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Thread: Pop-Up Camper Trailers

  1. #1
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    Default Pop-Up Camper Trailers

    I did search the forum before posting this so I apologize in advance if this has already been discussed. This has been the first summer that my family and I have camped. (3 young kids.) I camped often during hunting trips, boyscouts, and recreationally when I was younger and never really had a problem sleeping on the ground, in a tent, and even snow caves. But now with the whole family involved I am frustrated with the tent. I guess I'm just getting old and grumpy.

    The tent itself is well constructed, it is an Alpine cabin tent with two rooms and you can stand up thru out the entire thing. However a little bit of rain gets in (to be expected) and with all 5 people in there the condensation is miserable.

    Since we had so much fun and plan to continue our camping adventures I'd like to invest in a travel trailer or something. But I will start small and will be looking for something under $5000.

    I've found several great looking pop up trailers under that price range but I've never slept in one. I like the benefit of being up off the ground, it seems there is enough dry space for the family to hang out and play cards when it's raining or while the kids are napping, and many have all the doo-dads like water/heat/power, etc. which I'm really not even looking for but they can't hurt. I just want something off the ground.

    Does anyone have any strong opinions for or against pop up trailers? I have a great tow vehicle so I'm wondering if I should bother getting the smaller pop up trailer now or wait until I can afford a real travel trailer later?

  2. #2
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
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    Default

    I've never owned a tent trailer, but I've stayed in them a time or two, and I think they're pretty cool and a definite step above tenting it ( especially with kids in the program). You can tow them with anything, and having a sink, fridge, heater, and beds is pretty nice. I'd buy one tomorrow if I had the dough.

  3. #3
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    Default Pop-ups are the way to go

    I have owned two pop-up travel trailers and have not had a bad experience yet. My grandkids and there parents just spent a week in Seward (the week with all the rain) and never had a problem. The only
    problem I ever have when it rains is reaching the thermostat to turn the heat up without getting out of bed. The unit I have is a ten foot with a queen on one end and a double on the other. We have slept up to eight people in the unit. We dont use the refer or the sink hardly ever - and with a solar batter charger you can camp several days with no problems. Now- later in August when the furnace burns more it's always nice to carry a backup battery - unless you get one that already has two.
    They are dry - warm and comfy - even in the worst of weather. I have been camped in Whitter when it was raining sideways and set inside nice and warm. Just check the covers for mildew and tears before you buy one. Also check and make sure the slideout rails are not bent. I would go so far as checking stateside for a better price and have it shipped. They are easy to store - hold there resale value and easy to tow. What more could you ask for. look at a few before you make up your mind - one more thing - the awning that attached to the units is alway a nice feature to have.
    Good Luck.
    How stupid is it to be wasting tons of salmon and halibut as bycatch in the Bering Sea and then have the coastal villages hollaring they have no food? It's got to stop!

  4. #4

    Default travelled in them alot!

    I travelled from AK to NY in one as a kid and then towed one to the states as an adult. Look for one that the ends push out and are sleeping spaces. It is amazing at how compact they are yet have a ton of room to sleep. We had a big family, parents and 6 kids and we never had a problem with room. While there are certainly more "comfortable" and MUCH MORE expensive alternatives, I think for the money, the pop ups are the affordable way to go.

  5. #5
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    I would highly recommend paying $5k for a used travel trailer as opposed to a pop up, especially with kids. I purchased one earlier this summer (2 year old and newborn) and sold it after a couple of trips. The set up time, limited storage capacity, and limited water facilities were factors that caused the sale.

    I purchased a used '97 23' travel trailer and have spent 32 nights in it since June. I can't express how happy our family is that we sold the pop up and went to a hard side.

    If you spend $5k on a decent travel trailer you will also get your money back out of it if you keep it in good shape (everything working).

    You are welcome to look at mine when we get back next week from our next week of camping.

    The kids were the main concern and my two year old loves the camper.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

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  6. #6
    Member danattherock's Avatar
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    I'm with Phish on this one. Pop ups are a pain in the ***. Go with a trailer if you can swing it (and tow it). We had a pop up for a few years when I was a kid. It was cheap and convenient, but had some drawbacks. Namely, setting it up, VERY limited storage, fabric mildewing, etc... It got replaced by an Airstream

    Below is a pop up camper forum believe it or not. Lots of insights to be found there.

    http://www.popupexplorer.com/forum/index.php




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  7. #7
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    Default Thank you all

    Thank you all for the quick replies and great info.

  8. #8
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    I've owned a Pop up and a full sized trailer. The pop up was easier to tow, and had plenty of room. But it did take 15-30 minutes or so to set it up, pull out the beds, and put everything back into place. Then you had to reverse the procedure when heading out again. That wasn't a problem if we were camping for the whole day or more, but it was a pain to travel long distances with. It took too much of the travel time out the day, and you couldn't just pull over and make lunch real quick, or take a nap while the wife & kids were shopping. Bottom line for me was it depended on what I wanted to do with it.

  9. #9
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    pop ups are pure crap! avoid them at all costs!
    Semper Fi!

  10. #10

    Default I guess it depends on what you want

    I personally think pop ups have their place and work very well for towing. Yes setting up takes some time but not that big a deal. We will all have our opinions on what works best. Buy what will work best for you. If you have a diesel a bigger trailer might be better, but if you have a gas engine, the pop up might work better.

  11. #11
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    Default I love my PUP

    I bought a new Fleetwood at the beginning of the summer and my only complaint is that my husband won't go out as often as I want to. I guess I'm going to have to learn how to back the thing up.

    There are some drawbacks. Storage is minimal. It has a sink but no grey water tank so we don't really use the water system much. The fridge is small so we take a cooler too. The beds are hard but still beats the ground. I put a down bed topper on it and now I sleep like a baby.

    On the plus side, you can back it into almost any tent site and you don't need hookups so you're not confined to those nasty gravel parking lots that pass for "RV Parks". You get A LOT more for your money. $5000 will get you a really nice pop up or a so-so hard side. Set up is quick, only 20 minutes. You still feel like your camping vs. staying in a rolling hotel room. They are much easier to tow which makes for a less stressful trip. We can pass going uphill with the pup, try that with a hardside.

    I think pop ups appeal to people who enjoy roughing it a bit.

  12. #12
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katie View Post
    I bought a new Fleetwood at the beginning of the summer and my only complaint is that my husband won't go out as often as I want to. I guess I'm going to have to learn how to back the thing up.

    There are some drawbacks. Storage is minimal. It has a sink but no grey water tank so we don't really use the water system much. The fridge is small so we take a cooler too. The beds are hard but still beats the ground. I put a down bed topper on it and now I sleep like a baby.

    On the plus side, you can back it into almost any tent site and you don't need hookups so you're not confined to those nasty gravel parking lots that pass for "RV Parks". You get A LOT more for your money. $5000 will get you a really nice pop up or a so-so hard side. Set up is quick, only 20 minutes. You still feel like your camping vs. staying in a rolling hotel room. They are much easier to tow which makes for a less stressful trip. We can pass going uphill with the pup, try that with a hardside.

    I think pop ups appeal to people who enjoy roughing it a bit.

    at simmons rv we used to call them the bears snack packs.
    Semper Fi!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by greythorn3 View Post
    at simmons rv we used to call them the bears snack packs.
    Yet there has been no reported bear attack on a tent trailer in Alaska... : ) They can get through an $250,000 RV door if they want to.... Haven't heard of any stories about that either though... : )

    I am looking at the Fleetwood / Coleman Evolution Series of pop ups. They seem like a good fit for what I would use them for.

    http://www.colemantrailers.com/theevolutionseries

    I like the E2s and E3s... Probably going to look for one in the lower 48 and make a trip of bringing it back up.

  14. #14
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    their resale is horrible too, and if you need to get the cables worked on, expect thousands in repair costs.
    Semper Fi!

  15. #15
    Member doug1980's Avatar
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    Well of course my response is based on my own personal experience and preferences. I have camped in a pop up, lived 6 months in a travel trailer and another year in a fifth-wheel, and currently own a truck camper. I prefer the truck camper over them all. But that is just because the truck camper fits our needs the best for the things we use it for. If you are going to use campgrounds exclusively than a travel trailer would be the best option. However, if you plan on "boondocking" than a truck camper is the best IMO. No set up, fully contained, ability to go anywhere, and camp anywhere. But they are small for a larger family. I would never buy a pop-up but tha's just my opinion.
    Former A.F Staff Sergeant

  16. #16
    Member alaskachuck's Avatar
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    I like ours. We have a 1995 starcraft in mint condition. For my wife and I it works wonders. I put my 2 person cataraft on top of it and we travel and float all over. It tows behind my silverado great and we have had it since 04. Lights, heat, stove all work and you know what. It is paid for and only cost me 1900 bucks. We use it from fairbanks to kenai and I use it year round. So if anyone wants to give me 20k Ill go buy my new hi lo but untill then we will keep ours. It takes june and I about 2o minutes from the time we pull into camp to be set up and the same time to break down.


    Oh and we call ours the Taj ma hole. vynil floor to so just sweep it out
    Grandkids, Making big tough guys hearts melt at first sight

  17. #17

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    Seems so often that you see the evolution of camping as follows:

    tent to pop-up
    pop-up to trailer
    trailer to C Class
    C Class to A Class
    A Class to B Class
    B Class to nice condo in AZ or FL

    At least the first four (skipped the trailer) is how we have gone so far...

  18. #18

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    Obviously, if you buy a travel trailer instead, it will definetly be a lot more comfortable. We own a 23ft travel trailer and absolutely love. I can't imagine using anything smaller. Only drawback for us is towing mgp. I get about 10mpg highway at best.... yikes!

  19. #19
    Member sayak's Avatar
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    Default Not for me

    Quote Originally Posted by bksch View Post
    Seems so often that you see the evolution of camping as follows:

    tent to pop-up
    pop-up to trailer
    trailer to C Class
    C Class to A Class
    A Class to B Class
    B Class to nice condo in AZ or FL

    At least the first four (skipped the trailer) is how we have gone so far...
    It was tent to VW camper
    VW to nice class C
    class C to pull trailer
    pull trailer to older class A
    old class A to truck camper.

    When I get too old for the TC, I plan to have my family set up an upscale tent camp for me during the summer so I can sit around the fire, sip scotch, and smoke my pipe and tell lies, um, I mean stories.

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