Question on Set up

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by chadster, May 14, 2018.

  1. chadster

    chadster Member

    Mar 12, 2018
    We are taking our new to us pop up out for the first time this weekend. And I have been reading about setting up and take down at the campground. One piece that is confusing me are the jacks/stabilizers on each corner of the trailer. When do I put those down and up?

    based off what I have read it seems when I get to campsite, and am still hooked up to vehicle level trailer side to side. un hitch, level front to back, and then raise roof. Is this when I want to do the jacks/stabilizers before I pull the beds out?
  2. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    Do you have the manual for your popup? That is what I would go by as every camper is different. My old camper it was put down before the roof and my current camper it goes down after. I'd rather go by what the manufacturer intended.
    Robert a likes this.
  3. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    Here is the order that I go in:

    1 - level the pup side-to-side.
    2 - Unhitch pup.
    3 - Level front to back.
    4 - Lower stabilizers.

    Here is my full checklist:

    Hitch - Unhook the camper
    1) Level the camper (side to side). (An unlevel pup will cause damage to the fridge.)
    2) After leveling, chock both tires to keep the camper in place.
    3) Unlock the hitch coupler (from the ball).
    4) Unhook safety chains and unplug wiring.
    5) Reattach dolly wheel to the dolly jack.
    6) Crank dolly jack down to remove trailer from the ball.
    7) Pull tow vehicle away from the camper so the beds will have room to slide out.

    Jacks - Stabilize the camper
    8) Use the dolly jack to level the camper front to back.
    9) Crank-down the corner stabilizing jacks until they hit the ground. Give one extra turn to make the jacks snug against the ground. (Do not lift the tires off the ground with the stabilizing jacks. Do not use the stabilizers to level the pup.)

    Hook-ups - Hook up power and water
    10) Plug in camper to a 110V outlet, if available.
    11) Hook up water hose to spigot if pressure water is available & use the pressure regulator.
    12) Unplug sink water drain cap.

    Roof - Crank up the roof
    13) Unlatch four corner latches.
    14) Lift roof approximately 12 inches. Place Pup Up Gizmos on bunk ends.
    15) Use toggle on power lift until height indicator cable (green or red cable in the front corner of the box/attached to roof) becomes taut. (Do not over-crank!)
    16) Place the (2) lifter-arm safety supports in place (opposite corners).

    Beds & Poles - Pull out the beds
    17) Position bed support poles in their appropriate brackets (on the frame and box rim).
    18) Pull bed out from the camper box (the slide hits a stop when the bed is out all the way).

    Canvas - velcro everywhere!
    19) Place side canvas flap around bed corner and attach velcro under the bunk where appropriate. Place second flap of canvas over the first flap to seal corner.
    20) Attach velcro at the corner and up the side (where the lifter-arms are).

    Galley - Lift galley into place
    21) Inside the camper, pull galley into upright position.
    22) Locate water pump switch (typically near the power converter) and turn the water pump on (if the campsite does not have pressure water).

    Bed Bows - Set up the bunk ends
    23) A. From under the bed, take the rafter (sheppard) pole and place the long end into the bed bow bracket. Push bed bow into place and hook the short end of the rafter (sheppard) pole into the roof hook.

    Dinette - Set up the table
    24) The dinette table can serve as a bunk or a dinette table. On some models the table legs are free-standing; other models use pedestal legs.

    Door - Set the door in place
    1-piece door
    25) Remove or use hold-back to retain lower door (travel door).
    26) Turn clip holding bottom of the 1-piece door 90 degrees to release from the ceiling bracket.
    27) Unsnap the two straps holding the door to the ceiling.
    28) Lower door into place and turn 6 latches (2 at the top, 4 below).
    29) velcro the sides to seal.

    On the furnace thermostat (usually located on the galley cabinet or under a sofa/gaucho (if applicable), set your temperature control to your desired temp with the top slide-control. You must have at least 12V power for the heater to work. The furnace will cycle on and off automatically until you slide the top slide-control all the way to the left to the "Off" position. Warning: The furnace fan will drain the battery if you are not plugged in to shore power.
    Grill (if applicable)
    1) Place grill rack on the exterior rail on the side of the trailer.
    2) Place grill on the rack (certain grill models use pins to hold the grill to the rack).
    3) Open hatch and pull grill hose from the side of the camper.
    4) On grill hose, pull quick-connect coupler ring backward to allow the hose to be inserted onto the grill's quick-connect fitting.
    5) Slide ring up towards the grill and then turn the safety in line to permit the flow of gas. Grill must be re-lit for each use.

    1) On the fridge vent (outside of the camper) turn the two black turn-screws 90 degrees to remove the fridge vent(s).
    2) For 110V operation turn the green switch to "On." and set the 110V control knob (1-7, 7 is the most powerful)
    3) For propane operation turn the propane control to "High."
    To light fridge:
    Push and hold the gray propane control while pushing the red igniter button at the same time.
    Push the red igniter button in two or three-push bursts for maximum effectiveness (keep holding down the gray propane control knob).
    Look for the blue flame at the bottom of the flue (the right-hand side of the fridge vent compartment); moving the metal shroud to get a better look may be necessary.
    Once the flame is visible, keep holding down the propane control knob for 10-15 seconds to allow the thermocouple to heat up. After that, if you let go of the knob and the flame stays on, you've lit the fridge properly!
    Set the control knob (High, Medium, or Low.)
    On the 2.5 cu.ft. fridge, the propane controls are separated into two knobs: one to control the flame (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) and one to turn on/off/start the propane. For this fridge, hold down the on/off/start knob (with the red dot) to light the fridge on propane.
    The refrigerator can be run in three different modes - Propane, electric and 12 volt. Fridge must only be operated in one mode at a time. Make sure other modes are turned off.
    Electric mode should be used when hooked up to electricity.
    Propane mode should be used when electric hookups are not available.
    12 volt should only be used when camper is being transported.
    Tear-Down Tips
    Folding down a camping trailer is relatively straight-forward. Just follow the set-up instructions in reverse. There are a few things that will be different during tear-down, though, so here's some tips:
    Remove the (2) lifter-arm safety supports and place under mattress.
    Before tear-down, make sure the lights are off, the water pump switch is turned off and any water pressure that was built up in the water lines is relieved by opening a faucet until all water pressure is gone.
    Most important tip when folding down a camper: DO NOT push the beds in if the roof is not up all the way (if the roof is down partially the canvas will be slack; the canvas could then get in the way of the bed slides as they are pushed in and the canvas can be torn--make sure the roof is up all the way before pushing in the beds!)
    Crank the roof down until about a foot gap remains. Push in the canvas all around the perimeter of the box. Crank down again until the roof stops falling. There will still be a small gap because the canvas and mattresses are holding up the roof. Use this opportunity to make sure all canvas is tucked into the box and then push down on the roof to latch it down.
  4. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    Macomb County Michigan
    The owners manual for your camper says this:

  5. myride

    myride Well-Known Member

    May 14, 2015
    Edmonton, AB
    Best to go by manufacturers recommendation. My Coleman is level.....roof up....stabs down....beds out.
  6. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2011
    Macomb County Michigan
    oh and btw, the manual is available under the resources section of the portal.
  7. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2016
    King George, Virginia
    I usually back-in and leave the hitch hooked. I find my five 2x6 boards I put under my jacks and get them in place and lower down the jacks to the top of my 2x6 boards... Once I get the boards setup on the ground I jack up off the truck hitch

    My setup requires I be level from front to back of the trailer otherwise my trailer door will not be square inside the door frame and will not open easily. I also want the side to side to favor the back side so that water running off the trailer roof from rain or the air conditioner goes on the back side of the trailer and not down onto the patio area.

    It probably doesn't make any difference when you unhook from the truck but since you have to raise the trailer a couple of inches to clear the hitch maybe do that first so you won't have to re-level again perhaps...

    Roy ken
  8. bobinfleet

    bobinfleet Active Member

    Sep 2, 2011
    Hampshire UK
    WOW, and you still have time to camp?
  9. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    [LOL] I have this for when my son wants to use it. He does't have a lot of experience with it.
    Sassafras and myride like this.
  10. bobinfleet

    bobinfleet Active Member

    Sep 2, 2011
    Hampshire UK
    As they say, better safe than sorry
  11. chadster

    chadster Member

    Mar 12, 2018
    Thank you everyone for the great feedback. This is why I love this site. I am so excited to get my 4 year old boy, and 1 year daughter out camping as a family with my wife and I. Lots of memories are going to be made.

    @BikeNFish thanks for the info on fridge and heater as these where questions I was having also. I just hope our heater works, when we bought the trailer it was too hot outside to get it to kick on, so I am going to try in the driveway, but also packing a personal heater since our first trip we will have full hookups and the low temps are currently at 40 degrees. can't risk the little ones getting cold.

    @eoleson1 thanks for the info on the manual. When I bought it the manual was long gone. Guess what I am printing right now!
    BikeNFish and eoleson1 like this.
  12. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    I Have made the mistake of putting the Stabs down first and half way thro raising the roof I could feel it working harder than normal and remembered the Stabs were down so I put them up and was surprised at the difference it made. So I wont do that again.
  13. dirkdabass

    dirkdabass Member

    Jul 11, 2015
    New Jersey
    Your owners manual should always rule, but my own rule about stabilizers is "Last down/First up.
  14. DJS12354

    DJS12354 Well-Known Member

    My owner's manual (2006 Starcraft) goes:
    1. Level front to rear, side to side
    2. Raise roof, set door
    3. Stabs down
  15. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

    Sep 28, 2011
    Santa Clarita, California
    same here. Stabs down after roof is up and before roof goes down, stabs up.
  16. tdiller

    tdiller Active Member

    Aug 25, 2016
    Level side to side, chock the wheels, unhitch, level front to back, put down stab jacks.
  17. drgiese

    drgiese Active Member

    Aug 6, 2016
    Northern California
    Thanks, BikeNFish! As usual, you're full of great information. I'm going to save this (and adjust it slightly) and print it out in case I -1- loan it out to friends (unlikely), or -2- forget (much more likely).
    KamperKel and BikeNFish like this.
  18. Ricko19

    Ricko19 Member

    May 9, 2018
    Great info here! I compiled my checklist from this post and my owners manual.

    Tomorrow will be my first real test!
  19. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    Good luck! (Although you shouldn't need luck if you are prepared.)

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