How to convert a pop-up camper into a tiny house?

In this blog post, we will answer the question: How to convert a pop-up camper into a tiny house? We will talk about the steps to convert a pop-up camper and discuss all the possible necessities for successfully converting a pop-up camper into a tiny house. We will also talk about using Cedarwood for a pop-up camper.


How to convert a pop-up camper into a tiny house?

If you are planning to convert a pop-up camper into a tiny house, you can follow the steps given below.

  • You will first need to expand the top
  • You can then replace the material
  • Next, you can insulate the interior
  • You will next need to fix the kitchen and amenities
  • You can then fix the showers and the sink
  • Next, you can fix the water and sanitary system
  • Finally, you will need to add the necessary appliances

Expanding the top

  • The first and easiest thing to do is to expand the top of the camper. 
  • By retaining the shell of the camper you can expand the space and add amenities like a stove, sink, and bunks. 
  • Pop-up campers are small and the space on top is where you can make the best use. 
  • Plan the layout properly and consider all the appliances that you will need.

Replacing the material

  • The framing of the camper is important and you might need to retain the frame. 
  • Replace soft-side material with solid panels to give you more strength. 
  • Remember, the camper should be durable since it is a tiny home. 
  • Replacing softer material with plywood will be required to protect you and your camper.

Insulating the interior

  • The interiors of the camper must be insulated to keep you warm during winter and protect you from heat as well. 
  • Many people make sure to spray glue or use contact adhesive to insulate the corners. 
  • Using foam on the inside is one of the best ways to insulate the camper. 
  • Insulation is important to keep you warm and protect you from heat.

Kitchen and amenities  

  • Be sure to have a dedicated space for a kitchen and enough cabinets to store utensils. 
  • A small counter with a two or three-burner stove should be enough. 
  • You can also have an outdoor kitchen to save more on space. 
  • Try to keep the kitchen small and simple to save space as much as possible. 
  • Avoid large amenities since they take up too much space.

Showers and sink

  • Be sure to keep all the plumbing at the end of the camper. 
  • The showers and sink can be side by side so there will be no need to run many pipes. 
  • The plumbing and all the wiring in a pop-up camper will be similar to an RV. 
  • You will also require a grey water tank and a black water tank for the shower and toilet.

Water and sanitary system

  • Be sure to have a proper tank for storing enough fresh water. 
  • You will also need a proper sanitary system that is connected to the toilets. 
  • Converting a pop-up camper into a tiny house will require extra plumbing and fitting. 
  • Hiring an expert will help to get the plumbing and sanitary system up and running. 

Adding appliances

  • Pop-up campers come with a few appliances and connections but there are a few that might need to be installed. 
  • While adding appliances be sure to keep it as minimal as possible. 
  • Be sure to keep the layout of the camper in mind when adding appliances. 
  • Make sure to get only essential appliances.


Putting a hard side on a pop-up camper

You can turn a pop-up camper into a tiny home with a few modifications such as putting a hard side on a pop-up camper. 

  • You can either put in a hard side or use vinyl siding and aluminum panels to create a sturdy frame. 
  • The best thing is to take off the canvas if possible, but make sure to stay under the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the camper.
  • Be sure to consider the weight of the frame and the capacity. 
  • Adding a hard side to a pop-up camper will also provide you with an extra living space. 
  • In addition to space, hard-sided pop-up campers have thick walls, which means you will be more comfortable at night than you would be in a tent.

Hard-sided pop-up campers can be expensive and can require some work. However, this can be done on your own if you have the time and equipment. It can be a fun and exciting project. The good thing is that you get to convert the camper according to your liking and you can make alterations according to your requirement. 

Exceeding the limit of the GVWR can be unsafe and illegal. While you may enjoy the minimalist look of a hard-sided pop-up camper, there are a few downsides. They reduce the low profile and are likely to weigh more than soft-sided campers. The added weight will also decrease fuel efficiency.

Converting a pop-up camper into a tiny house is not a difficult process if you have the right idea and the material. Many people have successfully converted pop-up campers into tiny houses to live in. With the latest technology and various options, this can be an easy process.  

Helpful tips to convert a pop-up camper

Some helpful tips that you can use when you are converting a pop-up camper into a tiny house are shown below

  • The most important part is to keep things as simple as possible. 
  • Avoid adding excessive things in your pop-up camper that you are not going to use. 
  • Use portable heaters and air coolers since they are light and do not take up too much space. 
  • You can also remove the air cooler during winter and only keep the heater.
  • Bunk beds are one of the best options since they are easy to install and can also be used as extra storage space. 
  • You can also install a bed that can be folded against the wall when not in use. 
  • Be as creative as possible and add enough shelves to keep all your belongings. On the other hand, make sure that there is enough space to sleep.


Pros of Cedarwood to convert a pop-up camper

Cedarwood is an appropriate building material with many benefits for converting a pop-up camper into a tiny house. 

  • It is very resistant to rot, bugs, and almost every other type of insect. However, Cedar is more expensive than other wood sidings. 
  • Cedar is also a great choice for tiny houses because of its versatility and durability.
  • Cedarwood is relatively easy to clean and maintain. Yet, you should avoid using bleach, as it can react with ammonia. 
  • Cedarwood is very easy to refinish once it has been cleaned. A non-ferrous bristle brush can be used to clean loose wood fibers and surface dirt. It is a stable building material that is ideal for outdoor applications.


Building the exteriors of a pop-up camper

The exterior of a tiny house is just as important as its interior. The exterior must be simple and durable with a neat appearance. Cedarwood is an excellent building material with many advantages for converting a pop-up camper into a tiny house. This wood can be purchased at any hardware store.

Apart from being lightweight and durable, Cedarwood is also easy to handle. The natural properties make it a good choice for the interior as well as the exterior of a tiny house. Moreover, it can complement the overall architectural style of the tiny house. It is one of the best options for converting a pop-up camper into a tiny house.


Power source of the pop-up camper

One of the most attractive features of pop-up campers is their electrical system. They usually pull power from a 120V shore power station. Hence, it is necessary to convert the 120V shore power station to a 12V power source to run your pop-up camper. Be sure to get the electrical system sorted when you plan the layout of the camper.

You can easily install electrical outlets and lights through the pop-up camper’s existing wiring. Hire an expert to get all the electrical systems installed and be sure to use only appliances that are required to save on space. A pop-up camper has limited space. Hence, it is important to have limited appliances.


In this blog post, we have answered the question: How to convert a pop-up camper into a tiny house? We talked about the steps to convert a pop-up camper and discussed all the possible necessities for successfully converting a pop-up camper into a tiny house. We also talked about using Cedarwood and its benefits for a pop-up camper.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!