If you’re considering purchasing a pop a camper truck you are probably upgrading from a tent or downgrading from an RV or something else.
Pop-Up camper trucks provide great value and offer the experience of being outdoors while providing the comforts you would expect to find in such a vehicle. Mainly the pop-up truck campers are fitted to half ton trucks. This combination provides the perfect combination of size and power for hauling the camper unit anywhere you would like to go.
You will find pop up campers economical as most of these units are streamline and have been designed with fuel economy in mind.
The truck’s chassis is also designed for weight loading and what makes the half ton truck the perfect tool for the camper is the low center of gravity. Having a low center of gravity means you can take this pop-up truck camper to pretty much any destination you desire. There is sufficient ground clearance to traverse the toughest of obstacles without the fear of tipping the unit over.
There are so many benefits to owning a pop-up camper, for instance, most of these camper units can be stored in a garage making winterizing the unit easy. Unlike hard sided campers the pop-up unit can provide the owner with a simple solution for weekends away or extended family holidays.
There are some negatives to owning a small pop up camper, it’s impossible to fit in a bath( shouldn’t be an issue for most folks) and you will need to use a cassette portable toilet. But, the downsides of owning a pop-up truck camper do not out way the upside of owning such a vehicle.
There are limitations and certain considerations any prospective buyer should consider before purchasing a pop-up truck camper. It is unlikely that the pop-up camper will have a huge water tank capacity, so refilling the tank and clean water supply needs to be considered when venturing out. Overall the facilities that pop up campers offer can be limited, buy, many people who are upgrading from tents will be well aware of the pitfalls and limitations of owning such a vehicle.
If you’re downgrading from an RV then some of the lacking facilities may be a short term issue for you. Many folks these days espouse less is more, this will be a decision you will need to make before taking the plunge and owning a pop-up camper truck.
There are many companies supplying camper trucks and all claim that their truck is better than the competitor. This article will help guide you through the minefield of pop up truck campers and the claims their manufacturers make.
11 Best Pop-Up Truck Campers
At just 37,000 dollars the Phoenix Mini Max has to take the number one spot in this review.
The Phoenix Mini Max has impressive features that will please everyone who is the market for a pop-up truck camper. It is considered to be the coolest looking mini camper on the market today; it enjoys a 7-foot floor plan and an impressive 60×80 inch best that straddles the truck east to west. The bed is luxurious and comfortable ensuring a good night’s sleep for the driver and his companion.
The pop-up truck camper has a wet bath located on the driver’s side of the vehicle and a large dinette ensuring entertainment and dining indoors when required. The unit is fabricated from aluminum and has a total dry standing weight of 1,180 lbs, allowing the owner to carry more essentials for an extended vacation. Together with the lightweight construction, the camper is lined with insulating high-density foam to ensure that the camper can withstand most weather conditions. The unit is clad in one piece fiberglass for structural integrity.
Other features include an 18-gallon water toilet which is more than enough for a few days use even with a young family. The pop-up camper utilizes the Thetford cassette toilet with an 8-gallon grey water holding capacity. A useful 1.9 cubic foot domestic refrigerator is also included in the standard package for this pop-up truck camper.
The interior cabin color is provided as standard in birch. However, there are other options available to the purchaser and can be pre-ordered. The finish of the wood laminate is in a hard wearing clear coat.
A myriad of other options can be purchased such as a solar power unit, rear ladder for access, roof racks, low power air-conditioning for those hot summer nights.
You can also opt for a custom paint job for your truck making you the coolest camper in the park.
To be honest this camper could have easily been number 1 at an amazing price starting at 18,600 dollars. This unit really offers value for money, although it’s cheaper than number one I felt that the first choice had a better finish and provided a sense of quality over and above the Bundutuc Wild.
Some cool features the Bundtuc Wild offers is a full wet bath with an enormous water holding tank making bathing a viable proposition for the campers.
I particularly liked the fact that the whole camper is skinned in aluminum, it looks great but I do worry about the long term appearance of the unit after a few years of use (I always consider resale values). The color of the wild is gray, this may be a preference to some buyers who are tired of the white standard offering so many manufacturers offer.
The weight of the unit is an impressive 1,610 lbs which should make for additional fuel economy. The unit is aero-dynamic and it looks very nice overall.
The seven-foot floor plan is ample to provide a decent size bed and cooking facilities the mattress is a little smaller than the first choice but is adequate for this size of the camper. The bed has handy under storage capacity which can be useful when taking longer trips away from home.
The fresh water tank capacity is 21 gallons which provide ample drinking water and washing water for the whole family. A 17-gallon gray water tank is provided for non-potable water. The Bundutec Wild has a nice refrigerator made by Novakool, there is an abundance of working service complete with stainless steel sink and drainer.
The Bundutec Wild comes with a range of fly screens to keep out even the tiny bugs that drive us all crazy during the summer camping months. Other options include a wraparound awning, solar panel units, and quiet running boiler system.
All in all this camper unit is great value for money and well worth a look when you are in the market for a new pop up camper.
If you are looking for a tried and tested camper then look no further. The Alaskan 6.5 Cabover comes in at an incredible 29,039 dollars. This camper has been in the market since 2015 and has enjoyed excellent reviews from the owners. It’s the only camper in this review with canvas sides, but, don’t let that put you off owning this tremendously engineered camper.
The Alaskan 6.5 features a patent pop up design that is operated by hydraulics. The unit is robust and will provide the user with years of hardwearing service. The hydraulic support system raises and lowers the entire roof section making the operation simple for the owner. There will be no pinches or snags of the canvas with the unique opening system.
Stepping inside the Alaskan 6.5 Cabover for the first time is a sight for sore eyes. You are greeted with maple cabinets, wood-lined the ceiling and a sumptuous leather dinette fit for royalty.
If you like extensive countertops then this is the camper for you. There is more than enough worktop space for food preparation and storage is ample in this camper. You will also find generous overhead storage for all of your needs while away from home.
The camper weighs in at 1,390 lbs the fresh water tank holds 15 gallons and the refrigeration unit is suitable for families. You will also find a 5-gallon propane tank making frequent re-fills a think of the past. With Hehr windows and a full-size door added to the unit, you will not need to bend and contort to enter the Alaskan Camper.
A big consideration when buying a camper is can you get the unit serviced or repaired should the need arise. With Alaskan campers being in business since 1953 you can rely on this camper manufacturer to be around for a very long time.
As with all campers, you can expect a comprehensive range of accessories and add-ons. Alaskan campers offer a 20,000 BTU furnace to keep you nice and warm on those chilly nights. The Camper comes with a Thetford cassette toilet unit. Other accessories like solar panels and power inverters can be purchased allowing you to have one of the very best campers available.
This compact budget camper is priced at only 16.720 dollars. However, don’t be fooled by its low price, this camper has plenty to offer the camping enthusiast. If you upgrading from a tent or you have decided to dip your toe in the camping water this may be the pop up camping unit you are looking for.
This budget camper offers a strong composite housing, it so strong you can walk on the roof. With strength and rigidity often comes weight. But this unit tips the scales at 850 pounds which is one of the lightest campers in its class.
The caribou is insulated like no other camper, the campers manufacturer uses high-quality insulation in just about every nook and cranny to be found in this lightweight unit.
Would you believe that in this camper you can find a queen-sized bed? The over cab vault offers a pull-out queen size bed to offer the owners of this camper a restful night each and every night they spend in the camper.
The caribou lite sports a hefty 24-gallon freshwater holding the tank and a 5-gallon propane cylinder for long lasting propane gas. If you desire you can purchase a 5-gallon toilet to complement the other features this budget camper offers.
A full range of accessories is available such as solar panels and power inverters. Roof racks are a great addition and the Caribou fits the Yamika rack as well as the air conditioning unit.
If you are thinking this is a cheap camper aimed at a certain market segment you are wrong. The camper works perfect on or off the truck and comes with an industry leading lifetime warranty of the camper housing.
If you are looking now for a camper check out the Outfitter caribou lite, you will be pleasantly surprised by the features.
This one is a real budget unit coming in at sub 10,000 dollars, and the old saying you get what you pay for is certainly correct in this case. But let’s take a step back and take a close look at this camping unit. We all know that not all campers are made equal, and often that’s for a reason. Budget campers are relevant to the market an fill a specific niche for certain buyers.
If you’re a loan camper or part of a hunting group then this basic camper could be just what you are looking for. It’s basic, it’s easy to use and in some ways very functional if you only wish to sleep in the unit.
In a mid-size truck, the camper will fit a six-foot bed and larger trucks like a Tacoma you can fit a 6.5-foot bed. However, the functionality of this unit seems to stop at this point.
Would I buy this camper? If I was a hunter or a solitary person looking to escape the trappings of life for a weekend then I would consider the camper as an option. It’s not luxurious but it stops you sleeping on the ground with critters.
This camper can provide some excitement at a low price of 18,995 dollars. It’s a lightweight ruggedly constructed camper suited perfectly for today modern half-ton pick-up trucks. The camper is made from durable aluminum and with a little careful attention will last for a very long time.
The Hawk is fitted with a 20-gallon freshwater tank for drinking and washing. It sports a queen size bed offering the driver and companions a restful night in comfort. The kitchen is fully kitted out with quality cabinets and sinks wear. There is ample storage for a long vacation. A useful1.7 cubic foot refrigerator is supplied as standard.
The interior is fitted with wood offering a warm cozy feeling to the occupants while being durable and resistant to knocks and spills.
The manufacturers of the hawk offer a range of floor layouts to suit your requirements. These floor designs can offer the varying locations of the dinette, sofas and other options. You may choose to opt for an outside shower or toilet depending on your needs.
If you are getting away from civilization for a while you can fit solar panels to provide all of the electricity you may need during your vacation.
If you like to drive off road the fixing system of the Hawk will hold the camper securely to your truck. The invisible securing system utilizes four anchor bolts that cannot be seen but hold the camper secure.
Would I buy the Four Wheel Camper Hawk. Yes, I would, this is a quality built camper that provides everything needed for vacations. The Hawk is robust and well put together and should be on the list of every prospective camper buyer.
A classic camper by all standards, the Hallmark Milner 6.5 has been around since 1969 and has been providing its customers with quality workmanship for the past 50 years. With a price tag of just under 27,000 dollars, the Milner 6.5 is not the cheapest camper on the market but it’s not the most expensive either.
Its molded fiberglass frame has stood the test of time, it is both robust and durable and provides a resilient exterior to weather the storms. The one-piece unit requires little to no maintenance other than cleaning. Because of the construction method adopted at Hallmark, the Milner 6.5 weighs in at 1,212 pounds, making it one of the lightest bodies in its class.
You can expect to find an east-west facing bed that can accommodate most people, The bed’s dimensions are 60×80 which is very generous for a camper bed. You will also be supplied with a 30-gallon freshwater tank and fully molded integrated work surfaces for your convenience. A three-way refrigerator is also standard equipment in the Milner. The gas tank is 5 gallons providing an adequate supply of gas for the duration of most vacations.
Attractive wooden cabinets provide a sense of homeliness to the camper. Two large windows can offer unrivaled views when in the perfect location.
The list of options from hallmark is extensive from providing extra storage space to changing the interior woodwork to your preferred choice of wood.
Would I buy this camper? This camper is a classic and will be around for a long time, the camper meets the requirements of most campers who are looking for a more traditional design. The camper comes with a 5-year frame warranty and is considered the benchmark by the rest of the industry. Yes, I would buy this camper if tradition was important to me.
Based on a European design the Earth Cruiser is a new design from Earth Cruiser. The Adventure Mod 400 is priced at 23,500 dollars which sound competitive. But, when you dig deeper into this camper you will find that for the 23,500 dollars you pretty much are buying a shell that you need to kit out yourself. I’m not sure if this a clever marketing ploy by Earth Cruiser or a massive mistake.
Earth Cruiser would like its purchasers to dig further into their pockets and buy what they term as packs, (personalized accessory kits). Every camper comes with a dinette and some cabinets and an electrical system to power a couple of lights. Without the p.a.k.s the Adventure 400 weighs in at just 800 pounds but the real test should be to weigh the unit with what the average customers want to buy in addition to the basic unit.
So what’s going for the Adventure 400? It has a very good aerodynamic design and the body is made from a durable composite which will be maintenance free for years to come. The unit may appeal to some buyers who are happy living in a minimalistic way.
Would I buy this camper? I don’t think I would although I do find the sleek lines and design appealing. My gripe would be not knowing how much the final camper will cost. With additional personal accessories being introduced at regular intervals I would feel as if I had left an accessory off my list. This is not one for me.
This camper maybe at the bottom of the list but it could easily be at the top, this is a super little camper priced at 18,999 dollars. It gives the big boys a run for their money, its sleek design makes this camper perfect for fitting on any half ton truck. This diminutive camper packs a real punch when it comes to the camping world. Its standard features include an east-west facing queen size bed, with more under storage than you could ask for. It holds a 5-gallon horizontal propane tank for ample gas supply.
It holds a 30-gallon freshwater tank which is vital for extended vacations or weekends away with the family. The refrigerator is 3.6 cubic feet which are enormous for this class of pop up truck camper.
You would expect Northstar to have a full range of accessories and they do not disappoint. Options include a six-inch deep memory foam mattress for those long lazy sleepovers. If you’re heading off grid Northstar can supply you with a 160-watt solar panel for all of your power requirements.
If you like to camp out when the weather is changing you can opt to buy the “subzero package” this will give you the insulated canvas to keep the cold elements at bay. With the subzero package, the windows are also insulated to prevented heat loss through thermal conduction.
Would I buy the Northstar 650? This really is the essence of a great little camper, Northstar provides you with a durable body that can withstand the rigors of camping for many years. The accessory packages are fitting with the style of the camper and the user. Yes, I would buy the Northstar 650, its price point is perfect and its functionality matches the price.
Other Truck Campers Worth Considering
Another fantastic camper for short breaks or even full-time RV living. Priced at around 35,000 dollars the Northern Lite is competing with some of the more expensive and luxurious campers on offer in today’s burgeoning camper market.
The camper feels spacious because it is spacious. This camper provides the owner with an RV living experience at a fraction of the cost. The camper comes with a queen size bed that matches the best of the more expensive campers.
The Northern Lite offers an exclusive shower stall for privacy; this is a unique feature of this particular camper and one you will soon come to appreciate when you need privacy.
The camper has some of the best illumination found in any of the campers been offered today. The illumination provides a homely feel while you take your short break or longer excursions.
As you would expect a camper of this quality comes with a fully fitted kitchen and an attractive dinette. The camper is both comfortable and functional. You will have a 30-gallon freshwater tank for all of your water requirements. Grey water is stored in a 20-gallon container.
A large class leading refrigerator is installed as standard equipment together with stainless steel sink and drainer units. One piece molded countertops give an elegant and functional appearance to the camper.
I like that when entering the camper there is no need to stoop, the camper has a full-size entry door with steps leading to the door.
Would I buy the Northern Lite? This is a great camper for those folks looking for the RV live experience. The camper is well appointed as one would expect for 35k. The seats are comfortable and living in the camper is an enjoyable experience. However, I feel the overall external dimensions of the camper are on the large size for my liking. My own preference is to leave the camper on the truck all year round, so I prefer to store my camper in a garage. I don’t think the Northern Lite would pass under a standard garage door.
Without a doubt this camper is everything you need, but, I would not buy this camper for the reason stated.
For campers who require a robust on truck camping unit then the lance 650 is certainly worth a serious look. With a price ticket of under 30,000 Dollars, this camper will be suited to many potential buyers. In fact, this pop-up truck camper could have easily been number one.
The camper has an overall feeling of being spacious while the exterior provides a sleek aerodynamic design. The camper is fitted with large windows that allow plenty of light to enter the camper space.
A toilet unit is fitted for the convenience of the user and the camper boasts memory foam mattresses as a standard feature giving the occupants an unrivaled sleeping experience while camping.
The lance 650 would provide high quality living for a family or a hunting party out in the wilderness. The kitchen is provided with everything needed for an extended vacation and the appliances have a quality feel to them.
Would I buy the lance 650 camper? I would certainly give it serious consideration, the price point is correct for the quality and build of this camper. I like the sleek design and I am a fan of utilizing space effectively. The over cab sleeping area provides excellent usage of space that is often at a premium in this type of camper.
Overall this is a great unit and a unit that should not be overlooked by prospective buyers.
Important considerations when buying a camper
All of the campers above have their own little quirks and it’s just a case of finding which pop up truck camper suits you best of all. But one important fact to consider is your vehicle. You need to understand the weight limits of your vehicle, for trucks like the Ford F-150 your maximum payload will be approximately 100 pounds. Going over this weight limit may put you and your family in jeopardy.
You can find the payload of your vehicle easily, it is normally in plain sight on the driver’s door pillar, if you cannot find it there you should be able to find the payload limits in the vehicle handbook which came with the vehicle.
You will also need to consider your tires weight rating; most tires that are fitted as standard are not nearly good enough for hauling heavy loads such as camper. I would recommend purchasing an original equipment manufacturers tire but choose a light truck tire with a D rating. This should cover you for all eventualities and keep you safe.
The pop-up truck camper industry has increased exponentially over the past decade, with more folks taking more economic vacations and avoiding hotels and flights charges. However, the camper market is a minefield of special offers, super deals on finance that can lead us to make the wrong choice. Make no bones about it, campers are expensive and they should be treated as a long term investment.
If you choose the correct camper for your needs you will enjoy years of great weekends away in the wilderness or camping with friends on your favorite campsite. If you take care of your camper you will be able to re-sell into the used camper market which is growing stronger every month. Currently, good used campers are selling well.