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

dbbyleo

Active Member
Jun 27, 2013
209
Ive had my pup for over 10 years and still love it. I think it all comes down to what you prefer and value more and what you intend to do most and what will be of most convenience to you. Do you do far destinations and would like to be able to pull over for a quick stop, and easily get into your camper - make a meal, use the bathroom, or even sleep for the night? Hardsides are great for tha; popup, not so much. Or is the open air feel of a tent more important to you (vs the boxed-in feel of a hardside), including easier towing and less weight and easy storage? The latter (as I found) was more valuable qualities about a popup. I upgraded my TV to a full size V8 SUV 3 years ago (from a V6 midsize truck) and I love the reserved power I have now. Towing is like nothing now, and I love it. I would miss that if I decided to upgrade to with something heavier like a hardside or a hybrid. A hardside/hybrid would also NOT fit in my garage (too tall), so I'd have to pay storage.

It all comes down to what works best for you. If storage and towing isn't a problem, a hybrid has the best of both worlds.
 

TSS

Member
Jan 17, 2022
61
NW Georgia
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.
Old Guy here, we are on our 4th camper. Started with a mid 80's tiny Palimino PUP, then a Starcraft 24'(ext) PUP (loved it), then a 22' Hardtop. The hardtop was fun but to much work. Retired now and downsized to a 2020 Rkwd Freedom 1640ltd. Could we afford a larger one? Yes, but just the 2 of us and the PUP is cheaper, garageable, got A/C-Heat etc, use it when we want and not guilty it is not being used this month. I am 6'4" and it is a little small but easily doable, great camper. Due to 30+ years camping we have it loaded. So yeah some people buy it for cost...but PUP People are PUP lovers! Good luck!
 

Cindy Lou

Member
Jul 1, 2021
12
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.
Have an Aliner because we love it. Tented for years but wanted to be able to enjoy camping even when it rained. Had never seen a camper I liked until I met an A -frame. Light to tow, 1 minute or less set up , everything we need even if it's raining. Don't want a big house following us down the road 😄
 

Cabaglady

New Member
Jun 6, 2021
7
We bought a hard sided Aliner pop up because we wanted a small trailer to fit in most any campsite, and my husband is very tall, so there were few trailer choices he could fully stand up in. In addition to headroom, we like the many windows in our Aliner so we can enjoy the beautiful views where we like to camp. It is an additional benefit that we can store it in our garage, pull it with a relatively fuel efficient tow vehicle, and its low profile further enhances fuel economy as well as ease of towing.
 

Sj flagstaff

Member
Dec 1, 2020
44
We started out a couple years ago with a poppup. At the time we didn’t know whether we would like camping and didn’t want to invest to much in case it wasn’t for us.we had a flagstaff 425 and we really enjoyed it but the wife wanted a bathroom and so we got a travel trailer. Happy wife happy life
 

BrettH

New Member
Jul 6, 2021
1
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.
At 55, we went kinda bassackwards from most. We started out in tents, then a small TT, moved to a small 5th wheel and then to a 40' 5th wheel. Once the kids were grown up and off to college, we got some quads and started trail ridding and staying in on site cabins. Started back with the tents and decided, we needed a good compromise so we got a Flagstaff BR28TSC toyhauler. 12' pop up on the back and toy deck on the front. Best of both worlds. Our trip to Taylor Park Colorado, large ATV park, we had so many people come over looking at our set up because they missed the feel of camping in their hard sided toyhaulers. The only thing we miss is the added security of the hard sided during storms. We have been in freezing weather and the on board heater did great and we started to suppliment with a space heater to save on propane. For us, it feels more like you are camping than in a TT or 5th wheel.
 

Bill McCall

Member
Silver Supporting Member
Aug 20, 2019
50
Columbus, Ohio
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 tent camped for 30 years, bought a pop up in 2019 and loved it, but it was old. I thought we might go up to a small travel trailer, but I don't have room on my property for it. If we stored it even a few miles off our property it would get used a lot less. We just, this month, decided to go new pop up. 7978341288568736040.jpg
 

Bill McCall

Member
Silver Supporting Member
Aug 20, 2019
50
Columbus, Ohio
We started out a couple years ago with a poppup. At the time we didn’t know whether we would like camping and didn’t want to invest to much in case it wasn’t for us.we had a flagstaff 425 and we really enjoyed it but the wife wanted a bathroom and so we got a travel trailer. Happy wife happy life
We got a useful bathroom in our pop up - black tank, not a cassette. When its just the two of us, she will use it, or even when its grandkids.
 

SanGabrielAve

New Member
Oct 31, 2018
4
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.
Lol welcome! Even if unintentionally, you got people talking and answers to your question! I think most of us realized your intentions were good :)
 
Apr 24, 2017
20
For us, we wanted something that could hold all our camping stuff vs tenting and lugging everything. We like that it still feels like you’re connected to nature and a little rustic. We have made incredible memories with it.

That being said, when we’ve traveled long distances and just stop somewhere for a quick overnight, I really dislike the setup and tear down. And don’t get me started on rain during those. 😱 It’s a chore, but still cheaper than a hotel I guess.

We are on the cusp of probably selling the pup next spring. The main reason: we are a family of 8 and simply outgrowing it. When the kids were littler (or less of them) it was totally fine. Now, my oldest is 6’2” and others are outgrowing the shortness of the couch and dinette beds.

I love our ‘02 Coleman Utah, 2 king beds, heater, A/C, cassette toilet, dinette slide/bed and couch. Plus the front box for storage (which is in need of the dreaded replacing from those years). It really has it all and the price was a big factor. Anyway, all this is more than you asked for but it’s been a great thing for us, but not without its headaches. There’s a risk of troubles and leaks and whatever else in a big trailer too. You just have to find your “why” and goals for camping and decide what works for you.

I’m looking at finding a used Rockwood Roo 233S hybrid. Tent beds but walls like a TT. We’ll see.
 

neoflyer

New Member
May 7, 2015
4
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.
i like the tent-like feeling of a pop-up. Plus many of the places I like don’t have electric hookups and summer in the south us too hot to stay in a hard side travel trailer. I found a really good compromise is a hybrid.
 

John Flores

Member
Sep 4, 2020
10
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.
Hey,

We bought our High Wall because we live in a HOA and it fits nicely in our garage. I also didn’t want to spend money on a monthly rental space here in Los Angeles. Very expensive. Im trying to upgrade again (we are on our 2nd pop up) next year to a pop up manor. Easier to set up and hard walls and still fits in our garage.
 

swe13

Member
Mar 18, 2018
13
Pop ups are about the same price as travel trailers. My A frame costs more than many of the entry level travel trailers. So I don't see how cost has much to do with it. I can tow 10,000 lbs, so that didn't limit my decision.
We also use our PUP to sleep in, and sit outside for campfires, otherwise we are out exploring. If I want to be surrounded by nature, it wouldn't be in a crowded campground loaded with noisy generators and massive RV's.
Comes down to convenience and what works for me and my family. I can have the A frame set up in under 30 seconds, and be sitting in comfort. I can also store it in my garage with no problem, and load the top with canoes and kayaks. There are time where have a full blown TT would be nice, but FOR ME the cost and inconvenience is not worth it.
 

Brian Clancy

Member
Aug 23, 2021
40
We bought a Viking pop-up six years ago. We've rented them with the kids when we were younger and liked them. Now, it can go with us to Baja, Mexico or the East Coast or Canada with ease, and costs about 3 mpg to tow. A primary issue is the tow vehicle maximum tow capacity, and 2400 lb fully loaded and watered is a great fit. We could afford a larger trailer, but don't want the hassle. So, yes, I own a pop-up tent trailer because I like it. If I really wanted hard walls, an indoor toilet and shower, I'd simply stay at the Hyatt Regency.
 

Beckaki

New Member
Jul 23, 2022
2
For us, we were 10 year tent campers. In 2020, we were blessed with twins (and we have 2 other kids as well who were tent troopers with us.)

We found ourselves outnumbered and twin toddlers are no joke. We didnt want to give up our tenting lifestyle, but we also are terrified of someone wandering off at night.

We decided a pop-up would present a way to lock everyone indoors when we needed a break from chasing kids. We also decided we at least wanted a shower so we could rinse off and a toilet would be a bonus.

We ended up with an 08 Fleetwood Highlander Avalon. It does all of the following:

-Provides a tent for tent camping that also stores all of our camping equipment
-Provides a full TT experience when we want it (bathroom, AC/heat, full kitchen, etc)
-saves gas money over TTs
-Provides a hotel when we go on vacation (hotel rooms for family of 6 are super expensive, but RV sites are much cheaper even when adding extra fuel costs)
-Provides safety and security we were looking for

So far, the only downside has been that the AC couldnt keep up with TX heat on first day of parking - but 2nd day was much better.

We looked at booking a site near Yellowstone and some sites prohibit pop ups due to bears.

Also, its budget and towing friendly.
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.
 

jdsdj98

Member
Dec 28, 2016
24
Colorado
I haven't read through this entire thread but see a few responses stating what we feel very strongly about - having transitioned from being years-long tent campers to our popup, we wanted to still feel like we were camping. Outside. Travel trailers feel to us like giant closets. Can't see much out the few windows they have. Can't hear much through the hard walls. Can't feel much of a breeze inside a closed in space. For us, we just didn't want to go into the woods only to feel like we're still inside - plain & simple.
 

Cheetah

Member
Jan 12, 2021
11
Indianapolis, Indiana
When we first bought our pup, it was because we were tired of tent camping and a used pup was what we could afford. We got a great deal on a used unit that had been recently refurbished with all new canvas, so it was a really good buy. We've camped two summers with it, and talked to a lot of people in the parks about their TTs and goosenecks, and the longer we own our pup the more sure we are that we'll never go to a hardside trailer. There are several reasons:

- TTs never have enough windows. We love being able to unzip everything on the pup and catch the breeze.
- I don't want to tow anything bigger than the pup. It's small enough that I can back it in easily and get in and out of most standard gas stations, and it fits nicely in the driveway.
- I would never poop in a trailer anyway. The Sunday waiting line for the dump station at the park makes me smile every time I cruise on past it. I can definitely live without that.
- A pup perfectly fits our camping style. When we camp we spend most of our time on the trails or the water, or around the camp fire. We have no desire to sit in an air conditioned rolling motel room watching tv. More power to people who enjoy it, but it's not for us.

So, as many people have already said, it comes down to preference. For me, the pup is a perfect fit, and if I ever feel the need to upgrade, it will be to a newer pup.

Cheers!
 

reklaw2010

New Member
Aug 19, 2020
7
I had a first gen Ford Escape(V6) to use as a tow vehicle in 2010 when both sets of grandparents and my parents spend $600 to get us a used 1986 pop-up. This was nice and light but we used it a good bit. Towed it 2/3 across the country in 2012 and spending just 1 night at a time 3 nights out and 3 nights back I think was hard on the actual canvas sides. It started to wear out at that point and we replaced the canvas in 2013. The weather over the following winter was not good on it in the middle of my other repairs so in spring of 2014 we started looking at new pop-ups. I saw one at camping world that was around $6k but it wasn't good enough for my now ex-wife but we found one she loved with the front storage unit that cost us about $10k. We stayed with a pop-up because of the Ford Escape but then by September we had engine issues with it and traded it for a third gen V6 Explorer. Then I discovered the little single axle travel trailers with bunks and I was angry that I didn't get one of them and while my Explorer would have towed one it would have been pushing it to the max. Now I just picked up a used V8 Expedition and I'm still towing the same pop-up that I purchased new in 2014 and just replaced the entire floor and rebuilt all the cabinets and removed the sink and water tank and stove as well as move the converter to better utilize the space. My new issue is that I think because I use it too much the threats in the vinyl are wearing out and I had to stich a good foot of the roof and sidewall back together.

I've been saying that I'm now too old and fat to be dealing with a pop-up anymore but I also like that it's small and it forces the kids outside. I'm hoping to go full-time in the fall of 2030 and I'm not ready to buy whichever trailer I might be using for that but I also don't want to spend the money on something brand new to use in the 7~8 years between now and then. I think I've decided to deal with my pop-up until then hopefully unless I find a really good deal on a used travel trailer. While I don't want to spend the money on the inflated price of a new unit right now I think I am still going to go to at least 1 RV show this fall.
 




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