Top 13 Reasons a Pop-up Tent Trailer is Better Than a Tent

A pop up tent trailer set up

When I met my husband, he had a pop-up tent trailer. As a tent camper, I looked at this as a huge upgrade. Before we dated, a girlfriend and I slept on one side of the pop-up tent trailer, and my future husband slept on the other side. It was snowing outside, and most of our other friends were sleeping in tents. But we were warm and cozy!

If you’re tired of sleeping on the ground, you might be considering a pop-up trailer. But why is a pop-up better than a tent?

Here are some reasons why a fold-out, pop-up tent trailer is better than a tent:

  1. You get protection from the elements
  2. You have indoor plumbing
  3. You’ll have a place to eat and prepare food
  4. They’re affordable
  5. You’ll get a comfortable place to sleep
  6. You can fit more people
  7. You’ll have more storage area
  8. Bugs won’t, well, bug you
  9. You’ll have access to power
  10. Privacy won’t be a problem
  11. Towing is a breeze
  12. They are quick to set up and pack up
  13. Most can be stored in the garage.

Shelter From the Elements

interior of a pop up tent trailer

If you’ve ever been camping in the snow, like I have, you’ll appreciate being out of the elements in your pop-up tent trailer. These trailers are water tight and provide insulation. And just being off the ground will keep you warmer.

Unlike a tent, a pop-up tent trailer has a heater and a vent fan. Some even have roof air conditioners.

When it’s hot outside, either crank on the air conditioner or open the windows and turn on the vent fan. In cold weather, the heater keeps the inside of the trailer warm and toasty.

Indoor Plumbing

Pop up tent campers are equipped with a fresh-water holding tank. This holding tank provides water for cooking and dishes. Some of the larger pop-ups even have a toilet and shower!

Not all popups have a waste water, or grey-water tank, but some do. And, the pop-ups with a toilet will have either a cassette to catch the waste, or a black water tank.

Dinette and Kitchen

kitchen of a pop up tent trailer

Like other RVs, pop-up tent trailers have a sink, a stove, and a refrigerator. It’s so nice to have the ability to cook inside when the weather is inclement. Plus, some pop-ups have a stove that can be used either outside or inside.

Likewise, it’s nice to eat in comfort inside your pop-up camper. As a tent camper, any sign of rain would have me packing up and heading home. When the weather is rainy, it’s not much fun to eat outside. Pop-up tent trailers have a dinette where you can eat inside.


pop up tent trailer ready for travel

A pop-up tent trailer is one of the easiest ways to get into RVing. That’s because these trailers are the most affordable RV you can buy. In fact, I wrote an article on the most affordable RV. You guessed it – it’s a pop-up tent trailer.

Unlike other types of RVs, pop-up tent trailers won’t break the bank on fuel. The low profile when towing prevent the drag that can occur with other types of RVs. If you’re towing a travel trailer, fuel is going to be more expensive than a pop up.

Plus, you won’t need to buy a fuel-sucking tow vehicle. Most pop-up tent trailers can be towed with a small or mid-sized SUV. Many people already have a vehicle that will tow a small pop up.

Buying Used

There are many used pop-up tent trailers on the market. Use you’re due diligence when searching Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist for these trailers.

I wrote an article about things you should look for when buying a travel trailer. Many of the same concepts apply to pop-up tent trailers with one exception. That exception is the canvas. The canvas on tent trailers is ususally the first thing to degrade.

First, you’ll want to inspect the canvas to make sure that there is no mold on the canvas. Mold develops on the canvas when the trailer has been put away wet. Always dry your canvas before you fold up the tent trailer. If you have to put it away wet while camping, open it up when you get home and let it dry out.

Another potential issue is that canvas can develop holes. Errant embers from a campfire or wear from improper set up can cause holes to develop in the canvas. Zippers can also break over time.

The canvas can be replaced, but it’s expensive – around $3000 to completely replace the canvas. Mold damage may be able to be treated. And, small holes in the canvas can be repaired. Large tears and broken zippers almost always necessitate replacement of the canvas.


If you’re not sure a pop up is for you, try renting. Outdoorsy has pop ups for rent at reasonable prices.


I can’t say enough about getting off the ground. The ground is cold. It’s hard to find a insulated pad that will keep you warm when your sleeping on the ground.

Most pop-up tent trailers have real mattresses on the bunk end caps. The mattresses won’t be like the ones you have at home. However, it’s a far cry from sleeping on ground! You’ll sleep warmer in your pop-up tent trailer because you aren’t sleeping on the ground.

More Room

interior of a pop up tent trailer

Tents that sleep eight are usually huge and unwieldy. If you fit eight people in a tent, you’re probably not doing much moving around.

Some pop-ups sleep up to eight people! Normally, you’ll have a dinette that converts into a bed. That’s on top of the end-cap beds. There are some larger pop-ups that have two dinettes. These are the ones that sleep up to eight people.

Plus, you’ll have space to move around that you just don’t get in a tent. You’d be surprised how spacious a pop-up tent trailer is compared to a tent or even a travel trailer! When you open it up, the beds slide out, giving you enormous floor space.

And then, you’ll have plenty of seating. In addition to the dinette, some pop up campers have an additional bench. Plus, people can sit on the beds.


When you have a pop-up tent trailer, you can leave that heavy chuck box at home!

If you’re tent camping, your limited to what you can take in your car. In a pop-up tent trailer, you can pack a lot of items in the cabinets and under the dinette storage area.

When you’re tent camping, you have to bring your own sink, refrigerator and stove. But a pop-up tent trailer has these included.

Bug-Free Zone

interior of a pop up tent trailer

Being completely enclosed in your trailer will keep the bugs from bugging you. Pop-up tent trailers are fully enclosed once you get them set up.

The outside is canvas. The windows are a polycarbonate material that zip open to reveal screens. As I mentioned before, you can unzip the windows for a cool breeze and not have insects getting in.

Whether you are cooking, eating or sleeping, your pop-up life will be bug-free. Just make sure you close the door.

On-demand Power

You can hook your pop-up tent trailer to shore power at a campground. Once hooked up, you’ll have access to 110v power. If your pop-up is newer, it will probably also come with some 12v plugs to charge your electronic devices off of the battery. However, you’ll have to pay close attention to your battery power level. Adding solar power to your camper can help keep the battery full.

If you’d like to know what kinds of items you need for a camper-trailer, I wrote an article about that. You’ll need all or most of these items for your pop-up tent trailer.


Pop-up tent trailers offer more privacy than a tent.

Privacy From the Outside World

Unlike a tent, it’s difficult to see what is going on inside a tent trailer.

Plus, a pop-up tent trailer has a locking door. This won’t keep everyone out, but it will deter someone who might be willing to unzip a tent.

Inside Privacy

Curtains on each of the end caps give privacy to both beds. This provides privacy while sleeping. If you’re cleaver, you can even change clothes.


I know towing might seem daunting at first. But a pop-up tent trailer is one of the easiest RVs to tow. That’s because they are compact and lightweight. Even a smaller SUV can tow some of the compact pop-up tent trailers.

Plus, pop-up tent trailers are easy to backup. With a travel trailer, you view is blocked. But with a pop up, you can see right over the trailer! These trailer are super easy to maneuver.

Set Up

exterior of a pop up tent trailer

Tired of getting out the directions whenever you have to set up your tent? Tired of fighting with your spouse or significant other every time you set the tent up? Pop-up tent trailers are fairly straightforward to set up. They can be set up in minutes because your aren’t looking for tent poles and stakes.

Plus, you’ll save time on packing. When you are tent camping, you’ll have to gather all your camping equipment and load it in your vehicle. With a pop-up, most of your items are either located or stored within the pop up.

You’ll still have to pack and clothes and food. However, you can do this in less than half the time it takes to pack up your tent camping equipment. Remember, your beds, bedding, stove, sink, etc. are already stored in your pop up.

This gets you off the couch and into the outdoors in record speed.

Plus, you’ll have an easier time packing up and putting things away once you get home. Again, you’ll have to unload your clothes and food. After that, you can store the trailer away and be done with it.

Compared to tent camping, clean up is a breeze. You can clean the tent trailer before you pack up and you’re ready to go for the next trip.

Trailer Storage

Most pop-up tent trailers will easily store in a garage. This is a huge advantage over other types of RVs. Many neighborhoods don’t allow RVs to be parked outside the house or in your driveway. These RV owners are stuck paying rediculous prices for RV storage.

When you’re shopping for a tent trailer, this is something that you’ll want to take into consideration.


A tent trailer will get you off the ground and into a comfortable bed for an affordable price. This will allow you the opportunity for more adventures. Happy trails!

Crystyn Chase

Crystyn enjoys traveling to new locations off the beaten path. She's passionate about RV adventure travel and her desire is to share that love with readers. She is married to Doug and has a playful German Shepherd named Trinity. When not on the road, Crystyn enjoys gardening and food preservation.

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