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How cold is too cold to open the camper


Jan 16, 2008
I am new to pop camping and have been looking for a used one but several sellers do not want to open the trailer due to the cold cracking the windows. Is this BS because the inside is bad? I am assuming that it is not wise to buy anything without going inside


Active Member
Nov 7, 2007
It is definitely not just BS. I'm not sure what the cut off temp would be maybe around 30? I'm sure some one else will have more exact info.

And you are right, don't buy without going inside, just wait for it to warm up a bit.

Searching for our next pup.

Edited by - sd102 on January 16 2008 14:17:59


Active Member
Oct 4, 2007
edgewater , md
i am not sure but i wouldn't buy anything w/o seeing it , i guess one way to tell is if you go to a rv place and see if they have any open outside or will open any for you , im sure some people camp in clod weather , its a good question , i opened mine a few weeks ago to repair my sink and check my electric , nothing happened to my windows ect , but it was probally about 30-38 out

Jay & Lisa
00 dodge dakota
97 coleman laredo
(4) 4 legged children (non camping)
Luna, Lady, Alley & Azalea
all girls , all cats lol


Staff member
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 22, 2002
Southeastern PA
Sounds like BS to me too. I need to open mine to take some pictures inside so I can sell it. It's not too cold to open it for any reason other then it is too cold for ME! <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_lol.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Laugh Out Loud">

Camp Director

<i>When you do things right, people won't be sure you've done anything at all.</i>


may you never doubt yourself....
Feb 1, 2007
My manual says anything below 25 degrees is a NO NO cause it will crack the windons

1996 jeep cherokee 4x4
2002 flagstaff 228
"just camp!!"


Active Member
Nov 7, 2007
I really have heard that before, I don't remember where. When we bought ours last April it was probably around 35-40, and the canvas was stiff and just not pliable like it was in the warmer weather.

Searching for our next pup.


Suburbs of Philly, PA
Aug 29, 2005
Suburbs of Philly, PA
I don't know if it is necessarily BS. I think some people are just under the impression you can't open it up if the temp is under a certain degree. But I would wait to buy also if you can't see the inside.

'66 Michael <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_beer.gif border=0 align=middle>; '70 Sherry <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_happycamper.gif border=0 align=middle>; '89 Aaron <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_cool.gif border=0 align=middle>; '94 Annelysse <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_wink.gif border=0 align=middle>; '00 Frank <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_hotdog.gif border=0 align=middle>(Camping Dachshund)
'74 PUMA <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle>

"Now make like a tree and get out of here!" Biff in Back to the Future II


Super Active Member
Jul 5, 2007
High Point, North Carolina
I will chime in that I don't think its BS. We went to Myrtle Beach for New Years - the first couple days were great and the temps were in the mid-60's with sun. On the morning we packed up, it was around 30 with a 25-30 headwind. As I was folding up, the vinylized fabric my Palomino has for bunkends was stiff as a board and in a few spots literally 'cracked' the surface as I put her down. I really didn't have a choice in the matter and was planning on deep cleaning and resealing the bunkends, so hopefully I won't have issues.

Now, would I buy one without seeing it popped? Not unless it was a great deal and/or I knew the seller.



Wife & 3 Kids
6 Stay-At-Home Pets
'88 Palomino TXL hardsider
'93 Ford E-350 Van


Super Active Member
Apr 17, 2005
Granger, IN
I am curious about anybody attempting to sell their camper, but won't open it. If they are afraid they might damage it, then they should wait until it's warmer to advertise it.

I've posted this before. It's from a member at GLPUC who has pictures of winter camping with snow around his popup -

<font color=red>With some of the discussion over when to pop up or down in the winter, I contacted Fleetwood today and spoke with a tech in manufacturing. The tech advsed that the plastic windows on the current Fleetwoods have been tested to work without failure down to negative 15 degreees.... Not sure that I would want to camp at that temp, but at least I know I should be OK when we set up/break down in the teens.... For whatever it is worth, The tech I spoke to told me that he was the one in charge of this testing and knows first hand that the info he gave me is true....</font id=red>

The dealer we purchased our pop up at has opened Fleetwoods in the snow for customers. He has been selling the brand for years and has a great reputation. I would think he knows what he is doing.

Steve& Deb (the boys are grown & gone)
Aspen & Riley (the 4 legged children)
05 Fleetwood Sequoia THE QSR
Trek, Giant, Cannondale, Univega <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Bicycle"><img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Bicycle">

Edited by - scm46530 on January 16 2008 15:26:16


Active Member
Oct 4, 2007
edgewater , md
Steve ,
i wonder if that goes for older fleetwoods like my 1997 coleman laredo ?i wanted to do on and off mods and repairs throughout the winter but now im a little leery

Jay & Lisa
00 dodge dakota
97 coleman laredo
(4) 4 legged children (non camping)
Luna, Lady, Alley & Azalea
all girls , all cats lol


Popups.....when sleeping on the ground gets to you
Mar 13, 2007
Never take unneccessary chances, wait until it warms up a bit, then buy, look, sell, do mods...its just not worth taking the chance. Plastic windows WILL crack when it gets really cold, below 30. I would not do anything to a pup until its at a minimum of 40 degrees outside and the pup has warmed up a bit. Replacing canvas with windows is not cheap.

My Jeep Wrangler had HD plastic windows and when it got cold, they were so stiff I was afraid to put the top down until it warmed up a bit.

Wichita Falls, TX
USAF Retired


Jan 16, 2008
Thanks everyone. I suspect the older the camper the more brittle the windows might be in cold weather this was a 97. The guy selling the camper won't get my business anyway due to the email response he sent back when I asked what the blue book price was and how I was supposed to know the condition of the inside was.


Active Member
Aug 5, 2007
Well, I wonder how those who camp in winter cope with this issue then because they have to open up the pup to sleep in it.


Active Member
May 5, 2007
Hale Center TX
Our rockwood dealer said go for the cold no harm will be done. he said that if you can tolerate it so can the pup.

2007 Rockwood Premier 2302
2006 Nissian Frontier
2007 Pelican Raider 8E


Feb 11, 2007
I think the main concern is of course the set up and take down in the cold weather. I know no matter what the temp is on some of the older pups I've seen the plastic is already a bit brittle and could imagine a problem when it got very cold. I have camped with the temps down to 15-20 degrees with no problem but again we set up and put down during the day when the temps were around 30 degrees. I wouldn't be worried about the canvas at all way down to a temp far colder than I would ever want to be out in anyway. I have been on some winter scout camps where the temps had dropped to -3 during the night and the spring bar canvas tents we were in were fine.

Don & Alice
1993 Coleman Williamsburg
Camping in and around Utah

Nights camping in 2007: 20

1993 Coleman Willaimsburg
2003 Chevrolet Tahoe LT
6 kids,
2 grandkids,
a dog,
2 cats
and a fish

Edited by - kd7gvd on January 17 2008 01:46:06


Active Member
Feb 9, 2006
Rockford, IL.
The big variable here is the age of the material and the conditions it has been subjected to. Vinyl has volatile plasticizers in its matrix, which gas off over time (ie: that hard to remove film on the inside your windshield... deposited plasticizers from the interior materials), so to simply say it is OK, just do it, is to throw the dice, especially with older PUPs. I am not comfy opening mine much below 40 degrees, especially if it has been cold soaked for a while.

Your mileage may vary.

Dave & Rose
2 grown DD(+1 SIL & GD)
2 Corgis(Da'Bear,11 & Maggie,1)

2001 Dodge Durango 5.9L
1997 Jayco 1406

Don't need a nightlight, 'cause I glow in the dark!


Super Active Member
May 12, 2007
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
Good post, Dave and Rose.

The older the plastic is the more likely it would crack.

I've seen certain types of plastic crack like thin sheets of ice in -40F in Minnesota. At -40F, its really cold. If you spit it can turn to ice in the air. -40F is also painful. Brings back memories thinking of it. So there is a point where it is definitely dangerous to pop up the popup.

Since it's hard to know when its safe, manuals don't recommend it at any cold temp or age.

I would suggest the sellers put it in a garage and heat the garage with a Mr Buddy heater or similar garage space heater. Then pop it up. Or wait till warmer weather.


New Member
Feb 19, 2009
I will tell you that cracking windows can happen in newer PUPs too. Mine is a 2006 Fleetwood Bayside, and we did open the PUP on a cold day. Sure enough, the canvas and windows were brittle and I could hear cracking as we lowered the top. When I opened it back up, all of the windows were shredded like Wolverine had has his way with them! Very disappointing! I am going to check with my insurance to see if it is a covered loss. Also, I have read that you do not want to use Windex or any window cleaner on the eisenglass, but instead use a special cleaner for eisenglass. I bought my PUP used so have no idea what the history is. I will surely be more careful after I replace the canvases! GGRRRR!! [:(!]


Indianapolis, IN
Aug 12, 2008
Indianapolis, IN
Oh, that would make me sick. I felt bad for you when I read your post. My luck would go like that. I can't seem to leave my pop-up alone. In the winter, I mostly stick my head in the door, I have not raised it but in the summer....


May 23, 2008
SE Wisconsin
We have used ours twice (Fleetwood '07) in the low teens and have had no problems, but I did run the furnace and a electric heater for about 20 minutes to get the inside temp to about 45* just before closing.