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Just because you’re towing something doesn’t mean you can’t take the off-road. Our evidence? The 7 Best Off Road Pop Up Campers designed for even the most rugged kind of terrain.
Just for you, we’ve whittled down a list of 7 Best Off Road Pop-Up Tent Trailers that can handle bumps in the road. From suspension to strength, cameras to brakes, this popup crowd really has thought of it all.
Most Important Features for an Off-Road Pop Up Camper
If you’re planning on taking your camper on the off-road, it ought to be well equipped. Perhaps the most crucial factor is a beefed-up suspension system. Shock absorbers make the ride smoother, safer and easier to maneuver. If you can find adjustable or fully independent suspension, all the better.
Just like your off-road vehicle, a terrain-capable camper requires a generous ground clearance. Some even come with more than a foot of room between camper and the ground. With specs like that, no obstacle will halt you.
Off-road tires are a no brainer. Grip and size are both key elements in measuring the capabilities of a tire. The deeper the tread and the heartier the dimensions, the better.
Electric brakes are all but a necessity when off-roading with a camper. Should the trailer detach, you’ll want something to stop it in its tracks (before you have time to panic).
How Much Can Your Vehicle Tow?
Your vehicle’s VIN or owner’s manual will tell you the maximum tow capacity. Do yourself a favor…do not exceed this! Many cars or crossover SUVs can tow only 1,500 pounds. SUVs tend to start at a few thousand, while pickup trucks can range anywhere from 5,000 to 30,000 pounds.
Your camper is not the only factor that adds to the tow weight; you have to include any cargo and liquids as well. If your tow capacity rests at 5,000 pounds, you’ll want a camper that weighs two tons or less.
There are a few more precautions that go into towing a pop up. Not the least of these is tongue weight. Tongue weight occurs when a trailer connects to a vehicle via a hitch. More specifically, it’s the weight on the hitch itself. It should not be more than 10-15% of the trailer’s gross vehicle weight.
Advantages and Disadvantages of an Off-Road Popup Camper
The pros of off-road popup campers are pretty clear. Most notably, you can take your trailer deep into the wilderness with you. You’re not stuck at boring campsites or flat land. With these, the world becomes your oyster.
Off-road campers also take the edge off of roughing it. As much fun as it is to exist in nature, it’s nice to have a cozy space. They provide a respite from the elements and give your back a break from sleeping on the cold, hard ground.
As for the cons, there will always be disadvantages to an outdoor accommodation such as this. In the woods, there will always be places you can’t take your trailer. You may have to do some trekking to see them.
Trailers also require more set up than a lifted sleeper van. Many people retrofit off-road vans or SUVs to quench their thirst for adventure. With these, home is already good to go.
Rent an Off-Road Popup Camper Before You Buy One
If you are considering buying an off-road popup camper we highly recommend that you consider renting a popup camper before you buy one.
We rented a Class C RV for a week before we bought our Class C and we learned a ton that we liked and didn’t like which helped us to make the best buying decision possible.
You don’t even have to rent the exact model you are considering purchasing. just rent something similar and I guarantee you will learn a ton.
7 Best Off-Road Pop Up Campers
1. Opus 4-Sleeper
- Trailer Dry Weight: 2,870 lbs
- Price: $18,000
The Opus 4-Sleeper is a towable machine. Its 1,100-lb load capacity and 6-person sleeping capacity are not to be messed with. A fully functional slide-out kitchen and on-board water make it a home away from home. With quick tent deployment, set up has never been easier. Meanwhile, pressurized gas springs, independent coil suspension and a 12.4″ ground clearance prove its off-road readiness. Thanks to aluminum Dibond walls and waterproofed flooring, its sturdiness is unparalleled.
2. Flagstaff SE
- Trailer Dry Weight: 2,150 lbs
- Price: $12,000
For the outdoor family, the Flagstaff SE 8-person sleeper (queen sized mattress included) will do. An off-road package comprised of eager tires and a hearty suspension system comes standard. Electric brakes keep things secure while a roof rack lets you carry your bikes along. Add a fridge, outdoor shower, solar panel, and on-board water and you’ve got yourself a high-end crawler.
3. Taxa Tigermoth
- Trailer Dry Weight: 900 lbs
- Price: $16,000
If it’s just the two of ya’, the Tigermoth couldn’t be cooler. Spend a week or more off-grid after venturing deep into the bush. Gravel guards, stabilizer jacks and torsion axle suspension with electric brakes prove that this trailer is committed. A couch-by-day, bed-by-night construction is cozy and compact. It’s modern as heck, with 12V outlets and LED lighting. With plenty of storage and a slide-out kitchen, you’ll feel right at home.
4. VMI Offroad XTender Explorer
- Trailer Dry Weight: 540 lbs
- Price: $6,995
The VMI Xtender Explorer pop up trailer keeps the numbers low, weight, size, and price included. It’s perfect for the true outdoorsy folks who don’t mind being close to nature. The most basic of campers, it leaves space for a rooftop tent as well as all your gear. A little something called leaf spring suspension with Nytro shocks ensures a confident crawl. All welded aluminum, off-road tires and a hinged tongue box are all a part of the picture.
5. Opus 2-Sleeper
- Trailer Dry Weight: 2,777 lbs
- Price: $24,000
The Opus 2-Sleeper is like its classic counterpart, but with a twist. In less than two minutes, it deploys the entire pop up tent space on its own accord. As for us, we think that’s seriously innovative. After it’s deployed, you’re all ready to start chillin’ in its confines. And with a kitchen, grill and two full size beds that fit four, what lovely confines it proves to be.
6. SylvanSport GO
- Trailer Dry Weight: 840 lbs
- Price: $14,995
The Sylvansport Go off-road popup camper serves many functions, including pop up camper, utility trailer and toy tower. It weighs a mere 840 pounds, but can actually carry almost 1,000 pounds in cargo should you need it. High-flotation tires, 13″ of ground clearance and an aluminum frame prove its wild capabilities. Inside the Kelty tent space lies a table and bed platforms. Outside, there’s an awning space to protect you from rain.
7. Black Series HQ12
- Trailer Dry Weight: 3,940 lbs
The last in the list is far from the least. The Black Series HQ12 is as dominant as it claims, with independent suspension and quad shock design. All-terrain tires are courageous on the off-road.
There’s even an outdoor kitchen crafted from stainless steel, interior queen size sleeping space and LED lighting all around. You and your travel buddy can set this thing up in just a few minutes before jetting into the open air.
Take the Back Way in Your Off-Road Popup Camper
Gone are the days when bumps and dips would deter. We wave goodbye to the times when a splash of water was a no-go. With off-road-friendly popup campers, you’ll be able to handle obstacles as if there were no tomorrow.
Simply opt for the right model, keep capacity in mind and focus on adventurous features the most. Before you know it, the pavement will be a speck in the distance. Dirt roads will surround you. The sounds of nature and a solid off-road trailer will join in glorious harmony.
We hope you like our choices for the 7 Best Off-road Popup Campers.
Tell us about your favorite off-road popup camper below! We would love to add to our list!
About the Author:
Mike Scarpignato is an avid RVer and outdoorsman. He travels with his wife Susan in their Class A 2021 Thor Challenger and their Class C 2008 Gulf Stream Conquest. Mike is the owner of RVBlogger.com, TravelTrailerPro.com, MotorhomeFAQs.com, the RVBlogger YouTube Channel, and the private Facebook group called RV Camping for Newbies.