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Author Topic: Keeping popup tent dry  (Read 5951 times)
lifer
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« on: March 07, 2009, 08:28:33 AM »

  PopUp Blue

Hi, this is my first post.  Does anyone ever cover their popup tent "material" to keep it from getting wet so packing up is no issue?  I've looked around on different websites but haven't found any discussion on this topic.  I cannot store my camper at home and instead store it a campground we belong to.  We've gone camping but I'm always checking the weather and have cancelled vacation plans before when too many rainy days were predicted.  I have an 07 Fleetwood Utah.

First of all, you guys rock.  Thank you all so much for so many replies in the one day I went out of town.  I guess I wasn't clear enough in my first post though it looks like "Mountainrev" got it.  I can't bring it home.  I didn't want to bore everyone with too many details but here's the deal.  I live in a sub that doesn't allow anyone to store their boat or rv in their driveway or the street.  My garage isn't long enough or tall enough to open it up and close the garage door.  We just started camping in 2007 and I did think about the rain issue but we decided to go with a popup anyway because we had a minivan and couldn't tow anything heavier than a popup.  I've been thinking about my options and wondered if anyone else had any suggestions.  I think I'll go get that giant tarp and jimmy something.  The A/C on the roof complicates things a bit as I'll have to cutout a hole for it but try to keep it to a minimum so it'll keep most of the rain from getting to the tent.  I liked the one idea of getting custom covers as a few small covers take up much less storage room than a giant tarp.  Thanks again to everyone.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 04:54:57 PM by lifer » Logged
Tom-TC
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2009, 08:47:21 AM »

Welcome, lifer!

I've never seen or read here about anyone putting what amounts to (if I read you correctly) a tent fly over a pupup.

I think maybe you are too worried about packing up wet.  I've even packed up a time or two in the rain, not just with the tenting wet.  We've all packed up wet, and while it is not desirable, it is also not a huge issue.

The main thing is to open the camper to dry out as soon as possible when you get home.  In your case, that may be in the driveway or at the campground where you park your camper.  If it is sunny, it won't take too long to dry out.  Just be sure it is thoroughly dry (including the 'fridge!) before you close up, or you will have mold/mildew eventually.
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2009, 09:10:43 AM »

I'll second what Tom said.  Go ahead and cancel planned camping trips when rain is in the forecast, but don't do it because your camper will get wet.  That's why we have them!  That's what they're made for!

By all means, camp in the rain.  Just be sure, like Tom said, to set it up and dry it out as soon as possible.  Even if it doesn't rain on your trip, if you take your camper down in the morning, there will likely be some condensation on the tenting, so setting up your camper for a few hours in your driveway is always a good thing.

One thing that might help a little to keep major moisture off, however, is something called Popup Gizmos (or PUGs, for short).  You can order them right here from the PUX Trading Post.  They are primarily made to keep your pup cooler in hot, sunny weather (using the silver side up), or else as insulation on cooler nights (using the silver side down).  We use them to keep condensation from forming on the inside of our camper and "raining" on us in the morning.  But they will protect your bunkends from rain, at least somewhat.

Oh, and welcome!

EDIT:  As I read more carefully, I see you store your camper at a campground.  Does that mean you don't pull it at all?  Does it basically just sit at a site there year round?  If so, then it would be a bit of a problem to dry out the "canvas."  If you don't live too far from the campground, I would suggest towing your camper home if it's wet when you take it down, and setting it up in your driveway or even in the street for a few hours.  If it's sunny, it will dry out quickly.

If you're far from the campground, and you are forced to simply leave it there, then I don't have a good suggestion for you, other than perhaps to drive back to the campground the next sunny day and set it up for a few hours, or else make arrangements for someone you trust to do that (perhaps the management at the campground).

But if you basically leave your camper at the same campground permanently, using it more or less like a cabin, then maybe a popup isn't right for your style of camping.  You might want to consider getting a travel trailer that can be left up permanently.

Please tell us more details about how you camp, how far away the campground is from your home, etc.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 09:32:09 AM by mountainrev » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2009, 09:46:24 AM »

Welcome aboard, lifer!

Every now and then while camping, I'll see a PUP with a large tarp over it - presumably either to keep it dry, or as a quick fix to a leakage problem.  Sometimes I'll see PUPs with tarps simply draped over them, other times there are poles and guy ropes involved in making it more of a canopy.

Like you, I keep my PUP in a storage lot, and I'm not allowed to pop-up there at all.  The reason its in a lot is that I own a condo/townhouse and there are rules about storing trailers on the property.  When I come back from camping with wet tenting, I pop-up in the driveway at home and park my vehicle in the visitors' parking; its generally only for a day while it dries out.  If there's a complaint, I just listen to the property manager rant on for a while and nod while he reads the rules at me and thats usually the end of the matter.

But, if that type of solution won't work for you, remember that it only takes a couple of hours in the sun at the most to dry out tenting.  A friends driveway, the parking lot at an out-of-the-way city park, a highway rest stop close to home, or a patch of vacant land may be all you need.
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2009, 09:50:33 AM »

 Montana Smile

I bought my PUP in October and at the time it had been raining during that week.  I knew I only had a good couple of weeks left before the rain turned to snow, but I really wanted to stay in my new purchase before the weather set in, so I had made a purchase of a large tarp at Wal-Mart (I think the dimension was 8 X 21 and I got it for 20 bucks) to use for covering my PUP for the winter.  I wanted to try my PUP out before I winterized it and I knew that if I were to pack it away for the winter without letting the canvas dry, I would have problems.  I ended up taking the tarp and pulling it over the camper and, using bungee cords, secured it to the top.  It worked great!  I left my camper up for two weeks and I had rain, high winds, and frost in the mornings and the canvas stayed dry.  It also served another purpose, because it made it darker in the camper in the morning.  I guess this is a makeshift version of the "Pop up Gizmos" covers everyone talks about, and even though I am going to purchase those covers this spring, I'm going to pack that tarp with me also as an added precaution, because it worked so well.

P.S. If you try it, you will have to rig some sort of extension to pull it over the top.  I just so happened to have a broken rake handle, pounded a nail in the end of it, and used it to put through the tarp holes in order to pull it over the camper.  


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Luke B [MT]
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2009, 10:19:24 AM »

I have seen tarps strung over pups before, but we never do it.  Just open it up at home when it stops raining to dry out. 

« Last Edit: March 07, 2009, 10:20:26 AM by miataman » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2009, 05:30:42 PM »

I've never seen or read here about anyone putting what amounts to (if I read you correctly) a tent fly over a pupup.

One family we camp with each season owned a Fleetwood Utah for several years and for many of those years would erect a massive tarp over the trailer in hopes of avoiding wet tenting, for much the same reasons as the OP.  How they had the patience to deal with this massive tarp every time they set up and struck camp was always a mystery to me, but they persisted ... until one very wet and very windy Hallowe'en weekend when that tarp was torn completely to shreds before our very eyes by the wind, with little any of us could do to control the flailing remnants. Shocked Angry

They now own a monster 5th and no longer have to worry about wet tenting. Approve Wink
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2009, 07:04:25 PM »

I have used these on my pop-up ant Kiwi for the last 5 years, they help keep the rain off the sides of the canvas and dry overnite. They also keep things dry while setting up and taking down. Had Bearcreek make them and made hardware myself, made the proto-type out of tarp. Eric 

Bunkend awning cover

Edited by Ziva to make clicky link.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 04:54:50 AM by Ziva David » Logged
Ziva David
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2009, 04:56:28 AM »

Nice work, Eric.

Welcome to the PUX family, lifer and Eric.
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Ziva

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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2009, 05:37:40 AM »

I cannot store my camper at home and instead store it a campground we belong to.
How far is it from home to the campground?  If you're close, you have several options that you would not have if you live quite far from the campground.

In order to keep the camper's fabric dry enough to stow it in the rain, you'd need a huge tarp suspended over the whole thing - like a carport.  This is not practical in my opinion, though, as there will be blowing rain and just the near 100% humidity while it's raining.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 05:38:50 AM by SkipD » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2009, 07:40:06 AM »

I once noticed some folks who draped a large tarp over their rig just before popping up. Looked to me as if they had it pretty much down to a science. It did rain that particular weekend and they were still able to unzip the windows and enjoy the outside air. Sunday morning simply involved a reverse procedure.
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« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2009, 02:21:56 PM »

I have used these on my pop-up ant Kiwi for the last 5 years, they help keep the rain off the sides of the canvas and dry overnite. They also keep things dry while setting up and taking down. Had Bearcreek make them and made hardware myself, made the proto-type out of tarp. Eric 

Bunkend awning cover

Edited by Ziva to make clicky link.

I have seen those bunk-end awning covers too on PUPs, but I have always wondered if  it rained really hard and the wind was blowing, then the canvas on the rest of the PUP would get wet.You would still need to dry off that canvas as much as possible before folding down the PUP and then pop her back up at home to dry out. But maybe some folks just want that extra protection, which is fine too.

We never worry about rain...and believe me, it ALWAYS rains on us during a camp-out or two or three during the summer. We always take extra highly absorbent towels to use to dry off the PUP as much as possible and then pop her up to dry out when we get home. Never had any problems with mildew or water damage.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 02:25:17 PM by monakayk » Logged

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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2009, 03:17:29 PM »

We use the Pop-Up Gizmos (PUG's) that are sold here. They will not keep the canvas 100% dry, but it will keep the majority of the rain off of the roof of the canvas. But, there is no true way to keep the canvas dry. If you have to put away wet, then there are only two options for you to prevent mold:

1. Open the pup as soon as you can whenthe rain stops to allow the canvas to dry
2. Purchase either desiccant or an electric de-humidifier to dry the pup when closed.

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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2009, 03:57:42 PM »

The rule I've always followed during my several decades of camping (mostly tents but now the PUP) is this: if I have to pack it wet I have to set it up to dry out as soon as I get home.  Sometimes that's been a big PIA but I've never had a mildew or mold problem.
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« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2009, 10:12:41 AM »

I have used these on my pop-up ant Kiwi for the last 5 years, they help keep the rain off the sides of the canvas and dry overnite. They also keep things dry while setting up and taking down. Had Bearcreek make them and made hardware myself, made the proto-type out of tarp. Eric 

Bunkend awning cover

Edited by Ziva to make clicky link.

Did you buy these or make them? More info please. I like the idea that they stick out a little further than the canvas and would not WICK or drip water on the screen and get bedding wet. I like.
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