Everyone’s been raving about how pop up campers are lighter in weight and easier to tow. But have you ever wondered how much they weigh exactly?
What is the range of weight when we’re talking about pop up campers? What is the lightest pop up camper out there? Or maybe, you’re after a specific manufacturer if you’re planning to buy one. How much does a Coleman or Jayco pop up camper weigh?
And since pop up campers are towable RVs, how much towing capacity does your towing vehicle need for you to be able to hitch a pop up camper into it?
Why do you need to manage the weight?
If you have a pop up camper or planning to buy one, you should know its weight before you take it on the road. This is for your own safety. Your towing vehicle must be able to take on the weight of your camper. Your camper must also be able to carry the load of whatever it is you’re bringing to the campsite. Otherwise, you will encounter problems along the way.
A camper’s weight will also affect ease of towing, maneuvering, and storing. When your camper is light, it is easy to tow and you can use many types of tow vehicle. It is also easier to move around while you’re on the road. And when you’re not using your camper, it is easier to store and can conveniently fit into your garage.
What You Need To Know About Weight Before You Tow a Pop Up Camper
Before anything else, let’s get acquainted with the terms used in a pop up camper’s specifications concerning weight. This is very important so that you can tow your camper safely.
UVW (Unloaded Vehicle Weight) – This refers to the weight of the pop up camper when it leaves the manufacturer’s factory to make its way to the dealers’ stores. This weight includes a full lp propane tank, the axels, hitch, and other features and amenities it comes with. Basically, this is the lightest weight of any camper as it hasn’t been loaded yet with any travel essentials and gears.
CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity) – This refers to the maximum weight that you can load on your camper. This is why you have to take note of every thing you put inside your camper to make sure that you’re within its carrying capacity. Start with your travel essentials like fresh water, food, your luggage then check if you still have room for your travel gears and other stuff. It is recommended that your CCC should not exceed 10% of the total weight of your trailer.
GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating) – This refers to the maximum weight that your camper’s axle/s can support safely. This includes the weight of the camper’s body frame, water, gears, and other stuff you’ve packed. When you go beyond this rating, your trailer could get broken or damaged because of the heavy load.
GVWR (Gross vehicle Weight Ratio) – This refers to how much weight your towing vehicle can carry. This includes the overall weight of the trailer, hitch, and everyone and everything inside the towing vehicle itself.
Categories of Pop up Campers
The pop up campers weight can be classified into 3 categories:
- Small or Mini: Not more than 1 000 pounds
- Medium: 1,000 to 2 000 pounds
- Large: More than 2 000 pounds
Examples of Pop Up Campers
We’ve done our research so we can show you the different types of pop up campers available in the market today to show you how much they weigh and what features you can expect with their size and weight.
Small Pop up Campers
- SylvanSport Go
- Coachmen Clipper Express
- Livin’ Lite Quicksilver 8.0
Medium Pop up Campers
- Taxa Outdoors 2020 Tiger Moth
- Jayco 8SD Jay Sport
Large Pop up Campers
- Air Opus (2,870 pounds)
- Forest River Flagstaff 627M
- 2020 Somerset Utah
- UVW: 840 lbs
- Cargo Capacity (Transport Mode): 84″ x 48″ x 48″
- Front Storage Capacity: 9 cu ft
One of the lightest pop up camper that we’ve found in the market is the SylvanSport Go camping trailer. This lightweight pop up tent camper has an unloaded weight of 840 lbs. The trailer size while traveling is 143″ x 75″ x 81″ and expands to 154″ x 124″ x 108″ when you’re camping.
This ultralight camper will amaze you with what it can do. Aside from providing a spacious living space with its 48″ x 84″ interior floor, you can also take and transport your travel gear and equipment with you wherever you go because of its 84″ x 48″ x 48″ cargo box.
It may be lightweight but it surely packs a lot of punch as this camper can sleep up to 4 people because of its pop ups and offers a lot of storage space for your travel essentials and toys.
Coachmen Clipper Express
- UVW: 761 lbs
- CCC: 516 lbs
- GVWR: 1,277 lbs
The Clipper Express is Coachmen’s lightest pop up camper yet. Its aerodynamic design and ultralight weight make it easy to tow and store.
Through Clipper Express, Coachmen makes it possible for outdoor enthusiasts to have an enhanced camping experience. Its Glide-N-Lock bed system is easy to set up and easy to use.
The camper is designed with comfort, convenience, and practicality in mind. Its features include an aqua-shield tenting material, dark ash cabinetry, and residential laminated countertops inside an e-coated tubular steel frame. LED lights outline the interior and exterior of the camper.
Buyers have the option to upgrade the unit to have a 5,000 BTU air conditioner to add more comfort during your trip, a spare tire and carrier, Flex Rod Tech Add a Room, bike rack, and a cargo security system so that you can bring your man toys with you.
Livin’ Lite Quicksilver 8.0
- UVW: 994 lbs
- Payload Capacity: 1,096 lbs
- GVWR: 2,090 lbs
The 2018 Livin’ Lite Quicksilver can be deceiving. It looks pretty small for a travel trailer but when you expand its living area and pop ups, it can comfortably accommodate up to 6 people. There are 2 full sized beds in its flip out bunk and there’s a sofa bed for more sleeping space. This is good news for large families who love to go camping.
Quality engineering has made it possible for a small camper to be able to offer comfort and basic amenities such as a sink, fan, and lights to its users. This unit is made out of an all-aluminum superstructure. The welded aluminum tubular frame ensures its durability.
Livin’ Lite Quicksilver also offers other packages so you can upgrade your unit to enjoy other amenities such as a water heater, water pump, and an outside shower. You can also get an off-road package with improved tires for a smoother drive when you hit the road even on rough terrain.
Taxa Outdoors 2020 Tiger Moth
- UVW: 1,359 lbs
- CCC: 841 lbs
- GVWR: 2,200 lbs
Taxa Outdoors’ 2020Tiger Moth is the ultimate adventure trailer. Its compact size packs a sleeping and lounging area and generous storage system.
It is excellently designed to maximize the space of your popup camper. There’s an under-bed storage that still allows you to use the bed while having room to store your travel stuff. There are innovative doors and hatches that make loading and unloading easier and let you enjoy the amazing view and fresh air outdoors.
There’s a pull-out kitchen with ample space for cooking. LED lights help you see inside and outside of the camper. You can even camp off the grid as the Tiger Moth has a built-in electrical and water system and you have the option to have solar panels installed.
Jayco 8SD Jay Sport
- UVW: 1,570 lbs
- CCC: 680 lbs
- Dry Hitch Weight: 215 lbs
- GVWR: 2,250 lbs
Jayco allows you to enjoy more creature comforts with this pop up camper. It has a full bed at the front and a twin bed at the rear, storage cabinets along the galley, a dinette, and a kitchen area. You can even have an outside shower and porta-potti for your bathroom needs.
This popup camper has a fresh water tank capacity of 28.2 gallons to help you last longer on the road. It’s also prepped and wired for your entertainment and power needs and off-road adventures.
- UVW: 2,870 lbs
- CCC: 1,100 lbs
- GVWR: 3.970 lbs
With Opus AIR, you don’t have to worry about rough terrain. It comes with an all-terrain chassis and tires that are off-road ready so that you can go wherever you want to go.
This pop up camper is ready to use in just 90 seconds after ensuring stability. You just have to open the pop ups to reveal the bed ends and secure them and you’re all set.
Opus’ AIR-inflated technology makes it possible for you to enjoy its spacious interior with high ceiling. The windows and skylights let the outdoors in to give you an amazing camping experience.
Opus Air comes with an external refrigerator, slide out steel kitchen, stainless steel chopping board, and a pantry. Cooking is done outside but Opus is designed thoughtfully so that everything is within arm’s reach for hassle-free cooking. The kitchen area can be enclosed to offer protection in different kinds of weather.
Forest River Flagstaff 627M
- UVW: 2,854 lbs
- CCC: 506 lbs
- Hitch Weight: 360 lbs
Flagstaff comes with all the features you need for your camping adventure and more. It is flexible to accommodate your family’s unique travel needs.
The Flagstaff 627M floorplan features 2 bedrooms at either end of the trailer and a sofa bed so that 6 people can sleep in it comfortably. There are cabinets for your storage solutions. There’s also a dinette and a shower and toilet inside the camper. A gas grill and more storage space are available at the exterior portion of your popup camper.
2020 Somerset Utah
- UVW: 2,650 lbs
- CCC: 740 lbs
- GVWR: 3,500 lbs
A-liner’s Somerset Utah provides you with all the amenities you need while camping outdoors. There are 2 king sized beds at the front and rear area and a slide out bed at the main body of the trailer.
There’s also a dinette, cooking area, and toilet. Ample storage space is available at the trunk in the front area of your popup camper. You also have the option to get a shower and cassette toilet for a more comfortable bathroom experience.
The standard package also includes a refrigerator, water pump, furnace, water heater, and stereo with speakers inside and outside. You can get an air conditioner if you upgrade your package.
Factors That Affect The Weight Of A Pop Up Camper
Pop up campers come in different sizes and contain different features and each one of them will affect the pop up camper weight. Here are the factors that impact their weight.
Construction and Materials Used
The kind of material used for the construction of the pop up camper will affect its weight. For example, aluminum is a lightweight material so you can expect trailers which frames made of aluminum to be lighter. Many manufacturers today come up with engineering innovations to provide users with light but durable campers.
This includes the materials used for the construction of walls, roof, and floor. There are pop up campers that come with hard side walls made of metal and there are some that just use a waterproof tent. Of course, the one with hard sided walls will be heavier. The roof of popup campers are not too heavy since they’re usually made of fiberglass. Some use vinyl for the floor which is the most lightweight material while others use a carpet which is heavier.
Pop up campers come with built-in beds and they also add to the weight of the trailer.
The kind of lift system used can also impact the overall weight of the pop up camper. The traditional springs and pulley can be quite heavy. Most manufacturers now use cables connected to the pulley to be able to raise the roof faster and it also makes the popup camper lighter.
Generally, the more amenities that come with a camper, the heavier it is. That’s why some stick to the basic amenities such as beds, a dinette, and freshwater tank. If you want to have a kitchen, keep in mind that it can have a big impact on the camper’s weight because you have to add a sink, gas stove, and fridge. Even the extra wiring needed for your entertainment system affects the overall weight of the popup camper.
It is important to manage the weight of your pop up camper for your safety on the road. Being of light weight, your camper is easy to tow, maneuver, and store.
These campers come in 3 different size categories: small/mini, middle, and large. As seen from the examples above, these pop up campers weigh between 761 lbs and 2,870 lbs. The lightest campers come with the most basic amenities for your camping. The more amenities they offer, pop up campers weigh heavier so you have to take this into consideration when choosing the features of your camper as every little thing adds up to the overall weight of your popup camper.
Question: What is the lightest pop up camper?
The lightest pop up camper that we found is the Aspen Sentry. Sentry weigh as little as 325 lbs when unloaded. It has a tongue weight of 24 lbs and a storage capacity of 22 cubic feet.
When traveling, the Sentry comes with 47” W x 60” L x 38” H dimensions but when you’re already at the campsite, it can expand to 140” L x 60” W x 80” H. It has a queen size bed and there’s ample headroom inside with its interior height at 6′ 8″.
Question: How much towing capacity do I need for a pop up camper?
The answer to this question depends on different factors. Each vehicle has different towing capacity based on its construction and engineering.
You can check your vehicle’s manual to know its towing capacity. Then check the total weight of your pop up camper to determine if your vehicle is rated to tow that much weight. Remember, you should include not only the weight of your camper but also what’s inside and who’s inside your vehicle when computing the towing capacity.
Most camper trailer weigh between 1,000 and 3,000 lbs depending on the size of what you’re getting and the amenities that come with it. Remember, amenities mean added weight to carry.
Small cars are usually rated with 1,000 to 1,500 towing capacity so you would know if you can use your car to tow your pop up camper or you would need a different towing vehicle.
It is recommended that you always stay below your vehicle’s towing capacity to give it room for the weight of your passengers and cargo weight that includes the camping gears that you’ll bring, your food, and other travel stuff that you’re packing for the trip.
It is never a good idea to max out your vehicle’s towing capacity as it would take its toll on your towing vehicle. There are so many issues you have to deal with when your towing vehicle is overloaded – there could be overheating, transmission problems, or you could get a ticket for going beyond your maximum capacity. The bottom line is that you would be putting yourself and your family/friends at risk when you do this.
Question: Do you need trailer brakes?
A trailer brake is a device you use to be able to control your trailer. This is mounted on the dashboard area of the towing vehicle.
You’re able to control your trailer from your towing vehicle especially when you have to slow down or stop by sending an electric signal that travels from your vehicle’s brake system to your trailer’s brakes.
It is recommended that you use trailer brakes when towing a camper that weighs more than 3,000 lbs. Again, take note that we’re talking about the overall weight which includes what’s inside your camper and vehicle.
You can have a brake controller installed by your RV dealer, by your trusted mechanic, or at facilities such as U-Haul.