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6 Best Pop Up Campers For 2021

This post was updated on March 27th, 2024

best pop up campers
LA2, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

6 Best Pop Up Campers For 2021

The pop-up tent camper from our childhood summer vacations has received a massive makeover in the last few decades. These contemporary versions of the classic tent trailer or pop-top van have also become even more prevalent and varied for the upcoming year.

The pop-up camper is convenient in so many ways. Not only is it more streamlined for going down the road, but they come with hidden, foldable, collapsible, and compact living quarters. These living quarters tuck away inside the main trailer to fit inside a garage and accommodate more (and taller) people than you ever thought possible.

Some of the oldest RVs in the U.S. are actually popup tent trailers. Campers in the 1920s were made from salvaged automobile parts and heavy canvas that could be popped up to create outdoor living spaces. Since then, the popup camper still offers the same flexible living space, but has become more refined and technology-driven. With that in mind, these are six of the best pop up campers to look out for in 2021.

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1. Aliner Expedition

The Aliner trailer is the original A-frame camper and is still going strong. It travels packed down flat for more aerodynamic travel but quickly pops up to reveal an eight-foot ceiling height. While there are 10 versions of the 2021 Aliner, the Expedition seems to be a great deal for all the room and amenities.

best pop up campers
The Aliner is one of the best pop up campers. Photo by Aliner

This trailer weighs in at less than 2,000 lb. yet has several floor plans to choose from. The Permanent Bed layout with a queen bed and front dinette has additional pop-outs along the roofline for additional headroom.

The Expedition also has an inside kitchen and storage compartment for a toilet. If you are interested in this company’s version of a tent trailer, check out their Somerset line.

2. OPUS Off-Road Camper

The OPUS off-road camper is not a typical pop-up trailer. First of all, the pop-up action doesn’t require any effort to open it up or close it down.

The pop-up action comes from a set of triple-layer airbags that inflate the top part of the camper and create the tented living space.

In addition, the trailer portion of the camper comes with an upgraded, all-terrain chassis with off-road ready tires and independent coil suspension.

The Opus Off Road Camper. Photo by Opus Camper

The OPUS comes in several sizes and both off-road and on-road capabilities. The smallest version is the OP 2 that sleeps two people and has a pull-out kitchen and shower room extension. The larger OP 15 is a hybrid hard-sided model with a pop-top and the option to carry not one, but two spare tires.

3. Forest River Flagstaff 176SE

The Flagstaff Sports Enthusiast Package 176SE by Forest River is the classic tent trailer from a line of popular travel trailers. The layout has not changed much over the years, but the interior is more contemporary looking than other pop-up tent trailers. It also has some really nice beds to accommodate a larger family.

Forest River Flagstaff. Photo by Forest River

Both the 42×78 bed and the 54×78 bed pop out into their own tented areas so fresh air is always available. The interior also features another sleeping area in the form of a gaucho dinette. The kitchen has a basic sink and a range designed to be carried outside.

4. Sylvansport GO

The Sylvansport GO is the trailer for popup enthusiasts who want more versatility and simplicity from their camper. At around $9,000 you also won’t pay a lot for this interesting little trailer.

Sylvansport GO is one of the best pop up campers for those on a budget. Photo by Sylvansport

The GO is a camper, utility trailer, and gear box in one lightweight package. In tent mode, the camper unfolds into a basic space with two benches and a table that converts into an ample bed for four people.

Cooking is done outside under a vestibule. When the tent is folded up, the trailer can carry sports gear such as bikes or kayaks on the roof. With the tent portion removed, the trailer can be used to carry larger supplies or materials.

Check out how easy it is to set up the GO trailer in this video:

5. Colorado Camper Van

Over the years, some of the best pop up campers have been the classic Volkswagen Westfalia or Vanagon vans with the pop-up roofs.

These vintage vans can be more difficult to find and afford these days, so it’s a good thing that Colorado Camper Van is available to install popup roofs for just about any type of van. In addition, they are now adding popup roofs to cargo trailers for a unique type of camper.

Colorado Camper Vans. Photo by Colorado Camper Van

Colorado Camper Van can add a pop-top to popular cargo vans such as the RAM Promaster, Ford Transit, and Chevy Express. The company will also kit out your interior with bed and kitchen units and convert Ford vans to 4×4.

6. Four Wheel Pop-Up Campers

Don’t worry, we didn’t forget the truck camper fans. Truck camping is popular in that your beefy vehicle can get to off-road locations that towables may not be able to. However, some truck top campers can be a little tall and heavy. This is where Four Wheel Pop-Up Campers come in.

Four Wheel makes some of the best pop up campers for trucks. Photo by Four Wheel Pop-Up Campers

These compact, lightweight pop-up living spaces come as a slide-in version, a flatbed version, and a topper version. They all quickly pop up to reveal a comfortable sleeping, cooking, dining, and working space.

Four Wheel Pop-Up Campers start at around $11,000 depending on the truck model. However, Four Wheel also offers truck/popup camper rentals at several places around the country so you can try before you buy.

Learn more about why pop-up campers are gaining so much popularity in this Camper Report article.