Dealer Prep

August 5, 2016

When a new camper arrives from the factory, it is not in camp-ready condition. Learn how to ensure that your dealer proper prepares a new popup camper, and even what to look for when buyign used.

Most popup campers arrive from the factory with a fair amount of work yet to be performed by the dealer, including:

  • Installing a propane rack and regulator
  • Install and fill a propane tank, check all propane lines for leaks
  • Install battery
  • Check water lines for leaks
  • Check smoke/LP/carbon monoxide detectors
  • Assemble awning, install on rails, and install brackets
  • Check tire pressure and wheel lug nut tork
  • Inspect and test for proper functioning of appliances
  • Hanging privacy and shower curtains
  • Installing exterior accessories like the winch cover
  • Removing the instruction manuals from each appliance and assembling into a single packet

Good dealers will throw in certain “extras,” including:

  • upgrade jack crank handles
  • power cord adapters
  • power drill attachment for stabilizer jacks
  • spare fuses
  • plumbing adapters

Some dealers include this prep in their base price while others charge an additional fee (which is unfortunately not always disclosed until final paperwork time). Regardless, it is important to consider and likely complete the above items before buying your new or used popup camper.


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I've been camping regularly since I was a kid, from quick Cub/Boy Scout trips to week-long backpacking trips and everything else in-between. We got a popup camper when our kids were 1 and 3 years old to enjoy more time outdoors together alongside a few conveniences like heat and running water. Since then, we've spent over 75 nights together as a family in our popup camper. I've learned a lot about the intricacies of a popup tent camper during this time and love to share those lessons here for the benefit of others.