Are Pop-up Truck Campers Worth It?

A parked white pop-up truck camper.

It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy… Okay, no, we’ll try that one again. It’s summertime and everyone’s left your neighborhood for some fantastic camping destinations (such as Finland). You’re stuck inside your home or office all day thinking: Man, are pop-up truck campers really worth it? Could that be the solution to my current situation? 

Let’s answer that last one: yup, obtaining a pop-up truck camper might very well be the solution to your problem. However, let’s avoid getting ahead of ourselves here. We’ve got a whole article to discuss whether pop-up truck campers are worth it. Stay tuned!

Obtaining a pop-up truck camper is absolutely worth the money invested. It’s the cheapest alternative to an RV you’ll find on the market. Also, you’ll enjoy a better fuel economy, and pop-up truck campers are usually pretty easy to store and drive. Not to mention the fact that you’ll save a lot of funds not paying for registration fees. 

Now, reading solely the preview won’t get you anywhere near a solution you crave (concerning pop-up truck campers). Read the whole thing!

Table of Contents

What are pop-up truck campers anyway?

Before we kick-start our main talk for today, let’s first consider what exactly are (pop-up) truck campers? You’ll want to know that a truck camper is a specially-designed type of camper that can either be hard-sided or pop-up (the latter being the variation we’ll talk about today). It’s made with the intention to mount into the bed of your truck. Certain models are made to fit certain types of bed trucks (long or short), while some models are made with the idea to fit on them all.

Truck campers are phenomenal since they allow you to “take them along” on outdoor adventures, without you having to tow them (and here’s an article covering that topic in a certain way). This, of course, opens up a fantastic quantity of campsite options you’ll be able to choose from. You won’t have a hard time finding the ideal spot to set up camp. Oh, and we almost forgot to add that pop-up truck campers are known as the more versatile version of truck campers thanks to their low-profile mode while you’re on the road.

How much do pop up campers cost?

Since we’re talking about whether pop-up truck campers are worth it, it might be good to see how much they actually cost. First of all, know that this might probably be the cheapest RV option out there. What kind of pop up truck camper you’ll opt for will depend on how much money are you willing to spend. In other words: it will depend on the thickness of your wallet.

Okay, so new, unused pop up truck campers will cost you anywhere from $8-10K to $30K (the more expensive side of the table). However, you can find top-quality pop-up truck campers for a cheap price, so there’s no need to worry too much.

Also, you can even avoid buying a pop-up truck camper since there’s also the option of renting one. So, how much will that cost ya? It, of course, depends on the location but prices mostly levitate around $30 a night. Now, keep in mind that we didn’t count insurance, deposits, and all additional costs that might come up.

Since we were focused here on unused pop-up truck campers, let’s see how much used pop-up truck campers cost!

How much are used pop up campers?

We’ll start this one with the usual intro: well, it depends… No, really, the price of a used pop-up truck camper will depend on its age, size, and various additional features. Anyway, here’s an estimation of how much a used pop-up truck camper will cost: used campers that were built during the last decade will most probably cost you somewhere between $5K and $15K.

A quick tip before we continue: click here to see whether truck campers can leak.

Why are pop up campers so expensive?

Now that you’ve read this whole discussion about pop-up truck camper pricing (even though we’ve said that they are your cheapest RV option), you might wonder: why are pop-up campers so expensive? 

Instead of giving you a straight answer (since we can’t blame anyone but the so-called invisible hand of the market), we’ll introduce you to the factors that influence the amount of money you’ll have to cough up for your pop-up truck camper. Okay, so shall we begin?

#1 Brand/manufacturer

The biggest reason why some pop-ups cost more than the other ones is that they’re made by this or that brand or manufacturer. Let’s say you’ve seen a model and there are brand names like Jayco, Aliner, or Forest River in the title of the product. You’ll want to know that they’re the most renowned brands when it comes to pop-up truck camper “production”, and that, of course, affects the price greatly.

However, if you see any used pop-up truck campers that are way cheaper than you’d imagine, it’ll mean that they’re pretty old. However, keep in mind that’s one of the reasons why the price might be low, we won’t go into further assumptions.

#2 Age (and condition)

Now, alright, this one’s probably the most obvious one (even though brands play a BIG role here). The older a pop-up truck camper is, the less it will cost. Following the same principle, the newer it is, the more it will cost. Needless to say, if a pop-up truck camper is completely new… Yeah, that’s right, you can’t really get away with settling on a price that’s to your disadvantage.

Oh, and we almost forgot to mention the condition of the used pop-up truck camper you’ll opt for. It’s something that goes hand-in-hand with age (depending, of course, on the way the previous owner has maintained the camper). That’s why owners should keep their campers in top condition, just so they’re able to get the best price. You, as a buyer, on the other hand, will have to check the condition if the price seems a bit suspicious.

#3 Size

And this will be our last addition here: you’ll have to consider the size of the camper when considering its price. Still, we’ll try to be short here: the bigger your pop-up truck camper is, the more it will cost. That’s the simplest truth if there ever was such a thing!

Also, if there are some issues concerning the safety of your camper (regardless of size), you’ll want to click right here.

The view from the inside of a pop-up truck camper.

Are pop-up truck campers worth it?

Here’s our modest answer: yes, pop-up truck campers are totally worth all the money invested. Of course, we’ve got some facts to back up that “modest” statement. You’ll find them below!

#1 Zero registration fees

This might be useful for US citizens only, but we’ll mention it anyway. Okay, so if you’re from the US, you’ll be happy to know that 42 states recognize your pop-up truck camper as nothing more than regular cargo. Instead of seeing it as an RV, that is. So, what does that mean? It means that you won’t have to pay the annual license and registration fees like you’d have to if you were “sporting” an RV.

Oh, and speaking of RVs, here’s a piece on whether you’re able to park it on gravel. Also, you’ll want to know that insuring your pop-up truck camper is absolutely cheaper, too. We’re talking about an estimate of $20 a month for total coverage. Doesn’t that sound good? Anyway, let’s continue!

#2 It’s easier to drive when you’ve got a pop-up truck camper

Towing your regular camper can be quite an ordeal. Also, it might take all the fun out of driving. Not to mention the fact that you won’t have to fishtail on the freeway, which is a blessing of its own. It’s basically like driving a regular pickup truck. Most folks find this to be very satisfying.

#3 Your fuel economy will be better

Now that we’re seeing prices of fuel go up, the whole every-mile-counts story seems to gain some good credentials. Usually, a pop-up truck camper will enable you to enjoy a better fuel economy than a regular RV.

#4 No storage issues

Storing your pop-up truck camper will prove to be less of a hassle than you’d expect. A truck camper’s definitely easier to store than a good ol’ massive fight wheel or a Class-A motorhome, for that matter. Also, here’s another thing you should keep in mind:

  • Your unmounted pop-up truck camper will be much harder to steal than other types of RVs. That one goes without saying. You’ll only need to make sure that you “position” the remote for the electrical jacks and umbilical cord in a different location than your pop-up truck camper. In other words: you’ll want to make things a bit harder for thieves to steal your trusty camper. 

There are a whole plethora of facts we could’ve mentioned here, but we’ll take a guess and say this is good enough. All that’s left is to say goodbye!

The bottom line

Alright, folks, that’s all there’s to say about the issue of whether buying a pop-up truck is worth it. If you’ve read this one carefully, you’ve noticed that it definitely pays out to obtain a pop-up truck camper and that there’s hardly a chance you’d regret doing such a thing!

Anyway, for more RV-related tips and other various interesting info, pay a visit to this page.

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