Can you winter camp in pop-up camper?

Can you winter camp in pop-up camper?

Last Updated on :

Many people go camping to enjoy the great outdoors. Most people prefer to venture out when the weather is warm and pleasant. However, you can enjoy a lovely time in your RV all year round, even in the winter months. All it takes is a little more preparations, and you’ll be fine.

When it comes to pop up campers, winter can be difficult times to RV in them. Are you curious about winter camping in popup camper or have you been thinking to do that? Then this is a piece for you. All the questions bothering your mind have been answered here. Lets explore what it takes to winter camp in a tent trailer or pop up camper.

Winter camping in pop-up camper

The answer is yes, you can camp in a popup camper even in the winter. With the trees shedding their leaves and rivers freezing up, winter offers a different landscape for people to enjoy. And what’s more fun way to appreciate nature than to go camping in a RV during this time?

However, there is one primary concern, temperature! The frigid weather condition makes it somewhat challenging to go camping in this season. This, of course, is understandable since no one loves exposing themselves to chilly weather.

To make matters worse, popups do not provide that much protection against cold. Therefore, if you do decide to go camping during this time, you must be ready for the challenge.

Thus a lot of preparations and safety measures have to be put in place before taking the trip. The preparations are to make sure that you are safe. They are also to ensure that your popup camper remains in perfect condition during and after the adventure.

Are popup campers warm?

Unfortunately, popup campers are not very warm and cannot protect you against extreme weather. Because they’re partially crafted with a non-insulated canvas, you’ll find it hard to heat up or cool off popups.

This is unlike the other RV varieties (Class A motorhome, Class C motorhome, Travel trailers or fifth wheel) which offer a much better shield to RVers. As such, they are more comfortable to be in than popup campers.

Besides, popup campers don’t usually come with any form of heating or air conditioning. Meanwhile, there’s also the issue of space constraint. Therefore, with this type of camper, you are very much at the mercy of nature.

Getting heat in a popup camper

One important thing you can do when going camping in winter is to protect yourself from the elements. After all, what would be the use of the trip if you and your friends are put in danger? Nothing can ruin a fun night better and faster than frizzling cold weather. So, the best thing to do is to make your popup cozy and warm.

However, the question is, how do you keep a popup camper warm? First things first, ensure that your camper is built to contain heat. Make sure there is no leakage, no matter how tiny it may be.

If the air in your camper starts to leak, nothing else you do would be useful. This means that you’ll only be wasting your precious time and resource trying to heat the interiors. You also have to ensure that your popup is fully insulated.

Have plastic sheeting installed on the windows of your camper for extra measure. Also, add extra lining around the door. With this, the heat will be contained to a great degree.

Also, there are several high-quality materials you can invest in to keep your popup warm. A space heater is an excellent way to start. However, you can also buy some bedding like down comforters. These items will perform wonders when it comes to protecting your body from cold.

Get Heated Blankets. An electric blanket is another option you’ll find accommodating. However, even with these heat agents, you need to be careful. For the sake of safety, it’ll be better to purchase heated blankets and space heaters with automatic shut-off options.

Get lots of Normal Blankets. Apart from heated blanket get lots of normal blankets, even though it may not be great with space available. Especially if you have been camping in freezing cold its always better to have as many as possible. Also when you are camping with kids onboard make sure you take this on priority.

Winter campfire. Campfire an be great to stay active and warm during winter. Yes, obviously it will help you stay warm inside the pop up camper. But, if you can arrange for that fire then that can be really great. You would need a firepit for start the campfire.

Get waterproof and cozy slippers. This one tip can really make things better but a lot of Rvers don’t pay attention to. Instead of wearing normal sleepers get something that is specially for winters. Crocs that are waterproof with cozy waterproof material can give you better warmth.

Insulating the Pop-up camper

Like you already know, insulation goes a long way in keeping your camper warm. As such, you must shield your popup very well before venturing out in winter. Here is a guide to help you.

1. Insulate the Windows and Doors
When covering your windows, you should line them with Reflectix Inserts. Because it is a thin material, which will work perfectly for your trailer. Reflectix reflects up to 96% of radiant energy. This energy then helps to lower heating costs. Also, because the material does not get affected by humidity or water, it is ideal for camping areas.

Purchase a roll of 24″ x 100ft of the material. Then, cut out the sizes of your popup’s windows and doors. You’ll only need to put them between the screen and the canvas zipper flap. If you need to connect two pieces, use a Reflectix foil tape.

2. Insulate Your Floors
A rug or carpet will go a long way in keeping your floor insulated.

3. Insulate the Underneath of your Camper
Protecting the under of your camper is a must, especially if you’ll be camping a lot in winter. Inorder to reduce the circulation of cold air, you might want to try skirting your popup camper. Apart from keeping your camper warm, skirting helps to keep snow from going under your pop up. As a result, everything you’re storing under it will be safe.

4. Insulate the Beds
Since you’ll be sleeping on it a lot, it makes sense that your bed has proper insulation as well. You can achieve this by having Styrofoam board insulation installed underneath your mattress. You can also put memory foam on your mattress because it is an excellent insulator.

How to stay dry in pop-up camper

The only way you can stay dry in any camper is if that camper is waterproof. Thankfully, a popup camper is waterproof, but, there is no guarantee that it will remain this way. Many things can cause the camper to lose this quality. Therefore, it is your duty to ensure that nothing hurts your popup and make it stop being water-resistant.

That said, how do you prevent your popup camper from leaking? Here are all the essential preventive measures to carry out.

  1. Always cover your camper up anytime it is not in use. If you don’t do this, the weather may cause the fiberglass roof or canvas to crack and have holes.
  2. You will want to get a cover that goes over your popup camper while you’re traveling. This cover is to provide an extra layer of protection to it. Even when you arrive at your destination, it can still be used as a tarpaulin.
  3. Go ahead and repair whichever part of the popup is damaged as soon as possible. If you can’t do this, at least cover it up. The damage will get worse the longer you leave it unattended to.
  4. You don’t want your popup to age prematurely, and this is why you should always clean your popup after use, especially if there are bird feces on it.
  5. Apply waterproof spray on your popup at least once in a season.
  6. You must open and close your popup camper with great care. If you don’t, you may mistakenly ruin your popup in that process

Tips to camp in pop up camper in winter

Though camping in a popup camper in winter can be fun, we can’t deny that it’s a bit dangerous too. In such trips as this, therefore, it pays to be well-prepared. You’ll be needing some tips to plan your winter camp adventure. Meanwhile, all these tips and tricks have been listed below.

1. Bring Plenty of Warm Clothing
This one is obvious, but it is worthy of mention nonetheless. Like you already know, popups don’t offer much protection against cold. Therefore, the more warm things you pack, the better. Besides, you can use the space in your popup creatively. Pack little more than you need and store them in your camper. This will help to retain heat.

2. Plan for Emergencies
Like you would do when going on ordinary camping trips, you must plan for emergencies. Bring extra candles along, additional food supplies and even heat induction items. You don’t want to be caught in any situation.

3. Know Your Environment
One of the things that make camping fun is discovering the unknown. When it comes to winter popup camping, however, the reverse is the case. You want to be as safe as possible. What this means is that you need to be familiar with where you’ll be camping. This is especially so if it’s the first time you’ll be camping in a cold month.

4. Use antifreeze for tanks
A freezing cold winter can turn water inside your holding tanks or pipes into ice. And, if you are planning to stay in RV for a longer time then you need to make use of antifreeze to avoid such freezing. Using antifreeze will help keep the tanks from freezing. There are other ways as well to prevent such freezing but antifreeze is a great way to start.

5. Insulating water pipes
Sure, you can use antifreeze for holding tanks but pipes too are vulnerable of freezing. And thus, you need to use some kind of insulation to keep them safe. Make use of foam pipe insulation or heat tape to keep the pipes from freezing.

Winterizing the pop up camper

Yes, it can be a little difficult to camp in a pop up camper during winter. Having said this, it is possible to do this provided you follow all the tips I mentioned above. In case if you have planned not to camp in pop up camper then make sure you winterize it for the winter. Below are the things you need to do for winterizing the pop up camper or tent trailer.

1. Drain all the water from plumbing systems.
This is a very important step if you live in a very cold region. You need to drain water from all the pipes, holding tanks, fresh water tanks. Any leftover water can result in freezing and that will expand and break the pipes. For this you can use hot air passing through the pipes. This will remove the every drop of water from pipes and faucets.

2. Make use of RV antifreeze
You can put antifreeze in tanks to keep it safe from winter cold. Antifreez helps plumbing system from freezing. It mostly comes as a pink color liquid.

3. Clean the interiors
Remove the eating items specially from the refrigerator. Clean all the interiors and make sure things like pillows, toiletieres are removed.

4. Wash and clean the pop up exteriors
Make sure you clean the canvas and use mild detergent for cleaning. Do not scrub hard as that may damage the canvas.

5. Carry out pre-storage maintenance
Do all the minor maintenance needed like fixing the canvas or fixing the interiors walls before putting it for storage.

Read : Tips to maintain a Pop Up Camper

6. Keep RV battery separately.
Do not store the battery inside the pop up camper. Do storage it separately inside the garage.


Winter camping in popup camper holds a lot of potential for you if you’re skilled and well-prepared for it. If you’ve read this article, then you have what it takes. In the intimate setting of your popup camper coupled with the snow-covered trees, a magic-filled adventure is guaranteed. So, have a fun time planning your winter camp trip.

G. Yoganand

A RV enthusiast who spends countless hours researching and learning various things related to RV camping. He believes in spending time doing Outdoor activities.
Close Menu