Pop-up campers are fantastic little travel solutions for those of us who want to camp but don’t necessarily want to invest in a full-fledged RV. They’re not nearly as expensive, they don’t require a large tow vehicle, and they’re easy to set up and take down.
But how much is a pop-up camper, really?
Brand new pop-up campers range from $6,000 to $15,000, while used pop-up campers can range from $3,000 to $10,000. Whether you buy new or used, the actual price will vary depending on the brand, size, features, and amenities of the RV.
Let’s take a closer look at the cost of new, used, and rental pop-up campers so you can decide what’s right for you.
How Much Is A Pop-Up Camper Brand New?
The price of a brand new pop-up camper ranges from about $6,000 to $15,000.
At the lower end of the spectrum, you’ve got campers like the Forest River Rockwood Freedom Series.
They start at around $8500 and they come with many of the same amenities as a small travel trailer. They’re stylish and comfortable, with features like a fridge, microwave, stovetop, and two beds.
However, you can also pay a little bit more for a top-of-the-line camper like the Coachmen Clipper Camping Trailers. These start at about $13,000 but they offer more amenities, like a toilet, a shower, and more storage space.
Of course, there are plenty of options in between these two extremes. The key is to decide what features are most important to you and then find a camper that fits your budget.
How Much Is A Pop-Up Camper Used?
If you’re not interested in buying brand new, you can always opt for a used pop-up camper. These are typically much cheaper than their brand new counterparts, but it’s important to do your research before making a purchase.
You can find used pop-up campers for sale online, in classified ads, or even at RV dealerships.
Be sure to inspect the camper thoroughly before making a purchase, and don’t be afraid to negotiate on price.
Given that a new pop-up camper ranges anywhere from $6000-15,000, you’ll be able to find a used one online from a private party for much cheaper. You can probably expect them to cost half of what they would new.
RV Trader is a great resource for finding used pop-up campers. You can search by price, location, and even features to find the perfect camper for your needs.
The benefits of buying from an individual seller are that you can often negotiate on price and get a great deal.
When we bought our first family trailer, we were in Kansas City and the seller was in San Diego. He even agreed to deliver it for us.
The downside, of course, is that you won’t have any warranty or guarantee if something goes wrong with the camper. So be sure to inspect it thoroughly before making a purchase.
Facebook Marketplace can also have some good options, just be careful with RV listings with “NaN miles”, this is usually not a good sign based on my experience.
Unfortunately, you’ll pay a bit more for a used camper at an RV dealership than you will from an individual. Expect them to cost anywhere from 60-80% of the original price.
However, you’ll get more peace of mind doing it this way than you will buying from an individual. They typically have a selection of used pop-up campers for sale in one location, making it easier to shop around.
The benefits are that you can usually trade in your old camper (if you have one), and you’ll have some sort of warranty or guarantee if something goes wrong.
The downside is that you might not get as good of a deal as you would buying from an individual seller.
How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Pop-Up Camper?
If you’re not quite ready to commit to buying a pop-up camper, you can always rent one. This is a great option if you only plan on camping a few times per year.
The cost of renting a pop-up camper varies depending on the make and model, where you rent it from, and how long you need it for.
You can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 per night, with the average being around $100.
The best way to find a good deal is to shop around and compare prices at different rental companies.
Be sure to read the fine print before making a reservation so you know what’s included in the price (e.g. insurance, mileage, etc.).
Cruise America is one of the most popular RV rental companies out there and they’ve been around since 1972. They have a wide selection of pop-up campers to choose from, and the prices start at around $85 per night.
You can also rent for longer periods of time, like weekly or monthly, for a discounted rate.
For example, a weekly rental starts at $495, and a monthly rental starts at $1795.
Outdoorsy is an RV rental marketplace that connects RV owners with renters. This is a great option if you’re looking for something specific and you want to rent from a private owner.
Prices on Outdoorsy start at around $75 per night, but they can go up to $250 depending on the make, model, and features of the camper.
One of the great things about Outdoorsy is that you can filter your search by price, distance, amenities, and more.
So if you’re looking for a specific feature (like a bathroom or air conditioning), you can easily find it.
Believe it or not, you can also find pop-up campers on AirBnb. This is a great option if you’re looking for something specific and you want to rent from a private owner.
This really opens up your options for a destination stay and makes it so much easier to travel, because you don’t have to bother with the hassle of towing it behind you. It’s already setup and ready for you when you get there.
The downside is that people who list their homes (or campers) on AirBnb tend to charge a lot more per night. They also tack on cleaning fees and service fees that can be as much or more than a one night stay.
With AirBnb, you can expect to pay anywhere from $75-100 a night, plus whatever fees they add to the backside of your bill.
Additional Costs To Consider When Buying A Used or New Camper
When you’re budgeting for your used or new camper, there are a few additional costs to consider that can add to the cost in ways you might not have thought about before.
1. Sales Tax
This is charged on both new and used campers in most states. The amount varies depending on the state, but it’s typically around 5-10% of the purchase price.
2. License and Registration Fees
Again, this will vary depending on the state you live in, but it’s something you’ll need to budget for when buying a new or used camper.
All states require you to register your RV and pay licensing and registration fees on a yearly basis.
You’ll need to ensure your camper just like you would your car. The cost of insurance varies depending on the make and model of your camper, as well as the state you live in.
It can also depend on how frequently you’re going to travel, where you’re going to go, and how you store it when you’re not using it.
4. Maintenance And Repairs
This is something you’ll need to budget for whether you buy new or used. RVs require regular maintenance and repairs, just like any other vehicle.
Things like tires, brakes, air conditioners, and generators can all break down and need to be repaired or replaced.
It’s a good idea to set aside some money each month to cover unexpected repairs. That way, you’re not caught off guard when something does break down.
5. Storage Fees
If you don’t have a place to store your camper when you’re not using it, you’ll need to budget for storage fees. These can range from $30-50 per month for a small camper to $100 or more for a larger one.
If you have room at home to store it, you may not have to factor in these costs, but that’s typically not the case for most people.
6. Campsite Fees
Of course, you’ll need to budget for campsite fees when you go camping. These can range from $20-50 per night, depending on the campground and the amenities they offer.
You’ll also need to factor in the cost of gasoline when you’re budgeting for your camper.
RVs tend to be gas guzzlers, so you can expect to spend quite a bit on fuel if you’re doing a lot of travelling.
8. Towing Equipment
If you’re going to be doing a lot of towing, you’ll need to factor in the cost of towing equipment. This includes things like hitches, tow bars, sway bars, and wiring harnesses.
You may even have to purchase a new vehicle that’s capable of towing your camper if you don’t already have one.
9. Supplies And Accessories
Last but not least, you’ll need to budget for supplies when you go camping. This can add up quickly, especially if you’re camping with a family.
Don’t forget to factor in the cost of things like firewood, propane, and your other camping essentials.
Do Pop-Up Campers Hold Their Value?
The unfortunate thing about all brand new RVs (not just pop up campers), is that they depreciate immediately after you purchase them. Their value can go down by at least 20% the second you drive off the lot.
While they hold their value better over the course of the next few years, they’ll still depreciate at least 35% over the first 3 years and up to 90% over the course of 10 years.
Tips To Save Money When Buying A Pop-Up Camper
If you’re interested in buying a pop-up camper but want to save money, there are a few things you can do.
- Look for deals and discounts. You can often find good deals on new and used campers if you know where to look. Check websites like Craigslist and eBay, as well as RV dealerships and private sellers. Holiday weekends like Memorial Day and Labor Day are great times to find sales.
- Consider renting before you buy. This can be a great way to try out camping and see if it’s something you really enjoy before making a big purchase. It’s also a good way to test out different types of campers to see which one is right for you.
- Buy used. This is probably the best way to save money on a pop-up camper. You can often find good deals on used campers that are only a few years old. Just be sure to have it inspected by a qualified mechanic before you buy to make sure there are no hidden problems.
- Wait for the off-season. If you’re not in a hurry to buy, you can often get a better deal if you wait until the off-season. Campers are typically cheaper in the fall and winter when demand is low.
Buying vs. Renting A Pop-Up Camper
If you’re trying to decide between buying and renting a pop-up camper, there are a few things you need to consider.
- How often will you use it? The first thing to think about is how often you plan on using it. If you only camp a few times per year, it may make more sense to just rent when you need it. This can be a lot cheaper than buying and maintaining your own camper.
- How long will you use it for? Another thing to consider is how long you plan on using the camper. If you only need it for a short trip, renting may be the better option. However, if you think you’ll use it for many years to come, buying may be a better investment.
- What’s your budget? Of course, your budget is also an important factor to consider. Buying a camper can be a big financial investment, so make sure you have the money saved up before you make the purchase. Renting is usually a lot cheaper, so it may be a good option if you’re on a tight budget.
- What are your needs? You also need to think about what you need in a camper. If you have a large family or plan on doing a lot of cooking and entertaining while camping, you may need a bigger camper than what’s available to rent. In this case, buying may be the better option.
Where Can I Find Pop-Up Campers For Sale Near Me?
Now that you know more about pop-up campers, you may be wondering where you can find one for sale near you. There are a few places you can look, including RV dealerships, private sellers, and online websites.
You can check out websites like Camping World and RV Trader to see what’s available in your area. You can also search for private sellers on websites like Craigslist and eBay.
When you’re searching for a pop-up camper, be sure to keep in mind what you need and want in a camper. This will help you narrow down your search and find the perfect camper for your needs.
You should have a better idea now of how much a pop-up camper costs, whether you’re buying new, buying used, or renting.
You also know some tips to save money when buying a camper, as well as some things to consider when deciding between buying and renting.
Now that you have all this information, you’re ready to start shopping for your very own pop-up camper!