Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Teardrop vs Popup Camper

If you are ready to take the big leap from tent to camper but don't want to invest in an SUV or pickup truck, you are probably trying to make the choice between a teardrop camper and a popup camper. Both are easily pulled and compact, and both offer far greater comfort than a tent, but the teardrop has some clear advantages.

Teardrop campers date back to the 1930s. They were very popular during the '30s and '40s, but lost some of their popularity as more intricate campers became more common. Teardrops have had enjoyed a comeback recently, however, as cars and SUVs get smaller and less powerful. Teardrops are fully enclosed hard-shelled compact pull-along campers. Popups typically have a hard top that can be cranked or raised by hydraulic lifts to room height, exposing soft sides and floored tents that pull out from each end.

Although both models are lightweight and easy to pull, teardrops have a sleek aerodynamic design, while popups are square and boxy. Both types of campers have roomy sleeping areas and kitchens of varying complexity depending on the price level of the unit.

Teardrops have a huge advantage over popups when it comes to setup and tear-down. Although most popups no longer require hand cranking to raise the top, they are practically useless until they are leveled, "popped up," and the insides are arranged. Upper cabinets may need to be folded up and the tent-like pull-outs must be slid out and raised before the camper can be used for anything. When it comes time to move the camper again, the process must be reversed; cabinet must be emptied, pull-outs must be folded and pushed in, and the top must once again be lowered.

Teardrops, on the other hand, are ready to use almost from the moment they are freed from the trailer hitch. Unless you have used it as roomy storage space, the sleeping area is ready for a good night's sleep with only minimal setup. The kitchen, which is accessible from the outside of the camper, is ready to cook a meal wherever you stop. The sleeping area is fully enclosed by a hard shell, not a soft side, so even heavy rains won't disturb your sleep.

Quick and easy setup, protection from the elements and an aerodynamic design make the teardrop a classic whose time has come again.

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