How do soft sided popup truck campers handle weather conditions?

#1
Im looking to pick one up but am not sure how they handle high desert wind, rain, ect. while poped up. Basically, am I going to be miserable trying to sleep in this thing in a desert wind storm or heavy rains..... do they leak/blow thru the canvas? Do they make a ton of noise? Im very familiar with hardsides ao just wanted to pick the minds of the soft popup offroad crowd.

Any recommendations as to what are the MUST HAVE options in a soft popup?

Thanks!
 
#3
I've only had one pop-up, a FWC Fleet, but mine has been bombproof. High altitude, low humidity, low altitude, high humidity, cheek-flapping winds, cold weather, hot weather, Gulf Coast rain.....snug as a bug in a rug through everything.

Any recommendations as to what are the MUST HAVE options in a soft popup?
Auxiliary battery connected to the vehicle's alternator or a solar panel
Inverter
Light(s)
Fantastic Fan
Propane heater
 
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#4
What kind of pop up are you looking at?

A Four Wheel Camper is wonderfully waterproof andI have had no flapping issues with my FWC in the short time I have had it. I was out in it during 50 mph winds, nothing other than the buffeting of the wind.

And that gets a passing grade in my book.
 

craig333

Expedition Leader
#5
No wind or water gets through. Cold does buts thats fixable. In the wind it doesn't "flap" but in 50mph winds you're going to know theres weather outside.
 

Regcabguy

Expedition Leader
#6
Zero flap factor with my Northstar. Rain's another deal. No leakage,but the pitter-patter of rain on the roof requires me to break out the earplugs and that's with a rubber roof and plywood. I'm a light sleeper though. My wife wakes up and didn't hear a thing.
 
#7
My FWC is an 81 so obviously it is old and worn. It never flaps or whips in the wind and I have not been worried about the top coming down or off yet. I've had it in desert wind that was bad enough that wearing goggles while outside was a must and I felt very cozy inside of it. Water has to be sitting for it to seep in (again its old) there's no drips or drizzles or anything crazy like that. I think if you buy a product designed for rugged use (phoenix, FWC etc.) you'll be a lot happier than if you pick up something designed for KOA campgrounds and such.


(EDIT: Redcabguy beat me to it LOL) It has nothing to do with campers, but one thing you can do is pack some earplugs. I'm a light sleeper so I always bring a pair of ear plugs just in case the rain, wind, snoring or partying gets too out of hand while I'm trying to catch some sleep :bike_rider:
 

bob91yj

Resident Jackass
#8
I'm in your area, know the conditions you'd most likely put it through. I woken up a time or two when the wind was really howling, but no real flapping with my SunLite pop up camper either. Mine was originally to keep us comfy when desert racing, to make it truly 4 season I added a roof air, it's designed to be run off of a 2kw generator.

Biggest issue we have is with the walls sweating on the inside when the heat is on, enough that sheets will get noticeably wet if they are touching the sides.



 

docdave

Aspiring overlander
#9
My first storm in a pop up was a pleasent suprise.....after sleeping many nights in a tent, I expected some of the same noise. My older Hallmark was relatively quiet, and there was minimal flapping or buffetting noise from the wind.
 
#10
The 23-year-old Four-Seasons brand pop-up has been a pleasant surprise in weather. It's surprisingly quiet and draft-free in the wind. The most rain leakage I've found was a single drop sitting on the ledge next to the velcro window after a horizontal rain storm.
 

ExpoMike

American Adventurist
#11
We have been very happy with our FWC Grandby. Coming from our Kamparoo trailer, which in the wind would buffet, flap and really made it hard to get a good nights sleep, the FWC we don't even notice the wind. Maybe a gentle rock of the whole rig but no real noise. Not even enough to get the dog excited. She did not do well in the Kamparoo.

So far no rain trips but expect it to work great should we catch some.
 
#12
We have been very happy with our FWC Grandby. Coming from our Kamparoo trailer, which in the wind would buffet, flap and really made it hard to get a good nights sleep, the FWC we don't even notice the wind. Maybe a gentle rock of the whole rig but no real noise. Not even enough to get the dog excited. She did not do well in the Kamparoo.
Yep. Although our Technitop RTT wasn't a trailer, it was similar in design and fabric to the Kamparoo. One night in high winds in Colorado helped me quickly realize the vehicle & trailer-based tent fixation might meet ExPo chic / savoir faire criteria but in reality is only suitable, IMO, for specific conditions and climates in which we never camp.
 
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#13
This is good to hear. I was spoiled with my fuly loaded Fleetwood Caribou but it was obviously not good for off road use. My Dodge is our designated Baja/desert/chase vehicle. I have had 3 Callen campers and one is on the truck now which is perfect for my use but I need a few more comforts...ie fridge, stove, storage, ect. Now to decide what brand/model is as tough as a Callen and if I keep the Callen and switch to the popup when needed.
 

craig333

Expedition Leader
#15
Do you have some ventilation going when running the heater in the rain? Pretty much no matter what conditions I"m in I try to have some ventilation going. With the vented heater I rarely see any condensation inside.
 
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