New to pops, is this Taos a good buy?

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by boisepop, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. boisepop

    boisepop New Member

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    Hi all, new to the forum and new to the pop world. I'm looking at a 1996 Coleman Taos as my first pop. It's small, but we're a family of 3 and will be pulling it with a Honda CRV, which has a limit of 1,500lbs.

    It lists at $1,995 but NADA says $1,100. It's basic - no heater and only an icebox.

    Here's the Craigslist posting: http://boise.craigslist.org/rvd/3393461794.html

    Could anyone provide some adice? Is this a good price, and more importantly, is the mid 90s vintage Taos a good pop-up?

    Thanks so much
     
  2. JeepMama

    JeepMama New Member

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    Hi - We have the 2002 Taos for our family of 4 (our boys are almost 6 and almost 8). It is getting to be a tight fit as they grow, but we are very happy with our purchase ($1500 two summers ago). We have the furnace, but mostly have used a electric portable heater when camping in colder weather (with hookups at a campground).

    The only advice I can share is to check it over thoroughly. Look for water damage, signs of leaking and mold.

    Good luck

    edit - oh yeah, we pull with our 2007 2 door Wrangler. Our Taos lists a GVWR of 1750 lbs. Ours had brakes so we got a brake controller for help towing on hills.
     
  3. Shaman1

    Shaman1 Well-Known Member

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    Welcome from Oklahoma! Follow JeepMama's advice & check it thoroughly. NADA doesn't mean very much around here.
     
  4. CamL48

    CamL48 New Member

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    The following assumes that everythings works and is representative of age --- no leaks, no structural damage, no big canvas defects:

    As you go west (esp. once you cross the MS river), prices go up. ID is one of the more expensive areas that I found when I was researching prices about a year ago.

    So, already, NADA is going to be low compared to what you should expect to see.

    Also, I found that PUPs hit a bit of a floor on price. Once they get down to the $1,500-ish level, they just don't lose much value (assuming nothing catastrophic happens). So, NADA keeps depreciating these old PUPs, but the market doesn't really seem to. Anything less than $1,500 has something wrong with it, rather than just being old. Again, this is my experience, which may differ from others.

    With those two factors in play, along with the notion that for vehicles/RVs people list for more than they expect to get, I'd say that $2K is about right for an old Coleman Taos to be listed at.

    If you grab a good, old Taos for $1,700, you can use it for a couple years and then get nearly all of your money back out of it when you're ready for something larger.

    Good luck.
     
  5. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    First, welcome to the Portal from the Seattle area.

    I have concerns about towing that trailer with a car that has a 1,500 towing limit. That PUP is 995 pounds dry. Dry weight doesn't include things like propane and batteries. A full cylinder of propane is about 40 pounds and a battery is 40-50. So we are conservatively looking at 1,075 pounds before adding any gear at all. With a family you can easily hit or exceed 425 pounds of food, clothing and gear. You also have to be within the combined vehicle limit for the CRV. This is the most that the car, trailer, cargo (including gasoline) and people can weigh. If you do this, I'd strongly recommend that you have electric brakes on the trailer and the necessary wiring and brake controller to operate them.
     
  6. CamL48

    CamL48 New Member

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    I think the CRV has a GVWR of around 4,500 lbs and, therefore, a GCWR of 6,000. I think it has a dry curb weight of 3,200. I doubt you'll have more than 1,300 lbs of people, gasoline, gear, and other options on that CRV.

    So, I think everything is fine with the CRV as long as you can get a total weight of the trailer to be less than the 1,500 trailer limit.

    I didn't look up the GVWR for the Taos, but I would bet that it's around 1,500 lbs, too. So, my guess is that you'll overload the trailer before or coincident with overloading the CRV.

    Good luck.
     
  7. jpaul

    jpaul Member

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    Welcome to the Portal. The Coleman Taos is a small light weight PUP that might be tow-able with your CRV. You might be in the way on the interstate though.

    I use to tow a Taos size PUP with an under powered car some years ago. I recall difficulties from lack of acceleration (power), stopping (brakes too small), and swaying (trailer weight distribution). Will the seller allow you to test tow it?

    There are a lot of advantages to the smaller PUP. Take a look at the post "Converting a Taos to a Laredo" in the section "My Favorite Mod,Tip..." by zendecot. Also, there are other posts on this site that are specific to the smaller pups.

    Good luck shopping.
     
  8. dpatnode

    dpatnode New Member

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    What type of roof does it have? Be very careful if it has an ABS roof. Lots of problems with cracking and delamination. Does it have the awning to go with it?

    My experience is there are two types of ABS roofs Those that have cracked and those that will crack. I know this because my Bayside starting cracking last year after 11 years of faithful service.
     
  9. phalynx

    phalynx Member

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    For a price point, I got my bare bones 2003 Taos for $2300 private party here in AZ.

    Looks like the awning is gone, which can be expensive to purchase new. I think the cut off for the ABS roof is around 2002, because mine has an aluminum roof.
     
  10. PNW Family

    PNW Family New Member

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    According to the Coleman sales brochures for the year in question, the Taos (along with Laredo and Sedona) do *NOT* have the ABS roof.

    NADA guides for older PUPs seem to go out the window. I recently went through the hunting and selection process in WA state here, and prices for older (read: 90's to early 2000's) PUPs in good/refurbished condition were significantly higher than NADA.

    There is an old saying in economics: Everything is worth what its purchaser is willing to pay for it.

    So poke, prod, kick the tires (before or after looking at the date code on them), then poke and prod some more.
     
  11. johnsagraves

    johnsagraves New Member

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    I pulled one with a Grand Marquis, 1500 towing Capacity. No problems. Towed over 25000 miles. I did put air bags in the rear springs.

    Ours had aluminum roof, DO NOT BUY ABS roof. We enjoyed it. Took a little time and effort to set up. Buy a Socket Genie, Make sure you crank the unit up and down yourself, Not the Seller. Check for leaks, rot floor, converter works, soft spots in floor, and bad canvas. Too expensive to repair, Walf away from if any defects.

    Wife and I had our jobs in setting up. Got so we go slap it together in less than 10 minutes if were overnighting and not unhooking.
     
  12. boisepop

    boisepop New Member

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    Thanks for the replies, everyone.

    I'll need to do some more research on towing with the CRV. The trailer does not have brakes, does anyone know how much it would be to get them installed or is there a similar weight trailer that comes equipped with brakes.

    We also have a Toyota Tundra, which we would likely use for short trips, but we're plannning a couple long distance trips that would make the CRV a much better fit.

    Thanks,

    Jeff
     
  13. PNW Family

    PNW Family New Member

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    Brakes seem to be optional on all but the largest rigs. Sellers may or may not know whether or not they have brakes (the listing indicates a dealer, so I would *hope* they know)... if not, you can find out by looking under the popup. Wires going to the hubs = brakes. No wires, no brakes.

    Brakes can be added after the fact. Here's a writeup I found of doing that. http://www.bbsgarage.com/howto_brakes.html
     
  14. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    If you are going to tow in the mountains you definitely want trailer brakes -- especially if you are towing with a small, light car.
     
  15. teddyadt

    teddyadt New Member

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    I have a 2001 TAOS. I've had it for a year now.We live in the New York City area. I bought it for 1000 bucks but it had water damage to the interior roof because of an improper installation of roof A/C. I'm pretty handy so fixing the damage and properly fitting the A/C was a no brainer for me. I (I should say my wife) does most of the driving and we use our 2010 Honda CRV. When the pup is empty you don't even feel it behind you, but once its loaded with all your gear and 4 bikes strapped to the roof you feel the weight. We don"t have a problem keeping up with the traffic, but we do keep a safe distance in front of us for extra stopping room.
     
  16. Buttermilk

    Buttermilk New Member

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    I have a Honda Element that's rated for max 1,500 lbs. I tow a small popup that probably goes a little over the limit. I think it's supposed to weigh something like 1370, but I added air conditioning, a battery, and propane tank. Then add the other essentials and us and it's got to be over a little anyway. I haven't had any towing or stopping problems with it. Just don't tailgate and allow yourself plenty of room if you need to stop in a hurry and I think you will be fine with the CRV. I think it's probably the same engine and trans as I've got.
     
  17. Unstable_Tripod

    Unstable_Tripod Well, there's your problem!

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    If you look at a battery weighing about 40-50 pounds, a full propane cylinder weighing about 40 pounds and an A/C unit in the 200-300 range you are (conservatively) about 150 pounds overweight before you put any cargo in the trailer. If you carry 400-500 pounds of cargo you are (again conservatively) 550 pounds or 37% over capacity. IMO, that's not "a little" over. The problem with "allowing yourself plenty of room if you need to stop in a hurry" is that you usually don't have room when you need to stop in a hurry nor do you get advance warning. You never know when an animal will run on the road, an on-coming car will stray over the center line, the guy ahead of you will blow a tire or someone will cut you off while passing, just to name a few situations that need quick response ability.

    On top of all these things, when you pull over capacity you stress the components of the car. Tires, shocks, suspension parts, the tranny and the engine will all wear and breakdown faster.
     
  18. Buttermilk

    Buttermilk New Member

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    Actually, the book says it weighs 1,144. The a/c unit weighs 108 lbs, the battery is 54 lbs. and the propane tank if full would weigh 38 lbs. Total 1,544. Only 44 pounds over weight. Then add the few items that I pack inside and it might be 100 lbs. over. Not enough to concern me.
     
  19. TGuy

    TGuy New Member

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    Buy it!

    Expect to spend $200 to $ 300 adding brakes to the popup. I found it was cheaper to buy a whole new axle with brakes than to add brakes to an existing axle. Cost on low side if you do work yourself; expect on the high side if you have someone else do the work. You could also remount it under the springs and get a little lift if needed but given your TV options; probably not necessary.

    Regarding your TV choice; go with the Tundra, even on longer trips. A CR-V is not designed to tow a pup and people who do are foolish. I don't care what the numbers say, its not wise. Its a front wheel vehicle and its designed to move people around with reasonable gas mileage. Maybe some bikes on the back, thats about it plus I imagine a pup would push that light rear end around. Also, the transmissions are a little tempermental and I wouldn't want to put any additional stress on it. I had a 2008 CR-V which I bought new and had just recently traded in with 160,000 miles and my transmission had a whining sound the whole time I had it. I suggest you check out the Honda CR-V Forum and search for some threads on towing with a CR-V as this discussion came up a couple of times. There are a few that did (and do) but why put your family and yourself at risk for the sake of some gas money. Go with the Tundra and live longer....JMHO
     
  20. BigBaron

    BigBaron Dreaming of Tommy's chili cheeseburgers...

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    Looks good from here! Welcome from Korea. Brakes are a must! Get a Tekonsha P3 controller ($120). It's the best for lighter trailers because it's so easy to adjust on the fly.
     

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