Good-bye to the pup era...the darkness is so inviting

Discussion in 'Going to the DARK SIDE' started by MIlover, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. MIlover

    MIlover Member

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    I haven't been on the forum for quite some time, and if so, it's been sporadic. Work and young kids... 'nuff said. But also, it's because we sold our pup last fall. I think it was inevitable. As much as we love canvas, and feel that we are pup campers at heart, it was a challenge from day one of Pup #1 - a leaky Jayco. The Jayco made us crazy, but did bring us to the Portal, which provided a great education and helped us set more realistic expectations for RVs (we had Airstream expectations on a used pup budget, lol). After all that, we decided that what we really *needed* was a trusty Coleman pup with front storage and a slideout. We finally found the Utah, and while we did have some up front issues, it was a beauty, well-made, and a very functional for our family. I was sad to see her go. But not sad enough.

    Like others who go dark, we just couldn't take the up/down, up/down, tuck and un-tuck canvas, and drying of said canvas anymore. With kids going nuts at the campground, one of us would be watching them while the other worked, and by the time we finished getting everything down correctly, it would take a few hours. Every time. No matter how efficient we became. Up/down to pack the camper before trips. And up/down to unpack the rest when we got home. And we like to fall camp, but Michigan dew never dries after you hit mid-September. And if we arrived at night, popping it up and getting situated... I could go on, but you all know how the story goes. It was a lot of work, for not enough camping.

    I feel guilty that we couldn't hack it. We really tried. And in-between packing, set up and tear down, we loved the pup. DH and I didn't want a TT. We didn't want to be the people in a tin cabin out in nature. But it's going to happen. And I suspect we'll really like it! We are skipping a hybrid in favor of no canvas to extend the season, and minimal hassle. We want to camp more easily, and be more spur-of-the-moment with our plans.

    The good news is that around the same time we transitioned from our pup, we upgraded our second vehicle to a '13 5.7 Tundra doublecab. [PUT] Yeah baby. We're ready. So last night we visited an RV show. We saw a few contenders that meet our 32' max, double bunk beds and queen bed with slide out requirement: The Grey Wolf 26DBH, Salem 27DBK, and a Catalina 261BHS. The Grey Wolf is amazing, followed closely by the Salem and then Catalina. It had everything we wanted and more. If I can get our local dealer to match an Ohio RV wholesalers price, we might soon bring one home, and get the dark party started!

    In the meantime, if anyone has thoughts on the Grey Wolf, or other brands I mentioned, feel free to let me know what you think. We also looked at a Jayco SLX 267 BHSW. I wanted to like it, but just wasn't as impressed as with the Grey Wolf.
    If anyone made it to the end of this, thanks for reading. I've missed the Portal. :)
     
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  2. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    Be sure to check the payload on your Tundra before buying a TT, especially one as large as a 32'.
     
  3. shfd739

    shfd739 Member

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    Your reasons for moving on from the pup to the Dark Side match ours. We've had 2 pups and really enjoyed using them but with 2 kids under 2 and not being able to leave till after work on Fridays meaning in the dark setup along with the extensive setup and take down just made the pup more hassle than it was worth.

    Im sure we may get another pup one day but for now we're loving the Dark Side.
     
  4. MIlover

    MIlover Member

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    Good point, and I have been looking into the numbers today. We may push it close, but should be okay. We really want that particular layout, and the smallest we've found are 30', without much difference in weight.
     
  5. MIlover

    MIlover Member

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    Glad to hear it! Yes, we're hoping to be able to make more weekend trips when it's not such a hassle.
     
  6. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    I loved my Apache when camp was set up. The empty trailer took less than 10 minutes to set up. However, a packed trailer and all of setting up took more like 2 hours. Same for break down. Rain made it close to miserable.

    I really love my TT. I arrived in a horrible downpour on one trip last summer. I backed it, chocked, unhitched, and plugged into the power post in less than 5 minutes. I was inside watching TV and eating hot food before the exhaust cooled down on the TV....I really like that it takes very little organization to pack and unpack the TT.
     
  7. Beecoach

    Beecoach Member

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    You guys must have way more "stuff" than we do. 30 minutes max either way.


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  8. MIlover

    MIlover Member

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    Sounds wonderful! So appealing, especially with small kids.

    Beecoach, I ask this kindly and with curiosity: do you have kids? Their "stuff" adds so much and cannot be underestimated. And, little people aren't exactly tidy, organized campers either. We actually are pretty efficient with what we bring. We've seen people with tons of stuff and that's not us. Heck, we haven't even brought bikes. I think what really added to the process though, was packing everything in a precise order, from the pup to the SUV. To do one thing, you had to do xyz first. And put it in a precise location. I dunno. It just wasn't worth it to us anymore.
     
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  9. jlynn58

    jlynn58 Active Member

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    We went from Tent to Pop-up to HTT to TT. We got TT in July and we love it. Easy to set up and take down camp. My body that's getting older loves it. I just we could have done the TT from the start, but we have all the memories before going to the dark side.
     
  10. Beecoach

    Beecoach Member

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    2 kids, 4 bikes coolers clothes and food. If we bring the kayaks too it takes longer


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  11. Ductape

    Ductape Well-Known Member

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    We moved up to a TT two years ago for all the same reasons. I appreciate that the p'up got us off the ground, a little heat, and hot water when we started taking our son camping at one year old. It just got to enough of a pain that we wouldn't take the P'up our for just a weekend, or even a long weekend. Now with the TT, that is no problem. For us there is so much more time to enjoy, and less time setting up / breaking down. Like xxxapache, we now go rain or shine...... where with the p'up, we would postpone with any real rain.

    Go with whatever floor plan works best for you. As far as I can see, there is no quality difference between brands (they are all equally cheaply built !! ).

    Watch your weights.... as others have suggested. Keep in mind that anything you add to the truck, (passenger, kids in the back seat, stuff, firewood) all detracts from the tow rating. the 'dry weights' on the campers are usually fictitious also.... use gross weight for calculation. I suspect that you will be OK with your new Tundra, but your rear axle weight will be closer to max than you expect.

    I look forward to seeing some pics when you take delivery !
     
  12. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    I'm of a mind that anything that makes it easier to keep camping is good.
    We went from ground tents to two pups (first one was tiny and bare bones, we had less space for duffels than in our tent) and now the TT. Still miss some aspects of each. Creaky back and joints do not, and I'm camping more solo. Some of those trips are more visiting than camping, but I love having my own space.
    The pups extended our season by about a month in the spring and a couple in the fall. While the TT hasn't added a great deal more to the season, I am taking it out a month earlier than we did last year. The TT is more comfortable than any of the canvas options we've had when the temperatures head into the 30s (or below, though we have yet to have the TT out in the teens, as we did with the pups).
     
  13. MIlover

    MIlover Member

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    Impressive. We were never able to achieve that level of efficiency, despite five years of trying!
     
  14. Beecoach

    Beecoach Member

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    40yrs + camping


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  15. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    Our "kids" are 18 and 21, and we still tire of the up/down/dry routine. It always rains here, it's part of the deal. And I HATE having to come home, make a spot in the garage and open it all up to dry it out. We could set up in about 30 minutes too, but since we're in bear country, all of the food had to stay in the back of the truck, which was a real pain too.

    We're looking forward to ditching anything to do with canvas, and moving to a toyhauler. It's not that I don't like the PUP, it's just that as we matured as RV campers, we figured out what we wanted, and didn't want. What we want to do is better combine hunting and fishing with RVing, and the toyhauler is tailor made to help us do that.

    Plus, cookies, they have cookies on the Dark Side.
     
  16. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    And icecream....I usually have a bowl right after a hot shower. [:D]
     
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  17. MIlover

    MIlover Member

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    Love it. And popsicles too I bet, from that ice cold freezer. [:D]

    Agreed Kit. Different setups work best for different people. For us, we just want to get the kids outside and be able to enjoy the actual "camping" part more frequently and with less stress and time involved. Some can do that with a pup, but we couldn't. In the end, it's about camping and appreciating the great outdoors - no matter how you do it.
    So true, lol! It took us a while to learn that, but we've made our peace with it. For the most part. I will say though, our Coleman pup was solid, and definitely lived up to its good reputation on this forum.
     
  18. niagarafam

    niagarafam Active Member

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    Come on over! We totally agree with your sentiments. We are loving our Jayco Jay Feather 23RBM. It is actually turning out to be a pretty well put together trailer. We have camped 30 nights since our August purchase. We do not miss the PUP at all.
    [CP]
     
  19. Mazauk75

    Mazauk75 Member

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    We're looking at upgrading as well. I recently sold my TV, an '89 Grand wagoneer (the DW finally won... [:(!]) and upgraded to a 2007 Ram 1500 Thunder Road edition with HD class 4 towing. I love our pup, and the kids like it, but the DW is not a fan, especially in a storm. I sleep like a rock in a storm, but DW and all 3 kids tend to freak out over storms in a house, let alone a tent.

    We've compromised on a hybrid, which we are currently shopping Craigslist for. I don't want to give up my canvas completely...because let's face it, nothing beats sleeping through rain on canvas...but I'd be lying if I said my head had never been turned by a 30' bunkhouse TT. I am ready to scale back on the work involved with setup/takedown and the amount of canvas I'm trying to towel off and pack up after a shower on the last night of camping.

    I will say this though, being prior service military and having a specific routine and place for everything, I can solo setup or break down camp our '90 Starcraft Nova and 13'x13' pop up canopy with 3 kids worth of schtuff in under an hour...but that often involves a bit of offcolor language and kids going crazy. I'm ready to just back in, drop some levelers and a couple platforms and be done.
     
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  20. MIlover

    MIlover Member

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    You are right. Sleeping under canvas with a light rain is fantastic. We will miss that for sure. I bet your family will love having a hybrid. Kids and DW can head to the interior if they can't handle storms under the canvas. And, it will be easier to pack/unpack! Happy wife and kids makes for a happy camping trip. Same goes for us, but I'd say happy hubby and kids also is important. :)

    We were very close to going the hybrid route, and I'm sure we would have been much happier with one of those than the pup. But, going through two pups in five years was more than enough. So, we decided to buy the last camper first. Go big or go home. [LOL] If all goes well, we'll soon be the owners of a Cherokee 274dbh. A lot of trailer. And frankly, DH and I both feel awkward about camping in something so fancy! But will we like it? Oh yes. And we intend to use it much more. We're already planning how we can take camping trips further away and break up the drive with kids by doing one-night stops at campgrounds - something we'd never consider with the pup. You could do the same with a hybrid!

    Best of luck searching.
     

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