Why is a pop-up camper called a pup?

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: Why is a pop-up camper called a pup? We will explain the origins of the term “pup” for campers. We will also explain what a pop-up camper is and discuss its pros and cons. 

Why is a pop-up camper called a pup?

A pop-up camper is also called a pup in the RV community, although this is not such a common term for many. Pup is also the acronym for tent trailers, and hardtop canvas and fully canvas walled campers. 

Some other popular acronyms in the RV community that you may have come across once or twice are:

  • HWPUP – high wall pop-up camper;
  • HTT – hybrid travel trailer;
  • TT- travel trailer;
  • FW – fifth-wheel trailer
  • MH – motorhome.

Note: The term “pup” is also used to refer to a type of camping tent!

What are pup tents?

Pup tents are small tents pitched alongside the main camping tent that is often used for pets or for storing camping gear. 

The name origin for “pup tents” dates back to the Civil War troops who had named their tents “dog houses”. 

Nowadays pup tents are used for:

  • Long-hikes and backpack trips – as they are lightweight, it is easy to put a pup tent in your backpack and go for a one or two-day adventure. 
  • Camping storage space – If you plan on staying in one place for more days (or even weeks) a pup tent is what you need for extra storage.
  • A tent for your pet – Pup tents are commonly used as a special place for one’s pet to rest. Keep in mind that some campsites do not allow pup tents!
  • Military missions – Even today pup tents are an easy-to-carry shelter. 

All you need to know about pop-up campers

The most obvious feature of the pop-up camper is its ability to “pop-up.” These campers collapse into a compact, lightweight trailer while on the road or in storage. There are brands of campers available from simple hookups to others equipped with services that you would find on larger trailers. It will be your decision to decide which type of pop-up camper is right for you.

The unique advantages of Pop-Up Campers

The pop-up camper has several unique advantages in the world of motorhomes. In addition to space, you will save on fuel consumption and you may not have to invest in a tow vehicle to travel. Pop-up campers can often be towed by small trucks, SUVs, and even compact cars.

Here are some of the most popular reasons you see a lot of pop-up campers on the road and at camp:

  1. Inexpensive: The pop-up camper is one of the cheapest options in the RV world. You can get multi-person sleeping spaces, kitchens, and entertainment options for one lower price. If you are in doubt about how to enter the world of car travel due to its cost, you should consider the pop-up window.
  1. Lightweight and compact: Another reason for the popularity of pop-up campers comes from their unique design. Most pop-up campers are compact and lightweight on the road and in storage. This means you won’t have to worry about a large coach wasting space or the risks of towing a large trailer.
  1. Towing: Even novice RVers can handle a pop-up trailer towing after just a few trips. This small amount of weight also means you have to get great fuel savings, which means less time at the pump. You will not have to buy an upgraded towing vehicle. Most pop-up campers are towed by lighter trucks, SUVs, even minivans, and standard-size cars.
  1. The size is almost ideal: They are ideal for short vacations or weekend outings, but also easy to store. Their compact size makes them easy to store. In fact, many people keep them in their garages, thus avoiding paying parking or parking expenses when they are not in use.

The disadvantages of Pop Up Campers

Some of the disadvantages of the pop-up camper can lead to some disadvantages as well. A pop-up camper is an RV gateway for those looking to invest in one, but aren’t ready to buy a fifth wheel RV, travel trailer, or motorhome due to budget.

Here’s what you need to know about the downsides of having a pop-up camper:

  1. Services and features: The compact size of the motorhome can be its downfall if you are looking for more space and features. If you can’t fold into a small size, you can’t have it in a pop-up camper. Some nice features found in travel trailers or motorhomes will not be available when buying a pop-up camper.
  1. Convenience: Again, compromises are needed to allow the pop-up to be compact. Pop-up campers’ bedrooms are protected by a vinyl covering. Extreme temperatures and adverse weather will affect the pop-up camper more than other caravans. Bedrooms in pop-up windows also tend to be stiff, so you’ll need more trim for more comfort.
  1. Personalization options: Pop-up campers often can’t be added to the line, leaving you little in the way of adding functionality down the road. When buying a pop-up camper, it is important to ensure that it comes with everything you need for the adventure.
  1. They are not suitable for permanent residence: Pop-up campers are also prone to leak, have very little storage capacity and do not have bathroom facilities. While some newer models may be equipped with air conditioning and heating, intense cold and/or heat can be very bothersome as the canvas sections offer limited insulation and protection.
  1. The costs and the maintenance: New models can be very expensive, compared to other similarly sized options. Proper canvas cleaning requires a lot of time and work. If it has rained before leaving, you will have to wait for the tarp to dry completely before closing the unit again. Preparing, installing and closing the unit may take longer than you think (easily between one to two hours). 

Advice for successful camping with a pop-up camper

If you want to go camping with a pop-up camper, first, get organized! Think about what kind of place you prefer to go to and what activities you want to do, be it walks, nature excursions, beaches, fishing, picnics and/or sports. Or maybe you just want to rest a bit and enjoy a good book! 

Once you have that clear, look for places with those characteristics near your area. Then, go to the store, and find the necessary equipment for it.

Keep in mind that pop up campers do not have the best isolation, therefore, you should check what is the minimum temperature during the night of the place at the time you will go to buy property! Some campers avoid going camping in winter with a pop-up!

There are different models of pop-up campers. Keep in mind that it is preferable to invest a few dollars and avoid unpleasant surprises such as flooding if it rains or unwanted animals or insects entering! You may also want a sleeping cushion and other products that can give you comfort. It will depend on how comfortable you are willing to sleep.

Other things that you will need for successful camping in a pop-up camper are:

  • a source of light, to illuminate you when it gets dark. A cheap LED headlight is the best.
  • lanterns, for the same purpose as above. Do not rely so much on what can light the fire.
  • first aid kit: something basic to clean and heal wounds from scrapes, cuts, blisters and any other medication you take. Even antiallergic.
  • sunscreen: minimum SP40 factor! And also include hats with a visor or eaves in your garments to protect your head from the sun!
  • Insect repellent.

For other things, you may need, do your research! You have the internet at hand for looking for camping places, even in some with bathroom facilities and others you can book in advance. Always read helpful information and talk to the camping site manager. Don’t keep any questions to yourself! What if someone gets lost? What if a bear appears? What if an accident occurs? Consider all the possibilities.

In some campsites, you can rent all the necessary equipment and you will not have to buy it. Keep in mind that clothes have to be comfortable and always, wherever you go, carry water, sunscreen, nutritional bars and insect repellent. 

The bottom line

The pop-up camper is a great RVing option for those looking to go on tour on a budget. Talk to friends and families who have pop-up campers, such as visiting RV forums for more information. 

When you’re out and about, noticing a pop-up camper on the road, talk to the owner and see why they invested in one. Even your local dealer can help determine if a pop-up is right for you.

And if you have any questions or comments for us, please feel free to get in contact!

FAQ on Why is a pop-up camper called a pup?

Is a pop-up camper considered an RV?

Yes, a pop-up camper is considered an RV. There are two main categories of RVs: models that must be towed like the pop-up camper, the classic caravan, the fifth-wheel camper and the motorized RVs like the Class A, B or C motorhomes. 

Are pop-up campers good?

Yes, pop-up campers are good. Pop-up campers are practical models with little consumption, in which the roof is raised in just over two minutes, and that allows you that functionality of having it parked at home and deciding to go out for a weekend without a problem. 

What is the best pop-up caravan to buy?

Among the best pop-up caravans to buy are the Coronet Series F S2; Goldstream RV 16FT FKST; Jayco Expanda OB 18.58-2 PT; Jurgens Jindabyne PT2210 and the Olympic Javelin.

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