Does a Pop-Up Camper Need a License Plate? (Explained)

Does a Pop-Up Camper Need a License Plate

Have you ever wondered if a pop-up camper needs a license plate? Look no more. We´ve got you covered.

Pop-up campers are fantastic for taking some of the comforts of home on the road with you. They are versatile and lightweight.

Plus, any form of camper travel gives you a great way to see countless sights and spend quality time with your loved ones.

If you are new to towing trailers, there are several things to keep in mind if you want your vacation to run smoothly.

So, does a pop-up camper need a license plate?  Yes, pop-up camper trailers will need a license plate to be towed. You should also make sure your license plate is always clean enough to be legible.

What is a Pop-Up Camper?

Pop-up campers are trailers that fold down and collapse for easier towing. They have collapsible roofs and/or sides. This makes them easier to tow and more fuel-efficient.

👉 Some pop-up campers have hard sides and roofs. Others offer soft sides, more like the sides on a tent. The soft-sided campers are lighter, but less protective against extreme weather than the hard-sided options.

👉 Pop-up campers offer a more comfortable sleeping arrangement than a tent. Some also have cooking areas or even toilets.

They allow you to bring many of the luxuries of your home without renting a large motorhome or camper.

It is easier to back up with a pop-up camper, because they are not as tall as other camper trailers. You can still have adequate views out of your rearview mirror.

👉 When pop-up campers are collapsed or folded down, they experience less wind resistance.

While your gas mileage will go down from the added weight of any trailer, pop-up campers do offer improved gas mileage over many other camper trailer options.

Pop-up campers are popular for people seeking a budget-friendly camper option.

They do not have the most expensive amenities, but if you are looking for a step up from tent camping, you will still be comfortable in a pop-up trailer tent.

Read also: Top 35 Best Pop Up Camper: Pop Up Trailer Tents You Need To Know

Do Pop-Up Camper Trailers Need License Plates?

Most trailers you pull will need a license plate. This includes pop-up camper trailers, boat trailers, and other travel trailers.

To make sure your pop-up camper is safe and legal, you will also need to make sure your trailer has the proper light requirements.

These lighting requirements include brake lights, turn signals, and a white light to highlight the license plate of your trailer.

If you are camping in a muddy area, you may need to wipe off your pop-up camper’s license plate before driving anywhere.

What if You Do Not Have a License Plate for Your Trailer?

Getting a license plate for your trailer takes several steps, but it will ensure that your trailer is legal to drive, so you can keep adventuring.

👉 First, you will need to prove you own the trailer. This could be done with a bill of sale. This can help you get a title for your trailer if you do not already have the title.

If you have lost the title to your trailer, hope is not lost, there are applications in most states to help you get a replacement title.

👉 You may need to get VIN verification if your trailer was purchased in a different state from the one in which you currently reside.

This step is not necessary in every state, but if it is required in your state, you will need to do it in order to register your trailer.

👉 The next step is registering your trailer. Most state DMVs have a form available for this online. If you cannot find the form, or if you have issues with the online form, you can also go to the DMV and request a printed form.

👉 After submitting the application, you may need to undergo a safety review before your registration will be accepted.

You will want to make sure all of the lights and brakes on your trailer are working properly prior to this review.

Once your trailer has passed the safety inspection, you can pay the registration fees and get the license for your trailer.

Never Lose A Trailer License Plate Again With This Tip >> Check out the video below:

Maintaining the License on Your Pop up Trailer Tent

Maintaining the license on your trailer will save you from hassle down the line. There are several ways to do this.

Be sure to keep track of how long your registration is valid. You will need to re-register with the DMV every few years to ensure that your trailer is still legal.

This also helps to keep a record of which trailer belongs to whom, so if there is ever a question, your trailer can be marked as yours.

👉 Tip Make sure your license plate is well-attached. Pop-up campers go everywhere. This may mean they get a little beaten up.

You will want to make sure your license plate does not fall off after a pothole. Protect it and attach it well. Check to make sure it is still there at various points throughout your trips.

👉 Keep your license plate clean. It is important that your license plate remains legible. The most common way license plates become illegible is when they become caked in mud. Luckily, this is an easy problem to solve.

Splash some water on the license plate or use a damp rag to wipe off any mud, and you can get back on the road.

👉 Check to make sure the light that highlights your license plate is functional. You can get pulled over if you are not properly showing your license plate. This is a hassle that will keep you away from your camper vacation.

Check the lights before trips. Make sure the lightbulbs are not broken or burned out. If they are, check online or at an automotive supply store for a replacement.

Read also: Can You Pull a Boat Behind a Pop up Camper? All Facts You Need

Driving Safely with a Pop-Up Camper

Pop-up tents are easier to tow than other trailers. Once your trailer is licensed, you will probably want to hit the road.

Read also: How Much Wind Can a Pop Up Camper Take? Is It Dangerous?

Make sure to be aware of your surroundings and follow these tips to help keep your trailer (and your family) safe.

  • Make sure you know how much weight your towing vehicle can safely tow. Pulling too much weight can damage the chassis, engine, and transmission of your vehicle. If you are not sure, the owner’s manual for your vehicle likely has the weight your vehicle can safely tow. Remember that the weight of your trailer will be increased by gear and water.
  • Practice driving with a trailer. Backing out of spaces is more complicated with a trailer than it is with a car. Find an open space where you can safely practice turning and backing up.
  • Check all of the safety precautions on your trailer before you start driving. Check the brake lights, turn signals, and any other lights that your trailer has. Be sure to attach the electrical connection to your towing vehicle so the lights will function as you drive. Attach the chains, and be sure that your hitch is properly attached to your towing vehicle.
  • Always leave extra stopping distance when you are pulling a pop-up camper. Even though pop-up campers are some of the lightest camper trailer options available, they will still add enough weight that stopping may be slightly more difficult. Leave at least a few seconds between you and the vehicle in front of you. Account for this extra weight when pulling up to stoplights and stop signs.
  • Be ready to adjust when backing up with a trailer. If you turn to abruptly, you can jackknife the trailer and damage both the trailer and your vehicle. Take it slowly and be ready to try again if it is not working.
  • Always check your mirrors and your blind spots when merging and remember that your vehicle is now several feet longer. Pop-up campers are great because they allow more visibility out of the rear window, but they can still obstruct the views from certain angles, so check twice while towing a trailer to protect yourself and everyone else on the road.
  • When on the interstate, driving in the middle or right lane is probably the safest choice. You will not be able to drive as quickly while pulling a pop-up camper, and driving in the right lane will allow other drivers to safely pass you.
  • Watch for larger parking spots. When you are parking to gather gear or food, you will need extra room to park. Finding spots that allow you to pull-through may be easier than trying to back into a parking spot.
  • Check your surroundings before trying to back up. Make sure no one is walking behind the trailer and there are not bicycles, tents, or coolers behind the trailer that cannot be seen from the driver’s seat of your towing vehicle.

These tips will help keep you safe so you can enjoy camping with your pop-up trailer tent. When you are safe on the road, you can save money and time for the things that are most important to you.


Pop-up campers are perfect for taking the luxuries of home on the road with you in a compact, budget-friendly way.

Pop-up campers do require license plates. If yours does not have one, you can go through your local DMV to register your trailer and obtain a license.

Stay safe and have fun in your pop-up camper!


Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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