Overnight connected to tow vehicle

Discussion in 'A-Frame PopUps' started by Dadof9, Oct 17, 2019.

  1. Dadof9

    Dadof9 New Member

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    Hello all,

    First introduction, question is at the bottom if you want to skip right to the question.

    New member here, although have lurked for over a decade. My wife and I have 9 kids, almost all out of the house now, so planning to downsize from 2011 Coleman Highlander Niagara tent trailer to A-frame for the wife and I.

    One "feature" of a popup tent trailer is you have to disconnect it from your tow vehicle when you overnight camp, as the slide out bed bunk pulls out over the tongue. This means for a quick overnight, you have to back in (or pull through) the campsite parking, disconnect from the tow vehicle, level the trailer (if necessary) and screw down the leveler jacks, pop up the camper, pull out the beds, install the door, attach the electric and water (if needed). In the morning, you pretty much do everything in reverse. We've set up the camper in a record 15-20 minutes (when motivated by the weather), but usually takes a half hour or more.

    Recently, my wife and I have had a few trips just the two of us and it seems a bit overkill to have the two king size bunks and can picture us replacing our huge popup with one of the larger A-frame campers. We appreciate features on our coleman like: 20 gal fresh water tank, 20 gal grey water tank, 9 gal black water tank, 20 gal grey water tank, 6 gal hot water heater, shower, toilet, furnace, a/c, refrigerator, dual propane tanks and battery.

    We pretty much would like the same package in an A-Frame, so looking at the Rockwood/Flagstaff highwall or Aliner Expedition.

    My question is: does anyone when doing a quick overnight keep the A-frame camper attached to the two vehicle? I realize the camping spot may not offer as level of a camper as disconnecting and leveling with jacks. Is this a popular concept for those traveling cross country and want as short of a setup and teardown time as possible?

    Thanks in advance!
    Dadof9
     
  2. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    As long as you can level it, there shouldn't be a single issue. I can pull out my beds while still hitched and have several times but still level it as best I can
     
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  3. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I still think you need to level it for rhe fridge etc to work properly. Not sure how the stablizers work on the a frame. I would just disconnect it but not move the tv.
     
  4. Zephyr

    Zephyr Active Member

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    Yep! If possible, we choose a site that is level enough that we don't have to unhitch for a quick overnight stop. Just back from a 5 week road trip.
     
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  5. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Well-Known Member

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    If you're thinking parking lot etc, no probs, as your camper should already be level w/ the TV, no need for stabilizers I'd think, I've had our Aliner Ranger hooked up in the driveway & put it up/down, also had it up overnight then back down for a trip the next day; guess for the fridge you'd need it semi level maybe?
     
  6. Econ

    Econ Active Member

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    Not positive if you mean a quick overnight at a campground or a parking lot so assuming it is a campground and not Crackerdocking.

    There are no beds to pull out with an Aliner so no need to disconnect the TV if you pick a reasonably level spot. Just make sure you pull the Bargeman if stopped more than 15 minutes(IE gas station stop) as the Dometic REfrig in my Expedition eats 14.6 amps/hour on 12 volt and will run the battery down quickly.

    When we do a quickie such as a parking lot (Crackerdocking) we do not put the stabilizers down. That saves time both winding them down and then up the next morning. We have gotten quite good at guessing how many Levelers it will take to level the camper from side to side. Just pick a reasonably level spot

    If you have a Dometic refrig like ours the camper must be level within 6 degrees side to side and within 3 degrees front to back or it can cause a stoppage. Not good for the refrig.

    If I can hit my guess on leveling the first time the roof is up within 5 minutes.

    Did not realize that canvas PU's took so much work to set up.

    PS: Used to you had 20 gallons of water for 11 people. Now you have 10 gallons for 2.
     
  7. Tom and Teresa

    Tom and Teresa Member

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    We have a Rockwood A214HW that we did not need to unhook from our truck when we stopped at a KOA in Goodland KS and also in Tucumcari, NM. Spots were level and we were tired! We can have our camper up in less than 30 seconds. You’ll love an A frame!
     
  8. Tom and Teresa

    Tom and Teresa Member

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    Remember, stabilizers are not levelers and should not be used for that purpose.
     
  9. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I’ve seen many leave the camper hooked up to the TV. The key is no not use the fridge. If you want to use the fridge you have to make sure the camper is level which means you will more than likely have to disconnect. Unless you completely luck out and find a perfectly level spot. Just like a tent though if your bed is on a slope you may find yourself slipping in your sleep.
     
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  10. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Since the trailer should be level front to back or slightly nose down when hitched up, all you have to do is level side to side like normal and if the trailer sits slightly nose down, just mark where the rear tires of the vehicle sit (with trailer leveled side to side) and place leveling blocks for the rear tires.. Fridge will work just fine.. Seen this many times in campgrounds.. have a few friends who do this with thier larger rigs when only camping over night somewhere..
     
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  11. JustRelax

    JustRelax Active Member

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    If towing up slightly nose down and it’s unlevel the tongue jack can still be used to level hooked up to vehicle. I use mine to lift the vehicle to make installing the wdh easier when hooked up.
     
  12. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    That works great for installing the weight bars, but for an over night stay, I would use blocks under the tv rear wheels to level things out..
     
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  13. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    Like folks said, if you can find a level spot, keeping it hooked up is no big deal.

    I'd want to be close to level not so much for the fridge (mine always seems to work in the driveway when sitting and it's not 100% level there), but I would want to be pretty close to level for sleeping on the bed. If not level, at least I'd want my head on the high side. But, I've missed level a couple of times and as soon as I went to bed, it felt like I was rolling down hill. That was half a bubble off level, so I might just be sensitive to it.
     
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  14. _WW_

    _WW_ Member

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    To make setting up the A Frame easier it's best to have the axle level. This makes for all the moving parts fit together better. The way the roof folds down I tow mine with the tongue elevated so water will drain to the back when driving. This requires a quick decouple to lower the tongue. Takes about an extra minute.
     
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  15. Lost in Space

    Lost in Space Active Member

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    The Aliner Expedition, like all Aliners only has a 11 gallon fresh water tank and a 6 gallon hot water tank. I carry two extra blue jugs of water to refill with when boondocking. But if your looking for a 20 gallon fresh water tank, take the Aliner off your list. They have no tanks hanging underneath so that you can access more remote locations to go camping.
     
  16. sleach

    sleach A short run will get you within walking distance.

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    If we get a late start on a trip we'll stop somewhere on the way and set the alarm for Oh-Dark-Thirty. Park the Aframe mostly level, disconnect pigtail, turn off the reefer, sleep, coffee in the morning and down the road.

    Pigtail is disconnected so as to be sure truck battery is in good charge in the morning.

    I always put something big on the dash of the truck to remind me to re-connect the pigtail and switch the reefer back on.

    Chalet builds a nice series of Aframes, with 16 gallons of water tank, and 6 more in the water heater. Tank is inside under the rear bed, which I like for fall and spring seasons in the Rockies, but this limit storage space. Chalet is a small outfit, no dealers east of the Continental Divide.
     
  17. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    Cinderblock?
     

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