5 Best Small Pop-Up Campers
Small pop-up campers are the ideal way to elevate your camping experience when you and your friends find that sleeping on the ground isn’t what it used to be.
You were a committed tent camper for many years and enjoyed that lifestyle. Motorhomes and travel trailers are certainly too large and expensive for your tastes.
But, pop-up campers could renew that adventurous outdoors spirit without costing you an appendage.
Let’s jump in!
What are Small Pop-Up Campers?
Traditional pop-up campers are considered travel trailers because they’re pulled behind a vehicle. But that’s where the comparison stops, as today’s small pop-ups are anything but traditional. Many models currently on the market are expandable, but they come in various shapes and sizes. From teardrop campers that expand vertically to utility trailers that magically become a tent on wheels, these inexpensive campers offer many of the features of motor coaches and 5th wheels. But without the high cost.
Benefits of Small Pop-Up Campers
These ‘little brothers’ of the RV tribe have significant benefits that sometimes go overlooked. For instance, most small pop-up campers offer good fuel efficiency for their towing vehicles since the campers are smaller in size and lower in profile.
They also easily adapt to almost any campsite, large or small. Towing a small pop-up allows users to travel virtually anywhere, especially off the beaten path. And because most pop-ups involve tent-type material, campers will have no problem feeling closer to nature!
Of course, the biggest benefit of owning a small pop-up camper is the relatively small sticker price. They don’t require you to sell your firstborn to purchase one. In fact, you’ll have money left over for plenty of s’mores!
5 Best Small Pop-Up Campers
We’ve found five popular small pop-up campers with unique features. See which one will best suit your needs.
#1 – Aliner Scout Lite
Reminiscent of the old A-frame houses, the Aliner Scout Lite is a modern take on pop-up tents. This little pull-behind trailer has a 3,000-pound axle with brakes and measures 78” wide by 10’ long. The Scout Lite weighs only 1,180 pounds because it consists of fiberglass. In fact, most cars can pull it.
Two beds provide comfortable sleeping quarters, but there’s no shower or toilet. You can add an optional sink with a city water hook-up and an electric refrigerator, though. Its floor plan is perfect for a solo traveler or couple, and the price is $12,995.
#2 – SylvanSport GO Camper
For those campers who want to travel light but still bring their toys, the SylvanSport Go is just the ticket. The Go looks like a small utility trailer, carrying bikes, motorcycles, and kayaks from all appearances. But once at the campsite, it transforms into an innovative pop-up camper.
Weighing in at 840 pounds, virtually any car can tow the Go. And with interchangeable parts like a kitchen ‘cupboard’ and solar add-ons, campers can enjoy some of the luxuries of home. When closed, it measures 48” wide, 84” long, and 17” tall. But the gear deck can be raised to 48” to carry taller equipment, hauling up to 960 pounds.
There’s also a nifty roof rack that can handle 165 pounds of bikes and boats. Campers then ‘raise the roof’ to reveal two fold-out beds in a screened pod. You can also lower the kitchen table to create one large king-sized bed of 80” x 116”.
The icing on the cake is a front storage box that can hold extra camping equipment or toys. Plus, it has a diamond plate deck that’s sturdy and easy to keep clean.
The SylvanSport Go has no water or electrical hook-ups. However, most campers see it as a step up from camping in a tent, with its comfortable bed configuration, and a way to bring their toys along. It’s priced at $9,995.
#3 – Coachmen Clipper 9.0TD
What do you get when you cross a pop-up camper with a teardrop? The Coachmen Clipper, of course! This interesting twist has all of the benefits of towing a low-profile trailer. Plus, there’s the bonus of increased headroom once it’s set up at the campsite. Coachmen has even fit a refrigerator and air conditioner in the Clipper so that campers can have their creature comforts with them.
Measuring 14’ 2” in length and 6’ 7” wide, the camper has 6’ 5” of height when the pop-up is utilized but only 3’ 9” when closed. At a weight of 1,410 pounds, most vehicles can pull the Clipper when it’s empty. The only bed measures 54” x 74”, which is not quite a queen but still comfy!
A 16-gallon freshwater tank services the interior sink. A 20,000 BTU furnace and an outdoor grill are also standard equipment. This makes the Clipper an excellent all-around choice for three-season camping. It’s priced at $10,995.
#4 – Forest River Rockwood Tent 1640LTD
The Limited Edition of the Rockwood Tent 1640 pop-up camper comes with all the bells and whistles of a traditional RV, including a three-way refrigerator, an indoor/outdoor stove, and a 7’ awning. These perks enhance the standard features of a center kitchen with a dinette, a freshwater holding tank, a 20,000 BTU furnace, and two large beds.
For $11,500, you can’t go wrong with this adaptive camper. It has a payload of 793 pounds and measures 12’ 4” x 84” when closed and 17’ 2” long when opened fully. Constructed on a single axle, the Rockwood Tent camper is the perfect backwoods rig, able to get to just about any campsite.
#5 – Opus OP Lite
It’s certainly not your mama’s pop-up camper, but the Opus OP Lite will blow your socks off with its off-road capability and innovative design. It has all-terrain tires and offers a full outdoor kitchen with a hidden grill and accessible refrigerator. Its six windows and skylights mean nature’s never far away. But with a solar port and onboard propane, campers can stay off the grid for a couple of days.
Opus has designed the interior to fit two adults comfortably and includes the necessities. In addition, the OP Lite has an integrated stereo system and 120-Volt hook-up, plush dinette lounge, removable table, and LED lighting. There’s even an optional “air annex,” which encloses the outdoor kitchen, doubling the livable space. And to make this package even more spectacular is the way OP Lite expands when you arrive at a campsite of your choice. It self inflates! (Of course, a 100-Amp battery comes standard to operate your air pump, lights and 12-Volt outlets.)
Its dry weight is 2,380 pounds, and this small pop-up camper measures 17’ 2” by 5’ 6” x 4’ 5” when closed and 17’ 2” x 5’ 6” x 10’ when open. It’s priced at $20,000.
Test the Waters in Small Pop-Up Campers
Small pop-up campers let you wet your feet in the RV waters without the higher prices and maintenance issues of larger, more complex RVs. With such a variety of pop-ups available in today’s market, you’ll surely find a rig that can introduce you to the pleasures of the RV lifestyle while keeping you connected with Mother Nature!
Keep in mind: Pop up campers do have downsides, too. Here are 5 Reasons to Avoid a Pop Up Camper.
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