Article by Adam O’Connor
Coleman by Fleetwood, as these companies merged in 1989, manufacture some of the best recreational vehicles on the market. They make full motor home coaches, as well as fifth wheels, travel trailers and pop up trailers. When you read about Fleetwood trailers, you are either considering the company’s line of travel trailers, which are towable trailers or pop up trailers. Pop up trailers are towable trailers that have collapsible walls. Pop up trailers, also called tent trailers because they resemble camping tents on wheels, have advantages and disadvantages when compared to travel trailers. (Pop up trailers may also be called pop up campers or camper trailers)
Consider first the advantages pop ups have over full-walled travel trailers. Not only are pop up trailers less expensive, they are also easier to control. Pop up trailers are lightweight, so that even some cars can tow them, and are easy to maneuver on the road as well as park. The higher end pop up trailers also feature many of the same comforts as the travel trailers, such as the ability to mount portable RV awnings, small bathrooms, with toilets and showers, two beds, a kitchen area and dining area for two or three people. Campers benefits also include the open-air feel of a tent instead of enclosed walls. If you’re taking the RV for camping instead of full time living, then a pop up camper is an ideal choice.
There are drawbacks to pop up campers that full-walled travel trailers do not have. A travel trailer is ready to go as soon as you connect it by a hitch; a pop up trailer must be taken down before travel and set up afterwards. (Though it should be said that some travel trailers feature easy set up beyond the standard Coleman design) Otherwise, get used to setting up, dismantling the camper, packing, and repacking your supplies. You should also consider the limitations on the width of the awning that you can attach to your pop up. Pop up campers are not as long and thus do not work well with 12′ and 14′ – wide travel trailer awnings that offer a large area of protection from the elements.
Another disadvantage is that the pop up camper does not offer much protection in inclement weather. While no RV is safe in tornado weather, even strong winds could topple over a pop up trailer, with it’s lightweight design. While the tent trailer does offer some protection from rain, heavy rain over a period of time may require some maintenance like ridding the top of the canvas of rain water, and letting the tent dry afterwards. Some of Coleman-Fleetwood’s most popular brands of travel trailers (and similar fifth wheel designs) include the Terry, Prowler, Wilderness, Dakota, Lynx and Yukon.
Article by Adam O’Connor