Going back to the light side

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by cs84, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. cs84

    cs84 New Member

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    Hello everyone, so DW and I started with a Jayco PUP a few years ago, after two years with it we got a Jayco Hummingbird travel trailer which was nice for RV parks and State parks but not suited to really do much off road exploring. We are going to be selling it and plan on getting a Rockwood 1640 ESP to explore off the beaten path. First question is does anyone have any experience with taking PUP off-roading (not doing anything crazy but definitely hitting up BLM land, forest roads, etc)? Also, how is Rockwood quality wise? Last question, since we live in the Western Slope of Colorado it gets quite warm here during the summer at the lower altitudes, any advice on how to compensate for that (when boondocking especially)?
     
  2. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Hello and welcome from Minnesota.

    Be patient. You will get multiple answers shortly. It's kinda slow around the Portal at midday.

    Added Edit: My pup does not have AC and most of my camping is boondocking. I use a generator to charge multiple batteries. When it has been 90+, I have run fans off of my batteries a few times but mostly I just stay in the shade and hope for a nice breeze. I also utilize my canopy, EZup and/or screen tent if need be and stay out of the pup.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
  3. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    We came back to popups after years and 2 TT. One of the reasons was the smaller size to be able to get to some of the hidden gems.

    But we have somewhat limited ourself from the long drives down poor quality roads. A few miles is okay, For two reasons we don't drive much on these roads; 1) the dust on these roads seems to get everywhere, 2) we don't have a ESP trailer and the roads seams to beat up the trailer, screws seem to become lose and things fall apart.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
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  4. cs84

    cs84 New Member

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    BikeNFish thanks for the reply. We actually moved to CO from MN last year so it will be different camping for sure (although much lower humidity and not as many bugs will be nice).

    Tenttrailer that is one reason why we are looking at the ESP version, just with all the BLM land out here and roads not in good condition we want something that can handle it for sure. Dust does suck but getting to the hidden gems will be worth it. Thanks for the reply. How have you found coming back to popups after having a TT?
     
  5. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Can't respond to much beyond trying to keep cool when off grid. The first thing, is try and keep the sun off and out of the camper. Cross ventilation is also key. Look into popup gizmos to put on your bunkends. Essentially it's like a space blanket for your bunkend to help reflect the sun off the bunkend. Also look into reflectix to put in the windows. Kind of along the same purpose to reflect the sun away from the inside and help keep some of the excess heat out. You may want to look into a 12v fan to help with circulation especially on no wind days. I don't boondock but do camp off grid sometimes. Although my summers here are sometimes too humid and hot so I usually try and find campgrounds with power then.
     
  6. brwarrior

    brwarrior Active Member

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    As for keeping cool, I have a pair of 2000W generators (the blue AI Power units available at Costco) to power the AC. Even being inverters they are kind of annoying. They also produce a ton of RFI that radiates out the cords (it's an issue if you are going to be around any ham radio guys...if they come towards you angrily with a piece of coax just run! :p ). I have a 12V fan that I can plug in. It has batteries but they don't last long. 10" O2Cool. I have the kit with both AC and DC chargers. It will also run off of D cells as well. The fan in the roof (Fantastic) should work well. I can get a nice breeze going and I have a 14' box with king beds on each end.

    My trailer isn't an ESP (or Flagstaff's equal) and it's been ok off the beaten path. Now I have contemplated looking into the Dexter lift kits available. I've only had it on forest roads once. Screws will fall out on the interstate too. Just get yourself a screwdriver with a #2 square (Robertson) bit(s). Just take it easy.
     
  7. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    The only time I really wished that I had AC was in 2017 when we travel to Kansas for the eclipse. Three of the last four days has highs in the mid 90's but like I said, we just stayed as inactive as we could during the heat of the afternoon, drank lots of cold liquids and stayed in the shade.

    But the way, I have camped (tent, pup, truck camper) many times in Colorado. It is my favorite state to camp in other than in Minnesota.
     
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  8. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    I have a Somerset E2 and have taken off-road a few times, and I want to do that more. But living on the East Coast limits my opportunities.

    Get a set of PopUpGizmos for your bunkends. Train yourself to handle the heat. I went X-country in Aug/Sept 2017. Don't have AC and really didn't miss it, and I'm a big guy with a few extra layers of insulation. Fans help for sure. On that trip I was at Lake Mead and it was 108 degrees when I was setting up and no shade. You can beat the heat.
     
  9. cs84

    cs84 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies so far everybody, getting a lot of good information/suggestions!
     
  10. Bowman3d

    Bowman3d Well-Known Member

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    With a battery operated fan Screenshot_20190125-163235_1.png
     
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  11. PaThacker

    PaThacker Well-Known Member

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    I had a flagstaff 625d made in December 2009 and modeled as 2010 new. First drive from dealer locked storage doors on front trunk ripped open and damaged the fiberglass filon side walls. Covered by dealer, warranty kitchen sink counter top delaminate day 1 ( and claim started during pdi). Camping that year had side door open on highway dumping a bin and bal leveler out at 65mph. It was an overpriced piece of garbage. I got rid of it after two years of ownership. Traded for hybrid and used that for next 6 years. During hybrid years it took dealer 3 years to sell the flagstaff. It sold local and then that owner used it one year only and had it for sale for two years.

    Now onto boondocking and why I went back to pups after hybrids in 2017. I could not take my hybrid remote boondocking in the Catskills region of New York. I searched long and hard for a tougher pup. I found a 2007 Jayco Jay Series 1206. It had aluminum panel sides and diamond plate front and rear. So far so good. I have boondocked 3 and 5 day jaunts on State Forest Roads and one mountain off road trip in the Catskills.
    Boondocking at minimum get full feature pup, skip AC, buy pugz and get a 2000 watt generator.
    Next is water and tow vehicles with adequate tow rating and payload. You need 65 gallons of water for a family of 4. Pups 26 gallon capacity. You in tow vehicle have 45 gallons and take home 40 gallons of gray. You also have cooler, tote, clothes, and toys in tow vehicle. Cuv nope, minivan nope. Full size suv or pickup for this type of camping.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2019
  12. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    We started out to buy a Baja model but decided on the 1008 due to the huge difference in tongue weight. I think you'll find that the only real difference is the frame and axle, the box itself is probably identical to the non-ESP model. Expect to find the odd screw rolling around on the floor occasionally and indoor latches and drawer mounts will need a little more maintenance. Our trailer sees a lot of dirt roads, though nothing I'd call "offroad" and handles it ok for the most part. I've had to straighten out the step a few times.
     
  13. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    Welcome from N/W Fl panhandle. Good Luck on your plans to boondock, You can have some great adventures and make a lot of memories when off the beaten path. Good Luck and Happy camping
     
  14. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    We been back to popups for the last 7-8 years. It works great for us. Its nice that we can keep it in a garage. A Lot lot less maintenance and we don't need a special TV that is going to get poor mpg the rest of the year.
     
  15. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum from Midway USA.

    We had a table top AC in our Pup but rarely used it. It's gets stinking hot in Kansas in the summer, but we tried to find shady campsites, used our E-Z-Up and always slept with just the screens.

    We have a son who teaches school in Denver and a grandson in Colorado Springs so we don't need any extra motivation to visit. We usually combine a few days in the city with a trip to north central Colorado or the Snowy Range area in Wyoming. [:)C]
     
  16. tenttrailer

    tenttrailer Art & Joyce - Columbus, O

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    The only nice thing about a TT was being able to stop on long drives and make lunch, take a nap, or use the potty. The setup and take down was a wash compared to hunting for a spot that was large enough and some of the tricky backing in to tight spots.
     
  17. mark30

    mark30 Member

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    You might also want to consider one of the newer Aliner Titanium series, which appear to be designed for off-roading. To stay cool'ish, soft dormers are available which offer lots of ventilation.

    Manufacturer's website: http://aliner.com/campers/
     
  18. Spaceace5150

    Spaceace5150 Active Member

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    I have the non off road version of the Rockwood 1640 and have been happy with it! I've had some minor issues but nothing that wouldn't occur with other brands.

    In terms of the heat, popup gizmos are a must (or I actually made my own using survival blankets from Walmart), and a couple box fans are great.
     

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