5 Best Pop Up Campers (with Video Tours)
Pop up campers have been an American tradition since the 1930s. They’re perfect for quick camping trips that get you close to nature.
In 2020 we can safely say, “these aren’t your grandpa’s pop up campers!” The units being manufactured this year are infused with smart technology and quality materials, making it easier than ever to camp off-grid.
Today we’re sharing the 5 best pop up campers of 2020!
Let’d dive in.
1. SylvanSport Go
MSRP: $8,995 for base model
Weight: 840 lbs (unloaded)
Length: 12 feet
Why You’ll Love It: The SylvanSport Go packs a huge punch in terms of pop up campers. Both the roof and sides expand to create a lot of space.
An aluminum frame makes the SylvanSport durable and light weight. In fact, at 840 lbs, this pop up camper can be towed by virtually any SUV and some sedans. Additionally, the unit rides on Dexter Torsion Axles (the same as our 24′ Airstream). These axles give it a much smoother ride compared to standard leaf-spring suspension.
Overall, we think this camper is perfect for one or two travelers. Even though is expands on all sides, the SylvanSport Go isn’t meant for large family travel.
2. Coachmen Clipper
Weight: 1702 lbs
Length: 12 ft 8 in
Why You’ll Love It: If you want to take a family camping trip, with a full kitchen, the Coachmen Clipper is a great option. Both ends expand to separate sleeping areas. The kitchen also has a dinette for eating or getting a little work done.
The dry weight is low enough for most SUVs to safely tow. Additionally, these pop up campers are easy to find at half the price of MSRP. You can usually pick up up for $6,500 if you search RV Trader.
3. Forest River Flagstaff Hard Side Pop Up Camper
MSRP: around $20,000
Weight: 2,500 lbs (many floor plan options)
Length: 20 feet
Why You’ll Love It: This pop up camper is solid! Literally. The side pop-up walls are a “hard shell” and not the standard canvas material. This is great for creating more separation between you and the outdoors.
You’ll be able to control the climate a lot better inside the Flagstaff Hard Side!
This camper is also good for family travel. You can sleep between 4-6 (depending on model). A full kitchen and dinette will make it easy to cook dinner and feed the whole crew.
Chris G., a member of our online community, says this about his Flagstaff:
We love it and camp all summer in it! It’s lightweight, easy to pull and can fit anywhere. We bought it with the idea of going to many National Parks in the next few years!
4. Camp 365
MSRP: $19,995 (base unit)
Weight: 1,495 lbs unloaded
Length: 8.5 feet
Why You’ll Love It: The Camp 365 isn’t so much a pop up – it’s more of a fold-out. Better still, you can completely customize it to your travel needs.
Once the unit is folded out, it opens up into a huge “blank canvas.” Here’s the interior dimensions:
- length: 8′ 5″
- width: 11′ 8″
- height: 7′ 6″
- living space: 700 cubic ft.
You can add an optional kitchen & bathroom, off road package, electric brakes, and speaker system.
If you want control over your space, this is a great option!
5. Taxa Mantis
MSRP: around $32,500
Weight: 2,882 lbs
Length: 19 feet
Why You’ll Love It: Functionality is key with this design. Instead of hiding joinery (mostly rivets), Taxa keeps the frame and hardware visible and easy to edit. Using quality materials, this creates a minimalistic aesthetic with a focus on materials.
The powder coated steel frame also has many strategically placed holes. This allows you to connect carabiners for hanging & strapping items as you wish.
The storage areas are the size of standard milk crates. With this design you can easily store and access your goods without using customized containers.
Why Are Pop Up Campers Great?
Pop up campers have a few distinct advantages. Unlike most RVs, you can tow these units with certain sedans and almost any SUV. Additionally, most of these campers have some sort of kitchen in them.
Even if you think you’ll be camping outside…trust us on this one, an interior cooking option can be extremely useful! On bad weather days you won’t want to cook outside.
Here are a few other benefits of pop up campers:
- Save you money – buying a lightly used camper can be as cheap as $4,000
- You probably won’t need a new tow vehicle
- Great family bonding
- Easier to store when not in use – specifically the Camp365.
What’s Lacking in a Pop Up Camper?
First and foremost, you’ll miss having a bathroom. Even if a pop up camper has a toilet, it’s most like a cassette toilet (which isn’t fun to use).
Depending on which model you buy, having canvas walls can be a bummer in cold or rainy weather. This is why we like the Flagstaff Hard Side – more protection from the elements.
Other areas lacking in a pop up:
- Small tank capacity for fresh water
- The bed’s aren’t super comfy (we have a few solutions)
- Canvas more prone to deteriorate
What Are Actual Campers Saying About Pop Ups?
We love asking the Vibe Tribe (our online camping community) what they think. Unsurprisingly, the majority of them think a pop up camper trip sounds like fun! In fact, 57% of them said “heck yes!”
Here’s what they say:
- “We had one when our 2 daughters were growing up, we went to Canada & mexico, parked any where we liked because we could push it into any spot, I loved it.” – Gail B.
- “Thats what we had 1st! Loved those years” – Debbie W.
- “Absolutely! Raised 3 boys camping in one” – Mike W.
- “Torn, used to have one & loved it….. glad we have a travel trailer now(25′ full-time)” – Dave H.
- “Did for many years was easy and small. Only down fall was can’t go in bear county if you do must not have food or things inside” – Steve N.
Want A Slightly Bigger Camper?
If you think that a pop up camper might be a little too small for your travel needs, we recommend checking out these small camper trailers under 3,100 lbs (with bathrooms)!
The advantage to buying a slightly larger trailer is the added benefit of a bathroom. These trailers also can sleep up to 8 people…not that we recommend it.
Here’s an example of the size on these small trailers with bathrooms:
The Best FREE Camping in the USA
We love camping across this amazing country. And, we really love it when its free. Here’s our list of the 20 Best Free Campsites in the USA.
If you haven’t tried free camping before, also known as boondocking, take a look at our beginners guide to boondocking filled with everything you need to know to get started.