Easiest Pop Up to set up?

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by Pugwinkle, Aug 24, 2021.

  1. Pugwinkle

    Pugwinkle New Member

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    I went to look at a 2005 Rockwood Freedom 1980. The seller talked me out of purchasing it as she said it's not easy to set up. The braces under the beds are hard to put in and the braces inside the trailer to set up the beds as well. I am a 4' 9" 63 year old that wants to do some solo camping with my pugs. Is there anything out there with the layout like the Rockwood Freedom 1980 that is easier to set up? I am hoping there is possibly something newer that has a better (easier) system to set up? I don't like the A liners. I want the room that a 10 or 12' trailer offers with both beds. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I also want something that isn't too heavy.
     
  2. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Unfortunately for any popup there is going to be work. However something like the Livin lite quicksilver popups may be a bit easier to set up. There is also a opus popup camper. These don’t have a hard roof like you see on other popups and from the videos most of the bars are already attached it’s just the matter of lifting the canopy and snapping in place. Now I don’t own either one, but saw them in use. Now some of the ones I saw were very very bare bones so don’t know if they come with more options. If I were you rent a regular popup if at all possible that way you can try it for yourself to see if it is doable for you. Sadly sales associates try to push people to buy bigger by saying how much work popups are. To some popups are work but its doable. Many eventually upgrade to a TT or hybrid as the work can get too much. I camp alone often and the work is not bad at all, but I have to admit the shepherd poles did require me to work on my upper body and finger strength more and same for the gally to get that in place. The outside work pulling the bunks out and putting the poles in place was easy as it was all waist level and below where I’m stronger. Now I’m also younger than you and my dogs have poundage to them so I’m more used to wrangling them.
     
  3. popup-flyer

    popup-flyer Active Member

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    A-Frame popups out there I would say are faster to set up but I don't know about easier? Depends on your ability to lift I guess? Much of it opens easily enough but you have to lift the "triangle" wall piece in to place yourself. Basically the roof goes up, then two walls and if you have dormers a bit more there. Check out this video:


    I would suggest a teardrop style for you if you want no setup and if you don't plan to "live" inside the camper. Its basically a light, portable room with a kitchen in the rear outside. Some have cassette toilets, some don't.

    The attraction for my family to a popup was size, sleeping capacity, weight and price. If you don't need a larger size to sleep 6 then look in to A frame that can go up to 4 depending on the unit or teardrop which is pretty much for 2.

    Also remember what the seller thought was "A LOT" of work may not be to you. Did they even show you setting it up? We can get it "up" in 5 minutes but fully set up is closer to 15 -20 considering the arranging of bedding, various smaller things, clothes drawers and shoe hanging rack we set up when were at the site. There is also shore hookups if you have those, water, sewer drain or gray tank and power. Those can exist with any unit though.

    This is the F.R. setup video. Keep in mind its just "putting it together" not moving items you stowed on the floor or in tow vehicle in as well as hookups:


    Simple Teardrop walkthrough, please keep in mind there are MANY styles of 2 person campers that are not all teardrop:
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2021
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  4. Dave Fro

    Dave Fro New Member

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    One thing i would say about my viking, is that the beds are pretty easy to set up as they don't use poles, but rather support cables attached to the roof, one less step i guess....
     
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  5. NMroamer

    NMroamer Well-Known Member

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    Have you had any problems with the cables? When I went to buy one the dealer talked me out of it in favor of bed support poles.
     
  6. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I was going to suggest what was mentioned above... some campers don’t have the support poles... apparently Viking (as mentioned) and I think Clipper... maybe @firepit can confirm.
     
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  7. firepit

    firepit Well-Known Member

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    Yes my Clipper does not have the poles...The bunks are supported by cables attached on the inside.
     
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  8. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    I can setup my popup truck camper in under 30 seconds and put it down just as fast. Not nearly as spacious as a popup trailer but you can't have everything in one package. :)
     
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  9. popup-flyer

    popup-flyer Active Member

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    These cables are attached to the roof? Does this mean with a decent breeze you are rocked to sleep? :D
     
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  10. firepit

    firepit Well-Known Member

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  11. LilRed

    LilRed Well-Known Member

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    How about a hi-lo or a trail manor? Not really a tent popup, but I thought most are electric lift or simple no-support systems, but these can be heavier trailers...
     
  12. popup-flyer

    popup-flyer Active Member

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    Trail-manor floors me with those 40K prices
     
  13. Annunzi

    Annunzi Active Member

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    I personally did not like the cable support system on our Clipper, for three reasons:
    1. We could only open the pup up to about 3/4 height in our garage to dry it out. However, in order for the cables to support the bunk ends, the pup up has to be at full open height. This meant we had to have alternative supports each time we opened the pop up in the garage.
    2. Being tall at 6'2", the cables in the bunk ends limited my head and footroom
    3. The cables would often get tangled on the bunk end slides, meaning we couldn't slide the bunk ends out without lowering the pop up and untangling the support wires
     
  14. LilRed

    LilRed Well-Known Member

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    Bah to Dealer hyped prices. You can find used at $10k, but agreed they are in a category unto themselves.

    fwiw, my highwall is all power, and the bed rails don’t require my back supporting the slide. But at your stature, getting the slides out would be very complicated.
     
  15. Dingit

    Dingit Well-Known Member

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    I have a highwall and if there's any slope to the site, I'm almost useless when it comes to pulling out the bunks on the high end because I'm short.
     
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  16. PaThacker

    PaThacker Well-Known Member

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    I would get a low wall if you can’t physically reach the bed slides. I have a front trunk highwall that requires you to balance one leg on frame pull one side a little then repeat other frame rail.
     
  17. Spridle

    Spridle Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like maybe a hybrid would be better for you. Never a perfect solution unfortunately.
     
  18. pastorkeith

    pastorkeith New Member

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    Giving one a try is the best way to know for sure. My wife would not set up my Coleman Columbia without me but I find it to be a manageable 1 person job. So what 1 might recommend, another would say is a no go. Next time a seller tries to steer you away from buying because set up is too hard, I would ask if it is OK to give it a try and see. Camping people are also notoriously helpful so someone near you might be OK with you coming over and trying on theirs. If you are in Eastern Kentucky, I would.
     
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  19. RandyP

    RandyP New Member

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    I'm 71, male, and frequently set up our Coleman/Fleetwood Santa Fe alone. It's a 10' box, nice open floor plan, and very comfortable for one or two of us. I like that they use a system that suspends the bed support poles under the bed. When you pull the beds out, the poles are right there. The shoulder trick as shown in the video works great. If you can run the crank, I think the rest is pretty easy. One tip - after years of fiddling with the poles with rows of holes, I marked on them with a Sharpie to show the setting that works for my canvas. Now, I know how long to extend them, and where to twist them so they snap right in. With them set right, it's no problem to put them in place. Do it before securing the elastic on the bottoms of the tent, and there is plenty of give to make it work.
     
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  20. Dave Fro

    Dave Fro New Member

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    Just got back from camping, hence the delayed response. What argument did they use to talk you out of them? I'd like to be on the look out for any known issues with them, especially if dealer is convinced. So far I haven't had any problems with them, some annoyances however...
    1. Waterproofing the canvas bed-end windows... can't just lay them flat on a towel on the bed to paint on the waterproofing, since there are cables there. I ended up propping up the bed with a ladder and removed the cables to allow for a flat application.
    2. There are "X" cables by the main section windows, which makes it hard to put the tinted window vinyl up and down, since they get in the way. They say it helps to provide more stability to the trailer, which i guess is true, but really they need them so that if only one bed is occupied that it doesn't pull on the roof.
    3. Need to keep an eye on the nuts that hold the cables on, wouldn't want them coming loose!
    4. Maybe more bounce in the beds? I haven't been on the other type in many years, so can't remember if motion transfer to the other bed is common or not.
    6. Until you have the beds all the way out and locked, they are putting torque on the bed rails, same is true when they are all the way in, or if the roof isn't all the way up, I imagine that even those small moments of mega-torque aren't great for the rails.
     
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