Best camper option for young kids

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by patickwtj, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. patickwtj

    patickwtj New Member

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    Hey folks,

    I’m new to the forum and new to camping with an RV and would love some advice. We have four young children, ages 9 years to 2 years. We love camping, and we’re looking to move into a very basic RV approach... either a used popup or a used hybrid. Our TV is a V8 Sequoia, so no problem there.

    Which might more sense for a family like ours? We’re looking to enjoy multi day or weeklong camping trips over the next few years. Thanks!
     
  2. alabasterjar

    alabasterjar Member

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    My best advice is to go look at examples of campers available at local dealer and Craigslist. Maybe consider renting a camper or 4 to see what you like and don't like. Personally, we love our 99 Coleman Grandview. We have 4 kids, 5 to 13 and it fits us well. It has a toilet and plenty of sleeping room. Light enough to be pulled with our minivan.

    What kind of camping do you plan on doing the most of? Long distance travel with one-night setups between destinations? If so, a hybrid may be a better choice. Setting up & tearing down a pup (with 4 kids) takes time & is not the best suited outfit for daily setups. On the other hand,, it a majority of your calling will be multiple nights at one location, I would argue a pop-up is the better option.
     
  3. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the forum from Midway USA.
     
  4. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    The best part of a popup is more space and fresh air when set up. The best part of a hybrid (or regular travel trailer) is that you can pull over on the drive and make lunch or use the toilet. Both are pretty important!

    If you camp near home, in good weather, popup wins! Roadtripping? Maybe hybrid. Camp where you need to use the AC and put Reflectix in the windows? Then you lose out on the airiness of the popup and might as well be in a box errrrr I mean travel trailer.

    I'd get something used and cheap first (not cheap enough to be gross) so you can try it out.
     
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  5. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Im along the lines to go to a new dealer even if you buy used and spend close to an hour in each camper. Sit inside, pretend to sleep, pretend to cook, helping put kids down for the night. Make note of any problems you face, how you feel, how your family feels. Put a pros/cons list together. Every camper whether a popup, TT or Hybrid are going to have pros and cons and every family is different to their wants and needs. I love my popup because it's open feel. If I'm camping off grid I can get great air flow, easier to tow and don't take a hit on gas. Cons, it's a pain to set up, a little over half hour work sometimes more if I bring a lot of outside stuff, packing down always takes me longer. If it's raining it's always worse as when you get home you have to open it again to air out. A hybrid will be a little less set up time. So if it's raining you are inside fairly quick. You have more cabinets to put things in, so you don't have to rearrange much at camp after setup. For me it all came down to tow ability especially in the mountains, storage costs, and openness. Therefore in my mind a popup was perfect for me. The setup I don't mind too much but I'm the be type to at very minimum stay two nights trying to come in early the first day so I have time to relax. If I didn't have to worry about storage costs and had a bigger vehicle to handle a camper on the winding mountain roads than I may upgrade to a hybrid but to be honest I would really hate to lose my 365 degree view I have in the popup.
     
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  6. patickwtj

    patickwtj New Member

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    Thanks for the advice folks! These are great insights. Much appreciated!
     
  7. FARfetched

    FARfetched Active Member

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    Since your oldest is 9, see if you can recruit help for setup/take-down. I have a 10yo, and he's more than competent at things like popping latches and dropping stabilizers (among other things). Kids can help carry bags of clothes/food out of the TV. Don't try to get everyone to help with setting up inside though; you'll be bumping into each other. :) With a little practice, you should be able to have everything set up within half an hour.
     
  8. Dianna

    Dianna New Member

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    I find a camper with a toilet/shower combo to be a lifesaver. I often camp alone with my three kids 3, 4, and 6. They can't go to the campground restrooms by themselves and I not willing to leave them unsupervised at the site so it saves me from having to take the whole crew to the facilities over and over, especially when I'm trying to get meals together. I also love the ability to hose them down in the shower before getting them ready for bed. Trying to shower three little boys in the ladies campground facilities can be too much adventure for me.

    We chose a popup because I can hide it behind my privacy fence.
     
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  9. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    At the end of the day it's what suits your needs. For our family a PUP fits the bill. I have 8000# towing capacity, but went with a PUP. We camp both on and off grid. If you are going off grid the PUP opens up to basically a screen room for airflow that nothing else gives you. They do require more step in setup and have limited storage space. We sleep in our PUP and live in the great outdoors weather permitting.
     
  10. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Shoilet = Shower with a built in toilet. I consider it a necessity with kids. And air conditioning. Couldn't survive without that.
     
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  11. Redbird234

    Redbird234 Member

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    I have an issue with toilets near where I sleep/eat but I don't have any issues with public bathrooms so a pop up works for us. We also were limited with our tow vehicle is a mini van.

    We have five kids ages 9-17 and we can be set up in 30 minutes, quicker if we are doing minimum set up
     
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  12. myride

    myride Well-Known Member

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    I found a toilet of some sort (we use a cassette style) for late night use has been a good option rather than the added space a shoilet takes up. The real godsend for our needs was the dinette slide-out. It just opens that much more floor space when the weather keeps my grandkids inside the trailer for lengthy stays. I found my old 8ft far to tight and constrained when we all huddled inside when needed.
     
  13. Adam Connolly

    Adam Connolly Member

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    We gave our popup to my SIL and they love it. It was an 86 Starcraft 24ft iy waa huge king bed and queen bed only tging it didnt have was a bathroom buy we bought a Lugable Loo toilet bucket for when our girls were little. We put a bag in it with a couple scoops of cat litter. Made the many pee breaks easy to handle. We had bought a little 2000 Cougar travel trailer it had binks for kids and queen bed for us but our bed was also the table so if it was raining we all had to sit on our bed or set the table up. Also our bed you had to climb over the wife to get into bed lol. So this year we gave that trailer to my MIL they were thrilled. We bought our 2017 Forest River Salem Cruise Lite. 26BHXL It came in at 4300lbs which was perfect our pathfinder could tow it. It has everything we wanted except the outdoor kitchen. Bunks for kids queen walk around for us. It can sleep 8 but we dont have to invite family in now that they have their own campers. We got it for 14000. The previous owner used it maybe 3 times. Plastic was still on toilet and microwave. It has the full electric package too. No more lying on the ground to put stabs down or cranking the tongue jack. Now i just grab the remote. Huge thank you to my wife for that. Even the awning can be delpoyed by remote. Almost deployed the awning on hwy 7 one time. I put the remote in my pocket. We got out of truck for coffee and pee break. I look back and see the awning out about 2 feet. Luckily no damage. Other than being reminded a thousand times a out the time daddy decided we were going to camp on the side of the hwy. I didnt like how it towed though. So we kept our ears ooen for a used truck and scored a great deal on a 2004 F150 king cab. It tows the trailer like nothing. We went up a huge hill outside of Bancroft Ont and actually were able to gain speed going up. The pathfinder would start out about 90kmh and by the top we were doing 60kmh.
    The new truck made all the difference. Even got on the 401 and had no problem keeping up with the flow.
    We spent about 3 hours checking it over getting kids to lie in beds and watch a show on their phones. We love the layout. Its perfect size for us. My kids are 10 and 11.
    I only have maybe another 6 summers before they wont want to go camping or hang out with their fogey parents.
    Best thing i can tell you is dont jump on the first trailer you see. Take your time to really go through it. Get EVERYTHING the salesman says in writing. If your buying from a dealer. Get a list ready for your final walkthrough. Dont fall for the old Well another person really wants to buy it. Thars bs. If somebody really wanted why are they showing it to you. Dont be afraid to haggle on price or extras. We got 4 new folding comfy chairs. Hats tshirts. New propane tanks filled a starter pack bucket of stuff. Tire covers propane tank cover. Also got 2 spare tires with covers and mounted on brackets. Just remeber theres always a better trailer down the road.
     
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  14. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    They are hard to beat for towing, particularly with the 5.4. I like mine so much I will keep and fix anything that breaks until I'm gone or it gets totaled.
     
  15. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    We tow with a mini van and have a bathroom in our pup. We definitely don't eat or sleep in the bathroom. [LOL] It's enclosed and there is zero odor. You just wash your hands, like you would do after finishing in any other bathroom and no problem. :grin:
     
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  16. Adam Connolly

    Adam Connolly Member

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    Same here. I got the 5.4l. Came with an engine managment system that seems to work amazing. Download different obdii programs for better towing or eco modes changes the shift points and lets me monitor all the engine vitals and tranny vitals. Every truck should come with one. I guess the old owner did a few things to mine. So far i have its been chipped has a k&n cold air intake with cone filter and a Borla exhaust system. I love the sound when you hit the gas lol. Without the conputer i get about 14l p100km in eco ive had it down to 9.3l. Towing with tow program i get 12.8. Power mode dont ask lol. 24l per 100km . Lol i dont use it after the first time. Though it took off like nobodies business!
     

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