Tent trailers make traditional camping way more comfortable. While they’re slightly more complicated than setting up a tent, you can get even the most complex pop-up camper ready to go in 15 minutes or less.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to set up a tent trailer:
Levelling and stabilizing
If you don’t want to end up rolling out of bed, make sure you’re on flat ground and the tent trailer is level. Use wooden planks to adjust the lateral level of your trailer and use the front tongue jack to raise or lower either end.
Most trailers have a built-in level near the hitch so you can check that the camper is even all around. Once you’re flat, keep it that way by expanding the stabilizing scissor jacks at each corner of the trailer.
Raise the roof
Unlatch the expandable top at each corner and use the handle in the ‘receiver’ (usually near the hitch) to crank the roof up. This is the perfect time to cue your awesome road trip playlist.
Gather the various braces from under mattresses (and possibly strewn across the interior). There’s usually a safety brace to keep the roof from collapsing, and braces for the pull-out extensions. Install the roof braces on opposite corners and extension braces on the exterior.
Pull out the extensions
With tent trailers, this is a manual job. Look for a handle on either end of the camper and give it a tug.
Pop in the tent poles to get your tent camper fully extended. Then, set up the dinette, seating, kitchen, door, and other interior features. You’re almost ready for your trip!
Close the seams
Walk around the outside of the tent trailer and velcro, clip, or zip all the seams and corners to make your camper water tight. Some trailers have interior fasteners, too, so peek inside to make sure you’re all buttoned up.
That’s why you rented an RV, after all. To make the most of your next-level camping adventure, read the Newbie’s Guide to RV Electrical Hookups.
Follow all the setup steps in reverse. Have an assigned place to keep all the loose handles and braces. If the tent trailer is yours and it didn’t come with a storage box, make your own with a sturdy plastic container.
When you rent a tent trailer on Outdoorsy, our friendly owners will be happy to show you just how to set up and break down their pop-up camper like a pro. What are you waiting for?
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