Insulated popup tent?

Sven4955

Member
Mar 16, 2022
14
In the next few months I intend to purchase another popup tent camper. When I moved up from tent camping, my first camper was a popup. I have had a few types of campers since then but my favorite has always been my first popup. Memory colored by nostalgia perhaps.😋 I am a solo camper and I do recall that it takes awhile to set up the camper by yourself.
But enough of ancient history. My question is about tent insulation. I intend to take long trips and will find myself camping in different climates and temperatures. Are there any companies that make insulation packages specifically for popups? If not, does anyone have advise/instructions on how they insulated their popup? Any information will be greatly appreciated!
Happy trails,
Sven
 
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NLB

Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Oct 10, 2021
491
West Palm Beach, Florida
Welcome Sven.
One of the best cold weather mods I’ve done is Reflectix for all windows. Additionally, I made a large rectangular piece that blocks off one bunk when I am solo. It really helps keep the heat in.
Recently purchased popup gizmos and they help greatly with keeping heat out of the bunk ends. (Haven’t tried them yet in cold weather, but reports from portal members are favorable).
Also purchased the interlocking foam squares for under the mattresses.
Happy Trails to you also.
 

Sven4955

Member
Mar 16, 2022
14
Hi NLB,
Thanks for the info. Once I make my purchase, I will do some experiments with Reflectix. The foam squares are a good idea also. Let the adventures begin!
 

davido

Super Active Member
Jul 17, 2014
1,371
Popup gizmos over the bunk ends and slide out if there is one. Although these are apparently designed for warm weather camping, they do a decent job of improving heat retention too, almost like a space blanket would do.

Reflectix in the windows, and over the door. Seal up drafts as much as possible.

Those are the tricks I've used to camp down to about 28f overnight lows.

Anything below that and you really have to worry about the freshwater system freezing.
 

Sven4955

Member
Mar 16, 2022
14
Those are all good ideas. I am making a list as the replies come in. Sorry to be a dummy, but the popup gizmos are those popup canopies? They would provide shade for the bunk ends. Adding to my list.
Thanks much!
 

Johneliot

Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Jan 1, 2022
192
Chico, CA
If you go to the main forum page and scroll down until you get to the sponsor forum, there is a whole section on popup gizmos. Read till you can’t read no more!
 

Arruba

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 28, 2014
839
Central Oregon
If you’re unaware, there are a couple of threads on here that discuss cold weather operations and preparation. There really is IIRC, good info on them. That said I too am a reflectix user. Foam squares are an approach, a sheet of closed cell hard foam insulation is another.

The only attempt at a pop up type insulated canvas I know of was by Four Wheel Camper, (FWC). My FWC had it and it was a bit problematic. They now sell what they call an Arctic Pak, basically an insulated blanket creation that Velcro’s over the canvas. I suppose if you plan a LOT of cold weather stuff one could be built.

Good luck with your plans.
 

bondebond

Super Active Member
Aug 14, 2008
2,326
Instead of Reflectix in the windows, I used the car windshield versions to sandwich between the screen and clear vinyl parts of the windows (folded down flatter and easier to store). I added the mylar emergency blankets under the mattresses to try reflect heat back in.

Those probably all helped but what I found the most helpful was a roll of paper towels. There are so many gaps in the tenting all around that cold air would blow in through. Places like where the tenting attached to the roof but gapped around the support arms, or where the bed rail channels came through the rubber sweeper, or around the door. I just wadded up a paper towel and stuffed them in all of those places.

The other thing I did was run a separate 120v 15 amp circuit for a second electric heater. Since I camp at spots with electricity, and I've paid for the service, I use the campground's electricity over my propane. Two electric heaters pointed towards the bunk ends and the above steps were enough to keep the PUPs in the 70s when it was below freezing outside. Before I ran a separate circuit, I would use an extension cord plugged into the Shore Power pedestal and pass the extension cord into the PUP through one of the many gaps. Many people do it that way.

The gas furnace was set to kick on at 50, in case anything happened to the electric heaters. Even with both heaters going and other misc appliance, we never triggered the 30 amp main breaker in the PUPs.
 
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NLB

Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Oct 10, 2021
491
West Palm Beach, Florida
Instead of Reflectix in the windows, I used the car windshield versions to sandwich between the screen and clear vinyl parts of the windows (folded down flatter and easier to store). I added the mylar emergency blankets under the mattresses to try reflect heat back in.

Those probably all helped but what I found the most helpful was a roll of paper towels. There are so many gaps in the tenting all around that cold air would blow in through. Places like where the tenting attached to the roof but gapped around the support arms, or where the bed rail channels came through the rubber sweeper, or around the door. I just wadded up a paper towel and stuffed them in all of those places.

The other thing I did was run a separate 120v 15 amp circuit for a second electric heater. Since I camp at spots with electricity, and I've paid for the service, I use the campground's electricity over my propane. Two electric heaters pointed towards the bunk ends and the above steps were enough to keep the PUPs in the 70s when it was below freezing outside. Before I ran a separate circuit, I would use an extension cord plugged into the Shore Power pedestal and pass the extension cord into the PUP through one of the many gaps. Many people do it that way.

The gas furnace was set to kick on at 50, in case anything happened to the electric heaters. Even with both heaters going and other misc appliance, we never triggered the 30 amp main breaker in the PUPs.
I store the Reflectix under the mattresses. If not used, roll em up and put em in the TV.

Instead of paper towels I bought a couple foam backer rods or foam pipe insulation.
Really helpful in the gaps around my slide out dinette.
 

curran4life

Member
Dec 29, 2020
10
Hi Sven, if you haven't yet considered one, take a look at the hard-sided a-frame campers. I have a Rockwood Premier A122S. They are super easy to pop up (I'm a 50 year old out-of-shape woman and can easily pop it up myself), easy to tow, and allowed in all parks since they are hard-sided. Set up takes me less than 2 minutes. They are also surprisingly spacious inside.
 

Chris4598

Member
Aug 6, 2021
15
Florida
In the next few months I intend to purchase another popup tent camper. When I moved up from tent camping, my first camper was a popup. I have had a few types of campers since then but my favorite has always been my first popup. Memory colored by nostalgia perhaps.😋 I am a solo camper and I do recall that it takes awhile to set up the camper by yourself.
But enough of ancient history. My question is about tent insulation. I intend to take long trips and will find myself camping in different climates and temperatures. Are there any companies that make insulation packages specifically for popups? If not, does anyone have advise/instructions on how they insulated their popup? Any information will be greatly appreciated!
Happy trails,
Sven
You might consider a hybrid travel trailer. They have pop-down beds just like a Pop-up but have bathroom, kitchen, dining area and everything a hard-side has. Very little set up as the bed just comes down. Most have two beds but some just have one pop down bed. Very light to pull as well.
 
Jul 20, 2014
43
Those probably all helped but what I found the most helpful was a roll of paper towels. There are so many gaps in the tenting all around that cold air would blow in through.
Where we camp there are so many mosquitos that those gaps have mostly been permanently closed by other methods!

We used self-adhesive insulating foam in most gaps that can be found at nearly any hardware store. In some spots we added more Velcro. Plus, where the screen room attaches, we add duct tape in the corners.
 

vjsmithers

New Member
Sep 21, 2019
5
I’m shocked, where are all our old guys with their snarky comments about “buying a better sleeping bag” Or “put on an extra pair of longjohns”? Now that I’ve gotten that part of the way😬

We do lots of mountain camping in CO and NM with a 4yo and a 2yo, always boondocking. It gets at or below freezing almost every night.

1. Reflectix cut to size in ALL windows. Store them under the mattress for travel
2. Popup gizmos (high wind version). Use with reflective side in in cold weather and reflective side out in hot weather
3. Pool noodles or pipe insulation. Cut to size around the border of the mattresses to keep drafts out.
4. Interlocking foam pads under mattresses. (1/2” thickness)
5. Interlocking foam pads cut to fit the floor. You won’t believe how cold the floor gets and how much even 1/4” thick foam pads help. A carpet runner will also work but the foam stays in place much better and is way easier to clean/sweep

The pool noodles and popup gizmos are the only things that need to be removed for travel

All in, I think it cost us a couple hundred bucks for all of this, maybe $250. The pop-up gizmos took up more than half the budget, but well worth it.

FYI, there is no reason these tips wouldn’t be the exact same if you have an AC unit and camp in very hot climates. Same concept, just trying to keep the cold air in.
 

Sven4955

Member
Mar 16, 2022
14
If you’re unaware, there are a couple of threads on here that discuss cold weather operations and preparation. There really is IIRC, good info on them. That said I too am a reflectix user. Foam squares are an approach, a sheet of closed cell hard foam insulation is another.

The only attempt at a pop up type insulated canvas I know of was by Four Wheel Camper, (FWC). My FWC had it and it was a bit problematic. They now sell what they call an Arctic Pak, basically an insulated blanket creation that Velcro’s over the canvas. I suppose if you plan a LOT of cold weather stuff one could be built.

Good luck with your plans.
Thanks for that information, Aruba. I don’t plan on much cold weather camping, but the unforeseen is often the norm. In the past, a long trip for me was 2-3 weeks. Now I would like to go on trips for 3-6 months. Would like to be prepared for heat and cold. Once I find the right popup, I will know how to proceed. Thanks again!😊
 

Sven4955

Member
Mar 16, 2022
14
Hi Sven, if you haven't yet considered one, take a look at the hard-sided a-frame campers. I have a Rockwood Premier A122S. They are super easy to pop up (I'm a 50 year old out-of-shape woman and can easily pop it up myself), easy to tow, and allowed in all parks since they are hard-sided. Set up takes me less than 2 minutes. They are also surprisingly spacious inside.
I have considered those, but I have an old minivan, small 6 cylinder, and have to consider weight. I am also being economical and pop ups are a bit cheaper and more plentiful. If one of the smaller, light weight ones were available, it would definitely be an option. I am 73 and definitely not the man I used to be.😵‍💫
Thanks!
 

Sven4955

Member
Mar 16, 2022
14
I’m shocked, where are all our old guys with their snarky comments about “buying a better sleeping bag” Or “put on an extra pair of longjohns”? Now that I’ve gotten that part of the way😬

We do lots of mountain camping in CO and NM with a 4yo and a 2yo, always boondocking. It gets at or below freezing almost every night.

1. Reflectix cut to size in ALL windows. Store them under the mattress for travel
2. Popup gizmos (high wind version). Use with reflective side in in cold weather and reflective side out in hot weather
3. Pool noodles or pipe insulation. Cut to size around the border of the mattresses to keep drafts out.
4. Interlocking foam pads under mattresses. (1/2” thickness)
5. Interlocking foam pads cut to fit the floor. You won’t believe how cold the floor gets and how much even 1/4” thick foam pads help. A carpet runner will also work but the foam stays in place much better and is way easier to clean/sweep

The pool noodles and popup gizmos are the only things that need to be removed for travel

All in, I think it cost us a couple hundred bucks for all of this, maybe $250. The pop-up gizmos took up more than half the budget, but well worth it.

FYI, there is no reason these tips wouldn’t be the exact same if you have an AC unit and camp in very hot climates. Same concept, just trying to keep the cold air in.
I am laughing!🤣🤣 The snarky old guys comment is hysterical!🤣 I have to say that so far everyone has been exceedingly kind and helpful with their comments. I sincerely appreciate that. This is like discovering a family that you didn’t know you had.🥰 I now have a whole notebook of things that will help with the hot/cold issues. I am sure that once I find the right camper, used of course, I will have more questions about how to repair/replace things. Like I said before, let the adventures begin!!😋
 

Dingit

Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2017
2,063
Popup truck campers (the better ones anyway) do have insulation kits for the tenting, but that's not gonna work well with the minivan. (If you get tired of the minivan, a slide-in popup is great for one or two people and sets up very quickly.)

I'm in the "get a good sleeping bag" camp but I don't like to layer on clothes. :) (A subset of that camp is the "Stay in bed in the morning until spouse turns on furnace and makes coffee" camp.)
 

Sven4955

Member
Mar 16, 2022
14
You might consider a hybrid travel trailer. They have pop-down beds just like a Pop-up but have bathroom, kitchen, dining area and everything a hard-side has. Very little set up as the bed just comes down. Most have two beds but some just have one pop down bed. Very light to pull as well.
I like those also, but I am trying to keep the towed weight to no more than 1500#s. I have an old minivan without the factory tow package so towing is limited to 2000#s. My rule of thumb is never to tow the max rated amount. Thanks.
 

Sven4955

Member
Mar 16, 2022
14
Popup truck campers (the better ones anyway) do have insulation kits for the tenting, but that's not gonna work well with the minivan. (If you get tired of the minivan, a slide-in popup is great for one or two people and sets up very quickly.)

I'm in the "get a good sleeping bag" camp but I don't like to layer on clothes. :) (A subset of that camp is the "Stay in bed in the morning until spouse turns on furnace and makes coffee" camp.)
A friend of mine has a popup truck camper and I do like it. But alas, no have truck😑 Also staying in bed until spouse turns on the furnace and makes coffee is not an option either. 0 for 2!🫤
 




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