Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 29

FEATURE

by Pamela Mills-Senn

A

fter months spent hunkered
down at home because of
the pandemic, people have
become restive. They want to
participate in life again, yet still follow
social distancing guidelines. As a result,
many people have begun to embrace
outdoor recreation opportunities such
as RVing, camping and glamping, and
some people are even taking to the skies.
Here's a look at several outdoor recreation
manufacturers whose businesses are
experiencing a shot of adrenaline during
the pandemic.
HITTING THE ROAD
Canvas Replacements has been providing
replacement tent assemblies for older
camping trailers and RVs since 1977. At
first, the Loyal, Wis.-based company
worked with manufacturers of camping
trailer tents for its supply of tents, says Bob
Grambsch, president and cofounder. But
eventually, in order to provide products
for more camping trailers, the company
opened its own sewing room to create
tents. Since then, Canvas Replacements
has added products such as canopies and
awnings for RVs and other items.
Customers include RV dealers, service
businesses and a few internet stores, along
with marine canvas, awning and upholstery
sewing shops. Canvas Replacements also
sells to individual RV/camper trailer
owners nationally and internationally.
Fabrics such as cotton marine-treated
ducks, poly-cotton ducks and vinyl-coated
polyesters must be flame-retardant to
FMVSS302 standards, says Grambsch,
while the vinyls and duck fabrics must

be waterproof or at least highly water
repellant. Sunforger® ducks, ABC bunk end
vinyls, Bruin Camper-Tex™, Sunbrella® 302
and Sunbrella awning fabric comprise some
of the trade products the company uses.
Business is typically slow from October
through January, with sales picking up in
February. This year was pretty normal-
until March 25, when the sewing room
closed through May 1 because of the
shutdown. Still, orders came in at the
normal rate, says Grambsch. During that
time Canvas Replacements was able to ship
stock and fill small orders daily. Even so,
total sales through the end of May dropped
21 percent for the year, with sales for April
and May down 26 percent. But in June, the
picture brightened.
"Sales were up this year by 28 percent,
almost making up the difference," says
Grambsch. "All summer our biggest
problem has been keeping up with demand.

Canvas Replacements
refurbished this 30-year-old
Jayco 1406 tent trailer with a
new tent and Classic Deluxe
Awning. The company has its
own sewing room and can
create tents for any older
camper, sometimes creating a
pattern from the worn-out tent.
Photo: Canvas Replacements.

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Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020

Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 3
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 4
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 5
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 6
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 7
Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 8
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Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 10
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Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - 38
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Specialty Fabrics Review November 2020 - Cover3
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