Advice Needed - 1992 Pop-Up Too Old?

nickap

Member
Sep 17, 2017
75
Hi all, first time potential camper owner here, and I could use some advice. My wife and I are looking to buy a pop-up camper and one that has come up is a 1992 Jayco 2008 SG. We still have to see it 'in person', but from the photos in the listing it looks very clean and has the features we are looking for. We had been hoping to find something newer but we're wondering if this one might work out for us - the asking price is $1000 but we could probably get it for $750-800. What do you think -- is buying a 25 year old camper asking for trouble? We've heard good things about the build quality of the older Jayco's so we're tempted, even though it's a little elderly ... Would appreciate any opinions - thanks!
 

terry1419

Active Member
Mar 6, 2016
669
Streator, IL
X2. First of all, welcome to the forum from N. Central Illinois.
I have a 1992 Jayco 1006 purchased a few years ago. Still in great condition and solid. The canvas is in such good condition I suspect it may have been replaced at some time but not sure. The age of a camper is not as critical as how it has been cared for and maintained as well as the manner and the environment in which it has been stored. Don't be afraid of an older camper. Many of us have them.
Check the section of this forum regarding what to look for when buying a used pup. When inspecting it in person, special consideration should be given to evidence of water leakage which has caused wood rot in the floor and to side boards of the roof.
 

durhamcamper

Super Active Member
Apr 21, 2010
755
Pickering, Ontario
It all depends on how the pup was stored over it's life. Check for water leaks/rot in the roof side boards and end boards as well as the floor. If all seems good, I wouldn't hesitate. After getting it home, check/repack the wheel bearings, lubricate the lift system and voila! Enjoy camping!
 

jmkay1

2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah
Oct 10, 2013
7,475
Northern Virginia
I had an old 1990 Jayco that I loved. It was barebones considering what you are looking at, but it holds up great as long as you took care of it. The roof center seam had a tendency to leak if you did not keep up with caulking. But everything else just simple wear and tear stuff. Plastic stuff did crack after 20 years but can be replaced. So just look it over carefully, pay attention especially around the middle seam. The roof was made out of two sheets of aluminum that seam is what bonds them together . Have them lift the roof with you there so you can see how the lift works. What I did not like about the camper was I had to hunch over to cook and the sink was too small to really use. The lift system is inside the camper behind cabinets and bunk end steps. So if there is a lift problem you have to tear into everything and working in a tight spot like a plumber. It was my lift that broke and Because I live in a townhouse in a neighborhood that does not allow campers I could not repair it and the RV shops all said no. My Jayco was given to my brother who is still using it even with the broken lift. He just props the corner with a tree. Forgot to mention when you look at the camper, as they are lifting the camper roof look under the lip of the roof And see if you see rot or disintegrated plywood. That is obviously a sign of water damage and something worse hidden.
 

Andy G.

Member
Sep 2, 2017
88
WI
I recently bought a 1992 Starcraft Starflyer for $1000, and couldn't be happier. Don't let age alone be a factor to not buy it.
 

MsMac

Active Member
May 19, 2016
589
We got our "elderly" 1989 Williamsburg last year and are very happy with our purchase. Like others have said, be sure to check on here regarding pre-purchase checklists, and if everything looks good, don't let age be your only deciding factor. :)
 

tfischer

A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
Age is less important than condition. Look carefully at the canvas, as well as for signs of water intrusion. If things are in good shape than this seems like a great deal.

Beyond that, what you might expect to find is a dated interior (but then my 2005 is dated too), possibly less features (e.g. a converter that won't charge the battery or has to be manually switched from shore to battery power, an icebox instead of a fridge, etc). Also expect to budget some money for repairs. For example, you could replace the converter for about $150 (our original one went out last year and I had to do this). Also make sure the tires aren't too old.

But I wouldn't turn back a camper based only on age.
 

JustRelax

Super Active Member
Feb 20, 2013
1,031
Indianapolis
Welcome to the forum and good luck when you go see it. Hopefully it as advertised. As has been said condition is more important than age and the mechanical systems are relatively easy fixes. The only thing I'll add as I don't think it's been noted is to check the date code on the tires and if they are older than 5 years replace regardless of condition. Also check the grease in the wheel bearings if you have to travel a decent distance home.
 

Dback2k4

Active Member
Jul 16, 2017
448
Davenport, Iowa
Check its condition thoroughly for things that may need expensive repairs - bad canvas, wood rot, leaking ceiling, etc. Budget for smaller repairs and upgrades. I bought my '99 a few years ago and immediately sunk a few hundred dollars into new tires and repacking bearings which was still much cheaper than buying new(er). Over time you can upgrade other fixtures to get more modern comforts, like adding battery capacity and 12v outlets as money allows.
 

Dave Brick

El Cheapo Family Camper
Nov 29, 2010
228
8-10 years ago I bought a '90 Palomino Pony for $500. on craigslist. It had some mold inside, and the roof vent cover leaked. We scrubbed it down inside, and I caulked the roof vent completely shut. The canvas or roof never leaked again. I replaced the bearings. The roof was raised by hand, military press-style. No refrigerator, just an icebox. It was luxurious to us, who had tent camped for 30 years!

We bought a newer PUP 4-5 years ago with more amenities, and a hand cranked roof, and gave the old one to a single mom with 2 kids, a friend of my wife. She is still using it. It still does not leak. I miss that old PUP, which only weighed about 500 lbs.!
 

MsMac

Active Member
May 19, 2016
589
I'd also encourage you to be realistic about the time and effort you'd be willing to put into any needed repairs.

While our '89 definitely had good bones to start with, it has required (in the 2 seasons we've had it), the two roof ends replaced, the electric system re-wired, tires replaced and bearings packed, and most recently, the brake wires and magnets replaced. The one roof end was really the only needed repair (as it literally fell off the first time we had it out- LOL) and we've done the other stuff as needed. I was just thinking about this, as my partner is very good with this stuff, it really hasn't been a huge issue as to money expenditure (aside from parts) and his time in doing it. But, heck if I had to do most of this stuff, I'd be up the creek.

So, I'd just encourage anyone who is looking to purchase an older PUP to not necessarily be automatically turned off by the age, but just be realistic as to what will probably be needed on it.
 

rich2

Active Member
May 3, 2007
185
Northampton, PA
Don't be afraid of an older pop up, just be careful when checking it out, if possible take someone with more experience along with you. Every pop up I have own has been older then 1988, if you compared the build and quality of a Coleman Pop Up built by Coleman, and then later Coleman's after they sold the name there is a night and day difference. Currently, I am camping with a 1965 Cox Campsquire, that I recently purchased. It will need new canvas, but then it is 52 years old. So don't fear the older pop up, but embrace them and love them.
 




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