Pop Up Camper Maintenance
Pop up campers are great, they are easier and much more enjoyable than tents yet they are still light, easy to store, and much easier to maneuver than a full size RV. With all the greatness of a pop up camper, there are of course still some regular maintenance tasks you will need to familiarize yourself with. Some are simple and easy, while others take a bit more time. Either way, taking the proper care of your pop up camper will keep it looking great, working great, and retain its resale value if you ever want to sell it. Without further adieu here's a maintenance checklist for your pop up camper.
- Lift System Maintenance
- Exterior Maintenance
- Tire Maintenance
- Towing System Maintenance
Pop Up Camper Lift System Maintenance
Your lift system is incredibly important for your pop up camper. Without it, you won't be able to use your camper. There are three main styles of crank assemblies for pop up campers.
- Chain Driven Lift System
- Direct Drive Lift Systems
- Power Lift Systems
All three of these styles require no lubrication at the crank assembly, don't spray anything or apply anything. These have pressure plates and if there is lube in it it may saturate the clutch which will prevent your lift system from holding. The only exception is the chain-driven system requires lubrication ONLY on the chain.
Pop Up Camper Draw Bar Lubrication
You also need to lubricate your lift tree rod, this rod can be found under your camper. You should generously apply anti rust lubrication to it once a year.
Pop Up Camper Cable Lubrication
Similar to the tree rod, your cables should be lightly greased once a year. Greasing your cables and tree allows them to freely move and will prevent dirt and dirt build up from preventing movement. It also protects them from rust which is the greatest concern.
Pop Up Camper Pulley and Guides
It's best to use spray lubricant when you go to service them. Spray lubricant dries fast and prevents dirt and dust from getting inside and preventing movement.
Pop Up Camper Lift Arm Service
The main thing you want to do with the lift arms is to lubricate the pulleys. Each lift arm can have up to 4 pulleys. Apply some spray lubricant to each of them This will help them move up and down smoother.
Pop Up Camper Exterior Maintenance
It shouldn't come as any surprise that keeping the exterior of your pop up camper in top shape is must to retain its value. The good news is that keeping it nice isn't very difficult.
Washing a Pop Up Camper
The good news is pop up campers don't have a hard exterior to take care of. The biggest thing is keeping it clean. And depending on the material your trailer is made out of may change how you need to wash it. You can clean all the hard exterior parts as you would a regular car, you can even apply auto wax to it to keep them clean. Any screens should be vacuumed and wiped down as best you can. Simple disinfectant wipes should do the trick for a lot of it.
You should give your pop up camper a thorough clean after every time you use it. Washing it after every use will keep the dirt, dust, and everything else from building up and causing any long-term wear.
Cover You Pop Up Camper When Storing It
After you clean your camper you should always cover it. Not only will covering your pop up camper keep it clean in between uses, but it will also prevent mildew from forming while it's sitting. A good cover will allow some ventilation that will keep moisture from getting stuck and damaging your camper. Covers are also great because they go on and off easily making packing your camper up hassle free.
Pop Up Camper Tire Maintenance
It goes wihtout saying the tires are extremely important for any trailer, this is especially true when it comes to pop up campers. It's normal that camping sites are unpaved, so your tires need to have tread to make sure they don't get damaged from uneven roads and paths.
Check Your Pop Up Camper's Tire Pressure
You should check your campers tires before every outing. You want to make sure to test the pressure before you start driving. A cold tire will give you an accurate reading, once a tire "heats up" meaning gets in motion, it can read the pressure inaccurately. This could leave you with deflated tires later on once they cool down.
Check Your Tire's Threads
Checking your threads regularly will help you be ready for rough terrain while camping. A simple way to test the thread is to do the penny test. To start get a penny and insert it into a thread. If you can see Lincoln's entire head then it is probably time to get new tires. The penny should be deep enough into the tread that you can't see all of Lincoln's head.
Change Your Tires Regularly
Regardless of how often you use your pop up camper, you should replace its tires every few years. Old tires can lose some of their performance and strength and could easily give out mid journey.
Towing System Maintenance
Arguably the most important part of any trailer is its towing system. This means maintaining your tow hitch and trailer lights.
Tow Hitch Maintenance
Making sure you have the correct size tow hitch is of the utmost importance. Similar size hitches may seem like they will work, but they risk possibly separating while driving. Many trailer hitches come with multiple size balls that you can swap out if you have other trailers with different size hitches. Make sure to double check you have your pop up camper cover trailer hitch on your truck or SUV before you try to connect your trailer.
Check Your Pop Up Camper's Tail Lights
Checking the tail lights is very easy. After you attach your camper to your truck or SUV, connect the trailer wires. Once connected check both blinkers as well as their brake lights. Make sure all of them work correctly before going camping. Having inadequate lights is not only illegal but very dangerous, especially on less traveled roads.
Pop up campers are awesome. They combine the ease of use of a large RV with the more outdoorsy feel of a tent while providing high quality sleeping arrangements. Maintaining them isn't very are, the main thing to remember is to keep your camper clean and well lubricated. Besides that, your camper should be good to go for years to come.