8 Most-Common Problems With Pop Up Campers (Explained)

Pop-up campers are basically foldable tents that you can attach with almost any kind of vehicle you have.

These are really helpful for people who go camping on a regular basis.

Buying a cheap or used pop-up camper is the best option for most customers because eventually you may want to move on to a new one, and in a situation like that, you will lose a lot of money.

However, new or used pop-up campers can have problems that you will need to know.

Before buying a new pop-up camper for yourself, consider these eight most common problems with pop-up campers:

1. Rips, Tears, and Broken Stitches on Canvas

Tears, broken stitches, rips are all pretty common problems in pop-up campers.

Most of these rips don’t require replacement or expert help. Anyone can sew it, with a sewing kit, or use a sewing machine at home to fix it.

It’s critical to fix these small rips and tears right when you spot one. In other words, you must fix it as soon as possible.



Otherwise, these rips and tears can end up damaging your whole tent if left unnoticed.

The following are the three most common reasons for rips, tears, and broken stitches:

Setting up:

Stitches come out or break while setting the camp up.

Usually, this is something that most beginners face.

All you need to do to prevent this is to be gentle while setting it up and don’t hurry.

Moisture:

The second most common cause of rips and tears, or what leads to causing the tent exposed to rips and tears is moisture.

Prevent your tent from getting wet because it makes the canvas weak and vulnerable to rips.

In some instances, the environment or weather can also be a huge factor, for example, camping in winters or cold places.

Accidents:

The third reason for rips and tears in the canvas are accidents.

You may rip your canvas while driving, or maybe someone throws a stone at your tent, or whatever.

The possibilities are endless.

2. Leaks in Roof or Canvas Can Ruin your Camping Experience

Leaking is a huge problem in pop-up campers.

There are all kinds of leaks, but this leak is when the canvas cannot keep the water out.

Before buying, always make sure to buy a pop-up camper with waterproof material. Imagine sleeping in your tent at night, and water starts dripping from the roof.

This problem can get worse in case of heavy rainfall. That is why researching the camping location and the weather is essential.

Sometimes, the water leaks from not only the roof but from all directions.

Your canvas’ material may not be waterproof.

Out of Date:

If cotton is the manufacturing material for the canvas, then it should not leak.

Your canvas has crossed its “best before…” date, and now it needs replacement.

Rotten Canvas:

Another reason could be that your canvas has rotten.

There are a lot of causes why canvases rot, but in a nutshell, it happens when you do not take adequate care of it.

That is why maintenance and taking care is such a big part of having a pop-up camper.

A Possible Solution:

There are waterproof sprays, creams, and paints that work wonderfully but, a little bit of research needs to be done before buying a waterproofing product to see what suits the material of your canvas.

However, if your canvas is made up of synthetic PVC type material, then don’t get your hopes high.

3. Dysfunctional or Broken Appliances

Broken or dysfunctional appliances and equipment are pretty common in pop-up campers.

You can almost expect several parts of your pop-up camper to get broken at some point in time. If your camper is under warranty, then you can contact the customer service to fix the issue.

The two possibilities are they will either fix the existing equipment or replace it with a new one based on the problem and your warranty status.

Then there is the third option, which is to handle it yourself, but you can avoid most of this hassle if you invest in buying an actual quality pop-up camper.

The following are the three most common appliances that get broken or stop working:

Shower:

There are a lot of complaints against different brands of pop-up campers regarding the shower issue.

If the problem is minor you can fix it yourself.

Otherwise, you will have to call the customer service for further help.

Sink:

There are numerous issues and their reasons for a dysfunctional sink.

Screws could be loose, pipe connections could be broken, water leaking through the sink, etc.

Once again, judging by the situation, you may or may not have to call the customer service.

Water Tank:

There are two possible issues that you may face with a water tank.

You may either encounter a leak in the water tank or the rusting of the water tank over time.

4. Broken Cabinet Latches or Doors will Destroy your Privacy

Broken latches and doors are the results of poor manufacturing.

Broken latches mostly happen when manufacturers use faulty machine parts or materials in the process. That is why investing in a good brand and good camper can help you avoid this problem altogether.

So, always look around on the internet for reviews and what people are saying about different brands and products.

The following are some problems you may face, and what you can do to help the situation:

Compromise on Privacy:

Broken cabinet latches and doors mean a compromise on privacy.

It may not bother you much if your camping partner is someone from your family or someone you can trust, but depending on where you are camping, it could possibly turn out to be dangerous as well.

The Solution:

The best solution is to replace it.

It would help if it’s still under warranty.

Prevention:

Inspect everything before leaving your house, but there will still be a high chance that it will only stop working once you have reached the destination.

5. Water Pump Issues are Very Annoying & Frustrating

There are a lot of water pump issues people face with their pop-up campers.

In most of these cases, the cause of the problem is internal rather than something external.

One of the main reasons why most water pumps do not work properly is the use of faulty parts and equipment while manufacturing so, choose wisely.

People who know how to fix this kind of problem will be alright, but people that don’t know will it very annoying and frustrating.

No Water from the Water Pump:

If there is no water supply in the water pump, then it might have something to do with loose, twisted, or ripped connections.

Some of it, you can fix yourself, but others require expert help. A lot of times, people will forget about their water tank being empty, and then wonder why there is no water supply in the water pump.

However, if everything else is fine, then the cause has to be one of the three.

Broken Water Pump:

If the water pump in your pop-up camper gets broken, then the reason is either excessive force by someone in some way or faulty equipment used in manufacturing.

The only solution, in this case, is to replace the broken water pump.

Water Pump Leaks:

A leak in the water pump is caused by abnormal pressure from the water tank, loose screws or connection lines, broken connection lines, or a combination of all of these.

6. Most Pop-Up Campers Cannot Handle the Heat

Camping is not supposed to be comfortable and luxurious, but with increasing technology and dependency on the artificial way of living, camping has somewhat changed.

Some people find it extremely hard to live in a tent because of the heat inside the tent. For such people, pop-up campers may not be the best option as most pop-up campers get pretty hot inside.

However, some high-end pop-up campers do not let the inside of the tent get hot. These campers use high-quality material for the canvas, or it may come with air conditioners to keep the inside cool.

The following are some possible reasons why your tent is heating up and a solution.

Small Spaces:

If you close all the doors and windows of the tent, and there is more than one person in the tent, not only will the temperature rise, but you will also start to feel like you are too enclosed.

So, always allow air to pass in and out of the tent.

Materials:

If a thin material is used for the canvas, then your tent will start to heat up, especially if you are camping in a sunny, hot, and humid place.

This causes the tent to heat up the most.

A Possible Solution:

If you are really worried about it, then you can always buy a portable AC for your convenience.

7. The Noise of the Generator will Drive you Crazy

The noise of the generator is a pretty common issue, but not a lot of people have any problem with this.

However, there is still a considerable portion of the population that is sound sensitive.

There are pop-up campers in the market that have generators, which makes little to no sound, but some people still find it difficult to sleep with it.

The following are the two main issues people have regarding the generator sound.

Lack of Peace of Mind:

Some people go out for camping to escape from their reality, escape from their daily life, escape from their environment.

After finally escaping, all they want is some time in peace and nature, but the noise of the generator can be too loud.

Some people find it very much frustrating, as it interrupts their peace of mind, conversations with closed ones, and sleep.

Destroys Sleep:

This is a more significant problem caused by the noise of the generator.

While camping, we are already in an unfamiliar place and situation, our brain always stays in an alert mode.

If on top of all this, there is constant noise from the generator, then it becomes challenging to sleep well. Forget about sleeping well. It’s even hard to just sleep.

8. Maintenance and Care is a Hassle

Maintaining and taking care of your pop-up camper is crucial, as well as hard.

There are several things that you must keep in mind, maintain, and fix if you want your camper to last long.

The following are the most significant aspects of a pop-up camper that you must take care of:

Clean the Tent:

What cleaning the tent regularly does is that it helps to prevent mildew, bacteria, and molds from forming in your tent.

These bacteria and liquids can have a serious impact on the quality of the tent. The mildews and molds make breathing difficult for us inside the tent.

Not only this, but it also weakens the canvas and the material, making it even more vulnerable to rips and tears.

Look for Signs of Tears:

After every use of your tent, you should thoroughly inspect the tent for any rips and tears.

Then fix, if any, tears found on the tent right then and there. Otherwise, as mentioned before, these small damages to the tent will eventually lead to more severe damage.

So, before you reach that stage when replacing the canvas is your only option, look for these small rips every now and then.

Take Care of All Parts:

You need to make sure that you are regularly cleaning and lubricating all the moving parts of the pop-up camper, including the tires, which mostly get unnoticed.

General Pros and Cons for the Pop Up Campers:

Pros:

Pop-up campers are very versatile, as you can take them almost anywhere you want for camping, and still have a great experience.

When it comes to portability, easy storing, and towing, pop-up campers are the best. The lightweight of pop-up campers allows you to tow it with almost any kind of vehicle you may have.

Considering the features and amenities it provides like a kitchen, toilet, etc., pop-up campers are very affordable.

Due to the small size of pop-up campers, driving your vehicle while towing it becomes effortless, as it hardly ever interferes with your driving.

Cons:

  • Rips, tears, and broken stitches on canvas.
  • Leaks in roof or canvas can ruin your camping experience.
  • Dysfunctional or broken appliances.
  • Broken cabinet latches or doors will destroy your privacy.
  • Water pump issues are very annoying & frustrating.
  • Most pop-up campers cannot handle the heat.
  • The noise of the generator will drive you crazy.
  • Maintenance and care are a hassle.

What Do the Reviews Say?

Buying a cheap or used pop-up camper is the best option for most customers because eventually you may want to move on to a new one, and in a situation like that, you will lose a lot of money.

That is why it is always wise to buy a cheap or old camper at first.

“However, you can choose any one of them based on your preferences and needs. We have focused on conveniences, value, price, and luxury when we developed our list and everyone gives a different score or weightage to each of these characteristics.”

[Source: Outingexpert.com]

What’s the Resale Value On Pop Up Campers

Model Year Original Price ($) Resale Value
2021 Forest River Rockwood Freedom 2318G Unknown 17,750 12,200
Livin’ Lite Quicksilver 8.0. 2009 8727 7000
Starcraft Comet Mini 17RB travel trailer 2017 16,851 11,995

Sources:

Outing Experts

The RV Atlas

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