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Best Pop-Up Campers Under 3,000 Pounds? (10 Lightweight Favorites)

Best Pop-Up Campers Under 3,000 Pounds? (10 Lightweight Favorites)

A lightweight pop-up camper (under 3,000 pounds) can provide many of the comforts of an RV while still being light enough to tow with smaller vehicles. They offer more protection from the elements and more amenities than a tent, but they still allow you to be immersed in nature.

Many pop-up campers have features like comfortable sleeping space for a whole family, a kitchenette, a dinette, storage space, and sometimes even a bathroom.

It’s also easier to tow a pop-up camper than it is to tow a hard-sided camper trailer, and pop-ups have less of a negative effect on your fuel economy since they fold down to be smaller and more aerodynamic.

Here’s the top 10 best pop-up campers under 3,000 pounds:

1. Opus OP2

Weight: 2,777 lbs

This off-road ready camper can sleep four people and hold enough supplies for four days off the grid. It has an upgraded all-terrain chassis, beefy off-road tires, and independent coil suspension. This trailer has a clever design with an outdoor kitchen that slides out from the trailer body and a spacious sleeping area that’s easy to deploy – at the touch of a switch, it inflates itself in just three minutes. 

More info:

2. TAXA Mantis

Weight: 2,972 lbs

This pop-up camper has a unique design that feels like a combo of a hard-side trailer and a van-style pop-top.

This camper is designed for families to have everything they need to camp comfortably: two bed areas with under-bed storage that transform into a dinette and a couch, a wet bath with a cassette toilet and shower, a sink, a two-burner stove, a cooler platform (cooler must be purchased separately), a storage tower, and an air conditioner.

It also has roof top storage space, a pass-through window, an 8-foot awning, and a rear hatch that opens for excellent views and airflow.

More info:

3. Black Series Dominator

Weight: 2,740 lbs

This is another super-capable off-road camper. It has the most robust independent suspension system on the market, custom-engineered trailing arms so each wheel can move independently, and four shocks instead of the standard two.

It has a stainless steel external kitchen that comes out on slides and includes a three-burner stove. There’s another slide-out compartment that can hold a 12V fridge (not included) with a power source built into the drawer. Inside, there’s a queen size sleeping area and a dinette that can convert into another sleeping area so the whole family can sleep comfortably.

More info:

4. Black Series Patron

Weight: 2,977 lbs

The Patron has the same off-road capabilities as the Dominator, but it has two designated sleeping areas plus the convertible dinette/bed and can sleep up to five people. Built-in LED lighting means you can keep the party going even after dark, and tons of mesh windows allow in fresh air and provide sweeping views.

More info:

5. Coachmen Clipper Sport 125ST

Weight: 2,396 lbs

This pop-up camper has the more traditional fold-out bunks at either end: a king size bed on one end and a queen size bed on the other end. It also has a sofa sleeper, so plenty of room for the whole family.

It comes with a dinette with storage under the seats, a two-burner stove, a sink, and several storage spaces. You can opt to include a wet bathroom package with a toilet and shower in place of one of the storage areas.

More info:

6. Coachmen Viking Legend 2485SST

Weight: 2,840 lbs

This pop-up camper is similar to the Clipper Sport, but it has a slide-out to provide more interior space. It has the same arrangement of a king bunk on one end and a queen bunk on the other end, plus a sleeper sofa. A wet bathroom comes standard, and a larger dinette fits in the slide-out. It includes the same kitchen facilities plus a fridge, and has a large exterior sliding storage space.

More info:

7. Aliner Family

Weight: 2,000 lbs

This A-frame style pop-up camper has dormers on both ends, a sofa bed and two single bunks, a dinette, and a toilet and sink inside. It has an exterior kitchen: a 12V refrigerator and two-burner stove on a slide-out. If you don’t mind cooking outdoors, this is a great option for a family camper.

More info:

8. Forest River Flagstaff T12RBTH

Weight: 2,408 lbs

This hard-side pop-up camper has a large metal front deck storage area, where you can keep motorcycles, dirtbikes, or other large gear items that are more feasibly stored outside. Inside the camper, you’ll find a flip-up bed, a dinette, and a kitchenette with a three-burner stove, sink, and fridge. An outdoor griddle offers an alternative cooking option.

More info:

9. Forest River Flagstaff 627M

Weight: 2,854 lbs

This pop-up camper has a slide-out that houses a U-shaped dinette, fold-out king and queen size beds, and a sofa bed. It has a tiny kitchenette and a pop-up shower/toilet space. Two cabinets provide storage space. Outside, a 13-foot awning shades a griddle for cookouts, and an exterior fridge keeps the drinks cold.

More info:

10. Forest River Flagstaff Sports Enthusiast Package 23SCSE

Weight: 2,933 lbs

This is similar to the previous model, but it has a standard dinette and no sofa sleeper. Instead, the king bed at the front folds down over a metal front deck space where outdoor sports gear can be stored. The interior space is slightly smaller and the awning is 11 feet long instead of 13.

More info:

How To Choose a Pop-Up Camper Under 3,000 Pounds

Choosing the right lightweight pop-up camper can be overwhelming with so many options available. You can narrow down the options by asking yourself the following questions:

What’s Your Vehicle’s Towing Capacity?

Consult your vehicle owner’s manual to find out how much weight you can safely tow. Keep in mind that all the weights listed in this article are empty weights, and when you fill up the camper with water, propane, food, supplies, clothes, and gear, the weight can increase significantly.

So, don’t purchase a trailer whose empty weight is close to or equal to the maximum that your vehicle can tow. In general, it’s a good idea to stay as far under the maximum weight as is feasible, since your vehicle will be able to brake and accelerate better when it’s not towing a super heavy load.

And, this should be obvious, but your vehicle also needs to have a tow hitch installed, or you will have to factor in installation costs to your budget.

How Many People Will Be Sleeping in the Camper?

Some pop-up campers can sleep quite a few people, but it might be a cozy fit if you need to sleep a large group. You can also of course opt to bring tents for extra sleeping space and privacy, and most pop-up campers have space to store tents, air mattresses, and bedding to facilitate this.

Do You Need a Bathroom?

This largely depends on where you will be camping and how comfortable you are with using public restrooms and/or going outside. If you will be camping exclusively at organized campgrounds that have bathroom facilities, you likely don’t need to sacrifice the space to have a bathroom in your camper.

But, if you’ll be boondocking in popular areas (especially in wide-open places with no bushes, trees, or rocks to use as cover), a toilet of some kind can make things much easier. You can also make your own external bathroom with a privacy stall tent and a portapotty for the best of both worlds.

Do You Need Off-Road Capability?

Your typical pop-up camper is not designed to go off-road, but there are some that are purpose-built for off roading and tackling rough terrain. The Black Series campers and the Opus camper are great options for off-roading if that’s more your style than organized campgrounds.

Do You Need Heat?

Most pop-up campers have canvas elements, which don’t hold heat particularly well. Some come equipped with heaters, but remember that these will need a lot of fuel/energy to function and may not be practical unless you have a generator or are staying at a site with full hookups.

If you plan to stick to three-season camping in mostly warm locations, you probably won’t need a heat source and can get away with warm PJs and bedding, but if you want a true four-season camper, a heater can be a necessary addition.

Closing Thoughts

There are so many different types of pop-up campers on this list, but I have to say the Coachmen Viking Legend looks like a super comfortable way to camp! Of course, the off-road models on this list are tempting too, providing comfort but also extreme capability.


Up Next In Campers:

7 Pop-up Campers Under 1,500 Pounds

Pop-Up Campers Under $5,000

The 10 Best Pop-Up Campers Under 2,000 Pounds

The 8 Lightest Pop-Up Truck Campers

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