Have started shoppping...

WoNHUSA

New Member
Jan 19, 2021
8
Hello-

I am new to the forum and have never owned a pop up camper. All of my camping has been done in tents, but with a multi-week, cross-country trip in the works for the upcoming summer, I have started looking into pop ups.

I have found a 2017 Jayco 12 UD for sale not too far away. It has a few upgrades...awning, ac prep, diamond plate covering for front and rear, hot water heater / outside shower, furnace, 3-way fridge, and a few other things. I have not seen the camper, but have emailed the owners and their description is that it is in very good condition with no dents, leaks, or mechanical issues whatsoever. This is currently priced at $8700.

Since I am brand new to this, I am hoping for a little help and advice. Does this sound like a reasonable price for something like what I described? Thank you in advance.
 

WrkrBee

Super Active Member
May 23, 2018
6,544
South Carolina
Welcome to the Portal from South Carolina. There's plenty of threads here for pre-purchase checklist and things to look for.
 

BillyMc

Super Active Member
Mar 25, 2018
2,463
South Carolina
Welcome.
It's hard to say with the limited factors we know. Prices can vary quite a bit from one market area to another. What are you going to tow it with? How many people in your party? How long are you going to be staying in one spot? PUPs are great for camping, but if you are planning a lot of one night stops it's going to get old fast.
NADA indicates that that is generally a fair price. As said the prices vary across markets. Situations also effect prices, last year I saw campers bringing crazy high prices. Many are still elevated from what they typically are this time of year. We just bought a late model HTT after looking at more than I care to count. Make a chart with three columns (needs, wants, and deal breakers) to quickly determine if a camper is going to fit your needs. For example we had four things in deal breakers. Being able to use the toilet and kitchen without raising the roof, under 4500 lbs gross weight, under 24', and sleep minimum or four adult size people. Needs and deal breakers are similar, except deal breakers are needs with no practical work around. For example we needed it to be able to sleep 4 with setting bunks for overnight sleep stops. With table dropped and the sofa it will sleep three, but there is ample room for a cot so we have a work around. DW wanted a tub, but it only has a shower. We can live without the shower. If it comes to a point where she really want to take a bath while camping I'll get a collapsible tub and put it in a tent for her.
 

WoNHUSA

New Member
Jan 19, 2021
8
My tow vehicle is a 2019 Ram 1500 with the HEMI and there would be four of us using the trailer. I am sure we would have a fair amount of one night stops on the trip along with few multi-night stopovers as well. We believe that the pop up would be easier and quicker than setting tents, cots, sleeping pads, and all the stuff that goes along with tent camping. We are in the Northeast and will be heading out west to some of the National Parks and to see some old friends. With the pull out beds and fold-down-to-a-bed tables, we should have "plenty" of spots for the four of us to sleep. The toilet is not a priority as we are not really interested in the dumping / cleaning the comes with that, however, the outside shower will / could be helpful and convenient. Another consideration is that we would be towing for 7000 to 8000 mile by the time we drive to Oregon to California through Colorado and then home, so we also want to be sure that whatever we do decide to tow does not absolutely destroy our gas mileage and will be safe and reliable for that kind of mileage.

Thanks again for looking and sharing any advice.
 

Dingit

Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2017
2,017
I don't know about the price. But I do know that a popup setup won't take you any longer than setup with a tent and you'll probably sleep better. :)

Popup toilets--with a few exceptions--are super easy to empty and don't require a dump station. No, you won't be using them with the top down, but they can actually be pretty nice when the top is up. If you end up looking at other popups, don't rule out one because of a toilet (you can always use it as a changing room).
 

Ladiesman

Super Active Member
Feb 6, 2018
807
With the Rona and everything else I would not rule out a toilet. The cassette toilets in pop ups are really nice and easy to deal with. You will appreciate it in the middle of the night or the campground restrooms are nasty. Everyone makes a bigger deal out of any camper toilet than it really is. Be it Cassette or one with Black tank. Very simple processes
 

BillyMc

Super Active Member
Mar 25, 2018
2,463
South Carolina
For four people and maximum fuel economy a PUP is going to be your best bet. Once you get you system a minimal setup for overnight will not be so bad, but in most cases you will probably need to rent a campsite. This can be an issue on weekends and holidays with campgrounds requiring multiple night stays. We really like our PUP and I would like to keep it, but DW doesn't want to "clutter" the yard with multiple campers. The PUP worked great for us, even got to a point the a one night stay was worth a minimal setup. Then Covid nearly ruined my life! I managed to work around most problems with camping, but DW is scared to death of the 'rona. Travelling more than a few hours requires at least one meal and restroom stop. Work around is drive thru food (another bonus to a PUP) and a portable toilet and privacy tent. Last year we encountered campgrounds that would only allow you to camp if you had your own toilet and had their bath houses closed. Another camper that may interest you would be a Trialmanor. They are lower and shorter when closed like a PUP, but are hard sided. We really would have liked to get one, but the deal we got on the HTT was great. A key thing to remember is to not rush into something. I nearly bought a couple campers that were not as good a deal as the one we just bought. As much as I like the PUP a HTT will fit our current needs better and I'm willing to buy the extra fuel to have to added convenience overnighting without setup and quick stop use of the toilet and kitchen. Make your list and have you partner make a list (individually) then combine the two list. Find what check the most boxes for the best deal you can get. When you get it practice setting up and using before hitting the road.
 

Toedtoes

Super Active Member
May 28, 2018
2,840
California
Right now, prices are all over the place, so the main things are that it is a price you can afford, a price you are happy with, and a price that won't be a problem if values drop significantly before you decide to sell.

Definitely check everything and don't take the seller's word for it.

Between a popup and tents, you can make it more work or less work.

Dedicated beds - make sure that if you need extra padding on the bed that you can keep it set up when the popup is down. Having to roll out mattress toppers every night is not much different than rolling out a bed mat. If you can keep the beds made up when the popup is down, you will save a bit more time.

Convertible beds (dinette, etc) - this can be pain if you are trying to get up, get dressed, eat, and get moving. Make sure the person sleeping on this bed is an early riser so they are not laying about while everyone else is trying to get going. This is especially true if it rains - the other three are trying to fix and eat breakfast inside and the one keeps saying "two more minutes" when you want the table set up to eat.

Organization is a biggie too. The less you have to move around every morning and night, the easier and faster it will go. Utilize the pickup bed. Have one half at the tailgate set up as an easy access pantry. That way, you can just drop the tailgate and grab stuff for a quick meal without having to root thru a ton of boxes. Have the ice chest accessible right behind that. The other half at the tailgate should be for the next day's clothes and toiletries. That way, you can grab when you stop and take just what you need into the camper. Use plastic bags, packing cubes, etc., to pack up a night's clothing and a small toiletry bag with it. On your multi night stops, spend a few minutes to pull out new clothes and indivually package them for the next run of one night stops and put them at the tailgate ready to go. Try not to store a lot of stuff on the floor of the camper that requires you to move it just to get in and out.
 

firepit

Super Active Member
Feb 26, 2020
2,693
I could be wrong but with prices and demand where they are at....Don't expect much wiggle room
from sellers...Aside from that it all boils down to how bad you want one.
You can throw Nada and any other book values out the window right now.
 

Sneezer

Super Active Member
Aug 8, 2015
2,989
DFW, TX
The best price is the one you are willing to pay. It is a sellers market, and common sense says next summer may still have some restrictions, so camper prices will be elevated and demand high.

Look at where you are going on your trip - what campgrounds will you be staying at? Will there be full hookups, water only, or none? Figure out your route, stops and where you hope to spend the night. That could dictate your pup choice.

Spend some time researching pups. Look at floorplans, browse the forums for threads on packing/unpacking, storage, mods, etc. Everyone uses a pup differently, there is no right or wrong way to do it for the most part, other than maintenance and appliance/lift system use.

How much gear will you be taking? Food? Cooking equipment? Chairs/tables, canopies? All this has to be stored - pups without a slideout are better for hauling gear, but that slide out makes a huge difference in livability inside. I love mine, but I hate the jigsaw puzzle aspect of packing/unpacking I have to deal with.

Can the fridge be accessed while the roof is down? Is there exterior access for storage areas? Do you want a front trunk?

What is the weather going to be like for your trip? Will A/C be helpful? Camping in shade or sun?

Research camper equipment so you know what to look for when inspecting a pup. Heater, stove, fridge, A/C, water system to include pump and water heater, toilet, exterior shower, water tanks, etc. Since you have zero experience with any RVs, lack of information and experience is your greatest enemy.

Good luck on your search!
 

aan1129

Member
May 19, 2019
31
Whatever you get, make sure you do some test runs to a local campground or even your drive way for a few nights to work out the kinks.
 

Mark CASTELLANI

Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Aug 23, 2019
497
New York State, Erie County
Welcome!...

We had a 2016 Starcraft that was totaled this past September. It's was the same camper as yours, just branded differently (plus a year older)... long story short, the insurance settled pretty darn close to what your seller is asking so, given the current market, I'd say the price is "reasonable"... again, given the current market.

We tented for decades before going with the PUP.

Anyway, that's my opinion... and... you know what they say about "opinions:?... they're like fannies...everybody's got one and they usually stink

Happy Trails!
 

Susan Premo

Super Active Member
Nov 5, 2020
840
Minnesota
With the Rona and everything else I would not rule out a toilet. The cassette toilets in pop ups are really nice and easy to deal with. You will appreciate it in the middle of the night or the campground restrooms are nasty. Everyone makes a bigger deal out of any camper toilet than it really is. Be it Cassette or one with Black tank. Very simple processes
That's good to know, we have a cassette toilet, haven't used it yet, but you guys make it seem ok. We always used a luggable loo.
 

firepit

Super Active Member
Feb 26, 2020
2,693
Half the fun is the journey ...figuring out and learning things as you go.
You will never really know until you just go for it.
Just a thought here...but maybe something a little cheaper and older to start?
Then you will figure out whats truly a must and what isnt.
Then you dont have so much invested in something that doesnt fit your needs.
 

BillyMc

Super Active Member
Mar 25, 2018
2,463
South Carolina
Well, it wasnt gross, just pee, we haven't used the cassette yet, so we'll see.
For pee cassette toilets are great. For poo they are really good. We only used it for pee until DW proclaimed public toilets toxic and off limits due to the 'rona. For poo you'll have to experiment to see what works best for you. Put water in bowl, do business, then flush works well, but fills the tank quicker. Vertically line the bowl with a couple layers of TP, do business, then open blade valve and run water works fine also and doesn't fill the tank as fast. The dry method makes for more solid and less liquid and dumping the cassette not as easy. Note, forget the messy liquid chemicals. Get the little pods, drop one in and add a quart or two of water to the cassette after dumping and rinsing. Also have a portable that is similar to the cassette toilet and works just as well. The luggable is a thing of the past.
 

Sneezer

Super Active Member
Aug 8, 2015
2,989
DFW, TX
A luggable loo is much grosser than a cassette!

Yes and no. Solids can sometimes be harder to clean out of a cassette toilet. I prefer to just use it for liquids for ease of maintenance and cleanup. I do carry a bucket top toilet seat and some doodie bags for longer trips. The bucket holds other gear during transport, and the bags mean I can just twist and toss with no fuss. Granted, you miss the greater comfort of a proper throne but in a pinch this works best for me.
 




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