How to Winterize a Pop-Up Camper: A Comprehensive Guide

Aug. 28, 2023

Winterizing your pop-up camper is a crucial step to protect your investment and ensure it's ready for the cold months ahead. Proper winterization prevents water damage, freezing, and other potential issues that can arise when temperatures drop. Whether you're a seasoned camper or new to the world of pop-up campers, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps to effectively winterize your camper.


Materials You'll Need:


Before you begin the winterization process, gather the following materials:


1. Non-toxic RV Antifreeze: Make sure it's safe for the plumbing system and can withstand low temperatures.


2. Water Heater Bypass Kit: If your Off Road Family Caravan has a water heater, a bypass kit allows you to skip filling it with antifreeze.


3. Basic Tools: Screwdrivers, pliers, and a wrench might be needed to access various parts of the camper.


4. Water Pump Converter Kit: This kit lets you pump antifreeze directly into the plumbing system.


5. Water Heater Drain Plug Wrench: If your water heater has a drain plug, this specialized wrench can be useful.


Pop-Up Camper

Step-by-Step Winterization Process:


1. Clean and Empty:

Start by thoroughly cleaning your pop-up camper. Remove all food items, linens, and personal belongings. Clean and disinfect the interior to prevent mold and mildew growth during storage.


2. Drain the Water System:

Drain all the water from your Off Road Camper's tanks, including the fresh water tank, gray water tank, and black water tank. Open the drain valves and flush out the system to remove any remaining water.


3. Bypass the Water Heater:

If your camper has a water heater, locate the bypass valves. These valves divert water away from the water heater to prevent antifreeze from entering it. Follow the instructions in your water heater bypass kit to properly configure the valves.


4. Drain the Water Heater:

If you're unable to bypass the water heater, you'll need to drain it. Remove the drain plug and open the pressure relief valve to let air in as the water drains.


5. Prepare the Plumbing System:

Connect the water pump converter kit to the water inlet side of the water pump. This will allow you to pump antifreeze directly into the plumbing system.


6. Pump Antifreeze:

Pour non-toxic RV antifreeze into a clean bucket and connect the bucket to the water pump converter kit. Turn on the water pump, and one faucet at a time, open both the hot and cold taps until you see antifreeze flowing. Repeat this process for all faucets, including the shower and outdoor connections.


7. Flush the Toilet:

Flush the toilet until antifreeze appears in the bowl, and pour some antifreeze down the toilet to fill the P-trap and prevent odors.


8. Check Drains and Traps:

Ensure that all drains (sinks, shower, toilet) and P-traps contain antifreeze. This prevents any remaining water from freezing and causing damage.


9. Exterior Connections:

If your mini pop-up camper has exterior connections (city water inlet, outdoor shower), make sure to run antifreeze through these as well.


10. Stabilize:

Once all faucets and connections have antifreeze flowing through them, turn off the water pump and close all faucets. Disconnect the bucket from the water pump converter kit.


11. Final Steps:

Inspect all areas of your camper trailer, inside and out, to make sure you haven't missed any water lines or drains. Close and seal all windows and doors securely to keep the cold air out.


12. Protect the Battery:

If your pop up camper trailer has a battery, disconnect it and store it in a dry, cool place. Make sure it's fully charged before storing it.


13. Cover or Store Indoors:

If possible, cover your small pop up campers with a specialized RV cover or store it indoors. This provides an extra layer of protection against the elements.




Winterizing your pop-up camper is a necessary step to safeguard it from the harsh conditions of winter. By following these steps, you can prevent water damage, freezing, and other issues that can arise during the colder months. Proper winterization ensures that your small off road camper will be ready for your next adventure when the warmer weather returns. Always consult your camper manufacturer's guidelines and specific instructions for any unique features or components before beginning the winterization process.


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