Can I live in a pop-up camper year-round?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can I live in a pop-up camper? We will discuss the pros and cons of living in a pop-up camper year-round. We will also tackle some important issues when it comes to RV life and give you a few useful tips for making the best of it. 

Can I live in a pop-up camper?

To consider whether you can live in a pop-up camper or not, we must discuss its pros and cons. This way you will be able to decide whether living year-round in a pop-up is worth it or not!

Pop-up campers Pros & Cons

Pros of a pop-up camperCons of  a pop-up camper
Easy to transport: being small in size, a caravan with a lifting roof is easier to transport, it does not weigh as much for the car that is transporting it, and the manoeuvres are also easier than if it were a conventional caravan.Services and Features: If it can’t be folded into a small size, you can’t have it in a pop-top caravan. 
Some cool features found on travel trailers or motorhomes will not be available when purchasing a pop-up camper.
Has almost enough space: when you park and you want to inhabit the caravan, you will have an extra space, which not all small caravans have.Convenience – Again, compromises are needed to allow the pop-top to be compact. The bedrooms in the pop-top campers are protected by a vinyl covering. Extreme temperatures and adverse weather will affect the pop-up caravan more than other RVs. 
Pop-up sleeping quarters also tend to be stiff, so you’ll need more trim for comfort.
Lower consumption: the consumption of the vehicle with which you transport the pop-up roof caravan will be less than if you take a large caravan since it weighs less and the size is reduced when the roof is folded.Customization Options: Pop-top campers often can’t be added in the future, leaving you little in the way of adding functionality in the future. 
When buying a pop-up camper, it’s important to make sure it comes with everything you need for the adventure.
Easier to store: due to its dimensions, smaller than those of a regular caravan, it can be stored in the garage when it is not going to be used.They offer limited space for a family: a caravan with a lifting roof is still a small caravan with an extension, so it is not designed to accommodate many people. If you want to do it, you should opt for a larger caravan.
Low costs: The main advantage of the pop-up camper is certainly its affordability for new owners. A new pop-up camper is generally available from $ 15,000 (with financing options). 
Used pop-up campers that have been inspected at several points are also available starting at $ 6,000.
They have perhaps the worst insulation: the pop-up roof makes the caravan have better insulation than one that does not have this type of roof, something that is very noticeable, both on the coldest days and on the hottest ones.

Some things to consider before moving to a pop-up camper full-time

  • Gain experience before living year-round in a pop-up camper. Those who have taken the plunge will tell you: it is better to have a good experience in caravanning before considering living in a pop-up camper all year round. Ideally, you should already own the camper, or at least have tried it in years past. It’s not uncommon to see newly retired couples selling everything they own to buy a pop-up camper … without knowing how to drive it!

If in doubt, you can rent a pop-up camper to familiarize yourself with RVing. It is also possible to take RV driving lessons to learn how to manoeuvre a camper. Because, even if driving a pop-up does not require a specific driver’s license, tips for backing up your RV, parking it or making turns are still very useful!

  • Choosing the right type of camper for full time living.  Another very important point that should not be overlooked is the choice of the camper. If you want to live in a year-round camper, then better buy one that meets your needs. 

As a general rule, the fifth wheel caravan is often chosen by nomads who want to live in a camper all year round. Welcoming and spacious, the fifth wheel is designed to be detached from the towing vehicle. This gives you the freedom to drive around in the car to visit when you have arrived at your destination. 

Do your research on the pros and cons of pop-up campers, and decide for yourself if you can live in one long term. 

Once the type of camper has been chosen, you have to think about the dimensions of your unit. Be careful, however, to find out about the sizes of campers accepted in the various campgrounds. A camper that is too long may be refused for lack of space.

  • Obviously, everything must be functional inside your camper to facilitate your year-round living. So remember to quickly replace any defective or worn equipment before it causes damage. Also, the regular maintenance of your camper should be one of your priorities for your safety and the longevity of your vehicle.
  • Save money to live in a pop-up camper. It’s no secret that buying an RV can get very expensive. Fortunately, there are tips for saving money when buying a pop-up camper:
  • You can buy a used camper rather than a new camper. The important thing is to thoroughly inspect the camper when purchasing to make sure it is in perfect condition. 
  • It’s also possible to save on gasoline by adopting our pro tips and tricks. A great asset if you plan to travel a lot with your camper rather than settling year-round on a campground in the United States.

Advice for successful camping with a pop-up camper

If you want to go camping with a pop-up camper, first, get organized! Think about what kind of place you prefer to go to and what activities you want to do, be it walks, nature excursions, beaches, fishing, picnics and/or sports. Or maybe you just want to rest a bit and enjoy a good book! 

Once you have that clear, look for places with those characteristics near your area. Then, go to the store, and find the necessary equipment for it.

Keep in mind that pop up campers do not have the best isolation, therefore, you should check what is the minimum temperature during the night of the place at the time you will go to buy property! Some campers avoid going camping in winter with a pop-up!

There are different models of pop-up campers. Keep in mind that it is preferable to invest a few dollars and avoid unpleasant surprises such as flooding if it rains or unwanted animals or insects entering! You may also want a sleeping cushion and other products that can give you comfort. It will depend on how comfortable you are willing to sleep.

Other things that you will need for successful camping in a pop-up camper are:

  • a source of light, to illuminate you when it gets dark. A cheap LED headlight is the best.
  • lanterns, for the same purpose as above. Do not rely so much on what can light the fire.
  • first aid kit: something basic to clean and heal wounds from scrapes, cuts, blisters and any other medication you take. Even antiallergic.
  • sunscreen: minimum SP40 factor! And also include hats with a visor or eaves in your garments to protect your head from the sun!
  • Insect repellent.

For other things, you may need, do your research! You have the internet at hand for looking for camping places, even in some with bathroom facilities and others you can book in advance. Always read helpful information and talk to the camping site manager. Don’t keep any questions to yourself! What if someone gets lost? What if a bear appears? What if an accident occurs? Consider all the possibilities.

In some campsites, you can rent all the necessary equipment and you will not have to buy it. Keep in mind that clothes have to be comfortable and always, wherever you go, carry water, sunscreen, nutritional bars and insect repellent. 

Living in a pop-up camper all year round: is it right for you?

The idea of ​​living in your camper all year round is of course feasible. Nomads do it every year, so why not you?

If you are interested in the project, you have everything to gain by continuing your research, budgeting and making a list of advantages and disadvantages to see more clearly. You can also chat with people who have made this choice to validate your perceptions. Enough to help you make a wise choice!

Please feel free to share your thoughts, concerns, tips and questions on living in a pop-up camper!

FAQ on Can I live in a pop-up camper?

Do pop up campers stay cool in summer?

Pop up campers are not known for staying cool in summer. In fact, the vice versa is more accurate: if you are not prepared, you will start sweating in your pop-up camper every summer night. 

Can you sleep in a pop-top in winter?

Yes, you can most certainly sleep in a pop-top (also known as a pop-up camper) in winter, as long as you take all the necessary precautions to stay warm during those cold nights.

Is insulating a pop-up a good idea?

The insulation of the pop-top camper can be more or less valid and efficient, but it is still there. This means that the interior can be heated and the heat maintained, perhaps some models “hold better than others”, but this is not very important: your camper can face the cold. 

Do pop up campers leak when it rains?

Yes, pop-up campers may leak when it rains. Why? First, because they are not waterproof. Second, because your camper canvas is probably torn or seriously damaged. You must always check your camper before every trip for holes in the canvas or the roof, as they are mainly responsible for water leaks

Are pop-up campers good?

Yes, pop-up campers are good. Pop-up campers are practical models with little consumption, in which the roof is raised in just over two minutes, and that allows you that functionality of having it parked at home and deciding to go out for a weekend without a problem. 

What is the best pop-up caravan to buy?

Among the best pop-up caravans to buy are the Coronet Series F S2; Goldstream RV 16FT FKST; Jayco Expanda OB 18.58-2 PT; Jurgens Jindabyne PT2210 and the Olympic Javelin.


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