If you are thinking about buying a pop up roof camper, it's a great start to getting you out on the road.
While living life out on the road is a fun and exciting venture, there are a few things that you should know before purchasing or buying a pop-up camping trailer. For starters, browsing the different types of styling options, deciding on priorities, and knowing what living on the road is actually like, is key.
There are many different pop-up roof camper options to choose from. It can provide you with plenty of storage, comfortable sleeping arrangements, and a light-weight tow.
If you are new to pop up campers, then you may ask questions such as what is a pop-up roof camper? What are the best roof campers out in the market? What does it feel like to live in the trailer itself? If you are seeking to learn more about micro campers, check out 10 Micro Campers You Should Take on the Road This Year.
12 Things You Need to Know About a Pop Up Roof Camper
With that said we are here to guide you through your search, sharing 12 specific things you should know before buying a pop-up roof camper. Let's jump right into it.
1. It’s a Different, but Exciting Lifestyle
Most people choose stability when faced with the decision of where to live. Whether that is in an apartment or a house, it’s rare to choose a life out on the road. But if you are looking for a spontaneous adventure, this lifestyle is for you.
Camper trailers may not look like a real house on the outside but if you spend most of your camper life driving or inside relaxing around, it will start to feel more like it. While it is different from a house, you can still find the comforts of home. Adding a comfy mattress, necessary cooking materials, and more can keep you comfortable on the road.
It’s important to know the camper life is romanticized these days and is not for everyone. This is why it is necessary to be prepared both with the right products, as well as the right attitude. This approach will certainly be of help especially during long road trips or camping by the woods.
It is no surprise that because of the thin walls of a roof camper, you will certainly hear the sound of the generator if it’s in use. This can be a nuisance if you are a beginner camper or even more - a light sleeper.
While these are great tools to have with you, they both take up space and generate noise alongside the electricity. It’s easy to get used to, but this is typically one thing that people are unaware of before setting out on the road.
Thin walls on a camper might make you more prone to hearing activity around you, but this is partially what keeps the campers light-weight. Driving long distances can provide you with a hectic schedule in preparing your supplies, so a light-weight camper often comes in handy.
If you're driving your truck or SUV with a roof camper attachment, you will usually have no worries of added wear and tear to the car.
If you think living in a roof camper is relaxing be aware that these trailers can get hot, especially in the summertime. Unfortunately, many pop up roof campers are made of metal. While this keeps the camper light, it provides a conductor for heat.
Our advice is that if it gets hot inside try taking a break and going to a shady area away from the sun or park somewhere with less heat.
Listen, a pop-up trailer is not nor will it ever be an RV. That means space is going to be constrained no matter what (this will come up again later, so stay tuned).
One of the biggest questions we get about campers is: “how do we use the bathroom?” When nature calls and you don’t have a rest stop close by, having a bathroom option is crucial. Getting a bathroom in a pop-up roof camper is easy and can be customized with minimal expenses. It is also important to remember that if this type of luxury is important, you can also look at other campers. Here are 15 Of The Best Vans To Live In to browse different options.
Deciding if a bathroom is a priority is also important if you plan to live on the road for an extended time. While you can’t have a full-on bathroom in a pop up camper, you can explore using a cassette toilet.
6. Check Your Vehicle’s Tow Ratings
Your pop up roof camper needs to have an accurate tow rating from the manufacturer! This is easy to look over, but crucial in choosing a camper.
Knowing a tow rating from the manufacturer will effectively lessen your burden in driving your vehicle and at the same time, it will prevent any further problems with the vehicle and the roof camper itself.
A tow rating is a specific rating that limits which pop-up trailers you can buy and you cannot buy depending on your vehicle. Also, it is important to know that you don’t need to get the exact type of your row rating, but you shouldn’t go above.
This is because you need to accommodate the extra weight that comes with the trailer. You must consider the number of passengers inside, the gear, and other additional upgrades. Upgrades like an air conditioning unit, refrigerator, and others can add more unplanned weight.
Pick a camper trailer that is below your tow rating limit and it will give you more convenience and benefit in your travels.
As mentioned before, campers are prone to heating up on the inside due to the metalworking as a conductor of heat. If it is within your budget, installing a temperature conditioning unit that suits your needs is a great option.
An air conditioning unit is relatively easy to install and is beneficial if you’re traveling on a sunny day, or during a warmer season. On the other side of things, a heater is also necessary if you're traveling the roads in winter or if the climatic conditions of the area you're traveling are cold.
Buying gear and other important materials for your pop up camper is easy, but purchasing ones that collapse is a life hack. If you can collapse a product, it helps minimize the space it takes up, providing more room for necessities. Camper spaces are typically tight, and pop up roof campers are no different.
Think about choosing a collapsible seat, mini-fridge, folding chairs, and table. Be practical and creative while purchasing products for your small space.
We would highly recommend you customizing your trailer as you see fit. After all, it's going to be your home and you should feel comfortable and relaxed in your home.
You can customize your camper by adding upgrades that you think are necessary. While some things like a heater might be obvious, other more structural changes aren’t as obvious. We would suggest exploring an added layer of insulation on the walls and floors of the trailer for colder months.
We also suggest that you build personalized storage cubbies to fit properly in the camper because after all, the more storage you have the better.
Just like with regular vehicles, purchasing a trailer or camper secondhand is often a great money-saving decision. Before making a purchase, make sure to triple check everything. You do not want to go home and three weeks later start to notice problems. If you are not familiar with things you should be checking for, spend time researching the topic or have a trusted mechanic take a look.
Always remember second-hand campers are a good choice as long as you buy from a good and trusted source.
Sometimes it's best to experience things before purchasing them, and that goes for campers. Before jumping into it, renting a camper will give you an idea of what it feels like to live in a roof camper. This will provide the opportunity to objectively pursue the things you like and do not like about a roof camper. It might also provide a window into how you want to customize your own camper when the time comes.
We hope that this article provided you with some important reminders before buying a pop up roof camper. Please feel free to send us an email with any questions.