Am I crazy as an older solo pup to consider a cross country trip?

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by dmskayaks, Sep 30, 2014.

  1. dmskayaks

    dmskayaks Hi, fellow popuppers!

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    Hello, fellow pups,

    I am a divorced woman who will be retiring in a year and have long held the desire to travel cross country in a popup, to view the national and provincial parks.

    I would love any input any of you can provide as to favorite places not to be missed, hints for easy and quick setup and breakdowns (or is it best to do motels for single night stays?).

    Having previously owned 2 Jayco popups, the first a Heritage Laurel, and the second a 1207, both with slide out dinette, bath, etc. I realize that if alone, I can get by with a much smaller unit. Am considering the Clipper with only 1 bed slideout, and also looking at a larger hardside, and the Aframe models by Jayco, Starcraft, Clipper and Rockwood.

    I like the idea of the easy set up and increased weather and security advantages afforded by the Aframe, but having enjoyed the spaciousness and storage potential of my former Jaycos, I do fear that the smaller Aframes would prove extremely claustrophobic.

    I would welcome any hints from you experienced pup pros!

    Thanks so much, Diane
     
  2. Grandpa Hiker

    Grandpa Hiker Member

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    I just finished reading "Popping Up Across America". It is sort of a travel log of a newly retired couple who bought a pup & traveled two years. It includes info on CG's & places of interest they visited. It also has a hints & tips section at the end of the book. If your local library does not have it, go to Amazon.
     
  3. rsdata

    rsdata Member

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    You did not mention your tow vehicle, which as much as anything will have an impact on your trip. It's age and tow capabilities, and gas mileage, as I assume gas price will have something to do with your trip.

    I traded my 2010 ultra light Livin Lite 8.1 popup at 1000# for a 2014 Shamrock 183 hybrid at 4,000#. My wife and I have retired and want to spend extended time in FL for the winter. We figured after 9+ weeks spent last winter in our 16 foot (opened) popup, that we would rather have a bathroom, and more room this year and for years to come. We paid a price in upgrading our tow vehicle to handle the increased weight (WDH and airbags) and losing some gas mileage in the process.

    I would think that you would want something smaller like a Casita camper to pull behind you. Something with very little setup time. I have met a number of solo and pairs of older campers in Casitas in the past couple of years.

    Good luck on your voyage you have waited a life-time to enjoy.
     
  4. Fordiesel250

    Fordiesel250 Member

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    Go and enjoy. Just be aware of your surroundings and you should be fine.
     
  5. Strut

    Strut Member

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    Check out the A-frames that have dormers, they really open up the camper and give them more of a PUP like feel.

    As far as traveling solo cross-country... no, your not crazy. I did a 3 month tour of the West from Tijuana to Vancouver in an late 70's Chinook RV when I was still in my teens. It was one the best and most memorable experiences I've had in my life, and wouldn't trade the experience for anything. I plan to do it again in the future.
     
  6. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    If you have the chance, visit a bunch of dealers and an RV show or two, and really think about living in any camper for good chunks of time, and in all types of weather. Even in the past couple of years, there have been lots of new models of each type of camper introduced. We visited the RV show in Feb. and came away thinking we were happy with our Cobalt, and would be for years yet - my back had other ideas. The funny thing is that we looked at the 13-15' model of the same TT line we ended up buying, and thought it would not work. In the meantime, the dealer got the 17' version, which seems as though it will work well for us. After visiting half a dozen dealers in one day, the Retro 177 we bought just "felt right" to both of us, and met our specs for weight and size.
    Neither of our pups have had a/c, the Cobalt has heat. We often camp in the mountains in the summer and sometimes need the heat on cold evenings and mornings. Even with lots of heat retention measures, camping in the cold and/or snow has still been chilly, but certainly an improvement over the ground tent. If you are heading across country and on an extended trip, no matter how well you try to plan, there are bound to be times that you encounter hideous weather. Will you be willing to endure it in a pup, or bail to a hotel or ???

    On our trio earlier this month, after we decided it would be the farewell tour in the Cobalt, I talked to some TT owners. One was a woman full-timing solo (+ a bird) in a 19' TT. Very snug, but she was enjoying herself. She said she had done research for over a year on what type and brand of camper she wanted, as well as the other things involved in full-timing.
     
  7. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I say go for it. I can't suggest places to go as I never made that trip myself. The further west you go the more in bear country you go so you will need to take extra precautions. Also you will need to ensure your TV and trailer are safe for such a long trip. Have extra funds available for unexpected repairs. Always keep your cell phone on you at all times and possibly look into those emergency beacon like devices for those emergency moments where your phone won't work. Ensure phone coverage in the areas you will be traveling. Leave a travel plan with friends and check in from time to time. That trip is one I also dream about taking with my pup. Good luck.
     
  8. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    Invest a Timberland Rattler Bowie Knife... just like you see in Crocodile Dundee
     
  9. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    I also say go for it ....... enjoy america .....
     
  10. gopherit

    gopherit New Member

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    I don't think you are crazy at all. The time for setup to remember is that the more systems you have to connect like water, electric, heater, the more time it will take to set up. I can setup or take down my Pioneer pup even as a newbie in 30 minutes, not counting time to take cooler and clothes bag out of the TV. I feel like keeping those essentials in the TV keeps them accessible during the drive and it's only a few minutes to carry them out to popup (just like to a hotel room). The final hitching up== well, that can take another 30 minutes give or take how good of a solo backer upper you are ;-) and how helpful are neighboring campers.

    I would not resort to a motel based on setup time, therefore. It would be a weather dependent thing such as a heavy rain forecast or hard frost. Or maybe, just wanting a really long hot shower instead of short ones at CG.

    The safety thing: this is relative. Why do we somehow think we are less safe 400 miles from our house than 30 minutes away? It is an illusion. The philosophy I take is, we are just stacking 100 mile trips on top of each other. I would not be scared to go 100 miles! I have driven up to 1600 miles alone.
    Enroll in AAA for towing and emergency jump insurance. Keep the cell phone charged up. Carry at least 3 different credit cards in case one gets lost, or goes flaky due to the latest security breach. Have cash for tolls. Don't camp right by downtown Chicago, obviously! Learn to change your own popup tires. Personally, I won't stop for gas after 9:30pm if traveling alone.
    My own grandmother traveled alone into her 60s-- by train.

    I say, travel with what you like. If it's a spacious popup, so be it. Setting up is good exercise. If you want a little Casita hard side and can sacrifice space, that's fine too. I like being able to see all that's behind me when towing a Pup. It's fun and almost aerodynamic.
     
  11. LjohnSaw

    LjohnSaw So many fish, so little time...

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    If you're planning on California - don't miss out on both the Sierras (Yosemite/Sequoia), the coast (just about anywhere, but Limekiln was really a neat place) and volcanic areas (like Lassen and Pinacales). You could spend a couple months in this state! Each of the listed I spent 3 or 4 nights and it could have been another night or two - so much to see.
     
  12. Tinsu

    Tinsu New Member

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    I solo camp in a Rockwood A122 A-Frame. Set up is very easy. Pop the roof. Lift one side and lock with two ceiling latches. Repeat with other wall. That's it. But I am a male over six foot. You should go to a Rockwood dealer and see how it is to lock the ceiling latches for your height.
     
  13. steveonzakon

    steveonzakon Member

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    Maybe in the 1930's or 40's this would have been an issue, but today... cell phones, lap tops with wifi, AAA road service, hotels all over the place in case something happens to the PUP. As long as you are healthy, savvy and strong enough to set up, tear down and do basic maintenance on your equipment, you are probably as safe as you would be at home. I've never run into any dangerous criminal types at a camp ground.
     
  14. Byrd_Huntr

    Byrd_Huntr Well-Known Member

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    I say go for it.

    We have an Aliner, and I venture to say that with as much walkaround room as any 12 foot box camper, a 360 degree view of the outside, and even straight up views when seated at the dinette or lying on the bed, you would have no claustrophobia.

    My wife takes great pleasure in setting up the camper, and when we arrive at the campsite, always positions herself so she gets to the door before me to push up the top.

    Lightweight at 1450 dry, it is a hard-sided, relatively secure camper that can be towed with a smaller vehicle.

    Check out an A frame [ALPU], and happy camping.
     
  15. dave123

    dave123 freedom is not just another word

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    a frame up in 2 minutes, drop the trailer and drive to town or the sites, just use it for sleeping, breakfast and maybe late dinner shower; then move on in a day or two. this is our RV we do camp also but still we're always outside ..... the more you own the more it owns you.... good luck and know your weapon and think of Scenarios that you would play out in your head if you were endangered..
    but go for it Girl................david
     
  16. Pockets

    Pockets Member

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    Just my [2C] AAA will not tow your trailer unless you purchase the more expansive plan. I had a situation where I had an issue with my TV, and they informed me my trailer would be left along side the road. I did get the TV running again and the next year purchased the RV package in which AAA will send 2 tow trucks; one for the TV and one for my trailer. Of course since then, I haven't needed their services, but I do feel more confident on the roads, knowing both TV and Westholt will be towed.

    Go for it and enjoy! ( And tell us all about your travels!)
     
  17. steveonzakon

    steveonzakon Member

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    Good point about AAA. I didn't think about it since I've had the upgraded account since I got my motorcycle several years ago.
     

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