How to Winterize a Pop-Up Camper

Now that snow flurries are in the forecast, it is time to think about winterizing your RV. Winterizing a pop-up camper is a little bit easier than, but every bit as important as, winterizing a travel trailer or winterizing a motor home. Use this checklist when winterizing your pop-up camper to ensure that it is ready to go when spring rolls back around.


Winterize Pop-Up Camper Checklist


  • Drain all the water out of the pop-up camper water tanks, including the fresh water tank and hot water heater – As with travel trailers and motor homes, draining all of the water out of the tanks is the most important pop-up camper winterization step. Any water left in the pipes during the winter will freeze and expand, and if the pipes are not wide enough to accommodate the expansion, they will burst.
  • Hook up air to city water inlet – By blowing air through the faucet, you can ensure that all of the water is removed from your water tank. This is an important step of winterizing a pop-up camper because even a small amount of water can potentially lead to damage if it freezes in your tank.
  • Put hand pump hose into a jug of antifreeze – Unhook the suction side of your hand pump at the pop-up camper’s water tank and put the hose in a jug of antifreeze.
  • Pump the hand pump until a small amount of antifreeze ends up in the sink – By pumping until some antifreeze appears in the sink, you can be sure that there is antifreeze all the way through your pipes.
  • Hook up a hand pump to the city water inlet – When you do this, open the faucet and start pumping antifreeze through the pipes using the hand pump (note: this requires a separate hand pump).
  • Hook everything back up – At this point, remember to clean the sink. Antifreeze can stain!
  • If you have a Porta Potty, make sure the holding tank is empty.
  • Drain fresh water and black water from your Porta Potty – After you do this, pour antifreeze into the Porta Potty’s fresh water holding tank. Push the hand pump to flush the antifreeze through the Porta Potty.

Other Pop-Up Camper Maintenance Tips

  • After winterizing their pop up RV, many people choose to perform other maintenance tasks. We recommend that you:
  • Clean your pop-up camper from top to bottom, including the canvas and roof of the canvas.
  • Clean all of your pop-up camper’s appliances. If possible, leave the refrigerator door blocked open. This will allow air flow and prevent mold growth.
  • Remove all food items from the pop-up camper along with any items that could rust or explode (spray cans, etc).
  • Lubricate the lift system and any moving parts, such as locks, bed slides and hitches.
  • Repackage the wheel bearings.
  • Check the brakes.

Outdoor Pop-Up Camper Storage Tips

  • Seal any holes on the underside of the pop-up camper, especially water line openings, where animals can get in.
  • Remove your pop-up camper’s battery and store it inside your home. Remember to keep it charged during the winter.
  • Cover any vent openings, including the refrigerator, furnace, hot water heater, etc. This can be done with plastic shrink wrap.
  • Lower the tongue end of your pop-up camper as low as possible so rain and snow will roll off quickly.
  • If you are parking your pop-up camper on the ground (dirt), make sure you prop the wheels on blocks. Otherwise they may sink into the mud when the ground thaws after the winter.

If you are not planning on camping this winter, make sure you take the time to properly winterize your pop-up camper so you can be sure that it will last for many years to come. If you need winterization supplies, or want to get your pop-up camper inspected before the winter, visit the Beckley’s Camping Center!

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