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Wondering how much do pop up camper weigh? Want to know whether your car will be able to pull it or not? This is the article just to address those concerns and educate you on all the important aspects.
Pop-up camper weight ranges between 800 to 3700 lbs based on their style, size and construction type. Basic tent trailer style pop up campers generally weigh between 800 to 2150 lbs; where as the hard sided A-Frame type campers are slightly heavier between 1560 to 2430 lbs. Off grid, hybrid or extreme sport styled pop up campers are on higher side between 2100 to 3740 lbs.
Weight of a camper is an important factor that comes to mind when you are about to shop or rent one. Towable campers need to be as low in weight as possible, that’s what people want.
But, weight is directly proportional to the number of amenities you have inside the camper.
And thus, more amenities mean more weight. A pop up camper comes at a weight, that is much less than other towable RVs, like travel trailer and fifth wheels. They are smaller and compact.
They pack-in just what is absolutely needed and they can be folded too.
The number of options that you get in pop up campers is also great, you just need to pick the one that matches your needs.
Average weight of a pop up camper
On an average pop up campers weigh much less as compared to other towable RV’s like travel trailer or fifth wheel. Because they weigh so less, most modern cars or trucks can easily tow them.
Having said this, its important to verify if the car is capable to tow or not as some cars are not designed for towing.
Here are some popular pop up campers and their dry weight.
|Pop Up Camper||Weight||Features|
|Taxa Outdoors Cricket||1800 lbs||Length : 15′|
Water capacity : 15 Gallons
GVWR : 1500 lbs
Tongue Weight : 170 lbs
Sleeps : 4
Cargo Capacity : 700 lbs
|Opus -LTE||2380 lbs||GVWR : 3572 lbs|
Length : 17’2″
Water Capacity : 20 Gallons
Tongue Weight : 209 lbs
|Viking Epic Series||1577 lbs||GVWR : 2942 lbs|
Water Capacity : 16 Gallons
Sleeps : 3
Cargo Weight : 1365 lbs
Tongue Weight : 203 lbs
|OPUS 2-SLEEPER||2777 lbs||GVWR : 3970 lbs|
length : 18’4″
Sleeps : 4
|Coachmen Clipper LS||2204 lbs||GVWR : 3223 lbs|
Length : 23’5″
|Aliner Ranger 10||1225 lbs||GVWR: 2500 lbs|
|Opus On-Road||1577 lbs||GVWR : 3500 lbs|
Length : 14’2″
|Starcraft Comet||1,840 lbs||Length : 21′|
|OP 15′ Hybrid||4960 lbs||GVWR : 6600 lbs|
Length : 15′
Water Capacity : 63 Gallons
13,500 BTU Dometic AC
|Forest River T12RBTH||2392 lbs||Length : 22’1″|
|OPUS 4-SLEEPER||2870 lbs||GVWR : 3970 lbs|
Water Capacity : 40 Gallons
Length : 18’4″
Sleeps : 6
|Aliner LXE||1795 lbs||GVWR : 2500 lbs|
Length : 15′
|SylvanSport GO||840 lbs||Length : 11′|
Sleeps : 4
Several pop up campers have weight in between the numbers i have put above.
For example, See this pop up tent trailer camper that weighs little above 800 lbs.
You will see many pop up campers come at weight that’s under 1500 lbs as well as those that are slightly above 3200 lbs. You will also get those that are below 1000 lbs.
Just like how a travel trailer or a fifth wheel would have a weight varying depending on the length, pop up campers too have varying weights. Which depends on the kind of things present in it and material used for manufacturing it.
You would get pop up campers that are mini sized, medium sized or little bigger large sized. The main reason why people want to know the weight of a pop up camper is because the weight affects the way you will tow it using your vehicle.
A high weight camper would be difficult to tow and also put pressure on your towing car.
- Pop up campers due to their low height are perfect fit for many people who want to camp light and not so far from their home. A mini size pop up camper weighing around 600-800 pounds can be easily maneuvered and towed with ease.
- In-fact, at times you will not even feel much weight that you are towing. Construction type of pop up campers also makes the difference in its weight. A light weight pop up camper is not only ease to hitch but also provides good mileage.
- Having a good balance between your tow vehicle and the towed trailer is important and with pop up campers you get the advantage of proper balancing.
With weight just above 800 lbs or close to 2000 lbs a sedan can be sufficient to pull it off. But yes, for a longer distance travel you better use a car that is more than capable.
Here are some of the important camper weight ratings you should know.
Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW): This is the weight of a camper excluding the passengers and accessories. This is basically the weight of camper when you just get the camper from the manufacturer.
Gross Axel Weight Rating (GAWR): This is the maximum distributed weight (including all the cargo) that the axles can support.
Gross Vehicle Weight Ratio (GVWR): This is the maximum weight including passengers, accessories and fluids that a camper can support.
Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC) : This rating indicates the maximum cargo that the camper can carry. This includes water, other fluids, accessories or other equipment.
Tongue Weight : This is the weight exerted on the hitch when the camper is placed behind the vehicle. It should be between 10 to 15% of the camper weight.
Smaller pop up camper weight
A very smaller pop up camper can weigh just a little over 700 lbs. That is much less and can be great, if you want something very light. These campers can be a perfect fit for couples who just don’t care about amenities and stuff; and just want to head out with whatever they have.
With such weight, you just don’t have to care about much towing issues. It will be an easy ride and minimum pressure on you as a driver.
You can use your daily usage car for towing these and don’t have to be bothered about whether your car is capable or not. Some examples of smaller campers weighing less than 1000 lbs:
- SylvanSport GO weighing around 840 lbs
- smaller Coachmen Clipper weighing around 600 lbs
Mid sized and little larger pop up camper weight
You also get pop up campers that are little larger and weigh more than 700 lbs. There are those which weigh around 2000 lbs and just a little above.
Even with biggest of the pop up campers , you will be able to tow them with a normal car, that’s the advantage. With larger camper you may need a slightly better powered car. With a pop up camper weighing around 2000 lbs, also you need to be more careful as compared to the lowest weighing campers.
The mgp of your car will also impact a little bit when you tow more than 1000 lbs. But, overall if you compare them with travel trailer or a fifth wheel, you are much better off with them.
The reason why pop up camper are light weight is because of the less amenities packed in. In rv’s More amenities mean more length and thus increase of weight.
Your towing vehicles will have a limit, upto which it can tow nicely and its never a good idea to hit that limit or go closer to it. Some examples of pop up camper weighing little over 1500 lbs.
- Jayco Jay Sport – A pop up camper weighing around 1500 lbs to 1800 bs
- Viking Epic Series – pop up campers weighing around 1600 lbs
- Coachmen Clipper campers weighing a little over 1800 lbs
- Forest River Flagstaff Classic Hard sided weighing around 2000 lbs
Will my car be able to tow the pop up camper
This is an important and obvious question for those who have just now bought a pop up camper or are thinking to buy a new one.
In order for your car to successfully pull the pop up camper, it should have towing capacity rating that is higher than the Gross Vehicle Weight rating of the pop up camper.
Its a vital question not only because you want to know either you need special car arrangement or you could just use the one that you already have.
- Bigger towing rv’s like travel trailers or fifth wheel need cars that are powerful enough or they need trucks to pull them.
- A fifth wheel in-fact will need a truck with special needs and its back will have hovering part of fifth wheel.
What about pop up campers, then?
You would be able to tow them without any special need of powerful car or trucks. Your own sedan can do the job for you. Now that’s an advantage, you don’t have to spend on that towing vehicle like you would do in case of travel trailer or fifth wheel.
Although we say that your sedan can just do the job, just be a little careful to see the weight of your pop up camper.
Although, on an average and most of the pop up campers will be within that 2000 lbs, you may sometimes have a little bit heavier one and that’s why you just cross check.
Remember, its not only going to be the dry weight to check. You may also need to weigh everything else on the camper. Understanding the weight terminology is also important.
Lets see some of the important things you need to know when pulling a camper behind car.
Dry weight of the camper
This is the weight of your pop up camper without having anything on it. Not even fuel.
No water or anything else. Your pop up camper manual will have this written or you can check when the pop up camper is just bought. This weight is helpful, but will not tell you the whole story when you actually start pulling it with a car.
This is the weight that your camper tongue will put on a hitch. Maximum tongue weight is the total amount weight that can be put on the tongue of the camper.
Gross vehicle weight
This is an important parameter to know. This is the actual weight of the camper being towed. It includes the dry weight of your camper, weight of passengers, water weight, fuel weight and weight of everything that is present in a camper.
Maximum trailer weight
This is the parameter that will be with your towing car. This is the maximum weight limit that can be towed. For this, you need to check with the car manufacturing manual. This should not be exceeding, as you will be fined for this and also its dangerous to do so.
Payload or cargo capacity is the total weight your camper can handle. This includes weight put on due to storage water, accessories, fuel. This can be checked from the user manual provided by your camper manufacturer.
This is the weight put on by the campers tires, hitch and tongue on t you camper. For this to keep minimum, choose just the right hitch.
Precautions while while pop-up camper
Even though pop up camper will just do fine with any car that you have; better check the cars ability before heading out.
An old car, specially may need to be checked as its capability may have reduced. A salesman at the dealer may not be always trusted, as they may not foresee the issues.
Knowing all weight parameters is the best thing. This is specially true when buying other trailers like travel trailer or fifth wheel when the weight is extremely critical factor.
A dry weight as we see is just a number and you cannot go ahead with that,.Make sure your overall weight does not exceed the limit.
A pop up camper although small can be used to carry other things like kayak etc and that can add on the weight. So, make sure you don’t keep on adding weight and stay within limit.
A weight of 2000-3000 lbs can be enough to imbalance the car that is towing. Steering may loose balance with weight being towed and could be dangerous. No matter how much weight is, but its always better to stay safe and drive carefully.
Weight balancing is another thing in trailers. You camper even though so much smaller, can get imbalanced.
Distribute the weight
Weight distribution is important when towing behind car, make sure you do not put extra weight on only side and make sure all weight is distributed properly. A hitch specially designed for making sure weight is properly distributed is also available, you can make use of that.
Most of the safety tips that you follow with travel trailer or fifth wheel also apply for pop up campers. Towing a vehicle behind can be intimidating no matter how much is the weight.
Its a different part and not a integrated one for your car and thus there will always be difficulties, Specially if you are new to this.
Have a checklist
Its always better to make sure you have a checklist before you start the drive.
Some of the things that you can do before starting the journey is to check if the tire pressure is properly maintained or not. Hitch is properly connected or not.
Follow the Rules
Make sure your mirrors are properly adjusted. Do not ride any one behind in the camper. Its not ideal and not legal too. It can be seriously dangerous and should not be practiced under any circumstances.
Its important that, you as a camper remain responsible. Knowing the weight of your camper is one of the important thing and following related parameters is also equally important.
Backing can be problem when you have a towed camper backside and that time you should make sure you do that with high care and with minimum speed.
What affects pop-up camper weight
Apart from the amenities that are packed inside, the construction type and material also affects how much your camper weighs. A similar length campers can weigh differently and it depends on the type of material being used in its manufacturing.
An aluminium made pop up campers are light in weight and easy to tow. Also, its not the partial aluminium manufacturing but a fully aluminium one will be weighing much less.
They are also designed to utilize less space for max use. The main idea of the pop up camper construction is to make sure weight is reduced.
A pop up camper should have its roof raised before you start using it. Traditionally they have been using pulleys, springs etc.
A lifter system with better innovations reduces the weight and makes it easy to use. This is significant part of the pop up camper which puts on weight and with better method, the weights have reduced.
Basically, a clutch controller winch is used to connect to the pulley via a cable that helps raise the roof.
This is the bed support that can hold a weight of 1000 pounds. It is mostly a 2 piece aluminum support.
A roof would be mostly a single piece construction made up of fiberglass, that may not be that heavy. Roof weight is significant not only in pop up campers, but also in other rv’s.
Camper roof are critical and they start to leak in around 5 years time, if not sufficiently taken care of. A replacement and repair are options under warranty.
Material used in floor is also a factor that decides weight of the pop up camper. Some of the materials that are used include vinyl, carpet or laminate.
Carpet insulate better, give good feeling but they tend to perform bad when it comes to dirt. Vinyl can be better choice but their installation is tricky, they are also light.
Laminates tend to be more heavier and can increase the overall weight of your camper. A good grade vinyl can be great, they also keep dirt and water away.
Other things that make up the construction include the Frame, and tent.
Lets talk a little bit about how much weight they can handle. They do have their weight limits which is explained by GVWR (Gross vehicle weight rating). A great way to stay inside this limits is to try different tips and tricks to organize the pop up in a better way.
Pop up campers have canvas or fabric on the walls and roofs. This makes them lightweight. However, this also makes them vulnerable to high winds, rain, snow and also to wild animal attacks like bears. For the same reason, some RV parks and campgrounds put restrictions on them. Check this detailed guide on which national parks do not allow pop-up campers.
Pros and cons of pop up campers
A light weight pop up camper is a breeze for towing. Your car is going to love it. Mileage will not be a pain when you compare it with a travel trailer.
People who love to go adventure with whatever they have and don’t care much about stuff they carry, love the idea of pop up camper. A pop up camper is not going to give you a good headroom, it will be less in sleeping area.
A kitchenette will be squeezed to a just manageable kind.
Space Limitations : You may not even get a shower and bathroom. Space is definitely going to be an issue. If you are expecting it to be like any other rv then you need to think again.
You can also find pop up campers that include showers and toilet, but then it would be increasing the cost, and will that be a wise decision? Pop up campers in first place are for those who want to spend less and get whatever in that range.
A bigger pop up camper with added amenities is actually pushing you towards a smaller travel trailer (which actually should be a good buy at that range).
Toilet and shower should be included in the rv that’s what i feel, better go for these things with a slight increasing budget.
A boondocking will definitely need you that and without toilet/shower, it can be bad. Remember, with pop up camper of “that size” you are always going to compromising, but it depends for what purposes you are using it.
Generally No Cooling or heating
A pop up camper don’t have air conditioning or heater and thus it could be an issue during cold or high temperature times. You could use a portable air conditioner or a heater instead. One can also install the AC here is how you can do it.
But, it may not as good as what you would get in a travel trailer or fifth wheel. Pop up campers during bad weather times are not the ideal ones.
Better miles per gallon
Pop up camper score well on miles per gallon, if you compare them with travel trailer or fifth wheels.
A weight of less than 2000 lbs does not put much miles on your car, where as with bigger travel trailer you will get very less miles per gallon and thus the overall cost or expenditure increases.
With pop up campers you may not need bigger storage area in your garage. Pop up camper can also be folded and that means you may need half or even less space than the actual space or length of your camper.
Easy for Storage
Travel trailer or fifth wheels are massive and need bigger garage for storage. At times your existing garage may not even fit them and you end up buying storage for rent. With pop up campers, you would practically never need to rent a space and spend more.
They are generally not great in insulation and therefore are not ideal for winter camping. Hard side pop up campers or hybrid pop up are better in insulation.
Pop up campers can be customized as per needs. You can modify them to fit for a single traveler or for a smaller family easily.
You can modify them as per your unique style and requirements. That is something that is a little bit difficult with travel trailer or fifth wheel, modifying could also be more costly.
Weight comparison with travel trailers or fifth wheel
Travel trailers or fifth wheels on an average weigh around 5000 lbs to 15000 lbs. This is a big weight for car or trucks to tow. Pop up camper on the other hand are very less in weight, they are not even half, but less then that.
If you just don’t want to handle bigger weight while towing, then go for pop up camper. They are smaller and light, but do not provide for amenities and lifestyle provided by most travel trailers.
Pop up campers however, are not available in abundance like travel trailers (which are available in lots). People also build their own pop up campers, but do not try this as it needs skill and proper knowledge.
Pop up camper are dry camping friendly
Boondocking is a great way to go back to nature and enjoy. People have been using tent trailer for years, but with pop up campers this can be done with more luxury.
A pop up camper comes great when you want to head out inside a forest or muddy road. They give you the freedom of having those gallons of water with you. A pop up camper gives a fresh water tank of upto 25 gallons (that’s lot for a boondocking trip) and grey water storage of upto 12 gallons.
Camping outdoors is a great way to have fun. And you can do a nature connect through you pop up camper. Pop up camper provide a great way to enjoy nature along with your family, having those little amenities with you.
They do not put pressure on your car to pull tons but just do fine when on road. A pop up camper is a breeze for you storage area and you just do fine with whatever kind of garage you have.
With amenities that are just what you need and not so luxurious they keep you humble and adventurous at the at same time. A pop up camper is a great camper that keeps maintenance down.
Also with Initial prices being so low they just fit into your budget. Repair and replacement of parts in pop up campers is easy as compared to travel trailers.
Go for pop up campers if you like to keep things simple yet have some benefits of amenities. And yes, they weigh so low. That’s the real advantage with pop up campers.