pop up camper

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Well-known member
Mar 29, 2013
hi everyone i recently bought a 32" rv winnebago and have been going on camping trips and the family is loving it and our friends too, however one of the couples now has the camping bug and want to buy a pop up camper, just wondering if you guys have any ideas on what to look for, they dont have bunch of money and decided to buy a used one, private owner versus dealer? what problems are hidden and should be considered, any help you guys can offer would be appreciated, also if you know if someone is selling theirs? is that ok to ask?
Hi There!

The biggest thing you want to look for is water damage from leaks. Any mildew smell is a dead giveaway there.

If looking at older Coleman units (with the ABS roof), there was an issue with warping. Around early year 2000s models. Easy to spot of the original owners didn't have it replaced, as the roof will not look like it evenly "seals" to the body of the camper.

Check the canvas-like material to see that it's in good shape - no holes, etc.

Here's a great resource (with magazine and message boards) to check out:

In addition to the above good advice, they might also want to have a good RV tech look over a trailer they might want to buy.  Money well spent for experienced eyes, which could save lot's of $$ ab aggravation in the long run.
Good advice posted.  Having had a Jayco PUP, this is what I can tell you...
Look for any water damage.  Canvas condition is also a primary concern.  Lifting system can be a costly repair if cable related in an older PUP.  Note tire age and condition.  Interior/exterior condition is a no-brainer.

We bought new at the time of getting our PUP.  Good way to go if the deal is good and the warranty is there.  Used ours for 8 years trouble free except for some converter issues.  No big deal. 

A private seller would be just fine if they can find an honest seller.  Granted, few and far between.  They do exist however.  Perhaps check with the local financial institutions for repo's.  In my area, we have a company/lot that accepts consignments from banks/credit unions full of everything from scooters to MHs and houseboats.  Maybe there is something of the sort in your area where a good deal can be found.  Just a thought.

Also, I have to agree with Gizmo.  If a camper is found, but nobody is sure about it's quality, by all means hire a certified RV tech to check it out.  A hundred up front may save you a thousand later.  Otherwise, play the game. 
    The big issue I have seen with pups are the lifting mechanism.  If it hasn't been maintained it likely is rusty and could cause problems and if you are not comfortable checking that out, make sure the tech you hire does check it.  Make sure the fridge and furnace operate correctly, the fridge should work on both 110 and propane.  Tires are cheap, and lubricating the hubs is easy.


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