Pop-Up Camper (a.k.a. "folding camper")
These units are typically the least expensive type of camper available (barring spectacular sales, of course!). Considering the economical price, you do get a fairly good bang for your buck. They are lightweight, which means they can usually be towed something as small as an SUV. Newer models come with cook-tops, mini-fridges, a small sink and booth dinettes. As their name suggests, the sleeping areas are canvas-covered pop-outs at the front and rear of the unit. Pop-Ups are the closest thing to tent camping, providing a bit more protection from the elements. For the novice camper, a pop-up is one of the best ways to get into and learn about camping first hand.
These units take the best of both the pop-up camper and travel trailer and combine them in one unit. The main body of the hybrid is used to provide the same amenities as a travel trailer - a normal sized refrigerator, cook-top, microwave, dining area, entertainment/living area. Because the sleeping areas pop out as they do
in a folding camper, space is saved that would ordinarily be used for a bedroom space. This also makes these units lighter to tow, making it possible to be towed by a larger SUV, depending on the weight of the unit.
Sport Utility RV (a.k.a. "SURV" or "toy hauler")
SURVs provide a living space with all of the same amenities of a travel trailer, but they come with an extra storage area that allows the unit to carry 4-wheelers, motorcycles and similar "big boy/girl toys". The back of a toy hauler can be lowered and forms a ramp which allows the loading of the additional vehicle(s). Some units have slide outs which expand the living space of the RV, and some items (like the table area) can be folded up to make more space in the storage area. Because these units can carry extra weight, it is very important to confirm what type of vehicle would be needed to tow it.
The fifth wheel camper is one of the most (if not THE most) luxurious towable units availabe. These units almost always have slide outs to expand the already spacious living area. Fifth wheels have the same amenities as travel trailers - kitchen areas (with cook tops, ovens, microwaves, and full size refrigerators), dining areas, bedroom(s), living rooms and entertainment centers, often with fire places and at least one flat screen TV included in the deal. Newer models have AM/FM/CD stereo systems with iPod/MP3 player hook-ups. To tow these units, a truck is required as the front end of the fifth wheel sits over the bed of a truck and their weight alone makes it so that only a decent sized truck could carry the weight.
With any of these types of campers, as always, check with your salesperson to verify the towing capacity of your vehicle and compare it to the tow weight of the camper you're interested in. Don't let price deter you - most dealerships (ours included) accept trade-ins (which lower the cost of the unit you upgrade/downgrade to) and financing is available. Make sure you get a unit that you fall in love with, just as you would with a car or a house.
If any of our readers have any questions about types of campers, you can always send us an e-mail using the contact form to the left or you can message us on Facebook by liking our page (that link is ALSO to the left).