Pop-up campers are making a comeback in popularity, with customers loving the affordability, ease of towing, convenient features, and compact storage.
If you’re looking for a recreational vehicle, don’t skip checking out the best pop-up camper manufacturers in this guide. Not only will the amenities inside modern, pop-up campers surprise you, but also that most are so lightweight you don’t need a truck to tow them.
Pop-up campers are ideal for exciting family camping trips or romantic couples getaways, so stay here to compare the top brands and see what they have to offer!
What Is a Pop-Up Camper?
A pop-up, or a folding camper, or expandable camping trailer, has a design that, when shut, appears like a short, enclosed towable trailer.
You park and stabilize the unit at a campsite and open it up by raising the roof and flipping out tent-like bays for a traditional pop-up trailer.
However, there are other types of recreational vehicles that fall into the pop-up RV category such as:
- Tent Trailers
- High Wall Campers
- A-Line Campers
- Hardwall Expandable Campers
Tent trailers are basically a tent on a solid frame. The upper portion of the camper is fabric and expands upwards and outwards to enclose an area large enough to afford guests a room to sleep, store supplies, and gain protection from the elements.
Tent trailers are very lightweight and popular with motorcyclists or people who want a simple camping RV they can tow with any motorized vehicle.
HIGH WALL CAMPING TRAILER
High wall campers raise the rigid sidewalls of the RV more than a traditional pop-up, which allows the manufacturer to install more amenities such as toilets, showers, kitchens, and couches.
The camper’s roof will rise to full height, with durable fabric walls to fill the gap, giving guests weather protection and headroom to move about without stooping.
A-frame pop-up campers have a roof that expands upward into an “A” shape, so the unit remains compact and light but gives most occupants enough headroom in the center to comfortably stand.
All sides of an A-frame trailer are hard, making them better at keeping rain, wind, snow, and the sun from damaging the camper. Some A-frame trailers also have fabric flip-out bays to increase interior living space.
HARDWALL EXPANDABLE CAMPERS
The hardwall expandable camper is a hybrid of a pop-up and a travel trailer. The RV has rigid sides, and when shut, appears like a more extended version of a pop-up camper box.
After you raise the upper portion of the camper, you can expand the top half by sliding it outward on tracks, so it extends over the front and back of the lower half.
Think of the final look as the traditional flip-out canvas bays but in solid form. The TrailManor down below is an excellent example of a hardwall expandable camper.
Pop-Up Camper Pros and Cons
All recreational vehicles have their benefits and disadvantages. For example, a pop-up camper may be ideal for some people and a bad choice for others.
Take a look at the lists of pop-up camper pros and cons below to see if this RV would be a good fit for your camping style.
POP-UP CAMPER PROS:
- Lightweight- so many cars, SUVs, and other vehicles can tow it
- Affordable and fuel-efficient
- Small – making campsite parking and storage easy
- Simple to use and cheaper to maintain
- Functional for solo, couple, and family camping trips
POP-UP CAMPER CONS:
- Most models don’t include a bathroom
- Takes time to set up at the campsite
- Soft-shell models aren’t as durable and can have issues with mold or rot
- Sleeping capacity and floor plan options are limited
- Many units offer basic camping amenities with little interior design
As with any type of RV, you’ll want to make a list of all the must-have amenities and features you want, to narrow down which pop-up manufacturer has models to suit your needs.
If you want a bathroom, sleeping for six, an outdoor kitchen, or an entertainment center, you will find brands to fill those needs.
Modern pop-up campers are nothing like the old days, so take a look at these best brands below!
6 Best Pop-Up Camper Brands
These best pop-up camper brands produce various styles, from A-frame to tent trailers. I also detail their top model or models to help you comparison shop.
Jayco is a quality builder of affordable recreational vehicles that keep up with current needs and trends in the camping world.
The Jayco brand offers durable pop-ups, travel trailers, Class A, Class B, and Class C motorhomes, fifth wheels, and toy haulers. The company uses design techniques, such as their Magnum Truss Roof System and JayCOMMAND Smart RV Center, that put them above the competition.
While Jayco temporarily halted production of their folding camper line in 2019, you can still find great pop-ups from these three Jayco lines:
- Jay Series
- Jay Series Sport (ultralight)
- Jay Series Sport Hardwall (A-frame)
Of all the lines, the Jayco Jay Sport is a top seller with the highest level of customer satisfaction.
Jay Series Sport Camping Trailer
|Closed Dimensions||L 11’7″-15’6″/ H 57″|
|Open Dimensions||L 16’2″-21’6″|
|Sleeps||5 – 8|
|Price||Starts at $5,975 (2019 model line)|
The Jay Series Sport camping trailer comes in four sizes, suitable for comfortable family camping adventures for larger groups.
Standard features on all floorplans include:
- 2 flip-out bunk platforms with over 1,000 lb support rating
- Fiberglass roof
- City water port
- Accessible refrigerator even when closed
- Indoor/outdoor stove
- Convertible dinette with moveable table
- 12V electrical system with converter
- Easy-lift system
Because Jayco offers a five-year warranty on most major components (floor, roof, framing, tent material, bed platform, lift system), a used model offers new owners protection against significant repair costs.
While there is no bathroom inside the Jay Sport pop-up series, they provide a handy storage cabinet for you to tuck in a cassette toilet.
Jayco Jay Series Sport Camping Trailers (Video)
Coachmen RV brings three quality pop-up lines to their brand:
In operation since 1964, the company knows what customers want to make camping trips more enjoyable. With all the necessary amenities and numerous options to increase comfort and safety, Coachmen pop-ups are a joy to own.
Coachman Clipper Classic 1285SST
|Closed Dimensions||L 19’/ H 4’7″|
|Open Dimensions||L 23’5″|
|Price||Starts at $29,728|
The Clipper Classic features a ton of interior space, with the dinette and removable table in a slide-out, and a compact bathroom area so you can wash up without leaving the camper. Use the two-burner stove and sink in the kitchen to prep meals.
The exterior has a massive front storage locker that slides outward to load and unload all your camping gear quickly.
Camping on cool nights? No worries! The heated mattresses in the bays will keep guests warm.
The Clipper series is a hot seller, with the Clipper LS, Clipper Sport, and Clipper Classic featuring a patent-pending Glide-N-Lock bed system for quick setup. Towing the camping trailer is a breeze due to the aerodynamic shape of the box.
Standard features on all floorplans include:
- Insulated bunks
- 4-Layer Laminated Seamless Roof
- Wide Trac Ultra Lube Spring Axle
- Electric Brakes
- Exterior Wall Mount w/LP Quick Connect
- VRX Sectionalized Tent
- Goshen Lift System
Clipper 1285 SST by Coachmen (Video)
Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD
|Closed Dimensions||L 13’/ H 6’5″|
|Open Dimensions||L 14’2″|
|Price||Starts at $14,182|
Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0TD is an ideal choice for solo or couple RVers, who want the convenience of a small camping trailer, but with a rear pop-up tent that increases headroom and air circulation.
Enjoy amenities such as an air conditioner, furnace, add-a-room, deep kitchen sink, Bluetooth Stereo, dark ash cabinetry, and more in a super-lightweight package.
Tiny Trailer Pop-Up Camper! | Clipper 9.0 (Video)
3. Forest River
Forest River has a reputation for creating recreational vehicles that are user-friendly and last for decades.
Forest River keeps up with the latest trends and technological advances in all their RVs, including their pop-up lines, the Flagstaff, and the Rockwood.
Forest River Flagstaff MAC Series 208
|Closed Dimensions||L 15’7″/ H 5’6″|
|Open Dimensions||L 20’2″|
|Price||Starts at $16,995|
The Flagstaff Pop-up MAC Series 208 model is a perfect choice for families with plenty of sleeping quarters at night and general seating during the day at the two dinettes.
The efficient kitchen has a fridge, three-burner stove, and sink, plus there is a separate cabinet for a cassette toilet and plenty of storage under the seats.
The exterior boasts a standard awning, 30-amp plug, griddle, and a sturdy roof with bracing to accept an air conditioner.
Flagstaff MAC 208 Tent Camper (Video)
Forest River Rockwood Hard Side A122S
|Closed Dimensions||L 19’2″/ H 5’1″|
|Open Dimensions||L 19’2″|
|Price||Starts at $16,653|
The Rockwood Hard Side A122S is possibly the most stress-free camping trailer to tow and use. With solid walls all around, you never have to worry about the weather, and the interior still provides ample space for a family of four to hang out without feeling cramped.
The sink and stovetop have covers, providing more usable counter space, and the compact refrigerator holds plenty of food. There’s tons of storage under the bed, as well as in the EZ Reach trunk at the front of the camper.
The camper sets up in minutes, and the interior is bright and airy with plenty of windows.
Forest River Rockwood Hard Side-A122S (Video)
Opus specializes in making recreational vehicles for the off-road enthusiast that are chock full of features to make long or short camping trips comfortable.
The company prides itself in building super-durable, easy-to-tow, off-grid trailers that will handle even the roughest terrain. Opus has four lines of pop-up campers, from a hybrid caravan to ultra-light air tents.
The design for the OP2 and OP4 models includes air-beam technology that you fill in two minutes at the push of a button. Then, you can start setting up camp as the air fills out and lifts the pop-up tent structure.
Opus OP4 Air Tent
|Closed Dimensions||L 17′ H 5’4″|
|Open Dimensions||L 21’6″|
|Price||Starts at $34,999|
The Opus OP4 has all the off-road equipment you need, such as Dual-Axle Trailing Arm Suspension with dual coil shock absorbers, steel chassis, electric brakes, 15″ off-road mud tires with spare, and an articulating hitch so you can travel just about anywhere.
Inside, you can relax in comfort on the two beds in the bays and on the spacious U-shaped dinette that converts to sleeping quarters. However, the camper is for outdoor living, with an exterior stainless steel slide-out kitchen featuring a four-burner stove, refrigerator/freezer, sink with on-demand hot water, dish rack, and more.
The 2022 models have upgrades such as a larger toolbox, a rack-mounted shower and tent with hot water, and 300D nylon material for the tent that is lighter and dries quickly.
Opus OP4 Set up Video
Air Opus Off Road Pop-Up Camper Review
Opus OP Lite
|Closed Dimensions||L 10’/ H 4’5″|
|Open Dimensions||L 17’2″|
|Price||Starts at $26,452|
The OP Lite is perfect for solos or couples with SUVs or Jeeps that enjoy spending time exploring the outdoors. With a compact design and super-lightweight construction, don’t let this model fool you that it can’t handle rough terrain.
OP Lite features include:
- 90-second air inflation
- Slide-out exterior kitchen with running water
- 8-foot ceilings
- Functional large windows
- All-terrain chassis and suspension system
- Stereo with speakers
- Large dinette with removeable table
- RV queen bed
The Opus brand is the only pop-up camping trailer manufacturer that engineers all its models to withstand off-road conditions, which gives you total flexibility when you’re planning your next getaway.
Opus OP Lite (Video)
Aliner was the first manufacturer of A-frame pop-up campers and has perfected their designs over the past 30 years, which makes them a top choice for RVers looking for a reliable and affordable camper.
Aliner has six lines of camping trailers: the Scout, Ranger, Classic, LXE, Expedition, and Family Expedition. All the models include these features:
- Spring-powered lift mechanism
- City water hookup
- Azdel interior wall and ceiling panels
- Fantastic Vent-Fan
- High-density, hypoallergenic foam cushions and mattresses
Since every Aliner camping trailer is built by hand, you can work with the company to add extra options, like a kitchen, fresh water tank, hardwood cabinets, and more. This perk allows you to have all the amenities you need and nothing you don’t for a truly customized trailer.
Aliner Ranger 12
|Closed Dimensions||L 15’/ H 4’9″|
|Open Dimensions||L 15′|
|Sleeps||3 – 4|
|Price||Starts at $26,975|
The Aliner Ranger 12 is a great option for small family camping trips. This model features an interior kitchen with a sink, fridge, and stovetop, for cooking meals in any weather.
Sleeping arrangements are flexible by choosing either the twin beds and a convertible dinette floor plan or a larger convertible dinette/bed and a sofa bed floor plan.
The unit has an outdoor shower, furnace, water heater, 14″ tires with spare, premium marine-grade flooring, and more.
Aliner Ranger 12 (Video)
Aliner Family Expedition
|Closed Dimensions||L 18’/ H 4’9″|
|Open Dimensions||L 18′|
|Price||Starts at $28,000|
The Aliner Family Expedition provides 15-feet of interior length, extra sleeping quarters, and an indoor toilet.
The design makes use of fold-away beds and a dinette to make the most of the space, while the standard air conditioner and heat pump will keep everyone comfortable in any weather.
The exterior slide-out kitchen has everything you need to make meals and keeps all the odors and mess outside.
Aliner Family Family Expedition (Video)
6. Trail Manor
Trail Manor breaks the traditional pop-up mold with their fully-hardshell, lifting, and sliding camper design.
Enjoy the ease of towing a smaller camper box while enjoying all the benefits of a full-size travel trailer. Trail Manor has four lines of camping trailers, with the 2518 Series below the smallest of the options.
Trail Manor 2518 KB
|Closed Dimensions||L 18’/ H 6’9″|
|Open Dimensions||L 21’6″/H 9’9″|
|Price||Starts at $37,519|
The Trail Manor 2518 KB floor plan includes:
- King-size bed
- Double bed
- Convertible dinette
- Indoor kitchen with fridge and range
- Bathroom with shower and cassette toilet
Other great features include a 30-gallon grey water holding tank, outside shower, electric brakes, and a metal underbelly.
When shut, this camper fits into most garages with ease, so you can protect it from the elements when not in use.
New Trail Manor Pop-Up Travel Trailer (Video)
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Finding the best pop-up camper is easy when you know which brands have a reputation for quality construction and convenient floorplans and amenities.
I hope you use this guide to start your search for the style of pop-up camper that suits your needs, whether it’s a traditional tent trailer, an A-frame trailer, a hard side camper, or a high-wall pop-up.
For camping lovers who appreciate the simplicity and easy towing a pop-up provides, these best pop-up camper brands above will not disappoint, so check them out!
"Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore."
-- Andre Gide