How to Choose a Pop-Up Camper

By Tamatha Campbell

Do you love camping in the great outdoors? Do you enjoy seeing this country’s amazing national parks, and sharing these wonders with your children? For touring the country and for enjoying a leisurely vacation at a campground, you can’t beat a pop-up camper. Also known as “tent trailers,” pop-up campers combine the fun and adventure of tent camping with the comfort and convenience of a recreational vehicle.

When choosing your first pop-up camper, think about how many people you expect to be living in it at a time. How many people are in your family? Will you be entertaining a guest or two on most trips? If you have children, how old are they? With the answer to these questions in hand, you have a good idea of which basic size of camper you are looking for. A bigger camper provides more living space, but the bigger campers are also more difficult to fit into some campgrounds.

Another consideration for the size of the camper is whether or not you want a stall for a camp-toilet. On the one hand, there is the convenience of not needing to be close to the campground toilets or worrying about when the public toilets might be closed for cleaning. This can be a big issue if you have small children who “need to go right now,” for example. On the other hand, the stall takes up space and needs to be cleaned. It’s a trade-off either way. Some campers also have the option of a shower, in addition to a toilet stall.

Of course, if a camper is difficult to use, it won’t be much fun. Many recreational vehicle sellers will give you a demonstration of how to set up a camper, and will let you give it a try. The tent trailers which use a large crank to raise the walls and roof, such as the Jayco pop-up campers, are easy to set up. They fit into most regular campsites. You don’t even have to worry about whether the ground is flat or rocky, because the beds never touch the ground. They slide out to form the “rooms” on the front and back of the camper.

A pop-up camper is a wonderful combination of tent and RV, just waiting for your next adventure in the great outdoors.