You might want to go camping on wheels, but your budget is too tight for a decked-out RV. Recreational vehicles don’t have to cost an arm, and a leg like you might think! One of the more affordable alternatives to these mobile camps is a pop-up camper.
As you can imagine, though, the lower price means that you sacrifice some of the comforts that you may have been looking for in a bigger RV. Wintertime campers may be wondering, “Do I have to sacrifice my heat, too?” That is an important question. Today, we’re going to answer that and give you all the info you need to know to stay nice and cozy in your pop-up camper.
So, do pop-up trailers have heater built-in?
Most pop-up trailers do not have built-in heaters with their standard package. However, for most models, there are packages available that do have heaters. When you find a model that does have a heater, it will usually be a heat pump that runs off of propane.
Do pop-up campers have built-in heaters?
Though what you can expect in a pop-up camper may vary, the general answer is that no, they do not have built-in heating. This can be a bit of a bummer if you like to camp in milder weather. More expensive RVs come tricked out with climate control and all sorts of luxurious features; you might feel like you’re seriously missing out, but spending so much for something you might not use often is just not feasible.
However, just because there’s no heater already installed doesn’t mean that you have to do without! The world of modern camping gear allows you to stay within your budget without sacrificing the climate control you need to stay comfortable while you camp.
Pop-Up camper with built-in heaters.
We went to our favorite website that has listings for pop-up campers for sale all over the country, RVT.com, and scoured their listings to find pop-up trailers that do have a heater built-in.
Here is a list of what we found.
- 2018 Forest River Flagstaff 21DMHW
- 2012 Forest River Flagstaff High Wall HW27SC
- 2004 Fleetwood Tucson 3843
- 2018 Viking 2107 LS
- 2018 Coachmen Clipper Hardside C12RBSTHW
- 2019 Aliner Classic
- 2018 Aliner Expedition
- 2004 Jayco Qwest
- 2016 Jayco Jay Series Sport Hardwall 12HMD
Propane Heaters VS. Portable Electric Heaters In A Pop-up
There are both pros and cons for each type of heater, and we will layout a few things for you to consider.
- Propane heaters
Built-in propane heaters have the advantage of running off of propane and not electric. This means unless you have an electric ignition, you can use them anywhere. However, this also means you will have to use your propane not only for heating water and cooking but heating as well. Using a propane heating system will mean using your propane supplies much faster.
- Electric heaters
Since an electric heater needs electricity to run, this can prevent you from boondocking or camping at a campsite that does not have an electric supply. The upside is, most paid sites will have an electric supply, and you will be able to run your heater as much as needed, and you will not use up your propane supply to heat your trailer.
Are there heating alternatives for pop-up campers?
Even just a couple of decades ago, you would have found yourself roughing the weather without a heating source if you went out in a pop-up camper. Thanks to the technology boom, though, you can get all sorts of heating alternatives delivered to your doorstep with a click of a button. Of course, there are in-store alternatives for the old fashioned folks too.
What are some of these alternative sources for heating? Keep reading to find out!
Many people use portable heaters for their homes in the wintertime, but there are also a lot of campers who are unaware that you can use them for camping, too. Portable heaters meant for camping can be absolute lifesavers! If you don’t already know where to look for one, check some of these models out and find out what could best accommodate your situation.
- The Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy really could be your best friend when you stay in a pop-up camper and find the weather a little too cold for your liking. This heater is powered by propane, but it is also safe for indoor use! If it is accidentally tipped over, you don’t have to worry. This model is equipped with an auto-shutoff feature to prevent any accidents. For more pricing information, click here.
- A Brightown Ceramic Space Heater could be the perfect solution to a lack of heat in your pop-up camper if it’s on the smaller side. This portable heater is compact but still warms a considerable amount of space. One reviewer claims that it can heat up a two-car garage with no issues! For more pricing information, click here.
Heated Blankets and Mattress Pads
If you only need the extra heat when you’re hitting the hay, you could always use electric blankets and mattress pads to keep you cozy. Your pop-up camper will, of course, need electrical hookups. If yours happens to, then you should take a look at some of the following models to get a head start on your search!
- The MaxKare electric heated blanket is lined with sherpa for extra warmth and softness. The electric heating feature warms rapidly with three different options depending on how cold the weather may be! It shuts off automatically after 4 hours, so you never have to worry about injuries; many people stay away from these blankets because of the risk of getting burned, so this is a highly coveted perk. For more pricing information, click here.
- A VIPEX heated throw blanket is perfect for the single sleeper. It may not be as large as what a couple would need, but one person can snooze soundly while enjoying one of the ten levels of warmth this flannel electric blanket produces. You can time how long you would like the heat to stay on before the shutoff feature is enabled, too! For more pricing information, click here.
How long will heat in a pop-up camper last?
You can now generate enough heat to warm the interior of your pop-up camper; the work doesn’t stop there, though. You have to also worry about retaining this heat when you need it. To do that, you are going to need to follow some excellent tips from some experienced campers.
- Insulate your windows and the door. Heat can escape through the tiny cracks these openings provide, leaving you chilly again in the middle of the night. Cover them with Reflectix inserts; they’re effective and easier to set up than a DIY contraption made of tin foil and pool noodles.
- Lay carpets down on the floor of your camper. This keeps your feet warm and holds more heat in the cabin. You should put some underneath the mattress that you bring, too.
- Skirt the camper from underneath. One great way to minimize the flow of cold air into the cabin of your pop-up camper is to insulate it from icy winds. Skirting is your best bet!
- Insulate yourself. Even indoors, you should wear comfortable, warm clothes to retain the heat your body gets from your heating source. Wool socks and caps will really help keep the heat right where it needs to be.
Though traditional pop-up campers may not have the built-in heater you need, you can still save a lot of money and be just as comfortable with alternative sources! You do not need a tricked out rolling mansion to camp like royalty. The notion that you do comes from a lack of knowledge on DIY because too many RV campers would rather spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get what they want without having extra baggage. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it leaves those camping on a budget scratching their heads!
Don’t be afraid to take the plunge and save money on a pop-up camper. Whatever you lack in premade amenities can be replaced for twice the comfort and without an empty wallet at the end. Use the cash you save on traveling to new places and seeing things that others may be too restricted to experience. Good luck and happy trails!