Do you store a pop-top caravan with the top up or down? (13+ tips)

In this article, we will answer the following question: Do you store a pop-top caravan with the top up or down? We will discuss 13+ key points for preparing your caravan for  winter and also what are the pros and cons of pop-top caravans and whether they are  right for you. 

Do you store a pop-top caravan with the top up or down?

The correct way to store a pop-top caravan is with the top down to prevent sun and wind  damage. Extreme temperatures and adverse weather will affect a pop-top caravan more than other RVs and campers. Here’s how to store a pop-top caravan and other essential tips:

  • Wait until the canvas of your pop-top caravan is fully dried, then close it for winter storage;
  • If the top of  your pop-top caravan is not fully dry before you close it, the higher is the risk for mould and dampness to appear. 
  • If storing a pop-top caravan with the top up you risk letting the sun and the UV light destroy the canvas.
  • It is recommended to use a caravan cover, to protect your pop-top caravan from dust, scratches and direct sunlight.
  • Remove the battery of your pop-top caravan, keep it charged inside your home.
  • Before storing your pop-top caravan long term, make sure you clean it well both inside and outside, clean the pipes and get rid of any trace of food. 

The most obvious quality of the pop-top motorhome is its ‘pop-top’ ability. Pop-top motorhome collapses into a compact, lightweight trailer while on the road or in storage. There are brands of campers available, from simple hookups to others equipped with services you would find on larger trailers. It will be your decision to decide which type of pop-top camper is right for you.

Read below for more tips on how to winterize your pop-top caravan and make sure you find it in perfect condition even after long-term storage.

13 key points for winterizing your pop-top caravan

The most important point for wintering your pop-top caravan is the water circuit both for hygiene and for frost problems.

  1. Empty the water tanks: Drain and clean the two tanks (clean water and wastewater). 
  2. Keep the water pump warm: The water pump is prone to freezing. It is advisable to take it apart and store it in a warm place. You can take the opportunity to clean the filter and drain the expansion tank.
  1. Disinfect the toilets: Cleaning the toilet cassette is an essential step. It will be necessary to disinfect the tank (always with bleach), then to rinse it. Remember to leave the hatch open for optimal ventilation. You can also grease the valve seals with silicone grease.
  1. Clean the refrigerator: You can clean your refrigerator with vinegar or bleach and wipe it down with a clean cloth. Remember to put the covers on the exterior ventilation grilles and leave the door ajar to avoid bad odours and the formation of mould.
  1. Empty and clean the cupboards: It is essential to completely empty and clean the cupboards. Leave the doors open to allow air to circulate and possibly install a moisture absorber.
  1. Lift up the cushions and undo the beds: Air circulates with difficulty around mattresses and cushions. In order to avoid the phenomenon of condensation, place them “in a hat” above a chest or a table and keep them away from the walls. The best solution is, if possible, to store them in a dry place in your home.
  1. Take off the lanterns and release the blinds: We recommend that you open the panoramic skylights slightly to prevent the joints from sticking together after a long period of disuse. As for the blinds, it is preferable to leave them open so as not to stress the springs for a prolonged period.
  1. Wash the exterior of the caravan: To begin with, wash the body of your vehicle with a high-pressure jet. When it is dry, use a detergent and a soft brush to loosen the encrusted dirt, rinse quickly before the product dries (proceeding in small areas will make it easier for you). 
  1. Protect the seals: Then move on to protecting the gaskets. The seals do not tolerate temperature variations and hate the cold. It is therefore necessary to remember to grease them after a long period of inactivity in order to avoid possible cracks. 
  1. Obturation: To prevent the cold from entering the vehicle and avoid unwanted residents, use plastic blanking covers suitable for your grilles and air intakes (boiler, heating, refrigerator, etc.).

Winterizing is also the time to check the attachments of your outdoor accessories such as a top-box, an antenna, a ladder, a bike rack, etc. Allow your vehicle for a short 30 km ride (once a month is perfect!) To prevent the joints from drying out and oiling the engine parts.

  1. Tire winterization: To limit the deformation of the tires due to prolonged parking (the rubber does not appreciate much the long periods without driving), inflate the tires to the maximum pressure that is recommended by the manufacturer (generally the maximum pressure is 5.5 bars pressure). 
  1. Release the handbrake: To leave your handbrake released and prevent it from remaining blocked by frost (very often the jaws remain “stuck” damaging the braking system), you will immobilize your vehicle on plastic blocks.
  1. Remember to refuel: In order to avoid any condensation inside your tank (which could degrade the quality of the diesel), we advise you to fill it up before winterizing your motorhome.

Pros of Pop-top caravans

The pop-top caravan has several unique advantages in the RV world. In addition to space, you will save on fuel consumption and you may not have to invest in a tow vehicle to travel. Pop-up campers can often be towed by small trucks, SUVs, and even compact cars.

Here are some of the most popular reasons you see a lot of pop-top caravans on the road and at campsites:

  • Inexpensive: You can get multi-person sleeping space, kitchens, and entertainment options for one lower price. 
  • Lightweight and compact : Most pop-top caravans are compact and lightweight while on the road and in storage. This means you won’t worry about wasting a large coach or the dangers of towing a large trailer.
  • Easier towing: Fewer weight also means you need to get great fuel economy, which means less time at the pump. You will not have to buy an upgraded towing vehicle. Most pop-top caravans are towed by lighter trucks, SUVs, even minivans, and standard-size cars.

Cons of Pop-top caravans

Some of the downsides of emerging campers can also lead to some downsides. A pop-top caravan is an entry-level RV for those looking to invest in one but aren’t ready to buy a fifth wheel RV, travel trailer, or motorhome due to budget.

Here’s what you need to know about the downsides of owning a pop-top 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-top camper.
  • 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-top sleeping quarters also tend to be stiff, so you’ll need more trim for comfort.
  • 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-top home, it’s important to make sure it comes with everything you need for the adventure.

The pop-top camper is a great option for those looking to hit the road on a budget. Your local dealer can help you determine if a pop-top caravan is right for you.

Final advice

The decision of where and how the pop-top caravan is to be stored is very particular. But what must be taken into account in all cases is that winter, cold, rain and everything that happens around it can greatly affect the vehicle if we do not give it adequate maintenance beforehand and leave it stored in a protected place.

Now that you know the essentials about storing a pop-top caravan, you just have to make the correct decision and take good care of the vehicle, to be able to use it in the next season or when a new occasion arises.

If you have any questions or comments on the content, please let us know.


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