Are Trailer Tents Waterproof?

Trailer tents are a great way of combine traditional camping in a tent with the more popular way of camping in a caravan or motorhome. Though you might be wondering if they are suitable and waterproof.

Most trailer tents are manufactured to be waterproof and have a protective vinyl layering to keep water out. Though these materials can falter over time from use, age and damage and may need replacing or an added treatment to seal any open areas that could let in water.

In this article we are going to talk about whether all trailer tents are waterproof, how to make them waterproof and how to care for your trailer tent to make it last longer.

Are Tent Trailers Waterproof?

While tent trailers are convenient, are they guaranteed to protect you during an unexpected shower? The answer is a little trickier than a yes or no and may depend on the materials and how you care for your tent trailer. Here’s how to determine if your tent trailer is waterproof or when extra work is required on your end. 

You’ll be happy to know that most models today are manufactured to be waterproof upon purchase. Although many trailers are made with cotton, an added layer of vinyl helps for waterproofing.

It’s crucial to observe the material of your trailer to determine how efficient its waterproofing will be. The more vinyl used to manufacture your tent trailer, the more waterproofing you’ll have. If you camp in stormy weather, extra layers of vinyl shield your trailer from rain. 

It’s also important to take quality care of your tent trailer since wear and tear can weaken the waterproofing. The material for used models is often not as reliable as new trailers due to consistent use.

If you provide yearly maintenance to your tent trailer’s material, you’ll extend its waterproofing years. But you’re likely wondering what happens when the waterproofing doesn’t work anymore for your trailer.

Can You Make Tent Trailers Waterproof?

Fortunately, it’s possible to waterproof your tent trailer yourself once its original waterproofing fades. When your trailer loses waterproofing, you can add a yearly coating to aid in waterproof protection. Although it takes a little effort on your end, waterproofing your trailer will make camping in rainy weather more manageable. 

Just ensure you use proper care when attempting to waterproof your trailer. If you accidentally damage the fabric, your job of waterproofing becomes much more difficult. 

Do I Need To Treat My Tent Trailer To Keep It Waterproof?

Since your tent trailer won’t remain waterproof forever, it requires a treatment each season to maintain its waterproofing. After several years of use, the wear and tear of your waterproof material will begin to get soaked during rain showers. With a waterproof spray, you add an extra layer of protection to keep your canvas dry when it rains. 

While the waterproof spray isn’t an outrageous cost, you will need to use it each camping season. You’ll also need to thoroughly clean your tent trailer before applying the waterproof treatment.

To increase the spray’s effectiveness, the canvas should be as clean as possible. When your trailer is covered with dirt and grime, it’s harder for the treatment to protect the canvas. Although the spray will wear off over time, cleaning your trailer increases the treatment’s lifespan. 

When you’re scrubbing the canvas, you want to be gentle to avoid damaging the material. If you’re too rough on the fabric, it will weaken and make your trailer harder to waterproof. A brush and soap usually do the trick but be careful not to go overboard.

How To Make My Tent Trailer Waterproof?

Several steps are required to waterproof your tent trailer, but it’s not a complicated process. It just requires the right materials and a little patience to apply the treatment to the fabric. Here are the steps you should take when it’s time to waterproof your tent trailer:

1. Clean Your Tent Trailer – Before you apply the waterproof spray, grab some soap or detergent to clean your canvas. Don’t use a brush that has rough bristles since that can potentially damage the material. 

2. Give the Tent Trailer Time to Dry – Once both sides of your trailer are clean, make sure it’s completely dry. Observe the canvas to ensure there’s no residue or soap remaining on either side. If the material isn’t completely dry, the treatment won’t be as effective when applied. 

3. Apply Your Waterproof Spray – It’s time to use the treatment on your tent trailer, and you should use the spray on both sides. Apply the spray to the canvas surfaces and don’t miss a spot on either side. 

Things to Keep in Mind When Waterproofing Your Tent Trailer

  • Replace the caulk around your vents fans each season to prevent leaking in your tent trailer. 
  • Always check for mold and mildew since they can cause numerous health concerns. It’s a good idea to have cleaning products on hand to fight mold and mildew in case of unexpected dilemmas. 
  • Never pack up your tent trailer while it’s wet since this is likely to cause mold or mildew. Give your trailer plenty of time dry before packing it up for storage. 
  • Repair damages to material as they occur to prevent more expensive costs for new canvas. 
  • Purchase a trailer cover for your travels and during the camping offseason. Covers add extra protection to increase the lifespan of your trailer after applying waterproof treatment. 
  • Perform routine maintenance and inspect your tent trailer for damages in between your waterproof treatments. 
  • Ensure your trailer’s roof remains clean during use since a dirty trailer is harder to waterproof over time.
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