Explore the Wilderness with an Off Road Pop Up Camper

By Ryan Wilson

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off road pop up camper

Off road pop up campers are gaining popularity among outdoor enthusiasts looking to explore remote locations without sacrificing comfort and convenience.

These rugged yet compact campers are designed to withstand rough terrain and provide a comfortable living space for camping adventures off-the-grid.

With specialized features like off-road tires and heavy-duty suspension systems, off road pop up campers are equipped to tackle many challenging road conditions you might encounter trying to reach a great camping spot.

But not everyone needs an off road pop up camper to enjoy the outdoors. In the following article, I’ll provide help you gain a better understanding about what off road pop up campers offers, when you might need them, and what models are available on the market today.


What is an Off Road Pop Up Camper?

offroad camper

An off road pop up camper is a rugged, versatile travel trailer specifically designed for adventurous travelers who seek more remote destinations that require driving on unimproved roads.

Don’t get the wrong idea, an off road pop up camper is not something that you just drive cross country without any road. The “off road” refers to roads that aren’t paved and that may have a lot of mud, potholes, brush, etc.

Unlike standard pop-up campers, these specialized models feature enhanced suspension systems, durable off-road tires, reinforced chassis, and higher ground clearance. Their robust construction enables them to navigate rough trails, rocky paths, and uneven landscapes with ease, offering unparalleled flexibility and comfort in the great outdoors.

Off Road Pop Up Camper Features

Different models of off road pop up campers offer many different features that differ from stand pop up camper models. I list some of the key differences below and why they are important if you’re considering some more remote camping trips.

  • Enhanced suspension: Robust suspension systems equipped to handle rough terrain, providing smoother rides and minimizing impacts on the camper during off-road travel.
  • Reinforced chassis: Strengthened frame construction to withstand the stresses of off-road driving, ensuring durability and longevity in challenging environments.
  • Off-road tires: Durable, aggressive tires designed for traction and durability on uneven surfaces, enhancing grip and maneuverability in off-road conditions.
  • Higher ground clearance: Increased distance between the camper’s underside and the ground, allowing for better clearance over obstacles like rocks, fallen branches, and uneven terrain.
  • Rugged exterior materials: Tough, weather-resistant materials protect the camper from scratches, dents, and other damage encountered off-road.
  • Off-grid capabilities: Built-in features like solar panels, larger freshwater tanks, and advanced battery systems for extended periods of off-grid camping, providing self-sufficiency in remote locations.
  • Reinforced pop-up mechanism: Sturdy pop-up mechanisms designed to withstand vibrations and jolts encountered during off-road travel, ensuring reliable operation in rugged conditions.

When Do You Need an Off Road Pop Up Camper?

rugged road

While traditional pop up campers offer fantastic versatility and comfort for many camping adventures, there are scenarios where opting for an off road pop up camper becomes not just desirable but essential.

I personally own an A Liner Expedition that is classified as an off road pop up camper. It is perfect for me and my family when we’re camping across Alaska where road conditions can be quite challenging!

For example, a couple of years ago, we took a week-long camping trip along the Denali Highway in Alaska (don’t confuse it with the park road into Denali National Park). The entire highway is gravel and requires a more rugged trailer that handle the gravel being thrown up, potholes, washboards, muddy sections etc. It did great. But I’m not sure how well a standard pop up trailer would have faired.

Here are a few reasons why an off road pop up camper might be a good option for you and your family:

  • Remote Destinations: If you find yourself drawn to remote and rugged locations, where roads may be unpaved, uneven, or non-existent, an off road pop up camper becomes invaluable. Its enhanced suspension, higher ground clearance, and durable tires allow you to confidently navigate challenging terrains, ensuring you can reach those secluded campsites without worry.
  • Adventure Seekers: For those who thrive on off-grid adventures and exploration, off road trailers for camping offer the self-sufficiency needed to truly disconnect from civilization. With features like off-grid capabilities and rugged exterior materials, you can venture further into the wilderness with peace of mind, knowing your camper can handle whatever nature throws your way.
  • Extreme Weather Resilience: Off trailers for camping are built to withstand the elements, including strong winds, heavy rain, and extreme temperatures, ensuring comfort and safety in challenging weather conditions.
  • Long-Term Investment: While the initial cost of an off road pop up camper may be higher than a traditional model, it’s essential to consider the long-term benefits. The durability, reliability, and versatility of an off road camper can ultimately save you money on repairs and replacements in the future, making it a worthwhile investment for avid campers who prioritize quality and performance.

What Models are Available Today?

used camper

Trying to find the different types of off road pop up campers on the market can be a little challenging to track down. I’ve distilled a list of the current models of off road pop up campers currently for sale today.

While buying a used pop up camper is a great way to save money, in the table below I focus on the new models that are available to give you an idea of the range of options available on the market today. I list the unloaded vehicle weight (UVW) and gross vehicular weight rating (GVWR) for each

BrandModelUVWGVWR
TentraxOverlook500 lbs1800 lbs
TentraxAscend600 lbs1800 lbs
KamparooVacationer725 lbsNA
KamparooTrans-Continental840 lbsNA
KamparooCargo Utility1140 lbs1840 lbs
Taxa OutdoorsWoolyBear1270 lbs2100 lbs
Off Grid TrailersSwitchback1300 lbs3500 lbs
Taxa OutdoorsTigerMoth1310 lbs2200 lbs
Taxa OutdoorsWoolyBear Overland1400 lbs2200 lbs
Taxa OutdoorsTigerMoth Overland1458 lbs2400 lbs
Tribe TrailersExpedition1654 lbs3307 lbs
Off Grid TrailersExpedition 2.01700 lbs3500 lbs
Taxa OutdoorsCricket1800 lbs2700 lbs
Taxa OutdoorsCricket Overland1978 lbs3000 lbs
ALinerEvolution2000 lbs3000 lbs
Flagstaff206STSE2341 lbs3110 lbs
Rockwood1910ESP2341 lbs3110 lbs
OpusOP Lite Air Tent2380 lbs3527 lbs
Coachmen12.0 TD Pro2493 lbs3840 lbs
Viking12.0 TD Pro2493 lbs3840 lbs
Rockwood2280BHESP2578 lbs3838 lbs
Flagstaff228BHSE2578 lbs3838 lbs
V-TrecV22581 lbs3790 lbs
V-TrecV42790 lbs3897 lbs
MDC USAExplorer FF3028 lbs4409 lbs
OpusOP4 Air Tent3100 lbs4200 lbs
Taxa OutdoorsMantis 4.13115 lbs4200 lbs
Lifestyle CampersICONN EVO3197 lbs4409 lbs
Lifestyle CampersICONN E23197 lbs4409 lbs
V-TrecV33217 lbs4427 lbs
OpusOP2 Air Tent3244 lbs4400 lbs
Lifestyle CampersRECONN R23417 lbs4850 lbs
MDC USAJackson FF3455 lbs4409 lbs
Taxa OutdoorsMantis Overland3486 lbs5000 lbs
Tribe TrailersExpedition 5003600 lbs4100 lbs
ConquerorUEV-4903800 lbs4800 lbs
MDC USAAusRV GT3854 lbs5512 lbs
MDC USARobson XTT3940 lbs5291 lbs
Lifestyle CampersRECONN R44520 lbs6173 lbs
MDC USAAusRV LX4734 lbs5732 lbs
Lifestyle CampersRECONN R4T5400 lbs7716 lbs

Can Your Vehicle Tow an Off Road Pop Up Camper?

towing camper e1709398175780

There are many pop up camper models available on the market today with many able to be towed by even small vehicles. However, because off road pop up campers weigh more than their non-off road counterparts, it’s important to determine if your vehicle has the capacity to tow them safely.

Experts recommend keeping your loaded pop up trailer weight to 10-20% below your vehicle’s towing capacity. Towing a fully-loaded trailer that weighs more than your vehicle’s towing capacity can be dangerous and affect your vehicle’s handling and braking ability.

Check out the towing capacity of common vehicles to see if yours is listed.

I also HIGHLY RECOMMEND you read your vehicle’s owner manual to learn about its towing capacity and specific information on towing limitations of your vehicle.


Can You Test Drive an Off Road Pop Up Camper?

Outdoorsy Screenshot 1 scaled

Buying an off road pop up camper is a significant investment, so you don’t want to end up buying a camper that doesn’t meet your needs.

Unfortunately, camper dealers and private sellers won’t let you take a camper for a weekend test drive to see if it will work for you.

But there is another option. You can rent an off road pop up camper for the weekend on sites like Outdoorsy, RVezy, or RVshare.

But be sure to check out multiple sites, including Outdoorsy, RVezy, and RVShare, to see what campers are available, as they often vary from rental site to rental site.


Summary

An off road pop up camper can open wild areas for exploration that you may not be able to access with a stand pop up camper. If you’re considering buying a used off road pop up camper, check out our page on what you should consider before buying a used camper.

We also have a page that discusses how to rent pop up campers, which might be helpful when exploring whether a pop up camper is the right choice for your camping needs.


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Author

Ryan is an avid outdoorsman who loves camping, hiking, and backpacking. He was initially reluctant to join the camper world, but after his first camping trip in one, he became a convert. He especially loves how camper ownership extends the camping season and makes it easier to be more adventurous with young kids. When not enjoying his free time, he works as a professional wildlife biologist studying the ecology and conservation of large mammals in Alaska.