With the explosion of RV camping in America, campground sites are at an all-time premium and while it can be nice to have all the luxuries of home while enjoying the great outdoors, larger RV campers often limit your options when it comes to choosing a campsite. With its compact build and ease of maneuvering, pop-up campers make a great choice for the weekend warrior or smaller-sized family looking to get into tight campsites. If you are looking for a step up from your tent camping or maybe downgrade to something easier to get into tight camping spots, check out our top picks for the best pop-up campers on the market and see why they are the best option for your camping style.
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Recreational vehicles come in shapes and sizes, each uniquely designed for a particular function and camping lifestyle. From Class A motorhomes to fifth wheels, toy haulers, and pop-up campers, the list goes on and on.
We’ve specifically dedicated this article to discussing anything and everything you need to know forn buying the best pop-up campers on the market so make sure you stick around!
What Is A Pop-Up Camper?
A pop-up camper or a tent trailer is a type of recreational vehicle that can be collapsed into a smaller and more portable size for easy transport and storage when you’re on the road.
When fully set up, a typical pop-up can provide enough space for 3 mattresses and sometimes come with a small bathroom, kitchen sink, and a dining area.
Compared to other camping trailers, it is more lightweight making it easier to tow, and is a cheaper alternative.
Pros And Cons Of A Pop Up Camper
Pop-ups have many advantages, that’s why a lot of campers love to bring them on their camping trips. Here are the benefits and flop sides of getting a pop camper for camping.
- Compact size and more lightweight than other travel trailers
- Can be towed easily
- More affordable and cheaper to maintain
- Features like bathrooms, AC, fridge, the kitchen sink can fit inside
- Easy to tow and you can hook it up to so many kids of vehicles
- They can go to more areas where larger trailers aren’t allowed
- A space to keep you warm on colder days and can be adjusted to keep you cool during the summer
- More accessible to wider groups of people or campers.
- You’ll need to exert effort when setting it up.
- Larger pop-ups can be a bit expensive
- Features like bathrooms or kitchen sinks or stoves are often reserved for the larger pop-ups.
- Low-end pop-up campers are not enough to protect you against external elements like animals lurking around.
What Are The Types OF Pop-Ups?
Depending on your camping needs there are different types of pop-up campers. Listed below are the types of pop-up campers and their features.
- Standard ten trailer- A tent trailer featuring a side that pops up to create more space for the trailer.
- High wall pop-ups- It is built with higher sidewalls fit for residential height countertops and typically features a larger space.
- Toy hauler pop-ups- It comes with an open cargo deck for transporting ATVs and alike
- A-Frame- It has a smaller size compared to the others but is more durable and easier to set up.
- Flip out camper- Its roof transforms into a bunk when flipped and uses a tent roof in place of a hard roof.
- Inflatable trailer-When setting up, you’ll need to put compressed air into the sidewalls and its roof
- Road pop-up campers- it is built with a more rugged design and features a raised suspension.
What Are Things To Consider Before Buying A Pop-Up Camper?
When buying or renting a pop-up camper there are many things to consider. Keep this checklist on hand so you’re sure to get the best pop-up campers on the market that are suited for your needs.
Think about how much space you need. if you’re bringing the whole family it’s much better to choose a pop-up that can accommodate a bigger number of people and have an area for the necessities as well. More space means more freedom to move around and let loose.
Weight and Size
The towing capacity of your RVs is one thing to remember when buying a pop-up camper. Make sure that you’re choosing a pop-up that your vehicle can tow or else you’ll encounter problems on the road. Larger vehicles like SUVs will typically have no problem towing any kind of pop-up campers but for smaller vehicles like minivans, your choices might be a little bit limited. Small pop-up campers can weigh about 1500 pounds and the larger types can weigh up to 3000 pounds. Check your vehicle’s manual or research the towing capacity of the vehicles that you’re going to use.
To make camping more comfortable, make sure you know what you need. Specifically, the amenities that you want inside your pop-up campers. If you do not do well on extra cold or hot days then a pop-up camper with an AC or heater would be good.
Take note that amenities like your AC will need electricity to work so make sure that there is a power hook up on the site or if none, it’s good to pack RV generators.
Most of the time bathrooms and kitchen amenities can be seen in larger pop-up campers, so if you don’t mind spending more cash on your pop-ups then you can choose the larger option.
Materials And Construction
When buying a used pop-up camper, hard elements that make up the pop-up camper should be in good condition and are free from corrosion or damages. This goes the same with the canvas material, it should be durable and are damage-free.
Lift System is Working Correctly
A pop-up camper wouldn’t be complete without its “pop-up” feature. Checking if the lift system is working properly is needed especially when buying a USED pop-up camper. Malfunction in this system can cost you a lot so be sure to check this feature.
Related Reading: Best Campgrounds in Tennessee
What Are The Best Pop-Up Campers?
Now that you know more about pop-up campers, it’s now time to take a look at the best pop-up campers on the market and see for yourself why they are the best!
Forest River Flagstaff Pop up Campers
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW): 2014-2700 pounds
- Hitch weight: 222 to 372 lbs
- Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC): 653 lbs – 1387 lbs
- Box Size: 12’ -14.00′
- Exterior Width: 84″
- 12 Volt Water Pump
- Power Roof Lift
- Residential Flush Toilet In Cabinet
- 2.5 Cubic Foot 3 Way Refrigerator
- LED Ceiling Lights
- Interior Floor Lights
- Automatic Gas Regulator
View Full specs & features: Forest River
Average Price: starting at $10,000.00
Forest River is widely recognized for manufacturing campers that are high class and suited for every camping style. The series includes Hard side and Hard side high wall pop-up campers and is available with 7-floor plans.
If you’re searching for comfortable pop-up campers you’ll enjoy staying in one of these campers. It includes standard features like a 12 Volt Water Pump, Hot Water Pkg w/ Outside Shower, kitchen stoves perfect for making your camping meals, a microwave, led ceiling lights & Interior Floor Lights and a lot more. And what’s nice about this series is that unlike the canvass sides seen on most pop-up campers, it has hard wall sides that offer more security and privacy from your neighboring campers.
Some awesome features amenities such as Shower/Cassette Toilet, Extra Large 3 Way Refrigerator, and Port-A-Potty can be seen on models like the T21DMHW and T21TBHW.
Sylvansport Go Pop Up Camper
- Dry Weight: 840 lbs
- Carrying Capacity: 810 lbs
- Hitch: 1-1/4″ or 2″ receiver
- Travel Dimensions (LxWxH): 140″ x 75″ x 52″
- Camping Dimension (LxW): 154″x 124
- Waterproof camping gear storage
- Cast aluminum wheels
- four corners mounted stabilizer jacks
- tool-free removal converts to open utility trailer
- PU waterproof coating
- 3-way door and windows
Average Cost: $9,995
The Sylvansport Go Pop Up Camper is perfect for both seasoned and newbie campers. This camper is made from quality materials such as aluminum that is known to be lightweight yet durable enough for camping. It has fully taped seams, self-healing zippers, and is made from waterproof materials designed to withstand extreme weather conditions.
What makes this pop-up camper stand out from the rest is its exterior pod design that is truly unique and also its best selling point.
Although it seems very small at first glance, do not be deceived as it has a sleeping capacity of 4 with different sleeping layouts to choose from, like converting the dining area in the middle into a comfy bed. The bed has insulating platforms that work excellently during colder days when camping clothes and jackets aren’t enough to keep you warm.
Sylvansport Go is one versatile camper, aside from being an excellent shelter for camping, the roof rack is ideal for holding your gears and equipment like surfboards, bikes, and paddleboards. It can also transform into a utility trailer for traveling heavy/large appliances or equipment.
Coachman Clipper Classic
- Hitch Weight:296 lb.
- GVWR:3296 lb
- UVW2840 lb.CCC456 lb.
- Box Size12.00′
- Exterior Open Length:23′ 5″
- Exterior Closed Height:4′ 7″
- Exterior Closed Length:19′ 0″
- Exterior Width:85
- E-Coated Tubular Steel Frame
- Dual Drive Winch
- Heavy Duty Tongue Jack – w/Wheel
- Wide Trac Ultra Lube Spring Axle
- Goshen Lift System
- 100% Adhesion Residential Grade Linoleum
- Residential Laminated Countertops
- Bathroom Package
- DSI 6-Gallon Water Heater w/ Outside Spray-away w/Quick Connect
For complete specifications & Features visit Coachmen
The Coachman Clipper Classic is the perfect choice for camping families and larger groups due to its spacious interior which has a sleeping capacity of up to 7 people.
Knowing that it can fit several people inside, the largest model can be quite heavy. Make sure that you have a vehicle powerful enough to tow this awesome pop-up camper. Some smaller models are fit for smaller vehicles and smaller camping families.
It is packed with amenities like a toilet, shower, fridge, furnace, and anything you might need to make camping extra comfortable for the whole family.
Air Opus 4
- Dimensions (Lid Closed): 18’4” x 6’10” (with spare wheel)
- Dimension (Lid Open): 21’4” x 6’10”
- Ground Clearance: 12.4’
- Ride Height: 4’ 9”
- Trailer Dry Weight: 2870lbs
- GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating): 3970lbs
- Load Capacity: 1100lbs
- Spacious interior
- Articulating hitch sits
- External fridge
- Slide-out stainless steel kitchen
- Inflatable Tent
- Galvanized steel chassis
- Twin shock absorbers
- Trailing arm independent suspension
The Air Opus 4 features an upgraded chassis and off-road-ready tires that are perfect for various kinds of terrains. Thanks to its AIR-inflated technology, this tough pop-up camper has a surprisingly large spacious interior and can accommodate up to 6 people. And if you enjoy cooking on camp, you’ll enjoy its full kitchen features where everything is within arm’s reach.
Another amazing thing about the Air Opus 4 is that you won’t have to exert so much effort to set it up since it’s almost automatic, all you have to do is open & secure the bed ends then switch it on and let the tent inflate in under 2 minutes only. That’s super easy!
Both the external and internal walls of this pop-up are constructed from Aluminium Dibond making its walls durable and lightweight. Between its external and internal Dibond walls sits a 20mm thick sheet of Polystyrene for insulation.
Aside from its 8-foot ceilings, this camper has multiple windows found on its sides, ends, and ceiling so you can still see the great view that surrounds you.
Quicksilver 8.0 by Livin’ Lite
- Overall Length (travel): 12′ – 0”
- Overall Length (open): 16′ 2″
- Overall Width: 7′ – 0”
- Box Size: 7’W x 8’L
- GVWR : 1500 lbs.
- Dry Weight : 865 lbs.
- Load Carrying capacity: 635 lbs.
- Hitch Weight: 150 lbs.
- Kitchen base
- Storage compartment/ TV stand
- Two spacious queen beds
- Electrical hook-ups
- Easy zip-down window shades and screens
The Quicksilver line of automotive campers by Livin’ Lite is made of aluminum making it super lightweight for easy towing and camping. It is light enough to be towed by smaller vehicles like cars and minivans and is fuel-efficient as well. It was designed to be family-friendly most especially with young families who want to take their kids to camp.
Staying within budget is not a problem since these pop-up campers are affordable compared to other campers on the market. Quicksilver offers several colors to choose from and is highlighted by diamond-plated aluminum fronts and trims.
It is very durable thanks to its all-aluminum and composite construction which is inspired by the aluminum structure which is popular in the aerospace industry.
What is more amazing about the Quicksilver 8.0 is that it is the only camper in its class that can fit in 6 people while still sleeping comfortably.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do pop-up campers leak when it rains?
Ideally No, it should not leak given that your pop-up campers are in good condition. Holes or tears on the roof or walls can lead to leakage. Some older models of pop-up campers can be prone to leakage so make sure you always check for these signs when buying or renting one.
Are pop-up campers insulated?
You can only expect basic insulation when it comes to pop-up campers so it’s better to use it in warmer states like Florida or use it during warmer seasons. But there are some ways you can improve insulation on these campers. You can use portable heaters, insulated beds, or mattresses to keep you warm on colder days. You can also use Reflectix Inserts which is a type of insulation material that you can put on your pop-up camper windows.
Are pop-up campers safe in lightning?
Pop-up campers are not a safe place during lightning storms mainly because it is made up of fabric like materials. But if a pop-up camper is the only option you have, make sure your camper is nowhere near a powerline or metal structures where lightning can strike. As much as possible do not touch anything that is metal inside the campers while a lightning storm is happening.
How long do pop-up campers last?
Pop-up campers tend to last for about 10 to 15 years. But with great care and maintenance, some people claim that they have used their campers for more than 15 years already!
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