Camper Tips

Most Camper Tips are shown with Photos under the Photos page.

However some Tips require an attachment or text to describe them here.

1.  Rule #1 of Popup Campers

Never Force Anything!

Many things can break, so if you are forcing something, don't be surprised if you break something.

  • Don't push too hard when sliding beds in
  • Don't push too hard when pulling beds out
  • Watch out to make sure the tenting canvas does not gets crimped when lowering the roof
  • Don't push on anything too hard
  • Etc
  • Etc
2.  Refrigerator Power Status Reminder Sign. 
I put this in front of my radio on my minivan to remember to turn off the battery power to the Refrigerator, so the Battery doesn't drain down when the mini-van is not running.  A Virus-Free Word Document of the image below is attached at the bottom of this page for free downloading.


3.  Setup Time Estimates
Here are estimates of how long it takes to set up our camper 
Here's our breakdown of the time:

Minutes   Event

A.  Camper Setup

15         Back in place and get the camper level, chock wheels, and unhitch TV and pull forward a bit
4          Take Bikes off roof
5          Open door and take out some of the soft sided bags we've crammed in to the camper so we can popup
5          Unzip awning, take out rafter poles, get Awning ready for setup
5          Popup the roof
5          Finalize setup of the Awning
3          Lower stabilizers
3          Slide out beds
1          Set up door
0          Attach bungees to underneath of beds (done concurrently with other jobs)
3          Put shepherds poles in place for beds and pop-out kitchen
2          Move memory foam onto beds
1          Set up swing level galley (sink)
52        Subtotal Camper Setup

B.  Setup Stuff!

7         Take out folding chairs and set up by campfire
3         Take out outside propane stove and setup outside
0         Take out outside kitchen counter and set up  (5 min done concurrently with other things)
2         Set up table inside
5         Get out fans, sleeping bags, room divider, etc and put them where they belong
0         Set up room divider (5-10 min done concurrently)
8         Get water and fill camper with water (3 trips, sometimes done concurrently, sometimes not)
3         Set up grey water hose
2         Light stoves and refrig
8         Light Hot Water heater so it stays lit
5         Unroll sleeping bags and put luggage bags on beds by each person's sleeping bag
5         Setup family sign, clothesline, and hammock
48           Subtotal Setup Stuff!

C.  Prepare to EAT!  (often done concurrently with setting up stuff)

5         Get food out of large plastic box in TV, cooler, and/or Camper Refrig because we are all very hungry
15        Re-heat pre-cooked sloppy joes
5         Set table
20        Subtotal Prepare to EAT

2 hour 0 minutes     Grand Total maximum time

Sometimes we do all this in only 1 hour and 15-30 minutes when things are going really well.

This assumes we don't have distraction from seeing wildlife or beautiful nature, which adds 0-30 minutes to the process.

4.  Here is a sign to put in the camper to remember why you camp and keep things in perspective

Here is a sign we hang below our mirror in the camper to remind us that camping is not for making everything a big production, or for comparing with other, but to relax.

A powerpoint (.ppt) copy of this sign, which can be modified, is attached at the bottom of this page.
A photo image (.jpg) of this sign is also available below to download and print in higher resolution.

5.  More to come ...

C F,
Aug 5, 2011, 12:59 PM
C F,
Aug 5, 2011, 1:00 PM