What pop up camper company makes the best quality pop ups??

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by shanksyamaha, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. shanksyamaha

    shanksyamaha New Member

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    May 5, 2010
    I know some of you guys have been inside every pop up camper made and Im looking to get something newer and larger than our current 2001 starcraft 1706 this spring. So far I love the starcrafts features. I have seen some colemans from a distance and I really like some of the starcraft features better but I have never been inside a coleman. I know this is just a matter of opinion but if you were in the market for a new pop up, what brand would you choose and why??
    Are some easier to set up than others? some have better features? some have reliability or leaking issues that others dont???


    Thanks!!
     
  2. Flyfisherman

    Flyfisherman New Member

    So, what are you trying to do ... start some kind of a brand war here?

    Usually folks take pride in their particular camper, whatever brand that may be, they have put a lot of time and effort into them and then have someone come along say that maybe they have not made the best choice?
     
  3. shanksyamaha

    shanksyamaha New Member

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    May 5, 2010
    um... NO.. Sounds like that may be what you are trying to do. Im in the market for a new pop up, however I have never seen the inside of any other brand and I don't know much about any brands but starcraft. I want opinions from owners on what they like and dislike about their pop up so I can make an educated purchase. Before I bought my atv I went to an atv site and asked owners what they liked and disliked about their atv, same with my snowmobile, truck, and yes, now my camper... Coming on here and trying to bash me for asking a simple question sounds like you are the one who wants the war. I only want opinions from respectable members, if you can't give that then don't reply.
     
  4. Crankin

    Crankin New Member

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    Jul 8, 2009
    London, Ontario

    It doesn't seem like that it what his intentions are. Maybe you're reading a little too deep into his post. Sounds like an honest straight forward question to me.
     
  5. shanksyamaha

    shanksyamaha New Member

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    May 5, 2010
    Thank you crankin, it is an honest, straight forward question. Im not interested in getting people upset of fighting over what brand is the best, I just wanted to make an educated purchase. I can tell you that there are some small things about my camper that I didn't like so well once I found them, but I would have never found them sitting at a dealer, it wasn't until I got to camp in my camper that I really found out what I like and dislike about it. And I was hoping that, since there are so many good members with lots of pop up experience on this site, they could tell me the stuff I need to know before I purchase a new popup. I plan to keep this new camper for 10+ years so I really want to know everything I can about each brand before I go and shell out $10,000+
     
  6. Crankin

    Crankin New Member

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    Jul 8, 2009
    London, Ontario
    No problem. I might as well chime in about our 2010 rockwood. We love it! The amount of perks for the buck are great. I have seen a few other PUPS in the time we looked for ours. I must say, your question is a valid one since we saw some really poor craftsmanship on some and fantastic craftsminship and finish on others (price range matched those too) I wouldn't consider our rockwood the top of the spectrum I would consider on the better end of the spectrum though for the price (under 11000cdn brand new in 2009)
     
  7. shanksyamaha

    shanksyamaha New Member

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    May 5, 2010
    Yes, that is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for the reply.
     
  8. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    Morris County, NJ
    We have a 2008 Fleetwood (Coleman) Sea Pine that we really love. No bathroom or shower. Nice and simple. We like the construction as well as a good lift system. The floor plan fits our needs.

    You need to get out and go look at the pups at the dealers. Doing the walk thru and seeing the quality makes the decision a bit easier.
     
  9. shanksyamaha

    shanksyamaha New Member

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    May 5, 2010
    I've been to a couple dealers locally but its hard to figure out what Im looking for without knowing what the differences are. A good lift system is definately a must. I have also seen posts from people having to fix the roof of a rather new camper. I don't want to have to worry about that, is there a particular roof design to stay away from??
     
  10. theraceshop

    theraceshop Belchertown, MA

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    May 20, 2008
    Belchertown, Ma
    I tend to shop price, quality, style in that order. So with that said I would read the post on this website and look at all the different problems and come to your own conclusions. This would be the safest bet.

    I bought a Palomino Mustang based on price and I really liked what I got for my money.
    I would think it is the same as what it was like buying a new car 20 or more years ago when man still built them with their hands like popups of today. You never bought a car that was built on a Monday or Friday quality was at its worst on those days.
     
  11. Hacksaw

    Hacksaw Active Member

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    Aug 23, 2009
    I am in the same boat. While I love my Coleman I need more space. The 8 foot box is barely big enough now when the kids are small.In a year or two it just won't work. I can't afford brand new and while I think the Coleman lift is the best system out there I don't want an ABS roof (no matter how good of shape it appears to be in) So I guess what I am asking(don't mean to hijack the thread but I think we are asking the same question) What do you LOVE about your particular Brand/Model and What about it leaves you wanting more? Since I have already basically identified myself as a Coleman pimp - I'll start What I love - The Lift system and the one piece door. What leaves me wanting more - The cushions (whats with wrapping your sleeping mattress in burlap ?) Granted my PUP is 22 years old so getting into the 21st century will be a huge deal for us.
     
  12. FC

    FC Central Florida

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    Apopka, Fl
    I was on the fence between Starcraft & Fleetwood(Coleman). I chose the 2007 Fleetwood Bayside because of 2 simple things. #1. The reinforcement under the bunks. #2. The attached bunk support poles verses the individual poles you have to store seperate and figure out what pole goes where. Besides that the Starcraft was more camper for less money with a dual axle. It was the poles & reinforcement only that made me make the decision. But thats just me. I hope this helps.
     
  13. Nascar Fan

    Nascar Fan Active Member

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    Nov 18, 2008
    Washington, PA
    We have a Rockwood Freedom 2280 with 12' Box. We are very happy with the construction, lift system. Mostly like the heated mattresses. We have had no problems what so ever with any construction issues. The unit seems very solid. We would not be without our shower/pottie. Expecially after DW broke her ankle in two places on our last outing. She refused to come home after surgery and she was able to scoot out of bed and on to the pottie with little problem. We will never have a camper without a pottie again. Looked at the Hi Lo and hybrids, but gotta say we are very satisfied with our pup and it would take a lot for us to give it up.
     
  14. Cable Guy

    Cable Guy San Diego, Ca.

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    Aug 30, 2007
    El Cajon, Ca
    One of the reasons for my choosing my Fleetwood (Coleman) was the proximately of a dealership. At the time, the Fleetwood dealer was the only one near my home. They have closed since then. Plus for the money the Niagara had the features I wanted.
     
  15. stanz

    stanz No matter where you go, there you are.

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    Jul 30, 2010
    I don't have any experience with the newer pups but from what I've seen all brands have positive AND negative features. In older pups, 1980s through early 1990s, my Rockwoods have a better build quality than my Starcrafts. They are also heavier.

    Here's what I would look for if I were buying a newer pup:

    1) Tube frame, most pups have "C" channel frames

    2) Marine grade plywood under bunks or at least plywood

    3) Vinyl walls instead of canvas

    4) Radial tires

    5) Plywood floor instead of chipboard

    6) Smooth exterior walls

    7) Multipart canvas, if one section gets damaged you can simply replace that section

    8) Center mounted front lift with a decent sized wheel

    I don't know if anyone has all of that in one package but that's what I'd look for. I've seen what happens to chipboard over the years and it ain't pretty.

    My old Starcrafts have "C" channel frames and the flex is noticeable. I used one as the base for my shed placing four cinder blocks under the corners. I ended up having to put one near the door to allow it to open freely.
     
  16. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    May 20, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    Shanksyamaha, I think you need to start touring dealers and get into a variety of PUPs so you can see for yourself.
     
  17. ballard

    ballard New Member

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    Jul 11, 2009
    northeast
    I'm a fan of how coleman frames up their trailers.

    Colemans use stainless steel lift arms mounted directly to the frame of the trailer. The box is framed with steel at each corner mounted directly to the trailer frame and the top of the box is framed continuously around the camper in metal. This design makes a very rigid box structure. Other brands use wood framing on top of the particle board floor which is prone to rot if water leaks. Limited use of wood (which in the end will rot).

    The roof is not bad and so long as it isn't abs material, I haven't seen a huge difference amongst all the pup brands.
     
  18. FC

    FC Central Florida

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    Apr 2, 2007
    Apopka, Fl

    Or go to a RV show. Thats what we did. :)
     
  19. riverwalker

    riverwalker New Member

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    Jul 25, 2010
    I previously owned a 97 Bonair M100 1st pup i owned we loved it and one of only brands i seen using good grade plywood for the floor and framing. Cushions where great and still had oringinal coverings that held up very well and were not a heavy tweed . Bonair probably went out of business because of the quality of the matterial they used they didnt seem to add it here an take awy from it there.
    I recently upgraded an ended up buying a starcraft with a tipout side(which is awesome) . I really like it, cushions are great but fabric used or maybe the stitching job really cheap. One other thing i noticed was that alot of the screws are not concealed on cabinets .
    I also looked at Flaggstaff Coleman, Dutchmen and a few other Bonairs anywhere from 1971 to 06's, what i found was most seem to cut corners in some areas to add it in others. In the end most pup's if used will come down to how the owners cared for them. My old 97 was in better shape then 90% of the newer one's. I looked at over 30, The biggest difference in all of them was how their owners kept them up.

    I would decide what you need for accessories and want . Pick out a size to fit your life and look for someone how has taken care of their pup.
     
  20. shanksyamaha

    shanksyamaha New Member

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    May 5, 2010
    Thanks for all the great replies everyone, good info. Can you tell me what Im looking for to tell if the roof is "abs" Im honestly not sure how to tell, my starcraft has a 2 piece roof with a seam in the middle and I believe its a sheet metal material. I just looked at a used jayco manistee that looked very nice but it had a different roof, maybe abs??

    Also, I know alot of people say I should just go to the dealers and look around but I live in a rather remote location. There are 3 very nice camp grounds within 20 miles of my house but the nearest rv dealer is 60 miles away, and the next one is 135 miles away. Its 40 miles to the nearest stop light, 35 miles to the nearest Mcdonalds. We are very remote and its an entire day trip to go to a rv dealer just to look around. The next rv show I have found is in syracuse (135 miles away) and not for another 7 months. Its just not that easy to go to the dealers and look around for me... Thats why I turn to this site, and its always full of knowledgeable people, willing to help.. Thanks guys!!
     

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