Looking for Recommendations for Family Size PuP that's Light

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by Eric the P4ddl3r, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Eric the P4ddl3r

    Eric the P4ddl3r New Member

    Feb 12, 2018
    Hello everyone,

    My family is looking to buy our first PuP. We've got Dad, Mom, 3x pre-teen kids, and a dog. We've done a lot of tent camping, but my wife would like to take it up a notch so here we are.

    I would like to pull it with our Honda Odyssey, so the weight has to be under 3,000# loaded. This weekend I was looking at a 2005 Fleetwood Bayside and I loved the space and the floorplan, but the 3,700# GVWR was too much.

    Anyone have ideas about a make/ model that's light and roomy? Thanks.
  2. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    Hello and welcome from Minnesota.

    You may want a layout like this for your crew. It has the most sleeping space:
    I have a Flagstaff m-208 with this layout but it is common with other manufacturers. It has a 10 foot box and these specs:

    Maximum Sleeping Capacity: 8
    Number Of Slideouts: 0
    Length (ft in / m): 20' 1'' / 6.1
    Base Weight (lbs / kg): 1737 / 787.9
    Carrying Capacity (lbs / kg): 866 / 392.8
    Hitch Weight (lbs / kg): 219 / 99.3

    This is as big as you would want to go with your towing capacity.
    Eric the P4ddl3r and Maycat like this.
  3. GreatBigAbyss

    GreatBigAbyss Active Member

    Apr 12, 2017
    I am familiar with the struggle to not overload a minivan.

    I think any kind of 10' trailer without slide or storage box will keep you well within 3000lbs. My 10' Palomino Pony weighs in at 1400lbs dry, and no more than 2400lbs when fully loaded with camping gear, battery, propane, and coolers. Most 10' trailers will be around this weight, depending on equipment and options (ours is pretty middle of the road).

    If you need a little more room, a 12' trailer may sneak you in just under the 3000lb mark. I would avoid any trailer with a dining slide or a storage box, as that will all just increase the weight of the trailer (and the amount of weight you start storing in it).

    If you are getting up near the 3000lb mark, I would start considering airbags for the rear springs of your odyssey, or a weight distributing hitch. The tongue weight of a 3000lb trailer will be at least 300lbs, and will be sitting a couple of feet behind your rear axle, creating a pretty decent lever. Add to this all the luggage and cargo you have in the van sitting over the van, and you could easily overload the rear suspension.
    Eric the P4ddl3r likes this.
  4. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2012
    Northwestern New Jersey
    Assuming the dog will sleep on the floor in his/her own bed and Mom and Dad will share a bed then the preteens will be sharing a bed, at least two of them. The third on the dinette conversion would be blocking the other two.
    Just something to think about.
  5. CamperChrissy

    CamperChrissy Active Member

    Nov 25, 2016
    Chicago suburbs
    Something to keep in mind for the kids - IMHO a 48 inch bed is a bit tight for two people to share. Currently my daughters (13 & 5) share a bed that size and they are NOT comfortable. Of course, this is just fine for some people, everyone is different. Given that your kids are a littler older (and presumably bigger), think about their sleeping style and tolerance for each other if you consider a PUP with a 48 inch bed : )

    Keep in mind that a longer box will give you longer beds. So if you can find a 12 foot box that isn't much heavier than a 10, it might be worth it for bigger beds.
  6. gardenbliss

    gardenbliss Well-Known Member

    Dec 9, 2013
    San Diego
    I agree with all prior comments. My [2C], don't get a PUP where the table is in front of the bed. I camped in a PUP with 4 kids and DH. I hated taking down and setting up the table every day in addition to setting the bed.
  7. Redbird934

    Redbird934 Member

    Mar 5, 2017
    We looked at several models before finding our Coleman Sea Pine, the layout is best for our bigger family and we can still pull it with the van. It doesn't feel small.
  8. p

    p Active Member

    Jun 9, 2014
    Totally agree with idea of not getting tables in front of beds. Our rock wood can sleep 7 in a pinch and we have no table in way.
  9. Eric the P4ddl3r

    Eric the P4ddl3r New Member

    Feb 12, 2018
    Wow, thanks everyone for the great comments. Keep them coming! My wife and I are learning a lot.
  10. jnc

    jnc Welcome from New Hampshire

    I would get a tent for the Kids that will give everyone more room.
    Jorja and Maycat like this.
  11. SHFL

    SHFL Active Member

    Jan 6, 2015
    Hi! We pull a 2003 Coleman Cheyenne with our 2001 Odyssey (added a transmission cooler, brake controller, and air pillows in the rear springs). The Cheyenne is ~2100 lbs empty, and is rated at ~3100 fully loaded, but we have never taken it to the scales.

    There are 4 of us — parents in the king bed, 14-yr old on th double, and 17-yr old on the dinette and spreading out onto the gaucho. The storage box I great for the rug, camp chairs, canopy, and other assorted stuff.

    Attached Files:

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  12. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

    Jun 14, 2014
    A 10' will suffice, but a basic 12' box would be better. In a lot of the 12' boxes, you can have a K / Q one on each end, then put the 3rd kid elsewhere in the camper. I have a 12' box with a storage trunk, we are under 3K and pull with an Ody. I actually take 2-3 week trips with 4 kids and the dog and there are no issues at all, it is actually plenty big for us, but we don't do much in the camper other than sleep as we are outdoors people. You need to forego the slideout for sure. There are several models with basic 12' boxes that are relatively light that will work for you. I would recommend this route because if one of your kids wants to bring a friend, you will still have room. They may end up wanting to tent outside as they get into teen years, which is great (some of ours do). We have slept 7 kids and a dog in our 12' unit. It was tight, but doable without any issues. You will want airbags or load assist shocks in the rear of your Ody to help with the rear end sag, other than that, the Ody is a very capable tow vehicle, we just did 6300 miles out to the PNW last summer and it was great.

    Lots of manufacturers have late model floor plans on their web sites, so you can browse and get ideas. I would suggest you buy used, but you may need to be able to act very quickly when you find a good one. Craigslist or ebay. A lot of availability depends on where you are located.
  13. gardenbliss

    gardenbliss Well-Known Member

    Dec 9, 2013
    San Diego
    I really like that layout SHFL. That would quite comfortably sleep 6 people. I wish my camper had that slide out sofa bed. I see a mod in my future.

    I have a 10ft box that we slept 6 in, but the youngest was under 5. Once she got to be that age, the 10ft was too small for 4 kids and us because she shared a bed with DH and me. Hope that helps.
  14. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Active Member

    Jul 30, 2014
    One important thing to keep in mind about layouts with the dinette not in front of the bunk is that these are often shorter beds. Make sure it is long enough for your kids to sleep on it now and in the future.

    Front storage trunks are nice, but they can add a lot of tongue weight, which isn’t very friendly to minivans. Obviously, that all depends on how much stuff you put in it.
  15. Eric the P4ddl3r

    Eric the P4ddl3r New Member

    Feb 12, 2018
    Thanks everyone for the great advice. We found a 2010 Flagstaff M227 and brought ´er home!

    Attached Files:

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  16. Jorja

    Jorja Active Member

    Oct 6, 2017
    Congrats on your NTU pup!
  17. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    Great choice! Welcome to the Flagstaff family!

    HERE is a great website that has information on most everything you will need to know about owning your pup. I found the "Tutorials" section especially helpful when I first got my pup.
    Eric the P4ddl3r likes this.

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