Buying pop up camper – All you need to know

Buying pop up camper – All you need to know
pop up camper things to know

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Traveling and living in a RV can be super amazing. But buying a standard RV that has good kitchen, living space can be costly. Many families who want to do this and travel and camp opt for smaller campers like Pop up campers. They are inexpensive, easy to travel with and can be of great convenience during travels. A pop up camper as its names suggests has the ability to pop up. You can expand it while you are camping and it can be collapsed to smaller version while you want to tow it on road. There are quite a number of brands that manufacture such campers and you can find a lot of models in market.

With lots of options and variations its better to go through each of the factors, amenities, prices before you buy a pop up camper. People who are new to Rving mostly consider buying pop up campers as they less on price and also smaller in size. Towing a big RV can be a problem at time specially if you are not so good in driving skills. Buying a pop up camper even though on lesser range of price should be considered as a long term investment and you should do thorough check on all points before finalizing the buy. Here are list of all things to know before buying a pop up camper or tent trailer.

Advantages of Pop Up Campers

Even before you think of buying a pop up trailer or camper it is better to consider all the advantages  and disadvantages you would get after you buy one. Pop Up campers have lots of advantages and thus people are fond of them. Specially if you are on low budget and want a RV life that should cost you much than pop up trailer is a great option.

1. They are light weight

Pop Up campers are light in weight and thus easy for storage, travel. A heavy Rv at times can be difficult to handle and maintenance. You can be relaxed a bit when it comes to pop up camper. They are unique designed and thus weigh less.

2. Compact and does not take much space

Pop up campers are compact and take up less space. Rving has a lot to do with the space that you get in the vehicle. A compact design pop up camper is a good choice and is better to maintain. They are portable and quite easy to maneuver. Their aerodynamic friendly built makes them good for traveling. Storing a big Rv can be difficult considering the space that you need, with pop up campers you don’t have to worry much about storage as they are compact and smaller in size.

3. Towing is easy

Towing a pop up camper is not much difficult and can be done without being a expert or considerations. You can use your own car, suv or a light weight truck for doing this. As the weight of a pop up camper is not much it does not provide much resistance to wind and thus towing becomes easy.

4. They are a good fit for budget campers

Pop up campers cost very less in comparison to what you will have to pay for a standard RV. They are almost 10% of what you would pay to buy a class C motorhome. While the prices are less for new pop up campers, it can increase if you want added features on it. Also one can buy used ones at much cheaper rates.

5. They are Economical

Economy of fuel is better in case of pop up campers. You would get better mileage in comparison to other RV’s or motorhomes. A light weight and compact design makes it give more in terms of mileage.

Disadvantages of pop Up camper Trailer

Consider the cons of a pop up camper trailer before you make your decision. Considering the advantages you get specially the cost and value for money you shouldn’t be much worried though. Just make sure you don’t expect too much out of a pop up camper, specially if you have used a motorhome previously or had a chance of camping in one of your friends or relative then do not compare it with this kind of camper.

1. Setup can be difficult

One of the cons of pop up trailers is the set up that you have to once you are ready to camp. While it may not be that complicated but doing the setup may take a little of bit longer.Pushing the roof, setting up canvas, beds can take time and patience to do. It can take as long as an hour for 2 people to do the setup depending on the kind of setup you have in your pop up trailer. This could eat up your precious vacation time. Also the setup comes with moving parts that needs little bit extra attention else the mechanical parts may break.

2. Not much Privacy

With pop up campers that are set up you may not have much privacy in a pop up camper. A bathrrom like for example would need to be more private but its hard to get that kind of privacy with pop up camper trailer.

3. Not so Reliable in cold or rainy weather

If the falls of the camper become wet it can cause damp and make you uncomfortable with in the camper. This can cause smell in the trailer. Also cleaning the canvas can be difficult and tedious job.

4. Appliances or amenities are limited

As a pop up camper is light, small and compact you wouldn’t get the kind of amenities you would normally find in a standard RV or motorhome. That can be a big minus if you are looking for a good, easy life during camping. With pop up camper its basically the hard way holidaying.

Types of pop up campers

Once you have finalized on buying a pop up camper or trailer its time to decide on what type of pop up camper you want. Apart from traditional pop up campers you would find different variations. Below are some of the types of pop up camper trailers that you would find.

1. Tent Trailers

They can pop up on either sides making extra room in the vehicle.

2. Teardrop campers

They are lightweight and much compact trailers. Mostly would provide sleeping area for only 2 people. They can be longer upto 4 feet to 6 feet only and weigh less than 1000 pounds. They would normally include kitchen in the rear area along with sleeping space.

3. High Wall Campers

They have hard tops and almost similar to tent trailers. They provide more space for storage.

4. a-frames

A-Frames trailers are shaped like an A. Its light weight and easy to pull.

How much does a pop up camper cost

Pop up campers cost much less than a normal standard Rv or a motorhome. Basic tent trailer can be bought in under $10,000 but they would be smaller and with less amenities and appliances. Also will accommodate max two people.If you buy recent models that are larger and with better appliances then the average cost of a pop up camper would be around $15000. That is still much lesser than a standard RV, in fact almost 10-15% of what you would normally pay for a class C or class A RV. Here are some cost examples of some brands of recent models.

  • Forest River Rockwood Premier High Wall HW296 : Cost in the range of $19000
  • 2018 Coachmen RV Clipper Camping Trailers 106 Sport : $9000
  • Forest River Rockwood Premier High Wall HW296 : $18000
  • 2017 Opus CLASSIC : $ 15000
  • 2018 Columbia Northwest Aliner RANGER 10 : $14000
  • 2004 Northwood 1150 : $14500

While the basic price of such campers would be low but if you go for additional features then the cost would increase depending on what features you want to include. With basic pop up trailers you would need to spend on additional cost. You would need things to do initial setup up like trailer hitch would cost you around $500, permanent installed Side view mirrors can cost you around $200.

A good thing about pop up trailer campers is that they wouldn’t depreciate the way a standard RV or motorhome would depreciate. Its definitely value for money unless you spend much more in getting amenities (then you are going almost closer to a motorhome). Normally a few years old pop up camper that is properly maintained then its values should decreases by around 20-25%.

What amenities you can expect with a pop up camper

Pop up campers cost less, they are less lengthy, are compact and thus they include limited amenities. However its not that you wont have even the basic ones or cannot have appliances that are little larger. Depending on brands you will get amenities in the pop up camper. With more amenities the cost will also increase. You can find below amenities in pop up camper but definitely not all will be available in a basic one. Some of the significant and larger appliances that you can get in a pop up camper are as below:

  1. Water Heater
  2. Air conditioner
  3. Kitchen space
  4. Furnace
  5. Bathroom (May not as big as you would find in motorhome)
  6. Television
  7. Awning
  8. Oven, Micorwave
  9. Mini Refrigerator
  10. Cooking stove for outside use
  11. Water filter
  12. Bike rack
  13. Fire Extnguisher

While putting in all of this together in a pop up camper would definitely be little difficult, but you can get these items packed in your pop up camper. Also the price will increase as you increase the number of amenities.

Things to Consider in a pop up camper

1. Space for sleeping or number of sleeping areas

Pop up campers are not the luxurious ones, they are compact and smaller in size. But even with this small budget do consider the space that you will get in a camper. depending on how many people will be there during camper you should chose the pop up camper. Make sure you do not compromise on this and go for it if and only if it satisfies your sleeping spaces.

2. Comfort and ability live freely

having compact structure can look great and tidy. But once you start using it, it can become real difficult. While you will camping you will have lots of stuff to carry. Organizing things in a RV can be done but if you have very little space then no matter how much you try it will become mess. Hence be firm on how much space, store you would need in the camper and then only finalize the buy.

3. Price and amenities balance

Having lots of amenities can be good but you may have to spend that much on the buy. Figure out what all things you will really need in the camper and balance out a amenities and price factor to purchase a pop up camper that suits.

4. Towing

Check how much weight your pop up camper will have. Most pop up campers can be towed using cars, SUV or light trucks. But still confirm the towing vehicle that you have will be capable to tow the pop up camper that you want to buy.

Best pop up campers

There are quite of lot of brands that manufacture pop up campers. Some of the top brands include

  • Jayco
  • Coachmen
  • Aliner
  • Forest River
  • Viking

and many others. Some of the best pop up campers that you can buy are as below:

1. Coachman Cliper

This can accommodate up to 7 people for sleeping in it and is really spacious. You can around 24 floor plans under this and can be as lengthy as 22 feet.

2. Forest River Flagstaff Classic

With floor plan options of up to 4 this forest river pop up camper is a another great option. You can have features like awning, dinette, drawers, electric water pump.

3. Jayco Jay Sport

This one again with 4 floor plans is a great option to buy. It gives you a great interior ambiance and a superior exterior aluminium finish. Its a good construction camper that gives corrosion resistant construction. It can occupy up to 7 people in sleep area.

4. Livin Lite Quicksilver

With floor plans of 6 this pop up camper can accommodate up to 6 people and can be as lengthy as 17 feet.

Average weight of a Pop Up camper

One of the reasons why pop up campers are good is because they weigh less and hence towing them can be easy and anybody with average driving skills can do it. A pop up camper weight is much less than a normal motorhome. A smaller pop up camper sufficient for 2 people can weigh as much as 600 pounds. An empty pop up camper will weigh less but once you fill in appliances and storage it will increase.

A medium sized pop up camper with adequate appliances can weigh upto 1000 pounds and a large pop up camper with good amenities can be 2000 pounds heavy. Added Amenities like bathroom, air conditioner and other bigger appliances like oven, stove put on the weight on your camper. It is always good to choose appliances that are compact and low on weight so that you do not exceed the weight capacity of your pop up camper.

On an average a pop up camper can be said to have a average weight of of around 650 pound. A large camper can include good space for living, kitchenette, extra sleeping area and thus its weight is on higher side. A high weight of camper would mean your towing vehicle should also be good enough to tow it. A truck or a SUV should be able to tow the 2000 pounds pop up camper. Also a good sedan can be enough to pull a 1000 pounds pop up camper. Why weight of the camper is important because you may have a towing vehicle that has capacity of towing lesser than the pop up camper and hence do the calculations of weight so that proper balance is maintained between the tow vehicle and your camper. Some examples of pop up camper weights:

  • SylvanSport GO : weighs around 850 pounds
  • Coachmen Clipper : weighs can weigh between 600 to 2000 depending on the floor plan, no of sleeps and amenities you chose
  • Forest River Flagstaff Classic : Weighs on higher side above 2000
  • Viking Epic Series : This pop up campers can weigh above 1500 and as high as 2300 pound
  • Jayco Jay Sport : This too have weight between 1500 to 2200 pounds

How big are pop up campers

One of the reasons why pop up campers are popular among  people is because of their sizes. Pop up campers look small when they are collapsed and you get ample interior space when you expand open them. Large motorhome which can be as long as 40 feet can be intimidating, its tough job if you are not a pro driver.

Pop up campers on the other hand are easy, there sizes are smaller. On an average you can find most pop up camper to be around 7 feet long and 4 feet wide. They can be of a height that is around 5 feet. High wall Type of pop up campers have little more height. With such small dimensions normally you wouldn’t have all the things packed inside it but if you have appliances which can serve multipurpose then that is better. For example a sofa or a couch can be used as a bed. A folding dinning table that can quickly make some space will be much better with such space limitation.

Thus, its important for you to consider these kind of options for your pop up camper. Innovative appliance that can save space or do multipurpose jobs can be little costly but are totally worthy. Pop up campers when folded are much smaller in size and once you expand them, then they can be of double or even triple the size. That’s the beauty of it. It takes a bit to do the setup initially when you reach the campsite but once you are settled up you can enjoy the space. The more innovative pop up campers can be on the higher side of the price range like above 25000 and so on. You also get options to do customization on them, design things as per your needs which will again attract costing.

Things to keep in mind once you Own a pop up camper

Once you own a pop up camper do not take things for granted. Take proper care of of it, repair, maintain and handle it properly. They are priced little lesser in comparison to other bigger RV’s but still always consider it as an investment.

1. Organize your pop up camper well

Organizing the popup camper is an important thing because space is limited and thus keeping things tidy, stacked and folded will give you good feeling while you living inside.

2. Storing a pop up camper

Storing a pop up of folding camper should be done with care. Specially with walls or canvas that is soft a moisture can cause a lot of harm. Do not store a damp pop up camper, make sure it is dry completely before putting it for storing. Specially if you are storing it for long term then damp can cause molding and a lot of damage to the exterior. Also for long term winter storage check on all pointer that are also applicable for other Rv’s.

3. Maintaining the pop up camper

Pop up campers are constructed of canvas that need good care and maintenance. Some of the things that you can do include, inspecting the canvas periodically for any breaks. Repair any holes or tears. Vacuum clean your pop up camper after you camper so that it doesnt attract insects and rodents. Clean the exterior of the Pop up camper to remove dust and other dirt. Take your pop up camper for scheduled maintenance to a mechanic.

4. Customizing a pop up camper

Remodel your Pop up camper in case if it has become old or even if you bought it recently and now you feel that you a need a change in it then go for it. Having new appliances or customizing the old amenities can be a good way to renew your pop up camper.

G. Yoganand

A RV enthusiast who spends countless hours researching and learning various things related to RV camping. He believes in spending time doing Outdoor activities.
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