How to Clean a Camper Canopy How to Clean a Camper Canopy

What You'll Need
Stiff brush
Stepladder or stool
Spray hose
Cleaner safe for use on canopys fabric
Protective gloves

Whether your camper canopy is made of vinyl or woven acrylic it will need cleaning at some point no matter how it’s stored. Weather is the most common cause of the buildup of fungus, dirt, and debris on your awning which can be harmful to your health through inhalation and cause damage making regular and proper cleaning a must. 

Step 1 - Remove Loose Debris

Brush away dirt and dust from the canopy while it’s dry to get the process started. Position your stepladder in a place where you are able to work in a small section comfortably (around 3 feet) since awnings project from the camper in a way that may make it difficult to reach the entire surface at one time.

Use a flicking, sweeping motion to remove the loose particles from the fabric to avoid causing friction that could lead to holes. Your brush should also be strong enough to agitate the debris but shouldn’t be hard enough to cause damage.

Step 2 - Remove Stains

Once all of the debris has been loosen and removed, it’s time to start removing stains. It is important to choose a cleaner that is safe to use on your particular awning’s surface to avoid weakening of the fabric it’s made of and damage to the hardware supporting it.

Take the cleaner you’ve chosen and apply it to the surface as directed by the instructions. Next, use a spray hose to wash away the cleaner, continuing to work on 3 foot sections at a time. Be sure to remove all cleaner to prevent it from eating away at the fabric. Again, the cleaner you have chosen should list any precautionary measures that must be taken for best results.

Never use bleach to clean your canopy unless you don’t mind fading. Also, never use a pressure washer in place of a spray hose. Pressure washers carry an huge amount of force that could warp the fabric of your awning. A spray hose may require more manpower but it will save you the headache of having to get a replacement sooner than wanted.

Step 3 - Drying

After you have finished removing stains, let the canopy fully air dry before rolling it way. Doing so is necessary to diminish the frequency of how many times you will have to clean it per year. Canopies are stored rolled up and putting it away wet opens up a breeding ground for mold and mildew.

As an extra step, spray your awning down with vinegar and water to stop mold and mildew from growing.

Step 4 - Regular Maintenance

At least four times per year, schedule routine maintenance on your camper’s awning for cleaning and hardware inspection to get the most enjoyment out of it. As previously stated, using an improper cleaner can cause more harm than good and could lead to not only a damaged awning but damaged awning hardware. The same can happen if it is not allowed to properly dry prior to storage.

Refer to your owner’s manual for specifics on the care of your camper’s canopy for a guarantee on the life of your sunshade.

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!