Pop Up Camper Vs Teardrop

There is a middle ground right between the massive RVs and the traditional tent and that is the trailer.

Typically, sufficiently light to be pulled with a small car or even a bike, for ultra-light models, the teardrop style and popup trailers give users every home comfort without the superfluous bulk you get with an RV.

The two pull-along trailer styles are sufficiently small to be placed in the majority of driveways, making them a great open road option. 

If you are interested in upgrading from a tent to a camper but aren’t quite sure you are ready to fork out additional money for a pickup truck or an SUV, then you would most likely be considered a popup or teardrop camper.

Both campers are compact and seamlessly pulled. They also both offer more comfort compared to a tent, however, there are some advantages that one style of the camper has that the other doesn’t share.

This article aims to highlight what these advantages are, enabling you to make an informed decision when selecting the style of camper you so desire.

Definition of popup and teardrop campers

Teardrop campers were first manufactured in the 30s. Teardrop campers were the camper of choice for quite a lot of RVers back in the 30s and the 40s.

However, they lost a bit of their trendiness as a result of more complicated and intricately designed campers became prevalent. that being said, teardrop campers have enjoyed a resurgence, given that automobiles created today are becoming smaller and not as powerful. 

Teardrop campers are simply pull-along campers that have been designed to have a single structure with the roof and walls forming a fully enclosed and hard-shelled top.

Popup campers on the other hand, typically come with a hardtop that is either raised by hand crank or by hydraulic. The hardtop “pops up” to raise the height of the room, exposing floored tents and soft sides that move out from both ends.


While both types of campers are easy to tow and lightweight, teardrops typically have an aerodynamic design, whilst popups are boxy and square.

The two campers come with expansive sleeping areas, as well as kitchens, the complexity of which depends on the unit’s price point.


When it comes to tearing down and setting up camp, teardrops get the edge. While there are very few popup campers that still require a manual crank to have the top raise, popup campers offer no value until the roof is raised and its interior arranged.

Cabinets located at the top might have to be folded out, and the tent pull-outs will have to be stretched out and lifted before the popup camper bears any resemblance to its finished form.

Moving the camper is not as easy as a teardrop, as you will have to do the entire process in reverse, ensuring that cabinets are folded in and emptied, pull-outs taken in and the roof lowered.

Conversely, teardrops are ready for use as soon as you are parked and they are unhitched from the vehicle.

With a teardrop, you get a sleeping area that is always ready to be used as such with the minimal arrangement, unless it has been used as a storage compartment.

A teardrop’s kitchen area can be seamlessly accessed from the exterior, ensuring that cooking a meal doesn’t come with any form of maneuvering.

You have a sleeping compartment that is completely enclosed thanks to a hard shell. This differs from a soft top as the sound associated with heavy rain is unlikely to disturb you as you sleep.

Benefits of each style over the other

This section of the article is to highlight the standout benefits of each camper style and why its owners choose it. Let us begin!

Popup campers are affordable and easy

The popup camper comes with pull-out bunks and collapsible walls on a very lightweight trailer. The roof of the popup can be folded into the unit, transforming the high ceiling and wide, spread out walled camper into a square trailer. This also ensures that the entirety of the camper is secure and locked.

When it comes to price, popup campers are pretty affordable, with about $1,000 being enough to purchase a preowned popup camper.

This ensures that upgrading from a tent to an actual trailer when camping is not as financially demanding. A popup camper offers generous space in the interior, large enough for every on to stretch out.

A negative associated with the popup camper is that the roof material, particularly the ones made from canvas can interact with the weather.

Additionally, the design of a popup camper calls for tent fabric to be used, and that can make the camper stuffy and hot when placed directly in the path of the summer sun.

During the winter, the interior will get the full brunt of the cold weather. This design might prove cumbersome should you live in a rainy locale. One issue that does plague popup campers is the somewhat tiresome process of putting the roof up and setting up camp.

Teardrop campers offer an iconic design 

One of the reasons why teardrop campers are making a comeback to become a popular choice for RVers searching for a lightweight camper is its classic design.

It has become particularly popular due to a shift in consumer thinking. For one, RVers now prefer to tow their campers using a car, rather than an SUV or a massive truck.

The general aesthetics that the teardrop camper also has practical applications. For one, its hard shell has a curve that ensures the camper is aerodynamic. This, in turn, ensures that the camper is fuel-efficient. Given their popularity, it is no surprise that a teardrop camper costs a bit more than a popup camper.

The materials used to create the teardrop camper is sturdy and less likely to be affected by the elements, and noise.

Additionally, a teardrop camper can be fully lockable. This means that you can be assured that your belongings inside are safe and you do not have to collapse the camper or do anything you would normally do with a popup camper.

Heading out for the day does not mean a process where you have to take down and set up camp before you leave or after you come back.


When most people think of teardrop campers, they think of the iconic design, but they also think of a lightweight camper that ensures camping is always with convenience.

Owning a teardrop camper means that it is extremely easy to get up and go. You can leave your camping gear in the camper, without worrying about its safety. 

On the other hand, while a popup camper offers a lightweight alternative to camping, where you can be closer to nature and all its glory, it does have the disadvantage of requiring you to take the roof down every time you want to move.

You can’t even think about leaving the roof up and leaving to explore for the day as anything left inside your popup camper cannot be secured until the roof is brought down. This can be quite infuriating and it is no surprise that people go for the teardrop camper when given a choice.

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