3 Ways to Repair a Curtainside Trailer

[fa icon="calendar"] Mar 24, 2016 9:00:00 AM / by Pete Johnson


There are many benefits to having a curtainside system. Besides giving your truck’s surface a protective coat, a curtain can also serve as a great advertising opportunity. Over time, however, even the most durable curtains may experience rips, tears, or general trauma from everyday use. In all likelihood you will find yourself repairing your curtain a few times every year. Here are 3 ways to repair a curtainside trailer so that you can get back on the road without spending a ton of money in the process.


1. Use a Heat Gun (Recommended for professional results)

An industrial model heat gun will cost anywhere from $200 to $500 if you don’t own one already (or have access to a rental). Don’t opt for a non-industrial gun—the relatively low heat setting will prevent the material from bonding. Vinyl patches should extend at least two inches beyond the damaged area. When applying patches with a heat gun, avoid applying the patch on the outside as it makes the curtain look like patchwork. The inside of the curtain is cleaner and better for patching and allows the outside to continue to look like new. For more information on how to do this, check out our basic overview.


2. Try Vinyl Cement (For temporary, emergency patches)

With vinyl cement (often available in a ready to go repair kit) and a scrap curtain section, you can often make repairs to small holes. Keep in mind that you want the section to be completely clean of dirt and debris before applying—rubbing alcohol and a clean rag can help do the trick. If the surface isn't clean, the adhesive will not create as strong a bond. Some truckers use Gorilla Glue in place of vinyl cement. However, once the glue is warmed by the sun during travel it often loses efficacy, making this a temporary solution in most cases. A round roller is good to have when applying patches using cement or glue, but not absolutely necessary.


3. Sew on a Patch (For large repairs with no other option)

For larger holes and tears, cement and glue won’t be able to keep the patch in place. If you’re on the road and don’t have time for or access to a heat gun, then go back to basics with sturdy thread and a needle.

Rips and tears to your curtainside system are inconvenient, but a part of typical road wear and tear. Use these 3 repair tips to ensure that your curtain lasts as long as possible.


For more info on curtainsiders, check out our white paper:

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Topics: Curtainside Trailers, Fleet Maintenance

Pete Johnson

Written by Pete Johnson

Vice President, General Manager & Co-founder of Roland Curtains Inc. Pete was the first US employee for Roland International opening the US manufacturing business while creating sales in North, Central, and South America.

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