Summers in Michigan are one big adventure. When Friday hits, many people pack up and head to one of the state’s campgrounds to enjoy a relaxing vacation. At these campgrounds, it’s likely that you’ll see a variety of campers from sleeping truck campers to tents to RVs. Pop-up campers are also popular at campgrounds because they provide the tent outside sleeping experience, yet they are more nimble and easier to pull than large travel trailers. Additionally, they are not as expensive.
As with any campers, there are several things to consider when caring for your equipment. A few items:
Of all of the things to make sure are in good working order, the most important are the bearings. Bad bearings mean being stranded on a highway. Make sure that at least every other year you re-pack the bearings and replace them as needed. Not handy? Bring your camper to a mechanic; it will be worth the cost.
With anything that rolls, tires are critical. Before leaving for your trip, inspect your tires. Make sure there aren’t any cuts. Check your tire pressure. Overinflated tires can bust! Underinflated tires will put a drag on the vehicle you are using to pull the pop up. Following the PSI guidelines posted on the tire.
Pop-ups generally use a 20-pound propane tank fastened to the front of the camper. Propane is used for fridges, cooking and running your furnace. These lines should be inspected for leaks. Test fittings and valves by spraying soapy water on them If the gas is on and you see any bubbling, you have a small leak. Test all of your gas lines before each season. Spiders love to get into these lines and build small nests which can cause problems.
The canvas that goes over the beds on each end of the pop up provides critical shelter. Make sure that this canvas is in good shape by inspecting for rips and tears. Additionally, if you are camping on a trip and you have to pack up while everything is wet, be sure to pop up when you get home. Drying out the canvas before long-term storage will help prevent any mildew from forming. If you have an older pop-up trailer, consider spraying waterproofing on the canvas once a season to further ensure good working conditions.
Winters in Michigan are hard. If possible, try to find a place to store your pop camper inside. You can also place a tarp over it to protect it from the elements. However, when doing that, be sure to have the tarp pulled tight to prevent water from pooling in certain places, which can make moisture issues worse.
Another storage tip year around, raise up the trailer tongue so that your pop up is higher. This will allow water to run down off the top of it and prevent it from pooling on the roof of the camper.