The lightweight construction of a good A-frame camper provides instant appeal for those looking to tow a small trailer for their adventures into the wild. The notorious shape of an A-frame camper creates a homey feel with the added benefit of more headroom, especially at the center point, when compared to many traditional pop top campers.
Are a-frame campers any good? Absolutely! As A-frame campers are often priced at a fraction of the cost of larger RVs, they are definitely a great option for single travelers, couples and even families alike. The real question of whether A-frame pop up campers are any good knuckles down to individual models available on the market today. Below, we provide our 10 favorite models along with their weight, pricing, length and key features.
Our 10 Favorite A-frame Campers:
1. Aliner – Family
Weight: 2000 lbs+
The Aliner Family model is a substantially spacious trailer with the ability to sleep four and seat seven. The Aliner Family is relatively compact and with a simple setup taking a matter of minutes, it is easy to see why Aliner have grown such a successful fan base over the years.
The Aliner family is extremely functional, boasting an array of features including two skylights, a swivel cassette toilet, hardwood cabinet doors, convertible dinette, water heater, furnace, dual propane tanks and cable hook up. Interestingly, although the sink is inside the trailer, a large proportion of the kitchen is in fact outside.
Along with the heated outside shower, the refrigerator and stove top are also on the exterior of the Aliner Family. One of the great benefits of having these features on the exterior of the trailer, is that more of your time is spent in the wilderness allowing you to truly feel at one with nature. A further added benefit of the Aliner Family is Azdel, the thermoplastic composite material of the interior walls and ceiling.
This synthetic material is lightweight and waterproof to keep you dry even when the weather takes a turn for the worst.
2. Forest River – Rockwood A122S
Weight: 2120 lbs
Rockwood is a reputable company known for creating quality trailers with fresh, modern interiors. The Forest River Rockwood A122S has a durable construction with a vacuum bonded fiberglass roof and tubular steel framing, offering great longevity.
Some of the features of the A122S include interior floor lights, USB ports, large storage, microwave oven, three way refrigerator, cassette toilet, exterior shower, flip up queen bed and a convertible dinette. The staggeringly large amount of storage in the Forest River Rockwood A122S, ensures all adventure gear and equipment can join you on every trip without encroaching into the interior floor space of the trailer.
There is also substantial storage underneath the bed which can be lifted and lowered for access as needed. An interesting addition of the Rockwood A122S, is the removable table that mounts externally to the trailer; perfect for dining outside and socializing with friends and family.
3. Chalet – The XL
Weight: 1995 lbs
Length: 18’ 7”
The Chalet XL is arguably one of the largest A line trailers on the market today and can comfortably sleep a family of four. The electric roof lifting system of the Chalet XL creates a flawlessly quick and easy setup. This hassle free setup allows for less stress and more time spent doing the things you want to do, and so it is a great benefit of this particular trailer.
With an opening roof vent, 15 gallon fresh water tank, double bowl stainless steel sink, three burner hob, refrigerator, and bathroom with an optional central shower, it’s hard to find something the Chalet XL doesn’t already offer.
There are several additional options available for the Chalet XL, ranging from a solar package with an 80w folding panel, 10 amp controller and panel wiring, to a ducted Cool Cat air conditioning system. For those requiring an extension of space, a unique feature offered with the Chalet XL is an expanding hard sided front dormer, perfect for additional storage or an extension of living space.
4. Forest River – Flagstaff T12RBST
Weight: 2120 lbs
Length: 19’ 2”
The Forest River Flagstaff T12RBST is packed with an unfathomable number of features, but first, the T12RBST has to be recognized for its comfort and ease of setup. The cozy dinette seats four and with large storage areas for adventure gear, this trailer seems an ideal offering for camping trips.
Additionally, there is ample storage on the exterior of the trailer for the items that are essential for trips and do not fit inside. The interior kitchen of the Forest River Flagstaff T12RBST is extremely functional, including a three burner range, sink and refrigerator. There is even the option of cooking outside with the gas grill and work table attachment, the perfect option for connecting with nature at its finest.
The flip bed allows for enhanced space and storage underneath, whilst the convertible dinette creates an additional sleeping area when required. The Flagstaff also includes a porta-potty cassette toilet and heated exterior shower.
5. Forest River – Rockwood A122
Weight: 2040 lbs
Length: 17’ 5”
The Forest River Rockwood A122 is one of the smaller sized A Frame trailers available. With a large convertible dinette, queen size bed, 3 burner stove top, refrigerator and an abundance of other features, the Rockwood A122 is potentially a great option for those not requiring a huge camping trailer.
With windows on all sides of the camper, the space feels light and airy – essential for those longer adventures out in the wild. The windows already provide great ventilation throughout the trailer, however, the fan on the ceiling provides even further air flow for the hottest of days. The setup of the Forest River Rockwood A122 is convenient and quick with hydraulics aiding the A-frame to spring into place perfectly.
6. Aliner – Ranger 10
Weight: 1225 lbs
Length: 12’ 8”
The Aliner Ranger 10 is a compact trailer that due to its smaller size, is ideal for a solo explorer or an adventurous couple. The composite interior wall and ceiling panels are made from the durable thermoplastic Azdel. Along with the Performax 500 premium marine grade flooring, the Aliner Ranger 10 is lightweight, providing great towability.
The Aliner Ranger 10 has all the necessities required for the perfect camping trip. Some of the high quality features included in the Ranger 10 are a comfortable bed, convertible dinette, stove top, refrigerator, outdoor shower and considerable counter top and storage space. The two skylights provide ideal natural light creating an airy, open feel inside the trailer.
With an optional extra of an air conditioning system, the Aliner Ranger 10 offers an abundance of features for those looking for an A-frame camper on the smaller side without sacrificing key necessities.
7. Chalet – The LTW
Weight: 990 lbs
Length: 12’ 9”
Being the smallest and lightest model available from Chalet, The LTW offers great towability and maneuverability and is also Chalet’s most affordable A-frame trailer. Although The LTW is compact, attractive features such as a fridge, fan, two burner hob and furnace remain included.
The durability of the construction of The LTW is aided greatly by the vacuum bonded floor and powder coated steel frame. Along with composite materials, this trailer has rot and corrosion resistant construction, resulting in great longevity allowing for adventures well into the future.
The optional extras for The LTW feature an 80W portable solar panel, 6 gallon water heater with an exterior shower and even an air conditioning unit. This is an A-Frame pop up camper boasting undeniable potential with the ability to add extra features and create the perfect camper suited to your specific needs.
8. Jayco – Jay Series Sport 12HSB
Weight: 2095 lbs
Length: 18’ 7”
Although Jayco have discontinued their A-Frame campers, they remain a good option for those looking at the used trailer market. Renowned for their outstanding quality, it is clear to see why Jayco are such a popular brand when it comes to trailers and RVs. The Jay Series Sport 12HSB features an optional rear storage area with sliding drawers, offering great additional storage space for any adventure gear required.
The sleek exterior of the Jay Series Sport is paired well with its functionality. There is an exterior shower, two 20lb propane tanks and even an outdoor speaker. The high quality is continued onwards into the interior with a cozy, convertible dinette, ceiling fan, fixed position bed, microwave oven, three burner stove top, refrigerator and an exterior barbecue.
9. Bolwell RV – Air
Weight: 1995 lbs
Length: 18’ 7”
The Bolwell RV Air has been innovatively designed to be as economical as possible on the road. This is achieved by the great aerodynamics and lightweight construction of the trailer. An extremely unique feature of the Air is the industrial strength glue that Bolwell uses in place of screws and rivets, avoiding the inevitable corrosion that comes with travelling through the harshest of environments.
The glue used for the materials of the Air chemically weld them together at, as Bolwell states, “a molecular level”. The interior of the Air doesn’t fail to impress with some features including large opening windows, lockable front storage boot, rear tunnel boot, convertible dinette, three burner hob and sink, 82L fresh water tank and external shower.
With the option of either two twin single beds or a standard double, you can choose the sleeping option best suited to you. As the storage offered in the Bolwell RV Air is neatly stowed away, there is a surprisingly large amount of floor space inside. The creativity and innovative design of the Air is undeniable and provides an ideal luxury A-Frame pop up camper.
10. Forest River – Flagstaff T12RB
Weight: 2014 lbs
Length: 17’ 5”
The Forest River Flagstaff T12RB is a hard sided A-frame camper boasting multiple storage areas, including exterior storage. The outside of the trailer also features a gas grill with work table attachment, ideal for spending time outside with the people you love.
The exterior speaker sets great ambiance when enjoying the outside space and is a great added benefit for social occasions. The convertible dinette and rear flip bed on the interior provide the ultimate comfort after a long day of exploring. The cassette toilet and exterior shower ensure both functionality and practicality whilst traveling.
Do A-frame campers have bathrooms?
Some A-frame campers have a cassette type toilet system that is usually hidden away in a cabinet and can be accessed when needed. As for a shower system, many A-frame campers have a hot water heater and exterior shower either as a standard feature or optional extra.
A-frame campers, although compact in their size, tend to cover all the necessities needed for a camping trip. If, however, a trailer does not feature a toilet, cassette style toilets are relatively low in cost and a very popular option.
How much does an A-frame trailer cost?
A-frame trailers are usually far lower in price compared to other RVs and campervans on the market today. New A-frame pop up campers have a price tag starting at around $10,000 and reducing to around $5,000 for used trailers.
Many A-frame trailers have a variety of additional options available from dormer extensions to increased storage and air conditioning units. These options will increase the total price of the trailer and so they are important to consider when researching various A-frame campers.
How many can sleep in an A-frame camper?
Usually standard sized A-frame campers are designed to comfortably sleep a maximum of two people. There are, however, many A-frame campers with a layout option featuring a double bed or even twin single beds. In addition to this, if a dinette is included in an A-frame pop up camper, it will have the ability to be converted into a bed suitable for sleeping one or two people.
Do Aliner campers leak?
If a camper has been constructed well and the materials used are of high quality, there should be minimal, if any, problems with leaking. There have been some reports of seal issues with some Aliner campers, however this issue can be avoided with correct annual maintenance.
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(featured image: forestriverinc.com)
David is an accomplished mountain endurance athlete who has completed over 25 ultra marathon races (follow on Strava). He is most proud of his finish at The Drift 100 – a high elevation, 100 mile winter foot race that zigzags along the Continental Divide in Wyoming. In the future he hopes to compete in the ITI 350 and ultimately the full 1,000 mile Iditarod Trail Invitational that follows the same path as the historic dog sled race.