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New member
Jul 19, 2013
Hi first post here. I currently have a 19ft Cuddy boat and my wife isn't to keen on the idea of camping on the boat or in a tent as the public showers aren't always the cleanest. We did camp on the boat once, though her only real complaint was bathrooms. I am currently camping right now w/o her and I haven't camped in a while. It feels like I am one of the few people that actually still uses a tent out of the whole camp ground. I looked into it an it appears that campers are a lot cheaper than boats. I have a MDX that can tow up to a 4500lbs boat or a 3500lbs camper. I guess the difference between the two is a boat is naturally more aerodynamic. So I guess I am looking at buying a really expensive shower is a way of looking at it. I am wanting a small camper that is light weight. Would like the ability to takes kids when or if we have them. Do people ever just pitch a tent for kids and make them sleep outside? We like to cook, mostly by grill and we live in the Rochester NY area. Any suggestions on brands to go with or stay away? We love nature and like the idea of being able to customize a camper to our comfort level. Also we would bring 63lbs mutt. Also new vs used? Anything to watch out for when looking for used?

Thanks in advance,

Welcome to the forum

You might find a pop-up in that weight range. This one

would be too heavy after you got it loaded. You might consider renting and see if you even like a pop-up or if you want to get a bigger tow vehicle and a hard side trailer.
Bathrooms on a 19' cuddy cabin! :eek:    On my 20' Skipjack cuddy, the "bathroom" was where ever the Porta-Potty was -- which was usually between the V berths.  Oh well, back to the subject....

I do not think that you are going to cure the DW's shower anxiety with a tent trailer.  Showers are definitely on the rudimentary side.  Scan the shower provisions in the illustrated pop-up and you will see you have a choice of an outside shower and a combo throne + shower.  That is as good as I have seen in a pop-up.

I suspect that you will have to go to a travel trailer (TT) or a class-C motor home in order to get a separate throne and shower bath. 

Anyway, right now my recommendation is to start touring RV sales lots and RV shows.  Let DW see what is out there in showers, throne rooms, galleys, and beds.  Sit on the toilets, stand in the shower facility, etc.

Do some renting to see how things go together.

In the 80's we towed a 20' cuddy with a Ford Bronco. Occasionally we tent camped, while we boated and fished the CA Delta or CA lakes during the day. Most times we'd "camp" in the cuddy. It didn't take too long to think of buying a van conversion to use in place of camping in a tent or on the cuddy. As we looked at more and more vans, the prices went higher and higher, and we eventually decided we could buy a motorhome for the price of some of the "nicest" vans.

We towed the cuddy with a 29' Pace Arrow class A for many years, often dry camping at a state park.

As fiberglass fever set in, the boats got bigger, and it didn't long for the boats to be too big to tow. We looked at many larger boats and, each time, we'd return to our boat, look at each other, and say "there's nowt wrong with our existing boat".

Along the way, we looked at a 65' boat to replace our "small" 51' boat. This happened to be at the Miami boat show and, after 5 days of boat shopping, we spent a day with forum staffers and their spouses (the Brincks, Dicks and Pallys) at The Great Outdoors. That wonderful day convinced my other half that "we should buy another RV instead of another boat", and I couldn't wait to get to a dealership.

The new RV was a 38' Monaco Camelot with a 10,000 lbs towing capacity. Numerous times we've looked at "our next RV", including and up to a 45' Prevost conversion and a Newell. Each time, we return to our coach, look at each other, and say "there's nowt wrong with our existing RV".
Thanks for the posts, I was busy diving that weekend and didn't get a chance to reply. A popup seems to much like tent camping for me, also I question the shower scenario. Granted our boat has a head located under the v-birth and has the ability to be pumped out, it doesn't fix the shower and sink. It would also be nice to have a small kitchen and something to keep food from spoiling (fridge). I am going to get wife and go look at campers at a dealership like Carl suggested.
Larger pop-ups have showers, fridge, furnace, etc. Even a/c in a few. But definitely go shopping and check out what is available. Look at multiple places, preferably large RV shows where many brands and styles are on display. You can get bleary-eyed after awhile, so plan on several forays with time to digest what you've seen in between.

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