Recreational vehicles come in so many shapes and sizes that it can be hard to keep up. The best A-frame campers are one type of RV that many people want to know more about as they aren’t as common as other models.
An A-frame camper is a type of pop-up travel trailer with a distinctly pointed roofline. But there’s more to the camper than just the shape. That’s why we’re putting all the details about A-frame campers right here in this guide.
We took the time to gather all the information about A-frame campers, from the design, size, ease of towing, set up, and how comfortable it is for camping, so you can see what sets them trailers apart from a standard pop-up or small teardrop trailer.
We also spotlight what we believe are the best brands and floorplans of A-frame campers on the market today. So stay right here to see if the A-frame RV will suit your camping style!
A-Frame Camper Design
The A-frame campers feature 10 hybrid designs that blend the pop-up living space of a traditional tent camper with the hard sides of a standard travel trailer.
What you gain with the safety and weather protection of the hard sides and roof, you lose on headroom once set up at a campsite.
To combat the issue of angles on the sidewalls that interfere with headspace, many models add dormers that pop open over beds or seating so you can move about more freely.
This camper type is ideal for RVers who are looking for a tent-camping upgrade but aren’t looking for a full-size recreational vehicle. The size of these campers makes them very suitable for smaller campsites which opens up more campground parking choices and can save money on nightly fees.
Aliner A-Frame (Video)
What makes the A-frame camper attractive to buyers is the low cost, compact size, and lightweight construction that makes it super easy to tow with an SUV or minivan.
The camper is very easy to park and fit into tight campsites on or off-grid, and storage is a breeze inside a garage.
For set up, you only need to pop up the walls and lock them into place. One person can have the camper ready for occupancy in only a few minutes.
To help you better understand what to expect with this type of camper, here is a list of pros and cons:
A-FRAME CAMPER PROS
The materials that go into the 10 A-frame campers are light, with most models under 2,000 pounds.
The weight not only reduces fuel expenses, but makes the camper much easier to tow, park, and maneuver into campsites.
Just because the A-frame camper is lightweight doesn’t mean the quality is poor. Modern laminates and framing material can withstand the elements and rough use, so the trailer lasts for years.
Durable Tent Alternative
Tent camping can get uncomfortable or downright dangerous under certain camping or weather conditions. Having hard sides and a soft bed with A-frame campers can make a world of difference in comfort and stress reduction of the 10 I’ll mention.
Even a standard pop-up camper runs the risk of soft-sides tearing, rain penetration through the screening, and lack of temperature control. All of these issues aren’t a concern with an A-frame camper.
A little-known bonus is that many campgrounds, especially in bear country, do not allow soft-sided tents or pop-up campers due to liability issues. The A-frame camper has little or no canvas anywhere in the construction, so when set up at a campsite, you’re fully protected.
Size and Amenities Benefits
The size of most A-frame campers is perfect for solo or couple camping trips, but some models do provide sleeping quarters for four or six people.
Many A-frame models have additional pop-outs on the roofline to increase headroom and space for sleeping.
You can choose the best A-frame campers with showers or cassette toilets for even more camping convenience or keep it simple for easy boondocking adventures.
The large windows in most A-frame RV models bring in an abundance of natural light, so the interior is cheerful and cozy but gives you incredible views of nature outside your door.
Roof Shape Reduces Leaks
The sharp angle of the 10 A-frame campers roof quickly drains the water, which lowers the chance of leaks common in RVs with flat roofs.
You do have a higher chance of water infiltration on models with windows that open for air circulation, but overall A-frame camper owners report a few issues with leaks.
We find there are more storage compartments than you would expect in most A-frame campers. The base of the trailer and space under the bed offer some larger bins to store camping gear out of the main cabin area.
Inside, there are enough cabinets or storage options to keep food and personal items close at hand but not in your way.
A FRAME CAMPER CONS
Not for Large Families
While you can manage to fit a small family into the 10 A-frame campers, most don’t offer the space or amenities to make it functional for more than four people at once.
If you don’t mind spending most of your time outdoors, then you can make this camper work, but if bad weather forces you inside, it’s going to be very cramped.
There is something about the tapered roofline and metal framing that increase condensation issues inside A-frame trailers.
General humidity in the air and moisture from breathing will rise quickly inside the camper and collect on the cool upper walls. The condensation then forms and drips when the temperatures drop in the evening or during cooler months of the year.
Not all models have this issue, but it is something to note.
Lack of Upper Storage
Due to the camper walls and roof design, there isn’t a way to incorporate built-in shelving or cabinets on the upper portion of the RV when open.
You can install small hooks to attach cargo nets once the camper is open, but don’t expect to find storage at a convenient height to see and grab items.
Transitioning the Dinette for Sleeping
Most A-frame travel trailers have the standard dinette-to-bed or sofabed conversion feature that can become tiresome to switch back and forth after a while.
The padding on the dinette cushions is often too thin for a good night’s sleep and will require additional padding or a mattress topper.
To avoid this issue, you can look for an A-frame camper with an actual bed that will take up more floor space but is much more convenient and comfortable.
Not Suitable for Tall People
From standing inside to fitting into any of the bed arrangements, an A-frame is just not made to accommodate people over six feet tall.
If you need to bend and stoop constantly and cannot stretch out while sleeping, this will lead to sore backs or pulled muscles. If you’re tall, it’s best to bypass any A-frame model and go with a more traditional RV instead.
Most RVers use their awning while camping to hang out, cook, or entertain underneath.
Not only does the cover provide protection from the sun and rain, but it keeps your RV interior cooler and gives you a safe place to store shoes and camping gear outside the camper.
The shape of the 10 A-frame campers does not allow you to attach an awning system. If you want shade, you’ll have to bring a stand-alone canopy which takes time to set up and requires extra room to store.
10 Best A-Frame Camper Models
Now that you’ve read the pros and cons of A-frame campers stay here to take a look at the top models below. We explain what makes these the best A-frame campers for their features and size and give details on price and weight.
1. Jayco Jay 2016 Series 12BFD Hardwall A-Frame Camper
- Length: 22′ 4″
- Travel Height: 5′ 11″
- UVW: 2410 lbs
- Sleeps: 2
- Price: $12,995
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The Jayco Jay Series 12BFD A-Frame Camper gets a top mention because we love the expansive storage deck and super simple setup that is great for RV camping beginners.
Locating this older model line may be difficult, but the Jayco brand is known for quality-built campers, and this model is no exception. The trailer features an expandable screen room for extra outdoor enjoyment and weather-resistant exterior panels and trim.
Inside, you’ll find a large U-shape convertible dinette, a kitchen with a 3-burner stove, a 17-gallon freshwater tank, a microwave, a mini-fridge, and storage. You can also enjoy the heater and the indoor shower, and the cassette toilet.
Jayco Jay 2016 Series 12BFD (Video)
2. Aliner Expedition A Frame Camper
- Length: 18 feet
- Travel Height: 68 inches
- UVW: 1,850 lbs
- Sleeps: 3
- Price: $27,695
The Aliner Expedition has a floorplan that creates more headroom with the addition of two roofline pop-outs.
The front of the trailer features a convertible dinette, while the rear has a 60″ x 80″ bed. In the middle of the trailer is a kitchenette with a sink, two burners, a fridge, storage, and a room with a swivel cassette toilet.
The durable Adzel composite construction, 11-gallon freshwater tank, and outside shower are three more of the standard features we find that make this model a top pick.
Aliner Expedition (Video)
3. Rockwood A-122 A-Frame Pop-Up Camper
- Length: 17.5 feet
- Travel Height: 5′ 1″
- UVW: 2014 lbs
- Sleeps: 4
- Price: $16,440
The Rockwood A-122 A Frame Campers is a good choice of the 10 because it is super compact yet provides sleeping for up to four with a flip-up bed and convertible dinette.
The exterior storage and outdoor griddle are nice touches we find helpful when camping, while the interior kitchen has a sink for washing dishes, a 3-burner stove for cooking, and a small fridge to keep food and drinks cold.
We like that the layout provides the most headroom where you need it most, and the storage under the permanent bed is a huge bonus.
Rockwood A-122 A-Frame (Video)
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4. Flagstaff Hard Side T21DMHW Pop-up Camper
- Length: 21.2 feet
- Travel Height: 5′ 8″
- UVW: 2700 lbs
- Sleeps: 3
- Price: $21,900
The Flagstaff Hard Side T21DMHW Pop-up Camper offers an optional outdoor covering that attaches to the exterior wall to expand living space while camping.
Flagstaff is a Forest River brand, and this high-quality camper uses every square inch efficiently. The front of the camper has a wide storage area, with a wet bath and kitchen under the front dormer so you can cook or clean up without hunching.
The camper’s center has more storage and a convertible dinette, while the rear holds a flip-up bed. Outside you’ll find a place to hook on a grill and more storage compartments.
Flagstaff Hard Side T21DMHW (Video)
5. Aliner Scout-Lite A-Frame Camping Trailer
- Length: 13 feet
- Travel Height: 57 inches
- UVW: 1180 lbs
- Sleeps: 3
- Price: $12,995
The Aliner brand makes the list again for its Scout-Lite A-Frame Camping Trailer which is the perfect choice for RVers who want a small and lightweight camping trailer.
The interior layout with dinette to bed and separate couch/bunk on either end feels spacious, and the basic sink, cabinet storage, and Fantastic Fan vent round out the amenities.
While this camper is a bare-bones camping option, we all agree that it’s an excellent value for the price and will provide years of camping enjoyment.
Aliner Scout-Lite A-Frame (Video)
6. Bolwell RV AIR A-Frame Camper
- Length: 18.5 feet
- Travel Height: 75 inches
- UVW: 2200 lbs
- Sleeps: 2
- Price: $43,500
Of the 10, the Bolwell RV AIR A-Frame camper is a luxury-level off-road RV that is a real eye-catcher. The unique design features like opening windows, split entry door, wrap-over roof flaps and super aerodynamic front end make this Australian brand one to search for if you want the ultimate A-frame camper.
The whole camper is built without rivets or screws and uses powerful industrial-strength glues to weld the construction materials together at a molecular level chemically.
The interior height and space are a surprise when you enter. You can choose from two floorplans that feature a double bed and dinette on opposite sides or two twin-size beds on either end with a swivel table.
The kitchen has a sink, fridge, stovetop, microwave, and storage made with the greatest attention to detail. You can also enjoy the CD/radio audio system and colossal storage compartments that span the length of the bed.
Bolwell RV AIR A-Frame (Video)
Bolwell RV AIR (Video)
7. Chalet XL-1920
- Length: 18.7 feet
- Travel Height: 68 inches
- UVW: 1995 lbs
- Sleeps: 4
- Price: $24,995
The Chalet XL-1920 is a family-friendly A-frame camper that features broad bunk beds in the front and a dinette that converts to a double-size bed.
Enjoy residential-height countertops, a large sink, a three-burner stove, a fridge, a furnace, and the option for a wet bath instead of more storage space. The 8 feet of headroom is terrific, while the patented Electronic Roof Lift System makes setup and break down stress-free.
We also love that it’s pre-wired and ready for a solar setup to make off-grid camping easier.
Chalet XL-1920 (Video)
8. Coachmen Viking V12RBSTHW Legend Hardside
- Length: 20.2 feet
- Travel Height: 59 inches
- UVW: 2165 lbs
- Sleeps: 4
- Price: $13,990
The Coachmen Viking V12RBST Legend Hardside trailer is another older model A-frame option that offers you the perfect blend of function with quick-release latches, dense insulation to combat weather extremes, and easy towing capability.
We really like the large front cargo ports that allow you to carry and store all kinds of camping supplies safely. Outside you’ll also enjoy a speaker system for music and a hot-water shower.
Inside you’ll find a two-burner stove, sink, refrigerator, and microwave with extra storage cabinets. The booth dinette converts to sleeping quarters, and there is a separate full-size bed and large 27-gallon freshwater tank.
Coachmen Viking V12RBSTHW (Video)
9. Conqueror UEV-490 Platinum
- Length: 16.9 feet
- Travel Height: 6′ 4″
- UVW: 3200 lbs
- Sleeps: 4
- Price: $40,990
The Conqueror UEV-490 Platinum isn’t precisely an A-frame pop-up but is very close with its lifted roof panel that increases headroom in this super-rugged camping trailer that leaves no essential camping to need out. The camper even has a 360-degree awning for more sun and rain protection.
Enjoy plenty of sleeping options with either a queen bed or two twin single beds, plus a fold-out double bed. The modular bathroom has a washbasin, toilet and shower.
In contrast, the exterior pull-out kitchen has a large cooler, two-burner stove, running water, and large storage drawers for dishes and cooking supplies.
This camper can’t be beaten when it comes to the durable construction. The shell of the trailer is of electro-galvanized steel, and the chassis features a patented independent suspension system, Tough Dog shock absorbers, and raised tires for more off-road clearance.
Conqueror UEV-490 Platinum (Video)
10. Aliner Titanium 12
- Length: 15 feet
- Travel Height: 66 inches
- UVW: 1670 lbs
- Sleeps: 3
- Price: $24,900
The Aliner Titanium 12 rounds out our top ten list with a cozy floorplan that includes a sofa at one end and a dinette conversion to a full-size bed on the other.
What we like about this Aliner model is the short length and box height to increase the ease of towing and parking. You can opt for an even shorter and lighter Titanium 10 which is a 13-foot model if you want to go more compact.
Setup is fast and straightforward, with a big dormer that increases headroom and air circulation inside the camper.
Inside, the lack of a bathroom gives the living area more space for the kitchen with a fridge, sink, stove, and more cabinet space and shelves. The open space under the dinette seats makes this one of the smallest A-frame campers with the most storage space.
Aliner Titanium 12 (Video)
A Frame Camping Trailer Wrap Up
The 10 A-frame campers’ recreational vehicle may look like a pop-up tent camper, but they provide more camping conveniences and protection than other hybrid-style RVs.
With the hard sides, quick setup, durable build, compact towing size, and easy storage, you can’t go wrong choosing any of the top models above to bring along on all your camping adventures.
When you’re over tent camping but don’t want to haul around a large fifth wheel or travel trailer or drive a motorhome, an A-frame camper could be just what you need!
- What are the key factors to consider when choosing an A-frame camper?
When choosing an A-frame camper, the key factors to consider include its weight and size, which should be compatible with your towing vehicle, and the layout and amenities it offers, such as sleeping capacity, kitchen facilities, and bathroom amenities.
Additionally, consider the camper’s build quality, ease of setup and takedown, insulation for different weather conditions, and your budget.
- How does the A-frame camper compare to other types of RVs?
The A-frame camper, also known as a pop-up camper, is a type of RV that is lightweight, easy to tow and offers a unique blend of comfort and convenience, making it ideal for individuals or small families.
Compared to other types of RVs, A-frame campers are more affordable and fuel-efficient, but they may lack some of the amenities found in larger RVs, such as full bathrooms or extensive kitchen facilities.
- What are the pros and cons of owning an A-frame camper?
Pros of owning an A-frame camper include its unique design that allows for easy setup and takedown, compact size for easy towing and storage, and its hard-sided structure that provides better insulation and protection from the elements compared to traditional tents.
However, the cons include limited living space which may not be suitable for large families, lack of amenities compared to larger RVs, and potentially higher costs for maintenance and repairs due to their specialized structure.
- What are some of the best brands and models of A-frame campers available in the market today?
Some of the best brands for A-frame campers include Aliner, Rockwood, and Chalet, known for their quality and durability.
Popular models include the Aliner Classic, Rockwood Hard Side Pop-Up Campers A122S, and the Chalet A-Frame XL 1930, all of which offer excellent features and comfort for camping enthusiasts.
- How does the size and design of an A-frame camper affect its suitability for different types of camping trips?
The size and design of an A-frame camper significantly influence its suitability for different types of camping trips.
Smaller, compact A-frames are ideal for solo or duo trips, offering easy maneuverability and less fuel consumption, while larger designs with more amenities are better suited for family outings or long-term camping, providing more living space and comfort.
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