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5 Best Hard Side Pop-Up Campers You Need to See

Hard side pop-up campers aren’t as easy to find these days as they used to be, but there are some seriously cool models on the market. Whether you’re interested in an A-frame hard side or a pop-up that seems more like a travel trailer, we’ve got you covered. Here are five of the best hard side pop-up campers you need to see.

Do They Make Hard Sided Pop-up Campers?

Yes, hard side pop-up campers do exist. These types of campers combine the ease of setup and portability of a pop-up camper with the protection and durability of a hard-sided camper. They have hard walls that can be extended when set up, and collapsed for transport. These pop-up campers are perfect if you want more privacy and insulation in an easy-to-tow package.

collapsed hard side pop-up camper
Hard side pop-up campers are easy to tow and set up!

The Benefits of a Hard Side Pop-Up Camper

Hard side pop-up campers have many advantages over tent trailers. These campers offer more insulation from cold and heat, so they’re great for comfortable camping in cold winters and hot summers. 

Hard side pop-ups don’t just offer insulation from the weather; they also provide more privacy and sound insulation than other pop-up campers. While tent camping is fun, you don’t always want everyone to hear what you’re talking about. Sometimes you want to be insulated from outdoor noise while in your camper too.

In addition, hard-sided campers offer more protection from wildlife. There are a few campgrounds where you are required to have hard-sided campers where bears are a common problem. While a determined bear could still get into a hard-sided camper (mainly to go for the fridge), it’s much less common.

Pro Tip: Before you buy a pop-up camper, check out What You Need to Know About Pop-Up Campers.

SUV attached to hard side pop-up camper
Take your hard side pop-up camper on your next great adventure!

Do Hard Side Pop-Up Campers Leak?

Hard side pop-up campers have the potential to leak, just like every other camper but are less likely to do so than canvas. As with any other RV or camper, you should always check your RV for cracks, tears, and potential leak areas. Check seals often and make sure you set your camper up properly to avoid leak issues. 

Well-designed hard-sided campers are no more likely to leak than a traditional RV.

Do Hard Side Pop-up Campers Have AC?

Hard side pop-up campers can have air conditioning units installed. This is typically an optional feature that can be added by the manufacturer or a dealership, although some models may come with air conditioning as a standard feature. Keep in mind that the size of the camper and the capacity of the air conditioning unit can affect the cooling power and efficiency.

Pro Tip: Use this guide on How to Build Your Own DIY Pop Up Camper to ensure you have the perfect set up for all of your adventures.

5 Best Hard Side Pop-Up Campers You Need to See

Hard side pop-up campers are excellent small camper choices that fit in most garages. You can tow them with most small to midsize SUVs and trucks. Here are the top hard side campers on the market today. 

1. Aliner Expedition

About: The Aliner Expedition is a great hard side pop-up camper for singles, couples, and small families. The Expedition Aliner comes with optional hard-sided dormers for additional space and headroom, too. 

This camper is 18’ long and has a GVWR of 3,500 pounds. Inside, you’ll find a bed, dinette, sink, fridge, stove, and toilet. This is a totally self-contained, small hard side pop-up camper. 

MSRP: $40,000

Aliner Expedition - 2022 model - Walk Through Tour

2. Forest River Rockwood A122S

About: The Forest River Rockwood Hard Side A122S is an A-frame hard side pop-up camper with everything you need to enjoy a camping trip. This camper has a flip-up bed, a front dinette, a fridge, a sink, a stove, and even room for an exterior griddle. 

This camper weighs in at 2,120 pounds dry and is just over 19’ in length. With huge side windows and skylights, there’s plenty of natural light in this camper that really opens up the space. 

MSRP: $25,000

Pro Tip: We took a closer look at Are A-Frame Campers Any Good and found the 7 best models on the market.

2022 Forest River Rockwood A122S A frame walk through

3. Forest River Flagstaff T21DMHW

About: This A-frame hard side pop-up camper by Flagstaff is a complete package. It offers everything you need for comfort and convenience on the road. Inside you’ll find a 60″ x 80″ bed, plus a dinette that converts to additional sleeping space. It also has a wet bath and a kitchen complete with a microwave, two-burner stove, sink, and 12-volt refrigerator.

The Forest River Flagstaff T21DMHW is 21′ 2″ long and has a dry weight of 2,700 pounds. You’ll also appreciate the ample exterior storage and 10K BTU Cool Cat Heat Pump.

MSRP: $27,000

2020 Forest River Flagstaff High Wall T21DMHW

4. TrailManor 2720

About: TrailManor makes really unique hard side pop-up RVs. These pop-up RVs feel more like travel trailers than pop-up campers. They aren’t A-frames. Instead, they’re rectangular, just like a standard travel trailer. They fold down on top of themselves, yet they feel just like any other camper when you open them. 

The TrailManor 2720 series is the brand’s most popular style. You could store it in a garage and tow it with a properly equipped minivan, crossover, or SUV. Inside you’ll find a queen bed and convertible dinette or sofabed, depending on the model you choose. You’ll also find a full kitchen and wet bath. The 2720 series is 27’ in length, and the dry weight of each model is under 3,100 pounds. 

MSRP: $46,000

Pro Tip: Get the inside scoop on all you need to know about TrailManor Campers: Compact Tow, Expansive Stay, Impressive Engineering.

Trailmanor 2720 QB Transforming Travel Trailer Walkthrough

5. Coachmen Clipper Express 12.0 TD MAX

About: This hard side camper has a small pop-up in the back for extra headspace. It’s made out of canvas, but it’s not necessary to open it for camping all the time. 

This is an incredibly small, nimble, and lightweight pop-up camper. The dry weight is just 2,225 pounds, and it comes in at 17’ 5” in length. Inside, you’ll find a bed, storage cabinets, a sofa, a fridge, a microwave, a bike door, and a stereo. On the outside, there’s even an outdoor shower. 

MSRP: $25,000 

All New 2021 Coachmen Clipper 12.0 TD Max Review | Small On The Outside... Spacious On The Inside!

Pro Tip: Stock up your pop-up camper with these 15 Pop-Up Camper Accessories You’ll Actually Use.

Is a Hard Side Pop-Up Camper Worth It?

Pop-up campers are amazing. They’re so easy to tow and store and really easy to set up, too. These campers are great for people who want to try RV life or just want an upgrade from tent camping. If you want a pop-up camper but need to camp in all places and seasons, a hard side pop-up is definitely worth the investment.

Have you ever checked out one of these campers? What did you think? Drop a comment below!

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About Tom and Caitlin Morton

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for Hwy.co and an Arizona travel guide.

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Guy

Sunday 18th of June 2023

I just bought a used Starcraft comet 1232 2014. It is extremely difficult to set up for one person. I have to have my wife who is 5 foot tall get on a small ladder on the pasenger side to ensure we can lock the aframe into the channel when setting it up or it falls back down if I try to do it solo. Just wondering if there might be something that can be done about that issue.