Just got a 1997 Camplite.

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willjm3931

Active member
Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Posts
38
Location
Pennsylvania
I am new to camping and just got a 1997 Camplite by Damon pop-up. It has 2 end slide outs and a side slide out.  Everything seems to be in good shape with the exception of some mildew on some of the canvas.  How can I clean it?  Do I treat the canvas with anything for waterproofing or mildew resistance after cleaning?  What else should I do to make sure the trailer is ready for use? 
 

IrishBrewer

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Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Posts
74
I may have the exact same popup but it is a 1996.  It is very similar to what you describe.  I assume it has the same vinyl-coated canvas that feels like a plastic tarp on the outside and is somewhat fiberous on the inside.  The outside cleans up very nicely with a mild detergent and warm water.  I also have some mildew spotting on the inside and I have been told that Oxyclean works well to get rid of these stains but I haven't tried it yet.  I've seen several people warn against using regular bleach, however.

I treated the outside of the canvas (especially the seams) with a silicone-based spray-on waterproofer on the advice of the previous owner.  I don't know of anything to treat the inside with after you get the mildew cleaned off.  The main thing is to keep it dry so the environment does not promote mildew.  I got a big bucket of calcium chloride (Damp-Rid) to dry the interior air out once the unit is closed up.

When I bought this unit, I had to replace the tires.  They had plenty of tread but the sidwalls were cracking.  Make sure to get ones that are of the proper load rating (for me, either D or E was acceptable). The previous owner had just repacked the wheel bearings - if that has not been done, add that to your list.  Check the gas lines/connections for leaks before your first trip. 

It's always a good idea to take one or two trial runs close to home prior to taking your first big trip.  This way you can see first hand how things are working. 

Let me know if you have any more concerns.
 

willjm3931

Active member
Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Posts
38
Location
Pennsylvania
Thanks, Irishbrewer.  I will try it out.  It's funny that I have been following your posts about towing with mini van.  I am debating on whether to set mine up or go looking for another vehicle.  The funniest part is that we are both from PA.  I just ran into something else.  I don't know if i did it or not.  Loooks like the slideouts messed up the rubber mounting area of the side slide out.  Now I have to find out what to do to fix that.  One side the stitching is torn and the other the rubber is pulled out.
 

IrishBrewer

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Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Posts
74
Where are you in PA?  One other thing I forgot to mention - I have a scanned copy of the owner's manual if you need a copy.

I'm not quite sure what rubber part you are referring to on the slideout - could you be more descriptive.

One thing that we noticed is that taking the trailer down is a two-person job when it comes to sliding the ends in because you almost have to have someone on the inside guiding the slideout rails into the channels of the dinette slideout and making sure that they don't pinch/rip any canvas at this location.  You could do it by yourself but it would take some patience.

The mini-van did fine but one thing I might look into more now that I've done it is to look for a different style hitch that leaves as much ground clearance as possible.  If you look at many SUVs, you can see that they have a towing knockout in the bumper to keep the hitch connection up high.  For the minivan, everything mounts below the bumper which sits kind of low.  The transverse bar bolts to the frame below the bumper and the hitch reciever tubing is welded to the bottom of that bar so you are loosing a lot of clearance in the rear.  They probably have hitches where the transverse bar and the receiver tubing are welded such that they are in the same plane.  That would save you a couple inches.  As it is, I have to be careful when I pull into gas stations with any kind of dip at the curb or my hitch will be scraping. 
 

willjm3931

Active member
Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Posts
38
Location
Pennsylvania
I haven't checked this posting in a while.  I am glad to see camplite owners.  We have had several successful camping trips.  The big test comes next week.  Going to the shore for the Fourth of July.  To answer Irishbrewers question, I am in South Central PA.  To hiker 7, What part of Del. are you.  I have a daughter attending college in Newark and have and will be camping in that area.
 

IrishBrewer

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Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Posts
74
Looks like we're almost neighbors.  I'm in Boiling Springs.  My family does a lot of camping at Pine Grove Furnace locally and we have taken longer trips to Ohio and Oklahoma.  Where do you like to go?

How is your Camplite holding up for you?  We're excited to open ours back up this year.  We store it at my folks place when not in use but I'd like to get it home to start getting it ready for the season.
 

rvbigs

Active member
Joined
Apr 24, 2008
Posts
29
Location
midlothian Virginia
wow this is an old posting. Ive had a pup now Im in a hybrid so Im still cleaning canvas. Ive always had good luck with simple green to remove mildew or any stain inside or out. It doesnt have bleach in it. I like it so much that I also use their grill cleaner on my rv q.
 

IrishBrewer

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 9, 2006
Posts
74
I just picked up my popup from storage and used Simple Green to clean off all of the grime that had accumulated on the top during the off season.  I used about 2/3 cup in 3 gallons and used a nylon scrub brush to do the job.  The stuff really works wonders.

Along other lines, I also did some other prep work on the pop-up this weekend to get ready for the season.  I need to increase the capacity of the bike rack I built for the back of the camper so I built a spare tire bracket to mount the spare on the front near the propane tank.  To make some additional room for the tire, I moved the propane bottle over about four inches and the spare sits horizontally on the tongue adjacent to the tank.  I also had to make an extension for the crank because it needed to be longer to clear the spare.  Now I just need to add some stiffening struts to my bike rack and I should be in good shape.
 

willjm3931

Active member
Joined
Oct 3, 2006
Posts
38
Location
Pennsylvania
I have some repairs to do.  I have to fix the hot water line on my sink and going to make new counter tops.  Also have to take care of a bent axle.
This year we are going to spend most of camping trips at Pequea Creek campground.
 

JoanneV

New member
Joined
Jul 21, 2008
Posts
1
IrishBrewer said:
Where are you in PA?  One other thing I forgot to mention - I have a scanned copy of the owner's manual if you need a copy.

I'm not quite sure what rubber part you are referring to on the slideout - could you be more descriptive.

One thing that we noticed is that taking the trailer down is a two-person job when it comes to sliding the ends in because you almost have to have someone on the inside guiding the slideout rails into the channels of the dinette slideout and making sure that they don't pinch/rip any canvas at this location.  You could do it by yourself but it would take some patience.

The mini-van did fine but one thing I might look into more now that I've done it is to look for a different style hitch that leaves as much ground clearance as possible.  If you look at many SUVs, you can see that they have a towing knockout in the bumper to keep the hitch connection up high.  For the minivan, everything mounts below the bumper which sits kind of low.  The transverse bar bolts to the frame below the bumper and the hitch reciever tubing is welded to the bottom of that bar so you are loosing a lot of clearance in the rear.   They probably have hitches where the transverse bar and the receiver tubing are welded such that they are in the same plane.  That would save you a couple inches.  As it is, I have to be careful when I pull into gas stations with any kind of dip at the curb or my hitch will be scraping. 

Hi -
My kids just purchased a 96 Camplite.  You mentioned you scanned a copy of the manual.  Could you possibly email a copy to us?  We'd really appreciate it!
Joanne
 

BeckyM

New member
Joined
Jul 29, 2008
Posts
1
HI  My name is Becky.  I live in Oregon an I sell trailers.  I sell mostly toyhaulers, but also tent trailers and lght weight trailers.  I sold a used 1998 Camplite tent trailer last Sunday and it doesn't have an ownes manual with it.  I was hoping to get a copy of the 1997 manual that you scanned to give to my customer.  I will keep looking for a 1998, but in the meantime a 1997 might help.  Thank You Very Much!
IrishBrewer said:
Where are you in PA?  One other thing I forgot to mention - I have a scanned copy of the owner's manual if you need a copy.

I'm not quite sure what rubber part you are referring to on the slideout - could you be more descriptive.

One thing that we noticed is that taking the trailer down is a two-person job when it comes to sliding the ends in because you almost have to have someone on the inside guiding the slideout rails into the channels of the dinette slideout and making sure that they don't pinch/rip any canvas at this location.  You could do it by yourself but it would take some patience.

The mini-van did fine but one thing I might look into more now that I've done it is to look for a different style hitch that leaves as much ground clearance as possible.  If you look at many SUVs, you can see that they have a towing knockout in the bumper to keep the hitch connection up high.  For the minivan, everything mounts below the bumper which sits kind of low.  The transverse bar bolts to the frame below the bumper and the hitch reciever tubing is welded to the bottom of that bar so you are loosing a lot of clearance in the rear.   They probably have hitches where the transverse bar and the receiver tubing are welded such that they are in the same plane.  That would save you a couple inches.  As it is, I have to be careful when I pull into gas stations with any kind of dip at the curb or my hitch will be scraping. 
JoanneV said:
Hi -
My kids just purchased a 96 Camplite.  You mentioned you scanned a copy of the manual.  Could you possibly email a copy to us?  We'd really appreciate it!
Joanne
 

dazoc

New member
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Posts
1
Looking for info as where to get the replacement plastic between the canvas and the metal on the camplite slide.  We just purchased a 97 and that is the only problem it has so far.  Any help greatly appreciated.  Thanks
 
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