Pop up Camper Repair

All you need to know about pop-up camper repair – what you can do yourself, how do to it and when the professional help is needed...

Pop up campers are less durable than most other recreational vehicles, this is why they often require fixing.

Since pop up campers don’t have a very complicated design, you can fix them on your own with the help of some useful tips.

When you buy a used camper, it is essential to know enough about repairing it.

How to repair your pop up camper

Repairing your own pop up camper is not only a way of saving money, but sometimes it is the easiest way to having a great vehicle and camping experience. While most parts of the pop up camper can simply be replaced, you yourself can also fix tears on the canvas, the broken crank, the roof of the camper, a flat tire, lifted linoleum and other common issues that these vehicles have.

Pop up camper problems

How to fix the canvas

Torn canvas is quite common when it comes to pop up campers. The wind, sun and humidity damage the canvas after a while. The best way to prevent serious problems is to fix the canvas yourself the moment you notice tiny holes or tears.

There are more ways to fix the canvas of the camper. The first one is simply sewing it. With a strong thread and a needle you can fix the tiny tears and rips yourself. Use double stitching to fix the canvas. You can use a thimble to make sewing easier, since the fabric is quite hard.

Another way of fixing the canvas is using patches. For bigger rips and tears you need to patch the canvas, otherwise it won’t be waterproof anymore. Before you begin clean the area with alcohol, to make sure that the glue will work.

When you patch the canvas, make sure that the patch is at least one inch bigger than the area of the tear. Patch both the inner and the outer part of the canvas where the rip is. The best patch is round, because it has no corners and thus it is more durable.

Let the canvas dry for at least one day before you use the pop up camper. After it is dry, waterproof the area of the patching. You can use waterproofing spray for this purpose or simply rub wax on the area you fixed.

If the fabric is rotten, cut away the rotten part and an extra 2 inches around it. Use the patching method as described above, both on the outer part and on the inside part of the canvas. If the canvas is separated from the top of the pop up camper, use screws or replace the brackets that hold the canvas tight. Make sure that the canvas is stretched and firm, otherwise it will be damaged easily by wind and rain.

Part 1: What was supposed to be a small easy fix turns into a whole lot more.....

Part 2: What was supposed to be a small easy fix turns into a whole lot more.....

And final words: work is done! Looks like new :-)

Separated canvas

If the canvas is separated from the top of the pop up camper, use screws or replace the brackets that hold the canvas tight. Make sure that the canvas is stretched and firm, otherwise it will be damaged easily by wind and rain.

Leaking canvas

While most new campers are waterproof, old ones can leak and cause a very uncomfortable camping experience. Second hand campers should be waterproofed before being used. Waterproofing the canvas will not only keep you dry inside, but it will also protect the canvas from mold and mildew.

If your pop up camper is leaking and it gets wet inside, you don’t have to change the whole canvas. To waterproof the canvas you need wax or waterproofing spray for the fabric, which you can get from hardware stores or RV stores.

Set up the camper outside on a sunny day, wash it with soap or washing liquid and let it dry. Waterproof the whole camper canvas once with the chosen product, and let it dry. Coat the canvas the second time to make waterproofing durable. Apply seam sealers inside and outside as well.

How to make the canvas waterproof

While most new campers are waterproof, old ones can leak and cause a very uncomfortable camping experience. Second hand campers should be waterproofed before being used. Waterproofing the canvas will not only keep you dry inside, but it will also protect the canvas from mold and mildew.

If your pop up camper is leaking and it gets wet inside, you don’t have to change the whole canvas. To waterproof the canvas you need wax or waterproofing spray for the fabric, which you can get from hardware stores or RV stores.

Set up the camper outside on a sunny day, wash it with soap or washing liquid and let it dry. Waterproof the whole camper canvas once with the chosen product, and let it dry. Coat the canvas the second time to make waterproofing durable. Apply seam sealers inside and outside as well.

Zippers don’t work

Zippers don’t last forever on a pop up camper, especially in more highly used areas such as the windows of the camper. The most common problem is either that the zipper keeps unzipping or that it is stuck.

In the first case you can simply spray some hairspray on it, which will make it stay in place. For the second problem you can use a lubricant and not force the zipper. Broken zippers should be changed completely, by using thread and needle with double stitching.

How to fix the crank and lifting system

The lifting system is the most essential part of a pop up camper. Manufacturers use slightly different systems, but they are all basically the same. Fixing this system can be done by checking and replacing the parts such as the winch, pulleys or cables. Most of the times when the lifting system doesn’t work one or more of the cables is broken.

If the lifting system is not working, you have to check the pulleys, the cables and the crank as well. These are all connected to form a lifting device. Raise the pop up camper with another person by lifting the roof and securing it with clamps. This way you can go inside the camper and check what is wrong.

Take off the panels so you can see the cables and the pulleys on the corner of the vehicle. The pulleys are in the corners under the floor of the camper, sometimes they are behind the inner bench or frames of other furniture. If the crank and pulley seem to be stuck, first lubricate them with grease, such as white spray on lubricant. Also lubricate the cables that connect the crank with the pulleys.

Use the manual of the car to locate the distribution block of the system. This is the device that moves the cables, so if you don’t have a manual you can find it by following the cables. All four cables meet at this point.

If broken cables are the cause of the problem they have to be changed. If you notice cables that are broken, replace them completely, instead of just the part that is broken. When you install a new cable, make sure it is connected to the pulleys and the guides as well.

Broken awning

To fix the awning first you must extend it. Get two sawhorses ready, you will need them after you take the awning off the camper. To do this remove the inner shaft and align the holes of the awning. Remove the rafters as well. The last step is to remove the screws and take the awning off. Once you have done this, you can place it on the sawhorses.

Depending on the damage, you might have to fix the torsion assembly. Remove the bolt securing, but be careful while you do it, in order not to damage the assembly or injure yourself. You should use a wrench for this purpose. Release the cotter pin of the awning, and allow it to unwind.

You should do these steps on both sides of the awning. You can replace the torsion mechanism by first drilling out the rivets, removing the pins and inserting new ones when you attach the awning to the camper.

How to fix the screen

The screen of the pop up camper can also have tears and rips. You can fix the very tiny ones simply by using some nail polish. Use two layers of it and wait before you apply the second layer. Bigger tears can be fixed by using clear tape, or thread and needle. If the screen is very damaged you can replace the whole thing, screens can be purchased in any hardware store.

Dysfunctional appliances

If you have appliances that do not work, it is because of the lack of electricity. This is caused by broken and damaged wires that no longer provide the optimal connection. To fix the problem locate the cluster of wires that is installed on the pop up camper. Before you begin make sure that the pop up camper is not connected to electricity.

Wires are connected from the bottom of the camper, usually underneath the floor and on the sides of the camper behind furniture frames. Once you located the wires it will be easy to see which one is damaged. After this you simply have to remove the wire and add a new one, connecting it to the cluster of wires.

Jayco Popup Camper Repair Part 1- Detailed instructions on how to repair a Jayco Camper

Jayco Popup Camper Repair Part 2- Detailed instructions on how to repair a Jayco Camper

Broken water pump

Water pumps can be easily replaced, but the reason for their dysfunction is often a problem that can be solved in a few minutes. When the water pump is not working, first check if there is water inside the water tank.

Lack of water can cause the water pump to dry out, and this can be the also the cause of a dysfunctional pump. Also check the water supply line for leaks. After this make sure that there is electricity inside the camper, since the water pump requires this. If the battery is damaged, replace it and try again.

Cabinet doors don’t close properly

Doors that don’t close are caused by hinges that are bent. If cabinet doors and hinges are damaged, loosen the hinges and use a screwdriver to tap the hinges into the right direction. Tighten the screws once the hinges seem to be in place. If the hinges are broken, replace them with the help of a screwdriver.

Dirty upholstered cushions

Before replacing used cushions in your pop up camper, here are some tips that you can do yourself to make them look great again. Remove the upholstered covers from the cushions.

Wash them in cold water by hand so they don’t shrink. Vacuum the cushions and with a slightly wet brush, clean them. You can use warm soapy water, but don’t make them too wet. Use a dry towel to wipe them and allow them to dry in the sun. Put the covers back once they are completely dry.

How to fix the wheels and tires

It is very important that the tires of the pop up camper are in good condition. Pop up campers use small tires, 12 or 13 inches ones. If the tires are old, they should be replaced. Make sure you lubricate the wheel bearings, or ask the seller to do it for you when you purchase the tires.

You should also have a spare tire with you when you go camping. To change the tires of the pop up camper use the jack to lift it. Take the lug nuts off and put the new tire on. When the tire is on the axle, put the lug nuts back in. Tighten them once the camper is lowered.

Damaged rooftop vent

Rooftop vents deteriorate quite fast due to water and sunlight, not to mention that they can easily be broken also by branches of trees that you pass by. To replace the damaged lid of the vent, remove the hinge pins and hook up the pivot point. Buy a new vent and install it by doing the same steps. Make sure that you buy a vent box that is made of a stronger material; otherwise you will have to do this process very often.

More about roof repair is here!

Lights don’t work

The lights of the pop up camper are connected to the central cluster of wires inside the camper through the front panel. To get to the wires you have to take off this panel, where you will find the wires that are damaged. Change the wires by attaching them to the cluster of wires and to the lights of the pop up camper.

How to replace flooring

Pop up campers can have more types of flooring, but the most common ones are plywood and metal, covered with linoleum or vinyl. According to the material that is damaged there are more ways to fix the floor.

Starcraft tent trailer (popup) roof repair (by Mark)

Linoleum flooring

The easiest type of flooring to fix is the linoleum one. To change or fix the linoleum flooring you only need some vinyl linoleum squares. It is better to change the whole flooring if it is lifted or damaged. After you remove the old linoleum, clean it and dry it underneath before you put in the new one. Metal flooring.

One of the layers of the floors of the pop up camper is made of metal. Sometimes the metal sheet on the floor of the camper can be rusted and damaged. There is not much to do in such a case except replacing the whole thing with a new metal sheet. If only a small area is rusted, then remove the area with the rust, removing around 5 extra inches around the damaged part.

Cut a larger piece of sheet metal than the hole to cover it. Drill holes around the area, one every 2 inches to make it secure. You can place the new sheet under the floor or over the floor, whichever is more convenient for you. Use screws to secure the metal sheet on the hole.

Wooden flooring

Metal and linoleum patches are easy to make, but when you have a wooden floor it is harder to create the right kind of patch without making it very visible. The easiest way to fix wooden flooring when it is damaged is to create a patch using expoxy, microballoons, and cotton flox. With this mixture you will get a smooth texture that will resemble wood. You can sand it to match the wood floor that you have, it is strong and durable material that will last for a long time.



Visitor's Story....

Pop up camper repair should not be that hard. We all know that camping is fun and exciting and repair should be just as easy and not frustrating.

Whether you have a tent pop up camper or a truck pop up camper you can be assured supplies and parts for repairs is not going to cost an arm and a leg.

The amazing thing about pop up camper repair is you can order the part needed and do the work yourself.

If you need a canvas top, you can order it and then replace the old one with the new on all by yourself. The 5 wheeler and the 2 wheeler are durable, but may need some repair if they are older and used quite a bit.

The difference between a pop up camper repair and a van camper repair can amount to quite a bit of change. The camper will most likely be cheaper to repair. Fix it yourself campers are much nicer than something that has to be fixed by someone else.

If you ever get out to Oklahoma or Oregon, there are some pretty nice stores out there that have some discount prices on accessories if you ever need something and your in the area, check the store out.

It sure does beat paying full price when you are in need of pop up camper repair. Repairs do not happen often, and sometimes they even occur because the owner kind of messed up or nature had its way with the camper.

If you know of anyone who needs a popup camper repair, let them know about the wonderful online stores available for purchasing parts and supplies. Everyone should have the information to find cheap parts at an affordable price. Make your fellow campers happy with a mention to save money and time.



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