How do you make a pop-up camper darker?

In this short guide, we will discuss: How do you make a pop-up camper darker? We will explain two unfailable methods to make any camper darker, thus ensuring a good night’ sleep. 

How do you make a pop-up camper darker?

In our experience, the only way to make a pop-up camper darker are the following two methods:

  • You can paint the pop-up skylight to block some of the light coming in or
  • You can add curtains to your pop-up camper windows. 

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Below we will discuss in more detail both options, and let you choose which one is the best for you. 

How to paint a skylight to make a pop-up camper darker

Any pop-up camper skylight can be easily tinted. It’s an easy way to reduce the amount of light entering the vehicle or to add a splash of colour. Follow the simple steps below to stain a skylight on your own.

Step 1: clean the skylight. First, clean the skylight well. Use a clean, soft glass cleaner and cloth to clean and remove dirt, dust, and stains. Make sure to let it dry well.

Step 2: prepare the window tint. Purchase a window tint in the shade of your choice. Then, depending on the dimensions of your RV skylight, carefully cut the window tint to fit. Be sure to leave a small allowance just in case; This can be cut later. Then gently peel back the window tint to reveal the sticky side.

Step 3: stick the window tint. Carefully glue the window tint to the side of the skylight. Then slowly smooth it to the opposite side, moving it little by little to fix it in the best possible way. Once done, you may notice that some bubbles have formed in some areas. Use a squeegee to smooth them out.

Step 4: Remove any excess. Use a razor blade to trim any excess window tint on the sides.

What kind of curtains can I use for a pop-up camper?

The curtains in a pop-up camper are, perhaps, the first thing we think of when starting equipment because to be able to spend the night we need privacy and darkness. There are several ways to install a curtain and in all cases, the installation is quite simple when you know the materials to use.

To make the curtain itself, we recommend that you use washable material if possible made of natural fibre and that offers the necessary opacity for the night when we have lights on inside. 

If you wish, you can sew some synthetic material to the fabric to provide greater darkness, although many people prefer to have only fabric curtains and then put blackout/insulators on the windows, providing greater darkness and thermal and acoustic insulation. Click here to see the isothermal blinds.

Installation ways:

  • With brackets: the curtain is finished by sewing the edges and preferably by leaving double fabric at the edges where the brackets are to be applied. The female brackets are applied using the tool provided in the kit on the upper and lower edges of the shade; the male brackets are screwed to the outside of the window frame.
  • With a straight sliding rail: a narrow curtain tape is sewn to the edge of the upper curtain, where the hooks are applied. In the lower part of the curtain, either the same tape is applied with hooks, or a worm is applied above the curtain, which makes it close to the window.
  • With worm: the curtain must be of low weight, curtain-type and is finished at the top, leaving a gap of about 2 cm, to insert the worm and allow the curtain to be collected at the sides. In the lower part, a worm is applied above the curtain to tighten it to the window.
  • With a sliding plate: similar to the worm, the curtain is finished off at the top, leaving a gap of about 4 cm, to insert the worm and allow the curtain to be collected at the sides. in the lower part, either another plate or with a superimposed worm.
  • Windshield: to install the curtain on the windshield and cabin windows, it is necessary for the upper part to bend the rail, in some areas also brackets (for a better fit) and in the lower part, it is usually enough to leave a little extra fabric to put it on top of the dashboard.

How to keep dark and cool in a pop-up camper?

We get it, your desire to make the pop-up camper darker is to keep cool (and private) inside, especially during warm summer nights. 

Here are some simple solutions to mitigate the heat inside the camper and keep cool no matter how hot it is outside. Added to this is the precious contribution of modernity, with new materials and new appliances.

  1. Air recirculation inside the camper: your first line of defence when the temperature rises are to make as much current as possible. This involves opening the windows and doors of the camper so that heat and hot air are not trapped inside. 

Make sure you open both the pop-up roof and the vents so that the hot air can escape (remember that hot air goes upwards!) and so that cooler breezes can enter;

  1. Apply tinting films for windows: to attenuate the incoming warm sunlight as much as possible, use adhesive films and sparse sheets;
  1. Keep the awning open: it serves for shade, just like an umbrella. Keep in mind, however, that if you are travelling in an area with many insects, it is best to consider installing mosquito nets to prevent them from entering.
  2. Close the pop-up when it is too hot: when summers are serious it is better to close everything in the middle hours. By keeping the blinds and curtains down in the camper it is possible to keep the sun’s rays out and help keep the air cooler inside. It’s a simple trick, but it can make a big difference;
  1. Turn on the air conditioner: first of all, you need to distinguish between the cabin air conditioner and the actual air conditioner. The first is the one that works with the vehicle in motion to cool the passenger compartment, while the other is the household appliance like the one at home. 

It is necessary to be connected to the mains to use the air conditioner, however, a good solution is to have a portable air conditioner of the latest generation. Being portable, it can also be easily transferred inside the veranda, it can also be used only for the function of dehumidifiers and can heat if equipped with heat pumps;

  1. Avoid cooking inside: the heat generated by the oven and stove inside the camper can be very difficult to dissipate to the outside, especially on those summer days when a leaf does not move. 

Also, consider that this heat is added to the heat generated by people and appliances, so take advantage of the good weather to cook in the shared areas of the equipped spaces or with electric or gas grills or something more sophisticated and professional designed for fantastic BBQs in American style.

As you can see, there is no shortage of tricks and solutions also designed to live a joyful experience in a pop-up camper, without having to suffer from a hot climate.

Do you have any tips to share? Please feel free to get in touch should you have any suggestions or questions about the content!

FAQ on How do you make a pop-up camper darker?

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. 

How do I block out the sun in my RV?

To block out the sun in your RV you can buy window sunshades, special-sized curtains or paint over the RV skylight. 

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.

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