How To Pop Up Camper Without Crank (4 Ways to Do)

Popup campers are great for well, camping. Why? Because it doesn’t have a full-on structure and can be cranked up and down when needed. As it doesn’t have a full structure, it doesn’t take up much space, is convenient to move, and gives you a living on a tent vibe.

The main equipment required for a pop-up camper is the crank. You use it to rise the camper, and also deflate it again. But if you forget the crank at home, you are at a loss. How to pop up a camper without a crank, is the question now.

Well, you can use other tools like a galvanized pipe, wrench, screwdriver wrench combo, or even a drill machine.  And if you are not around any of these, you can also raise it by pulling it with sheer body strength. 

We are going to talk all about it today and guide you through every tool process. 

how to pop up camper without crank

Different Tools To Pop Up Camper Without A Crank

Although you don’t have the crank with you to lift the camper, you can do it with other tools. And most of them can be found in your vehicle’s toolbox. 

1. Using A Galvanized Pipe And Wrench

The first tool set alternative would be the galvanized pipe and wrench. You will find these at any campsite. Simply place the pipe in your camper’s crankshaft. Then use the wrench to hold the pipe tightly and rotate. Like a crankshaft. You’ll see the camper is getting lifted. 

2. Using Screwdriver Wrench Combo

Every car and camper has a toolbox. And there will always be a screwdriver and wrench. These two can help you get your camper to pop up. Simply place the wrenches around the side to the crankshaft and insert a screwdriver on the other end. Now you have a crank and start cranking your camper. 

3. Using A Drill Machine And Socket Genie

Another way you can crank up the camper is by using a drill machine and socket genie. It’s the most efficient way to crank your camper. Change your drill machine head to socket genie. Then place it into the crankshaft of the camper. And crank away. 

4. Sheer Physical Strength

Some pop-up campers give you the option to be put up manually without a crank. To know if your camper has that option, you can check your camper manual or search for it on the internet.

Then proceed on on pulling it up. Release the latches and locks, and start with the camper’s top part. When it is up, secure the supports and stabilizers. Then deploy the canvas and awnings. When all the part is done, put up the interior components in place.

Mind you, this process needs two extra pair of hands. As it requires physical labor, best you do it with a friend. 

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers – FAQs

Can you leave a pop-up camper up?

Pop-up campers are made out of canvas. They are soft and durable at the same time. As there is no metal outer part, leaving it up will accumulate dust, and debris, and be a home for insects and other animals. So if you value its longevity, you should not leave it up. 

What are disadvantages of a pop-up camper?

Limited space, storage, and no AC or other amenities are the main disadvantages of a pop-up camper. A pop-up camper is good for a few day’s outing, not for comfortable living like your home.  

Do so pop up campers have AC?

No. There is no AC or heater in a pop-up camper. You can use a portable fan or AC if you want. 


Without a crank, it’s going to be really hard to put up your camper. So best you double-check before leaving the house if you have packed it with you. Also, don’t rush with any of the process. You might injure yourself or damage the camper’s camshaft. So be careful. 

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