When we got our first pop up camper, the windows were filthy dirty. Once we cleaned the canvas (you can read all about how to do that here), they really seemed to stand out. I had cleaned them with soap and water, but it didn’t do much good. They still looked awful. I wasn’t sure we’d ever get them looking new again, but I was determined to try.
There were several large black marks on the windows (you can see them in the picture above) that I wasn’t sure would ever come out. And if by chance they did, we were still prepared to have hazy, yellowed vinyl. We couldn’t imagine finding anything that would really get these babies crystal clear again. I mean, this is a 20-year-old camp trailer. It’s never going to look new again, right?
Wrong! Just as I was prepared to throw in the towel, I remembered the ProtectAll that we used on the vinyl on the outside of the trailer (you can see that here). It was actually made to clean and protect vinyl. Since it did such a great job on the outside, I decided to try it on our windows.
We used the same method here that we used on the outer vinyl. Justin applied it with a clean, white sock. Then I went back with a clean, dry sock and buffed it out. If you get streaks, reapply the cleaner, wipe clean, and buff again. We cleaned and buffed both the inside and outside of the windows. It’s a little tedious, and reaching the very bottoms of the inside of the windows can be tricky. It is so worth it, though.
Here you can see just how well it worked. The ProtectAll removed the dirt and dust, all the black marks, water spots, and yes… even the yellowish haze that was coloring the vinyl. It was unbelievable how well it cleaned these windows. As a side note, we have also used Meguiar’s PlastX with good results, although we much prefer the results we get from ProtectAll. Both are available on Amazon and at Wal-Mart.
See? No more black marks or hazy discoloration. It’s hard to capture in pictures, but these windows are crystal clear. They look like brand new windows. We are constantly amazed how a little elbow grease and the right product can take a 20-year-old camper and make it look new again.
Here’s a side by side comparison so you can see just how well that ProtectAll worked! Amazing, isn’t it? In fact, it worked so well that we make it part of our spring cleaning routine every year. Since we’ve started regular maintenance on the vinyl windows, they have become more pliable. We haven’t had the yellowing return at all, so we are sold! We’ve even used it on the tinted vinyl windows of our Rockwood pop up camper project with the same great results. It’s a quick, easy fix that makes such a huge difference.
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This product also works great on the vinyl windows of a boat enclosure, even if the boat is used in sea water!
Good to know, Wendy! Thanks! 🙂
Thank you so much for all your ideas and recommendations, they are great, specially for new camper owners like my husband and I. I was wondering if you knew where I can order the screen portion for the camper or a big repair kit. We bought an old 1996 Viking pop up and discovered it is missing the screen on the whole back side where the bed is. If anyone can help. I’ll appreciate it.
Julie F. says
There is a company that Jayco tells folks to go to for repair materials. Veada.com has vinyl window screen material as well as cream cotton canvas, vinyl fabric, clear vinyl window material, and bungee chord by the yard. Just look at the bottom of their menu for the category: tent camper materials.
Good to know! Thanks, Julie!
Beth Elliott says
I used the Protect All on my windows yesterday and they look great! I also used it on the vinyl dinette cushions and I can definitely tell a difference. Thanks for the recommendation1
Isn’t that stuff awesome? 🙂
Your site has given me lots of ideas! Thank you!!
Quick question though — do you know if the vinyl cleaner is safe on tinted vinyl?
I don’t know for certain, Mel. I would think so, but if you have doubts, you could always call the manufacturer. 🙂
hi and thanks for all the great ideas! I live in Montana with my little pop up and have to store it out side in the cold and snow. How can I protect it without harming it. I know a cover isn’t advised but what can I do inside and out? Any thoughts? Thanks so much
Where can i find this majic stuff?
WALMART IN THE AUTO SECTION
I actually couldn’t find it in the auto section of my Wal-Mart, Taressa. I had to look in the RV section. 🙂
Walmart has a RV section? Thanks.
It sure does! It’s near the car care section. 🙂
Just bought a used camper this week and excited to use your ideas on fixing her thank you so much!
Fun! I can’t wait to see her, Rachael! 😉
Paula Scott says
Larissa you are the absolute bomb! I have just spent a few hours perusing your website. Somebody should be paying you for all your help, etc. The photos and clear instructions beat anything I have seen from manufacturers. I have a 2015 12 ft pup with all the papers and learned more from you this morning than I have in 1 1/2 years of ownership. Keep up the wonderful and generous blog, etc. Many, many thanks, Paula
You’re too cute, Paula! I’m blushing! 😉 Glad you like the blog!
Great website. I’ve learned so much in 45 min, on how to clean and waterproof our new used pup. I was discouraged at the pin hole leaks and musty smell. It’s now clear that there are a number of products and methods to improve these issues. Thanks very much!!!! D.
We just bought a used 2011 rock wiid freedom and we are new to camping. My one concern is how to clean canvas on inside bunks. . Do I use woolite? I have a few black. Specks . Do I use the protect all on vinyl parts if canvas inside and out? Some people recommend oxiclean. Have you tried it before?
Are the black specks mildew or grease/dirt, Jody? How you clean them will depend on what they actually are. Rockwood suggests Oxyclean, I believe for their canvas. Definitely check with the manufacturer, because they all use different fabrics and have different recommendations. Here’s a how we clean our canvas–inside and out–but it is Sunbrella fabric. It may not apply to your tenting.
Love your tips and tricks! We live in Florida land of too much sun. It has taken a toll on our camper. Your suggestions are fantastic and I plan to give them a try. Whoever said you are better than the manufacturer is certainly correct. We have a large Viking camper and the front vinyl has never fit to the drop down door. Do you have any suggestions? Getting all new vynal made would be costly so I was thinking if a patch. Btw, Viking sold out to another company that isn’t staning behind the product. Ours is almost 10 years old and we are experiencing some problems so I look forward to reading more of your blogs. Keep them coming! 😉
Hmmm… What do you mean by not fitting to the drop down door? Are you sure the camper itself is level and the roof is level on all four ends and doesn’t need to be adjusted?
Jaime Hayes says
First off- thank you so so much for all of your posts! My family and I have been tent campers for years and years and decided to buy our first PUP this year. We went with a newer model, 2012 Rockwood Forest River. It’s only an 8 ft box, so I’ve been loving all of your organization tips!
We went out for the first time last week and it rained and rained. The canvas Windows on each bed end (full and twin sized) leaked from all the rain. I purchased some bass pro shop canvas waterproof spray that I want to use. Im a little confused though. I’m assuming I unzip my windows down and spray the waterproofer on the outside portion of the Windows. I shouldn’t just spray from the outside, through the window mesh? All the talk about not getting the vinyl wet and such has made me a tad nervous.
Thanks for all your help!!
I’m not sure about the Bass Pro Shop waterproofer, Jaime. I’ve never used it before. We use the 303 Products and love them. You don’t want to get the 303 High Tech Fabric Guard on your screens, though, so if the Bass Pro Shop version is made of similar ingredients, I’d follow suit. Check the label just to be sure. We unzip our windows and treat the window portion of the canvas from the inside. Just make sure you protect the beds with plastic before spraying. 🙂
I was FINALLY able to get my hands on that Protect All! It is impossible to find around Here. FYI, we are in Ontario, Canada near Ottawa. The two places in this area listed on Protect All’s website no longer carry the product. Anyway, it was pouring rain when my husband brought it home so I had to wait to try it☹️. The skies cleared the next day so off I went with my old socks and my bottle of Protect All…. I have been scrubbing at those windows like a mad fool for years and never got them as clean and clear as they now are!! And it was SO easy! This stuff is amazing! And it’s not expensive. My husband happened to be in the States picking up some parcels so I got him to check the Walmart there and they had it – for $10.47 a bottle!!! Gotta love it. Next I have to go over all my vinyl. The work never ends but my old and tired 2000 Coleman Bayside Elite is starting to look a lot better!!! 😃
Any helpful tips on how to clean the water holder in pop up?
Do you mean the fresh water tank, Tammy? 🙂 Here’s a link you might find helpful.
HOW TO SANITIZE YOUR RV WATER TANK
One and only one of our vinyl windows is yellowish. Do you think this product would help get out the yellow or should I do something to get the yellow out first? BTW, thank you for your blog. I have used it more in the last 2 weeks than I ever thought I would read a blog. We bought a pop up camper 2 weeks ago only to find that what we thought would be a simple new flooring replacement turned into a huge remodel. I never knew camper remodel was a thing but have learned so much and kinda want to do another one sometime. 🙂 Thank you for your help!
We found that the vinyl on our windows was a bit yellowish, too. This helped restore them, and they look great now. I think it would depend on how bad the yellowing is, though. 🙂
Carol A Overland says
Getting ready to work on our 1997 Palomino Yearling camper when we take it out of storage a month from now — new to us year before last. Cleaning really needs to happen, the awning and the canvas/plastic, and I’m especially looking forward to cleaning the windows, thanks for the tip on thoses, because they are gross. Gotta vacuum the flies out too! Ordered the ProtectAll for the windows and vinyl outside “canvas,” and Eraser cleaning pads for the outside box, Have fabric in the back of the Subaru for the cushions (mostly light blue with brown and seafoam green and some off white — will pick up some of the cushions to get a start on it this week. The rich brown poly rug to cut and trim, and the off white twill tape arrived last week, and is resting up on the couch. The cabinets will be glaze off white, got the deglosser and found great pulls at restore and Rustoleum spray metallic paint to match for the hinges. Don’t need to redo the curtains because they’ll match and look just fine after those 90s cushions are covered, and the countertops will be fine, off white too. So, work is cut out for me next month, but it will give our Palomino a new lease on life. We’ve already added what we need to camp in comfort, a deep cycle battery, new propane tank, scraped and primed the frame, bearing buddies of course, wired in outlets and USBs in the small dinette (office!), and a 6: PVC pipe on the back for all the poles so they don’t mar the floor bouncing around, my AC fridge to replace the icebox, a toaster/convection oven, microwave, CampChef storage, and a couple of tables, outdoor mat, chairs, we’re all set, just need some rehab! I’ll be posting progress on my site. Wish it’d warm up, but this is Minnesota… patience…
I can’t tell you just how much this blog has helped us out! My parents just bought a super tiny pop up for my mothers CR-V to haul. It’s a Coleman Roanoke and all of these tips are so great for us beginners! Especially with the remodeling side.
Now for my question:
Where can I purchase Protect All? The windows aren’t that bad but I want to just this thing look as good as I can!
That is so good to hear, Leah! Check the RV aisle in Walmart for ProtectAll. If you can’t find it there, you can purchase it on Amazon as well. 😉
I see 303 (brand you’ve mentioned in other posts) has a clear vinyl cleanser & protector….have you tried this on your windows? I will probably attempt this on ours and thought I’d ask.
THANK YOU for sharing your popup journey…we bought our ’09 Coleman last summer and I had no idea what we were supposed to do for maintenance until I stumbled upon your blog 2 nights ago. Since then we’ve upgraded our mattress, bought the 303 products (now waiting for the storm to pass so I can work on the windows), magic erasered the entire exterior and hope to reupholster before we leave on the 2nd for this year’s trip to CO, WY, SD. So thankful for your blog as a resource!!
I have not tried the 303 vinyl cleanser yet. You’ll have to let me know how it works! 😀
This page it’s amazing , thank you so much, it really helping me with our new adventure. We recently got a 2003 Coleman mesa pop up camper , but the clear vinyl it’s kind of yellow, I believed was from the leak they had there before. Do you think this product will help bring the color back to clear ?
It worked for us, Michelle! 🙂
Jenni T. says
Thank you so much for all the advice and pictures! You have inspired me to finally get to work on our 2001 Westlake Coleman PUP. I LOVE the Protect All- it’s so satisfying making all the vinyl clean and shiny! I made the mistake of using a Magic Eraser on my vinyl windows though, and left some dull spots, so I wanted to warn others about that. (BTW-This was NOT a suggestion by Larissa-it was my own silly idea). I had no idea Magic Erasers are a bit like sandpaper and can dull some surfaces, like clear vinyl windows. Other than that, the rest of my vinyl, that I cleaned the right way, looks fabulous. 🙂 Thanks again!
Karen Smith says
Larissa, We have a 2003 Flagstaff we bought 2 years ago. We were very lucky to find a pup that old in great condition. The vinyl windows are still like new, but had water spots and grime. I was afraid to clean them as I didn’t want to scratch them. I got the Protect All and cleaned using socks, just as you instructed. We have the very dark tinted windows, so everything shows. They are clean, clean, CLEAN! It made such a huge difference. I’m so happy! You should be the pop-up Queen! Thanks so much!
Aw, thanks, Karen! That made my day! 🙂
Michael Curry says
Do you have a suggestion for duct tape residue in the clear vinyl? To protect all did not remove it (did make them clean) and I’m afraid to use something more powerful like Goof Off.
Can you maybe use something that is more lemon oil than acetone? The Goof Off we have is acetone based. I’d much prefer something like Goo Gone on the windows, but I have never actually tried it. Maybe try a small inconspicuous spot first.
I’m a huge fan and have recommended you and your fabulous site to so many!
After years of preparation, our dream come true and my two children and I have a sweet 2003 Rockwood Freedom sitting in our driveway. I finally get to graduate from lurker, to real owner. Lol
I hope this is relevant as our new-to-us PUP windows are in great shape BUT the incredibly strong (off-gassing) noxious odour of the tinted vinyl windows, is giving both my son and I, headaches- and that’s with almost all windows open and a good cross-breeze! 😮
Does anyone else have this issue and suggestions for what can be done? Headaches aside, I’m especially worried about the youngsters breathing those fumes.
Thanks SO much for all of your excellent advice!
Our ‘camper to glamper’ redo pics will be coming! 👍
Just tried this stuff out on our tinted windows, it worked AMAZING!!!!
Like the idea of using on the vinyl dinette seats also, going to try that today!
Thanks so much!!!