Daily Set-up and Take-down

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by lorirobertson72@gmail.com, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. lorirobertson72@gmail.com

    lorirobertson72@gmail.com New Member

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    Hi, my husband and I are contemplating purchasing our first camper. I've been looking at renovation photos and doing research for 2+ years while trying to convince the hubs that we needed to buy one ourselves. We are discussing traveling throughout the summer, possibly even for a month or two. How much of a pain is it to set up and take down nearly everyday? Does is get really old really quick, or is it a reasonably easy process?
    Thank you in advance for your insight/advice.
     
  2. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    It's fairly easy once you get into the routine of it. However, it would get old very quickly doing everyday. I would not buy a pop-up if I were doing that kind of traveling.

    A-liner is another choice of lightweight camper that appear easier to set up more quickly. Maybe someone who owns one will chime in.
     
  3. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    We set ours up in 15 minutes and we don't even need to disconnected it from the auto. It is small but we wanted something that simple, light weight and doesn't come with a Jacuzzi. What all are you looking for in a camper?? People might give you more insight with a few more details. Oh and we traveled for more than a month with ours.
     
  4. 91Starcraft

    91Starcraft Member

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    I agree with Orchid, if I were to set up and take down daily it would get VERY old VERY quick. I'd look into something else.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  5. Heartman_wa

    Heartman_wa Active Member

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    We did a 6.5 week tour of the west coast this summer. We changed CG every 2-4 days. we cut down our outside set-up to a minimum and used a drill for the roof, bal leveler, stabs and front jack. It became fast and easy. We're planning another long trip next year.
     
  6. lorirobertson72@gmail.com

    lorirobertson72@gmail.com New Member

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    We've considered the possibility of a hybrid, but it seems so closed-in compared with a pup.
    More details - well, like I said I've really only been doing research up to this point. Since we don't have the money to buy one yet, we haven't gone out to physically look at any RV's, but from what I've seen online, a pup with a slide-out dinette or at least a lean-out kitchen looks good.
     
  7. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We've done every day set-up/take-down, for certain trips. We only do that type of stop now as we're traveling from place to place. We discovered many years ago, while still ground camping, that we prefer to base camp and explore an area for 2-5 days or so, rather than breaking camp and moving - even driving an hour or 2 to a point of interest is less hassle than making camp every night.
    I took our first pup across the country solo, and did do overnight stops. I had it to a bare set-up, and got it down to about 30-45 minutes set-up and take down. Both it and the second pup were small enough (6' and 8') that there was just a basic amount of stashing things away that could not be avoided. However, even with the TT, we still need half an hour to an hour to get on the road, even from home, where we are usually hitched up the night before. I just don't move that quickly in the morning any more. Hurrying too much leads to mistakes.
    I'll be driving across the country again in a couple of weeks, solo. The nice thing with the TT, as I discovered on the first trip two years ago, is that in many of the types of places we stop overnight, the site is level enough that unhitching is not necessary. With both of our pups, the bed end extended over the A-frame and far enough that we had to unhitch. I'll have 4 overnight stops in each direction, so have plotted to make it as easy as possible. There are still things that need to be secured on the road with our TT, but far less shifting things around than with either pup.
     
  8. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    Okay, so here's some thoughts from someone on the way out of PUP use... your reason is EXACTLY why we're moving to a travel trailer. The physical act of popping up consists of 53 crank turns, and pulling out two bunks. But, then the inside jigsaw puzzle for us began. Now, we are MINIMALISTS, we don't bring ANYTHING except two chairs, food, and what is in the PUP. But now it's time to flip up the sink, move the cushions around, twice, to get to the stuff stored under the benches, then make the beds (because our PUP roof is so tight, it won't close with ANYTHING on top of the bunks), then get everything settled inside.

    It's not HARD, it doesn't even take more than 30 minutes, but it is an intense jigsaw puzzle drill. On a sunny 68 degree afternoon, it's almost fun.

    It's seldom fun. It rains a lot here. Doing all of that in the rain adds a level of yuck. Putting stuff AWAY in the rain is triple yuck!

    So, we don't camp with the PUP less than two nights, it's just not worth it to us. When we do camp just one night (about three times total), we felt rushed, tired, and if it is raining, doubly so.

    That is why we made the personal decision to go with a hard sided travel trailer next year. It suits our needs, climate and desires better.

    I don't hate my PUP, it's fun. But, after 5 seasons, we have determined it is not what we want or need.

    But, for me, the thought of popping up and down each day sounds miserable to me based on my experiences.
     
  9. dion

    dion Member

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    We spent three weeks on the road this past summer, never more than one night at a site. Daily setup and take-down was easy, took one parent about 10-15 minutes each morning and evening while the other parent was supervising the kids. Our trailer is pretty easy to set up; since it has a soft roof, there's no cranking or dealing with a lift system. Leveling is the most time-consuming thing, but it's not bad.

    With practice, you do learn to get faster at the job, and it's easier if you keep gear to a minimum. For a one-night stay, we never set up the awning (we arrive when the sun is low enough that we don't need the shade, and we depart before we need the shade), We rarely set up camp chairs. We keep minimal gear inside the PuP, to minimize the amount of shuffling around that would need to be done.
     
  10. NJGuy

    NJGuy Active Member

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    We used to do multiple stop camping trips in Colorado. I hated breaking down and bought a TrailManor to speed up the process.
     
  11. Kb2yht

    Kb2yht New Member

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    I've done trips with daily set up and take down, longest was 12 days of daily.
    It's not hard, till it's raining and you need to move.

    Things I found that made it hard.
    Your partner is unable to help. Doing the up and down on my own got old real quick when I was not camping alone.

    Bad help parking. I can park on my own, or park with help, but bad help parking sets me in a bad mood and then make the setting up seem like a chore.

    Things with out a place. I use my grill a lot, but it does not have a clear and easy place to live in the camper. That one item makes folding up a PITA and often adds to the chaos when packing up.

    Gray water. Remembering to make the run to dump the gray water bucket in the morning. Done in the right order It takes 5 min... But if I am all hooked up and ready to pull out and see it sitting next to the PUP, now my morning just got hard.

    I have a check list now. And that tends to take care of most of the things that make daily moves hard. Well except rain, nothing you can do about rain.
     
  12. idler

    idler Member

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    I have only camped for one night once, and my Quicksilver can be set up without unhitching. It's better to camp 2-5 nights as someone said before.

    And I'd echo what another responder said: it's fairly common for people to get PUPs and realize they would rather a TT or hybrid with less setup sweat. You really need to know how you camp to know what is right for you. But can you really know that until you get out there?

    Don't buy an expensive PUP that won't hold it's value. Think used. OR, better yet, rent one and get out there and see how it feels to set up a few nights. That'll tell you what features you MUST have.
     
  13. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    I take longer trips each summer. The actual camper is not that hard to set up and take down, it is all the extra stuff - if you have it - that takes time. We do try to spend at least two days at each place and part of that is the set up and take down. The other part is simply things to see in the area and what we are doing to relax. I would agree that the main issue is weather - if it is bad, then the set up or take down is a hassle, but still doable. IF it is just two adults doing things, then can actually be kind of nice to work together and interact while doing it.
     
  14. MsMac

    MsMac Well-Known Member

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    We just spent 14 days with the PUP- 3 nights on the way out to Yellowstone, 9 nights there, and 2 nights on the way back. While it's definitely not difficult for us to set up and take down, we were both glad to not have to do the set-up tonight.

    Yeah, it was starting to get really old.
     
  15. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    When we travel out west we would do at least 5-6 one nighters along the way. When traveling out west we are minimalists. Only take what we really need. With that said we had the setup and break down at less than 30 minutes. Also during our travels we have stayed at campgrounds that were booked. All they had were tent sites with 15 amp hookups. Since we had the pup we were able to fit right in. In a TT we would of had to find another CG somewhere. This is what happens when you travel all day and then search for a CG about dinner time [LOL]

    What you also need to think about is what can your vehicle tow!! You will get better gas mileage with a pup as opposed to towing a TT. It comes down to what you can afford.
     
  16. niagarafam

    niagarafam Active Member

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    We made two cross country trips (CA and NM) and three other 1,200 mile treks with our Niagara. The up and down got old. It was a real bummer setting up and taking down in rain and/or high winds (basically becomes an irritating balloon in wind) which frequently occur out on the road. Our trip this last July to NM was the final straw for us. We sold and purchased a TT within a week of returning home. We have written about it in other threads.

    The bottom line for us: We want to do a lot road trips, and we travel a fair distance to some favorite spots. We really loved our PUP, and in the right circumstances it could not be beat. If we could have multiple toys, we would have kept our PUP and used it in primo weather and when we could be stationary in camp for three or more nights (to make it worth it). The problem is the "right circumstances" rarely happen, and we got really tired of the hassle and drama. It can be done, but pray for clear skies, low humidity, temperate temperatures, soft breezes, and a quiet CG (hear everything through tenting). Travel trailers are called travel trailers for a reason. They are designed and purposed well for being on the road - so much more convenient, simple, and enjoyable on the road.
     
  17. bknjohnson

    bknjohnson Tyngsboro MA

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    Maybe I missed a detail. Traveling by PUP for potentially up to two months and setting up/tearing down nearly every day seems like just driving every day for two months. Daily setup and tear down makes sense when you are traveling to, or returning from a location (or between locations) where you'll stay a few days.

    When we moved cross country (NM to MA), that is exactly what we did. I think there was one location or two where we spent two nights instead of one, just to take a break from driving and see the country face to face instead of watching it fly by the windshield. We had everything in the PUP prepped and got the routine down pretty quickly, it really didn't take that long.

    Daily set up and tear down, yeah it gets old after a few days in a row especially if it's raining, windy or storming. So does the routine of getting to a hotel, unloading the car, getting to the room, unpacking, and reversing that in the morning. With the PUP, you'll be settled a lot faster and you already know what you're going to get for your accommodations that night. After 10+ years of the PUP we are contemplating jumping to an Expandable, only because it's getting physically harder for me to get through the set up and tear down, and we'd like to go out a lot more often. If I had the opportunity to travel the country for two months with any camper, I would not want to relocate the camper every day regardless of whether it's a PUP, a TT or a big rig.
     
  18. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    This is a good point. Given the choice of setting up the PUP, with my stuff already in it, and my own bed vs. taking everything in and out of hotel rooms, I'd choose the PUP.

    After reading all the comments here, it sounds like the Quicksilver is the easiest set up as it has no roof. I've never seen one, so not sure how that works. I plan to Google it in a minute. [:D]

    I do completely agree about the "closed in" feeling of a TT or motorhome. We've had both a TT and Class C, and I didn't care for either of them. We went back to PUPs. It may be due to the fact that I've tent camped most of my life and the hard sides didn't agree with my ingrained senses about how it should "feel" to be camping.

    I have noticed the people who didn't mind the often set-up are very physically active people who do a lot of hiking. So physical condition is something to take into consideration. What may be easy for one, may be hard work for another.

    Maybe a good idea to rent a PUP for a few days and see how you feel about the set up and take down yourself. Not sure what part of FL you're in, but if you're anywhere near Disney, lots and lots of camper rentals available.
     
  19. Heartman_wa

    Heartman_wa Active Member

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    I watched people setting up their quicksilver this summer it took two people to set up and took longer than it took me to do mine.
     
  20. MsMac

    MsMac Well-Known Member

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    And we just watched a couple take theirs down a couple of days ago and commented about how quick it was.

    Guess it depends on the ability of those doing the breaking down?
     

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