The average weight of a pop-up camper is approximately 2,000 lbs. This weight is for your typically tent camper or a hard-sided pop-up camper. Some expedition pop ups such as the Opus weigh on average 3,250 lbs.
|Rockwood Freedom 1640LTD||1,465 lb.||UVW|
|Rockwood Freedom 1940F||2,204 lb.||UVW|
|Rockwood Freedom 1980||1,896 lb.||UVW|
|Rockwood Highwall HW277||3,334 lb.||UVW|
|Rockwood Highwall HW296||3,721 lb.||UVW|
|Coachmen Clipper Express 9.0||1,277 lb.||GVWR|
|Coachmen Clipper ELS 128LS||3,223 lb.||GVWR|
|Coachmen Clipper Sport 125ST||3,241lb.||GVWR|
|Coachmen Clipper Classic 1285SST||3,296 lb.||GVWR|
|Coachmen Clipper V-Trec V3||4,427 lb.||GVWR|
|SylvanSport Go||1,850 lb.||GVWR|
|Aliner Classic||3,000 lb.||GVWR|
|Aliner Expedition||3,500 lb.||GVWR|
|Opus Lite||3,527 lb.||GVWR|
|Opus OP2||3,970 lb.||GVWR|
Table of Contents
UVW versus GVWR
The weight of the pop-up campers in our 13 examples is shown in two weight classifications. Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW) and Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). When figuring out what tow vehicle you need to use it’s important to know the difference.
UVW – Unloaded vehicle weight is the weight of the pop-up as manufactured at the factory. It does not include the weight of any cargo, propane, water or any accessories installed by the dealer.
GVWR – This is the weight of the popup when it is full. It means the total weight you cannot surpass after you stow gear, water, propane etc. Going over the GVWR can negatively affect your camper or the vehicle you are using to tow.
Pop Up Camper Tongue Weight
The tongue weight of a pop-up camper is the static force the trailer tongue exerts on the hitch. (source: gmc.com). Tongue weight is also known as hitch weight. Ensuring you have the correct tongue weight is important.
Not having enough weight on the trailer tongue may cause your camper to sway from side-to-side making it very difficult to control. If you have too much weight on the hitch ball you then could overload your rear tires causing the rear end of the vehicle to be pushed around.
Below is a sample of pop-up camper tongue weight.
|SylvanSport Go||85 lbs.|
|Clipper Express 9.0||77 lbs.|
|Clipper Express 12.0TD||250 lbs.|
|Clipper Sport 108ST||187 lbs.|
|Clipper V-Trec V2||290 lbs.|
|Flagstaff STSE Sports||254 lbs.|
|Rockwood Freedom 1940LTD||195 lbs.|
What is the weight of a small pop-up camper?
A small or mini pop-up camper can weight as little as 500 lbs and up to approximately 1,000 lbs. Typically, used for short weekend trips, they have very little space and hardly any amenities.
For a couple or a family with young ones who want to go on a weekend fishing or hiking trip a small pop up is perfect.
Being small they can be towed with a car and are very easy to maneuver. You are not going to get much in terms of space, but you may find a small two-burner stove for cooking, some storage and a compact sleeping area.
The Clipper Express 9.0 is a good example of a small camper. It has an UVW rating of 761 lbs. and a cargo carry weight of 516 lbs. The GVWR is 1,277 lbs. making it light enough to be towed by most small SUV or even a car.
What is the weight of a medium pop-up camper?
A medium tent camper can weight anywhere from 1,500 lbs to 2,500 lbs. Medium popups can be used for longer trips since they have more room, bigger cooking space, larger sleeping quarters and more storage.
A family of four can easily live in a medium-sized camper for more than a weekend. They can be quite comfortable for an extended stay. Many have an A/C unit as standard equipment or as an optional accessory.
Because they are larger and heavier you will need a tow vehicle that is suitable. A family sedan is not going to be able to tow one of these. You’ll need at a minimum a small SUV or larger or a pickup with a towing capacity of about 40% than the weight GVWR of what you are towing.
The Rockwood Freedom 1940LTD is a good example of a medium-sized pop-up camper. It has a UVW of 1,608 lbs. and a Cargo Carry Capacity of 683 lbs. This puts the GVWR at about 2,000 lbs.
What Is The Weight Of A Large Pop-Up Camper?
In this group I’m going to place some of off-grid or expedition pop-up campers. Many of these camper are well over 3,000 lbs. These campers are constructed to withstand the rigors of going off-road and are made for extended off-grid stays last many days.
The chassis off-grid campers are built on is strong and heavier. For example the TAXA Outdoors Cricket is built on a steel chassis, it features steel gravel guards, and many other durable materials that add strength and durablilty but also increase the overall weight of the camper.
The Cricket Overland Edition has a UVW of 1,978 lbs and a Cargo Carrying Capacity of 1,022 lbs making giving it a GVWR of 3,000 lbs. You’ll need a tow vehicle with towing capacity of at least 4,200 lbs.
How Much Towing Capacity do I need for A pop-up Camper?
Well it really depends on the GVWR of your camper. The general rule of thumb is that you want to only use 60-65% of your vehicle towing capacity. Let say you have a Jeep Grand Cherokee that can tow 6,200 lbs. Using our rule of thumb (60% of 6,200 lbs) you can safely tow a camper with a maximum GVWR of about 3,720 lbs.
Is It Hard To Tow a Pop-Up Camper?
Compared to other types of campers no, they are not hard to tow. Because of the low-profile when closed you have very little wind resistance. The low profile also gives you excellent visibility to the rear.
In addition, if the GVWR of your camper is 50% or higher than the tow vehicle curb weight you should consider an appropriate weight distribution system. Mike L from e-trailer explains it in more detail.
How Much Does a Jayco Pop Up Camper Weight?
On average a Jayco pop-up camper will weigh about 1,500 lbs. Below is a list of a few Jayco pop-up campers and their weight. All weights are unloaded vehicle weight.
|Jayco Jay 12UD||2019||1,895 lbs.||UVW|
|Jayco Jay Sport 12SC||2018||2,385 lbs.||UVW|
|Jayco Jay Sport 12SC||2018||1,720 lbs.||UVW|
|Jayco Jay Sport 8SD||2019||1,570 lbs.||UVW|
Can a car pull a pop-up camper?
Depending on the towing capacity of the car and the GVWR of the camper a car can a pop-up camper. On average a typical family sedan can tow anywhere from 1,000 lbs. (Chevy Malibu) to 3,500 lbs. (Volvo S60). Depending on your vehicle it could severely limit what size camper you can tow.
The SylvanSport Go is one camper we know that is less than 840 pounds and just about any car can tow it. The Livin’ Lite Quicksilver 9.0 (discontinued) is another lightweight popup camper coming in at a UVW of 994 lbs. You’ll need to take cargo load into account for your final GVWR.
Can a 4-cylinder pull a pop-up camper?
A 4-cylinder can can tow a pop-up camper is you keep your camper’s GVWR at least 40% below the towing capacity of the vehicle. For example a Subaru Ascent with a 4-cylinder turbo has a towing capacity of 4,000 lbs and has more low-end torque than some V6 vehicles.
What is the Lightest popup camper?
The lightest pop-up camper we have come across is the SylvanSport Go. It weighs 840 lbs and can sleep 2 adults and 2 children. It is a multifunction camper as it can be used as a utility trailer, it can also be used to transport kayaks, paddleboards and other toys.
Now that you know the average weight of a pop-up camper it will be easier for you to select one based on the towing capacity of your vehicle. Ensuring you have sufficient towing capacity means you need to consider the GVWR of the camper and make sure your towing vehicle can handle it without maxing out. You need that reserve towing capacity of about 40% to accelerate when merging onto highways and going uphill.