#NEVERIDLE JOURNAL   //   Staff Picks

Pop-Ups vs. Teardrops: Which Camping Trailer Is Right For You?

The middle ground between tent camping and a full-size recreational vehicle is the pull-along trailer. Light enough to pull with a compact car or even a motorcycle, the pop-up and the teardrop style trailers offer all the comforts of home without the bulk of an RV. Both styles of pull-along trailers are small enough to fit in most driveways and are an excellent option for the open road.

Pop-Up Trailers – Easy and Affordable

Also known as tent trailers, the pop-up trailer features collapsible tent walls and pull-out bunks fitted on a lightweight trailer. The tents fold into a compact square unit when being transported, and are completely locked and secure.

Pop up trailers can be quite affordable – used pop-up trailers can be purchased in the $1,000 range, making the jump from tent camping to trailer camping less financially demanding. The generous interior spaces of pop-up provide room for the whole family to stretch out.

One major drawback of the pop-up style trailer is how the canvas material interacts with the elements. Since the design includes tent fabric, the units can be hot and stuffy in the direct summer sun, and cold in the winter. If you encounter rain during a trip, the canvas materials will need to be dried out before being stored for an extended period. This might prove to be difficult if you live in a rainy climate. Another issue stems from the sometimes tedious process of setting up and striking the pop-up tent.

Teardrop Trailers – Iconic Style

There is a resurgence of interest in the classic teardrop trailers. Once a staple of American outdoors life in the 1930s and 1940s, the teardrop is back in favor due to consumers preferring to tow their camping luxury with a car, rather than with a big truck or SUV.

The aesthetic of the teardrop hard shell camper features a natural aerodynamic curve that assists in keeping these trailers fuel-efficient. In part due to their current popularity, the teardrop is often quite a bit more expensive than the pop-up trailer.

The sturdy materials used to build a teardrop make them less affected by weather, temperature fluctuations, and noise. Another key benefit is that teardrop trailers are fully lockable without the need to pack or take down any tents. Going out for a day hike does not mean having to strike camp each time you leave the campground.

“Teardrop camping is camping with convenience,” according to Jon Christianson, co-owner of Oregon Trail’r, a teardrop trailer manufacturer. When you own a teardrop, it’s super easy to get out and go – all the camping gear can be stored within the trailer. A quick stop at the grocery store is all you need before heading out to the woods on a Friday afternoon.
It’s a toss up if the larger space and affordability of the pop-up trailer rivals the aesthetically pleasing style and comfort of the teardrop. Either way, a wonderful adventure awaits.


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