Posted by: Mark Polk | 2017

Types of RVs: Folding Camping Trailer (pop-up)

Folding Camping Trailers often referred to as pop-ups are the least expensive RVs. They are designed to be lightweight and for the most part inexpensive while still providing many of the comforts and conveniences found in a travel trailer. A pop-up incorporates a lift system to raise the roof. When the roof is in the raised position there is a tent fabric, either one piece or several sections, attached to the roof and the box, and it expands out to accommodate the pull out bed ends.

The beds come in different sizes, and along with the box size determine the overall open length of the pop-up. Sizes range from 15 feet to 24 feet when open. The ends and sides collapse for towing and storage, and therefore take up little space when not being used. Most pop-ups provide standard equipment or features like a sink, stove, ice-box, fresh water storage tank, table, pull out beds, an LP gas supply, and a separate 12-volt DC and 120-volt AC electrical system. Many of today’s pop-ups have small slide out sections on the side, designed to give you additional living space inside.

Most pop-up manufacturers offer what I refer to as an entry-level line and a deluxe line. Some of the differences are in construction such as the roof and lift system, the size, and in how they are equipped. Options available for some pop-ups are air conditioning, refrigerator, water heater, furnace, dual LP gas bottles, inside or outside shower, upgraded interiors, awning, screen room and electric brakes. Top-of-the-line units may also include an interior bathroom for maximum privacy while camping.

Pop-ups are commonly referred to by their box size. What this means is the length of the box that is mounted to the frame of the trailer. For years, manufacturers offered 8-foot, 10-foot and 12-foot boxes for their pop-ups. Now innovative manufacturers are designing larger versions with 14-foot boxes, and off road models for campers who really want to explore America’s back roads. The closed length of a pop-up is measured from the front of the tongue to the rear bumper. Pop-ups can sleep up to eight people depending on the model and prices can range from $8,000 to over $15,000.

Pop up Pros

1) Lightweight

2) Doesn’t require a special tow vehicle

3) Fairly inexpensive

4) Compact & versatile

Pop up Cons

1) Set-up & take-down

2) Limited security

3) Limited protection in bad weather

4) Limited storage space

Happy RV Learning,

Mark Polk

RV Education 101


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