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In this article, we will see all the specifics about renting a pop up camper.
You may love camping but not the sleeping on the cold, hard ground part. One way to avoid the discomfort that comes with traditional tent camping is to rent your own pop up camper trailer.
You get all the benefits of traditional camping plus, you get a lot of extra comfort. In addition, the bugs and insects do not get the opportunity to crawl into your sleeping bag when you rent a pop up camper.
To learn all about renting a pop up camper so you can camp your way, just continue to read this article. It has all the information you need.
Can you rent a pop up camper?
Yes, just like other big RVs one can also rent a pop up camper on popular RV renting platforms like outdoorsy or RV share. Expect to pay around $60 to $140 per day for these modest and lightweight campers.
There are different styles of renting that should meet your camping style and preferences. First, you can rent a regular pop up with no frills and that will be by the day. For the cost of a nice hotel room, you can go out and enjoy nature and get away from the crowds.
Second, if you want to bring your toys along for the holiday, you can rent one that has a toy hauler attached. These are bit more expensive to rent but it may be worth the extra money when you can unload your toys and really liven up your camping trip.
Keep in mind that pop up tent trailers are not like regular RVs. Their construction does not include hard sides and roof. You are looking at canvas and mesh which does keep the weight down.
Also, you probably won’t have a galley, fridge, shower and toilet so make sure you can handle the roughing it before you rent.
The good aspects of renting a pop up is you have better comfort than a tent, you can go just about anywhere with these units and you can pack up anytime and move to a nicer spot when you want.
As long as you do not mind setting up and taking down the pop up you should have a great time in nature.
Types of pop up campers
There are mainly 4 different types of pop up campers.
- Tent trailers
- Hard sided campers or A-Frame campers
- Teardrop campers
- High Wall campers.
Where can you rent a pop up trailer
The good news is that there are a lot of platforms that rent all sorts of RVs including pop up trailers.
Not everyone wants to rent or drive a big Class A RV so these outfits have made a good business decision and rent all sizes of RVs and they have not left the pop up trailer off their rental line up.
A pop up camper can be rented on sites like outdoorsy, RV share or other local RV renting dealers or websites.
Outdoorsy – is a good internet site to find the right pop up for you. There are lots of individual owners who list their campers on this site. Its a good way to find RV near you.
RV Share this is another platform that has thousands of RVs listed. It helps provide campground names that rent RVs and those rentals should include pop up trailers.
Other big sites like cruisemaerica or elmonte RV do not have pop up tent camper listings. The best way is to look on outdoorsy or rv share and also search locally.
You can simply type “rent a pop up camper near me” in search engine and you will see the options that are physically near you, that is the best way to start if you don’t want to go the other way.
Average cost for renting
Every dealer will have their own price structure. Your rental cost will depend a lot on the size of pop up you want to rent, its age and how many features you are getting. Also, the time of year you plan on taking your vacation.
On average you can expect to pay between $60 to $80 per day and if you want a larger one with more bells and whistles then you can expect the prices to reach between 100 to $150 per day.
Keep in mind that these rentals come with insurance, roadside assistance and other guarantees that should allow you to relax and enjoy your time away from your job.
For weekly and monthly rentals, you would have to negotiate the price with the different rental outfits as you may get some discounts with longer duration.
What you need to watch out for are the extra fees that will come into play. For example, one of the rental outfits we mentioned charges a $50 pet fee. So look at those fees first before deciding to rent.
Do some comparison while shopping to make sure you get the best deal for you and your family. Pop up camping is till a great way to see the country in all of its natural splendor.
How long you can rent it
This is negotiable and some dealers will negotiate on price if you are planning to take an extended vacation with their pop up trailer camper. If you go through RV Share, they do the negotiating for you and should be able to get discounts on the rental price if that is your plan.
At one of the dealers we listed above, a pop up camper that sleeps 6 will cost you about $2000 for a 30 day rental. That is a break on their usual $80 per day rental fee but it shows that you can rent pop up trailers for long periods of time.
The trick is to find the right price and the right dealer that helps you get the best pop up camper for your vacation needs. How much you save will depend a lot on the individual owner and how willingly they are to rent for long periods of time.
If the time period you are requesting falls during their peak rental season, you may not be so lucky on the price break or the duration of the rental. Peak season will be a big factor in your rental plans.
Pros of renting a pop up camper
Low cost : These are one of the smallest and modest RVs you can rent. They do cost very less in comparison to the other big RVs like class C motorhome or class B or even travel trailers. If you are thinking of having a vacation on a budget then you should definitely consider a pop up trailer. Its a great way to enjoy the outdoors that can also provide a good space to sleep, prepare food and rest.
Towing is easy : Unlike a mammoth fifth wheel or a long heavy travel trailer, pop up tent trailer is a breeze when you are towing it behind a car or truck. They fold into a box like structure and that makes it easy to drive towing it behind.
Wont have to worry about car : Because they weigh so less, you wont need a special vehicle other than your normal car to tow it. On the other hand if you were to rent a big travel trailer or 5th wheel you have to be very sure about your car’s towing capacity.
Economical : The weight and compactness makes the whole vacation much economical. The car mpg wont be much affected due to their weight.
Not a liability : These are so small and compact that you wont have a big liability traveling with you. You can easily manage it and have very little things that can go wrong. So, if you are new into RVs then this is a great way to start and be less worried about it.
No Bathroom or toilet : Usually you wont find shower or toilet inside these. Because they are made to be small and compact, most models wont have this facility and it can be a big limiting factor if you have different expectations. You have to manage somehow and if you cant then be sure to look for a different type of RV or a pop up trailer camper specially with this facility.
Minimum Amenities : Just like the previous point, you wont find a lot of features inside these campers. With minimum space comes minimum features. Be ready to spent time with whatever you get.
No AC or Heat : If you are planning to rent it during summer then be sure you are ready to live without an air conditioner. While most of the models do not have AC, there can be portable AC or self installed air conditioners. So, be sure to check on this. Same goes with heating as well, furnace is not a standard feature inside these campers. Space heaters can be used though.
Uncomfortable Sleeping : If you have not slept inside such a camper previously then it can be uncomfortable initially. Specially, if you are tall then you may find it difficult. Be sure you have the right expectation on this.
Acceptance in RV parks or campgrounds
This point can be both, an advantage as well as disadvantage. While there wont be any stopping due to its length but some campground or parks may not allow RVs that are not are sided which could be due to risk of bear breaking in or other wild animals.
Is it worth it to rent a pop up camper
So, should you rent a pop up trailer or just take a flight and check into a hotel then rent a car to see places?
Well, renting a pop up camper is worth it or not totally depends on your vacation preferences. In comparison to a hotel where you get your beds made, rooms cleaned, free cable, internet and other perks, it may not seem like it But with hotels you get other fees, crowds and some times not the best locations.
If you like camping, a pop up is the perfect upgrade as they are easy to park and tow. There is no danger of exceeding your tow weight or your tongue weight so you should not damage your car or make it work too hard going up those mountain slopes.
Pop up campers are easy to set up, you can camp almost anywhere, and they are also easy to park in tight campground spots. Then you get to go just about anywhere you want, avoid the crowds and still have your car available when you want to take a trip into the city and see the sites.
On top of all that, you can view the beauty of the outdoors away from the smog laden cities, have a nice campfire and do all the things you can’t do in a hotel room. Hotels have their place but so does pop up camping.
That option certainly is worth it when you want your children to experience the great outdoors without technology following you around.
Tips to rent a pop up camper
- Search on multiple platforms. Talk to local dealers who rent out RVs. Speak to owner of the camper and understand all the in and outs. Do not rent if you are not sure or do not get all the details. Compare the prices before finalizing. If you finalize on the first attempt then probably you are spending much more than you should.
- Negotiate. There is always a room to get a lower price if you are ready to negotiate. Do not shy from this as people are ready to lower the prices only if you ask. Pop up camper renting may not always be a cheap way out but trying and negotiating can give you better deals.
- Know the weight and check whether your car is capable of towing it. Yes, pop up campers weigh very less but there can be exceptions or your car could be really ill equipped to do this.
- Rent for a longer duration, if possible. A longer duration will give you more discounts rather than just for a day or so.
- Look for sign up deals. These national platforms do come up with such deals for new customers, so take advantage of such deals.
- Don’t ignore local dealers. They may not be best against the national leaders but you can surely find best deals among those who are growing, you just have to be little more careful though.
Towing a pop up camper Trailer
What about the struggles of towing a camper behind your car? Can my car pull the camper, is a common question and i am sure you have that too.
Pop up campers are not usually that heavy. That is because of the light construction materials used to make these nice sleeping quarters. The manufacturers use canvas, mesh and aluminum for the most part so the weight of the pop up is significantly less than a regular travel trailer.
This makes it easy to tow it behind your car or SUV or minivan.
On an average a small pop up camper weighs between 800 to 2300 pounds. This means that even a smaller car should be able to tow one of these campers but be sure that there are other factors involved that need to be met before you tow the camper safely.
The first factor is the actual tow weight and for some vehicles they are able to tow up to 1700 pounds with ease. Next is the GVWR or gross vehicle weight rating of the pop up. Then comes the cargo capacity of the pop up trailer.
Finally, you need to know the tongue weight of the pop up. All four of these requirements must be met in order to have a safe trip. All of this information should be in your car’s owner manual as well as the pop up camper’s specs sheet.
If you do not find the answers in those spots, ask the dealer as they will have that information on hand. A large variety of cars can handle towing these little campers.
Do you get all the equipment to pull a pop-up camper
If you rent a pop up already located at a campground, you do not have to worry about renting or buying any towing equipment. You won’t be pulling the pop up anywhere, just using it at the campground it is already at.
If your vehicle does not have the right equipment to pull a pop up camper, the different rental outfits do have equipment on hand that you can rent.
For example, if your car does not have electronic brake control one company will rent it to you for $60 per trip.
That is just one item you will need. Other pieces of equipment will include hitch, ball, safety chains and so on.
Check your car out first to make sure you have the hitch and ball already on your vehicle, if not you may have to purchase it yourself or rent one for your trip.
Also, check with the rental outfit to see what equipment you need as towing regulations change and they are not the same from state to state.
Sometimes it is cheaper to rent the equipment from one of the many rental businesses that rent just about everything instead of renting from the dealer you are renting the pop up from.
There are some safety tips you should know about when pulling a trailer. These safety tips apply to pop-up campers as well.
- First, do not slam on your brakes when pulling any type of trailer. Plan in advance and come to a slow gentle stop.
- Second, you need about 60% of the cargo weight at the front of the trailer. This keeps the ride smooth and helps prevent sway.
- Third, go slow. This is not a time where speed is important. You are on vacation not in a road race.
Know the sleeping capacity in pop up campers
Here you have a little flexibility as pop up campers come in different sizes and have different sleeping capacities. Smaller pop up trailers can usually sleep between 2 and 3 comfortably and those are just for those couples who want to be alone for a while.
Then a little larger campers can sleep 4 people with ease. Another size will sleep between 4 to 6 people and have room for all your camping gear. Then there are larger models that will sleep between 6 to 8 people without any problems.
The best thing to do is to see what the rental outfit has to offer and see if it meets your sleeping needs. If not, then simply keep on searching till you find the right one.
There is nothing good that will come from over crowding the camper and you may cause some damage to it if you put too many people inside for the night.
The best thing to do is make sure you plan your vacation and then fit the pop up to your plans.
Know how much gear you are bringing, the total weight of that gear and how many people will be inside each night.
Is It good for winter or hot summer
Before you jump and rent it be sure you know what time of the year it is.
They are great for a hot summer. The reason for that is you have lots of ventilation built into the pop up that allows for the cool night air to flow easily through the sleeping area.
But, take along an extra blanket or two as the mountain night air can get cold and the pop up is not rigged to prevent that cool air from lowering your indoor temperature. Or have a nice portable heater on hand to help keep your pop-up camper nice and warm.
Read : Are pop up camper warm?
For winter, it is another story. As is, the answer to the question would be a resounding no. Pop up campers are made more for summer time use,and you can get away with using them in the late spring or early fall. But when the temperatures outside begin to drop, you have to do some modification to the camper to use it in the winter.
To winterize your pop up camper tent trailer, make sure you plug all the small air leaks you can find. This will help retain the warm air and repel the cold outside air. Next, add some insulation to make sure your camper will retain the heat.
After that, buy a good portable heater that will not run out of fuel in the middle of the night. In addition, cover your windows with plastic sheeting. This will help insulate those temperature vulnerable spots.
Finally, if your pop-up camper has hook up capability, bring along some electric blankets.
Heating and Air Conditioning
Hot summers can be very uncomfortable without air conditioner. So, do they have AC?
Most RVs do have air condition but pop up campers generally do not have air conditioning and even heating.
The reason most do not have AC or Heat is because both the AC and furnace add a lot of weight to the trailer and make it harder to tow for some vehicles.
Also, many pop-up trailer owners decline the option to have either installed. They do this simply because of the extra costs involved when running these appliances every day or night.
There are 3 types of air conditioners made for pop up campers but it is not a good idea to install one on a rental especially without the owner’s permission. Not only is the installation costly, you usually have to get a professional to do the job.
It is not worth it if you are only using the pop up for a very short period of time. Furnaces are almost the same way and going with a portable heater is the wisest choice of all available options.
If these two appliances are a must for your camping trip, make sure to rent a camper that already has them installed.
Renting a pop up camper is not as difficult or as rare as you might think. They are a good camping option that provides a lot of camping comfort without the expense of renting a large RV.
Plus, they are easy to tow and maneuver when you have a campsite that is very tight and hard to back into. The key is to know what you need to bring on your trip,how many people will be joining you and the different tow weight requirements. Other than that, pop up camping is a great way to spend your vacation time.