Do people only choose Pop Ups because they have no other choice?

z.saw

Member
Aug 23, 2022
71
It is a very poorly worded question to post.
"but for those that could if they wanted to, why do you still choose a pop up"
So my pros and cons of owning and camping in a pop up don't count because that is all that I can afford.
I know you didn't mean it that way.
Agreed sorry for the bad wording! Absolutely your views on pop ups would be helpful for me, especially on why you prefer it over TTs!
 

Wakita46

Active Member
Mar 15, 2013
283
I bought an Aliner Scout for several reasons. Easy to set up, light weight, and low wind resistance makes for good gas mileage (20 mpg with my Highlander.) Having come from backpacking, it was a luxury when the weather was bad. I have weathered temperatures down to 20 degrees, severe storms, light snow, and freezing rain while staying comfy in my Aliner. One thing that has not been mentioned is that camp grounds vary a lot. Many of the national parks and state parks have small camp sites. You can't get a big trailer in one of those sites and you miss the experience of being in the park. With a big trailer you end up in a meadow with other big rigs where people stay in their trailer and watch television - not what I was looking for. I would rather be in nature, preferably under some trees. This is based on staying at 150 camp sites in the U.S. and Canada and putting close to 40,000 miles on the Aliner. Having said that, I iwould not choose that Aliner if I had a family. Too crowded for more than 2 people - storage becomes a problem. If you interested in thinking about places to visit, check out my web site with pictures of parks I have been to. hoffsalinertravels.net
 

Oldspurs

Active Member
Jan 2, 2022
275
Central Texas
I think the way I asked my original question came off as rude, which was not my intent. More-so, I was looking to hear from people who preferred pop-up campers to TT regardless of the price and their reasons for that. What I meant was, are there people here who can choose whatever they want, but for certain reasons pick the pop up specifically?

If I buy a pop up it will mostly be because I don't have a capable TV and can't afford a TT - but maybe there are reasons to want a popup even if I could. Really didn't mean to offend, everyone has their own situations and preferences.

Man I sure know how to break the ice.
My 1.75 cents. Do not worry about how you worded your OP. We are all Brothers & Sisters here, however, we all have strong opinions, and are not afraid to voice them. At the end of the day, we can agree we all love the outdoors, camping, cooking & eating, having adult beverages, playing, hiking, loving our Family time, list is long. We all have a choice of what we have to pursue our passions as listed, and above-mentioned. That being stated, in my old hotrod days we called it, "Run what you brung racing", those that had machines that were slow we would handicap. It was the love of racing that brought us together. As here we are brought together by our love of camping, and an outdoor lifestyle. We started in a tent for many years, then TT, 5th wheel, class B motorhome while owning a PUP. Went a few years without any camping as we transitioned in life. DW & Myself have our HW 296 PUP, we are happy with it, enjoy it, and after 45 years of running together we have not murdered each other. Been close a few times, but I am faster than she is. lol What you buy is your choice, as stated many times in this thread. Try renting campers to help with your decision. At the end of the day, do your homework, so that your choice is based in fact. Never stop asking questions, that is how we learn. I am really, really an old dude, I still ask questions, like: what day is it, where am I, where is it we are going, small things like that. lol We are truly glad that you have chosen our group to come to. Enjoy the camp. See you on the trail.
 

BikeNFish

Super Active Member
Apr 24, 2017
4,471
Maplewood, MN
I grew up with a popup, and as an adult, I was lucky enough to have a father in law that let us use his Lance truck camper for many years. They also had Class A's at the same time and have owned quite a few Class A's since, so we have had that experience too. Then I went back to tent camping for a while and after getting tired of that, we rented a coworkers popup for a few years. We then decided to buy our own popup.

We decided to buy a popup for several reasons. First, to get us back off the ground. Second an easy pull for our RAM 1500. Third, it was easy to store (garage, back yard, off season winter storage).

We owned our popup for five years. As we aged a bit and both started having back issues, we realized that even the popup was getting hard to manage. Setup got tiring having to take everything (screen tent, EZ up, shower tent, porta-potty, etc.) out of the packed popup to set up outside, then unpack everything (clothes, food, coolers, etc.) out of the truck to bring inside the popup. Then you had to reverse the whole thing when it was time to tear down. Setup and teardown times were getting longer and longer. And then there were the two storms last year with 50-60mph winds that were, quite frankly, terrifying to ride out with only canvas protecting us. This included one storm that killed a small child nearby us when a large tree branch fell on top of their tent.

I had been looking at hard sided campers for several year while we used the popup and had a pretty good idea of what I wanted - smaller compact "couple's" camper, Azdel sides (no rot or mold possible), lots of storage, lightweight, 20' length (for easy storage), solar capable (we mostly dry camp or boondock) and so on.

When our "dream" hard sided camper showed up at our local dealership, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time to snag it up. Normally to order these campers, they had a six month to a year wait time.

We sold the popup for several thousand dollars more than we paid for it and have now used the new camper on five trips and 22 nights. We have one more trip planned with another possible. We love the new camper and have not looked back. We definitely made the right decision to upgrade.

Do we have any regrets owning a popup? Absolutely not. It was just time to upgrade.
 
Last edited:

RCmom

Active Member
Jun 19, 2021
107
New Jersey
When setup and takedown get to be too much for me physically, I'll bring camping friends with me to take care of it. It just means I keep the beer cold and the food hot... oh wait I already do that.

I camp in a pop up because it makes me happy. I'm also happy in a hammock slung between 2 trees. Don't mistake my simplicity in camping choices for a lack of financial health. Assumptions like that limit you to just a hi as you walk by my campsite. You'll miss out on cold beverages, hot food, great conversations, funny jokes and some serious laughs.
 

Mytime

Active Member
Mar 20, 2022
232
SE Missouri
Like many here I bought a pup because I did not have to buy a new tow vehicle And it fits in my yard. I bought a new pup. It wasn’t a money thing because for about $3000 more I could have had an enclosed TT. New pups are not cheap .
 

tfischer

A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
People always say "if price wasn't an option", or "if you could afford anything"...

Not really a real-world scenario though. I have a pile of money that I can allocate to any number of things. I'm not "so limited that I can only afford a pop-up" by any stretch, but spending tens of thousands of dollars on something that I do a few days a year just isn't how I'm wired. I would have trouble doing that even if I made 20x what I make today.
 

z.saw

Member
Aug 23, 2022
71
I grew up with a popup, and as an adult, I was lucky enough to have a father in law that let us use his Lance truck camper for many years. They also had Class A's at the same time and have owned quite a few Class A's since, so we have had that experience too. Then I went back to tent camping for a while and after getting tired of that, we rented a coworkers popup for a few years. We then decided to buy our own popup.

We decided to buy a popup for several reasons. First, to get us back off the ground. Second an easy pull for our RAM 1500. Third, it was easy to store (garage, back yard, off season winter storage).

We owned our popup for five years. As we aged a bit and both started having back issues, we realized that even the popup was getting hard to manage. Setup got tiring having to take everything (screen tent, EZ up, shower tent, porta-potty, etc.) out of the packed popup to set up outside, then unpack everything (clothes, food, coolers, etc.) out of the truck to bring inside the popup. Then you had to reverse the whole thing when it was time to tear down. Setup and teardown times were getting longer and longer. And then there were the two storms last year with 50-60mph winds that were, quite frankly, terrifying to ride out with only canvas protecting us. This included one storm that killed a small child nearby us when a large tree branch fell on top of their tent.

I had been looking at hard sided campers for several year while we used the popup and had a pretty good idea of what I wanted - smaller compact "couple's" camper, Azdel sides (no rot or mold possible), lots of storage, lightweight, 20' length (for easy storage), solar capable (we mostly dry camp or boondock) and so on.

When our "dream" hard sided camper showed up at our local dealership, I was lucky enough to be in the right place ant the right time to snag it up. Normally to order these campers, they had a six month to a year wait time.

We sold the popup for several thousand dollars more than we paid for it and have now used the new camper on five trips and 22 nights. We have one more trip planned with another possible. We love the new camper and have not looked back. We definitely made the right decision to upgrade.

Do we have any regrets owning a popup. Absolutely not. It was just time to upgrade.
Thanks for posting. I think for the time in our lives right now a pop up will be a great
People always say "if price wasn't an option", or "if you could afford anything"...

Not really a real-world scenario though. I have a pile of money that I can allocate to any number of things. I'm not "so limited that I can only afford a pop-up" by any stretch, but spending tens of thousands of dollars on something that I do a few days a year just isn't how I'm wired. I would have trouble doing that even if I made 20x what I make today.
yeah fair enough, affording something and having the desire to allocate your money to it are different things. Just because you can afford something doesent mean it’s worth it to you.
 

ccarley

Active Member
Sep 23, 2014
231
For us, I have a truck that can probably tow whatever we want. Reality though is that we're limited once loaded up with all the other things we like to take with us when camping.

As a former RV tech, I've seen a lot and fixed a lot in the past. I liked the simplicity of the Pop Up compared to anything else, however that has gone out the window with our Starcraft at this point; but the upside is, I can do the work myself. Our Starcraft was affordable to us without taking out a loan for something we know is going to need repairs. What I really like is we have basically everything we need as if it was a big trailer, without the cost of the big trailer (indoor "bathroom/shower", hot water, outside shower, fridge, heat, solar power...). Where we live in CA, the Pop Up just fits in our driveway (not the garage though), but anything larger would require storage at a lot somewhere (requiring a monthly payment). Where we camp too determines the size of the trailer; we can camp pretty much anywhere with the Pop Up, but with a travel trailer or 5th wheel, you need to make sure the site is large enough for your needs. Our last camping trip was a prime example; our neighbors' site was basically "parallel parking" with the campground road. It was the only site that fit their trailer.

We didn't get a Pop Up because of the open-air feeling; I never even thought of that until joining this site years ago. But we do open the windows up on warm days when camping for sure and it is nice. I also enjoy hearing the sounds of nature at night. Given the option of a full size trailer and our current Pop Up, I'm keeping the Pop Up.

Clay
 

firepit

Super Active Member
Feb 26, 2020
2,783
Not to ruffle any feathers..But some just need a place off the ground to sleep...Some need a recliner....A full kitchen and satellite tv etc.
Depends on how you camp and your physical capabilities.
I will have a TT because i am aging.
I know i will be the guy who takes a stroll around the lake once a day and sits in the AC all day...lol.
Heck with my pop up now i get a nap or two mid day in the AC with a western on the television
 

z.saw

Member
Aug 23, 2022
71
Like many here I bought a pup because I did not have to buy a new tow vehicle And it fits in my yard. I bought a new pup. It wasn’t a money thing because for about $3000 more I could have had an enclosed TT. New pups are not cheap .
That
Not to ruffle any feathers..But some just need a place off the ground to sleep...Some need a recliner....A full kitchen and satellite tv etc.
Depends on how you camp and your physical capabilities.
I will have a TT because i am aging.
I know i will be the guy who takes a stroll around the lake once a day and sits in the AC all day...lol.
Heck with my pop up now i get a nap or two mid day in the AC with a western on the television
I have never done anything but tent so it’s all an upgrade for me! When it was just me I could rough it like a caveman and eat dehydrated food for a week straight, now with a wife and kids I need to look at some more comforts to get them to come along!
 

Jkoht

Active Member
Aug 10, 2020
168
Ask my wife, if I had the money and space I'd have a camper of every size to fit any mood I was in. As it is I have a pop-up, a small cargo trailer conversion, and a 25 foot trailer camper. I'd still love to have a tear drop, or one of those new viking half pop ups that are basically just a bed and cook surface. They make one of those with holes in the floor for ice fishing that has my name on it somewhere.
 

Fordiesel250

Active Member
Mar 28, 2010
595
Like many others we started camping in scouts, went from tents to popups when Father in law offered to sell us his 1973 starcraft popup. Wife knew camper inside and out and we purchased it. It was 15 years old and needed some TLC. We had it for 5 years and traded it off for a Fifth wheel. We could go back to a popup in a heartbeat but it we need to have a A/C and possibly a furnace maybe. This would be a no problem at all
 

passionate1

Member
Sep 4, 2015
29
Hi,

Just looking to hear if anyone chooses to use Pop Ups despite being able to get a travel trailer if they wanted. Not everyone has the money and capable tow vehicle to haul a travel trailer, but for those that could if they wanted to, why do you still choose a pop up?

I have never had a camper, either as a kid or adult, and am looking into getting something for our family of 4 and this is something I’ve been wondering.
We chose our pop up for a few reasons:
- much brighter inside with lots of fresh air (we have never had to use our air conditioner)
- we can open up flaps to see the stars in bed
- maximized space in our driveway.
- we use our tow vehicle as our second vehicle and gas is expensive here.
 

soter01

Member
Aug 5, 2011
82
We started with a small tent I had from my college days. Then upgraded to a 12 X 12 Eureka tent when the kids came along. In 1997 we upgraded to a Jayco 1006 to get off the ground. (My parents had a tent trailer, a Puma, back in the sixties. So I was familiar with popups.) In 2011 we were camped at Mount San Gorgonio, Southern California, Memorial Day weekend. It was incredibly cold that night and when we awoke there was a couple of inches of snow on the ground. We knew then that a hard sided (read warm at night) trailer was needed. Still liking the popup concept for ease of towing and better mileage we shopped for a used Trailmanor. It is a hard sided trailer that popped up like our Jayco. Sticker shock forced us to reconsider. Fortunately, the dealer had Chalet A frame trailers for half the cost. We purchased a 2006 Chalet XL1930. Still use it today. I tow with a 2011 Honda Pilot. Minor repairs and maintenance except for breaking a leaf spring on a back road in Anza Borrego Desert. Very comfortable as a solo camper these days.
 




Top