Are Popups a dying breed?

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by RyanS, Jun 16, 2017.

  1. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    We camped last weekend in Sakatah Lake State Park in MN. I was pleasantly surprised to find the majority of the trailers there were popups. There were a few small TT's and the rest tents. This campground isn't set up for large trailers which is fine with me.
     
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  2. mouser

    mouser New Member

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    We went motorhome route, and we did not like getting 3 or 4 miles per gallon, plus we had to pay a $40 month to store it as our driveway is too small. Had a pop up before, so we sold the gas guzzling beast and got another pop up. Saves money as our pick up doesn't feel the tow and we can keep it in the driveway. Most people who own those dinosaurs say they don't mind paying extra for the comfort..duh you are camping, I guess you call them glampers. Each their own I guess..we are cheap, thus we can camp more
     
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  3. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    Pups certainly aren't dead, but that isn't the topic at hand. The question is if they are dying. There are certainly plenty of pups out there today, but think about how old they are. The vast majority are 10-20 years old already. What happens 10 years from now? Very few pups (or TTs) make it to 30 years old. It takes either great maintenance or a rebuild.

    Us here at the Portal are a special breed. We are enthusiasts and not even everyone here would take on a roof rebuild. Most people in the world would rather let their rotten pup be turned into a utility trailer than go through the time, effort, and cost of a rebuild.

    I think it's a shame, but I am of the opinion that pups are a dying breed. Maybe that can be turned around if gas costs soar again and people start to downsize. Otherwise, the future looks grim.
     
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  4. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    I am camping this week and have been looking at what is in the campground. In my loop I have seen 4 other pups and only one was newish. 2 hybrid trailers, 2 small scamps and 1 casita. 3 home built tear drops and 1 new one. 3 slide in truck campers. The rest were 5th wheels, regular trailers and motorhomes in that order of popularity.

    I don't see very many new ones when I do camp, they are usually old Coleman or Fleetwood campers with a few jayco, Rockwood and starcrafts.
     
  5. rwgill

    rwgill New Member

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    Perhaps I am way off base, but I have seen a major shift in the automotive industry, that may account for the perceived drop in pop-ups.

    Pop-ups used to be pulled by cars when I was a kid. Cars have become smaller and more fuel efficient, driving tow capacities to near non-existence. Gosh, my friends have a Dodge Caravan that is only rated for 1,000lbs. Pop-ups, in order to gain sales, added amenities that had never been seen before, driving up weight. When my wife and I decided to get off the ground and into a trailer, our options were extremely limited without changing our vehicles.

    Luckily we were able to find the Quicksilver. Honestly it made no sense to change vehicles, and added fuel charges, to be able to camp 3-4 months of the year........but if we did go to a bigger vehicle, it made no sense to go with a pop-up.
     
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  6. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    I think a few things have driven the decline of pop-ups:
    • A glut of used trailers on the secondary market. Why would I pay $15K for a new pop-up when I can get a decent 8 year old one for $4K or less? Or a decent 15 year old one for $1500?
    • People demanding more luxury when camping. I'm amazed how many times I read that AC is "required" to camp in <my state>. I can maybe understand this if you're summer camping in the deep south, but I swear I've seen this in ever state including Minnesota and North Dakota. Then there are toilets, slide-outs, etc. These things all add weight and cost. And if you're going to need a pickup or large SUV to tow an RV that cost $15K+ with all these features, why not just get a travel trailer?
    • Setup time. A cynic would say people are getting lazier, but in reality people want more convenience these days. They don't like cranking up tents, setting up internal shelves, etc.
    A pop-up works great for my family. I can tow it with my van, and we only paid $3500 for it. But I do worry about what the used market (much less the new market) will look like in 10+ years.
     
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  7. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    pendulum will swing to the other side... millienals will noticed that they cannot afford huge TT and will settle for popups to start with. the manufactures better get started with attractive advertisements like the Coleman did in the 90's.
     
  8. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    Manufacturers are going to have to correct first. People here report paying $15K+ for a new popup. You can buy travel trailers in that range easily.
     
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  9. Tennessee Tom

    Tennessee Tom Member

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    Just got through shopping and buying an upgrade pup for my retirement gift.( Boy, it is nice being a ward of the state on Social Security!) I noticed the absence of any retail pup dealers in my nearest metro area.Huntsville, Alabama, no NYC, but several hundred thousands in Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area, had one RD dealership that sold pups. Plenty of dealers for motorhomes , and large TTs, but just one for pups.
    I remember when I was camping with my folks in the 1960's every small town mobile home dealership sold pups and small ( Serro Scotty, Shasta) travel trailers. My Dad's first pup was a 1969 " wheel camper". Long gone the way of RV equivalents to Packards and Hudsons.

    Anyway, maybe absence of dealers which may not be getting the kind of mark ups on pups that they would with motorhomes which has led to dealer driven( not consumer driven) reduced demand.
     
  10. upstate family

    upstate family Member

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    I saw quite a few in the Adirondacks last weekend. We were at a DEC campsite with no hook up. There were a few TT there too, including our friend's, but they were definitely outnumbered by the pop-ups.
     
  11. daveman

    daveman Member

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    Here you still see a reasonable selection of new pop-ups at the RV Dealers and even the big RV shows....I think it's directly related to the lower average family income in this part of the country. I do try and count how many other pups are in the local campground, although there are plenty it seems. Actually, the Starcraft we bought new in 2012 is the only registered vehicle I've ever owned where its worth more on the used market than what I owe on it lol.
     
  12. ny_rocking_chairs

    ny_rocking_chairs Active Member

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    At a State CG in NY on Memorial Day and saw lots of pups. In Lake Powhatan for the past week and on our loop only saw one other (did not check out the other loops). Our stop overnight stay here in WV and we are the only one, but there are two of the Sylvan Sport tent trailers...kinda nifty looking things.

    To be honest we got a pup because we had downsized the TV and wanted to see if the kids and us would want to get into using it, so if our trend continues we will probably be looking at getting a beefier TV and going to the dark side in 2-3 years.
     
  13. Az Brittany Guy

    Az Brittany Guy New Member

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    I think their will always be a nitch for pups. Many people are not the kind of people who enjoy developed campgrounds and trailer parks. A beefed up pup can get into areas a typical RV would never go. They are easier to tow, store and generally maneuver around. As a hunter and bird dog enthusiast I find myself often in remote locations. The set up / tare down is an inconvenience but as the years go by, I am quicker and more efficient at breaking camp. I also carry less stuff. If I don't ever use something in several years, I remove it. FWIW.
     
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  14. ny_rocking_chairs

    ny_rocking_chairs Active Member

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    Was thinking the same thing today as we manuevered through some small restaurant parking lots and gas stations a bigger rig dare not go...we also store ours in the garage for the winter.
     
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  15. jbirdt2001@yahoo.com

    jbirdt2001@yahoo.com Active Member

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    We just returned this morning from a four day three night camp at a state park. I couldn't wait to log on and say "114 campsites and we counted 14 popup campers during the whole weekend. That is about 10% popup campers represented. I say that is a fair estimate of the popups in many campgrounds when you consider the many different offerings from manufacturers. We choose popup camping because we enjoy simple camping not complex payments.
     
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  16. Adirondack PUP

    Adirondack PUP Active Member

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    I just returned from a 9 day trip all across Colorado. The popup is alive and well in that state. Saw more 5'ers and TT than pups but still saw 40-50 pups on the road as we traveled from Denver to Durango to Ouray and back to Denver.
     
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  17. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    It's 4th of July in Clear Lake, IA and we drove through the state park campground last night. Out of something like a couple hundred sites we saw 5 or 6 popups. 3 or 4 tents, most of them on the same site as a large RV. All the rest were RV's, most of them huge 5th wheelers or similar.
     
  18. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We usually see a good proportion of popups in all of the 4 Corners states. It is somewhat seasonal. During late spring to early fall camping season, especially summer vacation times, we see more popups. Then there's "snowbird" migration, when the proportion of the larger RVs and TTs increases.
     
  19. ny_rocking_chairs

    ny_rocking_chairs Active Member

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    Did you post a trip report? Would love to hear about this trip, I went to school in Colorado Springs and have been trying to convince the family of the merits of driving out there with the PUP.
     
  20. SongCamper

    SongCamper Active Member

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    We just bought a FR Rockwood 2516G and I'm very excited about taking it on its first overnight. Like you guys, we really enjoy quieter/private camping sites and that was one of the reasons we went with the popup.
     

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