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

CindyLHK

Member
Aug 19, 2019
52
Wisconsin
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 can afford what I'd like. I like my pop up. It's the smallest one made. Doesn't even require a title or license in WI, and we just camped it for 10 days without a complaint.

There's such luxury in a lightweight tow where you can see behind you. It has a replaced canvas, and despite a couple of serious rainstorms, the interior remained dry. I can make coffee in the morning without electricity and without leaving the camper.

It's just the two of us. We each take a bunk end. I can't imagine fussing with a bigger camper and black/gray water tanks, fresh water, etc. One of our kids has a cartridge toilet that seems to suit them. Still a pop up.

You can call us big fans of the easy-tow big-living concept.
 

Black taco

Member
Apr 26, 2022
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.
I just got rid of a 24’ Prowler. It was fine but heavy. I have a 2004 Bayside now and it is AWESOME. I can get to anywhere I want for dispersed camping, can tow it with my 2001 Tacoma and it has all the amenities I need. Wife and I take one bunk and the dogs take the other… setup for solar. Can’t beat it. I’m camping right now and living all of it..:).
 

Vicki P

New Member
Jul 8, 2021
1
Spent one night in one of our daughter's TT, half way through the night had to get up and sit outside. It was super claustrophobic to me. The pop up is perfect, open all the way around and yet not sleeping on the ground. Sink and fridge, 2 king size beds and a table in the middle for meals that folds down to a small bed. A heater which we only needed once. We only use it for 3 or 4 mountain camping trips a year, suits us perfectly!
 

FiveInAFlagstaff

Active Member
Jun 17, 2013
127
Buying our first popup was a childhood dream of mine. I grew up watching the Brady Bunch, and I loved the Grand Canyon trip episodes in their popup! Camping at the Grand Canyon in our popup was my absolute favorite trip of ours!
When budgeting out costs, the deal-breaker for my husband was the storage costs. Storage for an RV is about $200 a month where we live, essentially doubling the cost of ownership! Being able to store our PUP in the garage was what finally won him over.
We sold it when our TV was totaled in an accident. :( Since then, we have been renting different RVs to test out, but have decided on another PUP. We loved the motor home for road trips, and were looking at buying, but we have decided on a small pup. My vehicle can tow 1500lbs and we’ve found a few pups that will work. The kids are grown, so camping is usually just three of us instead of six or more. Waiting for prices to drop a bit, hopefully. Working on getting tow equipment on my car, first.
 

West Coast Canuck

Jumped to the dark side ......
Mar 3, 2005
1,683
For me, I had the truck and so the progression started to a TT, I live on the West coast so we can get a lot of rain. Trying to open and dry the fabric was fast becoming a chore after camping in rain. I always brought everything except the kitchen sink anyways. Now it is just backing in, leveling, hit buttons to open the rear King slide bed and awning. 1st thing we noticed after going to a TT was no more damp bedding during rain And it is sure nice have on board washroom so the late night escorts to the park washrooms went away…Wife is very happy.
 

Carl Schwarz

Member
Oct 13, 2020
11
The sort of KMS we drive makes towing a large caravan a limiting factor due to fuel expense. Plus we don't want to have a large tow vehicle, plus we have 5 kids and caravans usually aren't made to be just all beds like our pup is. That's our reason. People mover + pup gives us freedom to go long distances, it basically saved the accomodation problem for us
 

Jason212

Member
Aug 2, 2020
90
Utah
I got a PUP as mainly a compromise with the wife. I love tent camping and her version of camping was basically to relocate everything in the house to a different location. We compromised on a PUP.
 

nitrohorse

Active Member
May 27, 2015
215
NE Pennsylvania
My neighbor asked me if I miss my PUP. I told him that while I had some good times in it, the packing up in the rain and opening it up again to dry everything out wasn't missed. He told me that if I should miss the old gal, I should stick some Saran Wrap over my living room window and look out through it. He said that should bring back memories....
 

1380ken

Super Active Member
Nov 7, 2013
2,989
Mass
My three kids had to attend private school because our school system is so bad. Now they are going into college. I can't afford to pay attention. We tent camped for years to save money until I bought the pop up from a co worker for $500. So yes I camp in a pop up because that is all that I can afford. We have had great times tent camping and even better in the camper. If money was no object I would still camp in the pop up on occasion but would choose cabin rentals over a travel trailer. Why tow around a claustrophobic cabin when you can just rent a real one.
 

Rob Roy

Member
Sep 9, 2019
29
Plenty of wisdom has already been shared, mostly directed at your needs (residential bed? bathroom? shower?) and wants. We have evolved from tents to small pup to large pup (for a better bed) and now to a Travel Trailer. All but the tent were purchased used. The step up to a large TT (26') was a big financial step: A used 2018 pickup was $37k (also carries the Triumph motorcycle when we travel) and the used 2018 camper was $19k. The pups prices were in the low 4-figures and could be pulled by our minivans. But the pups were old and needed a fair amount of maintenance and repair, which, fortunately I'm willing and capable of providing.

I would recommend to start with a PUP; pick the features that you require and scan the used equipment sites. They are much easier to trailer, park and use than a TT. Please share your decision and photos! :)
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,940
Albuquerque, NM
If money was no object I would still camp in the pop up on occasion but would choose cabin rentals over a travel trailer. Why tow around a claustrophobic cabin when you can just rent a real one.
Why stay in a cabin when I can take my TT? The bed in the TT is tailored to my bad back, and has our own bedding (good flannel sheets and a quilt as needed) that we know is clean. We have our own food, and now that we have a fridge with a freezer that works in the TT, our choice of foods has improved dramatically, which saves lots of money over eating out (which I can't do much anyway) and means we have food my picky system can tolerate.
I have to say that our TT is far less claustrophobic than many (& yes, I actually do have a problem with small spaces, especially if dark) because the wall/ceiling coverings are light, and the "wood" is lightish cherry-look. Now a teardrop? That would have me running panicked into the open in the middle of the night.
 

teh603

Member
Dec 28, 2020
73
Coastal Texas
The one thing I can’t do with the glamper is get into some state parks. But I have a Tahoe (AKA TowHoe) with a max tow package so if I’m solo that works just fine.
"TowHoe". That's a good one. I'll have to remember it.
Spent one night in one of our daughter's TT, half way through the night had to get up and sit outside. It was super claustrophobic to me. The pop up is perfect, open all the way around and yet not sleeping on the ground. Sink and fridge, 2 king size beds and a table in the middle for meals that folds down to a small bed. A heater which we only needed once. We only use it for 3 or 4 mountain camping trips a year, suits us perfectly!
Didn't expect claustrophobia to be an issue with hardshells, but that's definitely worth noting (since I haven't bought one yet). Thanks!
 

Karey

Active Member
Apr 3, 2021
102
Colorado
We chose half way between the pup vs TT - an Aframe. DH wanted less wind resistance, so when down it looks like a pup when pulling. We can stop and set up without unhooking from the truck for quick overnights when need be. Hard shell so bear proof. No rain getting in. Quick up and down. And being older need the small washroom.
 

DonsEye

Member
Mar 17, 2019
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.
I see it like this. The camper is just a place to sleep. When I’m out camping I prefer to be outside, cook outside, sit around the campfire, etc. My pop up sleeps 6 comfortably. Most hard sides don’t sleep that many are are 3X as big. Easier to store, cheaper to store, easier to pull and gets the job done everytime.
 

Hilldweller

Super Active Member
Mar 2, 2021
1,060
Hog Waller, GA

Snapper_Jones

New Member
Aug 7, 2022
2
Few reasons why I chose a pop-up and it wasn't b/c I had no other choice. First, I can store it in my garage when not in use. Not everyone has that luxury, but for me it ensured the camper would stay out of the elements and potentially last longer. Next, my current TW can handle the pop up with no issues and that was important. Lastly and the main reason.....I attend a lot of music festivals and being in my 50s, while I enjoy the camping aspect of the festivals, I was done with sleeping in a tent on the ground. The pop-up allows me some comforts while at the same time, I feel like I'm actually camping.

Just my $.02.
 

nitrohorse

Active Member
May 27, 2015
215
NE Pennsylvania
My three kids had to attend private school because our school system is so bad. Now they are going into college. I can't afford to pay attention. We tent camped for years to save money until I bought the pop up from a co worker for $500. So yes I camp in a pop up because that is all that I can afford. We have had great times tent camping and even better in the camper. If money was no object I would still camp in the pop up on occasion but would choose cabin rentals over a travel trailer. Why tow around a claustrophobic cabin when you can just rent a real one.
You could always stay home, wrap shrink wrap over your house windows, and pretend you're in the PUP.
 

nitrohorse

Active Member
May 27, 2015
215
NE Pennsylvania
Don't kid yourself about that. Thinking you're safe in a cooler when you're in bear country can lead to more than just disappointment.
Bears are smart. They're hungry. They're strong. And they smell really bad.

Humans in a canvas bunk end are what bears call "soft shell tacos".
 




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