Are pop-up campers better? Should you buy a pop-up camper in 2021? There are so many RV options that picking the perfect one can be stressful.
You might consider purchasing a sizable high-end RV that can fit all of the necessities and luxuries. Or you are also probably interested in the different kinds of most affordable pop-up campers on the market right now.
Choosing the right motorhome is crucial for you, and we are here to guide you! For this article, we’ll take an honest look at the pros and cons of owning a pop-up camper and some recommendations for the best pop-up campers in 2021!
This article has been subdivided into three sections:
- Pros of owning pop-up campers
- One of the most affordable alternatives for RVs
- Towable with almost any vehicle
- Immerse completely in nature
- Time-consuming to set up and disassemble
- Sacrificing few luxuries…
- Require special care
- Sylvan Sport GO
- 2021 Forest River Flagstaff Hard Side Pop-Up Camper Series
Pros of owning pop-up campers
One of the most affordable alternatives for RVs
You could be living in the RV world in 2021, but pop-up campers are much more affordable, easier to maintain, and take up less space. Why? They are cheaper because they are smaller and more compact; you can find them for only $7,000 on the used one.
What to look for when buying a pop-up camper?
- How much weight can your vehicle tow?
- What features/amenities do you want in a camper?
- Are you going to be camping as a family or bringing friends along?
- Are you going to be camping in hotter or colder climates?
- Where will you park your camper?
Read more step-by-step on how to choose your first RV in this post → Living in an RV World
Towable with almost any vehicle
A significant advantage of the pop-up is its lightweight design, allowing for easy transport for most trucks, SUVs, and even cars to tow for first-time users.
Small, compact, and lightweight; the pop-up camper usually features canvas sides that extend up to reveal sleeping space, a small kitchen, and lounging areas. When closed, its low height provides a clear sight of the rear of the tow vehicle. It also easily detaches to make the tow vehicle free for exploring.
Immerse completely in nature
These days, it’s hard to have a rustic camping experience, sleeping in nature, and leaving all the techs to disconnect. But, the pop-up camper works as your connection with nature. If you want to disconnect for a day or even a weekend but still want to have the necessary amenities, then a pop-up camper is one of the best vehicles to do it in. Your tent doesn’t provide that option. Having a pop-up camper truly is the best of both worlds.
The pop-up camper does make you feel like you’re in the wild. Its small size can fit any car-sized parking makes it super convenient and conducive. It can fit in the garage too.
Cons of owning pop-up campers
Time-consuming to set up and disassemble
So much time is taken to set up and disassemble. It can take an hour to get it in position at a campsite, set the legs, pull out the extender, and move everything inside the vehicle. The other motorhomes don’t require moving gear around. That is why pop-out campers are only suitable for short trips.
Sacrificing few luxuries…
Due to the small surface design, these campers must sacrifice storage space, living/sleeping space, and even kitchen and bathroom luxuries. Showers, toilets, and even kitchen amenities are only available in the largest of pop-up campers.
While there is ample sleeping space, there is limited storage space for all the things. Unless you’re a minimalist camper, then storage won’t be an issue.
Require special care
Before you’re going on your camping trip, you always have to check the weather forecast. Well, the weather is unpredictable and continuously changed.
The pop-up camper’s canvas side is usually not weatherproof, making it prone to leaks in the same way tents can be. We recommend you coat the canvas using water-sealed spray.
Newer models may include AC and heaters. However, they are not conducive to intense cold, heat, or water due to the lack of insulation. While it is better than a tent, the pop-up’s non-sturdy nature provides less protection from the outside weather than the hard-sided campervan.
Pop-Up Camper Recommendations in 2021
Let’s look at the most popular types of pop up camper in 2021:
Sylvan Sport GO – most affordable camper
Price: (CHECK TODAY’S PRICE)
Dry weight: 840 lbs
Carrying capacity: 4 people | max 1010 lbs
Why you’ll love it: Just enough room to sleep for a solo or couple traveler, a very compact design with both the roof and sides expanded to create ample space. Ultra-lightweight and durable. Suitable for very light camping and towable by any vehicle you have. The best choice when you’re on a tight budget.
Cons: there is no attached kitchen and bathroom.
2021 Forest River Flagstaff Hard Side Series – most options
Price: (CHECK TODAY’S PRICE)
Dry weight: 2,101 – 2,526 lbs
Length: 17’ – 20’10”
Carrying capacity: 2 – 4 people
Why you’ll love it: Hard-sided pop-up wall, easy to set up and disassemble, large rear and front roof for view and light to come in, excellent storage space, a fully functioning kitchen and bathroom, come in various shapes, sizes, floor plans, and styles to fit your preferences. Check their floor plans here.
Cons: This pop-up is quite pricey and poorly constructed. Towing this camper around will be a little bit tricky due to the size.
Air Opus 4-Sleeper Camper – easiest setup
Price: (CHECK TODAY’S PRICE)
Dry weight: 2870 lbs
Carrying capacity: 4 people | max 1100 lbs
Why you’ll love it: The setup and take down process only takes five minutes, which includes setting up the interior equipment. Wide windows and high ceilings offer natural light and views. The canvas is water and wind-resistant. Perfect for dirt and rocky road trips.
Cons: Expensive, the power batteries are not durable, lack of storage space.
So, is it still relevant to own a pop-up camper in 2021?
RV sales have surged throughout the pandemic, so much that their industry is experiencing limited supply to satisfy the demand; the same goes for pop-up sales. The ideal combination of size, comfort, and convenience, a pop-up camper, would be just right for adventurers who want an RV comfort but a compact design.
We love that it brings us close to the outdoors while adding security. Anyone who likes to camp in a rustic way with enough amenities, then THIS is the way in 2021!
We hope that we helped you decide whether a pop-up camper is the right trailer for you. If you find this article useful, share the article!
Helpful Resource: Remember to check your local Craigslist for used pop-up campers; this is a great way to save money from the sticker price and also maybe even taxes (check local tax regs to make sure). Remember to thoroughly check over the camper before you buy it, as you need to make sure that the condition is as good as the seller claims it to be.
- How much weight can a pop-up camper bed hold?
Pop-up campers can carry a weight between 600 to 4,000 pounds and vary between different sizes of trailers. The average dry weight is about 2,300 pounds. It’s good to know how much your pop-up camper weighs before you hit the road.
Most slide-out beds are estimated at 1,000 lbs. The bed designed for the camper can support a bodyweight of up to 250 pounds. Depending on the brand, this may differ. Pop-up campers will have a manual where you can check for standard dry weight and maximum capacity limits.
- Is a pop-up camper considered an RV?
A pop-up camper is one type of towed and collapsible RV for easy transport. This type of trailer provides a large amount of interior space when compared to its size when collapsed. Since it’s on wheels, it is an RV that you can tow behind much smaller vehicles. However, in some campgrounds, you will be using the tent space instead of the RV parking lot. So, better call the campground management ahead if a pop-up is not listed as an option.
- How wide and long is a pop-up camper?
Refer to your camper’s manual to know about its size. Most pop-ups are between 6’ to 7’6” in width, 8’ to 16’ in length, and 4’6” to 5’ in height when closed.
The manufacturers often refer to the camper’s length as the box length, including the retractable roofs when they are not expanded. If you want to know the actual measurement with its roof fully open, simply take the manufactured length and multiply it by two. The same concept applies to the width.
- Do pop-up campers have bathrooms?
Pop-up campers have the comforts of an RV, but not all of them provide a bathroom. The best thing is, you can decide to have it or not! If you’re in the process of purchasing your pop-up camper, learning if they have a bathroom and what type of bathroom is a primary step. Depending on the camper’s size, you have a few options to consider, such as an attached dry or wet bathroom or a portable toilet with either a separate shower or no shower. And of course, it comes with the extra cost.
- How much does a Coleman pop-up camper weigh?
Coleman campers can weigh anywhere from 400 pounds all the way up to 3,000 pounds and more. However, it totally depends on how much your amenities and the size of your camper. The longer the length and the more amenities you have in your Coleman camper, the heavier the weight.
- Can you pull a pop-up camper with a car?
Definitely! The pop-up camper is built to make it towable by any mid or full-size vehicle or car. You will still need to refer to the manufacturers the towing capacity for your car to know for sure. A good rule of thumb is to stay under 80% of your max towing capacity.