Best Quality Pop UP and Worst quality


New Member
Feb 3, 2009
Alright all you PUP owners....Our search is on for a quality used PUP 1998-2008. we already know what we like in a floorplan now its all about quality/reliability.
Who builds the Best Quality PUP and why? And who builds the Poorest qualty PUP and why? Lets hear the opinions..


Super Active Member
Jul 19, 2007
Well if your looking for something with high quality then you wont find it in a pup. The quality of all are about the same, and vary even between same units made by the manufactures. I have seen colemans with problems just after a couple years and I have seen Jayco's, Palomino's and flagstaffs all with minor problems.

Since for the most part they all use the same materials and same equipment it is really more a personal preferance then anything else. Some people are brand favorite like they are with a car, others (like me) want the most bang for the $$.

On a personal note, when I was looking I found the 2004 Palomino we bought had more going for it (hw,oss,slide out, porta-pottie, second propane tank and storage box) then a Jayco (one year newer) and was much nicer then a coleman (1 year older) the colours and overall appearance looked more pleasing. All 3 of these ranged in price $9950-13,500 (cdn).

If I could afford one I would get a Banshee or Elite (from Palomino), I just like the looks of them.


2004 Palomino Mustang
1992 GMC Ext. Cab (T.V)
2008 Dodge Caliber Sunburst Orange


Active Member
Apr 10, 2006
You will have 50 people tell you that their PUC brand is the best....You just need to go and start to look at the PUC's and find out what YOU like and go from there....Good luck

03 Coachmen 128 sport plus
99 Jeep Cherokee
Camping in 08-9 days


Living the Darkside...
Silver Supporting Member
Feb 6, 2007
Centerville, OH
The best quality PUP is

a)The one you can afford with
b) The features you want and
c) A floorplan you like...

I have owned a Nimrod, a Coleman, and now a Palomino. Every brand says that they are the best or have the best features. But Snow is right, for the most part all use the same type of materials and they definitely use the same appliances. So it really comes down to personal preference.

2004 Expedition & 2000 Palomino Mustang SL-SG-FT


I agree with whats been said, all brands are basically the same internal products. We looked at a lot of floor plans, sometimes the same floorplan within different manufacturers

The deciding factor for us was the Lift Warranty. The most common problem you see on this site and others is LIFT problems. Fleetwood/Coleman has a lifetime lift warranty.

The other factor if you are buying new is, the brand means nothing if the dealer is crap. Besides the lift warranty, we really like our dealer and thats the best for long term popup health.

Phil & Pete (Paulsboro, NJ)
<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle"> 2005 Ford Escape
<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp"> 2008 Fleetwood Sea Pine


Super Active Member
Jul 19, 2007
Palomino also offers life time warranty if your buying new, I think they all offer it to the "original" owner.

A big big thing to look for is a good dealer whether you buy new or used. Have a good dealer will make everything easier and happier. The two dealers near me are $%^&, so bad with customer support that I actually buy stuff from a dealer about an hour away.


2004 Palomino Mustang
1992 GMC Ext. Cab (T.V)
2008 Dodge Caliber Sunburst Orange


Super Active Member
Apr 17, 2005
Granger, IN
pgordemer nailed the most important factor. If you buy new - the dealer should be at the top of the decision. A dealer that is serious about the folding trailer line he carries and supports his customers is of major importance. I have seen many tales of woe here and on other forums about dealers who forgot your name when you drove off the lot.

We are a four time Coleman/Fleetwood owner so our bias is obvious. I believe their box frame, high quality lift system and structural metal frame are worth the investment, but I know plenty of satisfied owners of other brands.

Steve & Deb (boys are grown & gone)
Aspen & Riley (the 4 legged children)
05 Fleetwood Sequoia & lot's of bikes! <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Bicycle"><img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Bicycle">


Super Active Member
Aug 24, 2008
Hillsboro, Oregon
I am biased toward the Fleetwoods also. Good lift system - stainless steel parts. Fleetwood makes a pretty big deal about having the lift posts exposed. The build of the Americana and Destiny are different. If I remember correctly, one has steel frames in the seating areas vs. wood frames. Ours does. For example; the dinnette seat frames are steel and there is also a flip up steel plate to support the back cushions. The slide out dinnette is rated to 1000# if not more. Some people may never sit in the dinnette, and some others may use it enough for a wood frame to fatigue and split. The bed support poles are attached to the bottom of the beds - you can't lose 'em. Or worse yet, forget them!
I disagree with Snow. Check the fit and finish of the floor - everywhere - , trim pieces, material seams, etc. I think Pups are a great value.
Consider this; brand "A" has a pottie/shower, AC, heated mattresses, a four burner stove and a couple other niceties.
Brand "B" has no pottie/shower, no AC, standard mattresses, a two burner stove and no other niceties.
They are exactly the same price.
IMHO, the money used to "fancy it up" was taken away from somewhere else. The box frame? The bed slides? I do not know. So how would you?
One last comment, Fleetwood/Colemans maintain a high resale value.

2004 Fleetwood Utah
2006 Ford Ranger 4x4 Ext. Cab


New Member
Feb 3, 2009
Keep em comin guys and gals..
I'm looking at an 08 Flagstaff with a slide and an 2000 coleman niagara. I'm a little worried about the ABS roof on the COleman. I have not heard great things about it.
I am comfortable walking around a camper and checking it out for needed repairs, but If you all can lead me in a good direction of picking a particular brand, or one to stay away from because of certain design flaws, that would be great. Remember, I'm buying used, not new...So it most likely will come from a private party.


Fargo, ND (Next Trip - ?)
Jan 15, 2008
Fargo, ND
This is a very biased review based on my personal research and opinions. I will throw my hat in the ring for Jayco.

Here is a synopsis of the process that I went through last year before purchasing my 2008 Jayco Jay Series 1207:

I researched Jayco, Fleetwood (had not changed name back to Coleman yet), Starcraft, and Palomino and found that Jayco offered me the best bang for my buck.

I looked at the Starcrafts and didn't think that their build quality matched that of the Jayco and Palomino. I am weight challenged and found that the floors in the brand new Starcrafts seemed mushy when walking around in them and did not inspire a lot of confidence. Also, I didn't like the two-piece doors that they had.

My research based on the dealers in my area led me to the final comparison with Jayco and Palomino.

There were several reasons why I chose the Jayco.

1. The biggest reason since I was buying new was that Jayco is the only company that I know of that offers a 2 year bumper-to-bumper warranty. All others only offer 1 year B-to-B warranties. Jayco also offers lifetime parts and labor coverage on the lifter system, roof, floor, and frame.

Note - I have had a couple of minor warranty repairs and my Jayco dealer has been awesome to work with. They repaired the problems in a very timely manner with no questions asked.

2. I liked the diamond-plated front and back-ends on the Jayco. Looks sharp and is very functional considering all the stuff that can fly up at a trailer while driving down the highway.

3. I liked the one-piece door on the Jayco. This was also offered on the Palomino and Fleetwoods too. However, the new Starcrafts still had two-piece doors.

4. For the same price as the comparable Palomino model, the Jayco also included the HWH and outside shower, Screen-Room, and Dual Propane tanks that were not included with the Palomino.

5. The sink galley in the Jayco folds over end over end instead of folding forward and blocking access to the fridge. The Jayco allows me to pre-pack my fridge without popping up, where the Palomino's galley folded forward and sat directly in front of the fridge, blocking access.

The main reason that I didn't consider Fleetwood was because the nearest dealer is 3 hours away. However, based on prices that I have seen on the Fleetwoods, I think I still would have gone with the Jayco because I was working on a limited budget. I did look at a used 2004 Niagara and thought it was really nice. However, they wanted the same amount (actually a $200 more) that I was quoted for the four year newer and brand new 2008 Jayco.

If you are the type of person that buys a Cadillac instead of a Chevrolet, you will more than likely gravitate to the Fleetwood's, (now Coleman). However, if you are looking for the best bang for the buck, you may (note the word may) lean toward the Chevy. While it is true that Coleman/Fleetwood pop-ups have arguably the best resale value on the market, you will typically pay a fair amount more to buy them up-front. This being said, I own a Cadillac and a Chevrolet, so if I had a local Coleman dealer, I probably would have ended up debating between the Jayco and the Coleman instead of the Palomino and who knows which one I would have ended up with.

I just went to a camper show this past weekend because I love to shop and since my baby is winterized and stored, I had to get my camping/pop-up fix somehow. I was very happy to find out that after looking at several new 2009 models that I continue to be happy with my purchase and have no regrets.

I hope this doesn't seem to biased and offend any of the die-hard Coleman/Palomino/Starcraft fans, but this was just my conclusions based on my research and preferences. Take them for what they are worth.

Good luck on your pop-up search.

Gregg - '71 <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bbq.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Barbeque">
Mitchell - '95 <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_happycamper.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Happy Camper">
Alex - '99 <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_happycamper.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Happy Camper">
1998 Chevy Tahoe <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle">
2008 Jayco 1207 <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">

A bad day camping is better than a good day at work.


Super Active Member
Apr 17, 2005
Granger, IN
We had an ABS roof Coleman and it had modest bowing on the sides (not enough to keep the seal from working when closed), but no other problems. However I would be reluctant to have another one based on what I've read here. At the time we bought ours, it seemed that failure tended to occur pretty quickly after purchase or not at all. But I have seen a few reports recently of roofs that are still failing years after purchase.

Since you plan to buy used, it's really going to come down to your confidence in what you see. Good owner maintenance and care will be a bigger factor than the brand. Pop Ups are fragile to a certain extent and any brand will suffer if they have been roughly treated, put away wet or not serviced properly. For instance, if it's not been prepared properly before being put away for the winter, the water system is probably damaged. I don't care what brand it is.

Steve & Deb (boys are grown & gone)
Aspen & Riley (the 4 legged children)
05 Fleetwood Sequoia & lot's of bikes! <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Bicycle"><img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_bike.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Bicycle">


Well, there's your problem!
May 20, 2008
Seattle, Washington
Count me in the Fleetwood camp for all of the reasons mentioned by other posters, plus the Sunbrella tenting. I think it is more durable and "breathable" (that reduces condensation problems) than any other fabric.

1998 Explorer Sport & 2007 Fleetwood Yuma


Active Member
Jan 22, 2009
Virginia Beach, VA
I am a fan of fleetwood, we just purchased our pop up a week ago. We were looking at the Flagstaff and the Fleetwood. The flagstaff had some really nice features that my husband and I both liked. But after reviewing several sites and a close inspection of the campers - probably about 2 and 1/2 hours inspecting each one, we bought the Fleetwood - the main reasons were, it seemed like the tent material on the fleetwood was better made, the screens were definitely better, smaller holes - less bugs. Around the bunks the tent material seemed a little flimsier on the flagstaff, not stitched like the fleetwood and I did not like the way the bunk supports were on the Flagstaff. The Flagstaff did have the front trunk we liked and it had more options like heated matresses....but they weren't enough to sway us. We ended up with a Fleetwood Saratoga and love it!!

I agree with other posters, definitely shop around compare and go with WHAT YOU LIKE!


Active Member
Sep 15, 2008
Austin, Texas
When I was looking at the E3 my DW told me to look at comparable pups. I went to the dealer with an open mind. If I could find the same but save $$ I would've gone with a less expensive pup.
The E3 and jayco equivilent were side by side. I walked in the Jayco and shut the door. Walked around to look at the features then walked over to the E3.
Huge difference IMO. The E3 sounded more solid and seemed to be of better quality than the Jayco. There was a HUGE price difference between the two.
We eventually went with the E3 adn I couldn't be happier.

Now on another note. I've stayed with friends in their Jayco and I really liked it. I liked the floor plan and features.

I'm not taking anything away from any pup manufacturer. It all boils down to personal preference.

Me-70, DW-69, DS-98, DD-03, 4 dogs
'08 Tacoma with an '08 Fleetwood E3

John L

Active Member
Aug 15, 2006
All I can tell you is that we own a Fleetwood/Coleman ans we are extremely happy with is inside and out and with the quality. At least the quality for what they are.

John & Kitty (Empty Nesters)<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_camping.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Camping">
'02 Coleman Cottonwood <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">
'97 Silverado X-Cab Stepside <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle">


Franconia, Pa.
I own a Rockwood, and I love it. As a matter of fact, I like all of the Forest River products (Flagstaff, Palomino, etc). I agree that the differences in quality between most brands is insignificant.

That said, I do think that Coleman/Fleetwood makes a slightly superior product. The frame is significantly stronger, and they seem to pay more attention to the details, as has been mentioned before. The ABS roof problem is certainly something to look out for, though.

The one thing that would keep me from buying a new Coleman is that they don't have a floorplan that suits my needs.


<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">'96 Rockwood Signature Series 1280
<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle">'07 Ford Explorer
<i>Wherever you go, there you are.</i>


Feb 8, 2009
I am picky so probably I would find fault in any make. I had a Starcraft in the past and had a ton on things in the first two years to fix but all was ok after that and we where happy with the Starcraft. We now have a Fleetwood and have had things to fix on it this last year as well and not quit done gettting the bugs out, soon I hope. My friends have a Jayco and whats interesting is the fact that they found nothing wrong yet when I was in it one hour I had a large list of things not right for them to get fixed under warranty. I think the more I see pups the more I am convinced that no matter the brand, you have to get the bugs out the first year or so. The key is a good dealer and we have been lucky on both the Starcraft of old we had and now the Fleetwood. The dealer is the one to either make or brake your perception of the brand you have.

2008 Fleetwood Niagara
2007 F-150 Supercab XL
Wifey, and two bratty teens


Active Member
Apr 11, 2008
We looked at a Coleman when we bought our pop up and it was a pile of junk, then we found the Rockwood we bought. But guess what- more than likely it wasn't the manufacturer as much as the previous owners and the way they took care of their things. Someone earlier in this thread compared cars, an 83 Ford Escort might be in a lot better shape than a 2007 Lincoln depending on previous owners. I, for one, take care of my things. My wife does not. Thankfully shes not looking over my shoulder as I type this, but it is the truth. I drive a 1983 Buick Park Ave 100+ miles everyday to college and she drives a 2000 Dodge Gr Caravan 20 miles, and I can eat off the floor of my car, her van looks like it went through Hurricane Katrina

ME 33
DW 24
DS 5
DD 3
DS 2
Ringo the long haired Dachshund


Active Member
Feb 5, 2009
Kingston, Ontario Canada
Get something YOU like that YOU feel comfortable in. Make a list of features you can't live without and ones that are expendable (for example mine doesnt have a bathroom, however i am making my own shower room/bathroom out of some materials [planning stages now]) and just mold what you see and what you need. And upgrades can ALWAYS be done<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Big Smile">

"Yes im a girl and know how to use power tools! Now hand me that thingy..."

"Pop Up Campers...taking over the world one campsite at a time"


Active Member
Apr 1, 2008
My Starcraft is 40 years old this year. Only thing replaced was the canvas (about 15 years ago), the power input outlet in the back, and one lift cable. That being said, I think most brands are the same nowadays... we've reached a "least common denominator" situation in terms of quality of parts, etc.

So instead of late 90's, buy an old one (early 80's or older) and fix/modify it to be <i>exactly</i> what you want! <img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Smile">

*John Becker & DW Mandy, PA*
<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_pu.gif border=0 align=middle alt="PopUp">'69 Starcraft Stardust
<img src=../Images/icons/icon_smile_suv.gif border=0 align=middle alt="Tow Vehicle">'91 Dodge Dakota