A popup camper can be described as a smaller recreational vehicle. Popup campers are usually purchased by an individual that want the experience of owning an RV but in a low cost and modest way.
A travel trailer tends to be big, however, you can also get smaller sizes. It provides RVers with a similar experience, albeit with more amenities and features. One thing that differentiates the bigger travel trailer from a popup camper is the ease or lack thereof of towing.
If you are looking to get an RV that comes will limited amenities and features packed in, whilst also at minimum cost, then the popup camper is a perfect choice. If you want the full RV experience with all the amenities you might need to have a great camping trip, then you need to look at a travel trailer.
This article aims to pit these two RV types against each other to find out which can be the better choice for you. Let us begin.
When it comes to maintenance, popup campers are a little easier. Given that pop-up campers are quite small and do not come with hard-sided doors or walls. They are modest RVs and that means they require less maintenance.
It is important to know that visiting a mechanic that specialises in RVs might cost you about $100 an hour. What you should always bear in mind is that maintenance is important when it comes to all types of RVs.
When you neglect routine maintenance, you end up paying much more when your RV breaks down. You will also have to pay for replacement parts.
Components such as piping system, awnings and appliances in a trailer will have to be maintained or you would end up paying for repairs that could cost an arm and a leg.
Most people believe that the only costs you have to incur are when you first buy your RV and when you take it for repairs or maintenance.
However, this is not the case. Insurance is an important aspect of RV maintenance, it is necessary to pay insurance for your RV, considering how much it cost to buy it and all the appliances that are in it.
When it comes to insurance, popups are small and economical, that means they do not cost as much.
Given that your popup camper is unlikely to have too many amenities and appliances in it, and given that it did not cost as much to purchase in the first place, your insurance premiums could be low, something like $20 extra for the most basic popup camper and $200 for the more extravagant ones, on top of your regular car insurance.
This is, however, not true for a travel trailer, as you are bound to pay on average anything from $220 to $550 each month.
While you might think you do not need insurance for your popup camper simply because of the low costs associated with it, but you never know what could happen to your camper. For example, robbery, fire or accident can arise and having insurance can provide you peace of mind.
Most RV purists will say that a popup camper offers an authentic camping experience, while a travel trailer is simply you bringing your home on wheels. Now this debate is subjective and it depends on what you think camping is.
For some camping is all about being as close to nature as possible, taking in your surroundings. You can do all this with a popup camper, as it gives you the actual experience of being out there even if you are in an RV.
This sense of being outdoors and close to nature cannot be had in a hard-sided travel trailer. When you camp with a travel trailer, it feels like you are back at home, as you have a thick insulated wall separating you from nature. Isn’t the point of camping to take in the outside
Towing a travel trailer is much different from towing a popup camper. For one, a travel trailer at its heaviest weighs a minimum of 7,500 pounds and that weight can be hard on your vehicle.
You have to ensure that whatever vehicle you use to tow your travel camper is capable of towing that weight and above. It is always best to never tow a weight too close to your vehicle’s maximum towing capability.
Before you make your purchase, you have to decide if your vehicle can handle the weight of a travel trailer. For instance, if you are interested in purchasing a 38 feet travel trailer, you should be aware that it would weigh 8,500 pounds dry.
This means you not only have to account for that weight but also any additional weight from your things and make sure that your vehicle can handle it.
A popup camper, on the other hand, will typically weigh anything from 600 to 2,300 pounds and this means that you can tow it using almost any car.
One of the reasons why a popup camper is light is down to the fact that they haven’t been constructed using wooden walls. It also helps that they do not have hard sides and have only the basic amenities.
Tent trailers on an average weigh around 600 lbs to around 2000 lbs and thus, they can be towed very easily by any normal car.
When it comes to storage, a popup camper wins hands down. Trying to store a travel trailer can be quite a stressful thought especially if you do not have a big enough garage. The only option would be to store it anywhere but that could severely damage your travel trailer.
Good storage is essential, particularly during the winter. This is a factor that you should never overlook. Doing so could end up costing you not only time but money when you have to take your trailer to go get repaired.
Where the popup camper gets the advantage is that it requires less space. This means that you can simply store them in your garage until you require them.
This is not the case with travel trailers, as they require a larger space. If you do not have enough space, you would most likely have to rent RV storage.
What you choose in this regard has to do with if you are comfortable paying for additional storage or if you would prefer to get something that you could store safely in your garage.
Generally, travel trailers cost more than popup campers. This is clearly evident by the average price of a travel trailer being $30,000, while a popup camper’s average price is $16,000. You can even purchase a brand-new popup camper for as low as $7,000.
Travel trailers are cheaper than other RVs such as Class A to C motorhomes and fifth wheels, however, even that is still more expensive than a popup camper, sometimes costing 5 times the price of a popup camper.
A brand-new travel trailer can be purchased for anything from $10,000 to $50,000 and even more in certain instances.