motorcycle 101 guides

101 Guide on How to Choose a Motorcycle Pop-Up Camper

101 Guide on How to Choose a Motorcycle Pop-Up Camper

There is nothing more pleasing than outdoor touring and camping. Motorcycle pop-up campers are one of the most affordable types of camping equipment. It is best suited for short journeys or weekend camping.

Before the invention of motorcycle pop-up campers, there were camping trailers. Trailers are big in size and can be attached to other vehicles. However, it is difficult for a motorcycle rider to tow a trailer.

Usually, most riders pack their camping gear in luggage bags and mount them on the frame or sissy bar. However, also carrying a pop-up camper could ensure better comfort during your camping trip.

This article will provide tips on how to choose a motorcycle pop-up camper.

1. What is the Main Difference Between a Pop-Up Camper and a Trailer?

A pop-up camper and a trailer are recreational vehicles (RVs) designed for camping, but they have some key differences.

A pop-up camper is a type of camper that is designed to be compact and easy to store when not in use. These campers have collapsible walls and roofs that can be raised when the camper is in use, giving it more interior space. Pop-up campers typically have a smaller living space than trailers, but they are often more affordable and easier to tow than trailers.

On the other hand, a trailer is a type of RV: it is designed to be towed behind a vehicle. Trailers come in various sizes and styles, ranging from small teardrop trailers to large fifth-wheel trailers.

Trailers generally have more interior space than pop-up campers, and they often have more amenities, such as full kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms.

Choosing between a pop-up camper and a trailer will depend on your camping preferences, budget, and towing capacity. Pop-up campers are a great option for those who want a more affordable and compact RV, while trailers are ideal for those who want more space and amenities.

Sr. no. Pop-up Camper Trailer
1 Pop-up campers are best suited for traveling alone or with one other person. Campers are also smaller in size than trailers. Camping trailers are best suited for traveling with one other person or your family. If you prefer a portable home with storage space, temperature control, and high security, a camping trailer will be the best option. However, trailers are heavier and difficult to pull with a motorcycle.

Take a look at a motorcycle pop-up camper:

Video Credit: @cargoon-cargoconversionbui2880

2. What to Look for When Buying a Motorcycle Pop Up Camper?

What to Look for When Buying a Motorcycle Pop Up Camper?


Take into consideration the weight of the motorcycle and the pop-up camper. Their combined weight should be from 300 to 500 lbs.


Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) – Curb Weight of Motorcycle = Total Motorcycle Capacity

Measurement (Length & Width)

When closed, the preferred size of a pop-up camper should be 6 feet long and 4 feet wide.

When open, the height of the pop-up camper should be between 6 feet and 6 feet 5 inches.

Interior Space

The interior space of the camper should be large enough to carry all the necessary items.

Time Required to Set Up

Look for campers that take less time to set up since they will put less strain on your muscles.

Bed Size

Choose a camper with a sizable bed able to fit at least two people.

Heating And Ventilation

Like trailers, pop-up campers do not come with built-in heating and air conditioning systems. Try to find campers with at least one or two windows that ensure ventilation. For heating, you use cylinders.


Make sure to buy a camper made of a flame-retardant, waterproof, and tear-resistant material that ensures it stays in good condition in different weather conditions.

3. Things to Consider Before Buying a Pop-Up Camper

Before buying a pop up camper, make sure to check its features

Rent a Camper Before Buying a New One

Before buying a new camper, try to see if there are any used ones available to rent. Renting a camper tends to be cheaper and will help give you a better understanding of what features to look for in a camper before buying a new one.

Similar to Camping in a Tent

Camping in a pop-up camper is a similar experience to camping in a tent. However, only the camper’s exterior is rigid, while the interior offers better comfort than a causal tent.

Mold and Mildew

If the camper is not fully dry after it rains or is covered in dew drops, mold, and mildew will grow on the canvas over time.

Bad Weather

Since a pop-up camper does come with air conditioners or heaters, you will need portable devices in case the temperature becomes too hot or too cold.

Weather-Resistant Roof

The flysheet and UV protection layer around the canvas helps protect the pop-up camper from heavy rainfall or wind.

Water Tank Size

While choosing a camper, make sure to check the capacity of the water tank. Make sure it can carry enough water for bathing, dishwashing, etc.

Little Room Available

Most campers only have enough space to fit one or two people.

Lightweight and Easy to Tow

Motorcycle pop-up campers are lighter than trailers as they can be pulled by hand and towed by your motorcycle.

Difficult to Set Up and Take Down

Pop-up campers are small and have compact shapes that make them difficult to set up and remove.

No Bathroom

Motorcycle pop-up campers do not come with a bathroom.

Less Storage Capacity

Compared to a trailer, a pop-up camper has less storage space available.

Appropriate Storage Space

When not in use, you must have a garage that is about 6 feet long and 4 feet wide to store your camper.

Must Come with Latest Features

Older models just have a basic bed and storage space. Newer models have additional features like electricity, water capacity, etc.

Noise Cancellation

Motorcycle pop-up campers are not designed to cancel out noise.

Durable Exterior

When buying a camper, check the exterior for signs of damage, such as corrosion, tears, or broken seals.

Overall Design

Make sure to select a motorcycle pop-up camper with a design that best suits your needs and fits your riding style.

4. What are the Pros and Cons of Motorcycle Pop-Up Campers?

Pros Cons
  • Low price
  • Smaller
  • Simple design
  • Can be towed by a motorcycle
  • Easy to transport
  • Improves aerodynamics
  • Reduces fuel consumption
  • Can fit one to two people
  • May include a bed
  • Difficult to retain heat and keep cool
  • Less privacy
  • No noise cancellation
  • Difficult to manage due to lifting mechanism
  • Requires special care and maintenance to improve functionality and longevity
  • Limited storage space
  • Not ideal for long tours
  • Not suited for poor weather conditions
  • Doesn’t have a bathroom

5. What Are Things to Consider While Choosing a Used Pop Up Camper?

If you're planning to buy a used pop-up camper, there are several factors that you should consider to ensure that you're getting a reliable and safe camper. You need to look at every single detail of a pop up camper before buying one. Here are ten things to keep in mind while choosing a used pop-up camper

  1. Condition
    Inspect the overall condition of the camper, including the body, frame, and interior. Look for signs of wear and tear, water damage, and rust.
  2. Age
    Check the camper's age, as older models may have outdated features and parts that are difficult to replace.
  3. Size
    Determine the camper size you need based on your family size and camping needs.
  4. Weight
    Consider the camper's weight and ensure that your vehicle can tow safely.
  5. Storage
    Check if the camper can be stored easily when not in use and if it fits in your garage or storage space.
  6. Amenities
    Look for amenities like air conditioning, heating, kitchen appliances, and a bathroom, depending on your camping preferences.
  7. Pop-up Mechanism
    Check the pop-up mechanism and ensure it operates smoothly without any issues.
  8. Tires
    Check the condition of the tires, including the tread depth and the age of the tires.
  9. Documentation
    Check the camper's paperwork, including the title, registration, and maintenance records.
  10. Price
    Compare prices of similar models and ensure that you're getting a fair deal based on the camper's age, condition, and amenities.

Buying a used pop-up camper can be a great way to enjoy camping without breaking the bank, but it's essential to do your research and inspect the camper thoroughly before purchasing.

6. What are the Reasons to Have a Motorcycle Camper?

Here are reasons why and why you should not have a motorcycle camper.

Reasons to Have

  • Can Carry More Luggage
  • Lightweight & Maneuverable
  • Improves Comfort
  • Cheaper than Hotels

Reasons to Not Have

  • Affects Handling
  • Lacks Amenities of Traditional RV
  • Only Suitable for Two People
  • Slow Riding
  • Difficult to Park

7. Ready to Up Your Motorcycle Camper Game?

If you are looking for a way to make your motorcycle camping trip more comfortable, a pop-up motorcycle camper can help improve the riding experience.

The latest campers are durable, sizable, and have features that improve their capabilities. Carefully choose a pop-up camper by checking its capacity and specifications! Viking Bags has several aftermarket luggage and parts options available, including sissy bars, fairings, crash bars, and handlebars. There are also many luggage options available, including sissy bar bags and motorcycle saddlebags for a better motorcycle riding experience.

Reading next

Are Motorcycles with Fairings Beginner-Friendly?
How to Heat Wrap a Motorcycle Exhaust

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.