Am I being realistic?

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by Lenny, Aug 18, 2009.

  1. Lenny

    Lenny New Member

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    Okay, let me know if I'm being overzealous about either my expectations regarding the purchase or the use of the popup...

    I'm looking to purchase a popup for under $5k that has the following features:

    At least one king bed and sleeps 7 or 8
    Bathroom and Shower
    Awning
    Refrigerator
    Indoor and Outdoor grills
    AC & Furnace
    Storage compartment in front
    Electric Brakes
    Prefer no more than 5 years old

    Is this realistic? I recently saw a 2005 Fleetwood Victory for sale on craigslist for $4500 (unfortunately sold before I had a chance to see it).

    What I really want to do once we buy the camper is take my wife and the kids (they'll be 3 & 8 by then) on a major road trip next summer from South Florida up to I-10 and West to California. We'll make our way up the West Coast to Vancouver and drive through Canada for a bit before making our way back South through the Midwest. I would like to utilize the camper as much as possible during this trip which I estimate will last about 35-40 nights. I'm planning on staying mostly at state and national parks with stops in Houston, L.A. and San Francisco (with friends and family) and the occasional night at a hotel.

    Am I crazy?
     
  2. K-Pax

    K-Pax New Member

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    Quite possibly. Then again, possibly not. You haven't mentioned your experience level so it's kinda hard to know. If you're brand new to camping and to pups I'd say you were mad. If you have experience camping and are just waiting on the camper, it's do-able I would think.

    Regarding the camper, it is certainly possible to find the "big deal of the day" and walk away with all your requirements in one lovely package but it's unlikely regardless of what your list looks like. We had certain basic requirements that had to be met and we shopped for them for some time but ultimately we found them and just a little bit more at a price we liked. I'll bet that you, like us, will be a little less rigid in adherance to your requirements over time.

    Good luck and be sure to post pictures of the pup and the trip!

    Amended to add a caveat - I see you're going to tow with a Honda Odyssey. Your desired trailer is going to be pretty heavy. Make sure you can tow it safely with that.
     
  3. Yellowkayak

    Yellowkayak Popups.....when sleeping on the ground gets to you

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    Hell no your not crazy....if you are I think we all are. Thats a good price for apup...USED!!! But before you go on any trip that long, make sure you stock up on spare parts and tools to get things fixed. Even a new pup will have problems hauling it that long distance. We just finished a 2500 mile one month long trip and only blew one pup tire and one truck tire....no other problems.

    JJ
     
  4. Oski88

    Oski88 New Member

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    I think you're going to have to find a special deal to make that entire list happen, unless prices drop pretty dramatically in the fall. Especially since you said no more than 5 years old. I got my '03 Sante Fe (no AC or front storage, and less sleeping capacity than you are looking for) for $4,500 and really haven't seen anything remotely close to that price.

    Your trip sounds fabulous. When a kid, we took an entire summer and did a very similar route with a truck and camper except going west to east. GREAT memories.
     
  5. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    I think, given the list that you gave, that you will be hard pressed to find everything for less then $5k. It would be more doable if you said no older than 10 years, I think.
     
  6. mcnizzle

    mcnizzle New Member

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    I bought a 9 year old pup this spring for $3900 that has 2 king beds, shower/toilet, and everything else on your list except for the front storage. You may have to look for something a little older than 5 years to get into your price range. On thing I have learned in my short time of owning one and camping is how good these things hold up. A 20 year old camper can be in great shape.
     
  7. Lenny

    Lenny New Member

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    Thank you for the feedback.

    To repond to some of your questions and statements...

    I would be willing to budge some on the age of the pup if it was in really good shape.

    I have some experience tent camping (maybe 20 nights lifetime) but I have never owned an RV.

    We plan on getting the camper soon so that we have the rest of this year to take it on weekend trips, hammer out the kinks, and get generally acquainted with the process. Since we're in Florida we can camp straight through winter. I'd like to have about 12-15 nights of weekend and holiday camping in before we embark on our big trip.

    From what I've seen I believe I should be able to find a pup weighing no more than 2300lbs. With a tow capacity of 3500 I figured this would be fine (although I admit I don't know how the Odyssey will do in mountains with this weight).
     
  8. K-Pax

    K-Pax New Member

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    FWIW our pup weighs in at around 2100 lbs without the furnace, fridge, shower/bath, and storage in front so all your requirements might be a little heavier than you'd like. Our Passport has a 3.2 liter 6 that just took its first trip to the western NC mountains and it did OK. You might want to consider a transmission cooler.

    That said, sounds like you have reasonable expectations and the plan to get 'em done. Sounds like great fun. Please do keep us posted on your progress and post pictures of the trip next year.
     
  9. Aladin Sane

    Aladin Sane I'd rather be camping

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    It sounds to me like with all the things you want in that camper, it is going to weigh more than your TV should pull.
     
  10. mschepac

    mschepac South Jersey

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    I agree with theseus, you may find all of those options for that price if you extend your age of the pup.
    m
     
  11. jcridge

    jcridge New Member

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    You can find great deals on Craig's List, but you have to be vigilant and respond quickly because the good deals tend to go fast.. We ended up finding a great deal at a dealer by chance on our way back from looking at a PUP we found on Craig's List.

    We paid a little more than what you are hoping to pay, but found a PUP with everything we were looking for. It had been traded in the weekend before, was hardly used and looked brand new. The dealer already had three other potential buyers coming to see it. We just ended up being in the right place at the right time.

    Keeping looking... Search Craig's List several times each day and you WILL eventually find what you are looking for.

    There was a thread somewhere on this forum that contained a Craig's List notification program that would alert you when something that meets your criteria is posted on Craig's List, but I can't seem to find it now. Perhaps someone else can find it and post the link.
     
  12. BoatCamp

    BoatCamp Enjoy!

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    Our PUP has everything you're looking for except the Bathroom and Shower. It does have an outside shower & we got a cassette toilet (that we haven't used yet). It was less than $5k. But, I bought it from a friend at work who was going to a Hybrid. I paid him what the dealer was offering for his PUP as trade-in. [8D] You don't get those kinds of deals everyday, but it's possible.
    I then spent about $1000 to get everything else I needed to tow with my 2002 Odyssey. That included Tranny Cooler, Power Stearing Cooler, Brake controler and recently WDH and Air bags for the rear. So, keep that in your calculations.
    I really hope you find something. I sure that with patience & persistence you can get something that can fit your needs.
    As for the trip; the summer I was 16 & my DS was 14, my parents drove us from Plantation FL to San Deago CA in a 68 Cutlass Supreme. Once we learned to separate my sis & I (one in the front, one in the back), it was a great trip. We didn't camp, but the key is I still think the trip was a highlight of my childhood.

    Good Luck [!]
     
  13. Jessie

    Jessie You don't scare us, we work with toddlers

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    Personally I think you will have a rough time finding a 2004 or newer for 5K.
    I found my PUP on Craigslist after 6 or 8 months of searching several times a day...(I was addicited!) I knew what I wanted and how much I could afford, so I was willing to wait for
    "my deal". I found my clean 1997 Coleman Westlake with all the bells and whistles for $2,800 but it had a long slice in the top. We fixed it up with the advice of the great folks here and it is perfect!
    I found my brother-n-law a beautiful fully loaded 1999 Coleman Niagra for 5K even. It is well worth it.
    We have all camped (4 adults, 4 kids and 3 dogs) almost once a month since we got them last Fall.
    My advice:
    1. Know what YOU WANT
    2. Know how much you can afford
    3. Look on Craigslist several times a day and call asap

    Good Luck!!!
     
  14. Oski88

    Oski88 New Member

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    We have LOVED our pup and the experiences of camping in it with our kids so much that I don't regret this added expense. However, I very much underestimated these other expenses. There are certain things that are mandatory (hitch), there are certain things that are just plain smart to do (tranny cooler), there are blatantly optional things that you'll end up wanting (BAL leveler; DW wanted assorted inside things to spruce the pup up), etc. I would echo this sentiment that you need to factor in these costs also because unless you are particularly handy and/or have certain things given to you they can't be fully avoided.
     
  15. Lenny

    Lenny New Member

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    I just reread my original post and what I meant to say was "toilet and shower" rather than "bathroom and shower." My minimum requirement is a hot water heater that feeds an outside shower and a cassette toilet (or I can always bring along a porta potti). Will this reduce the weigh/price significantly?

    We're going to have the Honda tow package installed which will include the tranny and ps coolers as well as the brake controller. This will run about $1200 which we have budgeted for in addition to the $5k for the trailer.
     
  16. theseus

    theseus Centerville, OH

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    Well if you don't have to have an inside shower and can use a cassette toilet, that makes the whole proposal more realistic. Anything that has a toilet of any type will have a water heater. Installing an exterior shower is easy, if it doesn't have one.

    If you are not picky about brands, you should be able to find one that meets your specs, but you will have to really hustle when the ads are posted. They will go fast!
     
  17. Nascar Fan

    Nascar Fan Active Member

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    We got our 05 Rockwood Freedom with everything except the air for $4,900. Put the AC in for under $500. Just keep looking. Now would probably be a good time as people are winding down summer and don't want to pay a storage fee. As for us, we will keep camping until the snow flies!
     
  18. haroldpe

    haroldpe Campin' Engineer

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    we have a 14' box that is just right for the 3 of us. i think you may want to consider not trying to sleep 7 or 8 in the pup. get a tent(s) for that. trying to accomodate 8 people in the pup with all their gear will be a hassle. use tents and add-a-room for that. put 4 (or maybe 5) in the pup and the rest out the door.
     
  19. Greywuff

    Greywuff Member

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    We purchased a hard sided Palomino a year ago this past February for 4000, with all of the list you supplied except for front storage. However, I do think it was a happened upon thing and God just put the sellers and I together. They wanted a bigger TT and 4k was the downpayment for that, so they were only asking that amount for it. THe loan value on it at the time was 5800. I did have to repair some decay damage this summer, but I dont think the previous owner was aware of the damages, and I know I wasnt until the front end broke off it during the night. I repaired it myself, using all scrap stuff. Total repair cost... $40. (Again, using free scrap materials and no labor costs) I am well satisfied with the deal we got.[​IMG][​IMG]
     
  20. Greywuff

    Greywuff Member

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    Forgot to mention... its a 2000 Model[​IMG]
     

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