Towable & Tube Maintenance

How to maintain your towable, tube, lounge or other float

Once you have made that selection you want to be sure you maintain your item for years of fun in the sun.  Maintenance of today’s watersports equipment is not that difficult, but is also essential for the life span of your equipment.

It's as simple as cleaning, drying thoroughly and properly storing each time you use the tube or towable.  If there are extended times during the season you will not use the tube, be sure it is deflated and stored properly after it is cleaned and dried.

Periodically take care to use a protectant after you clean the tube (before you deflate).

  1. Manufacturer's Directions:  Once again, always take the time to read manufacturer’s directions for your item.  Remember, you do not want to use harmful cleaning agents on either the cover or the tube.
  2. Cleaning:  Always clean your tube (and outside cover, if applicable) and dry before deflating.  It is much easier to do before you deflate.  Make sure you pay particular attention to the seams when drying.  Even if you air dry, the seams may need extra attention.  Cleaning the outside is essential to resist mold/mildew issues. Note:  See information on cleaning products below.
  3. Protecting:  You may want to “treat” your tube with a special protectant such as the 303 Aerospace Protectant (follow manufacturer’s directions) to protect against UV rays and to maintain the life of the tube.
  4. Deflating:  Use a pump to deflate the item thoroughly for storage.
  5. Storing During the Season: Do not leave your item in direct sunlight out of doors when you are not using it.  Proper storage is essential for extending the life of the item.   Storing in the heat inflated is particularly hard on tubes.  The tube expands and the seams are stretched causing possible leakage and damage.  Covers are affected by UV rays also and the bright and exciting colors can be dull and lifeless out on the water within one season unless they are protected with a protectant or kept out of the sun.
  6. Storing After the Season:  Remember when storing these items to keep them in a cool place, free of any “critters” that might nest or nibble now and then.  Next season it won’t be much fun when you put it on the water full of holes!
  7. Repair:  There’s always a time you need to repair a little damage.  Keeping  Repair Kits nearby may save a day of fun.

Cleaning Products:
In most cases mild detergent and water will clean your tube or bladder as well as your cover, but for special needs when you do need a cleaner we recommend:  303 Products Fabric/Vinyl Cleaner

To protect your nylon cover we recommend 303 Aerospace Protectant to aid with:

  • Protecting the bright colors of your nylon cover from UV rays
  • Repelling dirt that breeds mold and mildew
  • Making cleaning easier due to the repellancy of dirt, mold and mildew

To protect your PVC or Hypalon tube or bladder we also recommend 303 Aerospace Protectant to aid with:

  • Repelling dirt that breeds mold and mildew
  • Making cleaning easier due to the repellancy of dirt, mold and mildew
  • Keeping the PVC or Hypalon from sticking to itself when storing

What You Need to Know About Vinyl
(courtesy of 303Products)

What is Vinyl?

Vinyl is a plastic made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC).  Vinyl is manufactured in different ways in a number of forms and in varying qualities for thousands of uses.  A vinyl's topcoat holds in plasticizers, softening agents which keep vinyl supple. 
Vinyl is a UV-sensitive material which degrades when exposed to sunlight. Maintaining the integrity of the topcoat and protecting against UV damage are the keys to keeping vinyl looking and performing "like new". 

Simple Cleaning:
Keeping vinyl clean is an important part of routine maintenance. Dirt acts as an abrasive and can also wear out the thread in seams.  Mildew grows on damp, dirty vinyl.

The recommended vinyl cleaning method:

  1. Rinse with cool water.
  2. Wash with soap (not detergent) and water using a soft cloth or sponge. For stubborn dirt, a soft bristle brush may be used.
  3. Rinse thoroughly with water and allow to dry.
  4. Avoid harsh cleaners, abrasives, petroleum distillates and alcohols.

Protecting Vinyl Using the wrong vinyl "protectant" product is worse than using no vinyl treatment product at all!  Avoid vinyl treatment products that contain any type of oil, have an oily or greasy feeling, contain petroleum distillates or leave a coating that dries like wax.  If a product label says "flammable or contains petroleum distillates", do not use on vinyl.

303 Saves Money And Adds Years To The Life Of Your Vinyl

303 Aerospace Protectant ... is your best choice for vinyl care.  Specifically developed as a UV screening protective treatment for aerospace and aviation applications, "303" provides all the protective features necessary for maintaining vinyl.

"SPF 40 SUNSCREEN...  For Your Stuff"

"303" is the world's most powerful UV screening treatment for vinyl.  Regular use prevents UV fading and degradation.  It truly is like "SPF 40 Sunscreen ... For Your Stuff".

"303" protected vinyl repels dust, dirt, oils, tree sap and stains to maintain surface integrity.

"303" restores lost color and luster.  Makes faded vinyl look like "factory new" again... and with regular use keeps it that way.

"303" treated vinyl stays cleaner longer, cleans up easier.

Easy application.  Spray on, wipe dry.

Safe for rubber, plastic, glass and paint.  DOES NOT CONTAIN Silicone Oils or Petroleum Distillates.

Reapplication:  For maximum UV protection, reapply every 30-45 days of EXPOSURE.

"303" is the only effective UV screening treatment for vinyl.

"303" leaves an optically enhanced finish for clearer vision.

"303" repels smudges, dirt and dust, stays cleaner longer, cleans up easier.

"303" helps protect against scratching.

"303" minimizes plasticizer evaporation.

303 Aerospace Protectant is the most manufacturer-recommended protectant, by name brand manufacturers of vinyl convertible tops, clear vinyl, tonneau covers, car bras, vinyl RV awnings and spa covers.

Dirt and moisture are essential to mildew propagation.  Thus keeping vinyl clean and dry is crucial to preventing mildew.   ~~  Dirty vinyl + dampness = MILDEW

"303" treated vinyl repels dirt, dust and other mildew-loving contaminants.  "303" also repels water so treated surfaces dry quicker.  This means mildew is much less of a problem when you use 303 Aerospace Protectant.