Roof Top Tent Cleaning and Care

Why use a rooftop tent? Aside from being incredibly easy to set up and take down, they’re also simple to keep clean. This rooftop tent guide will direct you through everything you need to do for regular care and maintenance.

Cleaning a tent after camping is essential, and this is true of roof top tent cleaning, too, even though your tent doesn’t come into contact with the ground. The good news is that rooftop tent cleaning is as easy as rooftop tent setup.

These rooftop tent instructions will direct you through every step to making sure your tent fabrics are maintained and that there will be no problem with doing things like cleaning tent canvas mildew. Follow these tent care tips, and you’ll preserve your Hutch rooftop tent for many, many years of continued use and fun.

To clean your Hutch Tent...

  • After a camping trip, open the tent fully and brush the sleep space with a stiff-bristled brush/vacuum all dirt from inside of the tent.
  • Use a mild detergent (1 cup of Lysol all-purpose cleaner to 1 gallon of hot water) with warm water and a soft to medium brush to clean the fabric as needed.
  • Rinse fabric with warm or cool water of all detergent prior to drying.
  • Let it dry under the sun with all windows open. It is important that the tent is completely dry before storage or mildew and mold may occur. This is especially necessary after camping in rain or wet conditions.
  • Using a small brush, remove dirt from the zippers. Also, use a silicone spray to keep them lubricated.

The tents come with a comfortable mattress with a washable cover, so you won’t need an air mattress or a cover sheet.

Caring for Mold and Mildew

If there is moisture trapped in the canvas tent’s material for a length of time, mold and mildew may start to form. If mold starts to form it can stain the canvas and produce foul odors. This does not make for a pleasant camping experience! In order to clean mold properly, follow these steps:

  1. Open the tent up and brush the affected area with a hard-bristled brush to get loose dirt off.
  2. Using the same Lysol solution discussed above (1 cup Lysol to 1 gallon water), wash the canvas using a sponge and the bristled brush.
  3. Rinse the tent off with a solution (1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup sea salt, 1 gallon hot water).
  4. Once the Lysol solution has been properly washed out, let the tent air dry for several hours in order to prevent future mold from forming.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your tent should be completely dry before storing!

If you want to be super cautious and plan on spending a lot of time in the rain, you might consider the following:

After the initial set-up, spray the tent with water and allow it to dry completely. This “seasons” the canvas. The water causes the canvas to swell slightly, closing the needle holes where the canvas was stitched.

The most effective way to do this is to have the tent out in its first good rain. This process is only required once but can be repeated as many times as you would like.

Zipper Care

As zippers are subjugated to the elements (sand, mud, rain, snow) they will need to be cared for in order to maintain a long life. It is hard to keep mud and dust away from the zippers, so the best thing to do is add some lubrication.

Using a lubricant such as Bee's Wax is a great way to protect the longevity of your zipper. Just buy a small block and rub it on the zipper both while open and closed. This should greatly improve the operation of the zipper, and dramatically increase its service life. If mud and dirt does get ground into the zipper, clean it with a damp cloth and then re-lubricate.


The general cleaning of your tent over time can start to break down the waterproofing qualities of the material. Therefore, after washing the material, we suggest re-applying some waterproofing agents.

Some waterproofing solutions will also add UV protection as well. A silicone-based water repellent such as 303 Fabric Guard or Atsko Silicone Water-Guard works great. These solutions can be found in your local camping store.

And that’s it! Once your tent is cleaned and cared for, you can store your tent for the next time that you want to get out on the road.

Shop Roof top Tents!

Ready to explore the country from new heights? Shop our roof top tents today.