How to Find the Best Pop-Up Camper

You love getting out and exploring, traveling and camping, and you always feel the call of outdoor adventure. However, you might be at a crossroads when it comes to choosing your next, or your first, recreational vehicle. If you like the idea of having some of the comforts of home when you are out exploring, you might want to consider an RV. Keep in mind that RVs are available in many styles and sizes.

What Is a Pop-Up Camper and Why Are They Popular?

One of the fun and convenient options that you might want to consider is a pop-up camper. Some of the other names for these campers include fold out campers and tent trailers. These are very popular with campers because of their size. You do not need to have a large vehicle that can haul around a humongous trailer, and you don’t need to worry about being behind the wheel of something unwieldy. You will find that the pop-up campers are small, and can fold down into an even smaller space that will be easy to tow.

Because they are smaller, you will likely be able to tow them with your own vehicle rather than needing to get a larger and more powerful car or truck. Of course, this will be dependent on the size of your current vehicle. The cost of the pop-up campers is yet another benefit. Because they are smaller, they will typically cost a fraction of what a full-size RV or a 5th wheel RV might cost. Even when you add other features and accessories to the RV, it will still be affordable for many people. Speaking of the options, there is a range of choices available, which we will discuss later in the post.

pop up campers

The pop-up campers are easy to use. You can set them up and take them down in a matter of minutes. In fact, it is even easier than setting up a tent, and you can be sure that it will provide you with a lot more comfortable than sleeping in a tent. You will have protection from the elements and curious critters that you probably don’t want to deal with.

They are highly portable, and they happen to be easy to store. You will need to have far less space available for storage if you are going to be using a pop-up camper than you would need if you were choosing a full-size RV. You will essentially have all of the safety and protection of RV camping, but you will have the versatility of camping with a tent. In addition, you can find a range of styles and options available with pop-up tents. Finding something that will work for you should be possible.

These pop-up campers are a fantastic option. However, you are probably wondering just what you need to think about when you are buying one of these campers. After all, you want to be sure it is the right choice for your needs. The following will help you to learn more about what you need to know and to make sure you are getting the right one.

How Much Space Do You Really Need?

Jaysport pop up camper

This is the first thing that you will want to consider when you are looking at the pop-up campers on the market. These campers, though they are small, can sleep more than one person. Some of them may even be able to sleep a small family. However, you do have to realize that you will have limited space when compared with a traditional RV or a 5th wheel RV. There is not enough space to run around in the camper, and it will mainly be used for sleeping, and perhaps cooking depending on the features you choose. If you need to have more space, a pop-up camper might not be the best fit for you.

How Important Are AC and Heating?

Many of the campers that are on the market today will not have any heating or cooling due to their size. While there might be some additional features that you can add, they are not as common. Therefore, you will need to be comfortable sleeping and spending time in the camper without having any AC or heating. In some locations, this might be very difficult. This is particularly true if you are camping in weather where it tends to get extremely cold. The walls of the sleeping area are made from canvas, and that does not provide you with much insulation or protection.

However, it is possible to buy a portable heater, as well as fans and portable AC units, as long as you have a means of powering them. These could help you to keep the temperatures more in line with what makes you comfortable.

Those who love tent camping and who do not mind the weather will love the benefits the pop-up camper adds over a regular tent. The temperature and the lack of AC and heating are not likely to bother those who like tent camping.

The Jay Sport is a great option for those who want a pop-up with a few extras but without AC and heat.


Pop-up Camper

Do You Need a Shower or a Toilet?

Even though the pop-up campers are small and compact, some of them will have a shower and a toilet available in the unit. If you are camping in an area where you will not have access to toilets and showers, then this will be hugely beneficial to you. Make sure that the camper you get offers this option, and always make sure you have plenty of water with you in case there are no hookups.

Even if you camp at campgrounds where showers and toilets are available, you will find that this tends to be a nice upgrade to have for your camper. Let’s be honest; no one likes crawling out of a warm bed or sleeping bag in the middle of the night to stumble their way out to an outhouse, a common area toilet, or a tree!

If you want a pop up with all the bells and whistles, consider the Forest River Flagstaff Classic Hard Side. This A-frame pop-up has all of the upgrades you could desire.

What Is the Towing Capacity of the Vehicle?

pop up camper towing

Once you have thought about the size of the pop-up camper that you want to buy, you will need to make sure you have a vehicle that is capable of towing it. While these campers do tend to be quite a bit smaller, this does not mean that your tiny two-seat sports car is an ideal towing option. Make sure you understand the weight of the camper and what type of vehicle you will need to tow it before you buy it.

Consider Renting First

If you are still not quite sure about getting a pop-up camper, you might not want to buy right now. Instead, plan a camping trip and find a location where you might be able to rent one of these campers. By renting the camper, you will see how it works in practice, and you can make sure that it will be a good choice for your needs. You can see the pros and cons, and you can get a good idea of whether you like the make and model.

Having knowledge of the camper you rented can give you some insight into the various features that are discussed on the manufacturer’s pages, as well. This can then make choosing the right option to buy easier for you.

Buying New or Used

One of the big questions you will have to ask yourself is whether you want to buy a brand new trailer or a used one. There are pros and cons to each, of course. If you buy one that is new, it will likely have a warranty and you can be sure that everything is working properly in the camper. However, this will cost substantially more. Those who are on a tighter budget, but who still want a pop-up camper could opt for a used model. This will help to save many thousands of dollars, and it could be a better choice overall.

Some Manufacturers to Consider

As with other types of RVs, you will find that there are quite a few companies manufacturing these pop-ups. When you are making your choice, these are just some of the options that are available. However, they do tend to be quite popular, and they could help to point you in the direction of other options that could work for you.

  • Starcraft
  • Jayco
  • Forest River
  • Lifetime Trailer

Take the time to look at the model options from these and other manufacturers. Also, be sure to check out some reviews, as well. This can give you a better sense of how the trailer works in practice and whether it is a comfortable option for you or not.

Pop-up campers can be quite a lot of fun, and they have some fantastic benefits, as you have seen. Just make sure that you take the time to research the various makes and models you are considering before you buy. This will ensure that you are getting the one that works best for your needs, whatever they might be.