DIY Pop Up Camper Canvas Replacement (Cost, How To Replace)

Canvas is a heavy and thick fabric. This is the first factor you need to consider when attempting this DIY project. It is not a material you can easily sew by hand and you may end up quitting before you are halfway finished. Think twice before you decide to hand sew. It is not a fun experience.

You will save money if you do it yourself. You may only spend half of the $925 cost the cheapest company can do it for. But it is the time-consuming labor that may cost you the most. That isn't taking into account attaching it to your pop-up trailer.

To learn more about this project just continue to read our article. It has the information you need to consider before you take on the project. This work is tougher than you may think and many people do not return to the same forums to report their progress.

What Is The Canvas on a Pop-up Camper?


According to one company that does this type of work, the material they use is 10.38-ounce canvas. This weight is said to meet or exceed the industry’s standards and you know it is going to be tough.

However, the type of canvas you get will depend on the manufacturer as they tend to go with the cheapest materials available. Their models can be simple cotton canvas or some may be made with vinyl. It all depends on the maker and the model.

The color choices may be limited as that company only has 3 to choose from. Then the cotton canvas is waterproofed but that waterproofing may be compromised when you touch the material.

Then, you may have a pop-up camper that has a combination of vinyl and canvas and that may be helpful when it rains. But not too helpful when you need to replace the canvas but not the vinyl.

Can You Replace The Canvas on a Pop-up Camper?

Yes, this is very possible and you have two choices when this work needs to be done. The first choice is to contact one of the many companies that do this work. They are set up and have the tools, supplies, and materials needed to do a professional job.

Your second choice will be to do it yourself and this may be expensive if you do not have the right tools. The materials won’t cost you much but using the right machine, thread and needles may.

You cannot sew canvas using a regular home sewing machine. Those sewing machines just are not powerful enough to handle the thickness or weight of the fabric. Unless you have super strong fingers, hand sewing is out of the question as well.

If your pop-up has vinyl materials as well, then you need to worry about sewing the canvas to the vinyl. Vinyl is not an easy fabric to work with and requires a lot of patience to handle.

While this project is doable, there is more to it than meets the eye. You will have to figure out how attaching the fabric to the trailer works and have the right tools and hardware on hand to complete that part of the process.

There is a lot more involved than just taking off the old canvas and putting on the new one.

How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Canvas on a Pop-up Camper?

How-Much-Does -It-Cost-To-Replac-a-Canvas-on-a-Pop-up-Camper

There are a few factors involved in determining the actual cost of replacing the old canvas material. The first is the standard size and shape of the pop-up camper. Size matters when it comes to the cost of the material.

Then the design will play a role especially if there are a lot of complicated joints, not to mention hardware involved. The hardware will not be limited to just the zippers. Don’t forget labor costs.

Now with that information out of the way, you can expect to pay roughly between $1000 and $3000. One company has been said to charge only $925 but that may only be for smaller models. Also, older pop-ups may be on the low end of the scale and cost you only $1000 while the newer models will start at $1500.

Those prices may not include labor and only list the cost of the materials. Some companies may add on an extra $500+ for the labor they use and any mark up for their services.

To get an exact figure, you need to contact the different companies, give them your camper’s details and let them quote you their price.

Can You Replace The Canvas on a Pop-up Camper Yourself?

Yes, you can but we do not recommend it unless you have the right skills to do a good job. We are not putting any handymen down here. It is just that there are so many hidden factors you need to be aware of before you start that this task may be beyond the skills of many handymen.

In looking at one set of instructions, you not only have to design the fabric just right but you have to waterproof the material, remove any corrosive elements including any mildew or mold growth, and on it goes.

This is a very detailed and time-consuming project that may eat up all your spare time. Don’t forget, you have to check all the securing hardware to see if any are rusted too much, corroded and useless, or bent, and so on. Those items would have to be replaced as well.

We haven’t even got to the type of sewing machine you would need to handle the sewing part of this project. Anything smaller than an industrial sewing machine, or even an old vintage model that can sew anything, will not do.

The machines that can do the job can be very expensive, even when sold as used. Are we talking you out of doing this work? Probably, because it will take more than two hands to get it done properly and a lot of careful work and patience.

Just think how you feel if you made an unknowing mistake somewhere and the new material does not fit right. Some projects are best left to the professionals even though it is a more costly option.

Finding Camper Canvas Replacement Kits


Some outlets do sell these kits. One would be Hannah Trailer Supply just click their name to go to the web page that has the many kits they stock and sell. Then this link has the name of a couple of replacement kits you can try.

Some of these kits are just for smaller tears and holes and will not address the larger issue. Not to be outdone, Amazon has a few options for sale on their marketplace. You can check their prices and selection by clicking on their name.

For the big replacement jobs, we did not see too many kits, if any, that would do the job. There are a lot of companies that are listed that would do all the work for you and that may be the best option.

When you are replacing small holes and tears there is the integrity of the fabric as well as the waterproofing you have to take into consideration. Sometimes the little kits work and sometimes they just make the problem worse.

You will have to be the judge on this option as it is your camper that needs the work done. The kits are very inexpensive and are a tempting alternative

How Do You Make a Canvas For a Pop-up Camper?

If you know anything about sewing, you know that there is a whole process to this topic. It is not for the faint of heart or novices. The first step will be gathering your supplies, materials, and the right tools (that includes a powerful sewing machine).

Do not attempt the sewing by hand as that is too much work. Second, you need to make a pattern. It is best to make a pattern for each of the panels you are replacing. That will make your work easier and you can always attach the individual patterns together after you have made each one.

Once the patterns are made, cut the material. Make sure you buy more material than you need because mistakes happen. Also, measure your patterns precisely so that you do not cut one piece too small and another too large.

Once your pieces are cut, you may need to do a little hemming to stop any shedding of the canvas threads. The material may be too thick for this but judge for yourself and skip it if it does not need to be done.

After that step, you should have marked where all the zippers and other hardware go. In addition to that, you need to mark where your screens are attached to make sure they fit just right.

Cut the canvas for the screens and the hardware and sew those into place. If you need to make holes for any attachment hardware, this is also the time to cut them out and sew the edges so they do not produce any loose threads.

Once all the panels are ready, you can sew them together into one giant canvas. When that is done, the canvas should be ready to be installed. Installation is another topic.

DIY Pop Up Camper Canvas Replacement


As you just read, there is a lot of work involved in this project. One thing we barely mentioned is the difficulty in maneuvering the fabric as you work. This is a very vital aspect of the project for if you do not get the fabric positioned just right, you could waste all your time and money spent.

Canvas is a heavy fabric and it may take more than just one of you to get the positioning lined up with the design of the camper. If you want an easier option, you can try an alternative that may or may not work. it would be the cheapest option possible.

One owner decided to use iron-on seam tape all over his old canvas material. Then he simply placed the new canvas material over the old and let the seam tape secure it in place.

This may work for smaller patches but for overall canvas replacement, it may not be strong enough even for regular or part-time use. It is not known what the results were as the person who did this trick did not return to the forum after 2015.

If you are ready for the work, then this may be a doable project if you have the time and the talent to see it through to the end. many people give it the old college try but give up when their results are not so good.

Folding Camper Canvas Replacement

One place to look for this item would be eBay. That marketplace does advertise that it has replacement canvas kits, etc. for all sorts of hard-to-find pop-up camper parts. These folding replacements may be found at their actual store or you may find them in the auction portion of that website.

You can contact the different makers to see if they sell the canvas and hardware you need separately. Some may and some may not offer that service. It is a good option to try as we have seen some companies say that they have an 8-month waiting time before completion.

How To Install New Canvas on Pop Up


This is a long and involved process as well as you may have to deal with rusted bolts and screws, as well as other hardware. It can be done if you have the patience and a lot of help getting the canvas in place and keeping it at the stretch level required.

When doing this, there are several steps involved and the first one is loosening all the bolts and screws holding the old canvas. Put all the screws and bolts in a container so you do not lose them as you work.

Have some WD-40 or penetrating oil on hand in case those same bolts and screws are rusted in place. Once all that is done, look for any brackets holding the canvas in place and remove those or work the canvas off of them.

Make sure to remember how the old canvas came off so you can put the new one in its place correctly. Also, when attaching the new replacement canvas, make sure to start on one side and keep the fabric as tight as it should be until all sides are secured in place.

When the new canvas is in place you should waterproof it and protect it against UV rays. You could do this before you attach the canvas but you have to be careful not to damage the chemicals or you lose your protection.

The Reasons Why You Would Replace The Old Canvas

There are some legitimate reasons why you would attempt this project. One would be that you simply want to change color or another would be that the sun faded the old color too far.

Then you have too many holes and tears to repair that can’t be handled by smaller kits. A fourth reason would be that somehow a stain or two got on the canvas that cannot be removed. That stain is not very attractive or appealing.

Finally, there are broken parts on the canvas, like zippers, screens, etc., that need a replacement to work right.

Cheap Canvas For Old Pop Up Camper

The best place to look would be closeout sales, department stores, or fabric outlets that deal in good quality materials at a low price. These places would pride themselves on their low price but clean fabrics.

The problem is that these places may not carry enough of the fabric to do the job right. You don't want to go to estate, yard or garage sales, or even flea markets because the look may not be that clean and the dirt may not come out.

You can try online fabric outlets as they would have the lowest prices available. Their overhead is low, so passing the savings on to you is standard fare. Also, you can try marine supply stores and see what they have available but their prices may not be cheap.

Some Final Words

Replacing old pop-up canvas is best left up to the professionals. There is a lot of work involved and you may not have the skills nor the time to deal with all the issues that crop up. It is a worthy purpose to DIY but this may be biting off more than you can chew.

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