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Old 10-04-2009, 06:49 PM
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Default Winter RVing in a truck camper pop-up

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Thanks for everyone's help with my last thread on RV's. I'm set more than ever on getting something like a Toyota Tacoma and a popup truck camper within the next few years, not just for normal stuff like camping, but also for bugging out.

In case you don't know, this is a truck camper pop-up:

I think these things are wonderful, but what am I supposed to do if I want to use it during the winter? Heavy blankets and a propane heater (CO detector in the cabin also, of course) might only go so far, the a fabric side portions of the pop up concern me because they probably don't insulate well.

How would I stay warm in this type of setup? Could I do something to improve the insulation--especially around the fabric wall areas? I'm thinking maybe I can bring some plastic sheeting or something and cover the whole thing up on the outside. Suggestions?
Old 10-04-2009, 07:26 PM
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Make some kind of insulated panels that will lay flat when the camper is down, but is easily removed/added. Say to hell with it and buy a pull behind, hard sided pop up.
Probably more efficient in holding temps.
Old 10-04-2009, 07:43 PM
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I owned one of these. When I took it elk hunting in Oct-Nov I used 1inch foam insulation wrapped in drop cloths to insulate it. It did help allot but it made it black as pitch inside during the day. I also think that the underside is inadequately insulated. I used allot of propane in two weeks. Also if they have a forced air heater, which make allot of noise, I would consider something like a radiant propane heater with a CD alarm as you mentioned.

Old 10-04-2009, 08:21 PM
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I owned a Lance camper (solid walls) and tried camping during cold weather for three weeks. I burned a crap load of propane trying to keep it warm and it was too small for us anyway. Sold it and bought a 5th wheel with a slide out.

Unless it is the Alaskan brand pop up, it is a summer camper only.
Old 10-05-2009, 09:38 AM
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Hmm. Thanks guys. I guess I'll try winter camping with caution.
Old 10-05-2009, 04:03 PM
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this would be more my style.

IMO, for winter camping, i'd just buy a 12' cargo trailer and convert it.
popups are ok, but with no insulation, i would say no.
i have seen a lot of interesting ideas here:

thing i like about cargo trailers is there is more space to store preps, they have headspace, and pretty securable.
insulating would be a snap.
add a small wood stove, windows, and water containers, and your good to go.

the guy on this site did a pretty neat job.
more than what id need for a BOT, but cool.

there is something to be said about stealth camping.
another useful site:

peace all

Old 10-05-2009, 07:46 PM
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I have an Alaskan over-cab popup on a 2000 Ford 4wd 4.0 liter Ranger. It's built like a tank, is well insulated for winter use. The suspension has been jazzed and is up to the task, but the mileage is average, at best. 19.96mpg is as good as I've ever achieved with it.

The camper is pristine and it came on a '72 Datsun 4banger. I traded a '71 VW Campmobile for the pickup and the camper. The Ranger carries it well and I will never trade the Alaskan for anything else. They quit making the small p/u camper for several years because the small pickups were unable to carry them. Things have changed and they are now back on the market, but without the over cab/bed option.

Alaskans are the cadillac of rough-road p/u campers....they've been in business since the AK Hiway was first built. It's why they still exist, but they're expensive. Quality only stings once, though.
Old 10-06-2009, 01:46 AM
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I've camped with my Bigfoot truck camper north of the Arctic Circle. Stayed in it in Northern Maine at -24. Never found a better insulated camper anywhere. All tanks fully enclosed and heated.

That cloth sided camper will not work out in true winter. Not just a matter of your comfort. You'll be busting pipes.


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