Hard side pop-up campers are becoming increasingly popular. They combine the best of both worlds to give you the benefits of the traditional pop-up camper and the sturdiness of a trailer. Hard side pop-up campers come with a fiberglass vacuum bonded exterior while retaining the towing and storage advantages of a tent camper.
A hard side pop-up camper is also great for people who have a small tow vehicle and want a camper that is easy to tow. If you want the flexibility of a pop-up camper without the hassle of the canvas, then hard side pop-up campers make a great alternative.
Hard Side Pop-up Camper Pros
Hard side pop-up campers, unlike traditional canvas pop-up campers, are more durable and will withstand adverse conditions better than canvas side tents. Canvas requires a lot of care to maintain and is susceptible to wear and tear. This is why hard side pop-up campers have an edge in terms of durability and ease of maintenance.
2) Enhanced Insulation
For campers, insulation is one of the primary concerns. A well-insulated camper keeps you warm and safe from the elements meaning that you have a more comfortable camping experience. Hard pop-up campers provide better insulation than the standard canvas side pop-up campers. The sturdier walls of a hard side pop-up camper keep the interior of your camper well insulated.
3) Security and Privacy
One of the downsides of a traditional canvas pop-up camper is the lack of security and privacy. With the solid walls of a hard side pop-up camper, you are safeguarded from wildlife, potential thieves, and any other threats that you may come across on your camping trip.
When it comes to privacy, your hard side pop-up camper gives you better auditory privacy by shielding you from external noise as well as keeping your noise within your walls. Canvas pop-up campers offer little in the way of auditory privacy.
4) Ease of towing
Compared to trailers, a hard pop-up camper is more versatile and easier to tow. Since it is generally lighter than a traditional trailer, you can tow your hard side pop-up camper even with a small vehicle. Hard pop-up campers are also easy to maneuver and pack due to their lightweight nature.
5) Quick and easy to set up
If you don’t want to spend hours figuring out how to set up your canvas side pop-up camper, the hard side pop-up camper is the best alternative. Hard side pop-up campers require little assembly time and disassembly time. You can just find a stable area to park, put down your jacks and/or stabilizers, and you are all set.
Hard Side Pop-up Campers Cons
A hard side pop-up camper will set you back more than a traditional canvas side pop-up camper. Since they come with more features, the higher price may be a reasonable trade-off to get a higher quality, but if you are looking for a budget pop-up camper, then the hard side pop-up campers are typically pricier.
The hard sidewalls come with their cons, with the main one being that you lose the ease of storage that you would get with a traditional pop-up camper with canvas sides
You are also working with more weight with a hard side pop-up camper, so it will not be as easy to tow as the canvas pop -up campers.
The Best Hard Side Pop-up Campers
Forest River Rockwood A214HW
The A214HW hard side pop-up camper boasts the best features and amenities. It is designed for comfort and comes with plenty of amenities. It is, therefore, no surprise that it is one of the pricier models of hard pop-up campers.
This camper comes with 5 feet 8 inches high walls and is quite heavy for a pop-up camper at 2,700 pounds. This hard side pop-up camper comes with a 60 x 80-inch bed and an interior shower and toilet.
- Sleeps 2
- Length 20 ft 10 in
- Fresh Water Capacity 26 gals
- Tire Size 13 Radials
- LP Tank Capacity 20
- Water Heater Capacity 6 gal
- Water Heater Type Gas
- Number of LP Tanks 2
Chalet A-Frame XL-1935
This hard side pop-up camper comes with three-floor plans and is one of the most spacious pop-up campers available. This makes it great for families and group campers. The Chalet A-Frame XL-1935 hard side pop-up camper also comes equipped with a convenient Power Lift system. This system automatically sets up and takes down the roof making the setup process pretty easy and effortless.
- Sleeps 4 adults
- Has a 52″ x 76″ rear bed and 46″ x 80″ front bunk beds
- Weight: 1995 lbs., Tongue: 370 lbs., GVWR 3,500 lbs.
- Length: 18′ 7″
- Led Lighting and Solar Pre-wired
- Electronic Roof Lift System,
- Fitted kitchen with fridge, furnace, three burner cooktop, sink, residential height countertops
Jayco Jay Series 12BFD
This hard side pop-up camper is an impressive 22 feet 4 inches long, with the living area being about 16 feet. This means that the Jayco Jay Series 12BFD is a great choice for those who want a spacious hard side pop-up camper.
The Jayco Jay Series 12BFD comes with a dinette/bed area, a kitchen area with a three-burner cooktop, a sink, a refrigerator, storage cabinets, and a bathroom.
- Acrylic sink and faucet
- 17-gallon freshwater tank with 12V demand water pump
- 6-gallon gas water heater
- 3-burner stainless steel stovetop
- Microwave oven
- Tinted vinyl windows with fine-mesh screening
- Vinyl flooring
- Auxiliary 12V jack and privacy curtains for bunk ends
- Stainless steel indoor/outdoor stove with wind deflectors
- Booth dinette with carry-out table
- 4-inch reversible dinette cushions
- 12V high-intensity lighting
- Multimedia stereo with AM/FM//USB
Coachmen Viking V12RBSTHW
The V12RBSTHW floor plan is 20 feet, 2 inches long. This hard side pop-up camper does not come with a bathroom, so while this feature may put some people off, it does create more sleeping room. This camper has a sleeping capacity of 4 people with two sleep areas in the dinette/bed and two more in the flip-up bed.
The Coachmen Viking V12RBSTHW a well-equipped decent kitchen area with a two-burner cooktop, a sink, and a refrigerator. For added comfort, this hard side pop-up camper comes with tinted safety glass windows and vented drapes.
- Sleeps 4
- Length 20 ft 2 in
- Hitch Weight 337 lbs.
- Gross Weight 3757 lbs.
- Cargo Weight 1493 lbs.
- Fresh Water Capacity 27 gals
- Water Heater Capacity 6 gal
- Kitchen with a two-burner cooktop, sink, and microwave
- Exterior LP grill,
There are plenty of reasons why you should go for a hard side pop-up camper. It is easy to tow and comes with the added roominess of a pop-up camper. Depending on your needs, there are plenty of hard side pop-up camper options to choose from. The lightweight nature of this type of camper, when compared to standard trailers, means that you can tow it even with a small vehicle and that it is also easy to maneuver and store. The best pop-up campers come with all the amenities you would get in a standard trailer and provide more comfort than canvas side pop-up campers.