Folding Campers. What’s It All About?

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There seem to be a lot of misconceptions as to what a folding camper actually is, and, for a lot of people, what the difference is between a folding camper and a trailer tent.

Many potential buyers who view our campers simply had no idea they even existed.

A folding camper is a self contained folding unit which is comprised of a standard caravan style base, coupled with a folding canvas top. The main difference between this and a trailer tent is the fact that everything is contained within the main body of the trailer, including beds, seating, kitchen, storage etc. This means it can be used on it’s own, without the optional awning. A trailer tent, in contrast, will normally have, at most, a couple of beds, and maybe, a couple of bench style seats in the main body of the trailer, with everything else, including the kitchen and main living area being contained in the attached awning / tent.

This makes the folding camper much more flexible in its accommodation, as it can be set up in 10 – 15 minutes for a quick weekend away, or, for longer breaks, there is the optional awning, which sets up in around 30 minutes (depending on model) and doubles the size of the accommodation.

Folding campers have a number of advantages over alternate forms of camping:

  • They represent a whole new level of luxury, when compared to even the most expensive of tents, with comfortable, off the ground beds, ‘proper’ settees and fully equiped kitchens.
  • Although way more luxurious, a folding camper can be set up in a fraction of the time of a normal tent. 10 – 15 minutes and you’re up and ready to go.
  • Everything packs away in the trailer, including personal effects, so no more wedging of children and pets onto the parcel shelf for the journey
  • One of the key advantages over caravans is that they can be folded into a much more compact format, thereby allowing them to be stored in a normal domestic garage
  • This smaller size and reduced weight, compared to caravans, means vastly improved rear visibility, greater stability on the road, easier maneuvering (both when hitched and unhitched) and, consequently, less impact on the fuel economy of the towing vehicle.
  • Because they are lighter, and lower profile, they can be towed by a far smaller car.
  • Anyone who has kept abreast of developments recently will have seen a noticeable change, in recent years, in caravan / motor home design, with a general shift towards the fixed double bed layout (as opposed to having to constantly make up beds from settees). Folding campers have adopted this principle for years. Not only do they have permanently made up double beds, but retaining straps hold all bedding in place, thereby allowing the beds to remain made up, even when the camper is folded away. This also speeds up setup times, as the beds can simply be opened out, ready made.
  • Also, because the beds fold outside the main footprint of the camper, this means that the entire floor area can be used as living / storage space. A typical 6 foot x 9 foot folding camper will normally sleep 6 in total comfort. The equivalent sized caravan will almost always be 2 berth only.
  • We have yet to find a camp site in the UK that doesn’t take folding campers. Many sites will only take caravans, but not tents. These sites treat the campers as folding caravans, and allow them on. Likewise, other sites will take tents and motor homes,  but are not licensed for caravans. These sites treat folding campers in the same way as trailer tents, and, again, will allow them to pitch there, so folding campers are allowed, as far as we can tell, anywhere they want to go.

Compact, convenient, comfortable and economical. That’s it in a nut shell. If you want to know any more, feel free to check out our web site, or give us a call on 0800 069 9601 (Option2)

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About Alan Young

MD and owner of the Woodhurst Group, including Praxis Accountancy Limited and Blue Sky Recreation Limited. Also Commercial Director of The Sky visor Group
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