One of the most exciting ways to bond as a family and create great memories together is to head off on a family adventure in an RV or camper. Camping can be a wonderful way to explore new places or meet up with friends and family across the country. Because you can adjust the size and type of camper you rent depending on your family and your budget, there are options for a variety of price-points, from extravagant luxury RVs to budget-friendly A-frame and pop-up trailers.
A-frame campers have been around since the 1970s, when Ralph Tait designed the first trailer at his home in Bend, Oregon. He wanted a sturdy pop-up camper that could be easily towed by just about any car. He came up with the distinct A-shaped frame that gives these trailers their name.
There are many reasons why A-frame trailers could be the perfect fit for you and your family! Here are seven reasons you may find A-frame RVs are a great option for your next trip.
7 Reasons Why A-Frame Trailers Are Popular
1.) They are less expensive to rent and use
Because A-frame campers are smaller, they naturally come with a smaller price tag as well. When those A-frame camper trailers are rented out, that lower cost usually gets passed along to renters. Lighter weight and more aerodynamic pop-up trailers like the A-frame can also get better gas mileage, lowering the total you pay on fuel.
2.) They fit smaller spaces
Pop-up A-frame campers can fit smaller campsites than many RVs, which means you have more options when camping. You don’t need to limit yourself to 50-amp hookups or larger sites the way you might in a big motorhome, allowing you to opt for cheaper campsites. You don’t need to worry about overhead clearance when you’re towing an A-frame trailer, and you can fit into regular parking spaces when you need to stop on your road trip. Also, if you need to store your rental A-frame pop-up at home or while visiting friends or family for a few days, it’s much easier to put the trailer in a home garage or driveway than a larger RV would be.
3.) They have hard sides
A-frame trailers are completely solid, which is an advantage for several reasons. The siding provides better insulation than canvas pop-ups, and rentals can come with both heat and air conditioning (be sure to ask ahead of time!). Therefore, you can be much more comfortable camping in both hotter or colder climates than a canvas pop-up trailer would allow. A-frames are also more resistant to weather such as rain, keeping you snug and dry inside. The hard sides provide extra security, both from people and animals who could try to cut or poke through canvas siding while you’re out exploring during the day.
4.) They are lightweight and easy to tow
If you’re planning to rent a camper, it’s definitely more cost-effective to rent one you can tow with a vehicle you already own! A-frame trailers don’t require the horsepower of a big truck and can be towed by much smaller vehicles including minivans, SUVs, and other models.
5.) They can be great for boondocking
Higher-end A-frame trailers often come with water and electricity, making these trailers a great option for dry camping. Appliances such as refrigerators that are used in A-frame campers are careful to conserve electricity, making your power last longer when you’re not hooked up. It’s important to note that not every A-frame camper comes with power, so be sure to ask when you’re renting.
6.) They have a surprising amount of storage
Because it folds up into such a compact little trailer, A-frame campers don’t seem like they have much room for extras. However, there are storage compartments both on the outside of the trailer and often under beds and other areas inside. Also, because the trailer folds down so compactly, you can store larger equipment like kayaks, bikes, or a roof rack on top of the trailer itself.
With a little careful planning, you’ll be amazed at how much stuff you can store and bring along on a camping trip with an A-frame!
7.) They are easy to put up and take down
The hard sides of the trailer mean that they pop up pretty easily when it’s time to set up camp. A-frames have power lifts, so you can set them up in just a couple of minutes, and take them down just as quickly when it’s time to head home.
A-Frame Trailer FAQs
While they may seem like a great way to travel about the country, there are a few questions worth asking before you rent an A-frame camper.
How many people will they fit comfortably?
While most A-frame trailers are designed for singles or couples, there are some that will fit a small family of 3-4. Be sure to ask about capacity when you’re researching rental A-frame trailers – they can be a great option for some but larger families will find they may not have enough room.
What is the best A-frame camper?
Campers made by Aliner – the company created by Ralph Tait when he designed the first A-frame trailers – are still considered some of the best out there forty years later. The Aliner Expedition A Frame Camper is one of their largest and sleeps up to three adults. It has a toilet, a kitchenette with a burner and sink, fridge, dining table, 11-gallon water tank, and plenty of storage. It also has extra pop-ups for more room. It also has an outdoor shower, and you can opt for air conditioning, a hot water heater, and a furnace.
The Rockwood Hard Side Camper sets up quickly and people praise the company for its reliability. This A-frame camper sleeps two adults and one child and has a toilet, dining area, kitchenette, fridge, sink, and plenty of extra storage.
Finally, the Arrowhead Pop-Up A-Frame Trailer sleeps three and has a fridge, two-burner stove, sink, and a heater. It has a 15-gallon freshwater tank and is easy to set up and take down.
How much does an A-frame camper cost?
A-frame campers tend to run between $12,000 – $30,000 new and $12,000 – $16,000 used. The nice thing about these campers is that they generally do not depreciate as much as bigger, fancier RVs do. You can rent pop-up campers with RVShare, which includes A-frame trailers, for between $50-100 a night.
A-frame trailers are a great way to dip your toes into the world of trailer camping. With their lightweight construction and small footprint, they’re easy to tow, convenient to find space for, and light on the budget as well!