There’s more to choosing a pop-up camper than looks alone. As a responsible recreationist, you’ll want to take many factors into consideration. Not the least of these is the weight of the pop-up camper.
But how much does a pop-up camper really weigh? A pop-up camper, also known as a tent camper, for a motorcycle can weigh as little as 250 lbs. and a full sized camper can weigh up to 2,500 pounds. The weight of a pop-up camper varies tremendously depending on the size and amenities of the camper.
We’re here to break down the most important considerations when purchasing a camper. From the size of the camper itself to the capabilities of the vehicle you’re driving, it’s all in the details.
Don’t Max Out Your Vehicle’s Tow Capacity
In the world of haul-happy vehicles, tow capacity is a competitive department. Automobile makers are continually trying to out-tow the competitors. When eyeing a new ride, people love to compare numbers. It makes them feel secure in their purchase.
Keep in mind that the towing capacity of your car, truck, or SUV is a maximum. Moreover, as you near the limit, your gas mileage severely suffers. If you have a sedan with a 1,500-pound towing limit, you may want to keep your camper weight under 1,000 pounds. If your truck’s capacity exceeds 10,000 pounds, cut yourself down to size by a few thousand units. This will allow extra capacity for groceries, supplies, camping gear, clothes, etc.
This tip comes even more into play if you’re loading up the camper with gear. Your own luggage will probably only add 10 or 20 pounds to the load. Still, extra gadgets and amenities add up, so be mindful of the final weight. Should you surpass the towing capacity and damage your vehicle, you may void a much-needed warranty.
An adventure is more fun when you don’t have to stop for gas every hour. Knowing you can easily cruise off the beaten path with a pop-up camper behind you is also a plus.
Pop-Up Camper Categories and Their Weights
There are innumerable makes and models of pop-up campers on the market today. However, we’re able to break down these campers into five general weight categories based on size.
The first two are motorcycle-friendly pop-up campers. The smallest of these weigh only 250 pounds. There’s also a slightly larger motorcycle pop-up camper that reaches about 375 pounds. These are obviously the most compact and minimalistic.
If you’re planning on driving a crossover or compact SUV, sedan or minivan, there’s a pop-up camper for you. With a weight of 600 pounds, it’s big enough to be cozy but small enough to accommodate your vehicle.
The final two categories are fit for the truck-driving lifestyle. A medium pop-up camper typically weighs about 900 pounds. Meanwhile, a large pop-up camper can easily exceed a single ton or 2,000 pounds. These campers are more spacious but also come with more to carry.
What Determines the Weight of a Pop-Up Camper?
Most pop-up campers have similar foundations. It’s not the walls and the trailer that make a camper heavier. It’s the accessories and amenities within those walls that increase the weight.
The most basic of pop-up campers are bound to be the lightest. For many people, this is enough, as they’re just seeking a way to get off the ground. However, some people crave a bit of luxury, even in small ways. If you don’t mind the added weight, a well-equipped pop-up camper can become an inexpensive glamper.
So what kind of extras are we talking about here? Having a kitchen in your pop-up camper means added weight. You’ll be investing in a built-in sink, stove, cupboards, and a refrigerator to boot.
A glass shower door and extra wiring for your entertainment needs are no exception, either. An indoor bathroom means taking on the weight of plumbing and water (the latter of which is awfully heavy).
Basically, if you need to limit your pop-up camper weight, make a list of what really matters. Would you rather have a kitchen or a bathroom? An entertainment center or a large bed? If you want it all, perhaps it’s time to invest in a heavy-hauling machine.
Pop-Up Campers for Motorcycles
Motorcycles are a wonderfully freeing mode of transportation. Believe it or not, you can haul a pop-up camper behind your bike. You just have to keep the weight to a minimum.
In reality, a camper that’s small enough to be hauled behind a motorcycle is not far off from camping. You’ll still reap the benefits of the great outdoors, just with extra comfort in the sleeping department.
Another huge benefit? You get to avoid having to pack and repack your bags every time you move campsites. On a motorcycle, this can be a major lifesaver.
For the adventure of a lifetime, try a 250- or 375-pound pop-up camping experience paired with a motorcycle journey. Roadman Campers carries some really nice pop-ups and accessories for motorcycles.
Pop-Up Campers for Cars and Compact SUVs
Vacationing with your loved one in the daily ride can be pretty convenient. Have your vehicle pull a well-fitting camper, and the adventure becomes even more exciting.
In campers like this, you can add a TV for a romantic movie night in. So too can you include a small kitchen. In these, you can cook up warm breakfasts to go with your morning joe. By the time the weekend comes, the extra space may prove to be rewarding.
The sleeping area in these kinds of campers is typically set for two to four. Some of these small to medium sized pop-ups even come with bathrooms. During the day, you can flip up the bed for a screened in sitting area to get away from the bugs.
A newer type of pop-up that is very popular is the A-Frame pop-up camper. For more info about this type of pop-up check out our article How Much Does an A-Frame Pop Up Camper Cost? where we discuss the cost but and also the features of an A-Frame pop-up.
For a seamless family holiday, attach a 600-pound pop-up camper to the back of your family crossover. Then load everyone in the vehicle and hit the open road.
Pop-Up Campers for Trucks
This is where the pop-up genre shines. Heavy-hauling trucks are capable of carrying the coolest pop-up campers on the market. Should you have a truck that can handle the job, it might just be the way to go.
With a sizeable camper, you’ll still be able to get away on rainy weekends and enjoy it all the while. They’re big enough to stretch your legs and then some while holding all your favorite amenities.
Choose a large camper with or without a bathroom, kitchen, and movie zone. (Or include as many amenities as you like; just make sure your truck can handle the weight!)
For a comfortable getaway, pop-up campers in the 900 to 2,000-pound range offer an inexpensive amenity filled, easy to tow camping option. They’re like a home away from home, and that’s what really matters.
The Benefits of a Pop-Up Camper
Are you on the fence between pulling a pop-up camper or driving an RV? Each has its own benefits, but a pop-up camper is undoubtedly suited for many people with a car or truck that can only haul a light load. And a pop-up camper is budget friendly.
Loading and unloading a pop-up camper is a quick and easy process. In fact, you can keep much of your weekend gear in the camper permanently. This means you don’t have to transport it to and from the garage for each vacation.
Pop-up campers also come with some great amenities like pull out kitchens, a toy hauler option, bathrooms with a shower and air conditioning! Ever wonder if the A/C works in a pop-up camper? Check out one of our more popular articles called Does Air Conditioning Actually Work In a Pop Up Camper? for all the details.
Due to its compact size, you can store your camper in your garage or on your property with ease. No RV storage facilities (or the monthly bills that go with them) are necessary.
When pulling a pop-up camper, you fill your gas tank as usual. It’s an attractive alternative to gas-guzzling motorhomes and coaches.
Are you new to the recreational vehicle scene? If so, pop-up campers are a great way to learn about the ins and outs of the RV community and camping in general
Because they’re more lightweight than a travel trailer or 5th wheel, pop-up campers are easy to maneuver. Should the backroads and winding highways call, you’ll be able to jet off at will.
Carry On, Camper
Pop-up campers are a wonderful addition to any outdoor adventure. They’re compact until you say otherwise, and they’re versatile beyond belief. So long as you have the logistics down pat, they’re simple to transport from point A to point B.
Now that you know how much a pop-up camper weighs, it’s time to get packing. As weekend warriors ourselves, we know all too well the troubles of a set of itchy feet.
Do you have any thoughts or experiences you would like to share about pop-up campers? Please share them in the comments below!