Hard floor camper trailers are great for those who are looking for a rugged camping experience without sacrificing safety or comfort. Hard floor campers are easy to set up and easy to take down and can be taken into just about any environment. Whether you’re going for a long-haul trip with camping along the way or you’re a weekend warrior, hard floor campers are the perfect option for just about anyone.
What Should You Know about Hard Floor Camper Trailers?
Sleeping and Space in Hard Floor Campers
One of the best things about hard floor camper trailers is the protection they offer from the elements. You can camp during the worst weather – rain, snow, sleet – and still be comfortable in your camper. Not only will it protect you, but it also gives you plenty of space indoors.
Keep in mind, the floor space you have is usually just the floor space of the hard tub. The space expands vertically, but you rarely get more floor space than the hard bottom of the trailer. This means a single camper, maybe two, will be comfortable, but families are going to struggle in this small of a space. Even if a hard floor camper has a pull out for seating or extra bedding, there’s not a tremendous amount of space for multi-person camping trips.
To make up for this, some brands offer annexes to add to your campsite space. If you’re interested in a hard floor trailer and you’ll have more than two people camping with you on a regular basis, you might want to look into investing in an annex.
Another notable feature of hard floor campers is the ability to get into bed without climbing or crawling over another sleep. When it comes to sleeping quarters, you can’t beat lower bed access that is safe and convenient. This is especially true for retirees and seniors who might not be as agile as they once were.
In most cases, hard floor camper trailers are easy to set up. They only take about five to 10 minutes to get into position. If you add the awning in addition to the tent, it’ll take a little longer – about a half hour or less, even when you’re using a manual set-up tool. Take down is also convenient and can usually be completed in about 10 to 15 minutes. It’s possible to set up and take down with just one person doing the work.
Hard floor campers work well in pretty much every terrain. They are compact and fairly lightweight, so it’s easy to tow them into off-road conditions. These campers offer the comfort and convenience of smaller RV models but aren’t as top heavy. They are also easier to tow along cramped, winding roads. And since they’re made of steel, they’re sturdy and don’t put your wallet at risk every time the camper is exposed to bad weather conditions, like fiberglass and aluminum construction tends to do.
Of course, hard floor camper trailers aren’t perfect, and they aren’t right for every single camper. There are some issues with towing if you aren’t careful with weight and you’ll likely only get limited storage space. It’s usually enough for a single camper, but if you’re camping with someone else, you’ll need to be careful about the amount of gear you carry with you. Some models offer extra storage or a layout that allows for good storage, but it’s something to consider if you’re used to camping with a lot of gear.
Hard floor campers do have a downside. They are more expensive than soft floor campers, and there aren’t many out there that are less than $25,000. This means you’re looking at quite an investment, so you need to be sure the amount of time you spend camping and the experience you’re looking for necessitates the amount you spend on the camper.
As you might guess, hard floor campers weigh a lot more than soft floor campers. This means you’ll not only be towing something heavy; you’ll need to pay for the fuel for a heavier vehicle, so over time the hard floor camper will cost more in addition to your initial investment being costlier.
Hard floor camper trailers also offer less storage space when not in use. The bed is built into the body of the trailer, and there’s limited space under the bed for storage. If you need to stow a lot of equipment as you move from one place to another, you’ll need to come up with a storage solution that accommodates what you have. If you have a need for a lot of storage, you can invest in additional storage here.
Though hard floor campers are typically considered to have an easier set up than soft campers, this isn’t always the case. Much of the ease of set up depends on the ground on which you’ve placed the camper. If you’re in a rugged location and camping on uneven ground, you’re going to spend some time adjusting the legs of the hard floor camper to get it stable.
It can also be a bit more challenging to add an annex onto a hard floor camper, as you can on its soft floor counterpart. Not to mention any annex you add can be tough to use as a bedroom space because it’s actually living space. If you’re camping with more than two people, this can be a problem.
All this said, hard floor campers are still the right option for many campers. They offer a lower, easier to access bed, a simple overnight set-up in most cases, the ability to block out the elements, and a raised floor that’s easier to clean and that helps you cut down on the number of creepy crawlies that get into your camper. They also fit well into smaller campsites on all sorts of rugged terrain.
If you’re thinking about buying an off-road camper, you likely have a number of questions if this is your first time.
Our frequently asked questions can help you narrow down your choices and shop for a camper that suits your needs.
Why choose a hard floor camper over a soft floor camper?
Both offer a number of advantages and disadvantages, so one isn’t necessarily better than the other. It’s a matter of your personal preference. Think about how often you camp, where you camp, and how much you want to spend. Who camps with you is also an important factor.
The best thing you can do is not consider one option better than another, but instead, consider your needs and look for the type of camper that best suits those needs.
Does my towing vehicle matter?
Yes, though maybe not as much as you think. You’ll need a heavy-duty vehicle to tow a hard floor camper, but this doesn’t mean you need to invest in a large 8-cylinder engine truck unless that’s already on your wish list, too.
Many of today’s hard floor off road camper trailers are designed and built with towing issues in mind. Some are lighter than you’d expect, so if towing is a concern of yours, make sure you look for campers that offer the amenities you need without weighing too much. Keep in mind lighter campers also tend to use less gas, so you’ll save money in the long run by buying a lighter weight camper.
Vehicle tow kits come in a wide variety of options and are very reasonably priced.
I’m looking for a camper trailer that’s good for a large family? Should I consider a hard floor camper?
Maybe, but you’ll have fewer options. Hard floor campers are typically low on space and can feel cramped and uncomfortable if you’re camping with a large ground of people. However, some campers have annexes built in to give you additional living space.
Much of this depends on your specific family. Are you always taking a large group camping with you or are you retired and just want to take the grandkids along once in a while? Do you need a lot of sleeping space, or are you more concerned about meal times and protection from the elements during the day?
There are plenty of options available if you’re flexible and willing to put space in front of some of the other features on your wish list.
I’m planning a long-distance, long-term camping trip. Is a hard floor camper trailer a good option?
Yes! And even more so if you’re planning a solo camping trip. These campers are heavy duty, easy to set up and take down, and can be taken into a wide variety of terrains.
Choosing the Right Hard Floor Camper Trailer for You
There are plenty of options available for hard floor camper trailers and knowing a little about your options can make it easier to make the right choice.
What are our favorite hard floor camper trailer options?
EDX Hard Floor Off Road Camper
The EDX is an innovative camper that offers modern amenities and design, without sacrificing any of necessary features. It features the EDX patent pending automatic open and closing function as a standard feature.
This camper is made of galvanized metal, stainless steel, and aluminum sheet metal, and has an easy to set up fixed frame tent. It’s easy enough that one person can set it up, so it’s a popular choice among solo campers.
EDX has also made an effort to keep the weight of this hard floor camper to a minimum – something that can be a challenge for some hard floor campers that tend to weigh a lot more than their soft floor counterparts. Still, the camper is heavy duty and durable, so you’ll have no problem taking it into even the most rugged terrain.
The internal features of this EDX model were designed to maximize every inch of space. It comes with a queen inner spring mattress with slide out storage for clothing, even when the camper is shut down for travel. It also features an insulated roof that helps with temperature control in the winter and summer.
The camper features a kitchen with a sink and three burner stoves, as well as a stainless-steel bench for seating and storage, and under kitchen storage and a pantry. Electrical devices are protected with dual 240-volt power points, and AUX and USB sockets.
We love this camper because it provides everything you need without some of the downsides of the typical hard floor camper.
Bushranger Off-Road Hard Floor Camper
Bushranger offers two models, the Safari and the Country.
The Country is a great investment for the cost. It’s Bushranger’s basic option and offers everything you need for camping comfort without sacrificing any of the standard features needed for heavy duty off road camping.
The Safari, like all Bushranger campers, is known for offering great value for the investment. It’s a greater off-road camper and is easy to set up and take down. The Safari is Bushranger’s more advanced option and features a heavier and longer drawbar, extra gas mounts, and a standard annex for extra space.
Both Bushranger campers feature a steel frame on the bed, a high-density foam mattress, under bed storage, and removable curtains. There are two entry doors and a kitchen with a pull-out sink and two burner stove and grill.
Stony Creek Nugget Roof Top
The Stony Creek Nugget Camper is a great option for camping in all terrains. It features an innovative design with plenty of storage and a slide out kitchen. There is a Darche roof top tent and 270-degree awning. We love this camper because it’s easy to set up and gets you out into the wilderness and ready to camp in no time at all.
The slid out stainless steel kitchen is comfortable and functional and features a two-burner stove top that makes meal prep easy and convenient. The camper is equipped with a forward toolbox for storage, as well as a large refrigerator compartment.
This camper’s exterior was built for rugged exposure. It has a hot dipped galvanized chassis and hefty mud terrain tires that ensure you won’t get stuck even if you travel into the muckiest, messiest campsite.
I am a well traveled Marine Corps veteran that enjoys the outdoor and nomadic lifestyle that RV living provides. I am also a member of the National RV Inspectors Association (NRVIA.org). As the founder of Camperguide.org my goal is to provide you with well researched information so that you can enjoy the best of the RV lifestyle.