Pop-up campers are becoming increasingly more common these days. They’re more than a tent, but less than a travel trailer. Many people are finding that pop-up campers are the perfect fit for them. They offer several benefits over both tents and travel trailers.
What is a pop-up camper? Chances are, you’ve probably seen one of these things behind a car before:
What are some of the benefits to owning a pop-up camper? There are actually quite a few:
- Smaller – much easier to manage than a full size travel trailer.
- Cheaper – since they’re smaller, they’re also much cheaper than regular travel trailers.
- LIGHTER! This is a huge benefit – instead of buying a massive pickup truck to tow your 10,000 lb. travel trailer, you can use your sedan or minivan!
- Ease of use – Pop-up campers are super-easy to set up and collapse.
- Storage – pop-up campers don’t take up the space in your driveway that normal travel trailers do.
- Weather resistance – Unlike a tent, a pop-up camper shields you from rain and other elements.
Setting up a pop-up camper
Check out this video of the setup process for a pop-up camper. This is actually a very informative video showing a lot of the different features/aspects of pop-up campers.
So thinking about getting one of these? What are the best Here are five great brands of pop-up campers.
As you can see, many of these brands are popular travel trailer manufacturers. Jayco is one of them – they make full-size travel trailers too. They offer two lines of pop-up campers: the Jay Series, a fold-out style camper, and the Jay Series Sport, which is an A-frame style camper. The Jay Series Sport offers a lot of space and convenience for its small size. According to their website, this model features bunk ends rated at 1050-lb., as well as dinettes.
The Jay Series, the fold-out-style camper, also packs tons of value into a very small form factor. Features like a swing-level galley for the kitchen and a carry-out stove, the Jay Series has a lot of conveniences that will make camping comfortable.
Forest River offers two models of pop-up campers – the Flagstaff and the Rockwood. The Flagstaff has floorplans in both the pop-up and the hard side (A-frame) styles. Like other campers, this model features a kitchen with stove, sink, and other essentials, along with spacious seating and dinette. Going for the high wall (pop-up) style will save you a lot of weight over a hard side trailer.
The Rockwood series also offers hard-side and high-wall styles. One unique feature of Forest River campers is the “Add-a-Room” feature, which is an option on all of their high-wall campers. This feature is basically an awning that attaches to your camper and adds another room to your camper. Screens enclose the entire space. This is a cool feature that will give you an extra room that allows you to enjoy the fresh air while still being sheltered from bugs and weather outside.
Livin Lite has a big lineup of pop-up campers. They offer six different models, each with unique style and features. First is the QuickSilver Soft-side Truck Automotive tent camper. This little tent camper fits in the back of your truck! It offers a dinette that converts to a bed, along with a cabinet for storing stuff. This one is available in two sizes – one for full-size trucks, and one for smaller trucks. Next in the Livin Lite lineup are the QuickSilver 6.0, 8.0, and 10.0, named for their length in feet, respectively.
The QuickSilver 6.0 is a small, light trailer – it has a dry weight of only 636 lbs. It comes with outside conveniences like propane stove and table. The QuickSilver 8.0 is a bigger model featuring a stove and sink. And of course, the QuickSilver 10.0 is the larger one. The QuickSilver 18SUT is a sport utility trailer plus a pop-up camper in one. The camper is on the back, and the front of the trailer is a platform to tow your toy. And finally, the QuickSilver XLP is the QuickSilver featuring a full LP furnace. Livin Lite makes it clear on their site that their campers are made out of aluminum instead of wood or steel.
Coachmen has two models of pop-ups: The Clipper and the Viking. Both are standard pop-up campers with extended bunks on each side and dinette, seating, and storage in the middle. Both come with stove, toilet, and shower – a good feature set and a lot of value. Take a 360 virtual tour on their site.
Aliner makes A-frame campers exclusively – and they call themselves the “original A-frame.” They offer six different A-frame models: the Expedition, Classic, Ranger 15, Ranger 12, Ranger 10, and Scout. Looking at their website, Aliners appear to be solidly built to withstand weather and last a long time, but also very lightweight and easy to set up. Their website emphasizes how easy the setup process is. The Expedition is the largest model but still weighs under 2000 lbs. The Classic, their most popular model, is a classic pop-up with microwave, fridge, and lots of storage. The Ranger 15 offers an outside shower and option for a toilet. The Ranger 12 is the middle option, and the Ranger 10 is very small, weighing 1200 lbs. The Scout is the minimal option, “for tent campers who need more than a ten.”
As you can see, there are many different options if you’re looking for a pop-up camper. These are just five brands – there are many more!
So what should you do if you’re in the market? Visit each of these brands’ websites, and research other brands too. Figure out what type of camper you want – A-frame or pop-up. Then decide what size trailer you want, and what features you’d like to have.
Finally, shop around for the brand and model that offer the best value closest to what you’re looking for. In the end, all of these campers are excellent and will serve you well on the road – you just have to find the best one for you.
You might also want to consider a small travel trailer, rather than a pop-up. Check out this post for an overview of the top brands and models!