Is Pop Up Camper Good for Long Distance Travel?

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by love2travel, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. Halford

    Halford Well-Known Member

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    My family went on a month long trip with Apache popup in 1975 - 6,000 miles from NC to Seattle, then to San Diego, then Grand Canyon then New Orleans finally back home. Had several flat tires, nothing serious. We chose to stay at a lodge in Yellowstone.

    I brought my 96 KeyWest popup from Talladega, AL to LA, California with no problems. I passed RVs and huge TTs where the wind were blowing hard in several sections of I-40. No effect on me and my popup. Tires were checked and they remained cool throughout the trip in June.

    Try to cook outside of popup with your awning extended out... try to take stuff that you WILL USE.
     
  2. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave Active Member

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    Towing long distance you will appreciate the lower, shorter trailer much, much more.

    I have both popup and travel trailer. Pop up much easier on fuel to tow and easier to park if you are stopping lots on the way.

    I went to a travel trailer mainly cause I do a lot of shorter trips and wanted more of the TT features.
     
  3. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

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    Wow. I wouldn't take advise from this website if this is a contributing author. It feels like an 8th grader wrote that in homeroom because they forgot about the assignment the night before.
     
  4. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    You thought it was that good?
     
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  5. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

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    Well I wasn't thinking work by one of the "A" students. They'd have their homework done [A]
     
  6. kstephens

    kstephens Member

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    The main reason I keep mine is for long distance travel. We scope out campgrounds about 14 hours away in all directions. I actually get better gas mileage towing (drive about 20 mph slower) than without.
     
  7. XKPin

    XKPin There's no situation so bad it can't be made worse

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    Feel confident with everyone's responses! Great counsel. My first trip with my pup was between Flint Michigan and Yorktown Virginia in December! No problems with the trailer. It did snow and offered no negative affects when driven with common sense in the adverse weather.

    I would add this: I always travel with two camper spares. I hate it when I get a flat and then agonize while looking for a repair facility or spare replacement. An added spare removes the stress of the, not-if, but-when, flat.
    Welcome!
     
  8. GalsofEscape

    GalsofEscape Active Member

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    yeah - no issue with popups going on long trips, you just have to plan. we took our popup on a two week trip from maryland to yellowstone and back. we had a blast and would do it again in a heartbeat.

    If you want to do long road trips, couple of things to mention:

    1) we did find that when we were on this kind of trip, there is alot less "camping" and more like we were bringing the bed along. I would say these longer trips would be nicer if I could afford the time to spend several nights at each location before moving on.....less rushed, but we still work and have limited vacation time. so it is what it is.

    2) we camped locally the first year we had the camper to figure out all the stuff, that made our trip less problematic and we did not ever have to run to the store and find a whachamacallit or a whazit for the camper.

    3) each stop was minimal setup, pop up the roof, slide out the beds and nighty night (we were able to leave the beds made, so that saved effort. no awning, no fire, no easyups etc. though we did plan on getting to each stop in time for the kids to use the campground pool.

    4) we only packed the camper with the minimum amount of stuff.

    5) for single night stays, we would eat dinner out, did not want to drive all day then have to cook. we also planned easy quick cleanup breakfasts like cereal and toast.

    Have fun finding the perfect camper for you!!
     
  9. Strawhouse

    Strawhouse Well-Known Member

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    The longest distance I travelled during one trip was approximately 2500 miles. That was in 1957. My family (Mom, Dad, 3 kids--10, 6, and 4yrs--and our Border Collie) moved from Toronto, Ontario to California in a Popup built by my father. The box was plywood over an angle iron frame. It was a big step up from our army surplus tent with no floor! Don't recall the TV, but I know that it was probably several years old.
    This was a great adventure for us, and we had no problems along the way. We cooked on a Coleman stove and did our dishes in a basin, same as I do today.
     
  10. fourhallatts

    fourhallatts Active Member

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    Welcome to the portal. We don't usually travel too far with our pup (our longest trip was to Washington DC to visit my brother in law. The pup did just fine. Keep checking out all the different topics here and you will find answers to questions you didn't know you had! :) Happy camping!
     
  11. mouser

    mouser New Member

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    [PU] :)When our kids were growing up we towed our pop up from Texas to Walt Disney World(1600 miles one way) We stayed at Fort Wilderness for 2 weeks each year for about 5 years in a row. We used FW as a base camp and saw nearly all of the Florida area attractions Yes a pop up is good for long distance travel. Our dealer has a contest to see who can set up the fastest. We won at 7 minutes set up time. Each member is assigned a specific task when the trailer is set, and presto instant camping. We did not see an increase in fuel use and we were towing a Coleman Sequoia with a Ford ranger. Highest speed we traveled was 65 mph as those small Carlisle tires can not dissipate heat at any higher speeds(we learned that the hard way)(blow out). We use KOAs when we travel on vacations as they welcome pop ups and the facilities are always clean. We like taking our "Coleman Hilton" everywhere we vacation as we use OUR sheets, etc. as we saw a program testing if the hotel/motel changes sheets and most did not!! We have bought motorhomes, class a and c and we don't like the idea of spending $300 for a tank of fuel for a one way trip from Houston to Dallas, then you got to get tow a vehicle to get around. Nope, we are cheap, but each their own. We been camping for 33 years now and we still love our pop up!!! Kids are gone now, so it takes a little more time to set up, but you cannot beat the pop up. We finished a trip to Florida last july and had a blast going back to the land of the Mouse. Camper towed great(Toyota Tacoma now)
     
  12. Metadifluoro

    Metadifluoro New Member

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    Hello,

    We tow with a 2011 Sienna, a more "seasoned" one than yours. As others have said, there are really no issues traveling long distances with a popup. Last summer our family of six took a 4,500 mile trip from southwest Ohio out to the Grand Canyon, Zion, Moab, Mesa Verde, and then on to Colorado Springs and home. We averaged 18.9 mpg for the entire trip. Yes, setup and take down can be a grind sometimes, but all of the national park experiences were worth every bit of it. Plan much, enjoy more!

    Metadifluoro
     
  13. love2travel

    love2travel Member

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    Those are amazing stories, wow just wow, it's so nice to read good traveling experience, and I can't wait for our trip and hope this time first time with pop up
     
  14. Jimbow

    Jimbow Active Member

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    I've pulled by pup from Big Bend in Texas to Maine, and the length of the Rockies.

    We went to the "dark side" (hard sided tt) because we wanted to drive longer each day. With a pup we stopped earlier to allow more time to set up. We wanted the ability to stop for lunch, open the fridge, use the restroom, maybe take a nap. You can't get inside the pup to do that.

    Once set up. With the pup in 25 feet we had 2 king size beds, couch, and dinette. At night we had a Porta potty. Sleeps nine. Six easily.

    With the same 25 feet in our tt we have one queen size bed, a smaller couch, the same size dinette, and a bathroom. Sleeps four. Two easily.

    Bottom line. My wife and I fit easily in both. The second king size bunk was storage after we set up.

    You have kids. Sleeping that many people, foot for foot the pup wins every time.
     
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  15. Patrickandjaimie

    Patrickandjaimie New Member

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    I read a post of a guy who towed his from Canada to Florida and back. Now that is long distance!

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
     
  16. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    We have put 26,800 miles on our pup since we purchased it at the end of July 2008. Most of the mileage is traveling out west. Our biggest trip was in 2010 to Glacier, Yellowstone and Grand Teton NP's. We did about 6500-7000 miles that trip. That was a 23 day trip. We setup and took down just about everyday with the exception of staying in the NP's for a few days each. It did not bother us at all setting up and taking down each day. We actually had it down to a science! 20 minutes up and 20 minutes down!! Sometimes a little faster if we saw a storm rolling in [LOL]

    If we got to an area we were going to stay the night and they were expecting heavy rain and wind, we just stayed in a motel for the night. We always checked the weather to where we were going and got an overnight bag ready for a motel just in case.

    Towing a pup for that Glacier trip we had a 2005 Honda Odyssey. We averaged about 15 MPG while towing it. We now have a 2012 Ford Explorer and get about the same towing it. Sometimes we get closer to 20 MPG, but it depends on the route.

    As long as you keep the pup maintained you will have years of fun with the pup.
     
  17. 1114vontagen

    1114vontagen New Member

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    Our family toured almost all of the western national parks with our '76 Coleman about 20 years ago. Some campgrounds in a few parks were closed to "soft sided trailers". We travelled a lot of miles and never had any issues with the trailer. I always re-grease the wheel bearings at the start of each season. Check with the park on trailer restrictions and which campgrounds are open to tent trailers. I only remember limitations in Glacier and Yellowstone and those limitations didn't crimp our style at all.
    This summer we are returning to camping with our tent trailer and I will be towing it to Ca. for the start of our cross country trip on the Lincoln Highway and Yellowstone Trail. I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't think I could complete the journey.
    Good Luck,
    Bill
    1114vontagen
     
  18. NWYuma2004

    NWYuma2004 Member

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    We've camped Yellowstone in our PUP numerous times and nary a bear problem, ever. As I understand Fishing Bridge is the only campground I've ever heard that limits the sites to hard sided campers. Park Rangers and Staff are very good about maintaining/bear proofing campgrounds by educating guests and "bear proofing" the surroundings.

    We've found our pop-up to be very ideal for long distance trips (decent gas mileage and low profile). The only two complaints I have about a PUP long distance is they are bad for quick overnight lodging (i.e. camping in a Wal-Mart parking lot) and set up/tear down if you are staying less than 2 nights anyplace. Other than those two complaints we love our PUP. As I get older and crustier may move to a hybrid.
     
  19. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Wow, just wow! [:O]

    I don't even know where to start with this particular article. At least the person has a disclaimer that says it's not based on fact, but personal opinion.

    Well, in my opinion, much of it is complete nonsense. The article does contradict itself by listing "easy cleaning" as a pro and "labor intensive cleaning" as a con. [LOL] I'm going to go with the "easy cleaning" as I have cleaned our entire canvas by myself, when we first purchased and it was covered in mold.

    There was nothing hard about it, or I couldn't have done it. I'm 53, have both knees being replaced this year, and can barely walk. I also have arthritis in my left hip and spine. I cleaned the inside of our canvas, mostly while laying down in bunks. The rest of the inside was no worse than washing 4 windows. The outside I did with a brush on a long handle, in short order. After it was all dried, I even re-applied 2 new coats of waterproofing spray. Took about 5 minutes.

    I am honestly dumbfounded by the statement that PUPS are made to only travel short distances. Being they are the most easy and economical RV to tow, this makes no sense to me at all. They are built to be towed as far as you want to tow them. Like any other RV or vehicle, tires and maintenance are important.

    Having owned a few PUPs, a Class C, and a TT, I'm also in the position say that PUPs are not "primitive camping." I'm not even sure I could consider our cool, easy up tent "primitive camping." [;)] Our PUP is quite luxurious, with rooftop A/C keeping us cool all year in Florida. Our bathroom is not "awkward to use" by any stretch of the imagination. There's a toilet, you do your business in it, then flush it. It's very roomy and private. It doesn't stink at all. Everything goes into a chemical vat that kind of smells like air freshener when you open it.

    True, PUPs are not for everyone. But saying they only offer "a minimum level of comfort" is just a downright lie. They are roomy, airy, and give a very open feeling. The seating and beds are super comfortable, in my opinion. I sleep better in our PUP than I do anywhere else. We leave it up all the time at home, so if I can't get to sleep, I sometimes go out there to get comfortable. (we live in the boonies) I'm a lifelong insomniac and even taking two prescription sleep meds, often have a hard time sleeping. Except in the PUP, where I sleep great.

    Some people consider the mattresses too thin, but that can be the same in any RV. For me, they are perfect. When we first got our current PUP, one of the first things I did was remove the added memory foam that the previous owner had under our bunk mattresses, and made them into dog beds.

    Another thing, as far as PUPs not being good for older or unhealthy people .... I think I already mentioned my health issues. The only thing I cannot do myself, is put up our swing up galley. It's not hard. Yes, it takes some time ... about 15 or 20 minutes for us, but all the pros outweigh the setup and take down time for us.

    Best of luck finding the perfect camper for your family. Just go check out all the different kinds for yourself, it's the best way to decide what is right for you. The linked article is just foolishness. I also noticed that, since there was no "yes" in the poll, something like 84% went with the next best thing and answered "I'd still buy one if the price was right."
     
  20. dion

    dion Member

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    I'll join the chorus. Our family has twice made 5000 mile round trips, using a very indirect route between California and Illinois, over a period of three to four weeks each time. We did the set up each night, and take down each morning. It took around 10-15 minutes, tops. The pop-up wasn't quite as easy to set up as the camper van I used to have long ago (With the van, it was put it in park, set the brake, push the roof up and you're done). But the trailer was much more spacious for our family of four, and the set up and tear down was easy enough.

    We often camp in bear country, including Yosemite and Yellowstone. We keep our food in the TV and follow all posted regulations. No problems.

    The lightweight, low profile pop-up, towed by our Honda Odyssey minivan, makes for a very road-worthy combination that can keep up with mountain driving on two-lane roads in the twisties, while getting good gas mileage. We wouldn't have anything much bigger, and it would be hard for us to squeeze into something very much smaller.

    Every camping rig is a compromise. It's always nice to have more space at the campsite, and it's always nice to have a lighter, smaller rig while on the road. The pop-up handles this issue in the obvious way by opening for the campsite and closing for the road. There's a reason the basic concept has been so long-lived.
     

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