Camping is a fun and popular activity for many Americans, however the notion of spending the night on hard ground with no comfy bed is not what most have in mind. Over the past handful of decades, a convenient alternative to shacking up in a hotel or braving the bare dirt has been pop up campers. These iconic family mobile living quarters have brought peace of mind and exciting camping trips to millions of people for years.
Why Choose a Pop-Up Tent Camper?
This is a very good question to ask, especially when you have all the other different types of campers out there. These include the RV, the hard side camper, motorhome, fifth wheel camper and many more. Why should you choose a pop up camper? While all these other campers have great options they also come with their drawbacks. With size you get worse gas mileage and it is harder to drive around. With a motorhome you have to tow a vehicle in order to drive around once you get to your campsite. With a hard sided travel trailer you feel disconnected from nature because you are isolated with the hard walls. A pop up camper solves all of these problems.
Lets face it, if you have never towed a large trailer before you don’t want to start out with a 30 foot hard side travel trailer. A pop up camper is light and is easy to tow since it isn’t crazy long. These campers also are not going to take up that much room on the road making it safer to drive. If you don’t want to tow anything at all then a pop up truck camper may be perfect for you.
Upon researching the features you can get with a pop up camper versus an RV you will see there isn’t that much of a difference. Granted if you are going to be living all summer long in a camper then you may want to invest the money into a fifth wheel. For the quick getaways or the family vacations you will see that the pop up camper is a lot more inexpensive.
You would be surprised how many places you can go that you wouldn’t be able to with an RV. It is so easy to just back in your camper into any camping spot. Since they are smaller when packed up, you don’t need to worry about height clearance or even a large camping spot. Plus once you get it set up you have your vehicle to take side trips in the mountains or errands in between trips.
Not Isolated From Nature
Enjoy a night hearing the wind whistle through the pine trees and the water rustle over the rocks. With a pop up camper you are not isolated from nature as you would be with an RV. You do not have the sound of the flat screen TV, microwave or even the generator to drown out all the lovely sounds of nature.
How does it affect my fuel mileage?
Sine they are lighter and more aerodynamic you don’t loose that much gas mileage. With your normal size camper you will see a lose of about 10-15% in gas mileage. With a larger, heavier model you may see a 25% loose in fuel mileage. This is very minimal compared to towing a large fifth wheel or even a 30 foot hard side travel trailer.
What is a pop up camper?
A pop up camper, also known as trailer tents or folding tent trailer, has been manufactured for some time and you have probably seen more than a few not knowing the proper term for them. It consists of a trailer which unfolds into a much larger living area usually with two to three beds, a floor, a seating area and soft walls typically made of nylon. Most models have several windows surrounding the perimeter of the camper made of a screen mesh. They can come equipped with AC/DC power converters, propane tanks and small stoves, and even air conditioning. More advanced models feature outdoor showers with water pumps, toilets, sinks, and extra storage cabinets and you can even get a mini water cooler installed. A camper can weigh anywhere from 1300 to over 3000 pounds based on the model and can usually be towed with a light truck or SUV.
How much do they cost?
Cost concerning campers can vary drastically based upon the model, particular features it ha,s as well as the manufacturer of the product. Used pop up campers are generally the best values and can be purchased from 500 to 2,000 dollars. If a used camper is of a more feature rich variety, the price will likely reflect that. A new camper with relatively basic amenities will set you back 4,000 to 5,000 dollars. Models featuring air conditioning, toilets, showers or other luxurious amenities can go for as much as 20,000 dollars. In general most people will end up spending about 8,000 to 12,000 dollars on a new camper.
Where can you buy them?
New pop-up campers are sold by RV dealers which are large dealerships specializing in the sale of recreational vehicles. This is generally the only place that you will be able to buy a new camper. Used campers can also be found listed for sale in a variety of places like craigslist.com and ebay or even your local newspaper. Dealerships also get used campers in as trade in’s so it is possible they will have some for sale at the dealership as well. Dealerships carry used models and private owners often list units for sale in newspapers, camping or sportsman magazines and of course online. Like mentioned before, some suggestions to start a search for a used camper are websites like ebay.com or RV trader which is a cousin site to auto trader with dozens and dozens of listings for new and used pop up campers.
Some manufactures of new campers would be:
This is just a short list highlighting the most popular. The Coleman pop up camper, along with its many competitors, offers many different models and features to choose from. You have the ability, with most manufactures, to build your own new camper if you choose to. This is great because you have the opportunity to customize the camper just how you want it.
As you can see, a camper is an affordable and luxurious alternative to sleeping on the cold ground with only a tent. It could also start saving you hundreds of dollars in hotel stays. They can be pulled behind small or large vehicles and come with many of the amenities that are standard in your home. If you can’t afford new, there are a variety of pre-owned campers that can be a much better value than purchasing from a dealer.
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