pop up camper weight

A Comprehensive Guide to the Pop up Camper Weight

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When you think about buying a new pop up camper, you may wonder about the pop up camper weight. In fact, weight is crucial in determining how easy it will be to maneuver it.

Generally, the average weight of a pop up camper ranges between 500 to 3,000 pounds, depending on the sizes and available amenities. Plus, it’s also necessary to know the weight to determine whether your towing vehicle can handle it.

Now you may think, how much towing capacity does your vehicle need? Read on to learn more about what affects the weight, how much towing capacity you need, and the pop up camper average weight.

What Is a Pop up Camper?

Pop-up campers are just what they sound like—campers that “pop up” when set up. They are typically made of canvas or some other type of waterproof material stretched over a metal frame.

The campers can be collapsed down for effortless towing and storage, and you can store them in a garage or shed when not in use. They are a popular choice for those who want to enjoy the outdoors without all the hassle of setting up a tent.

Once the camper is unfolded and set up, it provides a comfortable space for sleeping and spending time indoors. Most pop-ups have at least one bed, a small kitchen area, and a dinette. Some also have bathrooms with showers.

Pop up campers are typically much lighter and more compact than other RVs, so they are easy to tow behind a smaller vehicle. You can haul them by most SUVs and trucks. They are also much less expensive than other RVs, making them an excellent option for budget-minded campers.

Pop up Camper Weight: A Detailed Guide

Pop up campers are one of the lightest types of RVs on the market, making them easy to tow and maneuver. Their weight falls between 600 to 4,500 pounds, depending on the size and features.

There are three different sizes of pop up campers: small size, medium size, and large size. Each type belongs to different weight ranges:

  • Small pop up camper: 600 to 1000 pounds
  • Medium pop up camper: 1000 to 2000 pounds
  • Large pop up camper: Over 2000 pounds

Small Pop up Camper Weight

A small camper weighs less than 1000 pounds. Due to its size and weight, it can be an excellent choice for solo travelers and couples.
All you need to gather is a table with foldable chairs, and you’re ready to go. You can easily tow with a small vehicle.

Medium Pop up Camper Weight

This one is heavier, bigger, and offers more facilities than a small camper. For these reasons, it’s the most popular choice among RVers who like to travel light.

It offers enough sleeping areas for two persons, including a small cooking space, a dinette, and more additional spaces. Plus, you can easily tow it with a standard car. At least four people can sleep inside a medium-sized pop up.

Basically, these campers weigh between 1,000 and 2,000 pounds.

Large Pop up Camper Weight

A large pop up camper weighs more than 2,000 pounds. They come with a wide range of facilities, including a separate bathroom and kitchen. You must have a tow vehicle with a minimum towing capacity of 4,000 pounds to carry such a camper.

Previously, large pop ups used to be between 8 and 12 feet long. But now you can find even a 27 feet long camper in the market. They are made with a robust and heavy-duty chassis, which makes them suitable for white-sand and off-road trips.

pop up camper average weight
A large pop up camper. Photo: Drivin’ & Vibin’

Why Picking a Pop up with the Correct Weight Is Important

If you’re planning to buy a pop up camper, determining the weight is necessary for your own safety. In case the towing capacity of your vehicle isn’t compatible with your pop up camper weight, it’ll make transporting the camper all the way to your destination challenging.

Not only that but storing and moving a heavy large pop up camper can also be tricky. In addition, it can also permanently damage your tow vehicle.

On the other hand, if you choose a lightweight and small pop up camper, maneuvering the camper will become very convenient.

How Much Towing Capacity Does Your Vehicle Need?

The tow weight of pop up camper depends on the camper’s GVWR. But the general rule is that the camper should take a maximum of 60% of the total towing capacity of your vehicle.

Suppose your towing vehicle has a total towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, and you have a large pop up camper that weighs 2700 pounds. Apply the 60% rule, and you can see that the vehicle can easily tow it since its maximum capacity is 3,000 pounds.

Towing a Pop up Camper: What You Need to Know

There are two important factors that you need to know before towing a pop up camper. They are:

Never Max out Your Vehicle’s Towing Capacity

Some new RVers may ignore the general rule of towing a pop up camper. They may think it’s safe to tow a camper weighing 3,000 pounds with a vehicle of 3,500 towing capacity.

But this is actually a big NO-NO. This way, you’ll push the limit and put a lot of stress on the tow vehicle. Therefore, it can increase brake wear, strain the transmission and engine, damage tires, and distort the chassis.

Know the Terms of Pop up Weight

Knowing the specification of the pop up camper weight is essential to towing the trailer safely. There are four terms:

Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW)

This is the barebone weight of the camper without any added propane, water tank, or gear. UVW is also called dry weight.

Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC)

It refers to how much weight you can add to the trailer and how much weight the axle can bear safely and legally. The CCC weight limit includes a water tank, propane, and other necessities.

In case the CCC of your camper is low, you need to carry the necessary stuff separately.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR)

This weight rating is the safe limit of a fully loaded camper. In simple words, GVWR is the sum of UVW and CCC. The sum-up amount is the maximum weight you can safely load on the pop up.

Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR)

The axle of all trailers has a maximum safe weight rating. When you exceed the GAWR, it may damage or even break the camper’s axle.

tow weight of pop up camper
You can tow a pop up pretty easily. Photo: A Pretty Life In The Suburbs

Which Factors Affect the Weight of a Pop up Camper

Many factors can influence the overall pop up camper weight. It may come as a shock, but some smaller ones can outweigh a medium-sized pop up, depending on the construction materials.

However, some of the key factors that determine the weight of a pop up camper are as follows:

Floor

A pop up camper floor has three options to choose from, such as carpet, vinyl, and laminate. Floor weight adds a significant portion to the camper’s overall weight.

Carpet pop up flooring can be the first choice for most people as they are easy to find. Unfortunately, carpets attract dust and dirt like a magnet and eventually get heavier.

On the other hand, vinyl can be the best deal if you are looking for something low maintenance. It’s also more lightweight compared to the carpet option. However, you should note that vinyl is challenging to install.

And the last option is a laminate floor. This flooring material is quite heavy compared to the other two options, which makes it less preferable to most RVers.

Roof

No matter whether it’s a pop up camper, motorhome, or RV, the roof weight of a camper is crucial. Again, you have three roof choices for a pop up: plastic roof, fiberglass roof, and rubber roof.

Unlike the roof material of RVs or mobile homes, these materials aren’t weighty. A plastic roof is preferable as it’s lightweight and long-lasting but needs frequent maintenance.

Compared to plastic, fiberglass roofs require less maintenance but are heavier. However, rubber roofs also need high care but have a shorter lifespan than plastic options. People usually avoid rubber roofs as they start leaking after a while.

Lift System

As mentioned above, you can fold a pop up camper. So, you need to lift the roof before you can stay in the tent. For this reason, these campers are manufactured with springs, pulleys, winches, or other crank devices.

But it turns out that the lift system adds substantial weight to the trailer. However, choosing a pop up with a clutch controller will take some lift system weight off the camper.

Conclusion

So, the pop up camper weight varies depending on various factors. But as a general rule, the more amenities and space a pop up offers, the heavier it will be.

When choosing the camper’s weight, remember that it must be compatible with your tow vehicle’s capacity. Otherwise, it’ll cause some potential damage to both your pop up camper and vehicle.

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