Smallest pop up I can find

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by buddy schlep, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. buddy schlep

    buddy schlep New Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    Hello folks. I'm a new member, and I'm considering a used pop up camper. My primary concern in selecting a camper is the weight. I plan to pull the camper with a 1983 Mercedes 240D, 4-speed manual, with a whopping 67 HP. The torque is pretty good, and these cars don't mind towing things, but I just don't want a lot of weight. Besides, it'll just be me and my dog, so I don't need much. I've seen some of these new ultralight campers that can be towed by a motorcycle, but I'd like something a little larger, a lot less expensive and hopefully one with a small stove and sink. I am definitely looking to buy a used camper, on the cheap. Can anyone tell me which manufacturers make the smallest and lightest campers?

    Many thanks,

  2. JamesRL

    JamesRL New Member

    Nov 1, 2007
    Brampton, Ontario
    The Livin Lite 6 would probably suit your needs, but you would have a hard time finding a used one.

    Its dry weight is 580 lbs.

    Do you know if your manual indicates a towing capacity?

  3. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

    Saw one of these a couple/three years ago at one of our "mountain retreat" C/G's were frequent. Some old fly fisherman towed it the with his updater version of a Volkswagen. I was kinda impressed with the thing - he slept up off the ground! And then like the rest of us, spent most of his time outdoors.
  4. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2009
    Albuquerque, NM
    We bought our Palomino Shetland about 10 years ago, so it was already over a decade old at that point. We were looking for small and light, for towing and to be able to store it in our driveway. We didn't want to go the motorcycle camper route, since that didn't seem to be much different than our ground camping set-up. At the time, no one seemed to be making a smaller camper, Livin' Light was far in the future.
    Ours is a 6' box, with only one bed end. The dry weight listed was 770#, with a tongue weight of ~75#. We haven't weighed it, but assume with the renovations we did over the winter it is still around that. We removed some things, but the new canvas is a bit heavier than the original.
    Aside from what your vehicle will tow, it will depend on what your budget is, what is available locally and what repairs you can and are willing to do. At 25+ years, we ended up having to repair water damage, though much less than what I've seen posted here for some much newer pups; some other issues (tree branch puncture, general wear and tear, etc.), buy new canvas, make some other repairs, including a cross-support after my long trip, plus wheel bearings and tires. With all that, we have under $3,000 (if not $2500) invested, counting purchase and all repairs.

    It will also depend on what features you want. We were happy without furnace or a/c, hot water tank, water tank, we removed the sink and ice box, so we're pretty bare-bones.

    There is a lot on information here on the Portal, plus the internet in general makes it a lot easier to gather information on what is out there and what problems to look for. We did our homework, and were ready when our pup became available; we knew it was priced a bit high for the age, but also, that it had been a long time finding it and we didn't see another for sale locally for a long while after.
  5. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

    May 20, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    The Livin' Lite Quicksilver 6.0 is quite small and light. Check it out here:

    Livin' Lite Quicksilver 6.0

    Aliner has an ultra small camper too. It is called the Alite. Check it out here:

    Aliner Alite
  6. Dusty82

    Dusty82 New Member

    Jun 23, 2008
    Northern Nevada
    Our first pup is a 1975 Coleman Patriot. It's a 7' box (6' 10" actually,) has a dry weight of 910lbs, and a tongue weight of 100lbs. They only made them for 2 years ('75 & '76) but they made other small pups like the Colorado and Columbia that are comparable, if not lighter.

    Good luck in your search!
  7. heckufaguy

    heckufaguy New Member

    Jun 2, 2010
    We have many friends with Livn lite trailers. The 5, 8, 10 foot versions and this year someone had a 6.0 . You won't find an owner who doesn't praise theirs.
    The smaller ones do have surprising storage, and I like the extended bumper available on the 6.0

    Good luck in your hunt!
  8. buddy schlep

    buddy schlep New Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    Thanks for all these replies. You've set me on a course to investigate some of these models. While the newer ultra-lite pups are very nice, they're quite pricey. I'm inclined to pursue investigating some with smaller "boxes"' as you call them. The Palomino Shetland and some of the smaller Colemans look like they might fit the bill. I'm also inclined to look for an older model that more closely matches the vintage of my car.

    I cannot find any tow ratings for my car, but the 75/750 range sounds about as heavy as I want to go.

    Once I zero in on a model or two, I'll need to be patient and wait for the right one that fits my budget and level of work I'm willing to do. It seems that there are some important areas to focus on when considering condition; water damage, canvas condition, appliances and structure condition. I'll do some poking around on this forum to better educate myself in these areas.

    I appreciate your help so far, and look forward to finding my first "baby".
  9. Nascar Fan

    Nascar Fan Active Member

    Nov 18, 2008
    Washington, PA
    Check out CL, but be careful of scammers. I would suggest taking some rides through the countryside, especially around state parks and look for campers for sale in yards. After we got ours, we found tons of them for sale. Most times these are older folks that don't know about CL and don't want to pay for advertising. This would be the perfect time of year because most folks are through camping with the kids in school. Good Luck on your search!!
  10. KarltonKrill

    KarltonKrill New Member

    Jun 24, 2010
    Check out this Coleman Colorado. This would be about the vintage of your Mercedes. Might be hard to find a used one in good condition ... probably have to put a little elbow grease into it ... but I've seen them on eBay from time to time.




  11. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

    Mar 3, 2006
  12. liamlunchtray

    liamlunchtray New Member

    Jun 28, 2010
    Man, I wish my LivinLite has a door like that Coleman Colorado. That thing is fantastic.
  13. KarltonKrill

    KarltonKrill New Member

    Jun 24, 2010
    Here ya go:

    $1795 ..... but it's in Michigan.


    I would put a mount for the stove and sink just to the left of the door. get a cheap camp stove for $29 and maybe one of these portable sinks:

  14. rabird, I really like that Lifetime trailer. It's similar to the Jumping Jack, but half the price.
  15. Cliffbeach491

    Cliffbeach491 New Member

    Oct 13, 2008
    Hi, I see that you are in NJ just as i am. there is a nice looking 1983 Coleman Columbia for sale on Criagslist in Wind gap pa. which is just over the NJ/Pa border via Rt 78. they are only asking 450 "or any reasonable offer..its the same year as you T.V too!
  16. I know a certain someone who towed a Coleman Columbia with a Honda Element rated for 1500 lbs. towing capacity. It may be a good option.
  17. Zamboni

    Zamboni Member

    Apr 11, 2008
    Theres a Coleman Colorado on MPLS CL right now. Like a few others have said- they seem like a great option.
  18. Need2Travel

    Need2Travel Rhode Island

    Sep 15, 2008
    Rhode Island
    If you look you will find (I know first hand! they don't come much smaller than my gypsy wagon) - as people have mentioned the Coleman Colorado models were some of the lightest out there, and can often be had for very reasonable prices. A built in sink/stove model is going to add weight, there are many ways to work around not having a sink/stove built in up front. With your very limited tow ability I'd focus on finding something you can tow first (and get you off the ground!) and the other things can be worked out.

    Figure out how far you're willing to travel and start looking at all the Craig's list postings for tent trailer / popup (pop up), and do not forget to search ebay (& sort by distance) that is where I found mine under an ebay classified (vs auction) - was a two+ hour drive away, but after searching a year plus (and looking at many) I knew it was what I wanted the minute I saw the add (even with the cost of replacing the canvas, which I knew would need to be done it has been worth every penny, and still I barely broke $1000 total - and she is like new again)
  19. buddy schlep

    buddy schlep New Member

    Aug 25, 2010
    Wow, thanks for all the ideas! That Coleman Colorado up above is sweet.

    I have made contact with the person selling the Columbia in PA--no response yet. It looks like the Columbia is a little larger (8 ft. box?), and a little heavier with the sink and stove, and more sleeping capacity.

    I agree that the key for me is to get off the ground first, then concentrate on options such as stove, sink, etc, while keeping overall weight down.

    Thanks again, everyone. Now my head is spinning.

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