Pop-up trailers are a blend of RV and tent, combining the best of both types. They give you the comfort and security of a travel trailer and the openness of a tent.
Pop-up trailers, which are also known as pop-up campers, folding tent trailers, and folding campers are lightweight trailers with collapsible (usually canvas material) sides that fold for aerodynamic towing by a motorized vehicle. When set up, they provide cooking, dining, and sleeping facilities for up to eight people.
Pop-up trailers are an affordable way for the budget buyer to get into RVing, a viable first step of RV ownership.
They are lightweight and make a lot of sense to campers especially young families and those looking at upgrading from tent camping to an RV.
Added to the fact purchase prices are much lower than a conventional RV, they provide a wonderful camping choice.
The RV Industry Association (RVIA) is forecasting the industry will ship 10,900 pop-up units to retailers this year and will remain unchanged in 2015.
Although the market for pop-ups has been eroded somewhat following the recession, there are still new pop-up trailers coming out that will continue to attract new customers who have decided that tent camping just isn’t fun anymore. And today’s pop-ups have some definite advantages over their predecessors.
They’re definitely not your dad’s pop-up. Early pop-up trailers were bland—not much more than a wheeled box with a bed and table. They have become a lot easier to set up and take down. Today’s pop-up trailers are much more automated with more power lifts that reduce setup and take down time. When you add to that the incredible number of new features—everything from updated floor plans and fabrics to extra storage and power points, their appeal has been broadened.
Today, they are much improved and offer more appeal. There are even off-road models with dirt tires and a deck on which to carry an ATV.
Setting up a pop-up trailer is relatively simple and should take about 20 minutes.
Park your pop-up in a level spot. Secure the wheels with a tire locking chock. Raise the trailer tongue high enough to disconnect the tow vehicle. Pull the tow vehicle away and level the trailer.
Release the roof latches, and raise the roof using the crank handle or winch extending the telescoping poles on each corner of the box.
Next, bunks at the front and the back of the trailer are pulled out by hand. Then, the tent material (which is fastened to the box and to the roof) is unfurled, pulled over the ends of the bunks, and attached. Interior support poles for the bunk and the entry door are then installed.
Depending on the configuration and included equipment, several additional set up steps may be required. These steps include hooking up to utilities (electricity, water, sewer), reassembling the dinette, unfolding the sink, turning on systems (water pump, water heater, etc.), making beds and unpacking belongings.
Earlier articles on Vogel Talks RVing have featured several brands of pop-up trailers, each boasting unique features.
The Bunkhouse Camper manufactured by Jacksboro, Tennessee-based Bushtec Products features pop-ups weighing less than 300 pounds that are popular with motorcycle riders.
The TrailManor is a low-profile hard wall trailer that opens and closes with the touch of a remote control. TrailManor’s “tow low/live high” concept appeals to campers desiring comfort and luxury beyond that offered by the typical pop-up trailer.
The Viking Epic Series of pop-up trailers offers eight floor plans in the $9,615-$13,401 price range. Manufactured by Coachmen RV, a division of Forest River Inc., the Viking Epic Series was named a 2014 Consumers Digest Best Buy in the “midrange” category.
Billed as “Mobile Adventure Gear” rather than a trailer, the SylvanSport Go is an 800-pound pop-up trailer that can carry extra outdoor equipment such as canoes and trailers and can be towed by a small car.
Dream as if you’ll live forever, live as if you’ll die today.
—James Dean (1931-1955)