It’s tough to argue about A-frame campers being the cutest pop-up campers. Based on a style that gained popularity in the early 1970s, some of these seemingly old-school vintage campers pack a lot of new-school punch.
Unlike pop-up camper trailers with fabric, tent-like walls, A-frame campers boast a more solid weatherproof design. Many modern A-frame trailers also come with way more luxurious amenities than the old models, including toilets and air conditioners.
A small pop-up trailer is an excellent choice if you’re tired of tent camping, but not quite ready to invest in a larger motorhome or towable RV. Imagine the comfort of waking up inside one of these A-frame trailers and prepping your morning coffee without having to step out into the rain.
But the best A-frame campers aren’t just cute and cozy. They’re practical, easy to set up, and very affordable, as RVs go. Here are a few of the best trailer models on the market today.
What is an A-Frame Camper?
An A-frame camper is a pop-up camper made of lightweight hard walls that can easily be towed by smaller trucks and SUVs.
Open, it looks somewhat like a tent on wheels. Before towing, the walls are folded down onto a super-compact trailer with minimal wind resistance. The shape and size make them easy to store between your RV vacations.
When you’ve picked the perfect camping spot, just pop up, lock the walls in place and step inside your A-frame camper. It only takes a few minutes and can be done by a single person.
Why Choose an A-Frame Camper?
- It can be towed and stored easily.
- It has a decent amount of storage inside.
- It’s easier to set up than a tent and it offers the protection of air-tight hard walls.
- Some have off-road capabilities, making them perfect minimalist adventure RVs for solo travelers or active couples.
Towing with a smaller car? Check out the9 best small campers under 3,000 pounds.
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The Best A-Frame Campers For Sale
Ready for some pop-up A-Frame camper inspiration? We’ve selected the cutest and best A-Frame campers to aid your RV search.
1) Aliner Expedition A Frame Camper
- Length: 18’
- Dry Weight: 1,850 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 240 pounds
- Sleeping Capacity: Up to 3
Features: Toilet, kitchenette with burner and sink, refrigerator, storage under the bed and benches, convertible dinette, and 11-gallon freshwater tank.
Aliner a-frame campers are a classic – they’re the original pop-up A-Frame campers, first designed in the 70s in Oregon. The company now makes some of the coolest models on the market.
The Expedition is one of their biggest A-frame campers and it features their signature extra pop-ups – panels with a hard top and mesh sides that open to create more headroom.
This particular A-Frame pop-up camper has 30% more storage space than the classic model, with taller counters, taller beds, and a flush-mount Euro-style sink and stove.
With all these extra features, the Expedition still comes in at under 2,000 pounds, making it an awesome lightweight small camper. This A-frame camper features a toilet, a dining area, a kitchenette with a double burner cooktop, a sink, and a 3-cubic-foot refrigerator.
The interior layout comes in four options: one with a sofa bed plus a dinette, one with a double bed plus a dinette, and one with twin beds plus a dinette. The fourth and brand-new option features a kitchen toward the front of the pop-up camper.
This model can be adapted to the needs of families or even groups of friends going camping together. The Expedition A-Frame camper comes with an outdoor shower, a sliding window, an 11-gallon freshwater tank, a fan, a microwave, and three electrical outlets.
Among the options are air conditioning, an external grill, a bike rack, a hot water heater, a furnace, and more. This is a beast of an A-Frame camper with a bathroom and one of our favorite picks.
Find out more about Aliner campers.
2) Aliner Ranger 12
- Length: 15’
- Dry Weight: 1,450 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 150 pounds
- Sleeping Capacity: Up to 3
Features: Kitchenette with two-burner cooktop, 1.9-cubic-foot refrigerator, 11-gallon freshwater tank, pre-wired for solar, convertible sofa bed and dinette, and 14” off-road wheels.
The Ranger 12 is a spacious Aliner A-frame camper with all the essentials. Two convertible beds allow you to customize the space for sleeping or lounging and the kitchenette makes it easy to prepare meals inside.
The best part? It comes with 14” off-road wheels, so you can take this off-road trailer into the wilderness and enjoy boondocking. Some optional upgrades include air conditioning, a water heater, a stereo, and an outdoor grill.
One thing we love about the Aliner brand of A liner campers is that it only takes one person about 30 seconds to pop up the camper and get it ready for business.
Read more about the Aliner Ranger 12.
3) The Chalet Classic
- Length: 15’6”
- Dry Weight: 1,505 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 163 pounds
- Sleeping Capacity: Up to 3
Features: Chalet’s patented Lever Lift System, LED lighting, two-burner cooktop, sink, 3-cubic-foot refrigerator, 16,000-BTU furnace, and three-speed exhaust fan.
This is the first of the Chalet models on our list – a brand with 25 years of experience making high-quality, lightweight trailers. Their classic A-frame camper remains one of their lightest and easily towable models after all those years.
All Chalet models are equipped with panoramic windows and are pre-wired for solar to assist in your boondocking adventures. Upgrade to the optional Trail Boss Off-Road Package to explore even further off the beaten path.
Not sure what type of pop-up camper to get? Check this out: Is a hard-sided camper better than a tent camper?
4) Rockwood Hard Side A Frame Campers by Forest River
- Length: 18’8” to 21’2”
- Dry Weight: 2,120 to 2,670 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 284 to 372 pounds
- Sleeping Capacity: 2-4 (model dependent)
Features: Toilet, twin beds, dining area that turns into a single bed, kitchenette with a three-burner stove, refrigerator and sink, external storage box, and ample storage.
The Rockwood A-Frame campers by Forest River are some of the biggest on the market. If you’re looking for an A-Frame trailer that has all the comforts of a motorhome, including decent standing headroom, these might be right up your street.
There are three models to choose from – two are part of the regular Hard Side Series, the A122S and the A214HW. The third is the single model in the Hard Side High Wall Series, the A213HW.
The A213HW a frame camper with a bathroom features twin beds that can turn into a king-size bed if joined, a kitchenette with a three-burner stove, refrigerator and sink, a decent size dining area, and a toilet. Ample windows that let in lots of natural light during the day.
Read more on Rockwood Hard Side Pop-up Campers.
5) Flagstaff Hard Side A Frame Campers by Forest River
- Length: 21’2”
- Dry Weight: 2,700 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 353 pounds
- Sleeping Capacity: Up to 3
Features: Wet bath, electric roof, double bed, small dining area that turns into kid’s bed, kitchenette with a three-burner stove, refrigerator and sink, microwave, and external storage box.
Forest River also makes the Flagstaff models – A-Frame campers with solid fiberglass high walls and luxurious interiors.
The T21DMHW has to be the most luxurious model for couples who love boondocking.
It features a good-sized heated double bed, a small dinette where you can eat facing each other, a kitchen with a three-burner stove and sink, a refrigerator, a wet bath, and a big storage box at the front of the vehicle.
The wet bath needs setting up, as the walls collapse when the vehicle is in tow. The extra pop-up walls on the sides are made of solid panels, rather than mesh. As it’s a tall unit, the roof is electric – you push a button and it’s up in a minute.
Find out more about the Flagstaff Hard Side Pop-Up Campers.
6) The XL-1920 By Chalet
- Length: 18’7”
- Dry Weight: 1,995 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 370 pounds
- Sleeping Capacity: Up to 4
Features: 8 feet of headroom, bunk beds, electric roof, dining area that turns into a double bed, three burner stove, double sink, and refrigerator.
There couldn’t be a more fitting name for a company making A-Frame campers: Chalet! Even the name is cute. The XL-1920 is ideal for a family, as it features two bunk beds and a dining area that turns into a double bed.
The higher ceiling in this A-frame camper allows taller people to stand up comfortably inside, while the electric roof makes setting up camp super easy and quick. The XL models come with a variety of options, including an external BBQ, an outside shower, a water heater, a solar panel, AC, and more.
Read more on the XL A-Frame campers by Chalet.
7) Aliner Classic A Frame Camper
- Length: 15’
- Dry Weight: 1,725 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 160 pounds
- Sleeping Capacity: 3-4
Features: Front and rear stabilizing jacks, kitchen with double burner cooktop, sink, microwave, refrigerator, and dinette that converts to a 46” x 76” bed.
If you’re looking for a minimal A-Frame pop-up camper that is super light and compact, the Aliner Classic might be just what you’re looking for. You can choose between a floor plan with a sofa bed or a rear double bed to sleep 3-4 adults.
The standard package in this A-frame camper comes with a fan, LED lighting inside and outside, a 3-cubic-foot refrigerator, an outside shower, an 11-gallon freshwater tank, three slider windows, and more.
You can also choose between some fantastic options, like the outdoor grill, an air conditioner, a furnace, and a hot water heater. Just pack your portable toilet and go camping!
Read up more about the Aliner Classic.
8) The LTW A-Frame Camper by Chalet
- Length: 12’9”
- Dry Weight: 990 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 138 pounds
- Sleeping Capacity: 2
Features: Pre-wired for solar, electric brakes, two-burner propane cooktop, dual-battery ready, single-bowl acrylic sink, hardwood cabinet doors, LED porch light, and docking lights.
Chalet’s LTW model is their most lightweight, easily towable A-frame pop-up camper. It’s ideal for couples who want to tow behind an SUV or small truck and it’s also one of their most affordable camping trailers.
The easy maneuverability is this pop-up trailer’s biggest advantage, but when camp is set up, the living space is very well designed. The dinette easily converts to the bed and the kitchen space packs in the cooktop, 3-cubic-foot refrigerator, and sink with sink cover and cutting board combo.
While it’s only equipped for short off-grid boondocking trips, it does feature a 15-gallon freshwater tank and a 12-volt electric water pump.
Optional upgrades include an external propane quick connect, a six-gallon water heater, a front cargo box, and a solar package with an 80-watt folding solar panel.
Advantages of the Best A-Frame Campers
Every camping trailer is a compromise based on your priorities and pop-up campers are no exception – they have good and bad points.
Here are the advantages of owning an A-Frame camper.
They’re Lightweight and Compact
Thanks to the light, pop-up walls, A-Frame campers are usually quite light. This makes them easy to maneuver, push and tow. Most classic models weigh around or under 2,000 pounds, which means you can tow them with a variety of vehicles.
The pop-up walls also reduce wind resistance when towing, giving you better gas mileage on your RV road trips. Their compact nature also makes them easy to store between trips. Just park it in your driveway or your garage and it’ll be ready to go for your next adventure.
A-Frame Campers are Quick and Easy to Set Up
Most A-frame pop-up campers only take a minute or two to set up. You open the roof, lift and lock it in place, then do the same for the other two walls.
It’s easier than setting up a tent because there’s no guessing or trying to remember what goes where. That makes it much more enjoyable to set up quickly and climb in, especially at the end of a long, tiring drive.
The Hard Walls Offer Extra Protection
Most A-frame campers feature hard panels all around, rather than fabric or mesh, which is an advantage for camping in rainy areas. It also provides more insulation in the colder seasons – the walls protect you from rain, snow, and wind.
They’re Great for Boondocking
A-frame trailers can also be great for boondocking if you want an RV that doesn’t consume much energy. Fill your LP container and fresh water tank and park anywhere flat with an awesome view. Oh, and models with off-road suspension and beefed-up tires allow you to camp where others can’t.
You Can Stand Up Inside
Not many tents or small trailers offer enough headroom to stand up inside, but A-Frame campers can. Unless you’re very tall (over 6 feet), you’ll be able to stand at the highest point, which makes a world of difference when you’re stuck inside because of rain or snow.
With a bigger budget, there are even newer models with 8 feet of headroom that are much more spacious inside.
Many New Models Have a Bathroom and/or Shower
Yes, there are now A-frame campers with dry bathrooms, cassette toilets, and even some with full wet baths. If this pain point stopped you from buying one before, you may want to take a look at the newer models available now.
Disadvantages of the Best A-Frame Camper Models
You might’ve begun picturing yourself in an A-frame camper already, but wait – there are some negatives. Let’s take a look at the disadvantages of owning an A-Frame camper trailer.
They Don’t Have Much Living Space
While new models offer more comforts than their predecessors, the living space inside an A-frame camper is still limited. In most models, you can only stand under the tallest bit of the roof, so you’ll have to sit and lie down elsewhere.
Of course, this isn’t so bad if your motivation for having a towable trailer is to spend time outdoors taking in your surroundings and sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows. Isn’t that why we go camping? To hang out outdoors?
Long-Term Durability Can Be a Concern
If you use your A-frame camper trailer a lot, the wall seals can degrade with the frequent use of opening and closing. Without proper maintenance or seal replacement, you can start to see leaks with water dripping onto your bed – not our favorite way to wake up.
Thankfully, it’s easy to prevent leaks. Just keep an eye on them and add sealant where they begin to look too thin.
They’re Not Ideal for Stealth Camping
To sleep inside an A-frame trailer, you’ll need to set it up – there’s no way around it. This means it’ll be evident when it’s in use and so you won’t be able to stealth camp in it. That doesn’t mean you can’t boondock, but posting up on the side of the road probably isn’t an option.
They Have Small Beds
Generally, most A-frame pop-up campers have smaller beds because there’s limited space in the trailer. If you’re over 6 feet tall, you may need a bigger trailer, as the bed in an A-frame might be a bit tight.
But if you’re camping on your own, you could try sleeping diagonally across the bigger bed. And if your budget stretches a little, some newer models now have bigger beds.
They’re Not Best for Long Trips
Even a modern A-frame camper with a wet bath can get a little suffocating after a while. No matter the size, these RVs aren’t built for trips that last more than a few weeks – they aren’t rugged enough and are just too small.
FAQs To Help You Find The Best A-Frame Camper
If you’re still on the fence, here’s a little more about A-frame trailers.
How much do A-Frame campers cost?
A new model out of the factory with a standard package usually costs between $11,000 to $27,000. However, if you choose an unsold older model, dealers usually give you a discount. A used A-Frame trailer costs anywhere between $5,000 and $15,000, depending on condition and age.
How much does an A-Frame camper weigh?
A-Frame pop-up campers can weigh as little as 700 pounds and up to 3,800 pounds. The bigger and more equipped models are usually heavier than 1,500 pounds.
Why go for an A-Frame camper versus a soft pop-up camper?
Hard walls. If you choose a model with solid panels all around (no mesh or vinyl), then an A-Frame camper will allow you to camp all year round, while a soft pop-up camper won’t.
The insulation of A-Frame trailers is far better, as they become air-tight when they’re set up. You can also install an air conditioner and a furnace, which will allow you to camp anywhere any time.
Can a car pull an A-Frame camper?
It depends on your car’s towing capabilities and the trailer’s weight. If you choose a light trailer and your car has a good size engine, you may be able to tow it. Because they’re lightweight, however, most vehicles (SUVs and trucks) can tow them.
Can you live in an A-Frame camper?
Most A-Frame campers are rather small, don’t have much storage space, and need setting up every time you stop to set up camp. Even the bigger, taller models where you can stand up and move around the cabin don’t have much room for full-time living, so I wouldn’t recommend it.
For full-time camping, you’d be better off with a travel trailer, fifth wheel, campervan, or motorhome.
Do A-Frame trailers have bathrooms?
Most models don’t come with a bathroom, however, there are now a number of bigger trailers on the market that have a toilet cabinet or even a wet bath.
Is a bathroom a must have? We get it, check out these perfect pop up campers with bathrooms.
What are the best A-frame camper brands?
If you’re looking for an a-frame trailer made by a reliable manufacturer, check out Aliner, Forest River, and Chalet.
Conclusion on the Best A-Frame Campers
Ready to shop for an A-Frame camper? It’s a cute, reliable, cozy camping RV to take out on weekends and holidays for singles, couples, or the whole family.
You can choose between minimal models that aren’t overly complicated to maintain or prepare for the weekend and more comfortable models with all the options you need, like a wet bath or air conditioning.
Whatever your camping style or budget, there’s a small A-frame camper trailer to make your camping experience fun and relaxing.
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