Thinking about buying a pop up camper, advice?

Discussion in 'Sound Off (' started by Jimw, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. So I've been thinking about buying a used pop up camper. Mainly for hunting and fishing with buddies, but also for family camping trips. The problem is I don't know jack about campers.. If I buy a pop up am I going to wish I got a hard sided camper? I'm thinking I'd like to stay around 2 grand or less, is this realistic for something decent? (Ie doesn't stink and stays dry, doesn't look like a piece of crap on wheels.) Anything in particular I should look out for when shopping for one? What brands I should look for/avoid? Features I should look for? Just looking for a little guidance here, thanks.
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  2. I see a couple of pop ups up near deer camp every rifle season, wish I could tell you what brands they were. Pop ups are lighter, usually far less expensive, trailer easier, etc. Trade-offs are they are a lot less insulated (i.e. not going to be warm), just a place to crash, not usually a hang out spot, limited/less room.

    I think your budget is in the neighborhood, just not sure what you might see. I think for a decent hardside you would be upwards of $3k plus to get into a used one.

    Good luck in your search.

    Have you considered a canvas "army" type tent instead? Much harder to put up and down, but with a wood stove, they can be quite roomy and comfy. You could probably buy new for just over your budget. Just a suggestion.

  3. I have been working on RV's for 15 years never saw a pop up that I would let you park in my driveway. Most are only a slight improvement over a leaky tent but honestly at that price point all your gonna get is slightly better than a leaky tent. We have a few in stock here is one you could look at. It is in pretty good shape for what I have seen I still would rather have you buy a better trailer but these do get you off the ground.
  4. I have a small pop up and we do enjoy it. It is much better than a tent IMO. If you plan to camp when it is cold though I wouldn't suggest it. You really can't heat them when it's 10 degrees outside. If you do it will be raining inside! First hand experience. So for deer camp I would say no, but if camping in weather that is say 40-50 degrees it would probably be ok. As said above it is not a hangout spot you really only sleep in them.

    One thing I wish my pop up had that my buddy's has is an outside trunk for storage. It keeps you from putting everything inside, easy of getting to it and not tracking dirt inside just to get your axe or something. I personally think the refrigerators are crap. We use ours for storage, but I have been thinking about pulling it out. An awning is nice to have. At some point it will rain and you can still be outside. Astro turf for under the awning helps to keep the dirt out of the camper too.
  5. I would recommend a Apache if you can find one... They have hard sides instead of canvas.

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  6. Well I tend to agree with nitro. No pop up. But I'd check out basic camper trailers. I see them all the time on craigslist. Different sizes models,makes,and age. Look at what your needs may be. And start looking. A lot of the sellers are either upsizing or just getting out of camping.I know you should be able to cut a deal with someone. A friend of mine made out good buying one, and love it. It was very well maintained, clean and updated as needed. NO POP UP. IMO
  7. Apache's are pretty cool! Have a pretty strong following too. A nice one went up for sale near me in the morning and I had planned to stop in after work just to check it out and see what the price was. It was gone before I got out of work.
  8. We had a Coleman pop up with all the whistles & bells, we loved it until we got a bigger hardside camper. Summer was great, tent camping but not sleeping on the ground with stove, hot water and fridge at hand. We used it quite a few times for Oct. U.P. bowhunts, had a furnace but when temps went into the teens it was low 30`s & 20`s in the camper and furnace run constantly (i.e. run the battery down quickly) condensation was there but not that bad. Awning is a must. The thing I disliked most was seemed like everytime it was time to take down it was raining, which means setting it all up when you get home and drying everything out. I much more enjoy opening the door and being ready to go.
  9. I was given a popup earlier this year. I am still on the fence on it. I love my old fashion tent. Throw it in the van and go. No need to worry about pulling the weight or about storage.

    But once it is setup, it is a little nicer than the tent. Lots of storage. Lots of creature features.

    I have read about popup gizmos and things to put in the windows to make it retain heat, as I am thinking of trying it out for deer season. Check out They have a lot of good info on popups there.

    If I had a tow vehicle, and could store a travel trailer, that is a much nicer way to go. I have seen a lot of trailers for sale that need work that would be nice to play with.

    You are coming up to the end of the season, you may get a good deal on someone who wants to dump it before the winter hits.
  10. Jayco with a slide out. Love mine.lots of room. You can carry a boat on top.sleeps 7.

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  11. This is my vote...


    You should be able to grab a 12'x14' for under $1k, plus a couple hundred for poles, get it fire retardant coated, rain fly,floor, wood stove, all for under $2k. Find a used flat bed trailer to haul it around or have 2-3 trucks each carrying a component or two. I stayed in one and would rather be in one of these than even my dad's 30' travel trailer with slideouts he had.
  12. I think you'll have trouble finding a clean one for under $2000.

    We have a 1996 Coleman/Fleetwood Sun Valley that we love. The quality of the Coleman/Fleetwood is excellent (stick with the "premium" line of Coleman's though). This one has a king bed on each end.

    Pop-ups are easy to tow and store. Not too big of a deal to set up and take down. It helps to have a big vehicle to store all your crap that you can't fit in the camper when towing.

    My biggest complaint about pop-ups is the outside noise you can too easily hear in campgrounds (like a tent).

    My other complaint is that it takes up half my garage and we rarely use it.

    We are thinking about selling ours in mid-August. That depends on how we feel about it after our camping trip in a couple weeks. I was going to ask around $3,000. It is clean, looks nice and only has a few flaws.
  13. We used one for deer hunting years back when it still got sub 10 degrees on opening day and positively frozen our rearends off, even with multiple sleeping bags and the popup's heater. We had a hardback to fall back on and warm up in and spread the guys out, but the popup was pure miserable.
  14. We used one for deer hunting for about 5-6 yr's never really had much of a problem. Just put big tarp over the whole camper then had outside storage under the bunks had a enclosed awning off the front we stored alot of stuff in the furnace used to much battery to run long so we just ran a hose to a buddy heater off a 20 lb tank .There was only 3 of us so we put a blanket across the one end and stored alot of the food up there. It made it down around zero a couple time didn't really feel cold that i can remember
  15. There is a popup forum similar to MS on line and you can get an OHub type version for your cell phone. I'm on my 3rd Popup now and the Apache was the best but Coleman went bankrupt so you may have parts problems....

    My latest camper is a Coachman Clipper and I must admit the warranty issues were significant but this is usually true with any other RV too. I eventually got it all fixed and I'm happy with it now. Many of the problems came because i had mine heavily customized to take features away and add some i wanted to fit my style of camping. General RV just did a crappy job with the modifications but i kept after them hard! My camper has a slide out and electric warmers on the bunks to keep you warm when its below 40 degrees.

    Look up the forum I suggested and try there. They will give you a better idea what to look for than this web site I promise...good.luck!:eek:

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