RVing

Pop Up In Paradise! 6 Amazing Benefits of Owning a Pop-Up Camper

Looking to upgrade out of your tent? But not sure you’re ready for a large RV yet? A pop-up camper might be your best bet!

Pop-ups give you a tent-like experience without the hassle of sleeping on the ground. And they’re much easier to haul and store than a traditional RV. 

In this article, we’ll go into more detail about everything there is to love about pop-up campers. Here are six amazing benefits of owning one.

1. Lightens Up Your Load

Pop-up campers are light. Why is that important? Because the lighter the load, the more flexibility you have in how you haul it. 

Almost any vehicle can haul a pop-up. In fact, small pop-ups will tow behind a regular car. So, when you make the decision to invest in a camper, you won’t have to worry about also having to upgrade your tow vehicle too.

Also, if you’ve ever towed a full-sized travel trailer before, you understand that it’s not the easiest task in the world. If it’s windy out, the trailer can shift and move on the road unless you have an expensive hitch system. Also, you’ll find that you can’t drive as fast pulling a large camper. And the added weight affects how your two vehicles handles while you’re hauling. 

A pop-up is small and light enough that many times, you don’t even realize you’re pulling anything. They’re short, so you can see over and around them when you’re in traffic. And they aren’t affected by wind turbulence nearly as much as a large travel trailer. 

2. Brings the Outdoors In… Within Reason

Most of us want our camping experience to bring us as close to nature as possible. Pop-up campers allow you more access to nature than you’d get in an RV. And they’re better at keeping the elements out than a tent. 

RVs and tents don’t open up the way a pop-up does. Pop-up campers have canvas siding all around. And each panel of the canvas has a screen and separate solid canvas flap. You can open up all the solid flaps and experience a 360-degree view of nature. 

This gives you more airflow at night for a cooler sleeping experience. And the screens keep out bugs and other pests. You can enjoy this feature during the day too. Have lunch inside your camper and still have the feel of being outdoors at your beautiful campsite. 

There’s something to be said about having a place to sleep that’s off the ground. A pop-up gives you the tent experience with a real bed. You’ll feel safer, especially when you’re camping in an area with heavy wildlife traffic. And you’ll have an excellent view of the stars!

3. Wallet-Friendly

As far as RVs go, pop-up campers are the most wallet-friendly option on the market. If you only camp a few times per year, it may not be worth it to you to spend lots of money on a full-size travel trailer. You can get a pop-up at a fraction of the cost. 

And because they cost less to start, they’re cheaper to insure. They also require a lot less space to store. Most will fit right into the stall of a garage. 

Although they might seem fragile, these campers are actually really durable. And the maintenance on a small pop-up will probably be less than the maintenance on a travel trailer. 

Since they’re lighter, you’ll have fewer problems with things like tires, axles, and hitch assemblies. They’ll also put less stress on your tow vehicle. And since many pop-ups have very little plumbing, you’ll have less chance of water-related issues inside the camper. 

But just because you can get them cheaper, doesn’t mean they don’t come with plenty of accessories. Many pop-up campers come with air conditioners, refrigerators, bench seating, plenty of storage, and even slide-outs. You can get the feel of tent camping with all the luxuries you want!

4. Go Wherever the Wind Takes You

Many campgrounds have weight or length restrictions on their sites. Larger RVs simply won’t fit in them. That’s never an issue with a pop-up camper. 

Most pop-up campers can fit into any tent site. And many campgrounds treat them like a tent so you can use a tent site if a back-in isn’t available. 

Since they can be pulled by almost any vehicle, it’s easier to take these off-road. Many pop-ups can be pulled up Jeep paths using a 4×4 Jeep or truck. Of course, it’s always best to check into these types of campsites ahead of time. But if it’s allowed, why not bring your pop-up as far into the woods as you can?

5. The More the Merrier

One big advantage that pop-ups have over traditional RVs is the sleeping arrangments. Most of the space in a pop-up is dedicated to sleep—you’ll fit a lot more people in a pop-up than you can in a regular RV. 

Pop-ups are made with two sliding beds that push out from the center of the trailer. These beds are what sticks out over the sides of the camper. And in larger pop-ups, you can sleep up to five people in these two beds alone. 

Plus, there’s often sleeping room in the interior of the trailer too. Many campers have a table or a lounge area that folds down into a bed too. If your pop-up has both, you can sleep an extra four people in these areas. For the size of the trailer, you simply can’t beat the amount of space to sleep.

6. Easy Peasy

This is the number one question that potential owners have before purchasing a pop-up camper: Is it easy to set-up? And the answer is… yes!

It’s certainly easier to set up than a tent. And unlike a tent, you can store things inside your pop-up. Leave your mattresses, bedding, and cooking gear right in the camper. So you have less to pack up and put away when it’s time to leave the site. 

Most pop-ups use a simple set-up process. First, you back into your site and level your trailer. Then unhook from the tow vehicle and lift the roof using a crank (or an automatic lift for upgraded models). Then you slide out the two side beds and tuck the canvas around them using velcro strips. Finally, you pull down the door and attach it to the bottom of the trailer. And that’s it!

With traditional RVs, you have to do the same leveling and stabilizing that you do with a pop-up. Heavier travel trailers require more complicated hitches to prevent sway on the road. This makes unhitching more difficult. And you’ll still have to unload things like chairs, tables, and firewood. 


Pop-up camping is a unique experience. Open up the flaps to experience lots of beautiful views and refreshing airflow. And you’ll love the convenience and durability of a pop-up camper. Have you ever considered getting a pop-up camper? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

6 amazing benefits of owning a pop up camper

10 comments

  1. Avatar

    For many years we owned a 1987 Starcraft popup and loved it. Our boys were small and we camped often. Due to life circumstances, we sold the camper and just recently purchased a well cared for 2001 Coleman Cheyenne popup and have already been on two weekend getaways. We are empty-nester’s now and absolutely love the freedom it gives us!! We use it now instead of staying in hotels when we go out of town to visit. Just find the closest campground and we are good to go!!

    Sure I would love a fifth-wheel, but when I think about the investment and maintenance required, I am so thrilled to have our little popup that carries no financial burden. We plan to keep our popup as long as my back will allow. Looking forward to our next getaway!!

    1. Avatar

      Thanks for sharing Robert! I have a popup as well and I love it. Have fun on your next getaway!

  2. Avatar

    I’m living full time in a popup, working as a camp worker. Only couple things wish different. Storage for one. And is there a way to seel the canvas on the sides of the beds? When it rains, the canvas gets wet. Other than that, I love living in my little puttputt.

    1. Avatar

      Thanks so much for the comment Renee!

      If you’re having issues with water, I would apply a waterproofer to the canvas. Many of them come waterproofed but this sealer wears off over time. I used a spray sealer on mine and that did the trick. But some sealer come in bottles that you can mix with water. There are also special seam sealers to protect the seams. Just be sure to clean the canvas well before applying and follow the instructions on the product.

      Hope that helps!

  3. Avatar

    I love that you emphasize that setting up a camper trailer is easier than a tent and can store everything you need! My husband and I are trying to become more adventurous and outdoorsy; we want to breath fresh air and explore this beautiful world we have been given. I am excited to start looking for an RV or trailer that will meet our needs!

    1. Avatar

      Thank you, Greta! Best of luck finding your perfect setup!

  4. Avatar

    Hi Rebecca, Great article. My wife and I just purchased a 2020 Rockwood tent trailer last week. We booked our first campsite in May on Vancouver Island. Check me out on my Facebook account. We may bump into one day. Happy traveling. 🙂

    1. Avatar

      That’s great John! Happy pop-up traveling!

  5. Avatar

    We just bought a pop up. I’m wondering if softer mattresses can be found.
    Any advice is appreciated.

    1. Wade Thiel

      Hi Glenda, You should certainly be able to find one, I’d give your local Gander a call. If they don’t have anything that suits your fancy, then it could be worth it to check with some local mattress stores. Sometimes they can be a help.

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