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Author Topic: Popup Owners?  (Read 20827 times)

New Guy 2010

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Popup Owners?
« on: June 16, 2010, 10:28:27 AM »
Hello,
    We are still looking for a camper. We initially wanted a travel trailer. However, the (2) I was looking at have sold and everyone else wants to more than I want to spend for one. So, we have decided to research Popup Campers. Are there any popup camper owners out there? What are your opinions on them? I am somewhat concerned of the condensation build up on the inside. Is that standard or are there steps you can take to avoid that? Second, I am a very light sleeper. Do you guys hear a lot of noise at night due to the lack of a solid wall? We have started looking at them now. Any tips, suggestions, or points of interest in buying a used Popup is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

CDN_Taxman

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2010, 11:10:44 AM »
We just upgraded from a pop up to a travel trailer.

We loved our tent trailer but with three kids, two adults and a dog, it became too small for us and condensation did become an issue as the dew point was reached overnight. Drove me insane! Chinese water torture at it's very best.

What I learned is that throwing a standard tarp over the bunkheads outside will help keep the moisture off the tent in the first place and reduce condensation. I never had the chance to test it out, so I don't know if it really works or not.

You can really load them up, one person can set the whole thing up (except maybe the awning) and you really love them on a rainy day and you're high and dry compared to being in a tent.

I had bike racks on mine too and could put a canoe on the roof with 5 bikes too.

Mike
2009 F-150 4.6 L 3V 3.55 axle with Standard Towing Package (9,800 lbs towing capacity)
2010 KZ Spree 240BHS Travel Trailer (6,500 lbs GVWR)

geodrake

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2010, 11:15:20 AM »
Years ago we had a pop-up and loved it.  Today a buddy & I share a pop-up and travel out west six to eight weeks a year doing photography. 

The worst part of a pop-up is the labor of poping it up or down.  If you stay in one place for a while it isn't so bad.  If you are on the road stopping at a different place each night it can be a drag.  Taking it down in the rain is also a PITA.

Condensation can be pretty well eliminated by cracking a vent at night.  The soft sides do little to block noise, but noise generally isn't a problem.  Pop-ups can be pulled behind just about any vehicle.  They can be parked in spots other RVs can't get into. 

With a pop-up you can travel back roads and mountain roads where other RVs will never go.  That is why my bud & I use one. 

Most pop-ups are pretty basic and lack the complicated sub-systems found in a MH.  Check for mold as it can be a big problem and once there it can be very difficult to eradicate.  Does the refrigerator and water pump work?  Tires & battery?   That is about it.
George Drake

Bob Maxwell

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2010, 11:31:56 AM »
Don't be lured into buying cheap -buy quality, new or used. Used but carefored quality can be better than new cheap. Coleman remains at the top of my list. Jayco/Starcraft, Forest River, Coachman/viking would be in the next group. Dutchman has always been at the bottom of my list.

If you're going to hit a lot of campgrounds with elec, an AC is great for hot and or humid country. Strength of chassis and ground clearence are always important and absolutely necessary if you come west and use little used NFS roads to get into back country, but that is one experience my popup provided for me years ago that still applies.

Good hunting!
Adiós. . .

Bob †
and wife Betty Font 

. . . still ridin' for the brand.

1994 Suncruiser 34RQ, Cummins 5.9L/230 Allison 3060
'08 Kia Spectra5,
FMCA SKP

Holbrook AZ, west of the Petrified Forrest NP on I-40

CDN_Taxman

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2010, 12:22:16 PM »
Cracking windows didn't help us with the condensation but again I tend to say it was due to the five bodies and a dog in the trailer and temperatures that sunk below the dew point.

Some good comments about opening and closing the trailer too. I really didn't mind doing it but loading the trailer and hooking up to leave was about a two hour process and unloading it and setting up about an hour. If you're driving for distance and stopping nightly, this can be a pain. If you don't load the interior to the gills like I did and don't have the bikes, canoes, etc on top you can condense this time relatively well.

We did a one month trip with our Rockwood (another good name in my opinion) and stayed at most places for four days minimum. That made the work of set up and tear down seem more than worth while.

Packing up in the rain is not fun either! But as long as you set them up when you get to your destination, they will dry up relatively quickly. We had mattress covers on our beds just to help should it be raining on setup or takedown.

Mike
2009 F-150 4.6 L 3V 3.55 axle with Standard Towing Package (9,800 lbs towing capacity)
2010 KZ Spree 240BHS Travel Trailer (6,500 lbs GVWR)

Bob Maxwell

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2010, 01:13:25 PM »
Bike, Rockwood's orgin was Bill Christmas, the founde rof Starcraft. . .so it has a good pedigree --Ialways think of Star when I see a Rockwood product. ;D

Check out my thread on "Avitar's" Joe for an update.
Adiós. . .

Bob †
and wife Betty Font 

. . . still ridin' for the brand.

1994 Suncruiser 34RQ, Cummins 5.9L/230 Allison 3060
'08 Kia Spectra5,
FMCA SKP

Holbrook AZ, west of the Petrified Forrest NP on I-40

Lowell

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2010, 04:22:46 PM »
We used to have an 89 Coleman Pop-up.  We used it till 2005 when we traded it in on a Travel Trailer.  We never had problems with condensation but we live in Arizona. As we still do today, when we get home from a camping trip, we clean up the camper before putting it back into outside storage.  We drop in some  Fabreeze dryer sheets and both campers smell fresh the next time we open them up to go camping. It was very enjoyable and in some ways I miss the feel of the canvass and openness that you get with a pop-up having all the panels open.  We went with a TT because I was tired of cranking up the top (read GETTING OLDER) and we wanted to camp in both hotter and colder weather. 
Lowell

2005 Cherokee28A TT
pulled by 2009 Dodge 1500 Crew Cab 4X4
KF7YET

Tempe, Arizona

Dave W

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2010, 05:00:48 PM »
We had a original Viking p/up when the kids were growing up and used it until it wore out, then we sold it to a friend that restored it then wore it out again. We probably had the most fun with that - simple, could tow with any automobile and fit anywhere. We never had too much problem with moisture - just accepted it as "part of the experience". Then came the first 5er.................. one ton pick ups, etc, etc, etc. Still a newer 5er, but I still look back with fondness on that p/up (except for raising that @#$% heavy top, which was before cables and other wonder lifting devices)

steve d

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2010, 06:20:39 PM »
We had a 99 Coleman Nevada pup until about a year ago when we traded it for a MH. We had a heck of a time with it; we even towed it up the east coast to Mass. staying a couple of nights in each location up and back. The only trouble we had with it was the typical ABS roof problems of that year/model: cracking, sagging, roof seal not keeping the rain out while you are towing in a storm, etc. We were lucky not to have camped in a lot of inclement weather so it really did not affect us. I just got tired of cranking, packing almost EVERYTHING every trip (with the MH everything stays packed), repairing the cracks with a mix of MEK and white Leggos, etc.
It was a great way to start a family camping lifestyle!!! ;D

pdq

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    • larry & peter's adventure in their tiffin allegro
Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2010, 07:56:24 PM »
We had a jayco (bought new in 2000) for 6 years. Great for us and for what we needed then.

YES: it is a tent (on a platform mind you) - so DO NOT expect sound proofing!

As others have note; easy to tow, easy to get into ANY site, some work in the set-up & take-down - but not "hard" to do

regards, pdq
(peter)
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New Guy 2010

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #10 on: June 16, 2010, 08:18:55 PM »
Thanks for the comments. I have been looking around. We are just beginning our camping experience. So, I think it be better to start with a popup. The price for a used one makes it worth while also. How old is to old? There is 4 of us. I have noticed there are different size boxes? Recommendations on how big we should get?

CDN_Taxman

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #11 on: June 16, 2010, 08:36:44 PM »
Take a look until you find the layout that you like. Then you will know what kind of trailer you would like.

Ours was a plain, lots of cupboard space and no couches, kitchen sets in front of the beds.

Generally, the longer the box, the bigger the beds on the ends. Ours had a Queen and what I called a Super Single (because a double sheet was too big and a single was too small). Some have kings and queens on opposite ends.

As long as the trailer is in good shape, how old is dependent on what bells and whistles you would like!

Mike
2009 F-150 4.6 L 3V 3.55 axle with Standard Towing Package (9,800 lbs towing capacity)
2010 KZ Spree 240BHS Travel Trailer (6,500 lbs GVWR)

Bob Maxwell

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2010, 09:13:19 PM »
Dave, I was Viking's first Marketing Manager back in '73-'74 and opened up the west from the Rockies to the Pacific for them and Coachmen.
Adiós. . .

Bob †
and wife Betty Font 

. . . still ridin' for the brand.

1994 Suncruiser 34RQ, Cummins 5.9L/230 Allison 3060
'08 Kia Spectra5,
FMCA SKP

Holbrook AZ, west of the Petrified Forrest NP on I-40

Joezeppy

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2010, 10:33:37 PM »
We had a Rockwood popup for 2 years back in 2003 - 2004 and loved it. It was a good quality unit with a nice layout and plenty of storage space. We bought it as an upgrade from tent camping and only planned on using it maybe 2 or 3 times each summer. However, after using it for those 2 years, my wife got a teaching job (summers off) and we realized how much we loved camping so we decided to trade to a TT so we could do more camping with less setup/take-down. Plus, it did not have a potty or hot water and I have 2 daughters - not a good mix.  ::)

I do not recall much problem with condensation except for our first trip. It rained all weekend and was cold so we ran the heater. Between the heater and the leaking seams, we got soaked in the morning. Someone told me the canvas has to cure during the first rain? Don't know if it's true but they never leaked again.
Joe & Kim
Upstate NY - Kuyahoora Valley
2010 GMC Sierra 2500HD - 6.0L gasser
2017 Keystone Hideout 295BHS
Andersen Ultimate Aluminum 5th wheel hitch

caper1973

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2010, 10:45:10 AM »
pop ups are great, they do involve a little bit of work, but once you have it to a system, its nothing.  Putting away wet is a pain, but we put it right back up at home in those cases and let it dry properly.
Don't be lured into cheaper deals, spend the money and get what you paid for.  We have a Coleman / fleetwood and love it.  had a cheaper model before this one and there is no comparison.  Jayco is a great build as well.  perhaps getting one with the slide out dinette would work for you, the extra space is amazing.  A front storage box is also a great feature ...  :)
2010 Keystone Passport 2910BH
2011 Ford F-150 4x4 Crew 5.0L

Chevloray

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2010, 12:39:10 PM »
Our first popup was an Apache. The kids were little, and numerous (4). Didn't give any thought to space, as it seemed to be enough at the time. We sold it and went to a 26-ft Nomad,  bunkhouse. With an additional child, the room was well-deserved. When the job started taking more than enough time, we sold it instead of keeping it parked.

Fast-forward 25 years....we're semi-retired and don't have the tow vehicle for anything but a popup. Bought a 2000 Starcraft 2408. All looked good. Excellent, in fact. But, we did something incorrectly....maybe the lift system should have been serviced first, before we used it. It had been setting for several years. The previous owners (one owner) have 7 girls, and the camper just wasn't cutting it for them. It was a heckuva deal. But, after a hot weekend last weekend, we decided we're cool weather campers in spite of our unit having an AC. If there was any outside noise, the AC drowns it out....like white noise. The doors of popups, seem to be narrow, so those of us who aren't blessed with slender physiques, need not consider them if you have any difficulties in entry/exit. Add balance issues from a stroke, and I'm sure that people look at me and think, "What was he thinking?". I can navigate the doorway....it's as wide as the aisle in my school bus. It just isn't a totally  contorsion-free event. A new set of tires and a bearing pack and it was ready to roll. And, roll it did.

crosbpa

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2010, 03:33:48 PM »
We have an '06 Starcraft 36rt and love it.  Its definately a Pup on steriods.  My 8 year old grandson and I (Yes, I am a woman) can get it up by ourselves.  As others have stated, once you have it down to a rythm setting up is not hard.  Takes about 1/2 hour.
'06 Starcraft 36rt / Nissan Armada

christinef42

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2010, 08:51:45 AM »
We just bought a pop up this summer.  We need to replace the lift assembly.  Does anyone know where we can buy one.  We have called several RV dealers in Minnesota and have not been able to find one.  It is for a 1999 Coachman.  Thanks   ;)

Bob Maxwell

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2010, 09:10:33 AM »
Christine, Call Coachman:

Service Support Center
P.O. Box 1000, C.R. 12
Middlebury, IN 46540
Phone: (800) 453-6064
Fax: (574) 825-8339
 
Adiós. . .

Bob †
and wife Betty Font 

. . . still ridin' for the brand.

1994 Suncruiser 34RQ, Cummins 5.9L/230 Allison 3060
'08 Kia Spectra5,
FMCA SKP

Holbrook AZ, west of the Petrified Forrest NP on I-40

Hilomike

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #19 on: July 09, 2011, 10:49:50 AM »
I have a 1978 Palomino " Fold-a-wall" pop up. It's in great shape but it does take a man, a second man, a horse, 2 small children and a linebacker to raise it. Naw, just kidding. It is however, a manual system. It does require a person on each opposing corner to lift the arm bar in order to get it raised. It is a lot of work to get set up, but the solid walls are great and the unit itself, overall, is in great shape. Even the canvas is original and has no rips or tears, no mold or mildew. By saying this, I would be sure to find a unit that is easily raised, has electric, or at least a permanent leveling system, has a/c and a good heating unit.

Back in 1978 things were built strong, in some cases bulit proof, but weight, convenience and ease were not high on the priority list. Today, things can be built pretty cheap and don't seem to stand the test of time. Be sure you give it a good look over and consider some of these things as you look.

Have fun....enjoy !!

HiloMike

Stephen64

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  • Retired Apache Pilot, Tactical Operations Officer
Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2016, 07:36:37 AM »
I just wrote this review for my Rockwood and thought I would add it.  There are better campers than this particular brand, IMHO.
After only 3 years of use, my Rockwood HW 296 started to leak. The canvas, though cared for, clean, waxed began to leak. As well, the refrigerator just stopped working. I am second owner and spent 10, 000 on this camper for mine and my families retirement after 24 years of military service. I had been away from family for over years total. This was my big purchase for a trip with my family out west. Guess who did not go out west? My family. I contacted Ray Brimmer, and Jacob carter from Rockwood and they told me it was my problem. Even though it was only 3 years old, the fact that I was not original owner voided warranty. TJ Snuggles who manufactures the canvas for Rockwood also would not do anything. The camper I just sold to buy this gem was 11 years old and did not leak ever, not even in a tropical storm in Destin, Florida, but my Rockwood High Wall 296 will soak through if you throw a cup of water on the canvas. Thanks for the great treatment Rockwood, mint is a pleasure serving money hungry, deceiving and miserable people such as yourselves. Do not buy a Rockwood. Trust me.

MMW

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Re: Popup Owners?
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2016, 08:29:15 AM »
...just checked the date...

Zombie thread!

 

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