Are Popups a dying breed?

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

  1. kgesiako

    kgesiako Active Member

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    We had a friend sell their used pup in about 30 minutes from the time they put the sign on. They may be a dying breed but still in major demand. I know they are now few and far between, but I’ll take my pup any day. TT’s are just traveling apartments. When you sit in the pup you have window views 360. We upgraded a few years ago to a higher end pup and love it. It has motorized roof and sleeps more than a tt that’s 10’ bigger.
     
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  2. SongCamper

    SongCamper Active Member

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    I think everybody in Michigan has a PUP and at least 1 boat.
     
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  3. Crooked Beat

    Crooked Beat New Member

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    It is sad to read these comments about the falling interest in popups. But true based on my observations of park visits in the last few years.
    TTs are the the choice of many now. But will they last as long as a popup? Fiberglass TTs may last (Scamp!) but will the run of the mill TT last that long? It looks like TTs are built very cheap and built to last not more than 10 years.
     
  4. Tennessee Tom

    Tennessee Tom Member

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    Just stumbled on an old " Consumer Installment Note" where I bought my first pup for 1,000 dollars in April of 1977. Interest on loan was 12 percent ( wow! at least interest rates today are cheaper). The pup was a 1974 Travelmate, made by TEC. Anybody remember that brand? If you adjusted for inflation that $1000 would be about $3900.00 today. Point being , today I doubt if you get a three year old popup in excellent shape as that one for $3900.00.I am sure there are some exceptions, such as distress sales or estate sales. I do not think you could get a three year old popup from an RV dealership for $3900. In summary pups were much more affordable in 1977, even after adjusting for inflation. By the way used the pup for over 10 years with no problems. Sold it for what I paid for it and bought a bigger Starcraft. So even though brand was not a household name like Coleman, it was worth what I paid for it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2019
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  5. Tennessee Tom

    Tennessee Tom Member

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    If you haven't been there, try Honeycomb Campground. It is a TVA owned park. The TVA concessionaire keeps the park in remarkable shape. State park is great but sometimes a little crowded.
     
  6. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

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    ...and/or a cabin up north, and one or more snowmobiles. Sadly, I feel that I'm responsible with my money, so I don't have any of these, although the pup is kind of a money sink.
     
  7. Tennessee Tom

    Tennessee Tom Member

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    Just got back from 3 day trip to state park in Tenn. About 25 campers. All Travel Trailers except for my popup.
     
  8. Ladiesman

    Ladiesman Active Member

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    One of the reasons is the smaller lightweight Travel trailers and everyone driving an SUV. People can now pull the smaller travel trailers so thats what they buy. Will the PUP ever fade away No. there are so many people who love them and new people getting into camping. When I sold mine I had calls with in 10 minutes of listing it. I got asking price because the person knew how hard good clean solid ones to find. Listed it at 9am was sold and out of my driveway by 2pm.
     
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  9. lostboy

    lostboy Active Member

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    We went this weekend and saw a lot of tents, pop ups and hybrids. First time I saw more canvas than hard sided-ness at a campground in a long time.

    All of the pop ups were older. Mix of new and old hybrids. TT's all looked newer.
     
  10. adrianpglover

    adrianpglover Active Member

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    Down here in the Houston area I tend to only see the popups in the campgrounds in the cooler months and usually only on extended school weekends. Most all popups that I've seen, regardless of their age, look old. This is mainly because only a handful of manufacturers have updated their exterior styling on their popup lines since the 90s, so the popups all look dated. Talking to the owners is the only way to know how old they really are.
     
  11. mgbbob

    mgbbob New Member

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    This is a really interesting discussion. I am 68 today and thinking of a pop up. The towing issues was one of my reasons. I have a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 5000lb towing limit. When I was on another forum and ask about towing a 3000 lb trailer I would told to go buy and truck and don't even think about it.

    I also agree the market hasn't kept up with the times. I think the biggest sellers in trailers right now are the couples size...1 bed and a bath units. Maybe the PU designers should take a hint and develop a PU with a slide on the end with the bath/shower. With automation I don't think I would be afraid to set up a PU but the bath and shower may be an issue.

    I hate the thought of buying a $40,000 truck to pull a $20,000 trailer that is hard to park and I still have to pay as much as a bed and breakfast to stay in a noisy campground. Maybe camping has moved past me and I am the B&B guy now.

    Heading to Utah in a few weeks. I B&B is $50 a night and the other is $100 a night for 4 people. The campgrounds I looked at were all about $50 for hook ups. Crazy.
     
  12. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    @mgbbob Everything is a trade off, and you can't go strictly by cost per night. For instance, our popups, and now the 17' TT, have all had beds for my bad back. Every time I stay in a hotel, or more commonly now, deluxe KOA cabin, I end up with a sore back. We also like doing our own food for 3 meals a day, though we do go out to eat on occasion while traveling. I also like not having to haul things into a hotel or whatever, I'm spoiled by having all our supplies in camper and nearby tow vehicle. All that is not just money, it's what works best for us.
    I loved tent camping, and our popups, but by the age of 60, had too many joint and health issues to continue solo trips in either style. I don't deal with sleeping in the cold as well anymore, new since we got the TT, so that's a factor too. We stayed small, and while towing isn't fun, it's not much worse with the 17' TT than it was with the 8' popup, except for seeing over the camper. We did end up up-sizing from our old 4Runner, which was stressed towing the Retro under some conditions, though some seem to tow our brand of trailer with them. However, the Silverado 1500 is a great all around vehicle for the things we do, camping and otherwise.
    We kept front country tents & equipment, as well as my husband's backpacking ones (I can't backpack anymore). Last week, he took one of the larger tents and camped overnight in one of the larger tents, on his way to visit family in CO.
     
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  13. Dudman5703

    Dudman5703 Jeep Guy

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    We have 2008 Grand Cherokee with the 7200 limit and ours is no problem. It's only 1.5k lbs though.
    I towed it with 3 wranglers as well, those are 2k limit.
     
  14. jfondren3

    jfondren3 New Member

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    I think the market is dying for PUs because of the price new compared to used. It seems as most people on this forum bought used PU campers due in part to the cheap price since new ones run $12-14k. There really isn't a demand for a brand new PU or it's few and far between. If I was a business then I would scale back as well on anything that isn't pulling a profit.

    We did buy a brand new PU and I made sure that it had an A/C installed before I picked it up. I also had to go to the next state over to get the model that I wanted since no one seemed to have them in stock. In the middle of summer with a toddler I'm very happy that I have the A/C. I'd get it even if it was just me with as hot as it gets where I tend to camp.

    I also have a 4 door Jeep Wrangler, so a PU was the only thing that I can tow that also fits the family. If I still had a truck then I'd have a TT. We do love the use of space in the PU though more so than a comparable TT, plus I like having the spring over axle on mine with off road tires. Having a power lift for the top is something else that is a must now that I have it. Not going to lie, if I could sort out how to add auto leveling to my PU then I would spend the money and do it. I like convenience though having been born in '82.

    One day we will move back to a TT or possibly a 5th wheel. Some may say to just stay home if you need all of the amenities that come with them but not everyone is into roughing it. I enjoy worse conditions than my pre-teen daughter or my wife. My son is too young to care right now. However, if I can afford to be more comfortable then I will. I will also do anything that brings the whole family together and shares my love of the outdoors, even if they go in and relax in recliners and watch tv at night once we can upgrade to a 5er.

    All of this to really say that if you don't want the manufacturers to kill the PU then more people need to start buying them new instead of picking up cheap used ones. They care about the bottom line and right now it's not happening with the PU market.
     
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  15. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    When you can buy a Jayco 174 or 184 for slightly more it's hard to sell a PUP. Todays PUPs weigh nearly as much at a TT so the majority of people looking at them are doing so for the ability to store them in a garage or concealed behind a fence. Can't fault the manufacturer for it because they were following the demand for more comfort. The more comfort the more it's going to weigh knocking out low weight towing capacity vehicles. It also cost more knocking out those entry level shoppers on a tight budget.
     
  16. CampingFamily1

    CampingFamily1 Active Member

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  17. rjhammetter

    rjhammetter Husband, Dad, Engineer & Camper

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    I was just like jfondren3. Wanted an RV. Owned a minivan. Shopped briefly for a used PUP and found something interesting (to me anyway): used are hard to find, even in spring, and most were older than we wanted (like 10-15+ years old) still running around $2-4k. Anything newer than that (under 10 years old) and it was still $7-9k. Used hold their value so remarkably well. Almost too well. So we shopped for a new Rockwood PUP. Then ultimately chose a new Jayco PUP due to amazing people and service at Jayco dealership. Paid about $10k for new 2016 off the lot. Traded in after three years/camping seasons in 2019 for $6k in basically mint condition. They put it on lot for $8k.

    The reason I quoted BillyMc is that the 154, 174, 184 and 195 weren't around in 2016 when we were shopping. Had they been, that would have been our first choice. My wife and I were very familiar, but not with RVs. The PUP seemed like a nice upgrade to traditional camping. Even with an electric lift, after a few seasons with little kids, no A/C, coolers with ice, camp toilets and showers, the setting up and breaking down, so many totes... it became a chore to go camping. Our TT basically solved all of our camping woes, provides more comfort, amenities and enjoyment, for about $15k new off the lot.

    That link to Popup Market Trend is pretty biased pro-PUP. I think there are a lot of false narratives there like costs for parking (free for me), infortainment addiction (we only use TV when it rains), large TV (our Odyssey works for our 184BS), kids get their own bunk beds that can fit a friend too (I could easily get 6 people if 4 were kids in my trailer), high debt (no loan, we paid cash) and a lot of other ancillary stuff there. It has become economically feasible to get more for less when comparing small TTs and loaded PUPs. Both worlds are different. Both are great in their own respect. All that matters is we're all out enjoying state parks and campgrounds together.
     
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  18. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    A 184BS is going to be pushing the limits of an Odyssey.
     
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  19. CampingFamily1

    CampingFamily1 Active Member

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    Yes, I freely admit to lots of bias. I love popups all the way. Since I bought one and own one, it has to be the best! :) And I haven't even started talking brands or floor plans yet! :)

    I didn't know it was possible to tow a Jayco 184BS with a Honda Odyssey minivan.

    Jayco 184BS
    Dry weight 3350 lbs
    Gross Weight 4200
    Dry Hitch Weight 350

    Odyssey Minivan
    Tow capacity 3500

    Are these specifications missing something?
    I'd love to know how it's possible to tow this with a minivan, not for myself of course, but for friends who don't want to the work of popping up, and ask for advice.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019 at 5:33 PM
  20. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    The 154BH is a viable minivan option for those with 3500lbs capability. Claims sleeps 4-6, I say 4. The 174BH might be doable for some.
     

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