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Are Pop Up Campers Good for Winter Camping

When most people think of camping, they likely think of summertime, barbecues, and a view by the river.

That being said, there’s just something extra magical about the feeling of camping during the wintertime.

The snow, roasting marshmallows by a fire, the freedom of all that time off work that the holidays bring: it’s fantastic.

Pop-up campers are a great tool for wintertime camping, but you may need to take some extra precautions in order to stay warm. By winterizing your pop-up and bringing all the necessary supplies, you can easily make yours into the perfect, cozy winter hideaway.

Though pop-up campers aren’t necessarily designed with cold weather in mind, that doesn’t mean that you should limit yourself to summertime camping.

Read on to learn more about how to enjoy the use of your pop-up all year round!

How Cold is Too Cold for a Pop-Up Camper?

When it comes to deciding how cold is too cold for your pop-up camper, the choice is entirely up to you.  

Most campers prefer camping in weather above 32 degrees Fahrenheit, but this doesn’t mean that colder temperatures are entirely off-limits. 

Campers will just need to remember to pack warm clothes, bring all the necessary supplies, and take steps to prevent frozen pipes.

When temperatures reach lower than 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the greatest risk you’ll face to your pop-up is frozen pipes. 

As water freezes, it expands, causing cracks and weaknesses along your pipeline. One of the greatest benefits of owning a pop-up camper is the luxury of running water. 

Without that, you almost may as well be in little more than a tent.

Frozen pipes are more than a simple inconvenience; they can potentially be an incredibly expensive repair.

If you still want to brave the wild in temperatures lower than 32 degrees, you’ll need to take a few steps in advance to protect your pipes:

  • Wrap pipes in insulation: by insulating your pipes, you are increasing the chance that they’ll be able to make it through your trip without bursting.
  • Unhook from the main water line: if you’re camping at an actual campsite with full electric and water hookup, temporarily disconnect your water for the evening. By draining your pipes, you ensure that there’s no excess amount of water sitting still, waiting to freeze.
  • Drip sink: just like at home, you may be able to prevent frozen pipes by leaving the water trickling.  One thing to keep in mind, though, is that if the weather gets cold enough, this precaution may not be enough on its own.
  • Use a composting toilet: this isn’t just good for the environment; it’s a great way to avoid relying on your pipes in arctic weather. 

If the idea of frozen pipes still scares you, try using a handy winter readiness kit.  This simple kit should have almost everything you need to ease your mind!

Can You Better Insulate a Pop-Up Camper?

It’s smart to remember that in its essence, a pop-up camper is little more than a sturdy, upgraded tent.  As such, the walls themselves are uninsulated and will do little to keep you warm.

The key to keeping your pop-up insulated is to take every measure to trap in body heat and block out wind. The first step in insulating your pop-up camper should be to check the tarp itself for holes and tears. Patch any issues you see to prevent the wind from entering your camp.   

Even seemingly microscopic holes can be enough to leak warmth! 

Cover the seams of your pop-up with water-proof sealing tape, and regularly check that this tape stays secure.

You might also want to know:  Are Pop-Up Campers Waterproof

Insulating the walls of the camper itself is difficult, but you can increase coverage through an additional tarp or gazebo. By adding another layer of cover, you can remove additional chill added by wind or snow. 

From here, it’s just a matter of insulating the inside with blankets, sleeping bags, and other standard cold-weather camping supplies.

A layer of blankets along the floor of your camper will go far in trapping body or electrical heat within your living area, keeping you warm against the winter freeze.

What if it Snows While in a Pop-Up Camper?

If it snows while you are camping in a pop-up, your number one mission should be keeping snow from piling up on the top and sides of the camper.

Snow will quickly lower the temperature inside your pop-up, and in worst case scenarios, actually bury you along with your camp!

To remove the snow, you should keep a broom or brush handy.

Be diligent about keeping the surface clear.

Shovel snow around the sides as well, and always be sure to keep plenty of food and water available in the rare case of an overnight blizzard.

Best Pop-Up Camper for Winter Camping

The best pop-up campers for winter camping should come with a powerful heating system and hard, folding sides. 

This should be enough to block winter chill and better contain the heat it’s created.

One of the best pop-up campers for winter camping is the Forest River Rockwood hard-side pop-up.

The compact A-frame creates a roomy feeling while still being compact enough to quickly heat, meaning you won’t feel cramped even after long times trapped indoors.

The Forest River Rockwood hard side pop up camper offers a great punch for a little size. 

This lightweight camper maintains a dry weight of 2,120, strong enough to keep you protected while still light enough to easily tow with the family SUV.

Continue reading: How Much Does a Pop-Up Camper Weigh


Though pop-up campers aren’t necessarily “four-season” campers, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have any options when it comes to utilizing your camper in winter weather.

Bundle up, crank up that heater, and get ready to enjoy a fantastic cozy camping experience!