How to Care for Pop Up Campers

••• Jay Bauer

Explore America's Campgrounds

You should know how to care for a pop-up camper so that it stays in good condition and is useable for many years to come. The nice thing about a pop-up camper is that if you care for it and keep it clean and in tiptop shape, you could use the camper for 15 years or more. Learn what it takes to keep a pop-up camper in good condition for all your camping needs.

Items you will need

  • Canvas water repellent Non-lanolin soap Patch kits for pop up campers Wheel bearing grease (if needed)

Keep the canvas part of the camper free of mold and tears. When the canvas is wet, never lower the top and close it. The canvas should always be dry and free of any debris. Wash the canvas with water and non-lanolin soap, and then allow drying. If you must put the top down in the rain, open it as soon as you can and allow drying.

Repair any tears in the canvas or screens immediately. Prevention is the key to the long life of the canvas. A small tear in the screen can be fixed with a sewing needle and thread. A tear in the canvas can be fixed with another piece of canvas a little bigger than the tear, using strong cement glue. Reapply water repellent when specified by the manufacturer. This will keep the canvas waterproof and you dry. Use only a repellent that is recommended.

Keep critters out of the pop-up camper by keeping it clean and sealed. Inspect all seals, door entries and floorboards to make sure the critters cannot get in. Look underneath to make sure that all areas where plumping and/or electrical piping enter the camper are sealed. If not, use a sealant to make sure nothing, including bees, can get in.

Check the tires, lights and crank for wear before and after each outing. If you notice wear, replace the item before it breaks or becomes a safety issue. Yearly, take off the tires and check the wheel bearing to make sure there is no dirt built up and there is enough wheel bearing grease. If you drive dirt roads, dust can get into the wheel bearing and dry the grease.