Review of the American Girl Adventure Pop Up Camper

It’s here!!! It’s here!!!!  I can’t believe it, but the camper has arrived!  It arrived yesterday, I only ordered it on Thursday, that was fast!  Talk about stalking the Fed Ex guy though.  Every time I heard a vehicle outside, I had my fingers crossed it was him.  Sneaky devil though, he was super quiet and I didn’t realize he was out there until he was heading back to his truck.  Warning in advance, this post is full of photos.

Here it is still in the box.  This is a large item, so it only comes in a standard shipping box, no special AG box:

camper 1

Out of the box, it has the camper with two bags of stuff.  The one you see in the boxed photo on the top is the outside of the tent part of the camper and a cushion.  Then you get a bag that holds all of this:

camper 2

Lots of little goodies! Let’s look at them first, they are so cute! (can you tell I’m excited, all these exclamation marks!!!)
camper 3  camper 4

Some paper items, stickers, a loaf of bread.  LOVE the cooking utensils, the spatula is made out of metal.

camper 5  camper 6

Here we have some food items and some green spatterware style dishes.  I am pleased to see that the dishes all come in 2’s, no more dining alone!  My complaints have been heard perhaps?  The sporks are also made out of metal.

camper 7
And lastly, a jar of grape jelly and decorations for the camper. I know this kind of seems like an odd pairing, and it is. I’ll be honest, the jar of jelly got buried under something else and I missed it. I didn’t feel like setting the other stuff up again, so just take it or leave it! (just kidding) 😉

Okay, so now that is out of the way, let’s get down to business! TADA!!!! The camper!!!

camper 8

camper 9 camper 10 camper 11 camper 12

I included pictures of all of the sides so you can see all of the details.  Love the signal reflectors as well as the mini propane tanks, very accurate details.  I included the shot of the underside so that you can see that the wheels are hollow.  They also do not turn.  That was only slightly disappointing, I suspect it was a sacrifice made to improve the stability of the whole piece for play, so I can live with it.

The top of the camper is in my opinion, engineering genius.  They turned something as mundane as a luggage rack into a very useful piece, and not something that you store out of the way that doesn’t get used.  More on that later though…

camper 13

Once removed, you have a flat area…

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You simply push on the latch and pull up on the side on the left like this:

camper 15

On the right side, you pull up on the post piece.  It fits into the camper hitch to add stability.  Mine doesn’t fit all that well just yet because it is still kind of tight, but I’m sure as it gets used, it will loosen up.

camper 16

Both sides open the same way to lie flat.

camper 17

See that white piece behind the stove?  That now flips up to add more stability to the tent frame:

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And on the other side:

camper 20

And that green piece???  That’s a bed that folds out!  I can’t believe AG didn’t show any photos of that in the product description.

camper 21

On to tour the interior!

camper 22      camper 23

The interior space is decent and allows you the ability to store the tent part of the camper and accessories inside, making it all self contained.  LOVE that part since space is at a premium around here!

camper 24

The stove is really cute, the knobs turn and make a clicking noise like a real camp stove.  The little cupboards below are fake, but they look cute.  I love that they have dimension instead of just being stickers like on a Barbie piece.

camper 25

The bench on the other side opens for additional storage.  A good place to put plates, cups, etc.

camper 26

On one door we have a rack for magazines and a flashlight that the dolls can actually hold.  Very cute!  And a necessity when camping.  The flashlight does not work though.

Now to my favorite part, the kitchenette!! I thought this was very cute and well done.  Unfortunately, employees at the stores apparently either A) didn’t understand it or B) didn’t read directions.  I can’t tell you how many photos I’ve seen of this part at various stores not put in it’s proper place for display! ARGH!!!!  When you open up the camper, it is in the down position.  You simple pull up on it to snap it in to place.  It’s not difficult at all, it moves easily.

camper 27

Once you snap it in to place, the faucet assembly flips up and you are ready to go!  The drawer on it does not work, but the refrigerator does open.

camper 28 camper 29

Assembly of the tent part of the camper is super easy and very well thought out.  The cross bars of the luggage rack pop out…

camper 31

camper 32  camper 33

The top of each piece has a notched key type design.  You attach two pieces together to make a long pole by inserting one into the other and then twisting so they lock.  The nice part is all of these pieces are uniform, so you don’t have to worry about which one you pair up.  Once you get all four poles assembled, they hook into the luggage rack frame.

Once you get that all put together, the frame then rests on these white posts that you will find in each of the four corners of the camper.

camper 34 camper 36

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Now it’s time to add the tent.  This too is very well thought out.  It fits the frame nicely and has Velcro to help hold things in place.  There are Velcro straps that attach to the posts and then this:

camper 38 camper 39

Once you get it in place, you need to attach the back flap via the buttonholes, they fit over the two little posts that stick out.  One last thing to do…Rebecca!!!

camper 40

She couldn’t wait to try this out, so I thought I’d have her help me.  As you can see from this photo, there is plenty of room for a doll to stand.

camper 41

There are two elastic pieces on the front that flip around and hook on the pieces that stick out from the luggage rack.  The hooks are also a nice place to hang decorations.

camper 42

Rebecca wanted me to show you how the bed looks with someone in it.  First you have to push down the faucet into the sink and move the kitchenette so it is flush with the top edge of the camper:

camper 43 camper 44

Plenty of room for a doll to sleep!

Now it’s time to get things put away.

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Rebecca thinks it’s time to sit and have something to drink!

camper 47 camper 48

Overall, I think this is a terrific set and is very well thought out.  Kudos to designer Matt Wahmhoff for the wonderful job he did on this, it’s doll engineering at it’s best.  I love all the little details in it and how it is designed with play and storage both in mind.  FYI, the window at the back is open, it has no covering, I’m sure that is so more than one child can play at a time.

I especially like the way the tent portion attaches.  The seamstress in me not only appreciates it, but it also gives me lots of ideas on how I could personalize this tent or even make a completely different one if I wanted to.  It is very stable too.

I give this set an A+!  I do think at $185 it is a bit on the expensive side though.  This is the first super pricey item I’ve purchased from AG, I usually either pass on them, or wait for a good sale, but this was something I just HAD to have.  It didn’t hurt that after I posted about it before, Evil Twin called and told me she would give me money towards part of it as my birthday gift.  How could I say no?!?!

That’s all folks!  I hope you have enjoyed this review, and if you have any questions about it, please feel free to ask in the comments section.  See ya! (wave goodbye Rebecca!!)

 camper 49

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I had a request to see what it looked like with a doll beside it folded up as a size comparison.  Excuse the poor photo, I took it with my iPod and it is lousy for photos indoors.

camp

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33 thoughts on “Review of the American Girl Adventure Pop Up Camper

  1. Ooooh… I didn’t think I wanted this, but now that I’ve seen the glorious engineering, I might “need” it! My only question is the height of the sink unit. It looks a little low even snapped into raised position. Would you mind measuring it? I’m an absolute bug about scale. I have a Calico Critters camper that is beautifully done and might have to settle for that. (And by the way, I think your Lundby doll family would fit in it nicely. By my calculation Critter items are 1:19 scale. I’m slowly working my way through previous posts and only discovered yesterday you have this. I have never heard of them, and want to try them in my Calico house as I don’t like Critters!) Alita

    • It is a little bit low. I can’t measure it at the moment because it’s all cleaned up and put away LOL! I have company coming over and needed it out of the way. However, if I remember correctly, in campers of this type, some of them do sit a little low. I’m relying on old memory though. It hits a doll right about crotch level, they do have to bend over to wash the dishes.

      Lundby is 1:18 scale, so pretty darned close if your calculations are right. They are too big for the little room I recently showed and it is 1:24.

  2. Eeeeeek!!!!! I knew I would want it a thousand times more once I saw yours!!!!!!! And wow that was fast shipping! Oh my goodness I am going to spend the rest of the day now trying to keep myself from ordering it…we will see how well that works. Have you tried putting two dolls in it? Thoughts on that?

    • As for two dolls–if you had someone sitting like I did Rebecca you could have another standing over by the stove like they were cooking. Another option too would be to have someone sitting up on the foldout part where the bed is which would give more space. I didn’t try that one. As far as sleeping, if you laid them on their sides, it would work, but it would be cramped.

  3. AAH! I probably should not have read this post because I knew if I read it I’d want it EVEN MORE and of course now I want it even more. I have two questions, what are the dimensions of it when it’s totally folded up? And can you take a picture of a doll standing next to it when it is all folded up?
    I’m just trying to imagine where in the world I’m going to store it when I’m not using it and where in the world it’s going to go when I am using it. Thanks!

    • The camper folded is 14″ x 11″ x 9″–that doesn’t include the measurement of the hitch which sticks out about 5 inches from the 14″ measurement for a total of 19″. I’ll have to add a photo at the end of the post, stupid WordPress won’t permit me to put a picture in a reply, WTH?!

    • I can’t even imagine what it would cost to ship this out of the country, the box was huge with all of the Styrofoam. I’m hoping someone does a homemade version, I love to see customizations. I’m not entirely sure that this one is always going to stay this way if you know what I mean. 😉

  4. I love it! I do think the sink is short which is what kept me from impulse buying it over the weekend. So kudos to AG for not setting it up right or showing the bed because I probably would have bought it had they shown that! (I’m too broke to buy it right now!)

    I’m so glad you showed all the fun stuff though because it’s even cooler than it looks.

    I’m really looking forward to mock ups. I’ve been wanting to try to make a teardrop camper for the dolls for awhile so the pop up camper was very hard to resist!

    • It has a lot of good features, and is great for anyone who has a love of camping. I have the Campus Snack Cart which sells for $150 (I luckily got it on sale really cheap) and the camper has way more play value to me.

  5. I am so glad that you decided to get the camper. I’ve been tossing around the idea of making this purchase myself because the CUTE doll pics would be endless…am I right?! I myself want a camper so if I bought it I could vicariously live through my dolls…such is life. Thanks for the post 🙂 Enjoy your camper!!

    • I agree that there are a lot of possibilities with this set! Lots of play value too for anyone considering it for a kid. For comparison, think about the Campus Snack Cart. It’s $150 and is much smaller, plus has limited play under most circumstances. For $35 more, you can have this set with a lot more play possibilities.

      LOL @ living vicariously through your dolls. I guess that’s sort of what I’m doing too!

    • Yeah, that would be cool if they worked, even if they were small. It’s a great piece though. I don’t often buy things on the first day they come out, but this piece was a must have for my girls!

    • That’s part of why I did it, there were a lot of questions I had in looking at it online that weren’t addressed in the photos, videos or description. I just love all of the camping stuff in this release!!

  6. So cute! Our family has a pop up camper and we love it! Truth be told, I had no idea this playset even existed. I don’t go on the AG site much these days. It looks very well done!

    • I am on the website fairly often, always scouting out for sales because I’ve gotten some great deals that way. I was surprised though with it being the Wellie Wishers debut that the AG line got as much as it did.

    • Unfortunately I do not. It was pretty large, I’d say roughly 30 inches long x 18 inches wide x 18 inches deep. That’s a guestimate though! I didn’t keep it because it was just too large for me to store.

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