August 11, 2022 4 min read

Camper vs. Tent Camping

Every individual camper goes through an educational evolution with their camping set-up. Out of the gate, a novice camper can typically get their start with an entry level box store tent, price point gear and constantly forgetting something. But as we learn, we become smarter when we head into the backcountry. We find tricks, tips and hacks to make our lives more enjoyable and comfortable. Shortly after, we become our own experts, handing down our experiences to the next camping rookie as if we could write our own blog post recommending the best tips. 

We have made it, achieved expert status with tent camping. What is next? How can we make our camping experience even better? Truck bed camping, travel trailer, campervan, camper, pop-up, teardrop or RV or is a tent the best? At HEST, we want to share the benefits and the disadvantages of all camping set-ups because we would like to say we have seen them all.

To kick it off, here are our pros and cons of owning a tow-behind camper to camp.


  • Space.  
  •  Weather proof.  
  •  Make a cup of coffee test. 
  •  Elevated sleeping space.


  • Limited to access. 
  •  Maintenance.  
  •  Education and learning how to tow. 
  •  Gas guzzlers.




If you are a solo camper or a couple, a camper might be too big for you. But once you get to the 2+ pack in your party (including dogs) a camping camper might be a great solution. You have plenty of room. A typical camper has at least two beds (one large one and one smaller) at each end. This is obviously perfect for separating the kids and the adults compared to a tent where it’s one large space. 

2 - Weather Proof

Anyone knows that weather can show up at any time. If it’s heat, snow or wind it will show up and try to ruin your night. A huge plus to a camping camper is that it’s weatherproof. A shelter to protect you from the elements. Not just helping you stay dry from the rain, most campers have a heater to warm you up in the middle of the night and some also have an AC unit to cool you down after a hot day in the sun.


3 - Make a cup of coffee test

At HEST we have a saying “But can you make a cup of coffee?”. The test is, in your camping set-up, is it easy to make your morning coffee? Do you need to go outside in the cold or rain and start up your JetBoil FlashSystem? Or can you roll out of bed and make the coffee without leaving your space? If it wasn’t clear already you can make your cup of coffee in your camper without leaving the inside comforts. Bonus Pro is that you also have a dry seat in a camper.

4 - Elevated sleeping space

Beds in a camper are typically elevated off of the ground. Compared to tent camping this is a plus because you can easily get in and out of bed rather than bending down to get to bed. Pro Tip: Most campers come with cushions that transform from seats into a bed to sleep on. Consider using a HEST Dually or HEST Foamy (depending on the bed size) on top of the cushions (or in replacement of) to elevate your overall comfort level.


1 - Limited Access

A standard camper has low clearance as well as the length which will hold you back from going far up that class four dirt road. This limits the freedom of where you can park for the night. If you are a big BLM or off the beaten path camper we would recommend finding a camper with a high clearance build to help increase your distance up the roads.



Just like every additional toy you will need to keep up with the maintenance as well as paying for the repairs and possibly storage when you aren’t using it. Additionally they do require insurance as well as getting them registered.

3 - Education

You will need to practice towing if you have no experience before. Backing up is the hardest. We recommend bringing your camper to your local grocery store parking lot to practice backing up before attempting to land it in a camp site. Other education includes hooking the camper up to your hitch, what hitch works best for you to be level, testing the emergency brake system as well as making sure your electrical hook-up fits.

4- Gas guzzler

We would think this was obvious ,but need to point it out. Towing any large amount of weight will increase your energy to drive, hence burning gas. Be aware of the dry weight of the camper you have in-mind because the lighter the better with burning gas in transit.