Pop up campers are a great option for those looking to upgrade from tent camping and experience some home comforts such as bathroom facilities and air conditioning. Lightweight pop-up trailers are the perfect option when searching for a camper with great towability and storage practicality as well.
We’ve found the top 10 pop up campers weighing under 3,500 lbs with impressive specifications from off-road capability to the ability to sleep 6 people!
Top 10 pop-up campers under 3,500 lbs:
1. Jayco Jay Sport 12SC
Weight (UVW): 2,385 lbs
Upon entrance to the Jay Sport 12SC, there is a frontside king bed, queen size bed at the rear, a convertible dinette and foldable couch. Along with the ability to comfortably sleep 4-6 people, the Jay Sport features a considerable amount of floor space, bunk end fan lights in either sleeping pod, windows on every side and a kitchen with a sink, stainless steel stovetop and 3 way refrigerator.
Although there is no bathroom, opposite the kitchen area is a storage cupboard the perfect size to fit a cassette toilet if desired. On the exterior of the lightweight Jay Sport 12SC is a front cargo deck area ideal for carrying bikes, fire pits and any other additional camping equipment.
More info at: jayco.com
2. Coachmen Clipper 1285SST
Weight (UVW): 2,840 lbs
The Clipper 1285SST is a modern looking trailer with a sleek, spacious interior. The windows surrounding the sides of the trailer and the galley walkway through the camper, create an open and fresh space. There are many impressive features with the 1285SST such as the dark ash cabinetry, entertainment system and luxurious 4” heated mattress.
There is even a bathroom space with a cassette toilet, tub and shower facilities. For adventurers not wanting to compromise on comfort during camping trips, this Coachmen camper may be the perfect fit. The various sleeping spaces and seating areas make this a camper ideal for trips away with family or friends.
Another innovative feature is the large storage slide out on the exterior that pulls out from either side of the camper. This creative slide out results in a stress free experience when accessing gear and belongings, even when the pop up bed pods are assembled.
More info at: coachmenrv.com
3. Coachmen Clipper 108ST
Weight (UVW): 1,863 lbs
The Clipper 108ST is a trailer focussed on bringing convenience and ease to camping. Features such as the E-Z swing step upon entrance to the trailer, truly represent the well thought out design of the Clipper 108ST. The kitchen area is well equipped with a two burner LP Range stovetop, acrylic sink and refrigerator, surrounded by various storage areas.
For those who enjoy cooking outside, there is a removable exterior grill and plenty of additional storage for outdoor accessories. For those traveling with family or friends, there are several different sleeping options available in the Clipper 108ST. Both sleeping pods have heated queen size beds and the dinette and gaucho seating areas convert into comfortable sleeping spaces too.
For cooler climates there is a 20,000 BTU furnace and for warmer days there is a power vent fan on the seamless fiberglass roof. Although there is an additional option of a cassette toilet, an exterior shower comes as a standard feature.
More info at: coachmenrv.com
4. Forest River Flagstaff HW27KS
Weight (UVW): 3,334 lbs
The Flagstaff HW27KS is the heaviest camper on our list but still remains towable for average sized vehicles. The interior truly has a deluxe feel, highlighted well in the kitchen area with a large countertop, microwave, gas oven, three burner stovetop, double sink, refrigerator and an abundance of autumn wood cabinetry.
For alfresco eating, there is an exterior kitchen boasting many of the same features of a standard kitchen, such as a two burner stovetop, sink and pull out storage. It’s hard to ignore the spacious interior of the Flagstaff HW27KS, and the two bedroom pods with heated mattresses and convertible booth dinette, allow friends and family to join in the camping adventures too.
More info at: forestriverinc.com
5. Forest River Flagstaff 425M
Weight (UVW): 2,654 lbs
The wide open floor plan and bay window in the Flagstaff 425M, successfully create a bright and fresh feel within. The two large bedroom pods, convertible dinette and L-shaped couch provide ample space for entertaining, seating and sleeping multiple people. The unique L-shaped couch also provides a hidden area for an easy access cassette toilet.
There are many different storage areas in the Flagstaff 425M and with comfortable amenities and a generous amount of floor space, this is a great family trailer. The dinette also creates additional space due to its sliding feature resulting in a more casual, walkable area.
The 10’6” awning and exterior grill extend the living area substantially and with large amounts of exterior storage, there’s plenty of space for grill accessories, adventure gear and much more.
More info at: forestriverinc.com
6. Opus Camper OP4
Weight (UVW): 3,100 lbs
Opus create campers able to tackle challenging terrain whilst also remaining functionable and luxurious within. The OP4 uses innovative air beam technology that, once activated, allows the canopy and annexe to fully inflate in less than 5 minutes without any manual aid required.
To bring another layer of excitement to camping, the OP4 has an all terrain chassis matched perfectly with off road 15” tires and independent coil suspension. The front tool box area is another impressive feature of the Opus Camper OP4 along with the Dometic Coolcat AC, Opus cinema system, rack mounted hot shower, and various tent style options.
With the ability to comfortably sleep 6 and a large external kitchen to create family feasts, the OP4 is the perfect camper for those wanting to indulge in a home away from home and also have some fun off-roading experiences. There is an option of adding solar power to the OP4, but with 3-4 days of standard battery life and storage for 40 gallons of water, you already have the freedom to remain off grid for a few days.
More info at: opuscamper.us
7. Forest River Rockwood A122S
Weight (UVW): 2,120 lbs
The Rockwood A122S is a hard sided A-frame pop up camper with inventive storage space and a contemporary finish. Although the Rockwood A122S is a relatively compact trailer, Forest River have managed to include bathroom facilities in the form of an exterior hot water shower and interior porta potti toilet.
With two EZ Reach storage trunks in addition to the various interior cupboards and drawers, the A122S offers brilliant functionality. A common inconvenience of pop up campers is their long and frustrating set up, however, the Rockwood A122S has a hydraulic system that allows the A-frame to move into place with ease.
The construction is durable with a one piece vacuum bonded fiberglass roof and E-coated tubular steel frame. These materials provide longevity and strength, creating peace of mind that the A122S will keep going for many years to come.
More info at: forestriverinc.com
8. iCamp Lite
Weight (GVWR): 1,337 lbs
The iCamp Lite is a three room folding tent camper with a classic exterior aesthetic. Although this stylish camper is the lightest in our list, the iCamp Lite boasts many of the same features as heavier and larger pop up campers.
The simple sleeping arrangement is provided by double queen beds and with a comfortable U-shaped couch and removable table, you can rest assured there is space for everybody. Due to the lightweight nature of the iCamp Lite, the trailer can easily be towed and maneuvered by smaller vehicles.
The iCamp Lite is a great option for those requiring to keep their pop up camping trailer in a garage or small storage space due to its smaller size. Optional features include a tent awning and bike rack, allowing campers to customize the trailer to their needs.
More info at: urvusa.com
9. TrailManor 2518KB
Weight (UVW): 2,580 lbs
The TrailManor 2518KB is a popular lightweight pop up camper choice as it has a quick assembly, impressive features and is TrailManor’s smallest trailer. With king and queen size beds, convertible dinette, a dry bath with cassette toilet and shower, marble finish countertops, roof vents and even a Suburban 20,000 BTU furnace, the 2518KB ticks many boxes.
The light interior walls and various framed windows create a radiant feel within the camper and with ample storage available, it’s easy to keep the living area tidy and uncluttered. The Torsion Lift Technology used by TrailManor creates a simple, stress-free set up requiring minimal effort.
The sizable kitchen with a two burner stovetop, oven and refrigerator means keeping fuelled up in between adventures is a breeze. With a 20 gallon fresh water tank, 30 gallon gray water tank and a hot water heater, luxuries such as hot showers no longer have to be reserved for home.
More info at: trailmanor.com
10. Aliner Ranger 12
Weight (UVW): 1,450 lbs
The Aliner Ranger 12 is an impressive A-frame pop up camper with a simple set up and cozy interior. The process of setting up the Ranger 12 is made effortless with an easy latch system and metal arm to help erect the frame. Once raised, each side locks into place and is fully sealed, preventing any potential leaks.
Once the latches have been unclipped, the spring loaded dormer pops into place. The Aliner 12 is a fantastic option for couples or small families who want to experience camping with some home comforts. The exterior grill and speakers encourage spending quality time outdoors and with an interior kitchen featuring a two burner stovetop, refrigerator and sink, you can cook indoors too.
Helping keep the Aliner 12 cool and breezy is an air conditioning system and powered ceiling fan. Although this lightweight camper doesn’t have a bathroom area, there are many compact sized cassette toilets that could be stored inside.
More info at: aliner.com
What is the easiest pop up camper to open?
The Opus Camper OP4 is arguably one of the easiest pop up campers to open due to the use of specialized air beam technology. It’s this inventive technology that opens the canopy and annexe areas in less than 5 minutes with the click of a button.
This effortless set up allows for more time relaxing and exploring out in nature and less time struggling with an awkward, time consuming tent setup process.
What are the disadvantages of a pop up camper?
There are many advantages to pop up campers from their compact nature to their great towability. There are, however, some disadvantages such as the potentially long process of setting up the camper. Many pop up trailers require stabilization of beds, canvas fastening and roof raising.
This process, although not difficult, can be time consuming and frustrating, especially when the weather isn’t pleasurable. Another disadvantage of pop up campers is the potential high number of breakdowns with the standard moveable mechanics. Correct maintenance and use will help limit issues with pop up campers and many manufactures offer guarantees and warranties to cover you if breakdowns do happen.
Do pop up campers leak when it rains?
As pop up campers have sections made with canvas fabric rather than a solid material, they are naturally more prone to leakages. If there are any holes, rips or tears in the canvas material, rain can easily enter the camper.
To avoid leaks, it’s important to check the canvas material for any damage after each use and repair any tears as soon as possible. Pop up campers can also leak from seals and joins and so these should also be inspected regularly.
The Opus Camper OP4 truly fits campers who do not want to be limited in destination simply because they are towing a trailer. With outstanding off-road capability thanks to dual axle trailing arm suspension, dual coil shock absorbers and impressive mud tyres, the OP4 is a camper waiting to take on nature at its toughest.
The uniqueness of the OP4 is highlighted especially well with the full exterior slide out kitchen featuring an external fridge, four burner stovetop stainless steel chopping board, dish rack and sink with hot water. Opus have constructed a camper that offers an immersive experience with nature whilst managing to also keep the weight and size down.
Up Next In Pop-Up Campers:
(feature image: opuscamper.us)
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.