The a-frame camper is a take on the pop up camper that you don’t see as much of as the other variants. Unlike pop ups that use canvas sides and pop-out sections, a-frames are entirely rigid. However, these little campers fold down for transport and storage just like traditional pop ups.
This type of pop up camper was invented by Ralph Tait in the 1970s. Like other pioneers in the field of RVs and campers, he built the first a-frame pop up camper in his garage. The company he would go on to found, Aliner, continues to build A-frame pop up campers to this day.
- Lengths: ~9′ – 18′
- Heights (closed) ~3′ – 6′
- Widths ~5′ – 7′
- Weights ~600 lbs – 2,000+ lbs
- Price range (new) ~$10,000 – $20,000+
- Sleeps 2 – 4
A-Frame Campers: The “Three Cs”
With a-frame pop up campers, it comes down to convenience, comfort, and cost. These units are easier to store and tow than conventional travel trailers, which makes them much more convenient to own for those who don’t have a lot of storage space or prefer to drive smaller vehicles. They’re also more comfortable in a variety of conditions than tent trailers, even though they share the same sort of pricing advantages.
Ease of towing and storage are two of the main reasons that many people opt for a-frames over similarly sized travel trailers. Like other pop up campers, the smallest a-frames can be towed by regular passenger cars, and the larger ones often just require a light truck or SUV instead of a much larger (less fuel efficient) full sized truck. They are also easier than traditional travel trailers to maneuver into tight storage spots, and can be stored under cover in normal garages and carports (which typically lack the necessary ceiling height to accommodate travel trailers).
Unlike tent trailers, a-frames are comfortable to use year round. While you can go camping in a tent trailer during the winter (and it will be marginally more comfortable than a tent), anyone who has ever camped in a tent knows how quickly heat dissipates through the canvas after the sun goes down. A-frame campers, with their rigid sides, don’t suffer from that issue.
A-Frame Pop Up Camper Manufacturers
There aren’t as many manufacturers that build a-frames as there are companies that make tent trailers, but you still have a number of choices. Some of the most popular manufacturers of a-frame campers include: