Checking back in: We went dark and love it

Discussion in 'Going to the DARK SIDE' started by MIlover, Jul 12, 2017.

  1. MIlover

    MIlover Member

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    Hello fellow pup'ers, gray-siders and dark-siders. I can't seem to make it on the Portal much anymore, but wanted to check back in since we've now made four camping trips in our new travel trailer, which we purchased in February. My original post about selling the pup is here: http://www.popupportal.com/threads/good-bye-to-the-pup-era-the-darkness-is-so-inviting.109754/

    We took the plunge after feeling that camping set-up and take-down work was exceeding the amount of actual camping. We ended up buying a new Cherokee 274DBH. The floorplan is functional and perfect for our family, and we love all of the windows, the double bunks for kids, spacious bathroom, large pantry, etc. We've not regretted it.

    As most will tell you, long-term maintenance of a TT is not any easier than a pup. You still need to clean, wax, prevent water damage, etc. BUT, camping prep, set up, and take down is amazing! It's so much easier to pack the trailer (and leave many items in it all summer long), walk in and out at our leisure, easily access the large refrigerator and freezer (and our outside mini-fridge). We no longer need to bring a cooler, no longer need to pack everything with extreme precision, and no longer need to deal with Wet canvas! Was it wet when we packed up? Oh, simply push the button for the awning to come out when we get home. It's amazing.

    Thus far, we've camped 11 nights since May, and have 6 more nights planned this summer, and hopefully some nice weekends in the fall. We're also planning a week-long trip next summer, that will involve stops at several campgrounds - something we would not have done in a pup.

    In summary, we know pups are great, and work well for many (and,they are smaller, lighter in weight, more easily stored, etc), but for our family, a TT was definitely the way to go.

    Happy camping to all of you fine people!
     
  2. bsandey

    bsandey Active Member

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    Red Wing, MN
    And we have COOKIES on the Dark Side!

    I had a popup ordered, but cancelled due to reason with the distributor and the dealership (already posted the story, so won't go into details). But then while lookign for something else (was focusing more on A-Frames), found a nice micro-TT that I bought. My kids are almost all grown (three are out, and only a 15 year old son left), so space wasn't an issue. It's got everything I need, and more, and set up is a breeze. Get it level, put the jacks down, and done (maybe a electrical hookup and water if available). And I even made it easier by getting a bit for my drill to lower the jacks! It gets me to sitting in my chair with a cold on that much faster.

    We used to have a popup when kids were younger. Many good times and great memories in it. I wouldn't trade it for the world. But when I saw my camper on the dealer lot, I just felt that I had to have it.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    Graceville, Florida
    I have had about every kind of unit out there including several PUP's but there came a time
    when We decided to go dark for good and it is so much faster and easier and we enjoy camping much more and can spend all that setup / breakdown time to relax. The TT has so much more to offer in the way of conveniences, including an indoor bathroom (we still use the park showers most of the time) Good luck and Happy Camping
     
    bob barnes likes this.
  4. cs1984

    cs1984 New Member

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    Mar 7, 2016
    Oh the cookies, such a pleasant surprise of owning a TT. I know DW and I have been out more this summer in two months with the new TT than all of last year in the pup. Having the bathroom is so nice after a few beers, lol.
     
  5. Ductape

    Ductape Well-Known Member

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    Can't argue any of what you say, except that you can't make time for the portal anymore. We went dark 2 years ago and camping couldn't be any better for us. We went from camping 12 to 14 nights per season to camping 28+ nights per season in out TT.

    Happy camping !!
     
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  6. NothingsChocking

    NothingsChocking Active Member

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    Mar 7, 2017
    Texas
    You have an oven in that micro?
     
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  7. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

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    We have gone dark not because we wanted to we pick up our 13f Scamper next week and will be touring the Ia. colonies once again as the p/u area is close. It is hard giving up our A-Liner but as always things change. Our 41 year tenting career is over, our A-Liner days are over so now we are egg campers. We primarily boondock so all the fancy stuff in a tt doesn't appeal to us.

    My Alaska trip this year was canceled due to back surgery but next year north to Alaska for 2 mos with a 13f Scamper. Power jack to use and no doubt will seldom unhook the camper as it serves as our motel on the way to our destinations!!
     
  8. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    Though I've waxed poetic more than once on the forum about how much I like our Pup, I had a bit of an epiphany during our last trip a couple weeks ago and think we're headed for the dark side too.

    After touring our next door neighbors 28-foot Jayco during our last trip a couple weeks ago, I decided to take a look at CL and RV Trader when we got home. I really didn't think we could afford anything like these people had, but much to my surprise I was wrong. I found there are a lot of late-model 24-or-25 footers available at prices that fit our budget.

    We probably won't be making any moves yet this year. But I'm a patient shopper and I'm confident that fits I can find something that fits our needs/DW's wants at a price we can afford by spring. [:)C]
     
    bob barnes likes this.
  9. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

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    I had a 32f 5th wheel and a 40f bus but I wouldn't trade my tiny camper for either one if I camp my time is spent outdoors isn't that what camping is all about?. Pulling and running the 40f bus was scarey and hard to do ever had to learn how to double clutch? I don't know if I ever learned it correctly then in this time period my triple by-pass happened and that was the end of that. I am pretty sure I can continue to pull my 13f with my 2015 ford edge 2.0 but we will see I have been able to pull the Scout in the Mo. Ozarks with no problem.

    I am not one of those that has to go 70 and 80 on tires that are rated 65mph I leave a tad earlier and quit just a tad later and get where I am going with no stress or wear and tear on my tt! Take my word for it at 75 you want to enjoy every moment you have left and trying to be a race car driver with a camper just doesn't cut it!
     
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  10. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

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    Good for you I think everyone has to start someplace to learn to enjoy camping. We have gone from a 5th wheel, 40f bus to mainly a tent for 41 years now we are going to an egg but in all those experiences we love our tenting days the best. Just think all 50 states many states many times. Canada, Alaska and Europe 4x we couldn't afford a hotel in Europe believe me they are expensive as well as camping is. I just wish we could camp Egyp but I guess that will never happen in the time I have left. We have seen things had experiences met people made friends that all the money in the world cant buy!!
     
  11. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

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    One important thing about the big camper since they have all the junk in them people rarely come out to meet or visit with their neighbors. I have seen this multiple times but they can have the a/c blasting but come out in 90d temps to build a huge fire. I have never understood that!
     
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  12. WeRJuliIan

    WeRJuliIan If it's "Aluminum", why not "Sodum" and "Uranum"?

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    Sarasota, FL
    Maybe we're the exceptions Bob... while we don't have a "big camper", we have a hybrid, with, yes, all the toys.. but we still like to get out and gossip with the neighbours, or just enjoy the sights and sounds of nature, or even do nothing at all for extended periods. (but we're good at it!)

    The main deciders, for us, were ...
    * Age and declining health were making setup and packup, less and less attractive...
    * No more walks to the bathroom on cold nights (see above, under "age"...:)
    * A full-sized fridge, so we can pre-cook meals and bring them frozen, cutting down on prep. and trips into town for groceries.

    We might, sometimes, watch a movie of an evening, if it's wet or chilly, but we used to do that in the PUP, too. No built-in TV, we use a portable DVD player that sits on the galley countertop.
    And yes, we do have A/c -- but we live in Florida !

    Ian, the not-too-spoiled man from Scotland.
     
    bob barnes likes this.
  13. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

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    My neighbor has the huge 5th wheel with all the goodies I ask him what he does well nothing until it gets dark so he can drink beer around the fire! Yes I have declining health and age 75 here with recent big-time back surgery thus forcing us to a 13f scamper. Since we more or less use our rig for a rolling motel we tend to just pick up food at the walmart or a close restaurant. Thinking about all this the wife is now retired too and although she loves cooking she deserves a break too. At our stage in life money doesn't really matter much! you know what I mean! we would still be tenting if I could deal with things we are not counting out one more tenting trip to Europe though!!!
     
  14. bsandey

    bsandey Active Member

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    Red Wing, MN
    Not anything like that, but I learned to drive a stick on a 1964 Chevy Covair that you had to double clutch to get to third. But it drove through snow like a tank!
     
    bob barnes likes this.
  15. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

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    Our idea of d/side is just a little past a tent in other words we have no potty, no kitchen in our campers in order to continue to savor the joy we had in tenting now we can stop at the Walmarts, spend the night and take out the next day. In March we did a 30d voyage to Texas and N.M. 6k miles and spent 600bux on expenses.
     
  16. tonyshell

    tonyshell Member

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    Mar 8, 2013
    We went to the dark side this spring as well. Very happy with our decision. We have camped more and been more comfy. Its even allowed us to camp despite some illness this summer. Loved our popups but got tired of the setup/tear down and snow, rain etc. Still spend most of our time outside visiting with other people, reading, napping and walking the dogs.
     
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  17. bob barnes

    bob barnes Well-Known Member

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    We went to a Scamp from an A-Liner for the same reasons our camper is 13f thus forcing us outside for the most part. I see the Scamp as a place to sleep that's about it we don't expect more. No pottie, no kitchen no tv if I want all that stuff I will just stay home ever watch the owners of the motels on wheels? Makes no sense!!
     
  18. MIlover

    MIlover Member

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    Jul 31, 2012
    Hello all! Yes, I'm resurrecting an old thread, but I'm the OP, so that's okay, right? Lol. Work, parenting, etc. has kept me from participating in the Portal the last couple of years, but I still have fond memories of all the help we received as new pup'rs!

    Just thought I'd follow up again and say that two years in, we STILL love our travel trailer and view it as a great decision. We have camped so much, averaging about 25 nights per season, give or take. 2019 will be about the same. We also now have family members and some friends who camp with us, which makes it that much better. We spend most all of our time outside, but let me tell you, the hard roof and dry, warm space inside cannot be beat when it's raining. As for the camper itself, the Cherokee 274 DBH has been ideal for our needs, and we've not had any buyer's remorse or "wish we would've" thoughts. That said, when kids are grown and it's just DH and I camping, we'll downsize. But for now, the sleeping/living space is perfect.

    And just to be clear, this post is not intended to imply that TT's are superior to pups - not at all. Just to reaffirm that for us, a TT was a better choice that led to MUCH more camping. And at the end of the day, it's all about enjoying the great outdoors and a good campfire, right? [CP] Cheers! (What happened to the clinking beer mugs emoji? I loved that one.) Hope you all are doing well.

    - MILover
     
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  19. Mike1603

    Mike1603 New Member

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    Oct 23, 2017
    Alachua, FL
    Just got a 30ft TT last weekend. Loved the pup, but it had its drawbacks. When we go it's 100-500mile trips for more than a long weekend. Got tired of not being able to do 1 night stops due to the setup and takedown. Also got tired of driving 8 hours to get home and setting it back up so it could dry out immediately. Also got tired of hauling 3 coolers, the large fridge is going to be a game changer. We considered going with a smaller TT, but figure why not just go all out if you're going. Have not been on a trip yet, but I was not thrilled with 13mpg hauling it home. Also going to miss the pup on the annual winter guys trip to Windrock off road park. I could haul the pup with my jeep and really enjoyed the furnace on those trips.
     
  20. West Coast Canuck

    West Coast Canuck Jumped to the dark side ......

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    Congrats, we made the move 7 yrs ago...(can’t believe our TT is 7 yrs old already) we haven’t regretted it...let’s just say we grew out of the phase of a pup up. We enjoyed the time we had with our pups but being spoiled by our TT these past few years has been worth it. I am about to change out the tires this year and go thru all the systems including the propane (recertify) and plumbing thruout including redoing all the seams and adding a hard start capacitor to the AC and lubricating the rear slide out and conditioning all the weather seals. Don’t get me wrong, nothing wrong with it, just being proactive on maintenance so that we have several more years of trouble free ownership.
     

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