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Thread: Choices, Choices, Choices!

  1. #1

    Default Choices, Choices, Choices!

    We are contemplating purchasing one of three camping options:

    1. Pick-up truck with a camper;
    2. Pick-up truck pulling pop-up camper/tent;
    3. Pick-up truck pulling trailer

    We spend a lot of time camping, rafting and fishing in various locations throughout the state. I wanted to hear from folks on the forum who may have used all three options above and what their preferences were and why. Pros? Cons? If this comparison is somewhere in the archives I apologize for the duplication (I couldn't find it!).
    Karma is like a rubber band; it can only stretch so far before it comes back and smacks you in the face.

  2. #2
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default We...?

    We, being family? Kids?

    Although there'll be pros/cons... advantages and shortcomings to any of these choices, I will say one thing that I considered... and one thing I learned.

    1. My real long-term purpose was to keep my wife and daughter coming back for future trips.

    1. When ladies are involved, sometimes.... not always, but sometimes... it isn't whether it's a popup, trailer or truck camper as much as the bathrooms each contains. My camper search became a series of comparisons of the bathroom/showers in each.

    We ended up with a truck camper - and have no regrets. If you ever think you'll want to tow a boat or other trailer along... no beating a truck camper. If you do, think air lift bags too. Best of luck whatever you decide.

  3. #3
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    The few times I used a pickup camper it felt too closed in. There are some that aren't TOO tight, but they are still more limited than the other choices. I never could afford the big ones anyway, and they require a large gas hog to pack them around. The biggest problem with that is the 11 months of the year you don't need the big truck but still have to feed it. The trailers can be pulled by smaller rigs.

    The pop-ups are nice if you are going to a camp site and spending a few days there. The one I had would not support my raft on top of it, so that limited me to carrying it broken down in the back of the truck. Much of the time that wasn't a big issue, but it didn't work for day trips. They can be pulled by the smallest vehicles though, and are quite comfortable when set up.

    The camper trailer I had forced the same issue with the raft, but it also opened up the possibility of cooking lunch along the way, or pulling over at any time for a potty break. The camper trailer was a lot more versatile than the pop-up when actually traveling. They also generally have the best bathrooms.

    I inherited a motorhome once. More convenient than all the above, but (usually) more costly too, and it makes a poor around town, day to day vehicle. They can pull the boat trailer though.

    These days I just use a tent. After trying all the above, I finally decided I prefer to be outdoors when I'm outdoors. The camper rigs worked great when the kids were little, but today I'm excited about trying out my new modified tipi.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 6XLeech View Post
    We, being family? Kids?

    Although there'll be pros/cons... advantages and shortcomings to any of these choices, I will say one thing that I considered... and one thing I learned.

    1. My real long-term purpose was to keep my wife and daughter coming back for future trips.

    1. When ladies are involved, sometimes.... not always, but sometimes... it isn't whether it's a popup, trailer or truck camper as much as the bathrooms each contains. My camper search became a series of comparisons of the bathroom/showers in each.

    We ended up with a truck camper - and have no regrets. If you ever think you'll want to tow a boat or other trailer along... no beating a truck camper. If you do, think air lift bags too. Best of luck whatever you decide.
    Just two adults on our trips. Because we do want to tow our raft(s) as opposed to inflating each time we want to go for a day trip sounds like the truck/camper choice might be the best. Thanks for the info!
    Karma is like a rubber band; it can only stretch so far before it comes back and smacks you in the face.

  5. #5
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
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    One thing to think about is transportation while you're camped. Often, we're "camping" in or not too far from cities (wasilla and/or palmer, soldotna, and homer) and if you need to run to the store to grab something, or drive to a fishing spot or some other reason, you have to pack up the whole operation if you're using a motorhome (like me) or a truck camper. This is where a towed trailer or pop-up come in handy because you can just un-hitch and go running around.

  6. #6
    Member Derby06's Avatar
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    I like Trailer option...MRFISH hit it.
    Inflated or atleast partially inflated rafts may fit in the back of a toy hauler trailer? Have your cake and eat it too...

  7. #7

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    Thanks. Really appreciate your opinions on this!
    Karma is like a rubber band; it can only stretch so far before it comes back and smacks you in the face.

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    Member tccak71's Avatar
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    We did the pop up trailer for awhile and liked it. It was roomy and comfy. You can strap a canoe/raft to the top and put the motor in the pop up. Had to go to a truck camper to tow a boat/atv trailer so we did that for awhile too. Cramped with a family of five for sure, but I loved the versatility of a truck camper for towing plus I drove my truck more when I had a truck camper. Now we're in a motorhome and that's the way to go for us. We can still tow boats/trailers and much more comfy than a truck camper.

    Tim

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I'd say a toyhauler would be the most flexible option. You can park it and have the truck and bed free for once you've set up camp.

    One of these days we'll be getting one. We have too little free time as it is, and having to setup and tear down a tent for a weekend and dealing with wet clothing and a wet tent is a serious PITA. With a toy hauler we can have it set up to go at a moments notice, and put bicycles, canoes etc in the hauler portion.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  10. #10
    Member chico99645's Avatar
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    I grew up with Popup campers and pull behind campers my parents had. I owned two popups personally as it was all I could afford at the time, and one pull behind. What I didn't like about it it was you were all cramped up in a truck pulling a camper. The popup was just a tent off the ground. Had to worry about mildew if you put it away wet, putting it up or taking it down in the rain really sucks to say the least, then you have to find time to dry it and and if you pulled off the side of the road for lunch, you had to erect it. Not convienent by any means. I've never had a truck with a camper, and for 2 people I think it would be a nice option so you could pull a boat or other toys. But then again, if momma wants to nap, you can't drive down the road with her in the back. The Toyhauler is nice to bring along rider toys, but then again there goes the same issue. haveing a travel trailer is nice as you can park it and you still have a truck to get around, but then again, your all cramped up riding in the truck. Having kids the way to go is a MH. There is no, "Are we there yet" or "I'm bored", or "Mom, he's looking at me" and if you want a sandwich or icecream, someone hands you one. You get stopped at a construction hold point, you can run go to the bathroom, grab a soda and pop a bag of popcorn before you start driving again. Its really convienient to say the least, the kids are in separate areas doing their own thing, momma can take a nap, and the dog can crash out or do what ever, then for the gravy, you can haul any toy you want with you. I use to run my MH with a MC rack on my front hitch reciever with a scooter attached to it to get around town, and use to tow my smaller boat and have a bike rack above my ball using a dual reciever in the back. Now I tow a small trailer with 2 yamaha scooters on it go get around town, or ATV's depending on where I am going. Yeah, you gas mileage sucks, but to keep everyone happy and bring everything you want with you, a Motorhome is my first choice. What ever you choose, I hope you enjoy it to the fullest.

  11. #11
    Member doug1980's Avatar
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    As a kid we camped in pop-ups. They were ok but nothing more than a glorified tent. We also towed a boat behind it. Not sure how legal that would be now though. We also lived 6 months in a 21 foot TT. Of course my brother and I were pretty little. It worked but cramped. We then upgraded to a fifth-wheel. Much better and way more room. Now I own a truck camper and would never go back to a TT or pop-up ever again. I can tow any toy I want be it a boat, ATV's or whatever. It is cramped, but when we camp we don't spend much time in the camper except to sleep. We will be using our truck camper on our move from AK to FL next month so we'll see how it works on a long haul. Another benefit to a truck camper is no plating it, and no extra tires and axles to worry about. Cost of total modifications to my truck were less than $500 to haul it.
    Former A.F Staff Sergeant

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