New to pop-ups/can my car tow one?


Super Active Member
May 22, 2013
NiblerCK said:
How did you like the Scamp? I have seen those and always wondered how they were to camp in.

A little on the small side for us. I am 6'3" and can't stretch out on the bed. Also, I can't stand all the way up inside. The new ones are a little taller inside than my 1984 model was, but still not high enough for me to stand up. Mine was older and not in the nest shape. The fresh water system had been ripped out by a previous owner. There was no furnace or AC. There was no batter or charging system. There was a stove and a working 2-way fridge.

I could imagine traveling in it alone just fine... but with my wife and three-year-old, it was tight. We just had another kid this year, so we really needed to upgrade. In the 13 foot model, there is only room for one person to stand. Anyone else has to be seated at the dinette. Don't get me wrong... I thought it was pretty cool. I'd have been happier if we had a new one... and probably one of the 16 footers. The length doesn't translate well to the box size of a pup, because they measure from bumper to hitch, and that measurement includes any sleeping areas, too. So, a 13 foot Scamp is closer in length to, let's say, a 3 foot box pup. Also, they are a foot narrower and almost a foot shorter inside, so cubic footage is WAY smaller.


Apr 1, 2012
Yea, I just took a look at some on youtube and various other places online and they do seem a bit small.

We just got a 2012 Popup last year and love it, but we are already looking to get a regular TT in the next couple years.

PNW Family

Super Active Member
Dec 3, 2012
Kimmygr said:
The 3 I am pondering about:

1990 Palomino Pony- looks to be 8ft box, 16ft when fully open, may or may not be sold.

1990 Coleman Sun Valley Pop Up- has the 1 7/8" ball (size closed 6'8" x 12'11" size open 19'4") might be to big since it is a 13ft box.

1990 Coleman pop up Sun Valley- this one is a little on the rough side- no info in ad on size.

Maybe that will help.

The closed size on a Coleman includes the tongue. That's no more than a 10' box. My Arcadia's 10' box is something like 14'10" closed, and 21+ feet opened.

Almost all of the Coleman spec manuals are online here... just a sec, I'll look for the 1990...

1225 lbs dry. That particular brochure doesn't list gross, but my guess would be somewhere between 1800 and 2000. It's also an odd size box, it's like a 9' or something.

Rodger D.

Active Member
Sep 29, 2010

The size of the lil square hole and the diameter of The Ball both relate to the max weight of The Trailer.

There are some states that require by law brakes on any trailer that is over 1,000 pounds in weight so
there are Trailer Brakes made. It is also effective if you are from another area and use their Hwy's
( cross into their turf ) .

I know folks who live in Odessa and Lake City and Taylor and ...


Super Active Member
Feb 20, 2012
mcbrew said:
Actually, it is rated to tow 1,500 pounds (and even more in other countries). It is designed with towing in mind, since towing with small cars is extremely common in Europe. [...]
Just be careful with that rating. My research suggested that the 1,500 lbs was towing + payload. The OP is a family of 3, so I'm figuring at least 200 lbs are gone straight away. It's not a "pack up the car and tow 1,500 lbs" type of rating, from what I've read.

That's why it's always a good idea to fall back on published manufacturer's ratings. Looking forward to what the OP finds in the manual and on the door jamb.

OP, don't sweat posting in the wrong place. That's not really the point. The point is making sure that you know where to go to find more info. Mods moving it to a different place? That's good. Needed a laugh today. Mods are pretty scarce around here and typically just clean up political rants. Welcome to the forum.


Jun 5, 2013
I had similar issues, then realized I wanted to stay as light as possible. Ran all models I saw through the NADA site. Often vary a lot by year with same model name. For example, Your 90 sun valley is 995lb. on NADA but a 1999 sun valley is listed at over 2000 lb. Coleman Taos is common on Craiglist and sleeps 5-6 at 995 -1100 or so lbs. depending on year. I Bought a similar coleman called the Roanoke (1993) that sleeps 5.
Good luck Kimmy, don't rush it. Here's a link.


Active Member
Jun 20, 2013
Thanks to all. I have been trying to do a ton of research over the last couple of days. Was up till 5a (woops) one night. I haven't found anything out about any of the ones that I posted. None have really truly tickled my fancy to the "great deal got to have it" point. If I end up having to wait until next year, then I wait. I just get as much info as I can until then. If I wait, we have a bit more to spend on something. I won't go through a dealer, if I dont pay cash, I don't buy. So, I guess I'll keep on trolling craigslist until that "one" comes up at a price I can afford. I did find a 1975 bethany I am a bit curious about, but I am not sure if something that old would come with more problems/repairs than what I am willing to deal with. The only amenity we require for ours- good working a/c unit and the ability to plug cell phones and e-cigg charger in to charge.

Also, thanks for mentioning about owner's manuals. I had actually already found that (more like stumbled upon) LOL It seems the models just vary so much one to another!


Apr 1, 2012
We had the same issue when trying to find the 'right' camper for us (Towing weight/capacity).

My Boyfriend has a 2000 Toyota Echo and I have a 2004 Ford Focus. I trolled the forums and was told that I could tow 1500 with the focus (Heard various things) but my boyfriends Toyota Echo, Manual says it can tow 1500 lbs as well. (Keep in mind, my car is considered compact and I think his would be SUB compact)

Bottom line is this. We realized after being in the camping world for years, that the towing capacity means, yes, it can tow that much, but if you include hills/inclines, etc., that would put stress on the car. It's better to have TOO much towing capacity than not enough.

We really did a TON of research and the Livinlite/Quicksilvers were really light enough, but when you think about what you are paying for, why not just get something with a few more amnenities.

Either way, I wish you luck. We bought a new 2012 Coachman Clipper Sport 106 last year and we love it, but I doubt we will buy another brand new camper / trailer if we upgrade. There are a ton of campers/used out there.

Good Luck


Active Member
Aug 9, 2008
Tooele, UT
I towed a heavy Uhaul trailer behind 1988 Nissan Sentra a long time ago. Oregon to Florida. Did fine getting to highway speed, but stopping was a lot more interesting than I liked.

My 1972 Starlite should weigh about 1050 lbs. In the 70s these were towed behind Pintos, Vegas and the like.

Personally, with a smaller vehicle, I would add brakes to a trailer and a controller to the tow vehicle. I have towed with my Jeep, but will add brakes when I change the axle next year. I firmly believe my Jeep barely has enough stopping for itself. So yes, I'll be adding to my own setup. And with brakes, and a controller, I might be able to tow my trailer with my Neon. Don't forget some clamp on extended mirrors for towing!

Most states require brakes on trailers over 3000 lbs. A few require at only 1000. One or two have no requirement as long as the combined trailer/tow rig can stop within a certain distance.

Brakes are a go idea. And yes, my F150 Supercrew doesn't even notice my trailer. But it won't be my primary tow vehicle for camping.

Good luck!


Active Member
Jun 12, 2012
It's going to be a squeeze getting 5 people in an 8' box popup, but if you get a screen room with privacy panels, you'll double the size without increasing the weight by much.

The coleman destiny series 8' box is a nice little camper and weighs about 900 pounds.

Not sure if you can add brakes to it, but it wouldn't hurt to check.


PNW Family

Super Active Member
Dec 3, 2012
Coleman lists brakes as "optional" on just about every single model they make. Actual refit cost varies, but most Colemans came with Dexter axles, which have brake refits commonly available for them.


Sep 26, 2011
I tow my Coleman Taos with a 04 Vibe(a Toyota really) and also live in Fla. I havent had any issues..but...I havent done the freeway yet with it..just local streets and speeds below or at 55mph. I see people with tents and all their mess at campgrounds and certainly dont envy them packing up. Check craigslist...I got a nice 96 well maintained...Taos. But..u have to chk daily and act quicky..decent ones go quick!


Active Member
Jun 20, 2013
copperbear said:
I tow my Coleman Taos with a 04 Vibe(a Toyota really) and also live in Fla. I havent had any issues..but...I havent done the freeway yet with it..just local streets and speeds below or at 55mph. I see people with tents and all their mess at campgrounds and certainly dont envy them packing up. Check craigslist...I got a nice 96 well maintained...Taos. But..u have to chk daily and act quicky..decent ones go quick!

Thanks Copperbear! Ya- we dont plan on doing highway much if at all (only if we decide to go to Anastasia for a week sometime in the future, but I'd make Gma tow it then). Even if we go to Orlando we take the back roads. I have been checking cl often and may have found one lite enough for us (800#-1000#). The man said a car can pull it, but I will make that decision once we look at it. Its a 1987 Jayco. Do not know the exact model yet. He was at work when we spoke. If we ever do find one we do not plan on taking much really. Don't plan on filling it up with water and we do all our cooking outside usually. we always go where there is water/electric hookups. Here is a list of what we would take. I think the heaviest thing we take is the folding camp table.

4 folding camp chairs (the kind that have their bags)
4 light sleeping bags and pillows (its florida, dont need those heavy duty ones!)
1 small screenroom
4 tiki torches and bottle of oil
empty cooler (we buy our food and drinks once we get to the campground and use the local grocery stores)
1 6ft plastic folding table
cooking utensils (grill spatula, tongs, grill cleaner brush)
1 pot for boiling water (ziplock baggie omelets are pretty good)
paper plates/ plasticware (or just enough silverware for us)
1- 2 burner coleman stove with small propane tanks
a couple lanterns
2- 100 lights xmas light set
a couple flashlights
small thing of dishsoap and small plastic dishpan to wash dishes if needed.
broom and pan
and maybe in the future one of those bamboo type rugs
now and then we would take the kid's bikes, but that is rare. We are usually at the water most of the day, so they don't ride their bikes around much.
small duffles of clothes and toiletries (usually 1 duffle for hubby and me and the kids pack up their backpacks)
a couple bath towels if we wish to shower
4 beach towels
oh, and 1 14x9 tent for the teenage daughter and her friend to sleep in- she says she wants her "space"

This sounds like a lot, but it really isn't. I like to pack light and make it as simple as possible.


Super Active Member
Jul 19, 2007
Biggest thing to consider is , what has the manufacture said about towing? Does the vehicle even have the ability to tow ?? Next is the legal aspect... If the manufacture says "No" and you still do, your insurance may not cover anything if something happens, Insurance companies are very good at getting out of paying ..

Also your packing list, you have a couple hundred pounds listed there all ready..


New Member
Jun 28, 2013
We picked up an older Apache tent trailer (just over 700lb) and tow it with a manual transmission Honda Fit. Get some strange looks from other drivers but the car pulls and stops it with no problem. We don't carry a ton of extra gear though, and it's only two people and a 35lb dog, so we keep it below its max from a numbers point of view.

As others have said I'd be looking for the most stripped down, barebones trailer you can find. Then again we're up in NY so we don't really need AC which is going to add some weight to whatever rig you end up with.

Good luck!