How do you lift a pop-up camper?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: How do you lift a pop-up camper? Additionally, to explain how to lift and install your pop-up camper or tent trailer, we will also discuss the proper storage of a pop-up camper when it is not in use. 

How do you lift a pop-up camper?

Here are the steps to lift your pop-up camper:

  1. Remove the pop-up canvas from its storage bag while unbinding any zippers, straps or velcro around the poles and canvas. Then put the poles on the ground in front of the pop-up camper and put them all together. If they are secured with a bungee cord, do not let them attach on their own, as this may damage the metal on the poles. Install the poles manually.
  1. Take the poles and find the attachment points on the side of the pop-up camper. Push the poles into the attachments until the auto-locking mechanisms hold them and listen for the click. If you don’t hear the click, then remove the poles and start over to hear the click. Let the canvas fall loosely over the poles of the trailer tent.
  1. Pick up the joist poles, which are the longest and which attach under the canvas and rest on the ground. Push the joist poles into the openings in the canvas at the upper right and left corners. If it’s windy, have your partner help you hold the canvas while you secure the posts.
  1. Then push up with one of the joist poles and let the pop-up camper cover effortlessly set up. Push the first pole of the joist into an upright position and secure it in the ground directly below the attachment point of the canvas. Repeat this with the other pole on the opposite side of the canvas.
  1. Check the canvas for its strength and make sure the parts are closed and secured in the pop-up camper. If it’s too windy, use nylon rope to tie down the canvas. Wrap the cord around the small metal eyelets on the sides of the canvas. Put the nylon cord away from the trailer door so you don’t get caught in it, and use metal stakes to secure the cord into the ground.

How do you lift a tent trailer?

Lifting your tent trailer doesn’t differ too much from lifting a pop-up camper. Here is an overview of the steps you must follow to install a tent trailer:

From the outside:

  1. Level the tent trailer crosswise.
  1. Level the tent trailer lengthwise.
  1. Deploy the stabilizers.
  1. Unlock the latches holding the roof and base, there is a latch at each of the four corners
  1. Raise the roof using the crank if your model is manual or the switch if your tent trailer has an electric motor.
  1. Stop the roof elevation when the rope near the upright is tight. The rope is usually red in colour.

From the inside:

  1. Install the bed supports at the front and back.
  1. Pull on the bed panel until it stops. Some camper models will require the installation of a stabilizer bar under the bed after it is opened.
  1. Attach the bottom of the canvas to the bed panel. Some models will have rubber bands that hang from anchors located under the bed panel, while others will have a Velcro strip to stick around the edge of the panel. Some models will have both.
  1. Install the safety posts on the uprights. There are usually two safety posts, it is recommended to install them crosswise, one at the front corner of the door side and the other on the left side of the other side.
  1. Close the canvas panel over the uprights.
  1. Detach the top of the door from the tent trailer ceiling and secure it to the bottom of the door and to the ceiling anchors.

How to lift a pop-up camper after winterizing it

De-winterizing your camper is of paramount importance and avoids any problems during the summer season. Whether you own a fifth wheel, a motorhome, or even a pop-up camper, there are certain actions that need to be taken before you even hit the road with your RV. 

If this is your first de-winterization or if you are wondering about lifting the pop-up camper in the spring, the following text will help you see it more clearly.

  1. Exterior and interior cleaning: One of the first steps is to visually inspect and clean your trailer. In this way, you will immediately detect any traces of infiltration or mould. Pay special attention to the bottom of walls and around window frames, areas most likely to be affected. Also, check the condition of the sealant on the roof and walls.
  1. Checking the different devices: Test to see if your electrical appliances – appliances, indoor and outdoor lights, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, water heater bypasses, heaters or air conditioners – are working properly. There shouldn’t be any unpleasant surprises on the road or while camping … also take the opportunity to take an inventory of what you have in your trailer and buy what you are missing. 
  1. Inspection of electrical and mechanical components: It is important to check the proper functioning of the brakes, the degree of wear of the tires, the propane system and the condition of the various wiring before setting off; you will thus avoid many worries!
  1. Turn on the water: By turning on the water, you will eliminate all traces of antifreeze in the pipes; let the water run until it is perfectly clear. Take the opportunity to fill your drinking water tank and that of the water heater; also check if the by-pass of this one is in summer position, to avoid any risk of overheating. Then start the water heater and install the water filter.

Should you store a pop-up camper lifted up or down?

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

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

The bottom line

Pop-up campers have a unique canvas system that requires the canvas to be lowered to the bottom of the platform and then folded up for travel.

Many of these canvas systems are packaged in bags just like tents. The pop-up campers have special attachment points for the canvas poles. When you are first learning how to set up the canvas or take them down, it is not uncommon to need a second person to help you.

Setting up a pop-up camper or tent trailer will get easier with each trip. As long as you follow our steps, you will manage to set it correctly and feel safe and comfortable inside. 

Please feel free to get in contact if you have any questions, comments or tips on how to improve this content!

FAQ on How do you lift a pop-up camper?

How long does it take to set up a camper trailer?

On average, it should take you half an hour to set up a camper trailer, depending on how much experience you have and how large the RV is. 

How to connect your pop-up camper to campsite services?

Follow these steps to connect your pop-up camper to campsite services:

  1. Position the water pressure regulator in the “CITY WATER CONNECTION” mouthpiece and connect the water hose to it.
  2. Connect the water hose to the outlet allowing water from the sink to drain out if necessary.
  3. Open the propane cylinder located on the drawbar.
  4. Connect the electric cable.

How to set up the beds of a tent trailer?

There are two main types of latches for tent trailer beds, the one with a bar along the sides of the bed and the one with a hook clamp. Some tent trailer models require the mattress to be placed elsewhere in the trailer when the bed panel is closed, others will allow it to be attached with straps, so the mattress will stay in place on the panel.


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