How to maintain and store your trailer tent

26th August 2016

There are two important elements involved in taking care of a trailer tent: making sure the fabric sections stay dry when stored, clean and in good condition, while ensuring the trailer is in good working order. From top to bottom, here are the maintenance and storage essentials…

Fabric care

Keep it clean

To maintain its waterproofing qualities, the fabric of your trailer tent must be breathable – i.e. the fibres need to be able to expand and contract freely, to plug holes and to prevent water ingress. If the fabric is contaminated, it can lose its integrity and this can result in leaks.

Among other things, dirt from the ground, oil, cooking spills and grease, carelessly discarded washing up water and detergent-based cleaning products can all degrade the canvas. Wipe away spills as soon as you notice them using mild soapy water before rinsing with clear water. Do not use detergent.

Take care when erecting your trailer tent

When erecting it, your objective is a stable trailer tent with a “tight as a drum” skin. If it’s suitably taut, the fabric will dispel rainwater more effectively so it will dry quicker, and will also be less prone to wind damage, chafing on the frame and natural shrinkage.

If possible, choose a camping spot clear of trees so there’s less chance of being hit by bird droppings and sap from leaves – both of which can damage the fabric. Placing plastic sheeting on the ground is a useful way of preventing the fabric coming in contact with the dirty ground when you are in the process of unfolding it.

How to prevent mould and mildew

Once mildew takes hold in a trailer tent, this parasite can soon start to spread and eat away at not just the canvas, but also the mattresses, roof linings and all other fabric sections of your unit. To prevent this, it’s vital that you dry out your trailer tent thoroughly after use.

Try to only fold away your trailer tent when it’s dry. If this isn’t an option, wipe off as much water as possible with a towel before you pack up. If you have folded away a wet – or even a slightly damp trailer tent, you must set it up within 24 hours and completely dry it out. If it was dry when you left the campsite but you have been travelling in wet conditions, make sure you open it up within 24 hours to check for water seepage.

Trailer Care

Follow the recommended servicing schedule

Most manufacturers set out recommended service schedules based on mileage, as well as stipulating that a service should take place on a periodic basis if the mileage is not attained. A comprehensive service (ideally at an approved workshop) will ensure that running gear, wheels, brakes and lights remain in good working order.

Keeping wheels, axles and hinges in good working order

Again, you should follow the recommendations of the manufacturer. Listen out for abnormal rattles or friction sounds, in which case, follow the procedure for checking and tightening the wheel bearings, inspecting the brake linings and removing brake dust. The manufacturer should also stipulate how often to lubricate the links and cables.

Keeping the bodywork clean and corrosion-free

A buildup of dirt can reduce the anti-corrosive properties of the trailer body. Salt can be especially harmful, which is why it’s good practice to wash down your trailer after a coastal trip or after driving on gritted roads. Wash down the unit with a mild soap, taking care not to get the canvas wet.

Storing your trailer tent

If your trailer tent is going to be laid up throughout the winter or for any other long periods, manufacturers tend to advise that you remove all fabric sections (including the mattresses) and store them in a warm, dry environment.

The optimum way of storing the trailer unit is usually in a garage. If space is going to be an issue, ask your dealer about storage brackets, which allow the unit to be stored on its side.

Shield Total Insurance offers an extra 5% discount on Trailer Tent insurance if you store in a locked garage.

Further essential protection for your trailer tent…

Following these guidelines should help you keep premature wear and tear at bay – helping you and your family get the most out of your trailer tent for years to come.

Shielding your investment also means putting in place an affordable safeguard to protect it against accidental damage, theft and other risks. For using your trailer tent with confidence, for keeping your camping holiday on track if things go wrong and for effective protection from an award-winning camping specialist, take a look at our trailer tent and folding camper insurance. Get a quote today, or request a call back at a time that’s convenient for you.

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