With the summer season upon us people are frantically
Canvas and vinyl may suffer from condensation and mildew in damp or humid conditions although vinyl will dry faster as the moisture sits on the surface rather than being absorbed by the fabric, so ensure your annexe is well ventilated to prevent condensation wetting the underside of the fabric.
Whilst mould can be a tough problem for any canvas or vinyl products do not use harsh cleaners with bleach or phosphates containing active ingredient like sodium hypochlorite which will strip the protective coating from the material. Fabric can break down after prolonged contact with chemicals which accelerate thread deterioration, especially when exposed to the sun.
As quality vinyl annexes have heat welded seams fusing the pieces together they require virtually no maintenance and prevent leaking. These are superior to sewn seams which damage the material leading to leaks, rotting or deterioration. Monitor any stitching ensuring it is in good order, free of abrasions and tie off or cut away loose ends.
Kakadu use Innova Vacationer vinyl which is sanitized and eliminates the problem of rotting and mildew, any mould is easily treated and will not affect the material. Dirt, grease and even red bulldust cleans off with gentle scrubbing using a soft bristle brush and a diluted detergent or soap.
We recommend regular cleaning of your annexe by brushing off loose dirt, then canvas should be washed with a mild solution of a non-detergent soap and warm water at no more than 38 degrees, any of the car or truck wash detergents are fine on Vinyl.
Repeat the process for difficult stains but avoid harsh cleaning agents, abrasives and hydrocarbon solvents. Then rinse thoroughly with cool water to remove all detergent residues. We prefer the Camco RV Awning Cleaner, specifically engineered to remove mould, mildew, dirt, tree sap and road grime.
If you don't like using chemicals, try our tip for preventing mildew growth on canvas. Use a pump spray bottle and mix 50% white vinegar and 50% water, whenever you wash down your camper and annexe or after heavy rain, spray the material with the solution, especially the underside of ground flaps. The vinegar doesn't damage the fabric and will prevent mildew growth.
For vinyl or polycarbonate Windows, clean and protect your clear windows regularly with a product made for plastic as these will prolong the life of your windows by replacing the oils that keep the plastic flexible.
Hose off any dust or salt then clean and polish with a chamois or soft cotton cloth. Do not use paper towelling as it is very abrasive and avoid using products containing alcohol like Windex which may make vinyl soft and sticky.
Zippers should be cleaned regularly with a soft brush and then lubricated with a silicone spray. The same applies for any sail track although the spray should only be applied to the inside of the track. Be careful not to spray the material if you are concerned about discolouration of the canvas, you can use a Q-tip to apply the lubricant. We recommend the Helmar H4000 silicone spray
Keep your annexe free of debris such as leaf litter which may speed its deterioration and regularly clean and lubricate ring-clips, buttons and fasteners on the camper, annexe or accessory. Avoid using grease or petroleum based lubricants as these may attract dust over time.
Cleaning will involve the use of chemicals so follow product directions and safety instructions. Wash guide ropes in warm soapy water and rinse well, check pegs are in good condition. Remember to avoid harsh alkalis or acid based cleaners like bleach.
Finally, check awning rollout mechanisms are clean, lubricated and working well. Always store your annexe and accessories in a cool dark and dry place and when storing your gear in a bag, add desiccant packs to absorb moisture and prevent mould - available at most camping stores.
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