As it turns out, renting a pop up camper is probably easier than you imagined. Wherever you may live, renting a tent trailer is totally doable. It’s affordable and some pop up renters will even drive the pop up rental to the location of your choice and set it up for you! . What’s more, is that it makes for a vacation you’ll remember for years to come. And our Complete Guide for Renting a Pop Up Camper makes it even easier!
So what does it take to find the perfect camper rental? Get to know what kind of space you’re looking for, what your tow limitations are, and your budget. Then, you’ll be well on your way to an outdoorsy vacation get away.
What Is a Pop Up or Tent Camper?
A pop up camper, also known as a tent camper, is a popular travel trailer. It keeps you close to the outdoors while still maintaining some semblance of coziness. Through the tent-like walls and sturdy frame, you can hear the sounds of nature. Yet, you’re removed from the elements while lying in a back-friendly comfortable bed.
Tent campers in this category travel are towed behind your vehicle. They collapse during transport and storage, which allows you to maneuver and stow them very easily. Once set up, however, you can expand the camper to be quite spacious.
Often, the size of a fully set up tent camper is much more generous than one might expect. Many people have trailers with small kitchens or even a modest closet. Some even have a bathroom with a shower! All in all, they can be as basic or as luxurious as you want.
People use pop up campers on campgrounds and other camp-friendly locations. You can take them on long or short road trips without having to deconstruct your gear with every move. Really, they’re quite the clever contraptions. It’s no wonder they rank so high in the recreation world. And many pop up campers are available for rent!
Pros and Cons of Pop Up Campers
Of course, pop up tent campers have their pros and cons. We want you to know exactly what you’re getting into with your pop up camper rental. So let’s lay it all out on the table.
The Pros of Pop Up Camper Rentals
Affordability – Many pop up tent trailers are affordable. This is true for both buying and renting a pop up. Are you curious about what camping an RV (yes a pop up camper is an RV) would be like yet have a budget to keep in mind? If so, renting a pop up camper is a very affordable way to try it out!
Easy To Tow – You don’t have to be a professional driver to haul a pop up around. The lighter the camper, the easier it is to tow. That isn’t always the case with fifth wheels or hefty RVs.
Use Your Existing Vehicle – You probably don’t have to get a new vehicle to tow a pop up rental. Instead, you can search for a camper that fits your existing vehicle’s weight restrictions. There are so many choices, from ultra light to heavy duty. Just find what’s right for you.
Pop Ups are Compact – Since pop up campers are small and compact they are easy to tow. They also fit in many campsites that larger RVs just can’t fit into. Pull them right into your very own campsite. You’ll be done in a jiffy!
Good Amenities to Choose From – You can get all the luxuries of an RV in a simple pop up camper. Running water, air conditioning, shower bathrooms, pull out kitchens or grills and some storage are all available depending on the pop up you rent. These amenities may make you reevaluate your idea of pop up campers as a whole.
Tent Campers are Like Sleeping in a Tent – The one thing I love most about pop up campers is feeling like I am sleeping in a tent. When you pop down the ends of the pop up camper it typically creates a bed on each end of the pop up. And while you are sleeping in your bed, off the ground, and on a cozy mattress, you are surrounded on three sides by a tent like screen mesh. Or you can close the canvas flaps. But either way, it feels like you are in a tent. You can hear the crickets at night, still watch the campfire, and feel the cool evening air as you fall asleep.
Renting a pop up camper for your vacation keeps you close to the outdoors. On the contrary, hotels and even some larger recreational vehicles can separate you from nature. If you like tent camping, or want to try out an inexpensive pop up rental before buying one, then a pop up camper rental might be a good choice for you.
The Pop Up Cons
Weight – Pop-ups can get heavy. You can rent a small pop up camper or one with a load of extras. And, you will need to load up supplies, groceries, gear etc and they all add weight too. But your vehicle can only tow a certain amount of weight safely, so just be sure to keep the pop up camper on the low side of the weight range and you should be in good shape.
No Full Bath – You probably won’t be getting a full bathroom in your camper. Most pop up campers only have half bathrooms. This means only a toilet. Some pop ups also come with an outdoor shower hose. More more and more pop ups are being equipped with a wet bathroom, which includes a toilet and a shower in the same room. If you are staying at a campground that has bathrooms and showers then you might not even need a bathroom in your pop up. But if you stay at a more remote location you will want a set up with a toilet and shower.
Sleeping Arrangements – Typically a pop up has two beds and is best suited for a maximum of four people. Some small pop ups only have room for two or even a single individual. If you’re traveling with a large family or group, there are some larger pop ups that can sleep up to six people. But you will probably have to convert the dinette into a bed every night..
Set Up and Break Down – Pop ups must be set up and broken down. Manufacturers do their best to keep their models easy and fast to set up. Still, this is something you ought to take into consideration before renting one. Make sure before you rent a pop up that the owner walks you through the process once or twice. It’s not difficult once you set it up a couple of times.
Can My Vehicle Tow a Pop Up Camper?
Fortunately, there’s a pop-up camper for almost any vehicle. These campers can weigh anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 pounds. Refer to your vehicle’s owners manual to determine its tow capacity. Be sure to leave room for any gear you may store in your camper while towing. We think a minimum of a few hundred pounds of wiggle room is a good idea.
How Much Does It Cost to Rent a Pop Up Camper?
Pop up camper rental prices are pretty cheap. This is especially true when you compare them with the price of hotels. Whether you’re luxury minded or budget conscious, you have options.
Older, simpler or smaller pop ups rent for anywhere from just $50 to $85 per day. Meanwhile, newer, larger, or more luxurious models rent form $85 to $125 per day and these can often fit a family of four.
Types of Pop Up Campers You Can Rent
It’s always good to be an informed consumer. While pop up campers are in a category all their own, there are different kinds within the segment. You’ll want to know the different types of pop ups before renting.
Hard Top Tent Trailers – These are probably the most common type of pop up. A fiberglass roof and sturdy frame hold together tent canvas walls. There are usually mesh windows for air flow. The interior includes a sleeping area and living space. A kitchenette and half bathroom may also be a part of the picture.
Soft Top Campers – This type of pop up is similar to the hard top trailer, but without the fiberglass roof. They tend to be smaller and—consequently—more affordable. Soft tops can also be simpler to set up and break down. They’re lightweight, but they provide less insulation.
A-Frame Pop Ups – With this type of camper, it’s all in the name. Once set up, it depicts a classic A-frame shape. They tend to be smaller, sleeping up to three individuals. However, they offer plenty of natural light thanks to multiple windows. They are also quick and easy to put together.
Where Can I Rent a Pop Up Camper?
RV Dealerships – You don’t have to want to buy an RV to make use of your local dealer. Many recreational vehicle dealers also cater to people seeking pop up camper rentals.
Private Pop Up Owners – You can find cheap pop up camper rentals on Craigslist. But there are so many unanswered questions when trying to handle the rental transaction on your own. Like, the lease, damage deposit, mechanical breakdowns, and the list goes on. Plus you have to drive around and see the pop ups before making your rental choice. We think it’s a much better idea to go with an online RV rental company like Outdoorsy or RVshare.
RVShare and Outdoorsy are two internet platforms that help match you with campers in your area. With these, you don’t have to drive around until you find what fits you. Filter based on budget, dates you’re traveling, amenities and more. We recommend using both platforms to find exactly what you are looking for. Both offer insurance, handle the rent and damage deposits, provide a professional lease and make the whole process simple and easy.
Rent a Pop Up Camper Before Buying One
If you are considering purchasing a pop up camper we strongly suggest that you rent one first so you can see if you like it or not. Plus you will quickly learn which features and amenities are important to you before you buy a pop up only to discover it is missing something you wish you had.
Renting a pop up camper is a great introduction to the world of recreational vehicles. If you see an RV or travel trailer in your future, start small. With camper rentals, you can find out what suits you. Better yet, you can do so before shelling out the big bucks.
And if you’re just in it for a vacation every now and again, no worries. Pop up rentals are affordable and convenient for vacations of every kind. We’re all for anything that gets you out there exploring, whatever it may be.
Tips For Renting a Pop Up Camper
1. Know how much your vehicle can tow so you aren’t wasting your time looking at pop ups you can’t even haul.
3. Some pop up rentals include some basic camping gear like a grill, camp chairs, an awning, etc. You might save a few bucks if you don’t have to buy these items because they are included in the rental price.
4. Try to negotiate the rental price with the owner. Even though the prices are all listed on Outdoorsy and RVshare that doesn’t mean you can’t negotiate the price. If you notice while conducting your search that there are lots of pop ups with similar features for rent, you can use that info to negotiate a better price for yourself.
5. Rent your pop up in the off season. And no I don’t mean January. I just mean if you can rent in April, May, September or October you will probably get a better deal than if you rent in the summer months when all the kids are out of school. The campsites will be less crowded and expensive then too! We did this before the kids started kindergarten and again now that we are almost empty nesters. Fly baby birds – fly!
6. Find a pop up owner who will deliver and set up your pop up camper rental. Some owners will deliver and set up the pop up within a certain distance. Some will offer this for free and others will do it for a small fee. Or maybe you can negotiate free delivery and set up! You will never know if you don’t ask!
7. Read the reviews from other people who rented the pop up. You can learn a lot about the condition of the rental and how the owner was to deal with.
Click here for a screenshot from a pop up rental on RVshare. Notice the discount offered for renting during the off season and the delivery and set up offered if within 100 miles. Now that sounds like a sweet deal to me!
Check out our other helpful articles about pop up campers to learn all you can about pop up campers:
- 7 Best Pop Up Campers with Bathrooms
- Average Pop Up Camper Weight – All You Need to Know
- Does Air Conditioning Actually Work In a Pop Up Camper?
- How Much Does an A-Frame Pop Up Camper Cost?
- How Much Does a Pop-Up Camper Weigh
- What You Should Know Before Buying a Pop Up Camper
- 15 Essential Rental Tips For First Time RV Renters
- 21 Must Have RV Accessories for a New Camper or Travel Trailer
Do you have any pop up camper rental experience you would like to share? Please leave your comments below!