How To Insulate A Pop Up Camper? [ Here’s A Step By Step Guide ]

Pop-up campers are the most wallet-friendly option for ardent campers who can not invest heavily in other lavish recreational vehicles.

If there is one major drawback of owning a pop-up camper, it is the poor insulation. As most pop-camper bodies comprise fabrics, they usually lack protection against chilling winters or stifling summers.

As a result, you might not reap the best out of your camping trip, courtesy of a poorly insulated pop-up camper.

However, here is good news. You can protect the entire pop-up trailer to keep you rejuvenated during sun-drenched months and cozy in the winter months. I will show you how!

How to insulate a pop-up camper?

The Americans love camping and are the primary reason behind the booming camping industry in the United States. With different states established for either type of camping (for example, California for summer camping and Texas for winter camping), it becomes essential to invest in a pop-up camper that is suitable for both. Being poorly insulated in most cases, here are some ways you can protect your trailer, that too without much spending.

Reflectix Bubble Pack Insulation

The first solution is reflectix insulation. Have you seen campers wrapping their trailers with a shiny and bubble-textured blanket-like object? If so, it is reflectix insulation – another versatile and energy-efficient insulation.

Due to polished twin surfaces, the reflectix insulation sheets are reflective on both sides. Due to this, reflectix insulation is more insulating than other methods.

These sheets come in a roll form, similar to aluminum food wrap. You can cut the sheet in any required shape or size to wrap the camper.

The best aspect of the sheets is that they can also slip between the canvas walls and trailer frame for additional insulation.

The reflectix sheets consist of 95-96% reflective layers of the film coupled to 5″-16″ thick polyethylene bubbles. These bubbles trap the heat.

Portable heaters

Next on the list is portable camping heaters. Is your next camping trip in Texas or Florida? If so, you can not afford to miss a portable heater. Although winter camping is super fun than summer camping, the bone-chilling cold outside can ruin all your plans. To counter it, invest in a portable camping heater.

Suppose the limited pop-up camper space is a constraint.

In that case, you can resort to alternatives such as hand warmers, camping lanterns, mini wood-burning stoves, or electric blankets (if an electric source is accessible).

If you can load a heater, be mindful of the various heaters available.

These include gas heaters, fan heaters, portable electric heaters, convector heaters, halogen heaters, and oil-filled radiators. Going by their popularity, fan or electric heaters are the most suitable.

Retroreflective sheets (or reflective tarps)

If you are camping in Michigan or California, you know how hot it gets there as time passes. Retroreflective sheeting or reflective tarping is the most common and budget-friendly method to try out.

The reflective tarps can prove extremely handy by radiating the sun’s rays outwards. Besides, some varieties can also limit high winds from rocking your trailer by covering the camper mesh regions.

These retroreflective sheets generally arrive in two forms – bunk-end covers and interior liners.

While the former sheets cover the protruding parts of the pop-up camper, the latter fits between the canvas walls and trailer frame to moderate the inside temperatures.

Reflective tarps are sometimes cheap or expensive. Hence, it would help if you gave DIY tricks a try to get the work done more economically.

Blackout lining curtains

Blackout lining curtains are typical in homes and suitably work in the summer months to keep the interiors cool due to their thick lining. You can also install them inside the pop-up trailer to enjoy similar benefits.

Today, another variety of black curtains is available with rubber-plastic backing on the outer surface (facing the sun). This backing boosts the insulation efficiency of the curtain by almost 35-40%. However, it is equally expensive.

Talking about installation, it is similar to installing curtains at home. These curtains are available in multiple sizes and shades. As a thumb rule, remember that the darker the color, the higher the insulation.

Prevent air exchange

Whatever method you shortlist out of the many options, you can not achieve the desired insulation if the air exchange happens between the inside and outside air.

To counter it, you must take the necessary steps. For example, you can check the main reason for air leaks and use blankets or curtains to leak-proof it.

Alternatively, you can use camp sealants to seal leak-prone spots that might arise due to damage to the body.

So, these are the top five ways to properly insulate your pop-up camper and enjoy your camping time to the fullest without bothering about the climate.

Why Insulate your pop-up camper?

If you have ever wondered why I should insulate my pop-up camper, you are not alone. While proper insulation is undoubtedly necessary for extended wildlife stays, some sections do not agree with this. There are some good reasons behind the same. For example:

  • Moisture/dew buildup inside the camper,
  • Space consumption by insulation – something that is already minimal inside a trailer,
  • High installation costs and limited guarantee,
  • Maintenance costs to keep the insulation intact, and so on.

These are the top justifications why certain groups of people oppose insulating their pop-up trailers. However, the following reasons will change your opinion about insulation.


Since all-around insulation keeps your camp cozy in the winter and cools in the summer, you can enjoy your trip to the fullest. Insulation also eliminates the need to buy extra blankets, camping heaters, fans, or similar electronics.

Energy savings

Studies reveal that poor or under insulation leads to 30-40% energy loss, be it your home or pop-up camper.

If there is an air leak, your heater or air conditioner will have to work harder to moderate the internal temperature. In contrast, proper insulation can even limit the use of such appliances and promote energy savings.

Sound absorption

Camping during the peak season endangers you to many different sounds, especially snoring sounds during the night.

By completely insulating your pop-up trailer, you can avoid such noises from interrupting you, thus transforming your camper into a quieter place to inhabit and relax.

Resale value

Do you know the significant difference between low and high resale values of pop-up trailers? It is insulation! Well-insulated campers sell off for a much higher amount than those lacking it. Furthermore, insulation also impacts the selling speed of the trailer.

These five reasons should compel you to insulate your pop-up camper as quickly as possible.


Being a pop-up trailer owner, you would understand the significant drawbacks it carries, with poor insulation topping the list. The fabric-based body of pop-up campers is the main reason behind poor insulation.

It is possible to counter this by investing in all-around insulation.

You might think of purchasing a heater or mini air conditioner; however, it is not a feasible option for trailers with already limited space to live and relax.

As discussed above, this calls for installing retroreflective sheets or reflective tarps, blackout curtains, or reflectix insulators. All these methods are not just economical but long-lasting as well.