Considering the Niagara HW - First PUP

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by dbbyleo, Jun 27, 2013.

  1. ScottE

    ScottE New Member

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    I own this model, an '06. Very roomy, about the same size as my 24 foot fiver I had yrs ago. The counter layout allows for the popular shelf mod and you can put two wide drawer units by the tongue bunk end, no concerns for clothes storage. The black tank is small and discharge is close to ground, making transfer tanks hard to use, make sure you get a sewer site. The lift mechanism is convenient, but the mating plug is fragile and its pins push back, make sure you have needle nose pliers so you don't have to lift that heavy roof manually. I would definitely recommend it, fits our needs perfectly.
     
  2. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    Air springs are cheap and won't affect the ride when you're not towing. A WDH, if I'm not mistaken, will eliminate a lot of the sag. Get a Dual Cam or Equalizer, as they have built-in sway control.
    Get a big tranny cooler.
    I can't wait to see it hooked up to your truck!!!! [:D]
     
  3. justin.kerns

    justin.kerns Member

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    Another Coloradan here and I am also researching PUPs. The Niagara is exactly what I want except it won't fit in my garage. Just curious if you're planning to store it in your garage or rent space elsewhere? There's a bunch of places out by me (SE Aurora) but I don't want to pay for storage or store it outside.
     
  4. dbbyleo

    dbbyleo Member

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    BigB... I can't wait either - but with age I'm exhibiting patience. I'm actually enjoying taking the time to plan and research this venture... crossing my T's and dotting my I's... and you folks have made it easy too. If/when this happens for real... I'll definite be posting pics here for you kind folks.

    Justin... I read uncovered storage for a pup is bad and it is hard to imagine it baking/freezing/thawing while in storage. But covered storage units can be very expensive (prohibitive for me really).

    I know you can buy a cover, both the whole unit and the tires too... and I wonder how many here feels about that in an uncovered storage unit (if they still think it's a bad idea).

    Regardless, I know some friends who have their RV's in storage units in the Weld/Adams county area telling me I can probably store a 19 footer for about $20/mo or less (though not yet verified by me personally).

    Me personally... I have a sudo 3-car garage - the entry is 2-cars wide with a one side that extends "to fit" another car (in tandem). At first I didn't like the tandem setup with this house because bikes, lawn mowers, snowblower, my ATV, etc, gets trapped back there when both cars are in the garage. But now I may realize the benefit of that tandem - it'll allow me to pull in this 19 footer straight in, though it will still mean my truck will lose it's spot. Without that tandem, I wouldn't able to fit this unit in my garage either at all, not without may be having it diagonally - and then both truck and minivan loses their spots!

    May be a good pup cover with some Reflectix material on the outside (like FCJ has used in his mods) could be enough of an insulator in an uncovered storage unit situation. It's an interesting topic that I'm sure has been discussed at this site.

    Are you looking at a new one (I think Somerset now owns the rights to the Niagara) or used one?
     
  5. justin.kerns

    justin.kerns Member

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    I have a 3 car also but side by side. I can see where a tandem would be very beneficial for storing a PUP!

    I really don't want to store it outside because we have such cold and icey winters and also because we have very intense UV at our elevation. I'm also somewhat concerned about mice getting into it if it's parked in a field out here near Buckley or similar. If it really is $20 per month or less then the cost is less of an issue for me. Rates out here are higher than that. But ultimately I want to maintain the PUP in the best condition I can and I think there are numerous reasons why indoor storage is better if possible.

    My third stall is long enough for a Niagara but the door is only 8' wide and the approach is angled with a dropoff. Would be rough getting in there and, if I do, I can't access my attic storage. Not really workable. I did just have a couple of new thoughts though so I'll have to do some more measuring and brainstorming tonight.

    I would definitely get used. 2005 - 2006 preferred due both to cost and avoiding the electric lift issue they had in 2007 and into 2008. I'm sure you've seen there are several Niagara's for sale on CL and other sites at any given time but here in CO they are all expensive. Could well be worth it to find one further away and go get it. I drive to Iowa a couple times a year so I'll probably have a look out that way once we get into Fall and Winter.
     
  6. dbbyleo

    dbbyleo Member

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    Electrical lifts? I didn't know these 2007 - 2008 had electric lifts. And they have issues? Hmmm... gotta look into that myself.

    Yes... CL does show a hand full of available Niagara, even as we speak. They do seem to be priced at the higher end of the spectrum when I compared it to those from out of Colorado. I think I saw a 2006 in TX for $6500!

    My trigger point probably won't be til after this camping season, but I do feel the need to take a gander at one of these in person before then.
     
  7. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    Can you build a structure outside the garage to put the pup under?
     
  8. jamwius

    jamwius New Member

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    i have a 2006 and love it!
     
  9. justin.kerns

    justin.kerns Member

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    I believe all Niagara Highwalls have electric lifts but the motor Fleetwood/Coleman used in 2007 - 2008 had an issue and was recalled. Not a big deal if it's been dealt with but if not you're on your own to resolve the issue since the company is gone. Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying it is a deal-breaker but it would be nice to avoid. The later year models have some nice additional features too but they also cost more. It's all a trade-off.

    I learned about the lift recall here: http://www.popupportal.com/index.php?topic=73021.0;all

    I want to see one of these in person also. I'm hoping to get to some dealers soon to see if anyone has a used one on the lot. A couple of the units on CL are at dealers so you should be able to check one of those out if they haven't sold.

    BigBaron - in my case no because I live in a very tightly covenant controlled community. I can't even paint my front door or change my porch light without getting approval! Someday I'll move to a community with freedom but probably not until the kids have flown the coop.
     
  10. ScottE

    ScottE New Member

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  11. CREEPPINGCHARLIE

    CREEPPINGCHARLIE CAMPING RECHARGES THE HUMAN MIND

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    To all of you worried about outside storage . I lived at 8500 feet on the westside of the Continial Divide. Lots of snow and ice. My old Viking was parked outside from 1983 until 2000. The trick to outside storage ,remove any deep snow and keep trailer parked with either front or rear at angle for drainage. I never had any roof damage with roof hatch or roof top A/C. Just thought I would mention it. Also my current Niagara sits nose down on my side driveway, so far no damage. [8D] [PUC] [PUT]
     
  12. Shawman

    Shawman New Member

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    Highwalls are awesome. My wife had all of the same requirements as you and we use all of them a lot.

    Mine has the cassette toilet which I personally prefer over the Fleetwood's small black tank. Look at other posts and research the pros/cons for both but I can take the cassette out and put it in the back of my suv and tow the grey tote to the dump station and be back in literally about 10 minutes.

    I don't ever have to deal with sewer hoses to dump the black tank into a tote tank then take that to the dump station. I like this because my tote tank has only had soapy grey water in it, never any black water.

    The numbers on your Toyota seem more than adequate to me.
     
  13. justin.kerns

    justin.kerns Member

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    Charlie - if you don't mind what kind of cover do you have? Does it also cover the tires? Any photos of your setup?
     
  14. IslePilot

    IslePilot Member

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    I just purchased a 2007 Niagara a few weeks ago. I have a 2011 Tacoma with a 4.0 liter V6, a Double-Cab/Short Bed. I also live in Weld County, so I am thinking my experience so far is probably applicable for you. That said, this is my first pop up and we have only done one trip so far, so calibrate my comments appropriately. [8D] FWIW, I do have a sway bar too. You can see in the pictures below that the back doesn't sag much at all (I don't have a WD hitch).

    As for covering the unit....the manual says that you should not put a cover/tarp over the Niagara. Apparently the roof is made to breathe somewhat and covering it can cause problems. Perhaps it is similar to the reason you should not coat the bottom of the trailer...the design is such that the water can dry out.

    We did our first trip last week, and while I knew the PUP was behind me when pulling through Ward at the speed limit of 15 mph, the rest of the time I barely felt any issues. We went up to Pawnee (Brainard Lake) and found that even though it was the first day it was open, people had been waiting in line at 5:30 am to get in and it was full, so we ended up heading to Rainbow Lakes. The road to RL is a bit rough, but the Taco and Niagara did great. When we left a few days later I had no problem doing the 50 mph speed limit up the hills on the Peak to Peak highway headed back towards Nederland. Since I wasn't sure we would end up in a CG with water, I did travel wet by the way (a good move in the end as RL doesn't have fresh water). I have a Scan Gauge II and I got 11 MPG up and 22 MPG back. YMMV (literally) [;)]

    As for the camping. We absolutely loved the Niagara experience. DW and I were on one end and the two DDs were on the other end. We had some spells of cold rain & hail during the trip and it was nice to have the furnace to warm us up (got down to 45 each morning). The large size of the trailer, and the ability to pull curtains on the bed ends closed makes it feel almost like a three room trailer. We were able to get all of our food for the two day trip in the fridge and we used a separate cooler for drinks. We didn't try out the shower, but it was very nice to have the toilet during the cold nights. Stove and grill worked great, but we didn't try out the oven. Since we had bad weather at times, we did use the dinette, and it had plenty of room for the four of us.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. justin.kerns

    justin.kerns Member

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    Awesome Keith thanks for the info and photos! I'm not the OP but it sounds like we're all in similar situations except you actually have the PUP and are out with it.

    What are your plans for storage then? Outside without a cover?

    I was up at Camp Dick a couple weeks ago which isn't far from where you were and they did not have the water turned on yet either. Still getting too cold at night. We're headed up to Buffalo Creek tomorrow for 2 nights (tent camping old school) and I did call and confirm water is on up there. Unfortunately there's a Stage 2 fire ban so no campfires [:(]
     
  16. Harvardroger

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

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    The place where I stored it inside the winter of 2011-2012 decided to not provide storage last year.

    After winterizing, I stored our Niagara outside uncovered. I brushed the snow off of it once. It is parked in a shady area, so I did not cover the tires. (if the tire get a hour a day sunlight, that is a stretch with my parking area)

    I live in N IL and had no issues this Spring when I de-winterized. Will do it again this year.
     
  17. IslePilot

    IslePilot Member

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    I am still debating with myself about what to do for the winter. If I am motivated, it actually will fit in my garage, but I have a lot of clean up and rearranging for that (my garage is my workshop). My driveway is pretty steep, so if I leave it outside the melt water should run off pretty easily.

    DW and I are heading to Camp Dick in a few days. Up at Rainbow Lakes campfires in the fire ring were allowed, as long as you had adequate water to drown the fire and the flames were no taller than 2'.
     
  18. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    Go for it!!!! a large fridge is definitely a big plus. I have to have a 3.0 cu fridge for all the food. I don't really want to use my coleman cooler.
     
  19. TX_F2

    TX_F2 New Member

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    We have a 2008 Niagara, and love it. After getting it, now we wouldn't ever consider buying another popup unless it had the space and features this one does. YMMV

    You have already gotten lots of comments about your Tacoma as far as being able to tow it, you have already gotten comments about the tons of space, and you already know about the amenities (shower, toilet, double sink, slide out dinette, hardwall bathroom walls, more counter space than most travel trailers under 30ft, RV hook ups, ect,ect)

    I am going to give you my opinion from a different angle from all the posts so far.


    This is our 3rd pop up in only a few years time span and our first High Wall. If I could go back in time, I would have just bought the Niagara right off the bat and saved the expense of having to go through two other popups before finding the "perfect popup" to us that meets our needs for the type of camping we do. If you are positive that you will love popup camping and are fine with the "cons" that go with it, then getting a Niagara will give you all the things you'll probably want.

    That being said, I would do a lot of talking with your wife about what your expectations are, what type of camping you prefer doing (boondocking, dry camping, some NF or SP with full or elec/water hook ups, ect) . What if you dive in and buy a Niagara with all the bells and whistles and then realize that you don't use half the amenities, setup time for a popup is not that much simpler / shorter than when you tent camped, ect. ? A Niagara is generally more expensive than other popups, and it would be frustrating (read: suck) to pay a "top of the line" popup price for your first one only to realize that your camping style could have been met just fine with a less loaded / less expensive, maybe smaller popup, or maybe that popup camping all together isn't what you envisioned it would be.


    Hope my rambling made sense.
     
  20. CREEPPINGCHARLIE

    CREEPPINGCHARLIE CAMPING RECHARGES THE HUMAN MIND

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    Justin

    I do not cover my PUP during winter nor the tires. I do use 303 Protectant on all rubber and plastic surfaces ie: tires, light lens, mouldings etc. I just replaced my original tires with no cracks in the sidewalls for new radials. 303 really works. My PUP does sit with east and west exposure to the sides. I will try to post pictures of PUP in driveway later. [8D] [PU] [PUT]
     

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