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Best re-proofing method and product


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I gave my Kampa air ace 400 a deep clean before we went away on our last trip, and bought some fabsil universal protector in a tin and  put it in a spray bottle, hung the deflated awning in the rail and sprayed it on liberally and rubbed it in well with a towel. I seemed to get decent coverage and it seemed to soak in but it poured during our trip away and it leaked like a sieve, like there was no protection at all.

I’m planning to re-apply but obviously I want it to work this time, what am I doing wrong or what can I do to achieve a good result?

I was thinking about laying it on the ground and painting it on liberally with a brush.

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From my experience, rubbing fabsil in with a towel actually rubs it off rather than in. I always apply liberally with a roller and just leave to dry.

A "deep clean" is also the worst thing you can do to an awning if you want to maintain its waterproof qualities. Any trace of cleaning chemicals left will prevent any subsequent treatment from working.

You also need to check whether the leaks are through the seams or the fabric. Fabsil will not seal leaky seams.

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I did mine outside on a warm (but not hot), still day with the awning inflated on the side of the caravan.  I used Fabsil Gold and applied it with a 3" paint brush and it seemed to work well.  Covering every square inch (but not the windows!) is key.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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1 hour ago, Stevan said:

From my experience, rubbing fabsil in with a towel actually rubs it off rather than in. I always apply liberally with a roller and just leave to dry.

A "deep clean" is also the worst thing you can do to an awning if you want to maintain its waterproof qualities. Any trace of cleaning chemicals left will prevent any subsequent treatment from working.

You also need to check whether the leaks are through the seams or the fabric. Fabsil will not seal leaky seams.

Unfortunately I realised this after I had done it, it was filthy though so did need it. Roller is a great idea, I will give that a go. It leaked everywhere, including seams, what’s the best course of action for seams?

16 minutes ago, GaryB1969 said:

I did mine outside on a warm (but not hot), still day with the awning inflated on the side of the caravan.  I used Fabsil Gold and applied it with a 3" paint brush and it seemed to work well.  Covering every square inch (but not the windows!) is key.

I’m going to cover it as much as possible I don’t want a repeat performance!

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1 hour ago, Moor01 said:

I gave my Kampa air ace 400 a deep clean before we went away on our last trip,

 

As Steven said, a deep clean is not the best thing for awnings or waterproof clothing for that matter and sadly sometimes once done, the original level of waterproofing can never be attained.

 

What did you use to deep clean it ?

 

My awnings are left up all season, year in year out, Isabella's, the only cleaning they get is with plenty of water a soft brush and a good quality sponge, only used for the awning when they need it.

 

I proof them once a year at the beginning of the season with Fabsil brushed on from the inside, ( sounds odd but the theory is that however much you clean the exterior there will always be some dust particles, salt particles if near the sea and atmospheric pollution which reduces how effective the proofing is )  as per Isabella's instructions regarding applying waterproofing, one panel at a time, overlapping working to a wet edge on a warm but not hot day, sometimes I rub it with some clean new scrim when it's dry, sometimes I don't, it still works either way.

 

One other thing I learnt from Isabella is that smoking, cooking, using such as hair sprays, spray on deodorant, fly sprays and air fresheners can also affect the quality of waterproofing, possibly marginally but they must have checked for all eventualities.

 

The last awning was retired a couple of years ago at around ten years old, still waterproof but the mud walls were getting frail, likewise the zips and some stitching, the panels were skipped but the roof, cut into sections is still working on to sheet up stuff that lives outside here at home.

 

I'm not worried about trying to remove the odd stain, nor as time progresses that it is no longer bright and pristine, as long as it does its job and is waterproof, I've seen many instances over the years where someone has almost removed  a stain on a panel and reproofed it, but that opaque patch every time it rains tells a tale.

 

A couple of tips, use a good quality brush, don't try to clean it when finished, it doesn't need it, let it dry thoroughly then pop it in a poly bag to keep it clean.

 

No matter how careful you are you will get runs and spots on the windows which if left to dry will be visible, to remove them before they dry, I use three clean cloths, 1) moistened with white spirit, 2) with clean water with such as a bit of Fairy liquid in it, 3) with just clean water, a quick wipe with each in succession removes the runs or spots.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Silversurf

Common sense isn't a gift, it's a punishment because you have to deal with everyone who doesn't have it.  :rolleyes:

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25 minutes ago, Moor01 said:

Unfortunately I realised this after I had done it, it was filthy though so did need it. Roller is a great idea, I will give that a go. It leaked everywhere, including seams, what’s the best course of action for seams?

I’m going to cover it as much as possible I don’t want a repeat performance!

Most camping goods shops such as Go Outdoors sell specific seam sealant products. Sort of a cross between a glue and a varnish, which fills the stitch holes.

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2 hours ago, Silversurf said:

What did you use to deep clean it?

I used fenwick’s awning cleaner spray and water with a sponge which shouldn’t have stripped everything. I bought the awning used so there’s no way of knowing what life it had before me.

2 hours ago, Stevan said:

Most camping goods shops such as Go Outdoors sell specific seam sealant products. Sort of a cross between a glue and a varnish, which fills the stitch holes.

I have found a couple. I’m going to coat it throughly with fabsil with a roller and once dry I will test the seams and go from there 

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Is fabsil gold preferred to fabsil universal?

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5 hours ago, Moor01 said:

Is fabsil gold preferred to fabsil universal?

I’d recommend Fabsil Gold.
 

I used to have a Kampa Air Ace awning. After a year or so,  it leaked through the roof but especially through the thinner panels below the windows. I fixed a few seam leaks with Kampa’s sealant for that purpose. It still leaked through the fabric.  I think I bought a duff product. Many on this forum have had the same awning without any problems. 
 

Eventually I bought a couple of cans of Fabsil Gold and brushed it on liberally and meticulously with a 3” paintbrush. 
 

On the next trip, when the water just bounced off, the relief was incredible.  
 

We used it for several more trips, before upgrading to an Isabella (with poles) and sold the Kampa for a nominal price. 
 

 I asked the buyer to let me know how it went. He did. The rain was still bouncing off. 

 

 


 

 

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1 hour ago, Benchillian said:

I’d recommend Fabsil Gold.
 

I used to have a Kampa Air Ace awning. After a year or so,  it leaked through the roof but especially through the thinner panels below the windows. I fixed a few seam leaks with Kampa’s sealant for that purpose. It still leaked through the fabric.  I think I bought a duff product. Many on this forum have had the same awning without any problems. 
 

Eventually I bought a couple of cans of Fabsil Gold and brushed it on liberally and meticulously with a 3” paintbrush. 
 

On the next trip, when the water just bounced off, the relief was incredible.  
 

We used it for several more trips, before upgrading to an Isabella (with poles) and sold the Kampa for a nominal price. 
 

 I asked the buyer to let me know how it went. He did. The rain was still bouncing off. 

 

 


 

 

Thanks, just the result I wanted to hear. I have ordered 2 litres of fabsil gold, hopefully that should be enough.

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We used Fabsil sprayed on with a garden spray on our Fiesta Air Pro to try and stem the leaks, improved a little but of course had no effect on the terrible condensation, 

On our 12 year old Isabella I've only ever needed to spray Isatex periodically on the inside when doing a little spot cleaning. Spray it on the zips too periodically.

Dont know if it would work spraying Fabsil on the inside of the Kampa to stem the leaks as you spot them, it may not wick through.

Edited by Tuningdrew
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Fabsil works great on convertible car roofs. Some people use Johnson Blue baby wash  solution to clean them then Fabsil afterwards.

I used Autoglym fabric roof cleaner then Fabsil.

I haven't  had to reproof our awnings yet although both have faded. They are acrylic rather than cotton.

 

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On 26/03/2021 at 22:36, Moor01 said:

Thanks, just the result I wanted to hear. I have ordered 2 litres of fabsil gold, hopefully that should be enough.

You’re welcome.  I can’t remember whether I bought 2 or 3 cans, but I had plenty left and used it on coats, boots etc.  Whatever, if you run out, just get another. It’s expensive, but well worth the peace of mind.

 

Good luck!
 

 

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On 28/03/2021 at 20:13, Benchillian said:
 

You’re welcome.  I can’t remember whether I bought 2 or 3 cans, but I had plenty left and used it on coats, boots etc.  Whatever, if you run out, just get another. It’s expensive, but well worth the peace of mind.

 

Good luck!
 

 

Thanks. I got 2x1 litre cans, worked out at £22 which is fine with me. I’m just going to use that on the roof as that’s the biggest area of concern, I have half of the 2.5litre fabsil universal left from last time which I will do the sides with. Looks like an exciting good Friday is heading my way! 

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