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Author Topic: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?  (Read 6487 times)

dbfitch

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I'm going to buy myself a pop-up.  Most of the time it will be me and the dogs traveling.  How hard is it for a 5'2" person to set one up?

Cant Wait

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2013, 06:58:02 AM »
Depends on the make, model, and size of the pop-up. Some have manual cranks to raise the roof up others have an electric motor. The most physical part will likely be pulling the end beds out, but a little spray silicone lube will go a long way to ease this.
2012 Winnebago "Our Incredible Journey"  40U
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2013, 06:59:10 AM »
Not difficult. A few of them are even motorized rather than hand-cranked.

You might visit a dealer and ask them to demonstrate the procedure and maybe let you try it yourself after they show you.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Den Socling

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2013, 01:33:23 PM »
I would definitely get a demonstration with the camper you are interested in buying. I bought a like-new Fleetwood Niagara and the electric motor on the lifting mechanism didn't work. I don't think anybody who is 5'2" could ever set up that camper by herself.
2007 Fleetwood Niagara
2005 Tundra V8

99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2013, 02:02:21 PM »
Not difficult. A few of them are even motorized rather than hand-cranked.

You might visit a dealer and ask them to demonstrate the procedure and maybe let you try it yourself after they show you.

I ask more than one dealer to set one up, before I decided to go with the MH.  I had not even purchased, just said I was considering different units and needed to set one up to determine the work necessary for each model.  Two of the dealers I went to showed me/let me, put it up to travel, then set it back up again.  I thought it was fairly easy to do, even the manual crank model, but one dealer compared the time to set up a TT with a PU and I gravitated to the TT.  Then from the TT a dealer ask me to consider a MH, and the search was on. 

But in answer to your question, I know many a women in your height range that could set one up, and many that could not.  Those that I think could not, have more to do with their poor physical shape, than their height. 

It took me over a year to decide on the right RV for me, and I wish I found this forum before I started my search. 

The reason I moved from the PU to the TT was that I wanted the ability to lie down immediately if I get tired in route.  This was a big part of my decision.  By the time I put a PU up, I would have enough adrenaline pumping to drive another 50 miles, and I would not be able to sleep.

Then when I was looking at TT's I found some that with the slides had to be opened before the unit could be used, (I couldn't get to the back bedroom or bathroom with the slides in.)  This was a big negative for me.

In addition, the trailers were always going to be hot inside, when I first entered them, unless I figured out a way to keep it air conditioned while traveling.

So I moved to the MH.  Even the very small ones were nice.  In fact the advantage of the small ones is that the dash air seemed to do a good enough job for me, that the generator was not needed in route to keep it to my desired temperature. (about 80)  But I went with a larger one because I liked having all that space.  And if I get tired in route there's a switch on the dash to turn the generator and bedroom A/C on.   After having this 37.5' unit though, I might have looked for a 34' unit, as the small amount of space I would lose, would be made up by the extra amount of state parks and small CG's I could visit.  I had no idea there were limits until I got turned away at a park.

With a PU, I think you will be able to go just about anywhere.  The main complaint I heard about PU's is that the tent portion over the slide out beds tends to be a struggle to keep dry.  The canvas needs constant attention to keep it from leaking. 
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 37G , Ford V-10
2006 Honda VTX 1300S

Terier

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2013, 06:01:03 PM »
How difficult will depend upon the person.  I was considering buying an A-Liner trailer and had trouble putting up the walls by myself.  I don't have much upper strength and I'm only 5'2 too.  Some members have commented about using a little step stool which seem to make a big difference for them.  Before learning about the step stool I ended up buying a TT instead.

I also would recommend visiting an dealer or seller and practice setting it up from beginning to end.  If you do run into problems this site is great for coming up with suggestions or sharing tricks of the trade.

Good luck!
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Perfect for "Living within my means" & camping for one
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papasmurff

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2013, 10:16:20 AM »
we started out with a jayco cardinal deluxe, which unfortunately they do not make anymore. my wife watched me put it up several times and then she started setting it up herself. it is not difficult and when maintained the slide outs and lifts will all work easily.

Wigpro

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2013, 10:53:40 AM »
With the availability of very small lightweight full trailers, it may be an easier way to go....but my wife used to set up our old pop-up all the time and it was a crank up....but she was a gorilla and could handle it easily....nickname Godzilla!! Wonderful woman...NOT!

Practice makes perfect and keeping the slides clean and well lubricated will make it pretty easy....go for it.

Good Luck,

Jim

Full time traveler, fishing guide and photographer!

Travel Blog: http://captjimtravelblog.blogspot.com

Website: www.captainjimlucas.com

Photo Site: http://captjim.smugmug.com/

dbfitch

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2013, 11:39:17 PM »
Thanks everyone!  I have my eye on a 5 year old one - looks great, no evidence of anything bad... I'm going to make an offer tomorrow :)

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2013, 08:23:19 AM »
Good luck!
Gary
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joelmyer

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2013, 10:11:56 AM »
Well I see you've made your decision.  I'm about half way through a two month, 7000 mile trip in my popup.  It pays you back for the set up time in towing ease and spaciousness inside.

Several people mentioned silicon spray on the slides so I'm going to try that.

We have a little, maybe 10" high step stool that now lives in the popup.  Actually it lives in the old laundry basket with all the other setup stuff that is first out, last in.

Enjoy.
Joel (W4JNM) and Camille, GA

Steve N Dee

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2013, 11:31:06 AM »
dbfitch:
   Now that it sounds like a done deal, let me give you a couple of tips from expeience.  We had a pop up for 5 years.  We loved it.  My 5ft 0in wife could generally set it up.  Her biggest diofficult was in getting the corner jacks down under the trailer.  Sometimes the clearance was inadequate or uneven.  Especially on dirt campsites.  Carry a small shovel to create clearance for the jacks to go down.  Ours had the kind of jacks that swung down, so if there wasn't enough clearance, you couldn't get the jacks to swing down and lock in place.  The MOST important thing is make a step by step instruction sheet to follow when setting up and taking down the trailer, detailing EVERY step, no matter how small, and in the correct order.  Follow it like religion every time you set up and take down.  Don't learn the hard way and don't ask me how I know this $$$$.  You'll be fine.  Enjoy your new trailer and happy travels.

Steve and Dee
Steve & Dee - Racing towards retirement
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Den Socling

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2013, 01:18:48 PM »
When I was nay saying the ability of somebody 5'2" setting up alone, I should have specified that I was talking about our folding trailer. I guess it's not a "pop-up". I'm always telling my wife, Patti, not to call it a pop-up. She says there is no "folding trailer" category when she registers at camp grounds.
2007 Fleetwood Niagara
2005 Tundra V8

Will

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2013, 05:02:42 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dwK8z6NNx0 gives a general Idea.  This model appears to be a lot of steps but relatively low effort.
Will - KD5CZF
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vanjr

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2013, 02:54:29 PM »
If you go used you likely will find one or 2 things give you trouble everytime. I would say for many pop-ups a second person to help is a huge help. If I was by myself with pets I would go with a small travel trailer like a scamp or casita.

carson

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2013, 04:27:05 PM »
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dwK8z6NNx0 gives a general Idea.  This model appears to be a lot of steps but relatively low effort.

Excellent youtube video, Will.

  Of course some units are not quite as deluxe as this one shown but the idea is right on.

I rented a unit about 10 years ago for a 6000 mile trip from one coast to the other and back. Towed it with a Minivan without knowing anything about weights and towing capabilities. The rental place said "you'll be fine."

  Had to learn fast on all the intricacies of setting it up and stowing it again. T'was fun and mastered it in short order...helps to be mechanically inclined. Mine even had an A/C on the roof.
 I think it weighed about 2500 lbs and my little Ford  Windstar  hung in there. Not without aches and pains, after going through the mountains out West  (10,000 ft elevations). Had to have engine repair done on the West Coast in order to get back home. Luckily we had no tire problems or wheel bearing problems;  I specifically asked the rental agency to re-pack the bearings before departure. there were no brakes on the unit.

   Moral of the story.... Pop-up trailers are not toys and should be considered as seriously as any trailer.

Carson, 
 West Central Florida
Ex RV'er. (1995 Winnebago Adventurer)
2007 Buick Rendezvous, SUV / CROSSOVER

...Logic works like a charm...

99WinAdventurer37G

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2013, 10:41:44 AM »
That is a great video, should be just what she's looking for.
1999 Winnebago Adventurer 37G , Ford V-10
2006 Honda VTX 1300S

Shadow Catcher

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2013, 04:42:11 PM »
One alternative is a teardrop trailer, I know of a number of single ladies in the Tearjerkers group. Look up Teardrops & Tiny Travel Trailers a forum with lots of information.

BigSkyTrailerGuy

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2014, 09:10:20 PM »
My 2-cents:  My bride and I were 20+years in tent trailers.  It's not a physically demanding thing, but what makes it easier is having the step-by-step routine down pat.  Not just setting up, but especially closing it up. Once you learn the little tricks (like exactly when  to fold the door down or back up is one), how high to crank it, and how to be really methodical in your routine.  You'll quickly discover how much "stuff" you can store inside before the beds won't slide in... and the best way to tuck in and arrange the canvas so the roof lowers easily for latching.  Spend a weekend doing a few dry runs up & down, and you'll be amazed at how that will make you an expert. 
You'll learn that tent trailers aren't all that "quick" a shelter.
You'll also learn (like we did) that you'll love being in a tent; hearing the stream, the wind, cool nights... rainy nights are the best!

Down side:  if it rains during your camping, definitely get it opened back upand airing out  -SOON when you're home -on the 1st warm dry day to avoid mildew.

We sold our last tent trailer, but wound up buying a Hybrid trailer - mostly hard sides, but a fold down tent bed.  We just couldn't let it go and we're 60 now!

John From Detroit

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2014, 08:10:21 AM »
THere are several different pop ups... Some are fairly easy to crank up, Some you push a button and the battery does the cranking. Some are a real.... Pain.

My recommendations are as follows:

Pop-Ups... Go to the dealer and check 'em out, Do they have braces under the extensions? (If so how easy are they to set up (I have had to de-engineer a few for folks who had that kind De-engineering means "Figuring out how to do make it work". Thankfully I used to have a PUP and have looked at many more).

If you can find a used HI-lo trailer in good condintion, consider it this is a different type of pop up, also battery operated up & down.

Second: Consider a compact hard size... Wife and I (And 2 cats) used to spend the odd weekend (And week) in a SCAMP, 13 foot with a max GVR of 2,000 pounds (Which was also the tow rating of my Lumina APV) I towed it wth a standard minivan.   A SUV would have towed it better but it towed fine with the Lumina.

The Scamp also comes in a 16 foot model.. I'd recommend the 16'er for other reasons. but there are several other trailers in this same class you might considre depending on the size of your fur-kids.

Oh you can hook up with some guy who has room in his Class A  (I would offer but my fur-kids are feline and might not like canine intruders in our intruder).
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
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Loraura

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2014, 12:58:21 PM »
I know this thread is kind of old now, but to anyone else reading this and trying to decide PUP vs TT, I had zero trouble setting up or taking down our PUP alone.  I'm a 5'3'' 40 yo woman.

I will say this though.  Packing up a PUP in the heat is pretty much awful.  With a TT or hybrid you can leave the AC running until the very last minute.  With a pet this is compounded.  The poor dog has to seek shade/shelter in the tow vehicle, or under a tree if available (not always available) once you put the bed ends in.

jessp

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #21 on: October 18, 2015, 11:15:47 AM »
Yes, you can !!!!!!!!! My daughter sets hers up all the time. Granted she is slightly taller but still does it on her own. I ask to help her but she insists she wants to do it. It does take a few times to see what works for you. Make sure all moving parts are well lubed. I know you can do it just like my daughter has done it. Good luck and most of all HAVE FUN DOING IT.
Jess Poling
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John From Detroit

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #22 on: October 18, 2015, 01:50:50 PM »
How hard varies depending on the PUP  I used to have an old Apache Popup that took a fairly strong man or two. But it was very old and not quite up to specifications.

Most of the modern one a child can set up , easy to crank 'em up easy to crank 'em down  Major danger is forgetting things.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
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steveblonde

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Re: Newbie - single woman - how difficult is it to set up a pop-up?
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2015, 11:06:08 AM »
I spent many years and many miles with a rent trailer - 2 round trip to california at. 5000 miles each andi for one would rather have a small hard wall trailer just beacuse when it rails etc its a lot less hassle and you can always leave. It hooked up and wait till the rain stops and stay dry
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