Hi. We are looking to buy soon, and we have a minivan (Kia Sedona 6 cylinder). It says it can tow 3500#. I understand dry weight, GVW, and adding some extra for safety cushion. (Is 200# to 500# enough here, or do we need more? Question: As a general guide, can we buy most any pop up that does not have high walls? Can we get a 10-12 footer? Are slides and AC too heavy for us? Are there any models that you would not recommend? Are Niagara, Westlake, Chesapeake, Williamsburg, too heavy for us? (I am asking because the dealership we are going to tomorrow has some of its better deals on these older models 1990-1998.) I checked NADA, they only list dry weight, and I checked recommended prices. BTW, most of the pop-ups are overpriced by $1500-$2000-$3000 at the dealers around PA & NJ.
When we looked at 2008 Fleetwood basic Taos' and Sedonas (basic models) 8 footers, those seemed just a little small for us, as far as comfort is concerned. We have me, my husband, an 11 year old and an 8 year old. (We looked at them because they were in "affordable" range around $5000 or less.)
I don't know any other way to say this than just to say it--I can't help sounding negative here, as we have run into problems while looking, that we did not expect with the roofs. This (huge) issue is leaky roofs. Most every used pop up we have looked at has definite problems with mold, wood rot, or at least substantial water damage up under the corners of the roof. What gives with this? We are in SE Pennsylvania. Years ago, when I lived in Oklahoma, I never noticed leaky roofing/mold to be an issue. Have we just been unlucky while looking, or do 99% of the roofs leak with substantial damage in less than 10 years or as little as 1 year (we saw it in a new 2008 last weekend)in NE USA? One dealer I called last week laughed and hung up on me when I asked if they had any used pop ups that were free from roof damage. She said, "Oh, you want a pop up that is not leaky? Then she laughed hysterically, and hung up on me.
We have been looking in earnest for 3 weeks, during the week and weekends, too. Tomorrow morning we are traveling to a large dealer (2 hours away) that has many new and used pop ups. We are scared off by what we've seen so far. My husband is not much of a fix it man. I can do some minor fix it work--but not redo a roof. Is it possible to buy a pop up for $5000 or less and not worry with mold and leaking roofs? And if so, what is the oldest model we should consider buying (as far as prabability of leaking) is there a rule of thumb? Also, I want to know if we could consider the 10-12 footers.