What is a Camper Trailer?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2019
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Camper trailers are relatively small and compact travel trailers that can be towed using just about any type automobile or truck. Sometimes referred to as a pop-up, the camper trailer features a combination of wood or metal base teamed with canvas stretched over a collapsible frame. Upon reaching a campsite, the canvas is unfolded and the frame snapped into place on the base, essentially creating a tent that is suspended off the ground.

The camper trailer is considered an ideal option for weekend camping trips and other short-term trips. As long as the camp area can be accessed via a road, the trailer can be towed to the site and set up in a matter of moments. Most trailers of this type have enough room for at least two people to sleep comfortably when the canvas is deployed. Thanks to the base of the trailer, it is possible to use sleeping bags or even inflatable mattresses with ease, helping to assure restful sleep.


The camper trailer makes it possible to enjoy all the fun of tent camping without the need to find a level spot to pitch the tent, drive spikes into the ground to support the structure, and all the other minor tasks that are part of setting up a canvas tent. With the camper trailer, it is simply necessary to unfold the frame and snap it into place. The canvas cover attached to the frame rarely requires any type of ropes or other supports to keep it shape.

Because the tent of the camper trailer is raised off the ground, there is also less concern about reptiles or other wildlife finding their way into the sleeping area. This can be especially important when taking young children along on a weekend camping trip.

While simpler and somewhat more primitive than other travel options, the camper trailers of today often include equipment that makes it possible to use a small refrigerator, fans, and other electrical devices that bring comfort or convenience to the trip. As long as a power source is available at the campsite, the devices can be plugged in and operated for as long as needed. Because the canvas frames tend to extend beyond the dimensions of the base section, there is an ample amount of storage space within the tent. This makes it much easier to utilize the floor space to greater effect.

For families that enjoy camping and do not wish to maintain a large recreational vehicle, the lightweight and simple camper trailer is a great option. The trailer takes up relatively little room when not in use, can be towed by even a small car, and requires nothing more than general maintenance. In addition, the inclusion of the canvas tent helps make the expedition feel more like a real camping trip, a sense that may be missing when utilizing an RV for the weekend.


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