Winter Camping In A Pop Up Camper: 7 Best Tips And Tricks

Winter camping in a pop up camper: Tips and Tricks

For those who like camping, cold winter weather is never a problem. Winter camping become more and more popular, but you have to be prepared for such a trip.

Camping during unpredictable cold weather along with extreme temperatures and snowfalls can be challenging.

One of the options to consider is using a pop-up camper. In this article, we will tell you how to stay warm in a camper like this, what are the best pop-up campers on the market and other tips that can be useful when winter camping.

Winter camping in a pop up camper: Tips and Tricks

Can you use a popup camper in the winter?

Absolutely! It will require some preparation done to the pop-up tents as originally, they are not designed for camping during cold weather conditions. Pop up campers are also known as tent trailers or foldable tent campers.

They won’t protect from extreme temperatures, as the canvas on a pop-up tent is primarily made out of non-insulated material. It also comes with no heaters or aircon.

Before you start using a pop-up camp you need to fully winterize it with the options described in the article below.

How cold is too cold for pop-up camper?

Because pop-up campers aren’t designed to be used during winter weather, they can be quite fragile at cold temperatures.

Zero Fahrenheit is generally too cold for pop ups. The material they are made out of might start cracking unless you can keep a popup camper warm.

Even though the sub-zero temperatures can damage a camper it doesn’t mean you can’t use it for winter camping. Follow our tips for winterizing it.

How do you keep a pop-up warm in the winter weather?

If you have plans to go camping during winter or consider traveling all year round, it is best to start with the insulation of your pop-up camper.

How do you insulate a pop-up camper for winter?

The best thing to do would be to minimize the leaks in your pop-up camper, using some silicone or tape.

  1. Start with insulating the underneath part of your pop-up. Attaching skirtings might help reduce the amount of snow going under your camper.
  2. Proper insulation of the windows and the doors is also important.  We suggest using a thin material called Reflectix Inserts, which helps to keep away radiant energy and moisture.
  3. It is also an affordable option as it is sold in rolls. You cut the pieces that will fit the size of your doors and windows.
  4. Insulation of the pop-up camper floors. You can purchase a carpet to put on the floor of your pop-up. That should help to stop cold air from coming in.
  5. Insulation of the beds. Along with using heated mattresses, you can put memory foam underneath them.

How to heat a pop up camper without electricity?

There is a chance you will not have any electricity when winter camping. So how do you keep a pop-up winter camper warm?

1. Look into reinforcing the plumbing system with polyvinyl chloride pipes (PVC pipes)

That will keep the water tank from freezing temperatures. The whole water system is going to be insulated and you will have access to water and amenities in a heated camper. It also helps to maintain the sewer system during winter camp.

2. Switching to a composting toilet

Apart from the reduction of carbon footprint, switching to a composting toilet with solid wastes will help to keep the pipes in the sewer system from freezing.

3. Stocking up with necessities

Make sure you purchase everything you might need for camping in extreme cold. Ice scrapers must be packed into your camper before you leave. It is advisable to have a few of them in case you break one.

Purchasing windshield fluids in reserve is recommended. Anything can go wrong in such extreme conditions. You don’t want to be stuck in the middle of nowhere with no help.

Winter camping differs from ordinary camping trips. The successful pleasant experience depends on how well you will be prepared for such a trip.

Winter camping in a pop up camper: Tips and Tricks

The best propane space heaters for pop up campers

Even though the methods for making your pop-up camper warm described above do work, without having a good heater it won’t be warm enough for you in a pop up camper.

We recommend purchasing a reliable propane heater. It will not require electricity, which is convenient when camping away from civilization. This portable propane furnace doesn’t require you to have a generator.

Let’s look at the best options for propane space heaters to give you an idea of what to look for:

1. Mr Heater portable propane heater

It comes with an adapter that allows you to connect it to the propane tanks. Reliable, durable heater, easy to set up. It has a compact size and impressive technical capacity. The heater has a safety heating feature for detecting accidents falls or low oxygen.

2. ProCom liquid propane heater

Comes with easy manual control. Environmentally friendly and provides great efficiency with a vent-free gas burner. You won’t need an outside duct or chimney. It has a sensor that detects any leaks of oxygen and an automatic shut-off option.

How to stay warm?

A successful winter camping trip depends on how comfortable and warm you are going to be in your pop-up camper. To enjoy this adventure your tent trailer or a pop-up camper must be warm and dry.

Winter camping in a pop up camper: Tips and Tricks

Making a pop-up camper insulated and warm inside is the key to the memorable moments of winter camping.

  1. The first thing to prepare your pop-up camp for winter use is to make sure it is fully insulated and can hold heat inside. Using plastic sheeting over the windows and the door will help it as well.
  2. Taking a small electric space heater as a heat source can also be considered. It is energy efficient and works great with warming a small area.

Getting a battery-operated space heater is reasonable if there will be no electricity while camping.

Another option is propane heaters which are more powerful and can be used anywhere. You don’t need to stop at the campsite.

3. Another heat source is good quality heated blankets, down comforters, and sleeping bags that will keep you warm and cozy.

You must be careful with using such heat agents as heated blankets and get the ones that have the automatic shut-off options.

If you are going to be using a sleeping bag, it is a good idea to put a hot water bottle in before going to sleep. It will warm up your bed and keep you warm and snuggled.

4. Wearing appropriate clothing will ensure you never get cold. Use thermals as a first layer. You should pack a substantial amount of winter clothing so you always have spare in case it gets wet. Wearing a few layers of warm clothes for cold weather camping is a must.


How to stay dry in a pop-up camper?

For staying dry in your pop-up camper, you must make sure it is waterproofed. Almost all pop-up campers are made out of water-resistant material, but there is a chance it can get damaged if you are going to winter camp.

How to protect your pop-up camper from water getting inside?

  1. When you are not using your popup camper, cover it. It will prevent cracks and holes from forming. The material the pop-up camper is made out of is quite fragile and can’t withstand cold weather well.
    • The cover can also be used when you stop somewhere while camping, giving your pop-up camper an extra layer of protection.
  2. If your pop-up camper tears or breaks, make sure you cover this damaged part with something until it can get fixed properly. That way you will ensure it doesn’t get worse.
  3. Always make sure your pop-up camper is clean from dirt. If you want your popup camper to last, take good care of it.
  4. Purchase some water-repellent spray that will keep your popup camper dry. When the winter weather patterns are unknown and it can be anything from heavy rain to snowfall, the spray will protect the canvas of your pop-up camper from getting wet.
  5. When getting in and out of your popup camper you should be extra careful to not damage the camper itself.

Can you live in a pop up camper year round?

It is possible but it will be a bit more difficult than living in a regular trailer all year round.

As it has been said that pop-up campers are not insulated enough to keep cold air from coming in. If you are going on a short winter camping trip, there are ways you can prepare the popup campers for it.


If you are planning on spending the whole winter living in it, it will be quite difficult but it does have some advantages:

  • The size of pop-up campers is small, so it makes it easier to travel with
  • Easier to get to the places because of the camper’s compact size
  • Pop-up campers usually come with all the necessities such as a place to cook, sleep, and a toilet.

As you can see it is possible to live in pop-up campers as long as you are fully prepared for that.

What is the best way to stay safe if you plan to use a camper in the winter?

When you start planning your trip make sure you take all the important things into account.

  • Check the weather report for the area you are going to be winter camping in. Even though the weather reports are never accurate, it will give you an estimate of how cold and snowy it will be.
  • Check out the terrain. It is important to know, how flat the area is going to be especially when it is covered under a layer of snow.

You don’t want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere. Make sure you have some equipment that will help to pull your car and your pop-up camper out of the snow if you do get stuck.

  • In case of an emergency, you have to know the contact details of emergency services near the place where you are going to be winter camping. Write it down and keep safe somewhere in your pop-up camper.

If it is going to be snowing overnight, there is a big chance you are going to get stuck in the morning. Knowing what emergency crews you can call might save your life.

  • Pack up lots of winter clothing and bedding. It is crucial to stay warm and dry during winter camping. You won’t be able to dry your clothes during your trip. Pack as many as you can, so you always have spare clothing to change into.

Apart from getting an electric blanket, we recommend taking duvets. They will help you to stay warm during cold nights.

  • Be prepared for a power outage. Pack all the essential emergency items such as candles, lighters, lanterns, and heat induction items. There might be winter storms and power outages and you should be fully stocked up.

What are the best pop up campers for winter camping?

If you are looking for the best pop up camper to use for winter camping, you should consider the ones that have winter camping features.

Forest River Flagstaff HW29SC

This pop-up camper is the largest on the list. Comes with everything you might need if you are planning to use this camper in the winter, including winter camping features such as a hot water package, heated matrasses, dual propane tanks, a furnace, and an oxygen leak detector. It also has a large cargo capacity.

It is equipped with beds, a couch, a table, and a full kitchenette with a sink. Comes with a wet bath with a shower and a cassette toilet.

Forest River Rockwood Freedom 2514F

This particular pop-up camper also comes with winter camping features. It has dual propane tanks, oxygen leak detection, insulated bunk ends, heated mattresses, and a furnace. It also has a bathroom. You won’t find many other pop-ups that have a bathroom, so many campers recommend this one.

It has two bunk ends beds, a dinette, and a lot of storage space.

Aliner LXE

This camper has hard-sided insulated walls, dual propane tanks, hard dormers, and an extreme off-road package. It is great for camping during the year. This pop-up camper has a compact size but there is enough storage area. Comes with a sofa bed, shower, toilet, kitchen, and table.

Aliner Expedition

Hard-sided pop-up camper with great insulation capabilities when it comes to keeping warm. It has a built-in furnace and dual propane tanks so you will never be out of propane.

Tips for staying warm and safe in pop-up campers in cold weather

Anything can happen while winter camping. You can’t predict everything. That is why it is important to plan your trip and prepare for any possible situation. These tips will help you along the way:

Taking fire extinguishers

The heat sources such as heaters, and electric blankets can pose a risk of fire or burns. Having fire extinguishers will minimize the risk of fire spreading around and will help to put it out.

If your pop-up camper is old, it is advisable to check the wiring to make sure everything is safe.

Checking out for mold

During winter the amount of moisture in the air can cause mold in your pop-up camper. If the area is not ventilated properly the mold grows faster. We recommend using small dehumidifiers.

If you have found mold in your pop-up camper, clean it using a solution of water mixed with white vinegar.

Keeping the gas tank full

Always make sure your gas tank is full. You use more gas during cold weather and some of it can also evaporate overnight. You don’t want to run out of fuel when you least expect it. Make it your rule to check the tank when you stop for hot coffee somewhere.

Wearing a few layers of clothing

You must have enough clothing to last you the whole trip. Make sure you pack as many as you can. You won’t be able to wash your clothes and dry them in the winter. It is important to wear dry clothes to keep yourself warm.

Dressing in layers is the key to being warm.

Taking a lot of blankets

Keeping yourself warm during the night is crucial for your health. You generate less heat because you aren’t moving. Using a lot of blankets, including a heated blanket is a must. Consider getting a good-quality sleeping bag rated for use at sub-zero temperatures.

Eating warm meals

Having hot meals and drinks will keep you warm from the inside. Food that generally contains fat, protein, and carbs takes time to digest and so produces heat in the body, which can keep you warm in winter as well.

Taking hot water bottles

Before going to sleep put a hot water bottle in your bed to help you keep warm.

Sleeping with your clothing

Some people sleep with clothes prepared for the next day in their beds. That way you will have warm clothing to put on in the morning.

Prepare the pop up camper for winter storage

Even though camping during winter is a bit more difficult than any other season and requires a lot more preparation, it is possible considering all the tips and tricks described in this article above. What to do if you have decided not to camp this winter?

Prepare your pop-up for winter storage using the following instructions:

  1. Drain the water from the water system. That includes all the piping and tanks. If you leave any water in the system it will freeze and damage the pipes. Using hot air to run through the pipes will remove all of the water that is left.
  2. Filing up the tanks with antifreeze. It will keep the water system from freezing.
  3. Cleaning inside the pop-up camper. Make sure you don’t leave any food items inside a camper. Pack away the bedding and all the toiletries.
  4. Cleaning the outside of a pop-up camper. The canvas must be cleaned from any dirt using a mild soap. Do not use hard brushes in case you damage the material.


If you are planning to use a pop-up camper in the winter, you must be fully prepared and equipped, so it can be a lot of fun. Following our guide to winterizing a pop-up camp will help you to stay warm, cozy, and safe.

Please share the article with those who are considering going winter camping in popup campers. If you have any questions left let us know in the comment section below.

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