Explore America's Campgrounds
Pop-up trailers are lightweight and easy to tow. When they're opened, the ends pull out to form spacious bunks. Because of the size and shape of pop-ups, the interiors are similar, no matter which brand you buy. Personalizing your pop-up, or adapting it to your particular needs, faces similar constraints.
The colors and patterns of the fabrics used in campers are meant to appeal to a broad range of consumers. Redecorating the interior of your pop-up is a fairly simple way to make a change. If you have sewing skills you can reupholster the benches and hang new curtains. If you aren't confident with your sewing skills, have new covers custom made. It's wise to use heavy-duty fabric and to put zippers in cushion covers so they can be removed and washed. You may have to visit an RV supply store to get the proper curtain hangers for your model. Change the hardware on the cupboards. Buy drawer pulls and knobs that latch when they're closed so things don't fall out when the trailer is in motion. Resurface the countertops with a high-end material that matches your new upholstery and paint the wood. Change the vinyl flooring to match the décor. You can create more space in your pop-up if there are built-ins you never use. Some campers have a banquette at one end with a table, and at the other end a sofa with another table. If you don't need two tables, remove the one you use least. Before you make any major changes to the interior, make sure they won't compromise the structural integrity of the pop-up. Check with your dealer or the manufacturer if you have any doubts. Be careful how much weight you add in your remodel. Extra weight puts stress on your tow vehicle and reduces gas mileage.
Increasing the functionality of a pop-up usually means adding storage, living area and adapting the space to fit your needs. Many pop-up models don't have bathrooms. When you bought the trailer you may have thought you wouldn't need one. Families camping with kids will be happier with some sort of bathroom facility. You can create a mini-bathroom by hanging a shower curtain from the ceiling and closing it around a port-a-potty when it's in use. Stow the port-a-potty in one of the benches and take the shower curtain down when you don't need it. Add living area to the outside by building or buying a screen room that you can fold up and pack away when it's not in use. This also creates extra storage space for things that are inside the trailer when you're traveling but are in the way when you're camping. Add an awning if you don't have one. It's not as effective for storage, but it does create a covered outdoor space for cooking or lounging. If you'd like a nontraditional covering, make a sun sail. Hem a large piece of canvas and put grommets in the corners. Carry bungee cords with you and when it's time to hang the sail, put one end of each bungee cord in a grommet and loop the other end around a tree or post.
Native New Yorker Meg Jernigan stayed in Washington, D.C. after attending the George Washington University, and worked in the tourism industry with the National Park Service for many years. She has extensive experience in tent and RV camping, hiking, backcountry exploration and cycling.