Preparing Your Camper Trailer’s Tent for First Use
‘SEASONING’ or ‘WEATHERING’ YOUR CAMPER TRAILERS TENT:
These are extracts taken from Australian 4WD Action Camping with your 4WD N0 5 and written by Dan Chojnacki.
Buying a new tent to make your camping trips more enjoyable is great fun. Once you get your new tent home, unpack it and go about seasoning it. Now, why on earth would you need to “season” or “weather” a new tent? It’s new and it will get seasoned as you camp in it, right? True, but if you leave it to the weather to do your seasoning for you, you’re likely to get wet.
BEFORE YOU START
It is important to set up your tent in an area that it won’t be disturbed for a few days. So the back yard or maybe even the front yard would be a good spot. You’ll need a hose, and you’ll need to check your local water restrictions to be sure that you will be allowed to do this. A bonus to this exercise is you’ll get the opportunity to set up your tent in a nice controlled environment, and get some set-up practice at home, rather than in an unfamiliar camping area at midnight, with a fading torch, and persistent insects using your forehead as a runway!
SET UP YOUR CAMPER TRAILERS TENT
You should set your tent up as if it was in a showroom, picture perfect, almost textbook, and use all the pegs, all the poles and all of the guy ropes that the tent is supplied with. How you set up the tent now, is how the tent’s memory will be formed. If you set it up with a slouch to one side, then chances are; the material will shrink to favour the other side and it will remain this way. So take the time to set it up square. Ever noticed how some campers set up a tent crooked with one peg in, one peg out, up at one end and down at the other? Overall it looks like a dog’s breakfast and when the weather turns nasty, it performs as it looks. Ordinary.
WET THE TENT DOWN THOROUGHLY
After you’ve spent some extra time to make sure the tent is presented in it’s most glorious state, it is a very simple process of wetting the tent down. Make sure all the windows and zippers are closed properly. With a hose, first wet the tent down lightly. Then, focus on all the areas that have been stitched and water log the materials the best you can. It should take 3-5 minutes to really drench a camping tent.
LET YOUR TENT COMPLETELY DRY OUT
Leave the tent to completely dry. It’s best to do this process over a few days. Wetting the tent down and letting it completely dry out, and then wetting it down again. Ideally repeating this process at least 3 times. Finally, when it is completely dry, pack it away ready for use. The reason we repeat the process is to give the material and thread the best chance it can possibly have of sealing of its own accord. After three times the effect of the process is somewhat lessened to where the canvas and thread have shrunk and expanded as much as they can.
PLEASE TAKE NOTE
Don’t be alarmed if the tent leaks for the first or second time you season the canvas, this is normal as the thread and canvas expand and contract together. If, after seasoning your tent three times, and the seams still leak you will need to use a seam sealer.
SEAM-SEALING YOUR CAMPER TRAILERS TENT
By using a commercially available ‘seam sealer’, you can effectively force wax into the seams, which in turn helps seal the tiny pinholes. It’s best to follow the instructions provided by the seam sealers as their application differs slightly depending on the brand. PVC used in some sections of the tent like the sewn in the floor, for example, is not affected by water like canvas is. If you find seams are leaking where PVC is sewn together, it is best to go straight for a seam sealer.
WHEN WATERPROOFING DETERIORATES
As canvas ages, it’s waterproofing ability deteriorates. Canvas is treated with a wax coating when it is manufactured, though it eventually wears off. You’ll first notice this as the tent begins to leak for no reason. There are methods to overcome this, though the material will never be as waterproof as it was when it was new.
Good quality waterproofing compounds can be applied to canvas to reseal it. Once applied they need to be reapplied every two years, depending on how much you use your tent of course. The more you spend on a seam sealer and a canvas waterproofing compound, the better the result. The more time you take to prepare the canvas and apply the compound, the more favourable the result will be.
PACKING AWAY YOUR CAMPER TRAILERS TENT
1. Never put canvas away wet or store the tent in a dark damp spot (Like on concrete in the back of the shed)
2. Store the tent out of direct sunlight and keep it off the ground.
3. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR CAMPER TENT PACKED AWAY IN A DAMP OR WET STATE AS MOISTURE WILL DESTROY ANY CANVAS, THE TENT MUST BE DRY, CLEAN AND FREE FROM DIRT.
If you are required to pack away your Camper Tent in the above state, place a plastic sheet over your bedding (Queen size mattress up to 15cm in depth, along with your blankets, pillows, sheets & possibly, a couple of kid’s mattresses).
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, OPEN YOUR CAMPER TENT & ALLOW IT TO DRY.
On future departure dates, if rain is forecast, we suggest you place a tarp over your Camper Trailers Tent. During a break in the rain, pack your Camper Tent away to help you minimise the drying time required. Using a tarp, will also help keep bird droppings off your Camper Tent & help keep it clean.
Caring For Your Camper Trailer – Owner Responsibilities
SWAG CAMPER TRAILERS- OWNERS RESPONSIBILITIES BEFORE AND AFTER TRAILER USE
Depending on the number of kilometres travelled and the type of road surface encountered during a trip, maintenance of your trailer/caravan or tent is a must on your return to ensure your long-term item. When planning a trip, you will no doubt spend time making sure your tow vehicle will be prepared for the road ahead, so the same should occur for you camper trailer or caravan.
REGULAR MAINTENANCE ON YOUR TRAILER:
- Repack wheel bearing and adjust if necessary
- Greasing coupling
- Greasing suspension components
- Tension all nuts and bolts before and after every use
- Adjusting locks and seals
- Wheel alignment
- Seasoning tent regularly
- Make sure all lights are working
- Check electrical cables for potential damage
- Test tyre pressure as per recommendations
- Check condition on all tyres including spares
- Check wheel nuts are tensioned including spares
- Make sure the hand brake and electric brakes are adjusted and in good condition
- Adjust brake shoes if brakes are loose
- Apply rust prevention products
- Touch up any chips quickly to prevent rust stains
- Regular cleaning of your camper trailer will stop erosion of the paint
- Clean water tank internally and externally
- After returning from your trip, remove all water from your water tank
- Drying out tent thoroughly after each use
Making sure you take care of all these things on your camper trailer before, during and after your trip will ensure you’ll stay on the road safely.
Camper Trailer Warranty – What You Need To Know
Camper Trailers Warranty
SWAG Camper Trailers stand by the fact that we have the best camper trailer of the year in Australia. With this comes a comprehensive warranty which we have decided to highlight today, Have a read through, and as always, if you have any questions, you can get in contact with us for clarification.
Our Industry leading structural warranty covers the drawbar and chassis only from fatigue and has a guarantee for a period of Five (5) years from original date of purchase.
Swag Camper Trailers offers a warranty on all workmanship and materials on our Camper Trailers.
1. Warranty is valid only to the original purchaser and may not be transferred or deferred in any way. Once sold or otherwise disposed of by the original purchaser to any third party, Swag Camper Trailers accepts no liability, claim logged by anyone other than the original owner.
2. Warranties are not valid on items purchased for the purpose of rentals, loans or commercial use.
3. No warranty is offered on products sold at auction or as a demonstrator, factory seconds or used products.
4. Warranty does not cover the product in the event of abuse, misuse, accidental damage or collision, modification of the design, fair wear and tear (wheel bearings, wheels, tires, paint, travel cover, zips, and mesh.) neglect, incorrect or inadequate maintenance.
5. Suspension, wheels nuts and bearings must be checked before every trip. Wheel bearings must be serviced by an authorised motor mechanic in 6-month intervals. Note for extreme use the camper will require more frequent wheel bearing service (River crossing, beach use, touring, etc.)
6. Trailer bodies and their workmanship are guaranteed for a period of one (1) year from the original date of purchase.
7. Tents and workmanship are guaranteed for a period of one (1) year from the original date of purchase.
8. General wear and tear are exempt.
9. All warranty work is to be carried out by Swag Camper Trailers or by a Swag Camper Trailer authorised representative unless with the express written permission of Swag.
10. Swag Camper trailers will repair or replace the item at their discretion
11. Any transport, accommodation, towing or recovery costs arising from a warranty claim are the responsibility of you, as the purchaser unless otherwise stated in writing by Swag Camper trailers.
12. Your Swag Camper Trailer comes with guarantees that cannot be excluded under the Australian Consumer Law. The benefits within our Warranty are in addition to other rights and remedies under the Australian Consumer Law in relation to our Swag Campers.
13. Warranty is valid to Swag Camper Trailers that have been maintained in accordance with this Camper trailer care guide.
14. Note if a warranty claim is lodged, service documentation may be required to support your claim.
All deposits up to $500 are non-refundable due to costs incurred by your order
How Do I make a claim?
Please note; all warranty claims must be lodged through our website using our online Support Form with as much information as possible. Failure to provide enough information or incorrect information may result in delays or rejection of your claim.
To submit a warranty claim, follow the instructions listed below.
1. Complete the online warranty claim form at https://www.swagcampertrailers.com.au/warranty-terms/
2. We will validate ownership details
3. A member of our team will contact you within 24-48 hours of the claim being received and advise you of the status
4. Please note Any claims for repairers carried out without prior authorization will be denied.
Caring For Camper Trailer Materials
Your camper trailer materials come with a few different materials that all have their own special way of being taken care of. Today’s post gives insight on the best way to care for these camper trailer materials and potential issues if you don’t.
Materials in these cases refer to canvas, PVC and fabric materials.
- The canvas camper trail materials should be clean, dry and free from dirt. If it’s wet when packed away, please erect as soon as possible to dry out & prevent mould stains. Most moulds need 24-48 hours of moisture to begin to grow. Therefore, if a suitable material in your camper/tent is wet for more than 24 hours then you run the risk of mould starting to grow. Many species of mould can begin to grow from humidity alone if the humidity stays high for long enough. In fact, the humidity only needs to be higher than 55% before some moulds can begin to grow.
- Always ensure spreader bars are used when applicable to prevent any pooling occurring. Spreader bars are to help minimise the chance of pooling, these are recommended to be used for every camping trip. Please note; additional spreader bars can be purchased from us.
- Zippers and press studs are delicate items, so take care when using them.
- Make sure you use a travel cover or vehicle cover when your’e not using it for long periods.
Our campers are constructed to rigid specifications. However, do not leave them unattended for long periods of time during inclement weather. Long periods of rain may soak the ground. This can cause pegs to become loose and/or the frame uprights may sink into the ground. One or both of the above weaken the rigidity of the overall structure since its strength depends upon the structure being taut at all times.
Water pockets may form in the roof if the unit is not erected taut, further adding to the load on the frame and possibly causing a broken frame as well as roof leakage.