what are the pros/cons of a pop-up tent camper?

We're considering getting one (probably a 10' for our family of 4) and just want to know what all people experience and what they regret before we buy one. Thx!

12 Answers

  • Mark M
    Lv 6
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Go for it.

    I've owned an 8' and 10' pop-up and a 21' hybrid camper and a Class-C RV. Unless you can afford a Class-C (both the initial purchase and ongoing storage, insurance and maintenance), a pop-up is the way to go. Comfort, storage and convenience are the main benefits of a pop-up.

    In terms of comfort, you are sleeping up and off the ground on a well-padded, insulated and flat surface that you can easily get into and out of without crawling around on your hands and knees. Most pop-ups have heat and many have air conditioning. During bad weather you have a well-protected and comfortable place to hang out.

    While cabinet space in a pop-up, compared to larger RV's, is limited, it is still sufficient to permanently organize and store all the reusable gear and supplies you need for a camping trip. All your kitchen and dining stuff, cleaning stuff, bedding, etc can be permanently stowed in the cabinets or under the dinette benches. Larger items such as a tabletop BBQ grill, cooler, folding table and chairs can be organized on the floor to fit when the pop-up is closed, and still leave room to add groceries and clothing just before heading out on a trip.

    As for convenience, first and foremost is most pop-ups can be towed by lightweight trucks, SUV/CUV and some mid-sized cars. They are small enough that most people store them in their backyard, driveway or garage, saving lot storage fees. With adequate storage to be fully packed and ready to go (except for groceries and clothing), taking that spur of the moment trip is a breeze.

    The Cons:

    As compared to tent camping, the only con is you're not going to to be backwoods camping or taking it backpacking. There is some annual maintenance required, most of which can be DIY, though I prefer to have pros deal with anything involving propane.

    As compared to other RV choices? The biggest disadvantage is the time setting-up the pop-up and unloading the stuff stowed on the floor before you can use the pop-up at all. This means that if you're going on a long distance trip with many short stays, setup and breakdown can be tedious. Clothing storage is a bit problematic in a pop-up, you will need to live out of your suitcases which get stowed on the bunks by day and tucked under the dinette table or on counters by night.

    Some things to think about:

    A front, outside storage trunk is a wonderful feature.

    Unless you plan to do a lot of dispersed / dry camping, don't bother with a bathroom in a pop-up. Although it might seem nice, there's practically no privacy. That space is better used for storage and/or seating.

    An outside shower is almost an essential feature. A water heater is also a nice-to-have feature, but it does eat up storage space. A portable, water heater such as Eccotemp, Camp Chef, even Zodi costs around $100 and takes up less space.

    Slide-outs on a pop-up are also a mixed bag. A slide-out adds significant weight and, when closed, steals valuable floor space. Most of the time you'll only be in the pop-up when sleeping or to escape bad weather. Having a few extra square feet of floor space when the slide is out does not make up for the lost storage when its closed.

    One awning is essential, but two awnings are better. Add a second awning to the back side of your pop-up where you can setup your dining or picnic table. This leaves the normal front-side awning for lounging and relaxation.

    Consider an add-a-room or screen room. The screen room is less expensive and will help protect you from insects. An add-a-room has opaque panels with screens in them, and roll-up flaps so you can close the screens for a private, sheltered area. We've used an add-a-room with the second back-side awning and cots to sleep an extra three people in comfort and privacy.

    If you have two kids make sure your camper can sleep at least 6, as your kids will usually want to bring friends or relatives along. Once boys get to be about 10-12 years old they will not want to share a bed, but girls -- even teenage girls-- have no problems sharing with a female friend or cousin.

    In many pop-ups the dinette bed is less than six feet long. Try to find a model with a dinette bed that measures 72" x 48" so you can fit two full-size people.

    Buy used and save a ton. Most folks only use their pop-up a few times each year. Others buy one and use it a few times, then let it sit, while a few use it once and have a change of mind or situation. Even a 10 year-old pop-up is worth considering if it has been kept and stored well.

    • Jennifer6 years agoReport

      thanks for writing! useful info!

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  • spikes
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Pop Up Camper With Bathroom

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  • chris
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    They are just an expansion of a tent concept slapped onto a trailer, there are hundreds of different configurations by many makers.

    1. Never ever buy new. Tent trailers lose half their value the second you drive them off the lot.

    2. Buy as many installed features as you can afford installing aftermarket features at full cost see #1. The bigger the holding tanks, batteries, propane tanks, the extra awnings, inside outside shower, kitchen, all make for longer more enjoyable stays.

    3. The number #1 failure issue with all pop ups are the cable systems that raise the roof, have those professionally inspected before you agree to a deal to buy. Have the seller set-up and demonstrate that all the features to the rig are fully functioning or explain in detail why not and how much the cost would be to repair it.

    4. Consider what your towing it with, all to often folks assume they have all that's needed to tow something and then realize after they make the deal they need this that and the other thing added to there vehicle before the can tow and run out of cash for the first trip.

    5. Make a video with the who, what, how, when, where everything works and review that each time before you take out the rig. Use a check list to pack it all and label everything and include instructions.

    The world is a wonderful place to see and a tent camper is pretty close to tent camping, a great way to enjoy the out doors.

    Good luck!

    Source(s): "A camper is a whole in the ground you sink money into, the 2 best days of owning one are the day you buy it and the day you sell it"
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  • 3 years ago


    they are pretty light, and tow easy. They are low, so they dont catch as much wind driving down the road


    They are a glorified tent. Unless you get into the higher end of the spectrum, they may not have a shower or a proper shitter. They have higher depreciation than a hard sided camper, in general.

    for the best pop up tents visit at https://thepartytents.com/

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  • 3 years ago

    The Cons

    In addition to the hard work of prepping the unit for storage and/or travel, there are some other problems.

    1) Using a porta potty is awkward, can smell and offers no privacy.

    2) When rain wets the canvas walls in older units it makes the unit feel damp and uncomfortable, especially in cooler weather.

    3) The damp walls can also make the camper smell of mildew.

    4) Cleaning the canvas is time consuming and labor intensive.

    The Pros

    Despite the hard work involved in opening and closing, there are several benefits to owning a pop up.

    1)When the trailer is closed, it is totally secure.

    2)They travel low to the ground, are easy to tow and therefore save on gasoline costs.

    3) They are easy to clean.

    4) Their compact size makes them easy to store. In fact, many people keep them in their garages and thus avoid having to pay storage fees.

    5) The front door is separated into two sections, so during travel vacationers can open the bottom part of the door and be able to reach coolers if they wish to picnic during the day.

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  • schall
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Best Pop Up Campers

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  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    what are the pros/cons of a pop-up tent camper?

    We're considering getting one (probably a 10' for our family of 4) and just want to know what all people experience and what they regret before we buy one. Thx!

    Source(s): pros cons pop tent camper: https://tr.im/hhwxa
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  • 9 years ago

    I can only think of a lot of cons off the top of my head:

    1] You cannot roll a tent camper into designated wilderness areas.

    2] You will spend more time getting set-up than with a tent, especially instant tents.

    3] You can buy many good quality tents for the price you pay for a tent trailer.

    4] You will be far less efficient with fuel hauling a tent trailer behind a car.

    5] You will wear-out the engine of a car faster by placing more of a burden on the vehicle.

    6] You will not have as much privacy with a family as you would with a couple of separate tents.

    7] You will not gain much of a comfort advantage over a well-prepared cabin tent.

    • Excellent advice, Thank you so much. We are in our 60's. with limited money. we have been searching for pros and cons on pop up campers vs tents. I use a walker. and I also worry about my husband setting up and packing up. I do not want him so tired that he does not enjoy his time.

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  • 9 years ago

    We have a 8' Coleman pop-up and love it,we have slept 5 in it for a weekend and was ok. Me, my wife and our 18 year old son spent 10 days in it in the Rockies wish ours had a/c. so 95% pros

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  • 3 years ago

    Pros of Pop up tents:

    1. Back to Nature: Camping in the pop up can be pretty. A pop up can places under the stars or on the sand to enjoy the stunning views of nature.

    2. Storability and tow ability: Pop up tent can easily towed.No additional vehicle purchase is required. You can use the one already used.

    3. Pricing: They are reasonably priced for for buyers as well as for families who love to camp have to watch their budget.

    4. Weight less: It's weights less than any other category of camping tents.

    Cons of Pop up tents:

    1. Too much setup and break down: Setting up and breaking down takes up too much precious time. We had to raise the roof, push out and set the beds, that was the case for us.

    2. More breaking down: Moving parts are sometimes breaks!

    3. Limited Amenities: Amenities will be limited because they have soft side camper.

    4. Lack of Privacy: Its hard to get much privacy in a pop up tent. More over bathroom are not available in all pop up tents.

    You can buy tents at https://thepartytents.com with life time warranty.

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