5 Fantastic Hard Side Pop Up Campers You’ll Instantly Love
By Kelly Beasley
Hard sided pop up campers are like a transformer travel trailer.
They collapse for ease of travel and storage, then they pop up and can look just like a regular travel trailer when open.
They are different from 'regular' pop up campers in that they have an all hard-sided exterior, whereas 'regular' ones have soft sides, usually made out of canvas.
Listed below are five hard-sided pop-up campers we think are great choices.
What Is A Hard Sided Pop Up Trailer?
The hard side popup camper has no canvas.
Instead, all walls and windows consist of hard materials, just like a regular travel trailer.
The three most significant differences between a hard-sided and a soft-sided pop-up are:
- Safety- Some campgrounds won't allow you to stay if you have a soft-sided camper because bears can easily get inside.
- Temperature Control- With a soft-sided camper, you cannot control the interior temperature as well as you can with a hard-sided camper. So if you're looking for comfort with better insulation, go with a hard sided pop-up camper.
- Privacy- With a hard-sided camper, you'll have pretty decent privacy. If you have the canvas, then noises from outside aren't blocked at all. Also, everything you do and say in a tent camper might be heard by anyone outside your campsite.
These are good to keep in mind when deciding between the two trailer types.
Here are our 5 picks for a great hard-side pop up camper:
1. Aliner Family
Length: 18 feet
Dry Weight: Just under 2,000 pounds
Road/Storage Height: 4 feet 7 inches
We just love the layout of the Aliner family of hardside folding campers and the fact that you can easily and comfortably sleep four adults.
It's fully equipped, featuring a cassette toilet, dinette, sofa, water pump, furnace, and water heater.
A Fantastic vent and lots of windows keep you cool in the summer.
It does have decent storage, and the inside is about eight feet high, so tall persons don't have to crouch.
Be aware that the hard-sided dormers (window areas) are an option.
This means if you are looking at used models, they may have soft sides (canvas).
It's a 30-amp RV with an outside shower, and the kitchen area is outside (pull-out) as well.
It holds a 12-volt cooler style refrigerator, stove, countertop space, and storage underneath for your kitchen accessories.
The outdoor kitchen keeps cooking odors out of the living space, and it's nice to have outside to make it more of a camping experience.
Check out the Aliner website.
2. Antishanty AS1 Models
Length: 17 feet 3 inches with tongue, 14 feet 5 inches box only
Dry Weight: 2,000 pounds or less
Road/Storage Height: 12 feet
The Antishanty AS1 is a tall A-frame hard-sided pop-up trailer that doubles as a toy hauler.
Additionally, we love it because it can easily sleep four adults as it houses TWO queen-sized mattresses!
Read that again- not a double bed or two, it has two full-sized queens.
You don't usually find that in a pop-up nor in an A frame trailer.
This trailer is taller than most when in tow or storage mode. It is also much taller inside than any other at 9 feet 6 inches at the peak.
Go with their base model if you're looking for a shell with beds so you can bring all your gear.
The Plus, Pro, and Limited add more and more amenities, including extra windows, lithium battery power, 2-burner glass cooktop, lights, USB ports, and more, depending on which model you get.
None of the trailers have an indoor shower (they do have an external shower), but the upgraded versions offer a cassette toilet.
But inside, there is no dedicated bathroom. It does feature a 'garage' in front for extra gear.
All feature axle-less suspension, an aluminum exo-endo skeleton, and a removable tongue.
Removing the tongue makes the kit shorter for storage, and nobody can steal it while you're boondocking.
This is a more 'industrial' style hard-sided pop-up made for adventuring, durability, and flexibility. It is also the tallest when in towing/living mode.
Ranging from $37,900 to $73,900.
Check out the Antishanty website.
3. Chalet XL Series
Length: 18 feet 7 inches
Dry Weight: 1995 - 2165 pounds
Road/Storage Height: 65 - 73 inches
Here's another pop-up and hardside pop up camper that we like. The Chalet XL series is the largest in Chalet fleet, and the series offers three floorplans: The XL 1920, XL 1930, and the XL 1935.
They come with all the usual necessities, such as a refrigerator, cooktop, furnace, propane tanks, and a roof vent.
Options include a cassette toilet with a full enclosure, a wet bath package, a solar package, outdoor speakers, and an air conditioner.
The XL series comes with a power lift system. This means there's no physical effort for you to raise the roof.
There's lots of floor space in this line, and you can even have RV bunk bed mattresses if you get the XL 1920.
Check out the Chalet website.
Note: It appears that Chalet is out of business, so you will only be able to find used versions of this recreational vehicle.
4. TrailManor Series
Length (closed): 18 - 24 feet
Dry Weight: 2580 - 3200 pounds
Road/Storage Height: 79 - 82 inches
TrailManor makes what is arguably the most unique hardside popup camper on this list and in existence.
It's not an A-frame camper like most are, and it looks like a traditional camper when open.
The series model numbers are:
Note that the first two numbers are the open length and the last two are the closed length (in feet).
The product has two sections that pop up when opened, and they form the upper walls.
Watch the video below to see what we mean, as it's very difficult to explain how it opens and closes.
This trailer gives you the most interior space of them all. The different models range from 18 to 24 feet long when closed, and it gets about seven longer when opened.
You can store these in a garage and tow them with most SUVs.
Each model is fully equipped with a full kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and living area containing the usual amenities for comfort, such as an 12-volt power in the living area, AC, roof vent fan, and furnace.
The fridge is relatively small as it must be only as high as the lower section.
Check out the TrailManor website.
5. Forest River Rockwood A122S
Length: 19 feet 2 inches
Dry Weight: 2,120 pounds
Road/Storage Height: 5 feet 1 inches
The Forest River Rockwook A122S (S stands for storage) is the only hard-side RV that Forest River currently makes.
It offers a huge storage bin all the way across the front.
Along with that, you'll find everything else you need in this lightweight hardsided popup.
It has a sink, RV electric water pump, fridge, burner stove, and microwave.
It also comes with soft shelving (portable), an outside griddle, ceiling lights, a power converter, and a water heater.
Options on this hard pop-up camper include a power jack and solar power.
Check out the Forest River website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Hard Sided Pop Up Campers?
Yes, all campers on this list are considered to be a hard wall pop up camper.
Are Hard Side Pop Up Campers Any Good?
Sure! A hard side pop up trailer is as good as any other type of trailer and has the added benefit of not having soft sides.
Some campgrounds and parks do not allow soft-sided campers due to bear activity in the area.
A pop up hard side camper is much easier to control the temperature inside and is also more private as far as sound transmission than a soft sided camper.
Is A Hard Side Pop Up Camper Hard To Set Up?
A hard shell camper is easy to set up once you know how. It might take a little more time to set up than a regular RV, but a solid wall pop-up camper is generally easy to set up.
Do Hard Side Pop Up Campers Leak?
A hard sided tent trailer can leak, just like any other type of RV can. It's part of the nature of the beast. They have seams that can leak. They also have places that accessories (like a solar panel) and appliances are attached on the outside using screws that can allow for water intrusion.
It's a good idea to check those areas often for holes where water can get inside and reseal as necessary.
There you have it.
There aren't a ton of hard sided pop up camper manufacturers out there.
But we've listed the ones that do exist and that we like and feel are the best hard sided folding campers out there.
There are a few other pop up hard sided campers that are good but are no longer being manufactured such as the Hi-Lo trailers. (They are looking to resume production.)
If you're looking for used, you can also search for one of those.
Otherwise, we hope you find and enjoy one of these on our list of hard shell pop up campers!
Author: Kelly Beasley
I dedicated myself to living the full-time RV life for over 6.5 years, immersing myself in the unique quirks and joys of the boondocking lifestyle and gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience along the way. In December 2020, my business partner and I made the transition to part-time RVing, but in January 2023, we hit the road once again, this time in our trusty vans. My mission is to help others embrace the RVing lifestyle with confidence and excitement, armed with the knowledge and resources needed to make the most of their adventures. I believe that the more you know, the more you can truly appreciate and enjoy the freedom and flexibility of the open road.