A pop-up camper can last for many years if it's well-maintained and keeping one up often requires replacement parts. Fortunately, there are plenty of places where you can find both parts and expert assistance locating exactly what you need.
Places to Find New Pop Up Parts
When you're in the market for new parts for your folding trailer, you'll want to purchase from an RV parts retailer or dealer.
Camping World is one of the best places to look for new parts for any kind of RV, pop up or otherwise, with a product mix that includes more than 10,000 items. As a Yelp reviewer states, "Camping world has everything you might ever want for your camper, and other things you don't know you need." You can order online or by telephone (888-626-7576) using the company's website or catalog. Alternatively, you can visit one of the numerous retail locations, which are strategically located throughout the United States, to purchase what you need in person. Each store's service department has knowledgeable employees who can help you locate the specific parts you need, assuming you can provide details about your camper and the type of trouble you are having.
- Most online and phone orders are shipped UPS ground, with rates starting at $11 and varying by weight, though free shipping specials are sometimes available. Express shipping is available for an additional fee, and some items require freight delivery.
- Most products can be returned within 90 days of purchase (though some items have a 30-day return timeframe). Special and custom orders can only be returned if the store made an error.
- Reviews on TrustPilot.com indicate that Camping World provides great service throughout the order and delivery process and that the website is easy to use.
If you'd rather work with an online retailer that specializes solely in parts for folding campers, then Pop-Up Parts is a good option to consider. The entire product mix is focused on the various types of parts that might need replacing on a pop up camper, and it is organized by category. You can quickly and easily click through to look at canvas replacement options, parts for your lift system, cushion cover and more. There is a miscellaneous category for parts that don't quite fit elsewhere. If you need to request assistance determining what parts to order, you can use the online contact form to get in touch with a company representative.
- Orders are generally shipped within three days of online purchase, and items are shipped directly from suppliers. A customer review posted on the company's site indicates that "shipping was fast."
- Shipping costs may vary as they are set by individual suppliers.
- Unused products in additional packaging may be returned though a 15% restocking fee may apply, and it is necessary to contact the company before shipping anything back.
- Delivery of replacement canvases generally takes between three and four months. This is also the case for cushion covers and curtains.
Local RV Dealers
RV dealers that carry pop ups and that also perform service work on them can be a good option for locating parts for pop up campers though there is a good chance that you'll have to special order the parts that you need. That's because a company that focuses primarily on selling RVs isn't likely to have as large of a parts inventory as a camping-focused retail store or online seller. Since RV dealers are typically locally owned, you'll need to look for business in the area where you live or are traveling. Before making a special trip to any dealer, call to find out if they have or can order parts for your model and if there's a parts expert on staff who can help you source what you need.
- The National RV Dealers Association (RVDA) has an online dealer directory that you can use to find RV dealers. You can search by state or look for dealers within a specific mileage range of a zip code.
- You can also use the RV Dealer Map website to locate dealers by state and city. Click the state that you want to check and you'll be directed to a state-specific site. From there, choose a city and you'll get results that show you dealers located there.
- Shipping costs and policies will vary greatly among dealers, so be sure that you are clear on the terms before placing an order. Verify shipping costs, expected delivery time and the return policy, including whether there are time limits or restocking fees for returns.
If you decide that working with a local dealer is your best option, check the company out first. Ensure that they have been in business for a while and check out customer reviews on sites like DealerRater.com and Yelp. Since there are so many places customers can publish reviews online, your best chances of finding out what people are saying about any particular dealer is to do a search for the dealership name along with the word 'review' or the phrase 'customer review.' It's also a good idea to check to see negative reports about the company have been filed with the Better Business Bureau.
Places to Find Second Hand Parts
Finding second hand parts can be a bit more tricky than purchasing new ones, but it is possible. There are no guarantees that you'll be able to find what you need this way, but it may be worth a try!
- Camper salvage yards: RVs get damaged and end up in salvage yards, just like cars do. If you can locate a camper salvage yard in your local area or throughout your travels, you may be fortunate enough to find parts that meet your needs there. If you can't find an RV-specific salvage operation, try calling the automotive junkyards in your area. They just might have a few damaged pop ups hidden in the back, or know who does. Chances are you'll have to show up with your tools to scavenge parts, if you're lucky enough to find a place that has a unit similar enough to yours in stock for you to use.
- Salvage/used parts dealers: While businesses that specialize in selling used RV parts are few and far between, there are a few resources available. For example, Canada-based W.K.S. specializes in salvaging parts from folding campers all the way back to 1967 models. RVers Corner has compiled a list with a few options you can check. They include resources from a number of states, so you can narrow the options down to locations within a feasible distance for you to travel. Of course, call first to see if there's any chance that they have the parts you need. If they don't, ask for other suggestions, as chances are, that personnel are familiar with other resources for second hand parts.
- RV forums: Forums that cater to the interests of RV enthusiasts can be a good way to get ideas from others who may have tips to share. There are a few pop up camper-specific forums where you can post questions about what you are looking for, including PopUp Explorer and PopUpPortal. Also, consider posting your inquiries in general RV forums to cast a wider net. For example, ArveeClub.com is an online community for all small RV owners, so you may encounter different people there who might have helpful information. If you have an older pop up model, forums focused on vintage RVs could be helpful to you. A few examples to consider are Vintage Trailer Talk and Good Old RVs.
- RV Restoration specialists: Companies that specialize in restoring vintage RVs can be good resources for finding the parts that you need. Classic Coach Works in Florida is one example. In some cases, these kinds of companies may even be able to provide custom parts manufacturing as an alternative to continuing to struggle to locate parts that have been out of production for a long time.
- 'Parts wanted' ad: If you're looking for a really hard-to-find second hand part, it may be worth spending a little money to place a wanted ad on a highly trafficked RV website. RVOnline.com has what they call a "private party WANTED" page. Ads are fee-based, and you'll need to use the email contact link on the site to find out exactly how much it would cost to place your ad.
Finding What You Need
Depending on how old your pop up camper is and exactly what parts you are looking for, you may be able to find what you need quickly and easily or it may take quite a bit of time. The key to locating the parts you need is to be very specific in your requests and be diligent in hunting down quality resources. With effort to build a list of parts suppliers that you can turn to time and time again, your folding trailer can serve you well for many years (or even decades!) of travel to come.