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Ah, finally, some nostalgia. The Pop-Up trailer is commonly the first trailer experience the outdoorsy type partakes in. The reasons for this are simple. Size and price point. The secondary reason includes convenience and storage when not in use. The length usually ranges from 8-20ft, from 1000-4000lbs, sleeps between 2-8 people and depending on if you’re buying a new or used can run you from $4000-$30 000. The trailer sits roughly 4ft high when being towed and upon arrival and set up can be raised by a hand crank or electronically. The vast majority have pop outsides which are tent canvas and nylon.
Pop-ups resemble giant ready to go tents
Although a few manufacturers provide a hard-shell outer membrane. The experience is much like sleeping in a tent only much more sophisticated. Pop-ups are smaller and you will sacrifice on a few amenities but they are the classic for a reason. Many folks simply don’t have the storage space for Class A, B or C RVs, and trailers. These same people don’t necessarily wish to participate in tent camping. More importantly, they are not in the price point range to afford a Class A, C or fifth wheel. The selection is vast. This is only a testament to the talented craftsmen and manufacturers. Of which, some have been in the game since the start. Most complaints involve the obvious, weatherproofing, sleeping size and amenities. This important fact remains, there is an RV or trailer Class for everyone and Pop-Ups are no exception.
Immediate Advantages of a Pop-Up trailer
- Less expensive than other RV classes
- Hard-sided models are available for a certain price. This makes 4 seasons camping a reality
- Lightweight and aerodynamic. Your fuel consumption will be excellent saving you money
- Slideouts can create sleeping space for plenty
- Will meet campground and national park regulations guaranteed.
A few disadvantages of Pop-up trailers
- Sleeping size. Yes, in certain cases they can sleep up to 6 but it’s not as spacious as a Class A or C.
- Amenities. With price decrease and size, decrease comes a decrease in options and specs.
- Weather Proofing. The majority of Pop-ups have tent-like slide outs. Mold and mildew are attracted to this.
- Lack of insulation in some models makes for a noisy sleep and a chilly night.
When entering into this market one must carefully discern between features they want over features they need. The good news is there are a lot of choices due to high demand, low price point and a progressive trend towards a healthier outdoor lifestyle. Join us as we deep dive into a world of retractable everything! Waterproof nylon and reversible cushions. In the end, you’ll be dreaming of buying your very own Pop-up trailer. Picture yourself out there in the open-air camping under the stars…but with a few amenities.
The Cream of the Corp
Newport Aliner Camper
By far the coolest Pop-up out there. Since 1970 Newport Aliner has been making outdoor dreams come true. Not only does Aliners unique shape allow for more headroom, but its outer body hard shell also opens up possibilities’ other pop-ups simply can’t. The best part of all its super affordable without lacking any of the essentials the class is known for.
The first thing you’ll notice is the ground clearance, with the right tire package, there are not too many locations this trailer won’t be able to access. The key attributes that have the market talking are as follows. 5-floor plan options for such a small trailer is impressive. The smart design allows for a 68” height in the cabin and an 84” width. The classic tag is not easily earned and Aliner has it tattooed permanently on their forehead.
The classic model has the essentials. Just that, everything you need. A sofa bed, a dinette that converts to a bed. A plethora of shelving units and storage under the seats. It comes equipped with a sink, stove, fridge, and microwave. As well as propane adaptable. All models come with 2 skylights and nightshade. A 35-amp converter gives you plenty of juice.
Add-ons include 16 000 BTU furnace for the winter and a 6000 BTU wall AC for the summer. Certain models come standard with an outdoor grill and shower. Cool. The category has a few standouts. The Aliner is one of them.
Jayco Jay Sports camping trailer
The reigning heavyweight champ of the division. Jayco pretty much covered it all in this one. If you’re looking for a model with a few more amenities then look no further. First off, Jayco offers 5-lifetime warranties. Yes, you read that correctly. This should give one an indication of the craftsmanship and design detail the wizards at Jayco adhere to. Measuring in at 15’6” in length this camper will also fit all campgrounds.
The Sport has a total weight of 325lbs making fuel consumption a non-factor. It’s the Trailer Life 2018 Gold award winner. The cabin is a sight to behold. The camper contains a porta-potty, acrylic sink, and multiple storage compartments. Pre-plumbing for propane is already done making winter treks a reality. Reality TV show junkie? An interior hook up for a free-standing TV and a 12V auxiliary jack assure you miss a show.
Hungry the Jay sport comes with a stainless-steel indoor-outdoor stove with wind deflectors. The floor plan consists of a day bed/sofa with a massive amount of storage underneath. Leather-clad dining booth which converts to a secondary bed when needed. The slide outs are manufactured with DuraTek, a water-repellent material keeping you dry and out of the elements. A reversible dinette cushions. Wall to wall vinyl flooring.
For your music lovers, the stereo already comes prepped and ready. The deluxe plumbing package sports a 6-gallon water heater and outside shower. This pop-up packs a great deal into a small space. The Jayco Jay sport certainly sets the standard for the class.
Coachmen Clipper Pop-Up
The gurus at coachmen have done it again. Industry firsts are seen through-out the exterior and interior design of the Clipper. This is likely the easiest Pop-Up to use of them all. Coachmen have covered every step in the outdoor RV experience in this build. The moment you park up and detach you will notice.
Models and sizes vary but the standard weight is roughly 300lbs and the standard length is 23ft making it possible to trek anywhere and park up with ease. The deluxe package contains a 12-amp converter, 7-way pigtail, 20 000 BTU furnace for those chilly winter mornings.
Am/FM Bluetooth radio with speakers and a 1.2 cu ft 110-volt refrigerator. As for the interior, the Clipper classic comes with a dinette table slide out and roughly 16 different floor plans to chose from. Everything from a King-sized bed to Casette Potti with electric flush. Dark ash cabinetry will turn heads, the exquisite attention to detail is uncanny. Certain models can sleep up to 7 with walnut cabinetry and LED lighting throughout.
The exterior is durable and weatherproof. Offering outside barbeque, awning for those rainy days and a double step entry. The glide N lock bed system makes set up and take down even easier than expected. Depending on your needs, certain builds offer a twin bed on one side and a full-on insulated bunky on the other. Be sure to check out all available packages. Coachmen have outdone themselves with this entry.
Forest River Rockwood Pop-Up
This long-standing industry titan enters of list with a bang. A Pop Up that was built for the 21st century. Yet, keeping in mind the bread and butter of their business is their outdoorsy customers. This Pop-Up is designed for entertaining, longer trips with ample storage and endless amenities. For couples and adventurers this unit checks all the boxes. The pro-rack system allows permanent mount cross bars that hold up to 150lbs of equipment and gear.
With a 12” ground clearance and 15” radial tires this Rockwood is going places. The sports package weighs in at 337lbs and is 30 ft in length. With an 84” interior width. The interior is lush with vinyl tinted windows and maple furnishings. USB charging ports and many other current applicable technology trends. The package list also includes electronic toilets, solar panel charging stations, full digital receiver including Bluetooth, MP3 player, USB, Wi-Fi booster and Aux. One can live in this Pop-Up fulltime and why would you not?
A 3-way 1.9 cu ft fridge full over capabilities and beautiful practical LED lights and jacks allowing for a user-friendly experience. If its outdoor parties you’re into Forest River has you covered. With outdoor patio lights, speakers, awning cover and gas grill you are pretty much forced to throw a bash! The exterior shell is just as impressive and safe.
It’s a one-piece vacuum bonded fiberglass with a metal interior ceiling. Sounds more like a battle tank then a Pop-Up. Very few times are RV experts left speechless. This RV is a pleasant surprise for the beginner and also the veteran outdoors person alike.
We hope you enjoyed our look at some of the best Pop-Up Trailers on the market, we’ll be publishing individual reviews of many of these vehicles in the coming weeks & months so stay tuned! (At some point this page will also be updated to feature a list of said reviews!)