2011
58
Good feedback - I'm going to take a dry scrub-brush & get off as much as I can, and vacuum it up with the shop vac.

Then, what am I supposed to seal it with? And do I seal just the seams, or the whole canvas? Do I seal it from the inside, or the outside? - seems that someone did it on the inside since I'm getting "snow", but maybe they did it wrong. I'm new to the PUP scene - learning as I go.

I can't tell if the previous stuff was sprayed on, or painted, but the flakes are very thin, and like flakes; some as long as an inch long, and as wide as the leftover seam material.
 

Dusty82

Super Active Member
Jun 23, 2008
3,511
Northern Nevada
I'm not sure which fabric was used on your particular Fleetwood (1999 Destiny, right?,) but a lot of folks here on The Portal swear by 303 High Tech Repellent for waterproofing the canvas, and it gets applied to the outside. Generally speaking, the 303 gets applied to the entire canvas with a little extra attention payed to the seams.

Someone who owns a Coleman/Fleetwood pup of around the same model year will probably chime in with a much better recommendation for the waterproofing treatment for your canvas. You might check your owner's manual to see if there's a recommendation in it. If you don't have an owner's manual, there's a link to the Owner's Manual page right at the top of this page, right below the Pop-Up Portal logo.

Good luck!
 

JBousselot

Active Member
Apr 2, 2011
217
Mine does this. It appears there was a strip of thin plastic sewn into the corner and edge seams and over time the part that was exposed has "dry rotted" and is now flaking and breaking off in little bits. We've not had any rain come through the seams, and no water comes through when I gently spray clean the PUP after a trip. I think the fabric on our camper is sunbrella.
 

5cvlabrenzs

Member
Feb 7, 2011
58
The manual doesn't say anything about coatings on the interior seams, but I bet that's what it is - seems like plastic coating. I'll bet I can find something to recoat it.
 

Dusty82

Super Active Member
Jun 23, 2008
3,511
Northern Nevada
Actually, I meant your manual should make some kind of recommendation as to what kind of spray on waterproofing treatment to use on the canvas.

As to the flaking "sealant," for lack of a better word, I sent an e-mail to my upholstery guru in Wisconsin about it. He's been in this business for close to 40 years, and has done RV work (including major and minor repairs on pups) for a lot of those years. I'll report back his answer, one way or another.
 

5cvlabrenzs

Member
Feb 7, 2011
58
oh, ok, the manual does talk about using the 303 sealant on the canvas. Looking forward to your friend's advice on the plastic coating.
 

Dusty82

Super Active Member
Jun 23, 2008
3,511
Northern Nevada
Ok, I got an answer. What you're seeing is old seam tape that's disintegrating and "snowing" on you. Seam tape is used by some canvas makers and not by others, and not all manufacturers get their canvases from canvas makers who use it. Basically, seam tape is applied to one piece of fabric before sewing, and the other piece of fabric is laid over the top of it. The seam tape helps keep the two pieces of fabric from slipping and sliding along one another as it goes through the sewing machine. It also supposedly helps to seal the seam, but I've never heard of canvases without that tape being any more leak prone than canvases with it. My guru's best guess is that it's just getting old and disintegrating. It's not a necessary item, simply because most canvas makers never used it to begin with. It's certainly not worth taking your canvas apart to replace. If you can deal with the annoyance of having to clean up after it for a while, it'll eventually be gone. He suggested the shop vac too. [:D]

Here's a link to a supplier that still sells it:

http://www.glfi.com/marinecatalog_miscellaneouspage.htm

Scroll about half way down the page, and you'll find the seam tape. It's still used by sail makers, but then again, they sew HUGE pieces of fabric, and I can see how they'd need something to keep a 10 yard piece of fabric from moving around while trying to sew it.
 

daddy1022

Member
Apr 21, 2010
61
Thanks Dusty! That makes me feel better as I hadn't really done anything about it and wasn't sure I wanted to. The canvas wasn't leaking, etc., so I figured I'd leave it alone!
 

dubluvr

Life Is Good
Apr 6, 2011
36
I also have the shedding seals/seams. Shop vac to the rescue...thanks for the link Dusty, what a great find!

[A]
 




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