Can I do this?

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Single mom of 2, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. CamperChrissy

    CamperChrissy Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely you can! While I haven't camped without my DH, I have many times driven to where our PUP is stored, hitched up, pulled it home, backed it in the driveway, and set it up. By far the hardest part for me is backing it in, just need more practice. I'm healthy-ish and 40-ish and I can do all this fine by myself.

    When we're setting up camp, we spend about half our time setting up the actual camper and the half setting up all our stuff. Get the grill out, put the coffee pot and icemaker on the counter, make the beds, put out the patio mat, etc.

    I would recommend getting a used PUP in solid, water-tight condition and camping in it a bit before you remodel. When we bought our first PUP, we had never camped as a family. So we made our best guess about which PUP would work for us. We were wrong! Sold the first one after a few years and got a bigger one, which works much better for us. But no harm done because the first one was very inexpensive and we were able to sell it easily and trade up. Glad we did it that way!
     
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  2. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    Welcome from Dukes Fl. You can set up and take down, just practice doing both, take your time and maybe a set up /take down list (I use one myself and have for years) any re-modeling take photos, draw diagrams and do not get in a hurry, take the time to analyze the situation before you start tearing things apart. Good Luck and Happy camping
     
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  3. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Screen Shot 2019-04-13 at 11.53.58 AM.png
    And yes of coarse you can do this. Practice, set up a routine. If you have a problem with anything just post the question you will get a good answer and suggestions here.
     
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  4. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    I don't think you will have any problem at all setting up and taking down the camper, it is not particularly physically exerting. Watch videos as noted and if you can, get someone to personally show you the ropes a couple of times if possible. Elec. vs manual crank, personally I would go for the manual as they are simpler and less to go wrong. With a properly lubed lift system, it is quite easy to crank up. I have seven kids and my sons did it no problem when they were seven years old. Like all things that can wear down and break, if you stay on top of maintenance with the camper, it will usually treat you very well. Our camper is 19 years old now and when we clean it up, it looks like new and all the systems operate flawlessly. I have had to do a few minor things to it - not on the scale of a bathroom remodel - to keep it working well, but that is just normal aging.

    It is a huge amount of fun for the family and allows you to visit and explore places that you would not have the opportunity to otherwise.
     
  5. marski

    marski New Member

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    YES YOU CAN -- GO FOR IT
    My first camping trip with my boys (years ago)they were 9 & 13.... we never had to help set up cuz dad did it....
    first trip without help was both terrifying and exhilarating.....just make sure you practice setting up in the driveway or yard and assign jobs to your son,(collecting kindling, etc..) make it a team effort and remember safety first. As you are enjoying your first campfire in the dark you will feel the pride in yourself and he will too..... my camper is a 86 starcraft, so no electric lift, etc --- all manual with a level on the floor of the camper to be sure all was level before starting to pull out beds or even lifting the roof and then more leveling to be sure all doors, etc. work correctly. After trip one you will keep adding knowledge and it will become more of a piece of cake with each trip....
    The boys are now 20 and 24 and I am on my own....currently replacing the side panels on the roof and then out to the woods to see if it holds..... You will also learn to pack the coolers in the order things will be used, (we always freeze anything that can be frozen including bread, and plan on hot dogs for first meal) learn to leave unused belongings at home, and just enjoy nature for all it is worth..... Unplugging from electronics is very freeing...although having it in a pinch or in case of problems is a blessing....
    Get out there and go for it!!!! GOOD LUCK!!!!!!
    Purchase that camper,
     
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  6. Mere

    Mere New Member

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    Welcome from Richmond, VA! Im married, but I do all my camping without my husband (not his thing), & our dog & 2 teens in tow. I am not mechanically or electrically inclined. The kids help out some, but Ive just upgraded to a pop up with bells & whistles, which means learning all these bells & whistles. I just solved an issue tonight with my propane heat/furnace with help from internet. (didnt blow myself up either!!) Im lucky to have friends with a travel trailer that can help with some things, but its fun to research & learn to do things on my own. I also follow "Girl Camper" on Instagram, her page is full of ladies camping on their own. Anything can be accomplished with some hard work & youtube! Best of luck!
     
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  7. Ironmonger

    Ironmonger New Member

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    Welcome from another newbie to the forum! I'm not female, but have to work solo in setting up my PUP. From what I've read, sounds like you've got this. Don't fret the mistakes, just learn from them. For me, the hardest part has been getting the camper leveled- this came from lack of experience. I'd suggest practice runs at home (aka 'Camp Driveway') with your little one by your side. That way you can figure out what he can do as a helper. A rope- holder or tool fetcher can be a great asset. One safety note: Always keep your young children by your side when backing the camper- don't use them for spotters!
     
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  8. Kel80

    Kel80 Member

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    Absolutely!!! I just set up camp driveway today and I also hitched and backed up all by myself! Don’t get me wrong an extra hand would’ve been nice but as a single mom it is totally doable.
     
  9. Laraf123

    Laraf123 New Member

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    Thanks for posting this---I just joined the forum today because I have the same question (two sons who are in 5th and 7th grades). Looking forward to hearing about your journey and, hopefully, sharing mine!
     
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  10. mpking

    mpking Well-Known Member

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    I'm going to name check @Orchid :)

    She's had a hip replacement, and still sets the camper up herself.

    Once you learn how to do it, it's not physically hard. It just has a specific order, and it has to be done in that order. Hint, Most of them are the same, and we have manuals for most brands here on the portal. (Resources tab on the top of the forum)

    For reference, my 40-year old Female cousin drives a 15 passenger van (with 8 kids), and tows a 31 foot Travel Trailer. You can learn to do anything.
     
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  11. FARfetched

    FARfetched Active Member

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    Welcome from Planet Georgia! The short answer is: yes, you can do this.

    My primary sidekick is 10, and his job is to pop the roof latches and (after I level the trailer) drop the stabilizers. He's not much help at breakdown/loadup/go home time, but how many kids that age are? He's not quite up to cranking the roof lift, but it's not difficult for an adult to do, either. I think the most strenuous part of setting up a popup is to pull out the bunk ends, and you can get the kids to help with that. If you can get it pulled out a foot, one of them can hop inside and push.

    Camping trips can be educational… you might find that one kid prefers fishing, one likes to swim, and another spends her time at the playground. All of them will find friends of the moment, and they'll have the time of their lives. All you have to do is grill hotdogs and make sure the bug spray doesn't run out. [:D]
     
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  12. Kel80

    Kel80 Member

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    it’s totally doable. I’ve done our first trip a week and a half ago with just the kids and I. Lol the longest part is that they all wanted to help set up. So waiting for the younger two (7 and 9) to crank the roof a couple times and put down jacks took longer than I could do myself. But my older boys were a huge help (they are also in 5th and 7th grade)!
    I purposely made a point to set it up all by myself once before we went just so I knew I could do it. It really isn’t that hard.
    The kids love it and I already have another trip planned this weekend and another in a couple weeks.
    You can do it for sure!
     
  13. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    My grandson "helped" me replace a tube on his bike. The next day I called my Dad and apologized for all the times I helped him as a kid. He laughed heartily. It took way longer than it should have, but a memory worth so much more than added time to do it.
     
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  14. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I had two total knee replacements in 2019. I just turned 56, have osteoporosis, some disc issues, and currently 3 broken ribs. I just set the camper up by myself up the other day. :smiley:

    I can put it down alone as well. It's actually pretty easy.

    I also completely remodeled our current camper 3 or 4 times all by myself. I've made and hung lots of sets of curtains, made at least 4 sets of cushion covers, laid new floor, painted the entire interior. The only part my husband helped with was painting the outside of the roof with Grizzly Grip. Other than that, he doesn't fool with the camper. It's my thing. [8D]
     
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  15. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I completely agree that the most strenuous part is pulling out the bunks. I actually forgot to put the rear bunk supports on when I set up a home a few days ago. Then it rained and I was on the bunk pushing pooled water off the canvas. Oopsie ... Thankfully, nothing broke or bent but I could feel the "bounce" as soon as I hopped on there so jumped off fast.

    I should have added to my post that we have an electric drill to raise and lower the roof. Haven't cranked in years.
     
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  16. BelchFire

    BelchFire I speak fluent vise-grip

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    If you can remodel a bathroom, there is NOTHING about setting up a camper that you can't do by yourself. It's just a different skill set, but there's nothing to it. As @mpking mentioned, it's got to be done in a specific order, but once you know the order (or have a written check-list), there's nothing to it.

    I also agree with the above advice about getting a water-tight used camper and camp as-is the first few times, so you know what you want to change the first time and not have to go back and re-do something. Remodeling is a LOT different than rebuilding, so look for a good, solid, water-tight camper to start with and you'll be much happier in the long run.

    DO IT!
     
  17. davido

    davido Active Member

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    A remodel can be a pretty big deal unless you're already handy at mechanics, and at home improvement, and at carpentry/joinerwork. Remodeling a popup is a combination of those sorts of skills. Machine fabrication / welding helps too, sometimes.

    Better to purchase one that is already in decent condition. Things to avoid: Roof rot, dry rot, rotten canvass, soft floors. You can redo plumbing in a pup a lot easier than replacing a rotten roof, for example.

    As for handling the pup yourself, I think no problem. I set mine up myself and take it down all the time. Of course I'm a 6'3" / 195 LB guy. But there's nothing about the process that someone in the 5'+ / 100-160 LB range couldn't also handle. It's just a matter of determination.

    For a family of four (mom, two kids, and one grandkid) don't bother with the extra weight of a slide out dinette. Keep the trailer light so that your tow vehicle needs aren't too extravagant. I do like the Thetford shower/toilet in our popup, but would still be happy with just a porta-pottie and no shower.
     

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