Pop-up campers weigh anywhere from 500 lbs to 2000 lbs or more. The average weight of a pop-up camper that’s small usually goes from 500 lbs to 650 lbs. We can also call it the tent trailer weight, simply because the campers have soft sides. Meanwhile, a medium-sized pop-up camper’s weight is usually around 800 lbs, while the largest ones can go even up to 3000 lbs.
Many of you probably want to know — how much does a pop-up camper weigh? And you especially need that information if you are planning to buy one soon. That’s why we want to give you the most accurate and straightforward answer for pop-up camper weight. Though, there is more to that. Weight can also depend on the standard equipment that will come with your pop-up camper. Nevertheless, the numbers that we’ve provided are still true.
Pop-up campers are great recreational vehicles. They are smaller than other types of campers, which means that they are much easier to store. Also, when speaking of size, it will be easier for us to transport them from point A to point B. They’re usually packed with plenty of features and have enough space to become a shelter in the wilderness.
However, the size can also be one of the downsides, especially if we have a big family, or if we are planning to go on a very long trip. In those cases, we might want to consider some other options. Either way, pop-up campers will satisfy the needs of many enthusiasts who like to spend some time away from home.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll discuss everything there is to know about the weight of pop-up campers, especially the tow weight since that concerns most of us. You will be able to read the weight comparison of different campers that are out there on the market. We’ll explain the meaning of UVW, CCC, GAWR, and GVWR, which can be very important, and many other things. In essence, we’ve written this article in order to give you the ultimate guide so that you can always return to it for reference.
Pop-up camper towing requirements confuse many, simply because there isn’t a straightforward answer to that question. However, it is a very important one, so we need to address it in detail.
Basically, if we are worried whether our car will be able to pull it without causing damage, it probably will. But our vehicle’s overall towing weight is really important in the long run.
Now, there are things that we should be aware of. Checking our vehicle’s towing weight in our owner’s manual isn’t enough, nor will it be enough to contact the manufacturer. Aside from learning about all other precautions that are listed in the manual, we will also probably check the maximum towing weight.
Maximum towing weight is the weight of an empty vehicle. If we want to get a clear picture of how much, for example, our car will be able to pull, we’ll have to subtract the passengers’ weight, including all the cargo we’re planning to bring with us. Also, we should make sure to subtract the weight of the cargo that goes with our pop-up trailer. Only then will we get a clear picture on the pop-up camper towing requirements.
This subject might be of interest to all of us, especially if we’re planning to put some cargo on our bed, or if we have kids who sometimes like to jump on their beds. Still, we wouldn’t advise any jumping, simply because the manufacturers rarely have the dynamic load in mind.
When it comes to the static load, the weight limit on beds differs from camper to camper. It might even differ between our front and back beds. Smaller pop-ups will usually have smaller and more fragile beds. That means that at the low end, the bed weight limit is around 800 lbs.
We will be able to find the lower weight limit in older pop-up models. The more recent ones, along with more modern technology, usually incorporate beds that can hold much more weight when it comes to both the static and the dynamic load. For example, beds in a 2003 Viking can hold as much as 1900 lbs of static load.
Then what is the average? For most beds in pop-ups, the average should be around 1000 lbs.
How much does a pop-up camper weigh? The answers to that question can lead us to many conclusions. We’ve also probably wondered why there aren’t many pop-up campers in the medium and low weight range.
But, finding a pop-up camper with an average weight that is less than 1500 lbs is not that hard. The only thing we should really pay attention to when looking for the perfect one is the size. Logically, the smaller the overall size of a camper, the less it will weigh. So basically, if we’re not looking for something that is too comfy, we might find what we need.
There are many gems to find within used campers. Many pop-us that were produced in the ’80s tend to be smaller and lighter. However, there are some instances where we can get more space for a smaller weight. For example, an ‘88 Coleman Sequoia weighs 1400 lbs but has a box that’s 11 ft long.
Livin’ Lite Quicksilver is a gem. But apparently, it is very hard to find one. It’s big enough to fit two queen size beds and weighs only 1500 lbs.
Rockwood Freedom usually weighs around 1200-1300 lbs, and it has enough space to fit a queen size bed on one side and a bunk bed on the other.
Jayco’s 8 ft models are about 1200 lbs, while the 10 ft ones are usually 1400 lbs.
On average, we will easily find 8 ft models that weigh from 1000 lbs to 1500 lbs.
Finally, we should check out the Quicksilver pop-ups since they are all made out of aluminum. Aluminum can be durable and will reduce the overall weight a lot. Basically, with Quicksilver, we will get more space for the same weight that some other pop-ups have.
When it comes to pop-up campers that weigh less than 1000 lbs, we will have trouble finding one. Most of us are probably looking for one because the tow weight of our vehicle is already small. The results can be disappointing, and it’s not just about the amount of comfort in them — the offering is quite small.
When we searched for a tent trailer weight that is under 1000 lbs, we learned that these trailers tend to have only one bed or a bunk bed. The sides are soft and made out of certain fabrics, so that’s the main reason why we call them tent trailers.
That isn’t necessarily bad, though, as most of them are perfectly manufactured and have many useful components. We will simply have to be satisfied with the basics. The average tent trailer weight goes a little over 400 lbs.
Now, if we want to go for a more serious camper, we can always check out the Coachmen Clipper that weighs around 600 lbs. Depending on our towing weight, we might as well look for the SylvanSport Go. However, we ought to make sure that our towing weight is well over 1000 lbs since this camper weighs around 800 lbs.
Some of us may have encountered these abbreviations before. They basically stand for many different types of weight. So at the end of the day, we might find ourselves trying to understand which weight we should compare with the tow weight of our vehicle.
We’ll try to keep things simple and give definitions for each term.
The GVWR stands for the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. That means that the weight includes other things, aside from the weight of the empty vehicle. Apart from the weight of the carrying capacity of our pop-up camper (which includes all of the cargo and passengers), the GVWR includes the weight of the hitch. To simplify it, the GVWR is the combined weight of pop-up camper’s hitch and the weight of its carrying capacity.
The GAWR stands for the Gross Axle Weight Rating. GAWR basically tells us the amount of cargo that the axle can carry. Or, in other words, it is the maximum weight that includes all of the cargo that can be carried by the axle.
The CCC stands for the Cargo Carrying Capacity. Cargo Carrying Capacity shows the amount of cargo that can be loaded. By seeing the numbers, we will know the amount of weight that we can allocate on different things, for example, water, optional equipment, luggage, and so on.
The UVW stands for the Unloaded Vehicle Weight. This is the base weight of our pop-up camper if we’ve just bought it unused. It includes the weight of the hitch, and in most instances, the weight of a full propane tank.
Weight Distribution Hitch is a device that helps us balance out a trailer or a pop-up camper that is towed by our vehicle. Usually, it can come in handy, but it is absolutely necessary when our vehicle is under too much pressure due to the weight of the load.
Towing something that is too large, too high or too heavy can cause instability during the ride. That can result in both our vehicle and the pop-up rolling over. Or, on a more realistic side, it can make us lose control over the car, cause an accident, or run off the road.
Safety comes first, both regarding the passengers in our vehicle and other drivers. The last thing we want to happen is to have our picnic turn into a devastating disaster with many consequences. Therefore, it is very important to check our vehicle’s towing capabilities and see whether we’ll need to get a Weight Distribution Hitch or not.
Experts say that we should use a Weight Distribution Hitch if the weight of our fully loaded pop-up camper is greater by 50 percent than the weight of our towing vehicle.
So what is the easiest way to find out whether we’ll need to use a Weight Distribution Hitch or not?
We can simply hitch our fully loaded pop-up to the towing vehicle. Afterward, we’ll want to look at the rear and the front part of our car, for example. If the rear part of our vehicle goes down 5 inches or more because of the load, then we will definitely have to get a Weight Distribution Hitch.
If this happens, not only have we put too much load on the rear axle, but our rear tail lights aren’t aimed correctly, which is why we might have serious problems with breaking and steering too. That’s why it is of utmost importance to get a Weight Distribution Hitch in those cases.
It’s important to understand that we can’t buy just any Weight Distribution Hitch, or the most expensive one, or the one with the highest rating. It has to be in accordance with our vehicle’s towing capacities. To find the perfect one, above all, we’ll need to understand the TTW abbreviation.
TTW stands for the Total Tongue Weight. To determine the total weight of the tongue, we’ll first need to fully load our pop-up camper with all of the stuff that we usually carry, and maybe more. Then, we’ll need to measure the weight of the tongue. The easiest way to do that is to buy a tongue weight scale.
After we’ve determined the numbers, we need to add them to the total weight of all of the cargo that is loaded in our pop-up camper. The result of the two is the Total Tongue Weight.
When looking for a Weight Distribution Hitch, we will notice that each one has a certain range of effectiveness. The ideal would be to have the TTW, or the Total Tongue Weight, fall somewhere in the middle of that range. That way, we’ll have more stability and more room for choosing the amount of cargo that we’ll take with us.
Getting a Weight Distribution Hitch that has a much higher range of effectiveness than our TTW will not be effective. Why? Simply because the spring bars won’t have enough load that will put pressure on them.
In the following paragraphs, we’ll discuss the eight most endorsed and well-known pop-ups from reliable manufacturers.
We wanted to compare the weight of different pop-up campers so that everyone can get a clearer picture of the subject. This information might come in handy especially if we’re planning to buy one soon. We will be able to compare it with our vehicle’s towing weight and see which option is the best one for us.
Jayco is a well-known manufacturer that’s been around for 60 years. They are famous for making fifth-wheel travel trailers and motorhomes. However, pop-up campers are where they really shine.
With its 2018 model, Jayco brings a really fresh take on pop-ups, while maintaining some classic amenities and standards. Jay Sport 2018 focuses on reliability during trips with off-road wheels and bumper-welded steel construction.
Safety doesn’t minimize comfort with this one, as it will offer us up to three sleeping units, an indoor and outdoor stove, exterior grill, and so much more. Jay Sport is 23.25 ft long when open and 18.5 ft long when closed. Therefore, its GVWR is a bit higher — 3,375 lbs.
When it comes to Palomino, we won’t find regular pop-up campers among their new models. During its 40-year-long existence, Palomino has been going for a slightly different approach. They’ve switched their focus on motorhomes.
Namely, Palomino started producing the so-called Real-Lite Truck Campers. Those are basically pop-ups that we attach as a backpack to our truck. One of the newer models, the Soft Side 1600, is designed to provide us with enough amenities and equipment while saving on space.
We purposely picked the smallest model among them just to show what Palomino is able to do when it comes to the overall weight. It is important to mention that with Soft Side 1600, we will also have a sink and a bathroom, which we almost won’t be able to find in pop-up campers of the given weight and size. Soft Side 1600 weighs only 1197 lbs, while its exterior length goes to almost 13 ft. That size is satisfying when compared to the tent trailer weight.
If you haven’t heard of the Viking, then you’ve probably never thought about getting a pop-up camper before. The Viking has always made pop-ups that are a synonym for easy towing and easy usage. They are very user-friendly, and simplicity is their middle name.
We’ve looked into one of the smallest models that are currently on the market. Viking Express 9.0 offers enough comfort for a night or two of camping in the wilderness. It offers a nice queen size bed and enough cabinets to store our equipment and cargo. Moreover, the size of the box is 9ft, and its GVWR is 1273 lbs.
Starcraft company is a family-owned business. Though they may not be that well known as other manufacturers out there, especially among those who live outside of Indiana, they offer reliable and high-quality products. Their pop-ups are all carefully made to fit a lot of equipment into a small amount of space.
We’ve chosen to look into the 2014 Starcraft Comet 1232 MD. This model has enough sleeping space for four. It also has a 3-burner gas stove, a sink, a dining area and other types of much-needed equipment. It is 16.17 ft long, and its GVWR is 3,250 lbs.
Rockwood’s Freedom series has become widely known and popular due to its outstanding performance and equipment. Even though they sometimes require a higher towing weight, many camping enthusiasts actually try to do everything they can so that they can get their hands on one of the Freedom pop-ups.
The box size of Rockwood Freedom 1640LTD is 8 ft. When closed, the 1640LTD is 12 ft long. There is enough room to fit two decent sized beds. Moreover, there is also a dining area, a sink, a stove, and a few cabinets for storage.
The one problem we’ve encountered with Freedom series is that it is not possible to find out the GVWR except by contacting the manufacturer directly. However, we’ve managed to calculate its dry weight, or UVW, which is 1,465 lbs. Also, it may be useful to mention that its payload capacity is 857 lbs.
When it comes to luxury and comfort, Flagstaff’s MAC series is a serious competition for other manufacturers. If we’re talking about space and comfort, MAC series somehow manages to fit everything perfectly.
That’s why we’ve chosen to present the Flagstaff 176 LTD. One of the pioneers of the MAC series, the Flagstaff 176LTD offers two queen size beds. And, if that’s not enough, you should know that with them, you’ll get heated mattresses as well. That will surely come in handy if you’re planning to go fishing by the lake during cold nights.
Aside from two comfortable beds, buyers will also get enough storage space. There is also a large dining area and enough countertops if they like to cook.
When it comes to the length, the 176LTD has a travel length of 12 ft, while the GVWR is 2322 lbs.
Coleman basically built Evolution E3 series for adventure. It is a beast when it comes to the overall size, but it also offers a lot of space. That means that we will be able to stay off the road for many days and feel comfortable as if we have a proper cabin on wheels.
The box of the Evolution E3 is 12 ft long, while its traveling length is almost 22 ft. Furthermore, when it comes to the weight, we might need a stronger vehicle to tow this one. The GVWR of this Coleman is 4,400 lbs.
Phoenix is a very reliable manufacturer that makes high-quality products. What’s so special about them is that they build their pop-up campers from scratch. They are also fond of customizing their products according to the needs of their clients.
The Slide In base model can be customized to fit our truck in whatever way we want it to fit. It has one bed and a seating area that can turn into another one. Moreover, aside from its standard features, we can also add other equipment that Phoenix offers.
Unfortunately, we would have to contact them directly and ask for the specifications, especially the GVWR. That is the only downside to the fact that their pop-ups are highly customizable.