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Author Topic: Soon to be Newbie PUP Owner  (Read 2731 times)


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Soon to be Newbie PUP Owner
« on: March 15, 2012, 11:09:03 AM »
First... new to RV Forum..and also soon to be a new RV owner.  I have never towed anything with a vehicle before... never (obviously) owned a RV before either.

I am getting one primarily for college football season.. because Im sick of paying $300/weekend JUST for a hotel when I can camp the entire season for $300.  Considerable savings to say the least... plus this will allow me to get away a lil more often too.

Okay.. so obviously I have some questions.

Like most of us.. I will really not have the means to go replacing/buying a new RV anytime soon or repairing a bunch of major issues.  Nor will i have the time to do so. 

 I found a 1998 coleman Natchez that is WELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL under my budget.  Has a slide out, awning, etc.  Obviously wear/tear on PUPs i am sure are not the same.. If I buy a PUP that I want to last for a while, and assuming I take good care of it... what is the oldest (year) that I should buy?  Concerned more about structure than easy to replace (fridge, a/c canvas, etc).  For instance.. if the 1998 turns out to be in good shape and has everything I want in it and wellll within my budget... should i be turned away because its already 14 years old? 

When Im looking at used PUPs.. what kinds of things should I look for and if I see them say ehhhh no thanks?  Are there things that are plusses to look for that I may not necessarily consider?  I see that some have toilets/showers.. but right now I cannot foresee ever staying at a campground that didnt have eletrical hook up, water, showers, etc so I really dont see a need for that.  Any reason I should reconsider?  Just not sure about getting a PUP with something that Ill never or rarely ever use (that I know of). 

I read on another Topic about checking tires, and making sure the canvas was dry before storing away.  That makes sense.  But my question is.. if I am planning on storing this in another state... are there any tricks I can use to dry it when I store it in case I do run into bad weather?  it will probably be uncovered storage... so I also assume I need to get a cover for it?  Should I always keep the propane tank with me at all times?  Battery (if it has one)?  Or are those okay to sit out.  Depending on your answers.. and I think I already know... I may have to reconsider storing this closer to where I live (HOA wont allow me to store it in our neighborhood).

Security - This is a big concern.  When Im at a campground.. obviously it doesnt take much to get in a PUP (unless its an A-liner I suppose) but when its being stored... how do I secure it so someone just cant drive away with it?  Any tricks for security while I am camping? 

I realize some have the front storage... but besides the cabinets.. how much can you realistically store in it (on the floor or whatever) while its closed?  Also, anything (such as plastics that melt, etc) that I should not store due to heat, etc?

Okay... if I buy from owner.. which I am going to try to avoid if I can... how do I know the title is clear before I buy it?

Sorry for the 20,000 questions...  I just want to be really prepared when i do this because I have to get it right the first time.


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Re: Soon to be Newbie PUP Owner
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2012, 01:02:16 PM »
welcome to the forum.

now for the questions.....
I have one first. what do you plan on towing this with?

I was not able to find the exact weight of the trailer online (you need to know the GVWR Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of the trailer) A friend has a 10 foot Coleman with no slide out and it weighs over 3 thousand pounds. you need a good size vehicle to tow that.

So lets assume you can tow it.

I would have no fear in the age........BUT you will need to look carefully. water is your worst enemy with any RV.
canvas is not cheap and mold (black stains) is very hard to remove if at all fixable.
everything inside the unit is made of presswood, when it gets wet it decays. check in cabinets for dis-colorization and soft spots. the cabinets can start flaking if they have had a chance to dry out. (mine are and they are from 1977, rebuilding now)

the floor is made of plywood, again if it got wet it will delaminate and be soft. this is the back bone of any camper. if this is not good walk away. very costly to rebuild.

the amenities you want in your trailer is all you. for instance we now have an RV with only 2 swivel chairs where the dinnette would be works for us.

Tires- you know that anything over about 7 years is for parking only. they will blow when you tow.

Security - there are hitch locks and wheel locks and chains you can buy. these will keep the honest thieves away. but if someone really wants it they will carry tools to cut all those things off. then it comes down to the storage lot you have it in. might give you a bit more security. we used to store in an old barn on a farm. safe and there sure weren't going be anybody walking past the farmers house to go look in the barn.

Storage- sort of a "how long is a piece of string" question. it seems the PUP you are looking at (at least according to the manual) may or may not have front storage. and with the slide out there may not be any floor space left. (owners manual found here. http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?action=media;sa=item;in=2981
Cover - no real need as long as you check on the fiberglass roof from time to time (once or twice a year)
the tanks and such comes down to where you are keeping it. My friends camper is in my driveway and we leave everything attached and disconnect the battery for winter storage.
if you are going to leave it for more then a few months at a time you may want to take the battery home so it can be charged from time to time. (once a month we bring the PUP battery up to full)

and for drying it out the only way is to set it up in the sun. if it was folded down when wet it WILL mold. if it was already down and you drive through bad weather no issue (unless it leaks)

And the last Question... I have no idea...other then just asking the seller. that I will leave for others to answer

Good luck and keep asking questions. (maybe just one or two in each post)
1977 GMC 26 foot Palm Beach
1976 Austin Mini


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Re: Soon to be Newbie PUP Owner
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2012, 01:23:34 PM »
Thank you for replying. 

As for what I am towing it with... I have a 2009 Jeep Wrangler.  Towing capacity is already something I have looked pretty good at so I have an idea of what I can tow.. but to be safe I am trying to stay under 3k lbs if possible.  In fact... thats one of the first things I check before I really even look too much at any PUP.