Could use some guidance - all opinions welcome!

Discussion in 'First Time & New Camper Owners' started by thethird152, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    So, as some of you may have read in the "Introduce Yourself" area of the forum, I do not own a PUP, but after sharing one with my in-laws last summer, I'm ready to take the leap.

    DW and I have been ground campers for our 10 years together, and for many years before that. We always ribbed her folks for towing their PUP - until we got to spend the night in it last summer during a crazy thunderstorm. I woke up the next morning and said "I've gotta get one of these!"

    So, I've been on the hunt for a few weeks for a fixer-upper project. Drove to VA last weekend to look at an 83 Coleman Jamestown LTD - it was a great price and needed lots of tinkering (I'm a dork like that). There were issues with the title (truthfully, I think the guy was trying to sell me a stolen camper) so I walked.

    I've been combing the internet since, and have widened my search. Here's some of the things I'm looking for.

    1. 8 ft box - this is for two different reasons. The first is for maneuverability and storage. I don't have a ton of storage space, and I'd like to be able to whip this thing in and out of campsites (even boondocking) with relative ease. It's just me and DW (and our Red Heeler pup "Roo"), so small interior is ok by us. We've been sharing a tent for 10 years - any space at all will be luxurious.

    2. No inside toilet. I'm sure everyone has their opinions on this, but having driven to Alaska and back towing a 30 ft Dutchmen where it was my job every morning to empty the sewage system, I'm not at all interested in involving grey or black water (not even sure of the difference) in my PUP

    3. As lightweight as possible without being flimsy. This relates to #1. My everyday driver (and our likely TV) is a 2005 Toyota Tundra with a V8, so I'm not terribly concerned - but I'd like my wife's 2015 Jeep Wrangler to be able to tow our Pup as well (3.8L V6).

    So, with that in mind, I stumbled across the Evolution series by Coleman/Fleetwood. The Cobalt is by far my PUP of choice after several weeks of research. If I understand correctly, anything from 2010 forward had the aluminum roof that was not nearly as prone to cracking/leaks?

    I'm having one tough time locating ANY Cobalt for sale anywhere near me, let alone narrowing my search to 2010 or newer. Kitphantom has a PERFECT one at a pretty decent price, but that would be a LOOOOOOONG drive to go pick it up (Western NC to Albequerque, NM).

    As I continue my search, I'm considering including the E1 in my list of possibilities. I'm not a big fan of the pop-out feature, for lack of a better term (sorry, still learning the vernacular), but there seem to be many more E1's, E2's, and E3's available than Cobalts.

    So, now to my questions.

    1. Is anyone aware of any other model (non Evolution) that is realtively rugged, and comes in an 8 ft box? If so, do you have any experience/opinions on it?

    2. If I decided to move up to one of the larger models, does anyone foresee any problems with my wife's Jeep pulling that bad boy?

    3. Should I just bite the bullet and drive to NM and buy kitphantom's (assuming it's still available)? :)

    Thanks gang - I love this forum - so much great information.

    Paul
     
  2. JungleJim

    JungleJim New Member

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    Yes, YesYes!!!!!
    That would be a great trip to make. If you have the time and this is the camper you want.....then why not?
     
  3. Byrd_Huntr

    Byrd_Huntr Well-Known Member

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    You have options, but if Kitphantom has exactly what you want at a good price, I say go for it. You could beeline out there in two days, and then camp your way back.
     
  4. R00

    R00 Active Member

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    Knowing the previous owner is a regular here is a huge selling point. Road trip!
     
  5. efehser

    efehser New Member

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    If I could buy a pup from someone like kitphantom? Roadtrip. Seriously, you know the history, it has been used enough to work the bugs out, and you'll get to meet some, by all accounts, great people!
     
  6. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it is still available! (you can read through its whole history here on the Portal)
    You could just drive to Grand Canyon and pick it up on the way through ABQ (there s a KOA a couple of miles from our house) - we're about 8 hours from South Rim. :)

    BTW, since FTCA went belly-up in about 2011, there probably aren't too many Cobalts newer than 2010 or 2011, I'm not even sure if they made a 2012 model.
     
  7. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    The reason I'm interested in the newer model, and you could probably shed some light here, is as I understand it, the 2010 and newer models had the aluminum roof as opposed to the other one (the name escapes me) that had all the problems?

    Trust me, I'd love nothing more than a 7 day road trip - work makes that difficult (curse professionalism and all that comes with it!).
     
  8. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    The ABS roof was earlier, maybe late 90s through halfway through 2003 or something like that. I'm sure someone can give the correct years...
     
  9. efehser

    efehser New Member

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    The ABS roof was the problem child, gone by 04. The in between was Filon, I don't know of any great problems with it, although I've heard it is prone to punctures.
     
  10. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    Filon! That was it. I read a bunch of stuff about folks having trouble with it literally cracking the length of the PUP, right down the middle - definitely not interested in that.

    So, at the risk of ruining a potential sale for kitphantom, anyone E1, E2, or E3 owners care to weigh in?
     
  11. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    Good lord, just looked at driving directions. Basically, pull out of my neighborhood, get on I-40, then pull off in Albuquerque, 1500 miles later :p
     
  12. efehser

    efehser New Member

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    Don't know where you are hearing about problems with Filon- again, it was the ABS that was the problem material.
     
  13. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    @efehser, you might be absolutely correct, but in all the reading I've done over the last few weeks, I swear I saw several different commentaries on a flaw with the Filon specific to this PUP - I may be absolutely mistaken and confusing it with ABS, and if so, my apologies.
     
  14. efehser

    efehser New Member

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    Granted, it wouldn't be my first choice for a roof. Nice thing about aluminum is it dents. But I know a couple of Coleman owners with the Filon roof whon don't have a problem. One had to repair a hole where he dropped a bicycle, but that was his fault, and a clean puncture from a handlebar. Filon is outside wall material of choice on an awful lot of travel trailers.
     
  15. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    Great, thanks for the clarification! Hehe, I'm still new to this, and this is exactly the kind of info I appreciate.
     
  16. efehser

    efehser New Member

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    Not a problem. Again, if I had four days I'd make the trip to NM. I think its worth it.
     
  17. Genie2010

    Genie2010 Active Member

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    Stick around Paul, you will learn. I did a lot if [RTM] when I first came here...still do in fact. The only dumb question is the one that wasn't asked. :)
     
  18. friartuck

    friartuck Well-Known Member

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    That would be me. :tongue: Yup dropped the mountain bike punched a nice handlebar size hole in the roof. But the repair was easy. A fiberglass repair kit and done. The repair only took time because Rhino Dave and I had to drink beer, er, let the mix cure before sanding between coats. [;)]
    On a previous trailer (8'box)I had an Alumitite roof and while it never leaked it did dent easily. I much prefer the Filon for my 12' box
     
  19. Pockets

    Pockets Member

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    Efehser...It's not crazy to drive to ABQ! Last March DH and I drove from Phoenix to Kenniwick, WA for our 3rd Westholt tent trailer. That was 2600 miles round trip in less than 72 hours. If you want Kitphantom's trailer badly enough you will find a way to do it! Good luck!
     
  20. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

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    LOL! I love this place. Now, to get DW on board.....
     

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