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Unlike other big RV’s like Class A RV, Class C RV, Travel trailer, or fifth wheel, a pop up tent trailer is much smaller. Most of the time they do not include bigger amenities or appliances. This can therefore make the camping experience not so great. Also, if you are a hard boondocking guy, you still need to follow certain things to make it great.
Tips for camping in pop-up camper
Having camped in a tent trailer for so many years I list out all the tips that will make your camping in a tent trailer a great experience.
1. Choose the right pop up tent trailer
Though it sounds quite obvious and straight forward, but this is the most important part where the camper is important, as this is what you will be staying in for most of the time, and choosing the wrong one can make you go crazy.
It is better than sleeping in a sleeping bag; it has toilets, a shower, a fridge, an AC unit and a heater (Heaters and AC can be nice, but they do add a lot of cost to a pop up camper).
Also avoid buying a pop up camper tent with water damage; you don’t want to get soaked if it suddenly starts to rain. Although, the pop up camper is not like any usual tent that you ever had, it can shrink to less than half its size and when it’s erected it can be amazing.
2. Don’t take your storage space for granted
As a pop up camper storage can be a little tricky , there woud be small space and it can handle limited weight.
The extra package that a pop up camper can hold is average between 200 and 600 pounds on average. Pack only essential clothing.
You don’t have to take everything with you, think all your packing through, get warm pajamas to wear in the middle of the night. Try to leave expensive items at home that might get damaged.
Limit toiletries to the basics like soap, shampoo and a hairbrush. You don’t have to have the big camera with all it’s pack; you can just take photos with Smart phones as they have proven the efficiency of taking a photo just as cameras.
3. Make a checklist of your needs
It may sound silly and stupid but in the process of packing, you might just forget the most obvious things as toothpaste or toilet paper.
This is why you really need to have a to-do list, to just get all the things you need and not to forget anything. This to-do list can also be used for collecting all those things back when packing to go home and also to not forget something there.
4. Park where the ground is solid and even
Uneven ground leads to a tilted camper, and a tilted trailer can damage the refrigerator and make walking around inside unsettling.
Parking on wet soil and unsteady ground or even sand, can make the tent get a little bit like jelly. You don’t want to fall of the bed, or having to step on one side and find the tent becoming a swing set due to the fact that the ground is uneven.
Not all RV parks allow pop up campers and thus when boondocking make sure you are camping just at the right place.
5. Try renting
If you are buying a pop up camper try to put in mind how many times are you going to use it. As if you are buying one and don’t know how to choose between them, you can rent on every time till you find that special one.
Also, if you are buying an expensive one and you are going to use it once or twice a year then you need to store it. With such less usage maybe you are just wasting space and money. You can just rent one any time when you want to go camping.
6. Assemble a tool kit with basics
This one is very important as you will need some tools in case of any emergency, like popping a tire. You will need tools to change it, and you never know when you might need it.
But also you wouldn’t want to get everything because of the limited storage in case of any other emergency like a broken table, or an unscrewed nail.
So here is an idea of a simple tool kit, you might need: adjustable wrench, screw drivers, hammer, needle nose pliers, razor blade knife, rope, work gloves so that nothing bad happens to your hands, PVC pipe tape, duct tape, and bungee.
7. Make it eco-friendly.
Making the camper a friend of nature could be the best decision that you ever make, not only because it will not pollute the nature but also because it will make it less expensive for you.
Try to make all the electricity that you use solar energy, try to save energy in the morning and use it at night.
8. Prepare all meals before hand
You might need to half cook or fully cook most of the meals before you go. You may not have that much help in the pop up camper that makes you cook it from scratch, or you might not have the time to cook.
Just cook the meals and put them in the freezer and when you want to serve them just put them on the stove or if you have a microwave in the camper just throw them in for a few minutes.
9. Don’t forget the fun
While packing your stuff you just might forget the fun, bring a guitar and start a bonfire.
Or get a torch and start telling them a horror story. Bring a deck of cards, balloons so that you can make water balloons and throw on each other.
Just make sure you dont take things too seriously and forget to enjoy the camping.
10. Never forget your sunscreen
Leaving your sunscreen at home will ruin the whole trip. Once you get sunburned; it will take days to heal and might just stay in pain the whole trip.Just in case this happens, you just have to get Aloe Vera gel and put it in the ice tray and put it in the freezer till it’s useful.
11. Bring common medicine or first aid kit
You never know what is out there or what bacteria you might be exposed to. Maybe someone can catch a cold. So you just have to get the basics of the medicine and always store a first-aid-kit along side a fire extinguisher.
12. Never arrive at night
Arriving at night can only make things hard; you won’t be able to set your camper right as it will be dark. So always just arrive early at morning. It will be so much easier to adjust all of your stuff. Or if you are going to put a table outside and get a lunch or dinner, it will be very nice to just spend the day in the right way.
Bugs can be a lot annoying, it can bite and cause irritation and itching and some spiders can cause you to get to the emergency room. So bring a good insecticide and once you see an insect, not the cheep ones because they can cause problems and the bug might just escape.
14. Get a portable generator
A small generator can be very helpful when you are camping in a pop up camper. Even though a pop up camper has limited space getting a small generator can be really a life saver. Specially, when you are dry camping you won’t have access to electricity. And that’s when a small generator will provide for all the power requirements.
A DC battery can also serve the purpose but a geneertr will last longer. But remember, you just have to pick one that suits your camper. Do not buy a one that bigger and heavier.
15. Carry foldable camping chairs
Boondockignis all about nature. Even though you can just spend all of your time inside the camper do not do so.
Get the foldable chairs and use them to enjoy the outside nature. This will make the whole camping experience amazing. Make sure you pick the right camping chairs as you really need to consider the weight.
16. Cook outside on a grill
Cooking inside the pop up camper may not be very great experience. They will have compact kitchen area and cooking outside can save you from that. Getting a grill and stove that can be used outside will be great.
17. Make use of space-saving products
Tent trailers are small. They may not even include a bathroom. With such small RV you definately need to make use of products or items that will not oversee the space. Storage containers, kitchen items, or any other minor furniture should be designed to save space.
Shop for such items rather than getting your daily household items. Believe me, it does make a lot of difference.
18. Use pop up lift system
Get a pop up list system that will help in raising the pop up easily. You can buy a pop up camper with this kind of setup in the first place itself.
19. Know about the region you are camping in
If you are gong to camp in an unknown region, then make sure you explore the area before hand online. Try to check out the reviews or experiences of other people in that area.
If its an RV park then too make sure you will get everything you need there. This is just to make sure your camping vacation won’t be spoiled due to unacceptable or unbearable experience.
20. Use RV park amenities wisely
RV parks provide lots of amenities and you need to make use of them wisely. They may include bathroom, laundry, cable TV, and many other things. With such amenities you can definately make all the camping experience amazing.
21. Pack food that is easy to prepare
Avoid getting food items that you may not eat at all. Many times we pack food that we just along as a second option.ut in a pop up camper its better to stick to a particular list rather giving many options.
22. Know the expected weather
A pop up camper may not provide great insulation against rain, winter. And thus make sure you know what kind of weather you are going to get at the camping place. This will help a lot to plan better. Get a weather radio that will alert you about upcoming weather forecast.
23. Avoid high humidity regions
Just like knowing harsh weather is important, it is also important to know the normal humidity in the region. High humidity can be very bad and will lead to excessive use of air conditioner or dehumidifier.
24. Get Air conditioner
Many pop up camper will not have an air conditioner installed. Camping without an AC can be tough. Thus try to add an air conditioner to your camper.