What should you look for when buying a used pop-up camper?

In today’s blog post, we will explain: What should you look for when buying a used pop-up camper? We will review a few key factors to consider before buying a second-hand pop-up camper. 

What should you look for when buying a used pop-up camper?

Here is a basic list of things to check before buying a used pop-up camper: 

  1. The appliances: When shopping for a used pop-up camper, make sure that all appliances and tools are working properly because if you have to have one of them repaired, it could be expensive. Be sure to check the correct operation of the refrigerator, freezer, stove and oven heating and that of the air conditioning if applicable.
  1. The electrical system: It is also important to check the electrical system both inside and out. Test signal lights, exterior lamps, interior lights, ventilation, electrical outlets, and all electrical components to make sure everything is in good working order.
  1. The plumbing: The same goes for the plumbing, in order to avoid unpleasant surprises, check the correct functioning of water inlets, taps, showers, etc. Run your hand along the accessible piping to make sure there are no leaks.
  1. Walls, floors & the ceiling: Check if the walls, floors and the ceiling are solid and in good condition. Second-hand or older campers may have already had water infiltration issues. Depending on the extent of the damage, this is not always dramatic and only an experienced dealer can assess this correctly. 

He will have checked that the entry sources are now well clogged and that the structure is well dried. Otherwise, try to make sure that the structure is still in good condition and that the infiltration problem has been fixed if this has been the case.

  1. The roof and lifting system: The pop-up caravan must be set up and then folded down to carefully assess the lifting system. When unfolded, using a stepladder, check that the sealants on the roof are properly applied and still in good condition, this is a good sign that the camper has been well maintained. Carefully examine and feel the edges and the outline of the various openings to verify that everything is rigid.
  1. The pop-up camper canvas: Inspect the exterior canvas walls of the camper. Once again, checking the quality of sealant application is a good indication of good camper maintenance. Make sure there is no delamination around the windows and the various exits. When it comes to aluminum, be sure to look at the panels for small holes that could have been caused by oxidation. 
  1. The tires: Check the tread and general condition of the tire to see if there are any cracks or cracks. If you notice that there is premature wear, either on the inside or outside of the tread, this is a clue that the axles are misaligned. This is often a sign that the camper has been overloaded or that the wheel has been damaged during a bumpy ride. 
  1. The braking system: Ideally, you should make sure that the brakes are working properly. Although it is not always easy to do this, before making a final purchase, it is strongly suggested that you take the pop-up camper for a test drive.

There will be many other things to check, depending on the number of features of the pop-up camper and the different components (radio, television, electric jacks, extensions, various gadgets, etc.) The best way to ensure a good deal is, of course, to do business with an experienced and trusted dealer!

How to choose a pop-up camper?

As there are several models on the market, to choose a pop-up camper you must first, determine your needs

The ideal pop-up camper for you and your vehicle:

  • Can be an 8, 10, 12 and even a 14 ft camper. Depending on the maximum weight for your vehicle? And the number of people in your family.
  • Does your budget allow you to buy anti-swing or even torsion bars, electric brakes?
  • The options: Bed size, heated beds, storage space, hot water, toilet, shower, electric or manual water pump, awning, mosquito net after awning, air conditioning, fantastic fan, heating, size of the dinette, outdoor BBQ, internal water tank, Radio Am / Fm CD, exterior storage box, exterior extension for kitchenette (slide-out), rigid roof or canvas, space for your mountain bike, 3-way fridge or cooler for the older ones.

Buying a used camper, especially from an individual, can be a major source of stress given the number of items to check. It is always preferable to do business with an experienced dealer who will have thoroughly checked all the used campers that he puts for resale with the right tools and the right techniques.

What is the best place to buy a used pop-up camper?

Here is a list of places to buy a used pop-up camper in the US:

  • RV Trader – it is widely recognized in the recreational vehicle industry as a popular means of finding the best deals on new and used RVs for sale.
  • Pop RVs – Check this one if you are looking for funding, as they offer competitive rates and flexible options;
  • Conversion Trader – It has a large database of  camper vans, Class B or C RVs, sprinters, buses, skoolies & more;
  • Cranky Ape – It offers you the opportunity to place a bid and it has great reviews from most users;
  • Visit a dealer near you – Try searching on google maps: RV dealership near me. If you befriend the deal in your area, that’s even better for a good deal. 

Final thoughts

Buying a used pop-up camper is an important decision in the life of a young family or a couple. You need to find a model that meets your needs, in good condition, within your pulling capacity limitations as well as your budget and this can become a complex task. Remember that you will also need to educate yourself about the constraints and regulations involved in a camping trip.

Choosing the type of recreational vehicle you want to camp in will be the first step in your adventure. From tent campers to fifth-wheel campers, hybrid campers and park campers, a host of models with different characteristics are available to you. You will therefore need to assess your needs with a fine-tooth comb. 

Do you need bunk beds? Lots of storage space? Sofa bed or not? Bench or table and chair? In short, a host of different options/configurations exist so take the time to identify what you are looking for, it will be easier later to find a model that meets your needs. 

There are over 200 camper manufacturers and probably 10 times as many different floor plans. The key here is to stick to your budget while trying to find THE perfect model for you. Once the floor plan has been chosen, you will notice that many manufacturers offer the same “type” of floor plans. This will give you greater latitude in terms of campers that might interest you.

All that’s left for you to do is shop around for offers from individuals looking for your rare gem. Remember to do a FULL INSPECTION before purchasing a used pop-up camper. 

If you have any questions or comments on the content, do not hesitate to get in contact!

FAQ on What should you look for when buying a used pop-up camper?

Is a pop-up camper considered an RV?

Yes, a pop-up camper is considered an RV. There are two main categories of RVs: models that must be towed like the pop-up camper, the classic caravan, the fifth-wheel camper and the motorized RVs like the class A, B or C motorhomes. 

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. 

What is the best pop-up caravan to buy?

Among the best pop-up caravans to buy are the Coronet Series F S2; Goldstream RV 16FT FKST; Jayco Expanda OB 18.58-2 PT; Jurgens Jindabyne PT2210 and the Olympic Javelin.

Should I buy a new or used RV?

Whether you should buy a new or used RV will depend on several factors, such as your budget and your main purpose. Price is the main advantage of buying a used unit. With a used RV, you get more for your money.

What to consider before buying a used RV?

Buying a used motorhome or RV is an option that many consider. Whether it is because of social isolation or the desire to explore life in nature in a more independent way, buying a used motor home opens up a new range of travel.

Other FAQs about Pop up campers  that you may be interested in.

How much does it cost to replace a canvas on a pop-up camper?

What are pop-up camper roofs made of?

How much is a Reflectix for a pop-up camper?


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!