Can't pull the trigger! How much do you use you Pop Up?

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by rsttoole, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. MiamiCamper

    MiamiCamper New Member

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    I'm a brand new Pup guy. I have camped in tents since I was 11. (Boy Scouts)

    I recently purchased my 2011 Flagstaff 176 for $4500. One owner, an elderly couple. The camper is in PERFECT condition. Like you, I cannot have the camper in my front driveway. I have a two car garage and the camper fits perfect on one side.

    First trip will be locally, 13 miles away, to get all the kinks out and see how things work out. Our first trip major trip will be 300 miles away, (4.5 hours) from our home on March 25th.

    Like someone mentioned, Life is short... Do it. Make sure you get a good deal on it so if things don't work out, you can always recover your payment by selling.
     
  2. MarkoPolo

    MarkoPolo Lance 1995

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    You are asking a very good question. We all rationalize our non-essential purchases. Having said this, and only going out approximately 5 times a year(so far, the Trailmanor should increase this), I have never gotten more from an investment than the two Coleman pop ups I have owned the last 13 years. I don't see how you can miss living where you do. Just go for it!
     
  3. BarbaraFaith

    BarbaraFaith New Member

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    We bought a new PUP last year. DH is a commissioned salesman, works M-F. If he takes Friday off, less in his paycheck. I am a nurse, and have to work every other weekend. That said, we don't get to go out as much as we like, but we did get out for 6 weekends, most 3 day weekends and one a 4 day weekend (okay, I guilted him into that one). Hopefully, this summer I've planned better, and hope to get out for 10 weekends.
     
  4. Campit

    Campit EAT SLEEP CAMP

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    We try to camp as much as possible. Spring and Fall, I take my personal leaves to make long weekends. Summer, we go on week long trips. If we are camping a long way from home, we'll take two weeks at one time. So we use our PU alot. Both of us are getting on up in age, so we try and camp as much as we can. Never know when our health might get bad.


    Campit
     
  5. bknjohnson

    bknjohnson Tyngsboro MA

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    It is a personal choice, and granted you are on a forum for PUP enthusiasts as many have stated. We have had our PUP for a few years now and it varies from season to season how often we go. When we were in New Mexico we pulled it all around the state, and also to Utah, Colorado, Arizona and San Diego before the military moved us back to New England. Our PUP has been popped up in at least 15 states from the Pacific to the Atlantic, we've had to replace the canvas once, the water pump once, and other minor repairs. Last season we went out twice for about two weeks. The first summer I was home from Iraq, we popped it up in the driveway and had an extra bedroom available for family spending the weekend to welcome me home. All that to say again, it's a personal choice. There is maintenance just like any vehicle you own, and there will be times of frustration (until you see the tent campers folding up their tent in a downpour). Our experiences have been mostly positive, or at least quite memorable. If you decide to take the plunge, find a campground close to home (or even "camp driveway") the first time or two just to learn your specific camper and its setup/teardown. Make a list of what you brought, what you wished you had brought, and what you brought and really didn't need. And finally, keep asking questions on this site. You'll find plenty of help and we've all been there before. Good luck!
     
  6. ghacker

    ghacker Active Member

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    We camp a bit more over a year's time with the PUP but our style has changed. When we tented, we might take 1 wk long trip and several 3 day weekends. With the PUP, we go 2x/yr but for 10-14 days each trip. Sleeping in a PUP and having the capability to have electric power and A/C is a lot more comfortable than a tent.
     
  7. Mickeyrv

    Mickeyrv Week day camping is great

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    [TV] [HYC] Find a place close where you can rent one and go for a 4-5 night outing, Then you will be better qualified to make a decision on camping.
     
  8. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    If you're unsure about how much you'll use a pup, borrowing or renting one is a great idea. If you're likely to only camp a weekend every year or two, renting might be a better way to go, so you don't have storage and upkeep in the meantime. Or, you may find you are going to camp much more than you currently do, if you have a pup, it will just depend on your wants and needs.

    We figured we would remain ground campers, for the most part, when we bought the first pup. We actually bought it for a possible trip to the Olympic Peninsula (hasn't happened, yet), and having been rained on a lot on previous trips to the Cascades and Glacier, we wanted a place to sleep off the ground. Looking at what was available in our area at that time (well over 10 years ago), we figured we could buy a used pup, take the trip and sell it, and still be money ahead over what renting a camper (or staying in more hotels than usual for us) would have been.
    Famous last words. While we still have ground camped most of the time since we got a pup, and the old pup was out of service for several seasons, we now have converted mostly to camping in the pup.
     
  9. jerry_ma

    jerry_ma Member

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    Lots of good advice here.

    Renting to see if you like is a good idea.

    I found a PUP on craigslist that was in pretty decent shape for 600 bucks. Not a huge investment and I can get that for it if I ever decide camping is not for me (fat chance)

    I go camping once a month minimum so it was a no brainer for me.

    Jerry in MA
     
  10. CamL48

    CamL48 New Member

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    I'll say again that it depends on your lifestyle. I was thinking about my camping history a bit last night and it may help add color to the question of how much a given person might camp.

    I have four kids: 13, 12, 8, 6.

    I started camping with my two older boys when they were 5 and 4 (summer of 2005). It was just me and the two boys. Mom stayed home with the then-newborn. Bought a 10' Wal*Mart tent for $40 and went to a KOA a couple times that summer. KOA was close to home, had some amenities, nothing too dramatic.

    Over the next couple of years, we used that 10' tent on severl trips and ventured out into the Rocky Mountains. Always just 2-3 trips per summer.

    In 2008, kid #3 ventured out to Jackson Lake State Park. We were 8, 7, and 3 at that point (with mom still staying at home with #4, who was 1.5). Windiest storm I've ever been in. They ate stew in the truck while I fought to set up the tent. I lost -- both poles snapped in the wind -- we went home that same night.

    By the end of 2008, we weren't camping much. Leaving mom at home all the time had sort of taken its toll. So, we regrouped and decided camping would be a family thing in 2009: 9, 8, 4, 2.5 were the ages and we started camping as a family for the first time. We probably went out ~4 times.

    In 2010, we repeated this and had a good time, having upgraded in 2009 to a nice North Face 8-man tent with full aluminum poles.

    2011 was the beginning of the end. We were starting to wind down a bit and had only gotten out twice. Sleeping on the ground was getting old. Kids getting bigger made the tent feel pretty small. And, the kicker, was that my brother-in-law was visiting and wanted to camp. No way 3 adults, 4 kids, 1 large dog were fitting in our tent. So, we rented a PUP.

    Done. That was it. It was over the 4th and we didn't camp again that year. We were too busy and, after that PUP, couldn't get excited about the tent.

    At the end of calendar 2011, we started thinking about 2012. Kids were disappointed that we we weren't camping more. We were not very excited about tent camping anymore. So, we went in for a PUP at the beginning of 2012.

    In 2012, a work trip in the middle of July destroyed my summer plans, but we still got out 5 times for 11 nights. After trip one, our friends (camping with a 3 and 1 year old) ditched their tent and grabbed a nice, cheap Coleman Taos.

    Even though we had camped more last summer than we ever had in the past, it still wasn't enough for the kids ... who are at the perfect age to really enjoy being outdoors.

    For 2013, I've booked 19 nights and we expect to camp in early May to push the total to 21.

    So, for us, camping was fun for the whole family, but the burden of tent camping was enough not to make it a priority. The PUP rejuvenated all of us and solidified the committment to camping. I'm now fully OCD on camping. The PUP has made that big a difference to us.

    We'll see if our busy 2013 is too much. But, I thought this was a decent, if not long, story about how a PUP can fit into a camping lifestyle.
     
  11. 94-D2

    94-D2 Happy Campin'

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    That is a nice story camL. DW and i camped only twice in a tent during our 32 years . When kids were 7 and 12, I recalled my dad saying he'd never pull a trailer on vacation because he pulled one for work. Since I didn't and wanted my kids to have a favorite place or thing (kid memory) ingrained into them, I decided a pop up tent trailer was the thing (inspired by the infamouse Brady Bunch Grand Canyon trip). Began with an 01 Niagara, 10 years, and now an Avalon. Gotta say, best thing DW and have done as far as family adventures go. Well worth the money and time. Probably never would have gotten into camping without the pup. Tenting never appealed to us.


    Happy Campin'


    J
     
  12. Nixie

    Nixie New Member

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    We have camped more since buying the pup. We first started out tent camping. We only made it out 2 - 3 time a year because it was quite a chore to tent camp with 4 kiddos. Last year with the pup, we camped from March - Sept. actually packing her up for winter early because I had knee surgery. I absolutely love camping. It is a vacation to me. I love taking the kiddos to new places and letting them explore. I love experimenting with my dutch oven and campfire cooking. I love the fresh air. We normally are weekend campers because of hubby's job, but we were able to take 2 week long trips last year.
     
  13. quietwater

    quietwater New Member

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    Every year I go to the big airshow at Oshkosh, WI. It is a big event with hundreds of campers of every kind and sort from pup tents to million dollar motorhomes. I can't afford to drive a motorhome to the event but I can pull a popup without having to take out a loan for gas. I've passed the time that sleeping on the ground was fun. Although I use the pop-up at other occasional campouts and sometimes my kids borrow it, if I only had it for that one trip to Oshkosh, it is worth it. Oddly enough, I purposely bought one with an onboard shower and toilet, but we have never used it.
     
  14. mamabean5

    mamabean5 Well-Known Member

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    So rst... Have you decided yet? I think how much you use your pup is a very conscious lifestyle choice. It is personal decision for each of us. The real question is how do YOU feel? Do you like being in a pup? Do you mind the set up and tear down? Are you comfortable towing a trailer? Rent one, try it out, then make the decision that's right for you. :)
     
  15. The McCampers

    The McCampers New Member

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    We purchased an inexpensive small pup several years ago and get to use it for about 3-4 camping weekends a year. That's not much, but we have never regretted our purchase. To get away in our "tent on wheels" renews us.
     
  16. Harvardroger

    Harvardroger If it feels good, do it! If it hurts, Stop!

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    Days camping last year - 21.
    Days thinking about camping - 365+

    Both far more than with the tent.
     
  17. rsttoole

    rsttoole Hello from Boise Idaho

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    We decided to make the plunge. Missed a couple of great deals last weekend because I was not glued to the computer when the listings came up. Great priced ones go fast. Over priced ones linger! I want a basic coleman/fleetwood 10' box Like a Yuma or similar.
     
  18. itfchaos

    itfchaos New Member

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    I don't use it enough as I would like, but with that said, I will pop it open for a week or so at a time in my back yard by the lake and enjoy a campfire, cooking some food, fishing, and sleeping, and my wife and kids will join me sometimes. While I work from home and have no real schedule to follow, I may do this even during the weekdays, but I mainly do it on the weekends.

    I bought my popup(s) used/outright so I wouldn't have that whole feeling of "not using it enough" if I was actually making payments on it.

    I say you should do it, you will end up using it more than you realize, plus it is great family time.
     
  19. daveman

    daveman Member

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    ...we feel even once a year is worth it...lol....but we're actually using it MORE than we thought we would. How's that for unexpected? :)

    Once you have the gear organized. pop in some food & clothes, hook up and Friday Night is camping time!!

    My humble opinion...you won't regret it.....
     
  20. KZ93

    KZ93 New Member

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    [PU] My wife and I rented a popup for the first time last summer for a week of camping in Colorado. We loved it and just bought our own a couple weeks ago. It was difficult to think about renting again this summer when we enjoyed it so much and decided our own investment was worth it now. I would rent a model very close to the size you would consider buying first to give it a try.
     

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