9 Reasons Why Not to Buy a Pop-up Tent Camper?

A pop-up camper is essentially a recreational vehicle that can be folded into a smaller, portable car owing to its partial canvas construction.



  • The camper is vulnerable to molds

When you are packing the camper to take it back with you, even if the canvas sides are slightly wet, it can become vulnerable to molds and consequently, the ruckus that will follow is not certainly something you would like. Besides the generic issues of cleanliness and hygiene, molds are capable of gradually ruining the canvas and weakening it. No matter how vigilant you are, you’ll not be able to do anything about the morning dew or raindrops that are more likely to get soaked onto the canvas. Thus, you will either have to wait until the canvas sides dry up completely, or clean them every alternative day to prevent the mold from growing or spreading any further; and both of them are extremely elaborate tasks.

Pop up campers are waterproof when they are new yet there are a lot of components that can hurt their capacity to stay waterproof.


  • Thin walls lack privacy

Because the walls of a pop-up camper are meant to folded, they are a lot thinner than their regular counterparts. Coming to the drawbacks of thin walls, we can relate a string of those. First of all, if the walls are made of soft-paper, they will develop tears in no time. Once the skin of the walls start disintegrating, you will be left with no other choice but, to get it repaired which can cost you up to a whopping $1000.

Naturally, you will travel places in your camper with different weather conditions and the thin walls will make it difficult to regulate the temperatures inside despite of owning a heater or, cooler. Moreover, there’s the added glitch of safety, privacy and noise concerns with thin walls of a camper.


  • Noisy generator

This is just a subset of the disadvantage mentioned in the previous section. If your camper is running on a generator, the noise seeping through its thin walls can create a lot of nuisance that is absolutely uncalled for when you are out, camping. The worst part is, there is nothing you can to do to avert the persistent, aggravating noise. Imagine a scenario where you have chosen a fairly hot spot to park your camper at; the terrible heat of the summer sun and the sound of the generator, if combined, can give you a headache and make you feel sick hence, completely wrecking your trip.


  • They get heated up soon and no AC

Some pop-up campers have air conditioners installed in them beforehand; but, thanks to their thin walls and poor insulating system, the confined space cannot preserve the cool temperature. Likewise, during winters, the walls of the camper will fall short of efficaciously retaining the heat. This automatically brings us to the fact that if you have an air conditioner in the tent trailer, it is going to consume more energy than usual and resultantly, increase the utility bills.


  • Close quarters,  too crammed

A pop-up camper doesn’t have enough space; and regardless of how big it looks from the outside, the area available inside will still be crunched. This implies, that the more number of accomplices you have with you, the more arduous it will become to adjust. In that limited amount of space, you will have to make room for everything starting from your sleeping and dining needs, to bathroom needs as well. If you are alone or just have one person alongside, roving in a pop-up camper would be feasible; but, anything more than that would be indeed challenging.


  • The bathroom can be a problem or missing

Like we have already said, there are a few pop-up campers that come with bathrooms in them but, they are far smaller than the ones installed inside a RV. People who are claustrophobic, in particular, are bound to find this space very uncomfortable and justifiably so. Prior to settling for a pop-up camper with a bathroom, carefully analyze whether or not it would really be helpful. If you mostly head out to campgrounds that have bathroom facilities, you wouldn’t need a bathroom separately in the camper. Rather, not having a bathroom can save you some space inside the vehicle that can be capitalized on for other purposes.


  • Complicated setup and takedown

It shouldn’t be very difficult for you to guess that setting up and taking down the whole arrangement of the pop-up camper is time-consuming and complicated. You will have to commence by lifting the walls and then set up the support poles, generator and bathroom facilities, if any. Similarly, after you have finished, you will have to put them back together and ensure they are all in their designated places because even the slightest shift can reduce the space. Ideally, it would take you about half an hour to forty-five minutes to put up and takedown the entire thing, which can be a lot amidst a tight schedule.


  • Low qualityand do not last long

A pop-up camper costs less than a RV on any given day but, its quality is not at par with the latter. A tent trailer is meant to be lightweight and foldable and that is why they are constructed with lower-quality materials that aren’t well insulated and are tremendously fragile. If you are investing so much in a trailer, you would clearly want it to be durable and versatile but, unfortunately, the pop-up camper is not.


  • The tow rating can be tricky

You should always be mindful about the towing capacity of a vehicle but, in the case of lightweight trailers like this, it is but usual to miss this detail. In order to be on the safer side of the spectrum, you should first calculate the vehicle’s tow rating and then finalize your decision. This is because if you pull more weight than what the car or truck is designed to endure, it will make way for several damages, repairing all of which, will inexorably burn a large hole in your pocket.



Pop-up campers generally do not have air conditioning. Pop-up campers do not come with air conditioners because of their lack of insulation and small size. However, you can still get an air conditioner added to your pop-up.



Can I Get Air Conditioning In My Pop-Up Camper?

While most pop-ups do not come with air conditioning, you do not have to sacrifice for comfort. At a price, you can get an air conditioner for your pop-up camper. There are three types of air-conditioners that you can get for your pop-up.


The air-conditioners are:

Portable Air Conditioner

Window Air Conditioner

Rooftop Air Conditioner


Before you decide on any of these three types of cooling units, you need to know what makes each one great or not.  You also need to know the size of the air conditioner that your pop-up needs to stay cool.


Portable Air Conditioner

Portable Air Conditioners are stand-alone appliances that be placed anywhere in your pop-up camper. They resemble tall dehumidifiers and they usually contain a fan to help spread the air. Portable ACs are small, light, and easy to move around the camper. Their prices range from $150 to $600. These ACs units are notoriously loud though and you would have to keep it near a window because of the vents.


Window Air Conditioner

Window ACs are easy to install and mount. They also do not make as much as the portable air conditioners because the compressing and cooling components are outside. They are also easily plugged into a wall receptacle. It might, however, be a hassle to keep mounting and dismounting the air-conditioner as this AC needs to be uninstalled every time you are on the move.


Rooftop Air Conditioner

These air conditioners are the most popular types of ACs used in a pop-up camper. This AC is box sized and mounted on top of the pop-up camper. Rooftop air conditioners are strong and at the least, can cool 10 feet by 20 feet. The air-conditioners can be quieter than other types and you do not have to remove them when towing. However, these cooling units are more expensive, need to be professionally installed, and consume more energy than others.


What Size Of Air Conditioner Should I Get For My Pop-Up Camper?

You might have decided on the type of air-conditioner you want but might be unsure of the size you should get. The BTU needed to cool your pop-up camper determines the size of the air conditioner you need. BTU stands for British Thermal Units. You can easily calculate the needed BTU of your air conditioner by multiplying the square foot area of the camper by 40. The higher the BTU of an air-conditioner, the stronger and cooler it is.


Ensure you do not get an AC that too weak for your pop-up by calculating the needed BTU for the camper. Note that campers have little insulation so will be hard to keep cool.


Here is a chart showing models, btu, and prices:


Air-conditioner Model BTU, and price
ASA Electronics Roof Top 13k btu, $550
Advent Rooftop Air 15k btu, $650
Coleman Airxcel 13k btu, $750
LG Electronics window 6k, $220
GE Mechanical Air 5k btu, $140
Artic king 5k btu, $110
Toshiba 8k btu, $290
Frididaire 10k btu, $600