New/ Looking for our first camper!

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Barry Chapman, Jan 23, 2020.

  1. Barry Chapman

    Barry Chapman New Member

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    Howdy everyone!
    I’ve been tent camping for years and now have a family of 4 if my own and are starting to look for our first used camper. My wife is wanting one with a shower/toilet combo, ha! You see I have all girls in my family. :) I’m looking for one that we can be pulled by our 2016 Kia Sedona van. Pull weight of about 3,000 lbs. I could really use some feedback on good manufacturers and models to be looking for. Budget of about 4 thousand for our first just to get our feet wet. Might spend a little more but I’m always looking for a bargain if there’s such a thing in the with pop up campers. Out of my own research I keep going back to a Coleman Highlander Niagara, Starcraft Centennial 3606 or Palomino Mustang,4100,4124. This is based on layout and size. Thanks everyone for you’re time! Happy Camping 2020!
     
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  2. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

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    Welcome to the portal. As far as weight goes, your van has a tow rating of 3500 lbs. You might want to reconsider your choices of your 'wish list'. The Starcraft you mentioned has a GVWR of 3750 lbs.....and you haven't even taken into consideration your gear/supplys, or the passengers in the vehicle.
    Don't know about the other 2 pups.
     
  3. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Screen Shot 2019-04-13 at 11.53.58 AM.png
     
  4. Barry Chapman

    Barry Chapman New Member

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    Good call out.. this is why I’m here so I can learn the basics. :) Thanks for your feedback!
     
  5. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    The Niagara is no light weight either.
    The Palominos may be lighter would need more info.
    Watch the tongue weights your Sedona will really want to squat.

    Thinks to consider. Sleeping arrangements, where is most of the cooking going to be done, and where will sit down to eat? where the weather will be were you camp, do you need A/C? Are you going to camp at a campgrounds with facilities? Would the older girls like some pirvacy ...... maybe their own tent?

    next .....get the longest popup you can .....12 foot box, may come with dual axles and brakes (would be easier on your Sedona).
    Highwalls add weight and bed height.
    You will have a small refrigerator no matter what.
    To me a bathroom inside a curtain is not the best thing and you are never going to take a good shower.
    Usually any camper with water heater (hot water is very nice) will have an outdoor shower that could hose off the kids.
    a port-a-potti maybe easier to dump and use less water. and you may never poop in the camper anyway.

    Just my 2 cents that isn't worth a nickel
    And. Quincy on bunk.jpeg

    Quincy says hi too.
     
  6. Barry Chapman

    Barry Chapman New Member

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    Thanks for insight, I really appreciate the help I haven’t really thought about all these things so far. I’ve got a lot to learn still. I’m not really sure we need a shower/toilet setup.

    Do you guys have any recommendation on units that would work for my van weight? And also what I have to do any modifications to my van like air shocks or balancers or anything like that?
     
  7. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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  8. Raycfe

    Raycfe Waterford Ct.

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    Also you will have to look at a lot of campers ....... look at everyone you see for sale ....see if it will fit your needs and then look a the weight should be in a cabinet inside the camper.
     
  9. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

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  10. Barry Chapman

    Barry Chapman New Member

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    O
    okay, thanks again for the feedback. I’ll check them, there are so many it’s a little overwhelming, ha.
     
  11. Barry Chapman

    Barry Chapman New Member

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  12. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

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    Click on the link I included....you will see the price. Then consider another $50 or so to have them installed at a spring shop.
     
  13. Barry Chapman

    Barry Chapman New Member

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    okay, thank you!
     
  14. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Hello and welcome from Minnesota!

    Shower/toilets in a popup is a highly personalized topic. Some folks who originally demanded them find out shortly after they buy their camper that they are not worth the highly valued space they take up. Others love them.

    I am in the camp that values the space, so we use an external shower tent for both. We use a Thetford Porta Potti and a Helio Nemo Pressure Shower inside the shower tent. We find it works great for our style of camping. You just have to be aware of how you dispose of your shower's gray water and can empty the porta potti contents into a toilet or dump station.

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. WrkrBee

    WrkrBee Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to the Portal from South Carolina.
     
  16. Sneezer

    Sneezer Well-Known Member

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    You should devote a couple days to searching the portal, and researching pups. It takes time, especially for a novice, to get to a point where they know what to look for in a used unit, and what they can safely tow. Everyone also camps differently, and no single way is the right way - whatever brings you the most enjoyment and gets you out is the one that is right for you. We have folks that eschew all modern conveniences, head out into the boonies and disappear, others that use theirs as a mobile hotel room for sleeping only, and others who glamp in style, and everything in between. Look at where you are now, what you want to do as a family, and how long that will be available to you. Kids get older, bigger and sometimes less willing to do the same type of camping trip as you did last year. Be open to changing things up, and compromise a little so everyone gets a little of what they would like.

    I would echo the advice to get the longest pup you can afford and tow. Given your weight limits, stay away from the high wall models - they are much heavier and it will be very difficult to find one that is light enough. I looked for 6 months actively with more spent researching and dreaming. In the end I got a floorplan that I didn't even know existed, wasn't aware of the particular model line either, but it has been perfect for my needs. I spent months daily searching craigslist and similar sites with multiple variations of search terms until I found mine, and I looked at a bunch before and passed on all of them, plus had a couple sell out from under me while I was on the way to look at it.

    I have a shoilet in mine, but have never used the shower. Toilet gets used every time. I replaced the curtain with two fabric shower curtains which gives a little more privacy, plus I was able to find ones that matched my sense of décor (space and star wars).

    I also have a slide out dinette - I would not consider a pup without it. There is so much more room inside, and it is nice to be able to turn around in the aisle without pushing someone over. However - you do lose some storage for travel, so keep that in mind.

    Where are you going to store the camper? At the house, or will you have to leave it at a lot and pay for it? Do you have room to pop it up before and after a trip for loading/unloading and cleaning? Depending on the floorplan you may need to pop it up to load the fridge or access storage. Mine is worthless in that respect, while others have the fridge positioned so you can crawl in and open the door while the roof is down, or get to various cabinets.

    How many will be sleeping, and where? OK with sharing a bed, or will siblings get rambunctious or grumpy in close quarters?

    Camping with electric and water hookups, or not? Different ways to camp and to be comfortable. How hot are your summers? I couldn't begin to use mine in the summer without A/C, but folks who camp further north don't have the same heat and humidity we do.
     
  17. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Your biggest limiting factor is actually your max payload numbers as printed on the door jamb usually. You would have to deduct the weight of passengers and gear that would be in the car and the remainder is what you have left for tongue weight.
    Also a thing to note on popups before a certain time, the dry weight number is kind of worthless as it didn't include the weight of propane, battery, AC, and other options and including the awning weight. So sometimes best to look at the GVWR number even if you don't plan to tow with full water tanks etc.
     
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  18. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    Greetings! Welcome to the forum from Midway USA.

    A lot of good advice here, but I'm in the camp with BikeNFish. I bought a shower tent for DW and DD. It also gives them more privacy than they're going to get inside the Pup.
     
  19. joet

    joet Well-Known Member

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    Welcome from the mountains of West Virginia. You want to keep the weight around 70-80% of max
     

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