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The Best Hard Side Pop up Campers of 2021

Do you love traveling to enjoy the outdoors but find setting up a tent quite a hassle? Are you bothered by the tent’s soft canvas and feel that it offers little protection from various elements?

Do you wish you have more room in your temporary home? Do you want the comforts of traveling in an RV but don’t want to shell out big bucks to be able to buy a motorhome or travel trailer?

Well, the hard side pop up campers is the answer to your traveling woes.

What are Hard Side Pop up Campers?

In general, pop up campers are collapsible trailers. You hitch them on a tow vehicle when you travel so that you can use them as your temporary lodging when you get to your campsite.

Pop up campers are gaining popularity among RV enthusiasts because they are easy to transport and store, provide the space needed by its users, and they come at a more affordable price than the other RVs out there.

Pop up campers come in 2 styles: the soft sided and the hard sided pop up trailers. The main difference is the material that makes up the collapsible portion of the campers. The soft sided ones are made of canvas while the hard side pop up campers have hard walls.

For this particular post, we’ll focus on hard side pop up campers and we’ll share with you the best ones in the market today.

The trend in the RV community is shifting. Whereas before, the mantra was bigger is always better, now outdoor enthusiasts are looking for more convenient, flexible, and easy on the budget way of traveling and they found the answer in these handy but hardy pop up trailers.

The Best-Rated Hard Sided Pop Up Campers of 2021

Without further ado, we present to you our list for the best hard sided pop up campers in the market today.

  1. Aliner Classic Hard Sided Pop Up Campers
  2. Forest River Rockwood Hard Sided Pop Up Campers
  3. Forest River Flagstaff Hard Sided Pop Up Campers
  4. Coachmen Clipper Hard Sided Pop Up Campers
  5. Coachmen Viking Hard Sided Pop Up Campers
  6. Chalet Classic Hard Sided Pop Up Campers
  7. Trailmanor 2518 Series Hard Sided Pop Up Campers
  8. 2016 Jayco Jay Series Hardwall 12BFD

Aliner Classic Hard Sided Pop Up Campers

Key Specifications:

  • Length: 15ft
  • Width: 78in
  • Road Height: 57in
  • Weight: 1,590 lbs
  • Tires & Wheels: 13″-14″ Aluminum
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 2,500 lbs Standard to 3,000 lbs off-road
  • Dry Hitch Weight: 160 lbs

What you’ll like about it:

The model that started it all. It has been around for 30 years and yet it is still among the company’s bestsellers. Aliner has other great campers but this is simply a camper design at its finest- it’s not large or small, heavy or light. It’s just right!

This trailer is versatile and adaptable to the needs of its users. There are 2 floorplans to choose from one featuring a permanent bed and the other one has a sofa bed.

They maximize space by putting storage areas underneath the seats or bed. The dinette converts to another bed. Both floorplans have sink, stove, microwave, refrigerator, fan, and LED interior lights. There’s an outside shower and water pump. The Aliner Classic model has 3 electrical outlets and a solar port.

There are lots of options to choose from if you want to upgrade your package to make your travel more comfortable. You can add an A/C, hot water heater, outdoor grill, furnace, rear sofa layout, rear mattress layout, among others. You decide how you want it to be!

Forest River Rockwood Hard Sided Pop Up Campers

Key Specifications:

  • Length: 17’1″ to 22’1″
  • Width: 84in
  • Road Height: 5’1″ to 5’8″
  • Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 2014 to 2700 lbs
  • Dry Hitch Weight: 222 to 372 lbs

What you’ll like about it:

Forest River RV has always been known to add comfort and style to your getaway. Their Rockwood hard side pop up campers come in 2 series the hard side and hard side high wall series.

Standard features for both series include electric water pump, outside shower, 3 burner stove with oven, 3-way fridge, cabinets, foam mattresses, and an outdoor gas grill. How about that for a comfy stay?

The best thing about these Forest River campers? They come with a toilet! Most models have a port-a-potty while the A213HW and A214HW models even have a residential flush toilets.

This is just a testament that Forest River ensures to come up with innovations and design to provide their users with what they need.

And if that’s not enough, you can even upgrade your unit to have a furnace, hanging wardrobe, 40 watt solar panel, and ProRac Systems bike and kayak carriers. More storage space so that you can bring other outdoor gears for you to enjoy your vacation!

Forest River Flagstaff Hard Sided Pop Up Campers

Key Specifications:

  • Length: 17’1″ to 20’10”
  • Width: 84in
  • Road Height: 5’1″ to 5’8″
  • Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 2014 to 2700 lbs
  • Dry Hitch Weight: 222 to 372 lbs

What you’ll like about it:

Much like the Forest River RV’s Rockwood Series, their Flagstaff Series comes with a lot of amenities and style. As they say, Flagstaff has the comfort and convenience of travel trailers but it is easy to store just like how a camper should be.

Flagstaff also comes with a hard side and hard side high wall models. The main difference between Rockwood and Flagstaff is that the latter comes with a shorter length.

Its standard features include a bed, dinette, fan, electric water pump, indoor range with cover, stove with oven, microwave, refrigerator, and cabinets.

Flagstaff models also have an outdoor grill. They come prepped for your entertainment needs and solar panel should you wish to have them installed.

Its T12RBST, T12RBTH, T21FSHW, T21QBHW models come with a Port-A-Potty while the T21TBHW features a residential flush toilet in cabinet. If you choose their T21DMHW model, you can even enjoy a hard wall shower with your residential flush toilet.

They give you the option to upgrade your unit with convenient storage solutions like bike racks, ProRac Systems bike carriers, mount cross bars, kayak carrier, load stops, and tie downs.

Coachmen Clipper Hard Sided Pop Up Campers

Key Specifications:

  • Length: 8’2″ to 23’5″
  • Width: 79″ to 88″
  • Road Height: 4’8″ to 7’4″
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 1277 lbs to 4427 lbs
  • Dry Hitch Weight: 77 lbs to 427 lbs

What you’ll like about it:

Expect comfort and class from Coachmen campers. And their Clipper models also come with convenience. They’ve made everything easy for their users – from set up, use, and storage.

The Clipper’s aerodynamic design makes it easy to tow and manages fuel efficiency. They also have the Glide-N-Lock bed system which makes it easy to use and store when not in use.

What’s to like about the Clipper is that it gives you the option to choose what you want to have in your camper. Their Clipper Classic model comes with beds, fan, cushions, LED interior and exterior lights, fresh water tank, sink, 2-burner range, furnace, refrigerator, cabinets, and countertops.

You have the option to avail of their bathroom package. You can also upgrade to have a grill, A/C, solar panels, and a portable potty. They also offer you the option to have racks installed for your outdoor gears.

With various models available, you can choose which one suits your travel needs.

Coachmen Viking Hard Sided

Key Specifications:

  • Length: 8’2″ to 23’5″
  • Width: 79″ to 88″
  • Road Height: 4’8″ to 7’4″
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 1277 lbs to 4427 lbs
  • Dry Hitch Weight: 77 lbs to 427 lbs

What you’ll like about it:

Chalet Classic Hard Sided Pop Up Campers

Key Specifications:

  • Length: 15’6
  • Weight: 1505 to 1585 lbs
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 3,000 lbs

What you’ll like about it:

Chalet’s Classic hard sided pop up campers come in 2 models the Alpine and the Arrowhead. These are lightweight and very spacious for their size.

They come with Chalet’s patented Lever Lift System which makes set up and disassembly so easy. You can also avail of their Trailboss Package for a more stable ride even across rough terrain.

The Alpine model features a dinette that converts into a bed that can accommodate 3 persons, panoramic windows for ample lighting, 2-burner cooktop, sink, LED lighting, fan, fridge, and heater.

Arrowhead comes with the same appliances and equipment but offers more room for storage under its rear permanent bed option.

Trailmanor 2518 Series Hard Sided Pop Up Campers

Key Specifications:

  • Length: 18′ (closed) 21’6″ (open)
  • Width: 7’11”
  • Dry Weight: 2,580 to 2,600 lbs
  • Tires: 14″

What you’ll like about it:

TrailManor’s 2518 is so in demand that they just had to make them again. The clamor is understandable. This pop up camper is easy to tow – it can be towed by a minivan or SUV; easy to store in a standard size garage; and easy to set up – you’re done in 2 minutes!

The 2518 comes in 3 floorplans – one with a double bed, the other has a sofa bed, and lastly, one with a dinette.

This model features a living area, dry bath with toilet and shower, 2burner stove with over, countertops, ceiling fan, LED interior lights, and furnace. For added security, they come with smoke detector, CO and LP gas detector, and fire extinguisher. For your entertainment, there are outlets for TV/cable and radio/stereo.

You can also opt to have an outdoor grill, A/C, microwave, and a cassette toilet.

With all of these features, it’s perfect for a small family out to enjoy the outdoors. It has everything you need for a comfortable vacation in one small size. No wonder that the 2518 series is a big hit among the customers!

2016 Jayco Jay Series Hardwall 12BFD

Key Specifications:

  • Length: 22’4″
  • Width: 85″
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Gross Vehicle Weight Rating: 4,150 lbs

What you’ll like about it:

This is an old model from Jayco but it’s still a good buy until today.

The 12BFD model comes with a fiberglass roof. It features a U-shaped dinette that converts into a bed, a sink and a 3 burner cooktop, refrigerator, a cassette toilet and shower, cabinets, and storage deck area. With these amenities all in one camper, you basically have everything you need to have a comfortable and enjoyable time outdoors.

The spacious storage area is a plus for those with limited space in their vehicles. You can take with your all your camping gears without worrying about where to squeeze them in.

It is so easy to set up. You just pitch the roof up in place until it locks, shut the bottom door before you flip up the top half and secure the latches.

And since it’s from Jayco, you can be sure that it is made of high quality materials. You will create many happy camping memories with this one because it is made to last.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of hard sided pop up campers?

Ok, those campers above are truly such a hit but before buying one, we want to tell you the pros and cons of traveling with these trailers in tow.

The Pros

Easy to Tow

This is probably the hard side pop up camper’s best feature. They are easy to tow which means you can use a variety of vehicle to tow them to your chosen destination. These campers are also easy to maneuver in tight spaces. Since they are collapsible, they offer less wind resistance while traveling on the road. Their light weight means better fuel economy for their users.

Stability and Durability

Hard side pop up campers are often made of steel or fiberglass which ensures their durability during travel and when in use outdoors. They won’t break or bend against heavy winds providing users with stability when they’re out camping.

These trailers can offer you much needed protection from harsh weather conditions. You won’t get stressed when you’re caught in a storm because the camper’s steady walls and solid roofs can take on the heavy rains and winds. You can stay warm and cozy inside your trailer and have a relaxing time while waiting for the storm to pass.

These campers are practically leak-proof. You won’t have to worry about water getting inside your trailer and getting your stuff wet. If ever you see some gaps on the sides due to wear and tear, you can easily patch them up with a sealant.

Better Insulation

The hard walls of your camper provide you with better insulation, protecting you from the cold or heat outside. You can camp for all seasons. Fiberglass is a very good material for insulation. Outside noises won’t bother you either. For sure, you’ll be able to rest better.

Homey

Even in its most basic form, a hard side pop up camper with its roof and walls offers the feeling of safety and security of a home. Just throw in a comfortable mattress and cook your delicious meals and it’ll feel like your home on wheels. In the end, these are all the creature comforts that matter most when you’re out camping.

Compact Functionality

Don’t be deceived by its size. Once expanded, these campers can offer you the comforts and amenities comparable to its larger counterparts. You can have king size bed, entertainment and living area, sink and faucet, and even bathrooms too. There are also hard side pop up campers that can comfortably accommodate 8 people inside.

Easy to Set up

With a hard side pop up camper, you just have to find a nice area in your campsite to level your trailer, stabilize, push a button or maneuver some cranks and slide outs, and enjoy your camping adventure.

Easy to Store

This is another winning feature of these campers. Since some of their parts are collapsible, there are easier to store. Some can even fit in your standard garage.

Affordability

These trailers are relatively easy on the budget and definitely much more affordable than other RV types. There are hard side pop up campers below $5,000 that’s why they are becoming a popular choice among RV beginners who want to try out the RV life without investing too much.

The Cons

Minimal Headroom

Sorry but this type of camper is not for tall people. There is often very little headroom in this trailer. Headroom is sacrificed for their storage efficiency.

Disconnect from Nature

Outdoor enthusiasts thrive in their connection with nature that’s why they go out on these trips in the first place. Since hard side pop up campers give a homey feeling, it takes away a certain element from the camping experience which leads them to question if you’re really one with nature during the trip. It’s less natural when you think about the real essence of camping adventure.

Our Verdict

Hard side pop up campers are a great choice for those who want to experience the RV life but want to stay practical about it. These units are flexible to accommodate ones traveling needs and the pricing depends on what amenities you want to enjoy while you’re out camping.

The important thing is that they give you the protection and most basic creature comforts you need when you’re away from home.

Hopefully, our reviews will help you in choosing the best hard side pop up camper for you.

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