Pop up campers are familiar to everyone who goes camping regularly. They are excellent makeshift tent substitute that comes handy as an emergency shelter and for those who don’t like to sleep in a tent. How much is the pop up camper weight? Can you carry it anywhere you go and use it as a temporary abode when necessary?
Pop up campers are surprisingly lightweight. They are designed for travelers who are looking for a camper that is quick and easy to set up. With time, their size and shape have evolved but they have still remained that camper that is a breeze to tow.
Pop up Camper Weight Basics You Need to Know
When dealing with a pop up, you should know a few weight basics. Understanding these terms will help you determine the gross weight rating.
UVW (Unloaded Vehicle Weight): This is the weight counted when distributed from the manufacturer. Included in this measurement is the combined weight of axles, a full LP propane tank, and the hitch.
CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity): This is the collective weight of cargo, accessories, full fresh water tank, and extra equipment.
GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating): GAWR indicates the maximum cargo weight that the camper’s axles can carry.
GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating): This one includes the total weight a vehicle can carry along with the weight of the hitch.
However, you should know more before committing to a purchase. Learn about different categories of pop ups in the next section.
Pop up Camper Weight: The Categories
Pop ups are some of the lightest campers that you find, although their weight can vary widely, just like a fifth wheel or travel trailer, depending on the size, shape, and the materials used.
The average weight of a pop up camper can be anywhere between 600 and 2,800 pounds. Given the variety, every camper should be able to find the one that fits their needs. The features, benefits, and storage will differ from one style to the other. Some are specially designed for surviving rugged tracks while some others could be great for enjoying outdoor views.
Pop up campers have three different weight categories. Let’s have a discussion on each type so that you can make a decision.
Mini Pop up Campers
Have you seen the Clipper pop up from Coachman? How much can it weigh? Well, it weighs only 600 pounds and some mini campers can be even lighter at around 500 pounds.
There are some slightly heavier models in this category such as Sylvansport’s GO pop up camper. However, pop ups in this category are unlikely to cross 1,000 pounds.
If you are alone or traveling with a partner and none of you care much about all the bells and whistles, such a mini pop up will be an excellent investment. Add a folding table and a couple of fold-out chairs with the camper, and you are good to go.
One huge advantage of mini pop ups is that they are a breeze to tow. Your towing vehicle will never endure excessive wear and tear.
Medium Pop up Campers
A medium pop up camper weight could be more than 1,000 pounds and could be anywhere around 2,000 pounds. As expected they can accommodate one or two people more than a mini pop up and feature some extras.
Jayco’s 8SD Jay Sport is a perfect example of pop ups falling into this category. It weighs north of 1,500 pounds and features two sleeping quarters, a designated kitchen space, a dinette, and enough storage for three to four people.
A great benefit of having a medium pop up is that you can use a regular car for the towing job. For this reason, many people prefer the medium size over the larger ones.
Larger Pop up Campers
The larger pop ups weigh more than 2,000 pounds. That much weight is not a surprise since they come in larger sizes, from 8 to 12 feet long. But some models can be 17 feet long and become around 30 feet when expanded.
As expected, the larger size comes with more amenities than mini and medium pop ups. Forest River’s Flagstaff is a perfect example of larger pop up campers. Weighing around 2,500 pounds, this one offers a slide-out and pop-out sleeping quarters. In general, these campers have a large sleeping area with extra beds, big living space, kitchen area, shelves, etc. These campers are best suitable for large families.
Despite weighing more than the other two types, these pop ups are still lighter than other types of campers. However, make sure that your vehicle can haul this weight before making the purchase.
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Can Your Vehicle Tow the Pop up You Want to Buy?
This is the question that people who want to buy a pop up camper should ask themselves. You should check your car’s tow rating by checking either the owner’s manual or online by using the VIN.
The salesperson at the pop up camper dealership may convince you that your vehicle can carry the weight. But don’t trust that person unless checking yourself.
Checking the tow rating is necessary for calculating the cargo capacity of your vehicle. This rating is a combination of everything inside the vehicle and all the stuff it will tow. So, to determine the cargo-carrying capacity, you have to deduct the UVW and hitch weight.
For example, your vehicle’s tow rating is 3,000 pounds, pop up camper’s UVW is 2,000 pounds, and the high weight is 200 pounds. This means you can carry a total of 800 pounds in cargo. Remember that these 800 pounds should be the total of everything in your vehicle and the camper.
So, you know how much does a pop up camper weight and how to calculate the cargo capacity of your towing vehicle. Now is the time to shop a pop up camper confidently.
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