After 6 years...here we go!

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by TARBY, Nov 5, 2021.

  1. TARBY

    TARBY New Member

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    So after buying a fix-er-up 6 years ago we are finally going to give it a go this weekend.

    I bought the camper for $200 and it had only been used twice before and then sat for several years. It had a bit of a roach problem (just like everywhere in Charleston SC lol) so I ended up taking all of the wooden frameworks out and replaced them due to the enormous amount of roach poop staining. I researched some A/C units as we are not small people and are not fans of sleeping in the heat. The problem is it is hard to spend 5-6 times on an accessory than what I paid for the camper itself! So I pretty much lost interest and sat the camper did for the next 6 years.

    So after a summer of some great vacation trips, I decided to get after it again. I took to some forums and found that there are options for window and stand-alone A/C units that don't cost an arm and a leg. However, it is cool outside now so I am not worried about it right now. I am assuming that a stand-alone electric space heater should be enough for this weekend.

    I also replaced the entire water system minus the actual sink. I did away with the original manual faucet that was all dried out and replaced it with a folding faucet. I used all new water lines. The new faucet has both hot and cold handles so I hooked the city water connection to one side and a new water tank along with a new electric pump to the other. I don't anticipate doing much camping in places without connections due to not having a bathroom/shower so the electric pump may be overkill but it was only around $20.

    I also bought a new memory foam mattress as the wife would not even consider using the original 3-inch regular old foam.

    Even though I don't think it needed it I did replace the wheels and bearings. Funny thing is that after getting the new wheels I realized that I had already replaced them when I bought the camper 6 years ago..lol. So now I have new wheels and two excellent spares. I did make a new spare tire holder underneath the front of the trailer frame.

    So we are packing up and headed about an hour up the road to a SC State Park for our trial run. Unfortunately there is a forecast for rain so I am hoping that I can at least get to the park and set up prior to the rain. I did make a canopy out of a tarp to use with the rail on the side of the camper so there is that.

    Wish us luck as this may determine my wife's willingness to go again!!
     
  2. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Have a great trip and enjoy your nowhere new camper. [LOL]
     
  3. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Greetings! Welcome to the forum from Midway USA.

    Sounds like you've been busy. Hope you have a great time on your maiden voyage.
     
  4. Hilldweller

    Hilldweller Well-Known Member

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    Congrats; have fun.

    But throw out the 6 year old tires. Tires have a shelf life and it just happens to be 6 years. Ozone deterioration.
     
  5. TARBY

    TARBY New Member

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    Update. I had the pop-up opened up for final wipe down and packing. By the time I got home from work It was already raining.
    So now I can't even put the pop-up down.

    So I called to see if we could get a refund and ended up transferring the date to a couple of weeks from now and even got a refund because the fee was lower for those dates... silver lining?

    That brings up a question. What do you do if you are camping and it is raining when it's time to pack up and go? I had already planned on taking a large tarp to cover the entire unit so that I would still be able to set up if it was raining when we got to the campsite but that would not help with packing up. I feel like closing up wet would get the mattress etc soaked.



    So anyway, to be continued.............
     
  6. theseus

    theseus Living the Darkside...

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    Pack up wet and go home. Open up at home and dry out. It will be fine.

    I’ve never found the mattresses that wet.
     
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  7. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    You can close them wet to travel, just don't leave it closed. I've closed and setup in the rain many times. You may get a little moisture on the bunks, but it will dry fine if you set it back up when you get to your destination.
     
  8. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Since it almost always seems to rain when closing up I cover the mattress with a waterproof cover. I bought the type that fits like a bedsheet. The corners may get a bit wet but where one sleeps stays dry. Then just close up as usual being careful not to rush too much. My old popup my mattress got considerably wet as the canvas acted as a sponge and once it touched something will soak through. Don't have that problem with my new to me camper.
     
  9. TARBY

    TARBY New Member

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    Okay here is the weekend after update!!!

    So it was definitely a success!! The wife even told me that even though she had already thought that she would not like it that she did. She was not crazy about having to use a bathhouse so there may be an upgrade in campers in the future. The mattress was not as comfortable as our sleep number at home but it was comfortable enough. It did get down into the 30s while we were there but the small space heater did just fine for such a small space. Since we do not have a mattress on the other bed we used it as a place to keep our stuff. Seeing how we are definitely not minimalist we just about used the entire area. Another reason we probably will upgrade into something bigger in the future. Honestly, if we start camping on a regular basis I am pretty confident that we will purchase a travel trailer that includes a bigger bed as well as a bathroom with a shower. I can only imagine what my wife would think having to walk to a bathhouse while it is downpouring.

    As far as the camper itself I did not find any issues with it. I did learn a few things like don't park further away from the hookups than your power cord will reach...LOL. We did make a run to a local store and bought some lights for the outside of the camper during the evening as even with a full moon it was pretty dark.

    Again it was definitely a success as the wife was already talking about where we might camp next!

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  10. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    @TARBY congratulations on your first successful trip. My folks bought a portable potty to use in our old popup when us kids were growing up. Saved on a lot of sleep as we didn't have to wake them up for nightly runs to the restroom. Ours was mainly used overnight we didn't mind the restrooms in the morning. Many people just put a portable toilet in a separate tent on site so you have a good changing room as well. Good luck and happy camping.
     
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  11. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    1)Glad you guys had a good time.
    2)Where did you stay?
    3)I'd stick with what you have for a while (just my opinion).
    The camper market is gone crazy right now. It's better than a year ago, but still nuts. There's affordable options for cooling the PUP as long as you stick to the shadows and don't camp during the dog days of summer. There are PUPs with showers and toilets, but they are bigger than yours. We stumbled on a deal to good to pass up early this year and made the move from a PUP to a HTT. We made the move to be able to use the camper's toilet, sink, fridge, and stove while on the road. The main trade off going to the HTT is fuel economy. The wind drag is a killer, costing up to 5 mpg. There are nice portable toilets available and work well with a shelter. You can also get a portable shower with water heater to use in it. As for the stuff, you will probably discover that a lot of it goes unused and is just taking up space.
     
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