How big of a jump did you make when you went dark

Discussion in 'Going to the DARK SIDE' started by mattlreese, Mar 5, 2020.

  1. mattlreese

    mattlreese Active Member

    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    71
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2017
    About to sell our popup before the new season starts. We already upgraded to a 2018 Ram 2500 Diesel from a Chrysler Pacifica. Likely going to get something around 33 ft since we have 3 kids. Current popup is 18 ft.

    Just curious how large of a jump people have made, and how different it was to tow.
     
  2. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,895
    Likes Received:
    4,261
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    Oh it towes diffrent. Your truck can handle a lot. What are you looking at? 33 feet is a good indicator of size but not much else. There are a ton of things to consider. Layout, slideouts, number of beds etc. New or used? 3 kidos and 2 adults probably means you want a doubble bunkhouse? So 4 single beds and a big one for the adults! I went from a colman westlake about 3200 max weight to a k z spree woth about 5400 max weight. Gas millage went down. Lol. Its a learning curve bit its easy to do. Just like the pup the first time around! Good luck.
     
    neighbormike likes this.
  3. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,271
    Likes Received:
    1,267
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    The answer will likely depend on current and future trailers, as well as how close to towing limit many people are currently.
    We did not up-size a huge amount, going from our 8' popup (2500#) to a 17' TT (3500#), in round figures. The TT is actually only a couple of feet longer than the pup was open, though floor space and towing configurations differ considerably. Since our '05 4Runner is rated to tow 5000#, we stuck with it for a year and a half, it did OK but was stressed under some conditions. The wall area on the TT made it seem like we had gained much more than 1000#, and wind is a larger factor than with the pup. Since we don't plan to change campers anytime soon, short of finding our unicorn or something drastic happens, we did not up-size the tow vehicle a huge amount. The first replacement was a '15 Chevy Colorado, with (IIRC) 7000 or 7500# capacity. It was a lemon, so after a year and a half of messing around with it we went to a '17 Silverado 1500, so we're under 40% towing capacity. The Silverado is my daily driver and one of my favorite vehicles, ever, so towing is only a part of the reason to have it. MPG still drops under windy conditions.
     
    Sjm9911 likes this.
  4. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,504
    Likes Received:
    915
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Location:
    NW Arkansas
    We went from a small pup to a bigger pup, then a hybrid with a 23ft. Box. After that a 34ft bumperpull (never again) and now back in a pup with slide.
     
  5. DerekCamperDad

    DerekCamperDad Member

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    25
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2018
    Location:
    Calgary, AB. Canada
    We did a big jump. From a Viking 2308ST to a 34' Forest River Surveyor Sport SP295. Same tow vehicle, 2010 F150 with factory tow package. I didn't want a TT that big but the dealer messed up the pricing and I got the SP295 at a fantastic price.
    I found some differences in towing. You notice the extra weight, gas gauge moves even faster towards empty and you feel it going up hills. It responds slower when maneuvering. I found it a little easier to backup.
    The TT fits our lifestyle better, the kids are 2, 4 and 6 at the moment. Far easier to setup and we don't feel overcrowded in bad weather. The SP295 has 3 bunks in the back separated from the rest of the trailer by a pocket door. Makes bedtime easy too.
    If I was going to look again, I'd make a list of needs then go looking.
     
    Sjm9911 likes this.
  6. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

    Messages:
    17,005
    Likes Received:
    2,575
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2007
    Location:
    Waterford, Ct
    Not far........ there is only the 2 of us and my DW is not crazy about camping.
    We went from a Coleman Cheyenne 10 foot box with a front storage compartment to a Cub 160 hybrid. 17 feet long body and a very nice 8 foot width. No slide. It is perfect for us.
     
  7. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,813
    Likes Received:
    1,119
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2011
    Location:
    Macomb County Michigan
    We went from a 10 ft box to a 19 ft hardside. The difference in towing was surprising. When people describe it as "towing an 80 sq ft brick wall," believe them. I will never go back though. We love everything about the hardside.
     
    neighbormike and Sjm9911 like this.
  8. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

    Messages:
    5,629
    Likes Received:
    2,429
    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    My parents made the big jump from a 10' popup to a 30' TT. They tow with a V8 4 runner with 6000 tow limit their TT weighs 4500 dry so their actual weight is upwards of 5000. So they are pushing their limits on their tow vehicle. So to say they hate it and regret buying such a big unit. The 4 runner has a shorter wheel base so that is also a big deal for such a large TT.
    They still have the camper but they don't tow it anywhere. Dad hates the fact he can't see behind him anymore. VA traffic stinks and filled with aggressive inconsiderate drivers that won't that anyone get in front especially if your towing a big set up. The runner struggles and takes forever to get up to speed. Not a good mix if you want to get anywhere in our traffic. The camper is wider than the tow vehicle so he struggles to see anything on his side of the vehicle. Again aggressive drivers and not being able to see clearly not a good mix. What really freaks him out is if wind hits his camper he feels it all the way in his car and feels he is going to flip. Probably the short wheel base makes it feel more uncomfortable for him. My dad however always stressed when towing and never felt comfortable so that does not help. Everyone is different and every setup is different. However there is a big difference from towing a popup and a TT but if you have a more capable Tow vehicle with larger mirrors longer wheel base you may not have the same issues my dad does. I only jumped to a larger popup myself and I felt a big difference between between the two.
    Because I live closer to the city, and tow way more in the mountains I personally felt it wiser to keep a popup for the ease of towability. Someday I may upgrade my tow vehicle so may consider a smaller TT, but there are a lot I love about towing a popup.
     
    Sjm9911 likes this.
  9. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,259
    Likes Received:
    1,235
    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    I went from a 12 ft box pup towed by a 4 cylinder compact extra cab truck to now a 25 ft TT towed by a one ton crewcab long bed truck.

    My TT has all the amenities we wanted. It has the same size holding tanks as the largest trailer made by the same manufacturer. We like that it is small enough to get into most parks.

    I got 12 mpg pulling the pup with the little truck and it was working hard. I get 10 mpg pulling the TT with the big truck and it's barely working.
     
    Sjm9911 likes this.
  10. West Coast Canuck

    West Coast Canuck Jumped to the dark side ......

    Messages:
    1,658
    Likes Received:
    68
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    I already had my Dodge Ram that I bought new when I bought our last pup and it towed it like it was not there. In 2012 we bought a new Jayco X213 TT with a bunk bed up front and rear king bed hard slide out. It is 27’ fully open and has a GVW of 5500 lbs well below my truck’s tow rating of 8600 lbs. I have a weight distribution hitch and a prodigy p3 brake controller. My trailer has a lower center of gravity with it being lower to the ground and tows beautifully behind my truck. I get very little buffeting when passing semis. Easy to back up too
     
    pandpcamper, Buckmaster81 and Sjm9911 like this.
  11. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    6,895
    Likes Received:
    4,261
    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    Location:
    Nj
    Just looked up your camper it could be my twin. A bit diffrent inside but almost the exact same design. I love mine. I especially like the hard slide, no canvas to dry out and when the bed is in you can still use it and the bathroom, just loose the seating area for quick overnights.
     
  12. GalsofEscape

    GalsofEscape Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    883
    Likes Received:
    344
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2013
    Location:
    Maryland
    we went from a 14 foot box highwall single axle popup to a 25 foot double axle hybrid. I find the double axle longer trailer backs easier. there is a bit more wind effect, the gas mileage is worse but wet expected that.
    the hybid needed a weight distribution hitch - so the hitch up is a bit more involved.
    The highwall had most of the amenities as what is in our hybrib - but we did not like having the set up of the popup or the small waste tanks.
     
    Sjm9911 likes this.
  13. West Coast Canuck

    West Coast Canuck Jumped to the dark side ......

    Messages:
    1,658
    Likes Received:
    68
    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2005
    Outback makes a similar layout
     
  14. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,776
    Likes Received:
    1,068
    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2013
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    We went from an 8' box with storage bin to a 29' toy hauler with no slides.

    My current truck knows the TT is there, but with my new WDH, it handles much better than the standard bar and chain setup.
     
  15. CamperMike

    CamperMike Active Member

    Messages:
    945
    Likes Received:
    45
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2012
    I went from a 12' Jayco to a 23' Keystone Passport bunkhouse with slide. Any smaller did not seem comfortable. We only recently got it so I hope we like it... but the reduced setup time is sure appealing.
     
    pandpcamper and Sjm9911 like this.
  16. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    628
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Location:
    WV
    I don't see me ever going to something as big as 33 ft.
    Everyone has their own needs, but I see guys towing big trailers here and it just looks like it sucks.
    Limits where you can camp, stop for fuel, pull in for food, everything.
     
    wusthof and Rik Peery like this.
  17. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,271
    Likes Received:
    1,267
    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2009
    Location:
    Albuquerque, NM
    @WVhillbilly - we've had to adjust our stopping places from the time we bought our first, tiny (6') pup. The good thing was that we adjusted gradually from 6' to 8' pups, then on to the 17' TT, learning as we went. Things such as making sure there is good egress from the gas pumps, parking facing away from the building in most places when we stop gas stations with a convenience store. We also had to adjust campsites - with ground camping, we carried a spare & smaller tent for years, because every now and again,we'd have a site where we could not use the 6-person tent. Having a spare tent proved handy a few times when the main one got too wet, or someone left the poles behind (only happened once, unfortunately the secondary tent was weather worn enough that it blew apart in a micro-burst on that trip and we had to buy a cheap one to finish it.) We sized ourselves out of a few sites we'd used simply by getting that first pup, but we're still using others we'd liked since tent days.
    It's all about what works - I can look at the big set-ups and be thankful I'm not having to tow or drive it, but that doesn't mean it's not right for the owners.
     
    Sjm9911 and WVhillbilly like this.
  18. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    984
    Likes Received:
    1,046
    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2018
    Location:
    Virginia
    Taking an ITTY BITTY leap, picking up a Nucamp TAG Boondock Edge XL on Thursday, hardside enough for us, at least for the next couple of years; if we ever do spring bigger, I'd do a Casita probably & get a new truck...keeping the Sylvansport GO for short trips, as well as a few tents & gear in case newbs wanna try camping.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2020
    neighbormike and Sjm9911 like this.
  19. Backtonature

    Backtonature Active Member

    Messages:
    143
    Likes Received:
    81
    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2019
    Location:
    Fayetteville,GA
    may I ask what..changed your mind about going back to a pup after owning the 23 ft hybird/34ft bumper pull?
    I'm curious because my wife and I are going to the dark side at some point . We currently have a 2005 Fleetwood Bayside with dinette slide, 2 king beds, HW heater, 3 way refrigerator and a few other things. We recently took her out for the maiden camping trip. We like the pup, however it's a bit much for us to put up and take down and too large for just us two. We are still juggling the decision back and forth a used TT or keep the pup.
     
  20. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    628
    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2018
    Location:
    WV
    Putting up and taking down the camper is what will eventually get us away from the pop up.
    Even with an electric lift, it would be so much easier to just back in, unhook from the truck and level up.
     
    wusthof and pandpcamper like this.

Share This Page