My wife and I are experienced tent campers and in our 20s never thought we’d end up with a camper trailer. But here we are searching for a pop up tent trailer to get our family off the ground and have a place to keep our gear stored when not camping.
Why a pop up camper trailer over a tent?
With a family of 4 plus a large dog it’s a game of Tetris loading the bed of my truck and setting up camp is no walk in the park. We’ve managed to scale down the amount of stuff we bring to the campsite and our beloved Gazelle Tent has relieved a lot of the tent setup stress — but still… getting in and out of the tent and climbing over each other is getting old.
Don’t get me wrong — we will still be tent camping in certain situations but longer trips will be in a pop up. The idea of hooking up to the trailer and being on our way sounds amazing — not having to load the truck and worrying about space for water, fuel, food, etc. I will be able to fit some bikes for the kids in the bed of the truck now. So many reasons… too many to list. Pretty much all the reasons already mentioned by Mike Hall over at his Quicksilver Tent Camper Review.
We decided to go with the pop up tent trailer instead of a hard-sided trailer because we still wanted to get that close to nature feeling you get in a tent and don’t want the extra weight and maintenance that comes with a big expensive trailer.
Which pop up trailer to get?
I have spent a good chunk of most days the past few months scouring the internet for used tent trailers and researching what I want to get. Living in Southern California we have camping locations that range from desert to mountains to beaches. We like remote camping away from people, but we don’t hate campgrounds that are spread out and not densely populated.
Since I want to be able to go to dispersed camping locations in our pop up I realized that something with decent clearance and larger tires is a requirement for us. I want to be able to travel down bumpy roads in Anza Borrego State Park, Death Valley, or the dry lake bed near Joshua Tree.
After all the research I have landed on the Livin’ Lite Quicksilver tent trailers. They’re made of aluminum and fold out similar to a boat awning instead of having mechanical supports that are prone to breaking.
No rusting frame, no wood rot, and no roof leaks that you often find in older standard pop up tent trailers. Even the cabinetry and walls are made of aluminum. These things are solid.
If I go with a standard pop up trailer it would either be the Starcraft RT10 or the Evolution E1 by Fleetwood. Both are dirt road worthy and beefier than other trailers.
The Quicksilver pop up should be able to handle dirt roads without issue — especially if get the offroad version with larger tires and ground clearance.
The Quicksilver 10.0 has two queen size beds and a dinette that transforms into a twin. Perfect for our family even when the kids get bigger. It has a heater, some have A/C (not necessary), and basic sink and electrical hookups. Not too fancy and not much to break.
Livin’ Lite Quicksilver tent campers are hard to find
Only problem… they are rare and hard to find. The parent company that makes these went out of business 3 years ago. Since they don’t break easily owners tend to hold onto them. The price is a little on the high side but that’s because of the aluminum frame. A price I’m willing to pay.
Keep an eye on this site to see if I find what I’m looking for. In the meantime we have a few camping trips planned for this fall whether we find our pop up or not.
Happy camping everyone!
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