The Best 9 Small and Lightweight Pop Up Campers (With Pricing, Pictures, Floor Plans, etc)

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We all need to get away from the hustle and bustle of the day-to-day grind every once in a while. And while roughing it in a tent can be part of the adventure, some of us (me included) prefer to have a few creature comforts on hand.

Recreation vehicles are a great way of finding this balance. RVs cover a huge expanse of options, from luxury offerings like the Bowlus Terra Firma, to travel trailers, and even converted transport vans. But, these can often cost more than what many of us are willing or able to spend. 

That’s where pop up campers come in! They offer a bunch of the same home comforts as the higher-end options at a much lower price. And it’s not just the dollar amount that has these at the top of my personal RV list! 

Pop-ups are usually lighter and smaller than many of the other trailer options (as little as 800ish pounds all the way up to 3,500 pounds for large pop-up campers, with an average weight of around 1700 pounds. The average length of a camper is anywhere between 8 and 16 feet, with that size usually doubling once folded out) meaning they can be hauled by a larger range of vehicles and are much easier to maneuver.

But what exactly is a pop up camper you ask?

To put in the most simple terms, a pop up camper is a compact towable living area that packs down to about half their usable size for ease of transport and usually comes with expandable hard or canvas walls. 

They can accommodate anywhere from 2 to 8 people and usually cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000, depending on which size you decide on.

Are there any obvious downsides to a pop up camper when compared to other RV options?

Sure, with the cost being much lower you cannot reasonably expect to have all the bells and whistles of higher-priced recreational vehicles.

Usually, the space will be tighter with fewer rooms, less privacy, and less storage space. Many do not come with an inbuilt toilet or shower (although you can of course get a pop up with bathroom facilities). Some do not come with cooling or heating, they are usually less insulated from the weather, and there is the set up and pack away time to take into consideration

But, if you are a 3 seasons adventurer looking for a few more of the home conveniences when exploring the great outdoors then a pop up camper is a great option.

So, follow me as I dive deep and take a look at all the best offerings in the pop up camper world!

SylvanSport GO

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The SylvanSport GO is without a doubt one of my favorite small pop up campers. Perfect for three-season camping (although not suitable for cold winter trips), this brilliantly designed camping trailer can carry a bunch of loot, can go off-road when needed, and is priced to please!

Specs:

  • Price: Starting RRP of $9,995
  • Length: 140 in / 356 cm
  • Weight Rating (GVWR): 1650 lbs / 748 kg
  • Weight of camper: 840 lbs / 381 kg
  • Ground Clearance: 13 in / 33 cm
  • Equipment Rack Weight Rating: 165 lbs / 75 kg
  • Gear Deck Weight Rating: 810 lbs / 367 kg 
  • Storage Box Volume: 9 cu ft | .25 cu m
  • Tent Material: 210 denier ripstop polyester (body), 210 denier oxford nylon (floor)
  • Stabilizers: 4 corner-mounted stabilizing jacks
  • Bathroom: NA
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 5
  • Fresh Water Tank Capacity: NA
  • Gray Water Tank Capacity: NA
  • Black Water Tank Capacity: NA
  • BTU per hour furnace: NA
  • RVInsider average reviews: No reviews
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The SylvanSport GO may be missing some of the options that come with a travel trailer or motorhome (water system, bathroom) but don’t write it off your list just yet!

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The entire tent unit packs away into the super sleek roof compartment, and it takes less than 10 minutes to transform the trailer into a fully functional living space for up to 5 people (although that may be a bit of a squeeze. This unit is better suited for 2 to 4 people in my opinion)

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The Best 9 Small and Lightweight Pop Up Campers (With Pricing, Pictures, Floor Plans, etc) 5

This versatile, comfortable, and rugged pop-up camper comes with self-inflating mattresses that are actually surprisingly comfy, a large storage box, enough carry space for all your adventure needs, a heavy-duty long-lasting tent made from 220-denier ripstop nylon fabric,(3x heavier duty than traditional family tents), a diamond plate reinforced deck, and some of the best build quality i have seen in this category. 

Head over to https://sylvansport.com/go-camping-trailer/ to see all the options available! 

Forest River Flagstaff Hard Side Pop Up Campers

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Next up we have the fantastic Flagstaff Hard Side Pop Up Campers from Forest River campers. With 7 floor plans to choose from there’s an option for almost everyone, but today I’m going to focus on the T21TBHWOR, one of the bigger options available.

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Specs:

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  • Price: Starting RRP of $22,995.00
  • Length: 21′ 2″
  • Height: 5′ 1″ (closed)
  • Weight Rating (GVWR): 1208 lb.
  • Weight of camper: 2014 lb.
  • Stabilizers: 4 E-Z Crank-Down Stabilizer Jacks w/ Sand Pads
  • Bathroom: NA
  • Fridge: Yes
  • Sink: Yes
  • Cook top: 3 Burner with oven
  • BTU per hour furnace: 10,000
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 5
  • Fresh Water Tank Capacity: Under Floor 20 Gallon Fresh Water Tank
  • Gray Water Tank Capacity: NA
  • Black Water Tank Capacity: NA
  • BTU per hour furnace: NA
  • RVInsider average reviews: 3.9 out of 5
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These hard-sided, A-frame roofed campers offer the best of both worlds – easy and lightweight traveling with the convenience of a tent camper, but also featuring solid walls and roof. 

Some of the great features included are a 10000 BTU BTU Cool Cat heat pump which doubles as both an A/C and space heater, mattress heaters, full outdoor stereo system, a water filter system, an LTE WiFi booster for those who need to work on the go, and the ProRac permanent crossbars to carry anything from kayaks to bikes.

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There’s also a full kitchenette built into every Flagstaff which utilizes a 3 burner stovetop and oven, a fridge big enough for a few days worth of fresh produce, and a decently sized sink. This comes with all Flagstaffs, no matter which floor plan you choose.

The clean and simple design hides top tier engineering. This camper is built to last, with high grade materials used throughout the build, and a super generous 5 year warranty.

Head over to https://forestriverinc.com/rvs/camping-trailers/flagstaff-hard-side-pop-up-campers to see all the options available.

TrailManor 2518 Series

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TrailManor have been making some of the best RVs for decades, but the all new TrailManor 2518 Series really takes the cake. This model has quickly become one of the company’s best sellers, and there’s a few obvious reasons why people seem to love this pop up so much.

Specs:

  • Price: Starting RRP of $22,995.00
  • Length: 21’6″
  • Height: 118″ open, 82″ closed
  • Weight Rating (GVWR): 720 lbs
  • Weight of camper: 2580 lbs
  • Stabilizers: 4 Stabilizer Jacks
  • Bathroom: Dry bath with cassette toilet and shower
  • Fridge: 3-way 3 cu. ft. refrigerator
  • Sink: Yes
  • Cook top: 2 Burner with oven
  • BTU per hour furnace: Suburban 20,000 BTU furnace
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 6
  • Fresh Water Tank Capacity: 20 Gallon Fresh Water Tank
  • Gray Water Tank Capacity: 30 Gallon Grey Water Tank
  • Black Water Tank Capacity: NA
  • RVInsider average reviews: 4.4 out of 5
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The 4.4 out of 5 star rating should tell you everything you need to know about this awesome unit, but let me elaborate a little further.

Small enough (when packed down) to fit into any regular garage and, even though this unfolds to be similar in size to many large travel trailers, it can be towed by a much wider range of vehicles. Towing is virtually effortless, with only a single extra gallon of gas on average per 100 miles being used when clipped on. 

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The list of features is almost never ending with highlights like a 12 volt electrical system  with a 55-amp power converter and battery charger, rubber torsion axles with independent suspension,

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“Krystal Kote” exterior cladding, aluminum alloy wheels, smoke detector, CO & LP gas detector, power front slide out to name a few. Check out https://trailmanor.com/2518series/# for the full list!

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Aliner LXE Series

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The Aliner LXE series is one of the highest rated pop up campers currently available to the North American market. Since the early 1970’s, Aliner has consistently produced some of the finest camper units, and they have only strengthened that reputation with the addition of this one!

Specs:

  • Price: Starting RRP of $35,590
  • Length: 15’
  • Height: 57″ closed
  • Weight Rating (GVWR): 3000 lbs
  • Weight of camper: 1795 lbs
  • Stabilizers: 4 Stabilizer Jacks
  • Bathroom: Cassette toilet and shower
  • Fridge: 3-way 3 cu. ft. refrigerator
  • Sink: Yes
  • Cook top: 2 Burner with microwave oven
  • BTU per hour furnace: 20,000 BTU furnace
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 4
  • Fresh Water Tank Capacity: 11 Gallon Fresh Water Tank
  • Gray Water Tank Capacity: NA
  • Black Water Tank Capacity: NA
  • RVInsider average reviews: 4.4 out of 5
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Matching the TrailManor 2518 Series 4.4 out of 5 star rating on RVinsider.com is a great omen, and I can see why the masses have flocked to this one!

A few things that stand out here are the 3000 lb GVWR, 10 inch electric brake system, the performax 500 premium marine grade flooring,azdel lightweight, thermoplastic composite interior wall and ceiling panels, anodized aluminum extrusion, e-coated frame with powder coating on the front tongue and bumper, full kitchenette, and one of the most comfortable sofa beds i have ever had the pleasure of napping in. There is also a water heater, a command air conditioning heat pump, heaps of headroom, multiple interior 12 volt electrical outlets and one for outdoor use.

Sure, it’s not the cheapest option out there, but there the entire Aliner range is built to the highest standard. If you want more info on this one, or any others from the full range head over to https://aliner.com/ .

Coachmen Clipper LS 806XLS

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Is the Coachmen Clipper LS 806XLS the most stylish pop up camper? No, not in my view and probably not yours either (unless you are a fan of hospitals maybe). 

But you know what it IS? One of the most functional units available right now, and it comes at an awesome price! 

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The Best 9 Small and Lightweight Pop Up Campers (With Pricing, Pictures, Floor Plans, etc) 20

Specs:

  • Price: Starting RRP of $13,500
  • Length: 17 Feet 11 Inches open,  12 Feet 11 Inches closed
  • Height: 4 Feet 8 in closed
  • Weight Rating (GVWR): 2,897 lb.
  • Weight of camper: 1,642 lb.
  • Stabilizers: 4 Heavy Duty Scissor Style Jacks
  • Bathroom: NA
  • Fridge:120 Watt 12V Refrigerator/Freezer Cooler
  • Sink: Yes
  • Cook top: 2 Burner with microwave oven
  • BTU per hour furnace: 20,000 BTU furnace
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 4
  • Fresh Water Tank Capacity: 16 Gallon Fresh Water Tank
  • Gray Water Tank Capacity: NA
  • Black Water Tank Capacity: NA
  • RVInsider average reviews: 4.4 out of 5

Again we see a score of 4.4 out of 5 stars, keeping in line with the last 2 options – but at a much reduced price! Starting at just  $13,500 the Coachmen Clipper LS 806XLS is one of the most budget friendly pop ups currently being sold!

One of the ways Coachmen has saved money is by eliminating a bathroom setup, but I do not actually hate this design decision. Sure, it’s nice to have a hot shower every now and then, but this also adds a bunch of space for other options.  

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If you take a quick look at the floor plan you’ll see the 2 opposing gaucho benches which take the place of a more conventional dinette. I love this for 2 reasons – first it offers more versatility when hanging out inside the camper, and offers more sleeping space.

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If you would like to learn more about the Coachmen Clipper LS 806XLS make sure to head over to https://coachmenrv.com/camping-trailers/clipper/806XLS/3870 !

Turtleback Trailers Getaway

https://www.youtube.com/c/TurtlebackTrailers

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On the hunt for a pop up camper that can handle all rough and tumble of 4WDing, and offer some creature comforts even in the most remote locations? 

Well then, say hello to the Turtleback Trailers Getaway. Although you may have not heard of this awesome little company, they have been making some major waves in the industry for over a decade now. 

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Specs:

  • Price: Starting RRP of $18,500
  • Length: 17 Feet 11 Inches open,  12 Feet 11 Inches closed
  • Height: 4 Feet 8 in closed
  • Weight Rating (GVWR): 1160 lb.
  • Weight of camper:  840 lb.
  • Stabilizers: NA
  • Bathroom: NA
  • Fridge: NA
  • Sink: Deep Well Sink
  • Cook top: partner Steel 2 Burner Stove
  • BTU per hour furnace: 20,000 BTU furnace
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 4
  • Fresh Water Tank Capacity: 21 Gallon Fresh Water Tank
  • Storage Capacity: 50.25 cubic ft.
  • Tires and Wheels: 16″ Steel Wheels, 265/75-R16 BFG KO2 Tires
  • RVInsider average reviews: NA

Fully designed, tested, and constructed in the good old U.S.A in their 10,000-square-foot facility just outside Phoenix, Arizona, every single Turtleback Trailer has to go through a rigorous testing regime before it’s marked as sale-ready. 

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Although lacking an RVinsider.com rating, a quick google search shows just how popular these campers have quickly become. 

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Built on a proven chassis, with more storage space than many units double the size, and easy to tow and maneuver on and off road there really aren’t many competing options that can offer the same list of features or ease of navigation. 

Click right here https://turtlebacktrailers.com/explore-the-getaway-trailer-built-by-turtleback-trailers/ to see all the options available right now!

Jay Sport Camping Trailer by Jayco

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Available in 4 floor plans ranging in length from 11 foot 7 in all the way up to 21 foot 6 in, the Jay Sport Camping Trailer by Jayco has all the bases covered. Jayco has a rich history of targeting the lower end of the price scale for pop-up trailers, and the Jay Sport is no exception to the rule.

The Jay Sport by Jayco are some of the most economical options available right now and they come packed with fantastic features with a wide range of options.

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Specs:

  • Price: Starting RRP of $17,046
  • Length:18′ 7″ open / 4.92 ft. closed
  • Width: 85 in
  • Weight Rating (GVWR):  3375 lbs / 1530.9 kgs
  • Weight of camper:  2385 lbs / 1081.8 kgs
  • Stabilizers: 4 Stabilizer jacks with sand pads
  • Bathroom: NA
  • Fridge: 2 cu. ft., 3 way gas/electric refrigerator (110V/12V/propane)
  • Sink: Acrylic sink and faucet
  • Cook top: 2 Burner Stove
  • BTU per hour furnace: 20,000 BTU furnace
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 6
  • Fresh Water Tank Capacity: 28 Gallon Fresh Water Tank
  • Tires and Wheels: 14-inch C-range tires (12SC)
  • RVInsider average reviews: 2.9
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The heavy-duty, rust-resistant chassis construction is combined with an integrated A-frame by Norco® and a one-piece wooden floor deck wrapped with Poly Flex™ underbelly material plus the scratch-proof embossed-aluminum exterior finish. This combination has been proven time and again to last through even the toughest weather conditions, even with minimal after care. 

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I really love the layout of this camper. There’s just so much room compared to some of the other options, and even though the fridge is a little smaller than I would like there’s still enough room for more than a day’s worth of food.

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The Rvinsider.com score of 2.9 really surprises me. After browsing the comments I can see that there are a few complaints about the main door becoming jammed or not fitting well in the first place, but I did not find this to be an issue with the camper I tested. 

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Overall, the Jay Sport Camper Trailer by Jayco was a pleasure to use and (in my opinion) one of the best options at this price point! click here to see all the options available – https://www.jayco.com/rvs/camping-trailers/2019-jay-sport/ 

Cricket by Taxa Outdoors

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Cricket by Taxa Outdoors may not look like your everyday pop up camper, but don’t let that put you off just yet.  This lightweight and rugged towable is the perfect blend of both civilized design and form that’s small enough to be pulled by many four-cylinder engine vehicles, but with still enough sleeping room for a full 4 person family.

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Specs:

  • Price: Starting RRP of $38,000
  • Length: 15 ft
  • Width: 9 ft
  • Weight Rating (GVWR):  2,700 lbs
  • Weight of camper: 1,753 lbs
  • Stabilizers: 4 Stabilizer Jacks
  • Bathroom: Portable Toilet and Exterior Hot & Cold Shower
  • Fridge: Large Cooler
  • Sink: Sink with Hinged Lid
  • Cook top: 2 Burner Stove
  • BTU per hour furnace: Truma® Combi Eco Furnace & Water Heater System
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 4
  • Fresh Water Tank Capacity: 15 gallon Fresh Water Tank
  • Grey Water Tank Capacity: 16 gallon Grey Water Tank
  • Liquid Propane (2x 20lb) Tanks with Cover
  • Tires and Wheels: 14-inch C-range tires (12SC)
  • RVInsider average reviews: NA
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The Cricket by Taxa offers a great blend of modern comforts with a stripped-down and functional design. Inspired by NASA space crafts, this all-new pop up camper has ingenious features hidden throughout.

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The Best 9 Small and Lightweight Pop Up Campers (With Pricing, Pictures, Floor Plans, etc) 37

There are multiple USB outlets, a full-sized bed that hides over 20 cubic feet of storage, non-slip seamless nickel patterned flooring, roof racks for rack options, a 12v roof exhaust fan, Kynar-painted aluminum composite panels, recycled ripstop polyester tent side with multiple mesh windows, a laser-cut high tension aluminum frame, torsion axle suspension with electric brakes plus so much more.

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There are a whole heap of financing options available, so head on over to https://taxaoutdoors.com/habitats/cricket/ to grab all the info!

OP4 by Opus Camper Trailers

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Last on today’s rundown is the awesome OP4 by OPUS Camper Trailers. These unique campers offer complete freedom, with huge offroad potential.

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The OP4 took home multiple awards in the past 24 months, and the all new and updated 2022 version has some brand spanking new features that only add to the overall brilliance of this already great camping pop up trailer.

Specs:

  • Price: Starting RRP of $25,001
  • Length: 18’4″
  • Width: 6’10”
  • Weight Rating (GVWR):  3500lbs
  • Weight of camper: 1,655 lbs
  • Stabilizers: 4 Stabilizer Jacks
  • Bathroom: Portable Toilet and Exterior Hot & Cold Shower
  • Fridge: OPUS Camper 50 QT 12V Fridge (Optional Extra)
  • Sink: Sink with Hinged Lid
  • Cook top: 4 Burner Stove
  • BTU per hour furnace: Dometic Coolcat AC & Heat Pump 10,000BTU
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 4r
  • Tires and Wheels: 2x 265/75/RR15 Mud Tires + 1x Spare
  • RVInsider average reviews: NA
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The Best 9 Small and Lightweight Pop Up Campers (With Pricing, Pictures, Floor Plans, etc) 44

Combining the best in state of the art tech with a comfort first design and tying in off road capabilities, the OPUS OP4 can get you places you didn’t think possible (at least while towing a pop up camper), and keep you out there in style and comfort for long periods.4

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Sick of long setup and pack-down procedures?

Well then, say hello to OPUS’s air beam technology. This futuristic feature automatically configures your camper canopy and annex at the push of a button, with the full setup taking less than 2 minutes.

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Made from high-grade, thick 340g Polycotton, the OPUS OP4 exterior shell provides top-shelf defense and shielding from the elements, including a fully water-resistant and UV-protected tropical roof. 

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How about the off-road capabilities?

I’m glad you asked! This is where the OP4 really shines. Featuring highly durable suspension, high strength coil springs, dual shock absorbers, off-road tires, and a fully galvanized chassis –  this unit shines in the mud and dirt.

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So, what are you waiting for? Click on the link to see all the options available today – https://www.opuscamper.us/op4-features/ 

What To Look For When Buying A New or Used Pop Up Camper

There are a whole range of factors that you should take into consideration when deciding on which pop up camper will best suit you and your family’s needs. Let’s quickly run through them and go over the basics.

How much weight can your vehicle tow?

This is the very first question you should ask yourself. There’s no use buying a beautiful new pop up that can accommodate everyone in your family, only to find that it’s destined to become a driveway ornament until you also buy a new car!

Most pop up campers weigh in at anywhere between 1,000 to 3,000 lbs, and that’s not including any of the things you may want to stow away inside for a trip.

A good rule of thumb is to add 500 or so pounds for your extra gear, and another 500 pounds on top just to be on the safe side. NEVER EXCEED YOUR VEHICLE’S TOWING CAPACITY.

How many people does it comfortably sleep?

I have a pretty small family (just me, my wife, and our 4-year-old) so a camper that sleeps 2 to 3 is usually fine for us, for now at least. 

But, say you have more than a couple of little ones? What are you supposed to do then? 

I would suggest bringing along a few tents for the older kids to sleep in, which is exactly what my friend with a large family does. 

The kids love it, and it gives the whole family a bit of much-needed privacy.

How much storage space does the camper offer?

Unfortunately, pop ups do not usually offer as much storage space as other RV options. These days it seems that manufacturers are taking notice of this and are trying to come up with new ways of finding extra hiding spots, but in general you should keep in mind that storage space might be at a premium.

What features and amenities are important to you?

Do you need an AC? Or maybe you live in a colder climate, in which case a heater may be more important? 

How about the kitchen size? 

Do you need a bathroom? Is hot water important to you, or can you make do with cold showers for a couple of days?

These are all important questions that need to be answered before you get close to buying a pop up camper, or and camper in that case.

What to inspect on a pop up camper before you buy?

This is particularly important if you plan on buying a used camper, but it is still something you should do with brand new units. 

But, what exactly should you be looking over?

  • Check the tires. Make sure they have zero cracking, enough tread, and look in good general shape. This video will help you if you are unsure of what to check https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa32aqkOzgc
  • Make sure the pop up lift system is in full working order.
  • Check for any mold or mildew around the entire cab.
  • Make sure the appliances are in full working order. This means checking the electrical and plumbing systems thoroughly.

The Wrap Up

Ok, so there you have it. My complete and comprehensive rundown of all the best pop up campers currently available. Is there one that caught your eye?

This is usually where I would give my recommendation on the best reviewed camper, but geez this is a hard one! Every single listed camper is great in its own right, and it really depends on what type of camping you are looking to do.

But, for me anyway, the standout is the OP4 by Opus Camper Trailers. Go anywhere, set up quickly, sleep comfortably, and with a decent kitchen set up. Pretty hard to beat if you’re asking me! Head over here to grab one today – https://www.opuscamper.us/op4-features/ 

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About Chris Coleman

Chris Coleman is an interesting travel blogger and outdoor photographer with a great sense of humor. He owns an RV Accessories shop in New York City so he has the knowledge necessary to provide thorough reviews and give advice on how to choose the right products for RV travel. He puts all that RV knowledge and experience to good use in his sharing posts. Besides product buying guides/reviews, Chris also writes informative articles, how-to articles and RV camping guides in his own interesting viewpoint. Chris’s blog is one of the most reliable information sources for RV campers no matter if you're an expert or a determined beginner.

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