Camping in a trailer tent: the ideal combination of caravan and tent

November, 17 2021

A trailer tent, also known as a pop-up camper, is the ideal combination between a caravan and a tent. It is an adventurous way of camping, you feel more ‘outdoors’ than in a caravan, and the trailer tent offers more luxury than a tent. And because of its new design, the trailer tent has lost its boring and stuffy image completely. For a family with (young) children, it is a spacious and comfortable option for enjoying life outdoors. Are you considering buying or renting a trailer tent? Then be sure to read on.

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Space and comfort in a trailer tent

A trailer tent is the perfect camping accommodation for people who like the outdoors and the atmosphere of a tent, but also like the luxury of a caravan. And that luxury actually starts at home when packing the car, because the trailer tent gives you lots of space in the trailer, where you can pack your camping gear. You won’t have to fill your car to the brim with tent poles and pegs, and you won’t have to deal with a large, heavy caravan.

What extras do you need?

Apart from a car with a tow bar, nothing special really. The kitchenette is often already included, so it’s just a table, chairs, camping stove, camping fridge, blankets, pillows, and you’re good to go. Bicycles can often be stored on top of the trailer or on the front of the trailer if you don’t have a storage box bolted there.

Kamperen op het strand

Apart from a car with a tow bar, nothing special really. The kitchenette is often already included, so it’s just a table, chairs, camping stove, camping fridge, blankets, pillows, and you’re good to go. Bicycles can often be stored on top of the trailer or on the front of the trailer if you don’t have a storage box bolted there.

What types of trailer tents are there?

There are symmetrical trailer tents, asymmetrical ones, and pop-up campers. In the symmetrical version, you fold out two sleeping areas from the middle. So you have one sleeping cabin on the left and one on the right. The kitchen is in the front. The asymmetrical trailer tent opens to only one side, with the beds on top of the trailer. The pop-up camper, or pop-up trailer, looks most like a caravan and has a lid that serves as a roof. The tent canvas goes between the trailer and the cranked-up roof. Many trailer tents can be extended with ground-level sleeping cabins, meaning you can turn a two-person pop-up camper into a trailer tent for four or six people.

Whatever type of trailer tent you choose, you will sleep comfortably. And that’s mainly because you’re not sleeping directly on the ground. It’s a lot warmer, plus you’ll also have a nice mattress to lie on. Manhandling your airbed is a thing of the past! And what could be better than listening to the peaceful sound of raindrops hitting the tent canvas in the evening, while you snuggle under your blanket and wake up the next morning to the sun warming your tent?

How quickly can you set up a trailer tent?

A trailer tent is quick to set up and you can even do it alone. Make sure to pay attention to the instructions when you buy or rent the trailer tent. Setting up a trailer tent is actually very simple. In just a few steps, you take the tarp off the trailer and unfold the tent with the sleeping area. Then you mount the poles of the awning and secure the tent with some pegs and guy ropes. There are differences in types and shapes of trailer tents, but they all work on the same principle. The fact that trailer tents can be set up so simply and quickly, especially with a quick release system, is great when you’re on holiday with small children, or if you’re tired from travelling and need to relax after a long drive. Your home away from home can be set up within an hour, and your holiday can begin in no time!

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Space for the whole family

As every camping enthusiast knows, even if sunny weather was predicted, that doesn’t mean sunny weather is what you will get. When the rain is pouring down and it’s too cold even for having fun jumping in puddles, a trailer tent is an excellent shelter. There’s room for the whole family to relax.  You can play a game at the table under the awning, read a book in bed or make a cup of hot chocolate in the little kitchen. Some trailer tents have an extra folding table in the aisle next to the beds. That way, everyone can have fun without getting in each other’s hair, all cosy while listening to the ticking of the rain on the canvas. Did you know that a trailer tent usually offers more living space than a caravan or tent?

By the way, many trailer tents are nice and high. This means they are much-loved by tall people who can finally stand upright. Much more comfortable.

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Storage space in the trailer

Another advantage of the trailer tent: the things you don’t need can easily be stored in the trailer. In most cases, once your tent is up, the trailer is largely empty. A great place to put all the stuff that you don’t need right then like covers, bags and toys. Very handy because it keeps the inner tent empty. It is not a bad idea to buy a little cabinet for the inner or the outer tent, too, so you can keep everything tidy. You can put all your kitchen utensils in the kitchenette, which is often included as standard. That way you won’t lose anything.

Touring and driving with the trailer tent

A trailer tent is very easy to couple onto a car, and it catches less wind than a caravan on the motorway. Your car doesn’t have to be heavy at all to pull a trailer tent. No additional driver’s license is usually required.

If the trailer tent weighs a maximum of 750 kilos,

If you’re driving a trailer tent for the first time and you’re feeling nervous, some driving schools offer short training sessions so you can set off with confidence.

Buying, renting and insuring a trailer tent

You can buy a trailer tent new from about €5,000 and rent it from about €300 a week. Not sure if a trailer tent is something for you? Then you can easily rent one. Some providers give you the option of buying the trailer tent after your holiday, with a deduction for the rental price. Buying a trailer tent second hand is also possible, but make sure the tent hasn’t got any mould. You can read more tips on buying a used trailer tent here. Whatever you choose, make sure that you are well insured.

  • Author: Laura Mestrum
  • I have loved camping since I was a child. With my family in a tent in France or Croatia when I was younger, and now – in all shapes and sizes – at home, around Europe and on the other side of the world. I am an outdoor person, sitting still is not for me. When I return to a campsite after a long walk or a day out, I often go for a game of badminton, boules or table tennis.

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