Pop Up Camper Tips and Tricks

Have you already fallen in love with all the wonders of the great outdoors? Are you experienced tent campers or seasoned pop-up campers?

Only planning on renting a pop-up camper for weekend camping adventures or planning your first trip?

Perhaps you are something in between?

Regardless, of whether you are already expert campers or prefer basic camping, these easy pop up camping tips and tricks are exactly what you need to make your camping experience amazing!

We will be exploring all the tips and tricks made available for pop-up camping to help you get the most out of your pop-up camping lifestyle. 

Tips for pop-up campers

Pop-up campers are typically designed to be as practical as possible while utilizing as little weight and space as possible for practical reasons.

This is what makes them so useful in enhancing every small space, but this often means that they do not include all of the bigger amenities or features you might find in other Rvs or fifth wheel travel trailers.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy these amenities, only that you might have to exercise good preparation! 

The right pop-up camper for you

This is, of course, a rather big commitment and expense, thus it is equally important to weigh up your expectations with your limitations to better understand your options.

Bigger is not always the better route when it comes to pop-up camping. For instance, it might be more practical for you to purchase a portable generator instead of looking for a camper trailer with one built-in as you might not always require your own power.

Your tow vehicle will determine the maximum tow capacity and tongue weight your pop up camper can be.

Considerations like these will greatly benefit you in purchasing the ideal camping trailer. 

Important Basics

Whether you are planning a quick overnighter or a cross-country trip, having your standard basics in order is highly recommended to avoid major disappointment or delay. 

Checklist or packing list

Making and using checklists might not appeal to you however, it also means that you will never forget the toilet paper or your passport!

Plus once you have refined your checklists you will be able to shop and stock your pop-up camper for all your camping activities in no time. 

 First aid

So apart from the regular supplies you normally have in your kit you make sure you have a few camping essentials like a burn treatment kit, and anything possibly more relative to where you may be camping like a snake bite kit, etc.

Insect repellent

Irritating bugs can be quite a nuisance so be prepared and make sure they don’t ruin the experience of camping for you. 

Not a big fan of bug spray? Use a mosquito net under a tree in your camping chair to read a book or take in your surroundings in peace. 

Sunscreen

We are all aware of the dangers of sunburn, but we might not always be accustomed to the UV factor at our camping destination. Be informed and be prepared because a sunburn can ruin anyone’s holiday. 

Tool kit

It is always tempting to either pack all the tools you can think of for any eventuality in the back of your pop-up camper or simply just wing it and hope nothing breaks, but neither plan is ideal. 

You don’t want to carry all the unnecessary weight nor sacrifice more space and you certainly don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere when all you need is a screwdriver either.

So apart from the standard tow vehicle tool kit and camper repair items pack some basic camping tools.  

Duct tape, pliers, adjustable wrench, screwdrivers, hammer, cutting tool, and some gloves should do the trick. 

Food Prep

Food is the cornerstone to making any experience amazing! It can also be a hassle to prep and cook your camping meal in your pop-up camper especially if you are not camping often so we recommend preparing a few meals ahead of time. 

Make mealtimes fun! If there is no picnic table available where you are camping then get a camping table that can fold flat with collapsible camping chairs are a must have! 

With a reliable 12v portable refrigerator installed, it becomes quite easy to prepare and have partially or fully cooked meals ready for heating and serving, ideal for arriving late at a destination or when hungry kids are a factor.

Easy to prepare food

Think simple, easy, and nutritious when it comes to in-between meals with more healthy snacks to keep your energy up during your camping activities. Try to avoid the temptation of over-packing food items that you will probably end up bringing back with you. 

Cooking on a grill 

This is a fun alternative to cooking in your compact kitchen and a good reason to make yourself aware of the amenities at your pop-up campers’ destination, if there are outdoor grill facilities then simply leave yours behind and save on space, weight, and hassle.

Storage Space

Pop-up campers are built to be as compact and practical as possible, which doesn’t leave you with a great deal of storage space. As soon as you start packing you will realize just how valuable space is. 

There are many ways to create more space with a little ingenuity and a few helpful tips and tricks to maximize your camper space. 

External storage options

If you have made the most of your pop-up campers’ limited space and are still in need of a bit of storage space then perhaps it’s time to consider outside storage ideas.

Perhaps a roof rack on your tow vehicle or even your pop-up trailer or tongue rack on your pop-up trailer for that vital extra space is the answer?

Roof racks on your pop-up camper will add to the overall axle weight so stay conscious of just how extra load you accumulate. 

These kinds of camper storage solutions are ideal for the less frequently used or bulkier items, a helpful tip is the less you use it the higher you store it!

Space-saving products

Storage containers have many practical applications when it comes to extra storage spaces.

Items kept in containers save valuable space and diminish clutter while also keeping your items safe from the elements associated with camping outdoors. 

Storage containers can do the same for your floor space by getting rid of clutter and by labeling them you can easily stay organized.

Suction Cup Hooks

Suction cup hooks are a must have for hanging storage and transform counter clutter into easily accessible items like dish towels or other gear handy in the kitchen.

Ideal for setting up a small temporary garbage bag anywhere convenient in your pop-up camper or a dispenser for paper towels for instance.

Paper towels are a great way of saving water, wipe your dishes out with them before washing and you will greatly diminish the amount of fat that you would normally have to wash off.

Shelving

Shelves might seem to take up valuable living space but in reality, they are a fantastic way of adding some as long as you don’t go overboard.

Start by adding a shelf to the emptiest space available and add on from there.

Under-shelf baskets

Installing these hanging baskets is not only very easy, but ideal for maximizing pantry space and can even free up some valuable drawer space.

They are typically made from wire mesh and slide in under any shelf. Ideal in the kitchen for storing daily household items, food items, cooking items, towels, and even breakable items that need extra care while in transit and frees up more counter space.

Shelves in the bedroom with an under-shelf basket become a storage rack for cloth items which can also save on cupboard space.

Collapsible dishware

Your pop-up camper is designed to fold up when not in use so why not use items designed to do the same?

An extra bit of storage space in the kitchen goes a long way and these dishes are ideal for this purpose and more! 

As they are easy to clean and don’t crack or break easily while traveling even the roughest terrain.

Camping pots and dishes are available in every size you can imagine.

Install some tension rods

These very easy-to-use lightweight gadgets are also versatile, as you can install them vertically or horizontally depending on where you need them.

A vertical rod fitted with hooks and baskets makes for a shelf that you can place just about anywhere in your pop-up camper saving you on floor space. 

A horizontal rod is just as useful with some hooks or becomes a make-shift closet. 

Good Habits

The best way to remember good advice is to put it to practice!

All of these tips and tricks are only useful if practiced and the more you do that the less you will need to remember them all the while getting more and more out of your camping trip. 

Manage your cloths

Cloth items

Essential clothing is the way to go in this regard. Cloth items can quickly gobble up valuable space.

Select the best possible clothing item for the task, a good weatherproof lightweight jacket instead of a windbreaker and jersey for instance, or warm pajamas over extra blankets for that matter.

A schedule or routine

While on the road your pop-up camper is packed accordingly for the journey to protect all of your gear and especially those expensive items.

So once you have arrived at the campsite the first order of business is to organize all your gear into a position so that everything is ready to go and is in its most efficient place. 

This routine of reorganizing your gear to always be in its correct place for use is a healthy habit to develop.

At first, it might seem tiresome, but it also prevents clutter from taking up extra floor space or counter space. 

Arrive early

Arriving at night is never ideal for so many practical reasons.

Finding your ideal location, setting up your pop-up camper on uneven ground, and getting familiar with your surroundings are just the immediate problems you will encounter when arriving in the dark. 

Not to mention the potential discomfort of meeting your new temporary neighbors in the middle of the night while fumbling in the dark.

Ideally arrive in the morning giving you the whole day to set up your campsite just how you like it and make yourself familiar with your environment or camp amenities.

Leave extra early or add a stopover waypoint along the way if necessary.

Eco-friendly

Now, this might seem like an extra hassle when all you want is to relax, but this trend is not only wonderful for the environment but can save you a bundle and even make camping in the wild away from campsite amenities more comfortable. 

Start small by making sure you have changed to 12V LED light bulbs where ever you can, these bulbs save energy and last longer than conventional light bulbs so you can comfortably use them more frequently.

Solar energy has become far more accessible and much more affordable for people looking to either supplement or even replace their energy needs during camping trips. 

Depending on your budget and weight restrictions there is no reason solar power can not accommodate all of your necessary energy requirements while camping. 

Fun

With all the planning, packing and repacking, equipment check, and vehicle checks it is so easy to forget to plan for fun camping activities.

This doesn’t only apply if you have kids on the camping trip, but for everyone. Instead of games perhaps it is your birding books and binoculars you dare not forget for fun.

Adventure camping? Install a pop-up camper bike rack and hit the trail!

Camping trips in the summer? Bring some water balloons and or water pistols, maybe a hammock for lazy afternoons with a good book.

Winter camping trip? Make sure there are a few board games, puzzles, and a pack of cards.

A happy camping tip is to simply have fun boxes permanently packed for camping trips so you never forget them.

Parking

Parking on soft sand, muddy terrain, or uneven ground leads to your pop-up camper possibly tilting or even becoming unstable. Always try and find a dry camping ground to set up on that is as firm as possible. 

A bubble level is great for ensuring that your pop-up camper is absolutely level no matter the terrain it and yourself are standing on. 

Even a slight tilt can put extra strain on your refrigerator depending on the model and can also make walking around inside of your travel trailer rather uncomfortable.

Place the bubble level on top of your travel trailer once parked then deploy the jacks so that the popup camper is level before lifting. 

Familiarize yourself with the area you are going camping.

We all have our favorite camping destinations mostly because we are already familiar with all the location has to offer.

If you are exploring new frontiers then do a few checks online to better understand what to expect once there is only going to benefit you.

Make the most of the RV park amenities.

Most RV parks nowadays provide many comforts and amenities so make the most of them! Bathrooms with toilets and showers mean no need to pack your portable toilet, shower, or load up on freshwater before hitting the road. 

Pop-up camper lift systems

These are the mechanisms that allow you to raise or hoist your pop-up camper once you are ready to set up for your camping trip.

If your pop-up camper doesn’t already have a pop-up lift system then this is definitely worth looking into. Even if you do currently have a lift system installed you might want to check out what systems are available for upgrading your current one. 

Hand crank lift systems, many of the older model pop-up campers are installed with these though they are pretty much outdated by modern standards now. Though this lift system is less popular by manufacturers nowadays, they still beat manually lifting and are better than no lift system.

Power lift systems come in various models with several features respectively. They do require power and maintenance but are well worth it when you only have to push a button after traveling on the road and your pop-up camper is transformed into your holiday house.

Like any mechanism or system, they can let you down when you least expect it, so it is ideal to have a lift system with a backup hand-crank system just in case of the unlikely event the battery is flat or there is some other complication with your lift system. 

If you haven’t used your pop-up camper in a while then check that all the gear is greased properly and in good working order before you get to hit the road.  

Check the Weather

No amount of planning and preparation can change the weather, but that doesn’t mean you have to allow the weather to predict your vacation. 

Nowadays it is rather easy to get your hands on weather forecasts well in advance and to stay current on weather online.

We all prefer dry camping, but that doesn’t mean you can only enjoy dry camping!

By knowing what to expect you can plan accordingly and know which days to plan your hike and which days you might end up catching up on your reading.

Avoid high humidity regions

Expected Rain, day temperatures, and wind strength are typically what we consider when checking the weather, but humidity is often overlooked to our own detriment.  

High humidity can make otherwise comfortable temperatures quite unbearable especially if you don’t have an air conditioner or dehumidifier. 

Bad weather contingencies

 “No such thing as bad weather only bad clothes” as the saying goes doesn’t mean you can picnic in a hurricane, but it does mean a little rain shouldn’t stop you from taking that hike to the viewpoint you were hoping to see, just take the right clothes. 

Have a few of your favorite games with even if it means packing an extra camping tent to host activities during harsh weather. 

Pop-up Camper / Tent Air Conditioner

Gone are the days of the standard heavy duty, noisy, power-hungry air conditioners. Nowadays these units are smaller and far more efficient in every possible way, though many of the top models available are still quite expensive, they are all a great deal less noisy. 

Alternatively. 

Not all of us can afford the space let alone the cost or are simply not interested in the extra logistical hassle of transporting an AC unit around the countryside, there are a few tips and tricks which can assist.

Tent campers have long been aware that one of the leading causes of heat in your tent is caused by a lack of ventilation.

Humidity from our breathing and perspiration collect on the walls of your tent and are also absorbed into your sleeping bag and clothes, along with the Co2 gases along with more and heat from the sun turn your tent into a greenhouse.

Once the tent cools again, the moisture in the air of your tent condenses and causes previously dry materials to get damp.

Humidity maintenance tips for your pop-up camper!

The best way to cool your camper or tent is to prevent it from getting hot in the first place. Here are a few great tips on how to do just that.

Setting up your camper/tent in the shade is likely the most effective way of keeping it as cool as possible during the day, setting up under a tree or an awning is ideal, or at the very least by avoiding the morning to midday sun by setting up in the shade of a mountain or similar obstruction. 

If there is simply no shade to be had then another great idea is to collapse your camper/tent during the midday sun. You might prefer to cover your tent in space blankets? Though this can be very inconvenient, the results might prove well worth it.

Pay attention to any natural breeze when setting up as this could mean a continuous flow of fresh air through your camper/tent. Opening the right flaps and windows will help in creating a good steady flow of air.

 Air out your bedding, sleeping bag, and clothes during the day, by removing the damp items from your camper/tent during the daylight heat will mean less humidity inside during the day and less subsequent moisture during the night.

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