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Are you looking for ways to insulate your pop up camper? If yes then keep reading, I have some amazing mods that will help insulate it better.
Pop up campers are designed to be a space for you to sleep when you are out in nature. They are more like glorified tents and offer about the same weather protection as a canvas tent.
Fiberglass insulation will not work that well in this small campers and using it will still leave the windows and doors vulnerable to temperature changes.
To stay warm inside the camper you need to effectively block the cold air, insulate roof, bunk ends and also heat the camper if possible.
Here are alternative ways you can use to stay warm in your pop up camper in the winter and cool in the summer.
1. Use Reflectix insulation
While this is a brand name type of insulation it is still effective. This material looks like bubble wrap covered with a layer of tinfoil but it does a great job keeping the outside temperatures outside.
Plus, it is easy to install, just get the aluminum foil side facing out so the warm and cold air is reflected away from your sleeping quarters. To install just slip strips of this material between the mesh and the pop up material.
You may need to cut the insulation into long strips to get it in placed quickly. Also, you can cover your windows to keep the sunlight from warming up your pop up throughout the day.
It comes as different length and widths, if it fells short then you can make use of duct tape or reflectix tape to join the pieces.
Another great thing about using this approach is, it enhances the privacy inside the camper. Have you ever seen the camper from the outside at night? the shadows could be easily seen, with this insulation you are blocking the views from outside significantly.
In the wintertime you can remove the insulation from the windows in the morning so the sun does get in to warm up your interior living space. The cost of this product is minimal but well worth the expense when you have a more comfortable time camping.
Using reflectix is a must have pop up camper mod if you are spending a lot of time living inside it.
Many wonder if they can use their pop up in winter specially because of the thin insulation. But, I must say, with reflectix like products it does become easy to cope up with chilly cold.
2. Protect With Pop Up Gizmo
Using pop up gizmo is an excellent way to keep your pop up interior specially the sleeping area protected from outside temperature. To those who are unaware of this technique, its a bunk end cover that helps reflect the sunlight making sure the interior is kept cool. These are also called as solar bunk end covers because they are mostly aimed at protecting from sun.
This is not the only advantage you get with pop up gizmo. There are several others like, it protects the pop up canvas and enhances its life. It also helps during winter wherein it keeps the cold out.
Its really easy to install and you don’t have to worry about it while folding the camper down. Unlike reflectix it is installed on the outside of the camper.
You can install Velcro to get it fixed, but on top of that you will also need cords to fix it. The cords will be tied down under the bed clips. For each bed you will have separate gizmo and each will be tied using 4-5 cords. The clips can be easily unhooked when the times comes to fold the camper bed.
Overall, we have found the setup is easy and can easily keep up with it. The protection it gives makes it really worth. It really protects you from cold winter, hot summer, high winds and also from moisture, keeping you dry.
Also, they do not cost much. If you are full timing its not going to be much for you considering the protection it gives.
Pop up gizmos do work and also this is a DIY project anyone can implement under a budget. One can also make use of homemade covers to protect the bunk end if needed.
3. Use Reflective tarps
Reflective tarps help turn the sun’s warm rays away from your little pop up and help keep you cooler on those hot nights that usually keep everyone from sleeping comfortably. Once in place you should find your pop up a better place to be.
There are two options of these reflective tarps available for your summer use. The interior liner slides between your camper’s frame and its mesh walls. The other option is called the bunk end covers and they are held into place by the included bungee cords and clamps.
What you have to watch out for is that there are different styles of these reflective tarps and each style has a different wind resistance rating. Those ratings go from 10 mph to over 25 mph. Just pick the one that is suitable for the wind in the area you are camping.
Then, if you do not want to buy these reflective tarps, you can always make your own. There are ways to combine thermal blankets with regular tarps and the internet is full of instructions on how to do that.
3. Make Use Of Black Out Curtains
You have probably seen these in different homes you have visited. They work well for those people on the graveyard shift when they have to sleep through the day. These curtains can come with a rubber backing that helps provide extra insulation when you need it.
In addition to that feature, blackout curtains are made from thicker material that not blocks the sun’s rays. They keep the light away and can also keep cooler temperatures at bay as well.
The good news is that these curtains come in different sizes, types and colors. You can keep your pop camper looking good while protecting yourself from the outside elements.
What makes them a good insulation choice is that these blackout curtains are easy to adjust. You can slide them out of the way when you want the light inside your pop up camper. Then slide them back into place when you want to cool it down.
4. Effectively Stop The Leaks
One thing about RVs of all shapes and sizes is that they are not perfect. The road has a way of knocking the frame and other parts about causing them to loosen up or move away from their secure spot.
When that happens,little cracks and holes develop which let the outside air inside your pop up camper. To insulate, all you have to do is take a little time and search your camper for every little spot that has come loose and made a gap in its structure.
Read : Fix Leaking RV roof
You can use a little foam and duct tape to seal these nuisances. Neither product costs that much and you can do it all yourself, saving yourself even more money. Nothing ruins a camping trip faster than cold moisture getting inside your pop up and making everything wet.
This little trick will help you stay warmer in the winter as the heat your heater provides does not escape into the night air. You stay warmer and healthier by spending those few minutes sealing up all the leaks your pop camper incurred.
Door, windows need to be blocked with some sort of insulation preferably that can removed easily. Hang a blanket or other insulation to make sure outside air is blocked from coming inside. You can make use reflectix here as well.
Insulate the roof as far as possible. Using bunk end covers helps protects the area where you sleep. Apart from this, make sure the roof at other areas is also insulated. Make use of reflectix wherever possible.
It will be easy to fix reflectix at window, door but a little more efforts are needed for roof insulation. Also, caulk the places where there is work done like at ac fixture or vents.
5. Use Vapor barrier
The next pop up camper hack is to use vapor barrier. This is to protect you from condensation or cold ground air that comes up during the night. The vapor barrier is a sheet of plastic several ply thick. It is lightweight and does not add any weight when it is time to pull your pop up camper to its next destination.
While it is lightweight, it does a very big job of keeping the moisture out of your camper. You can lay it under your bunks and flooring of your camper and no visitor should see it or know that it is even there.
Like the tarps, etc., this plastic is easy to install and only takes a little time to get the job done. Once installed you should feel warmer at night and sleep more comfortably.
6. Use Rugs or Carpet To Insulate The Floor
Just like the walls or roof, the floor too is susceptible to outside world. The temperature can decrease due to this. Also, in summer this can raise the inside temperature. Remember, insulation is not only needed during winter but also during summer.
Placing a sufficient thick rug or carpet can actually make a lot of difference. Do not underestimate this as it does make a difference. Apart from protecting the floor you can also try to keep other flat surfaces like bed, storage areas insulated. Flannel on top of bed can make it warm during winter.
Sleeping bags, wool clothes make it cozy and warm inside the camper. Styrofoam board below the mattress makes bed warm that’s what is more important for your cozy sleep. No mater how much insulation you use its always better to keep the bed warm
Once the camper is properly insulated its easy to heat it. Similarly, the AC also works efficiently with properly insulated camper.
For bigger RVs like travel trailer or motorhome skirting is a perfect solution. But, for pop up camper it could be a costly solution as the camper itself is a low cost vehicle.
I am sure these tips will definitely make your pop up camper much more comfy during both summer as well as winter.
Heating The Camper
Insulating is one of the best ways to keep the cold air outside and make the interior as warm as possible. But, there is another way to enhance the comfort, heating; isn’t it?
Why just block the air which by the way will make it comfortable to certain extent only, when you can actually produce the heat inside?
Here are some common ways to heat the camper when the mercury is falling down very fast.
Make use of Space Heater
Using a space heater to produce heat is a cheaper way as compared to using furnace. This is also a good option because the space in your pop up camper isn’t much and hence it will work best for you.
These are generally for such compact spaces only. You wont need much to get them assembled as they are pre-assembled. They wont take much space either.
Furnace to Heat The Camper
A furnace is generally used in bigger RVs where the space is much more. You may use furnace inside pop up camper as well but be sure to check with a rv technician on the installation.
Furnace also needs propane to run. If you are not carrying propane tank on your pop up camper then it would be difficult ti use a furnace. Space heater are meant for smaller spaces where as furnace are meant for heating larger spaces.
Using such blankets while sleeping can really make a difference. No matter how much you protect your camper from outside temperature you will still need some sort of warmth when sleeping.
Also, with pop up camper the insulation makeover may not work perfectly. Therefore getting such a blanket is a great idea. Also, its easy to carry and wont take much space either. You can buy such blanket on amazon at much lower costs.
Make Use of Skirting
Skirting is a common way to keep RVs warm when the temperature is very low. This not only keeps the cold air out but also protects the camper plumbing from freezing.
Although using it in case of pop up camper is uncommon one can always go for this. Many travel trailer or fifth wheel owners employ this method as it helps protect the piping lines, tanks from freezing.
It also protects the camper from high winds that can make the interior temperature go down very fast.
Pop up campers are a great way to be close to nature without the hassle of setting up a tent. The trouble is they are the least protective of all the RV options out there and you need these insulation tips to help make your time in the great outdoors better.
All you have to do is pick the option that works best for you and your camping needs and go with that selection. You are not ruining your pop up,just making it more efficient.