Care and cleaning of your roof top tent
General Care Guidelines
We want you to use your tent. It is built to last, so you do not need to baby it, but with a little regular attention, it will last for many years of service. Here are a few things you can do to keep your tent like new.
Keep it clean. Brush or vacuum dust and dirt from all fabrics and clean the fiberglass parts after every trip.
Keep it Dry. Air the tent after trips, or at intervals of favorable weather during a longer trip.
Store the tent, if possible, under cover or indoors. UV light – even on UV resistant materials – will eventually cause damage. Fiberglass gelcoat may darken slightly after prolonged exposure to UV radiation. A marine fiberglass restorer will refresh the tent, and a quality marine wax (with UV inhibitors) will protect your tent. Many of our users leave their tents on their vehicles year round. If you do this, cleaning and waxing is the right way to extend the tent's life indefinitely.
Air the mattress from time to time in mild weather, and wash the mattress cover and HANG DRY. Do not tumble dry, or it may shrink.
For the synthetic fabric used with our tents we recommend the following fabric cleaning process:
- Fully erect the tent in a sunny place and remove mattress and all other furnishings
- Brush or vacuum off all dust and dirt possible before wetting the tent.
- General cleaning - using a small amount of mild detergent in a bucket of warm water and a medium soft bristle brush, wet out one section the the tent at a time scrubbing with the brush as you progress from the top downwards. Rinse thoroughly with a hose and clear water before you progress to the next side of the tent. Let the tent dry completely before any treatment is applied.
- Stronger cleaning - Use 303 Products' Fabric Cleaner according to directions.
- Cleaning of zippers - use a small brush or tooth brush to remove dirt. To provide easy operation I have had good luck using 303 Products' Aerospace Protectant - it leaves no sticky residue to attract dirt, and allows zips to operate smoothly.
- Cleaning fiberglass parts - the Fiberglass top and bottom platforms may be cleaned using mild soap and water water on a sponge. For stronger cleaning use a fiberglass cleaner available from a marine store. After cleaning apply a coat of quality marine paste wax to keep the tent slippery and looking great.
Treatment for restoring water repellancy
After washing or a few years of intensive use the tent fabric may begin to lose water repellancy. To test for water repellancy, mist on some water from a spray bottle. If the water beads on the surface, the fabric is still repelling water properly.
If, however, the water is taken up by the fabric, partial or total restoration of water repellency is called for. Some areas of a tent – those with extreme UV exposure or areas of friction – may lose water repellency while the rest of the tent does not. Test to see where restoration may be needed.
To restore, use 303 Products' High Tech Fabric Guard according to directions. Let dry thoroughly, then rinse the tent again and let dry in open air.