Rooftop tents continue to grow in popularity all over the world as more adventurers get into the touring and camping lifestyle. There are a number of reasons why people choose rooftop tents over traditional ground tents. Some of these include; set up takes about 5 minutes, they keep you off the ground, sleeping gear can be kept inside when folding. Also, it can be secured to your vehicle throughout the year and this can be the difference between going away for an adventurous weekend at the drop of a hat and no more searching for tents in the garage.
If you have recently purchased a rooftop tent you need to ensure you look after it so you get many years of enjoyment from it. Today, the vast majority of rooftop tents are made from canvas and it is very important to look after the canvas to ensure it lasts the test of time. It’s basically made from a different weave than other heavy cotton fabrics, using plain weave instead of twill weave, canvas traditionally comes in two basic types: plain and ‘duck’ with some new more resilient types now entering the market.
Quality is often measured using a graded number system. The numbers run in reverse of the weight so a number 10 canvas is lighter than number 4. Once the canvas has been exposed to water and moisture a few times it will naturally become waterproof, the cotton threads expand and swell up filling all of the gaps in the fabric. In modern canvas fabrics, chemicals are also added which further reduces water absorption and allow the fabric to dry out faster.In order to enjoy your tent for years, there are a few instructions that you should follow to ensure a long life for the canvas of your tent.We have a DARCHE Panorama 2 rooftop tent on one of the TURAS Defenders, the canvas on the Panorama 2 is a 340 GSM proofed Poly Cotton Ripstop canvas that is hard wearing and is guaranteed to keep you dry in wet conditions. DARCHE recommends that their canvas products, including their range of swags, are thoroughly wet down before first use. This will ensure that your swag or tent performs well in wet weather by allowing the poly/cotton corespun thread and canvas to swell, ensuring the take up of any potential leaks in the stitching.
Looking after your canvas is vital to ensure the longevity of your tent. It is always a good habit to air your tent when you get home from a camping trip to ensure that there is no moisture left on your canvas, it is also a good habit to clean out your tent after use. In fact, you should try to air your tent regularly when it is not in use just to be on the safe side. We have all heard of too many horror stories of tents being put away when wet and the canvas being damaged as a result. By treating your tent with TLC it will last much longer.
– Do not use soap or detergents when cleaning your canvas.
– Do not store your tent away if it is wet, always allow your tent to dry first.
– If you do get mould on your canvas always allow it to dry before cleaning it off with a brush. Mould – allow mould to dry
– You should try and get into the habit iof using the provided bungee cords that come with most tents, they will assist in tucking in your canvas when you are closing it and help keep it dry.
– Do not get into the habit of bringing your wet boots and clothes into your tent
-Use spreader bars if you have them for example in wintery conditions where you have heavy snow don’t allow it to accumulate on your tent as this can put pressure on the frame of your tent.
Condensation is a natural occurrence in cold weather. In confined areas like swags and tents, the body releases more moisture than the canvas can dispose of. To minimise the chance of condensation, DARCHE recommends slightly opening the window of your swag or tent to enable airflow on cold nights.
To prevent the build-up of mould which can also be detrimental to your tents, make sure your tent is well ventilated and dried out before you pack your tent away. It is also advisable to avoid cooking and eating in your tent if at all possible – condensation from cooking in your tent is not good. By taking some simple precautions and care, you will get years and years of fun from your canvas camping gear. Happy Camping…………..