Directionally Challenged! - And Other Pop Up Bedding Lessons

Pop up camper bedding can be a challenge but it doesn't have to spoil your sleep.

One question I get regularly is about what direction we sleep in our pop up.  There isn't really a right or wrong answer to this question.  It comes down to how big your beds are and how tall each person is that is sleeping in the bunk ends.  After all, size does matter!

First, I am going to tell you that we never slept in the direction that you see those pillows arranged!  I simply like this look and being able to see my pillows.  I suppose that photo is deceptive that way, but there was no way for us to sleep with our feet facing into our pop up.  Peggy Sue is a tiny pop up with RV size full beds.  My husband is 6' 4" tall.  So, that is a deal breaker.

Approximate pop-up camper bedding sizes.

How big are your bunk ends?

If you have big bunk ends or smaller people occupying your beds, you will have more flexibility.  King size beds may allow you to sleep with your feet facing to the interior of the pop-up.   Sleeping in this direction would keep one person from crawling over another when getting up and down.  This would especially work well for small children in just about any size pop up.  It would be the optimal arrangement for sleeping.

I recommend taking your largest bunk (if you have different sized bunks on each end) and making it available for your shortest campers.  They could have a "feet in" option for added comfort.  So, size up your crew to make some sleeping arrangements for everyone.

Our son always slept on the outside.

Sleeping Habits

So what if you have small bunk ends and you can't sleep with your feet facing inward?  Well, you are going to be sleeping parallel to the box and one crawling over the other.  This is how we slept in our pop up camper.  Size can decide your sleeping arrangements for you.  Small beds require you to consider sleeping habits in your arrangements.

I found that whoever goes to bed first should sleep to the outside of bunk end.  The person coming to bed last can sleep to the interior of the camper.  While this seems like common sense, some people have a spot they like to sleep in.  In a camper, it is best for everyone to let go of these type of requirements.  Small spaces are never going to accommodate every single want, wish or quirk that we have.  It comes down to compromise.

Getting In and Out of Bed

If you are crawling in and out of bed, be sensitive to whoever you are crawling over.  Try to get out of bed by working your way over the other person's legs and feet.  Try to be considerate of your bedmate.

Crawl out of bed gently and quietly.  It may feel like a contortionist act, but think of it as part of the charm!  Seriously.  Is a routine of bunk end gymnastics the worst part of your day?  Make a game out of it to get out of bed the quietest and most gently.  Even get your kids in on the act to try not to disturb others.

Being considerate of others in a pop up makes everything better!

What's The Rush to Get Up

And, if your bedmate is still sleeping, you could linger in bed and read.  Take the time to rest if you can and your bladder isn't calling.  After all, you are camping.  What else do you really have to do?  Having an excuse to stay in bed a little longer is kind of nice.

Make your beds before you leave.  You can walk around your beds to make them up outside of your camper.  This was a game changer for me!

Make Your Beds Before Leaving

It took me to the end of our journey with Peggy Sue to discover this trick.  Pop up your camper the day before you leave or so.  Pull out your bunk ends.  You don't even have to get inside.  Make your beds while standing outdoors.  You can walk around and get all of your bedding put on and tucked in.  Push your beds back in and crank down.  When you get to the campground, you have one less thing to do.  And, it is so much easier to make your beds this way rather than crawling around inside!

I organize everything while packing up and use space bags for some items before ever leaving the campground!

At home, I finish packing into space bags.  It makes a big difference in space and laundry freshness when we actually use our items!

Store Your Bedding in Space Saver Bags

I use Space Saver Bags to store all of my bedding and towels for our camper.  It serves more than one purpose.  For starters, it saves a ton of space!  Secondly, it keeps everything smelling nice and fresh.  Nothing smells moldy or musty.  At the campground, I toss in pillows or anything that I'm not going to wash.  These items are sealed at the campground.  For items that I'm washing, I pack them into bags once I have laundered everything at home.

You can get bags that require a vacuum to seal, a manual pump or that you squeeze the air out.  I have found that the little extra time to do this makes a huge difference!

I don't think having a pop-up camper and crawling over one another from time to time is a deal breaker.  If you are still shopping for a camper, maybe consider bunk ends that are larger.  It could possibly make a difference in your sleeping arrangements.  But, if you are stuck with whatever layout you have, embrace it.  Cuddle up.  Sleep close and enjoy that time together.  A cozy camper can be fun and charming.  We slept beautifully in Peggy Sue for nearly 3 years.  

Shift your focus to making your beds the most comfortable that you can make them.  This will make more of a difference than the direction you sleep.  We made our beds really comfy with a few simple steps.  Selecting the right bedding will prove to be much more beneficial than the direction you lay your head in the end.  We found that waking up rested is the most important thing.

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  1. Our pop-up's beds are a narrow full, only 4 feet wide. It's a tight squeeze for sure and it we didn't like the smaller box size so much (our camper fits in the garage) we would probably upgrade.

    1. I agree. Size matters in so many different ways.

  2. Love reading all of these past posts!

  3. Oh my gosh! I would have never thought about making up the bed like that before we leave! What a great tip! Thank you!!!

    1. So glad that you found this to be helpful. I wish we had started doing this much earlier on in our pop up camper experience. Thanks for reading!

  4. My hubby and I grew up camping and after being married over 25 years we have finally invested in our own RV. Thanks for all the amazing tips and info!

    1. That is great! I hope you enjoy this journey together! Congrats and have a great time!

  5. I always make our beds this way before we leave home. It's much nicer to be able to have more free time than making the beds after you get there. Being short (5'2) making the bed on the outside of the camper also is beneficial to me. Happy camping everyone!!

    1. So glad to hear that this works for you as well! Hope you have a wonderful camping season!

  6. Love love love your style which is reflected in your website, too!! My question is…where do you store your ss bags? Do you leave them in the PUP or bring inside? All the time or just when wintering?

    1. This is a great question! I put the SS bags into a large tub that fit in the pop up while it was closed. During the winter I added some Fresh Cab rodent repellant. And, we never had issues.


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