In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can you insulate a pop-up camper? We will explain how you can effectively insulate a pop-up camper so that you can travel warm in winter and cool on summer days.
Can you insulate a pop-up camper?
Yes, you can indeed insulate a pop-up camper. Many pop-up owners are reluctant to this idea as it seems impossible to thoroughly insulate the canvas. Still, insulating your pop-up camper is important and beneficial for both you and your RV.
Here are our three suggestions for insulating a pop-up camper:
Insulate a pop-up camper: Reflectix Insulation
Reflectix Insulation comes in 25 ‘x 2’ rolls, shiny, reflective and reflective, in plastic bags. The idea is that this thin material can act as a type of insulation in tight spaces where you can’t put thick fibreglass insulation. There is no metallic content; Everything is plastic.
When shopping for insulation, all those giant balls of fibreglass, stiff foam, and even denim (recycled jeans) can look overwhelming. They are difficult to transport, and if you have a car it is much more difficult. Once you have them at the camper, you need to dress from head to toe to protect yourself from all that itchy fibreglass.
Is there a better way? Does Reflectix offer a reasonable substitute? Not exactly. Reflectix is not a fibreglass alternative. It’s a different type of insulation.
In some cases, Reflectix falls squarely into the best-than-nothing category. You might have a cold workshop with heat escaping from the roof. Stapling a layer of Reflectix along the rafters will reduce heat loss, but not as well as the fibreglass mat.
Still, if you can’t stand the thought of struggling with the fibreglass mat on your head, Reflectix is an alternative. Also, its reflective surface would give your store more ambient light.
Also, it can help with any areas where cold air is blowing in your camper. While caulking is the recommended procedure for this stuff, there may be situations where a large expanse of Reflectix will stop the airflow.
In the end, Reflectix is exactly what it says. All information about Reflectix is presented on the label, and their site is very informative.
The key to using Reflectix well is that you should take a little time to understand how reflective insulation works in the first place. The Reflectix site provides a wide variety of information on this and how it differs from other types of insulation.
Insulate a pop-up camper: Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains
Thermal curtains, as their name suggests, reduce heat loss, without obstructing your access to your windows or the view offered by them.
Normally, and especially in the case of a single-glazed window, cold wall effects are generated by surfaces in contact with the outside of your camper. These cold walls are at the origin of the sensations of cold perceived by the occupants of the camper. Thanks to the presence of insulating curtains, you mitigate this unpleasant effect and contribute to the good insulation of your camper.
The thermal insulation curtain can be made of various materials, such as polyethene terephthalate (PET), PVC, cotton or even wool. The presence of a thermal liner is of real interest in terms of temperature preservation, even in summer when it has anti-heat characteristics by reflecting more than three-quarters of the sun’s rays. It is also a sound curtain, which in some cases has very good sound insulation. This reduces the disturbance caused by noise pollution.
There are several types of insulating curtains on the market. Here is a list:
- Generally, thermal curtains are also blackout curtains. A blackout and thermal curtain not only protects occupants from heat loss but also has other qualities. It makes it possible to obscure the external light by obscuring the room. Besides blocking out exterior light and plunging the room into darkness, it is effective day and night to protect you from prying eyes and preserve your privacy.
- You will also find models of thick double curtains in specialized stores. The double curtain is generally considered a bedroom curtain because of its insulating power, its ability to immerse a room in complete darkness and its aesthetic dimension.
- Among the various existing finishes, eyelet curtains are the most common. The fabric at the head of the curtain has plastic or metal rings incorporated through which the curtain rod passes.
- Legged curtains have fabric loops at their head, which allow the curtain rod to pass through.
The thermal insulating curtain is also available in different sizes and shapes:
- small curtain for the narrow-glazed window;
- beautiful curtains for large windows;
- geometric patterns, vertical or horizontal stripes;
- various colours (green, red, blue, plain white, or your solid black).
It is up to you to choose the appearance to harmonize it with your interior decoration. Of course, you have the choice between ready-to-hang curtains or custom-made curtains.
Insulate a pop-up camper: PopUP Gizmos
While not a classical insulating material, PopUP Gizmos are a waterproof cover that will protect your camper from moisture, rain, snow and ice (if you like camping in the mountains in winter). The many advantages of pop-up gizmos are that they:
- Are completely washable;
- Keep the camper dry no matter the weather;
- Protects the pop-up against dirt, dust and UV rays;
- The protective cover consists of several layers in order to protect the camper as well as possible from any possible damage;
- A financial advantage above all, since the resale price of a camper, is assessed according to its equipment but also its general condition. The better it is stored, the better it will sell in terms of speed of sale and value!
Without a doubt, a tarp protects your vehicle from the elements. In areas where it snows, it prevents water from melting accumulated snow from entering the camper through the solder joints. Leaves, pine needles, branches and the like will also not find their way inside. In the spring, your vehicle should, in principle, be as clean as the day you covered it. Lots of commercial tarps like this help protect your camper in the winter.
If you are using a commercial tarp, such as PUGS, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for how to attach it to the RV. To prevent mould from forming under the tarp, do not leave it in place for too long.
In hot places to reduce the risk of mould, I strongly recommend purchasing a tarp made of breathable fabric. An electric dehumidifier might even be a good idea to keep the camper clean and dry.
The advantages of insulating a pop-up camper
The main advantage of insulating a pop-up camper is the ability to keep it warm during cold winter nights and to keep it cool on hot summer days!
Insulating the walls, whether from the inside or the outside, will allow you to reduce heat loss, which represents between 20% and 25% of your energy consumption. By insulating your walls, you will therefore save a lot on your heating bills.
Insulating a pop-up camper is not a complicated process, it can be done quickly and with relatively low funds, but it will bring you so much comfort no matter the season.
The bottom line
The insulation of the pop-up 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 you have any questions or comments on the content? Please feel free to get in contact!
FAQ on Can you insulate a pop-up camper?
Do pop-up campers have good insulation?
Pop-up campers 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.
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.
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.