Pop Up market declining or staying the same?

Discussion in 'RV Industry & Camping Related News' started by LaTuFu, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. Old_Geezer

    Old_Geezer Well-Known Member

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    Based on the wholesale shipment numbers you can get at RVIA, popups have stayed roughly the same since 2008. Around 12000 average or so units shipped per year. Popups are included in the "folding camping trailer" category which also includes A frames like A liner, non conventional popups like Livin Lite, and most likely Trailmanor also. So its not all that many when you take into account 12000 units shipped to the entire US and Canada. You need a membership to get the years prior to 2008.

    The trend I see as far as entry level is manufacturers have been flooding the market with these 26 to 30 foot stick and tin trailers that can be pulled off the lot for as low as 15K. My 2013 Keystone HTT laminated trailer is nothing special, but its put together way better than some of these newer stick and tin jobs I have had a chance to look at in detail. Then a dealer will put first time owners in one of those trailers with a 7 or up to a 10 year note making the payment small. The trailer will most likely be falling apart long before its paid off. I wont mention brands / models but every manufacturer has been pumping those out. Its easy to see why a young couple with a new family would walk right on by a popup for 8 to 10 K when for 5K more they can have a 26' bunkhouse with the payment spread out. It also explains why sometimes I need to beat my head off the steering wheel when I see what some people are using to tow those trailers.
     
  2. adrianpglover

    adrianpglover Well-Known Member

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    That's ok. I've got it flipped where I'm towing way way under my capacity now. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but for each one of those like me out there, I'm sure there's 10 of the other kind. It's still funny to see some of these people overload their vehicles at the CG, although not as funny when you see them on the road.
     
  3. sirbryson1

    sirbryson1 New Member

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    Living out here in the Central Valley of California, we have noticed that if a decently priced used one comes up on CL it is gone in a few hours. Especially at the beginning of the summer. I don't see a lot of new ones rolling down the highways here. It seems to be that people want the classics. It is way cheaper to get rolling out to camp. And, maybe for those they don't want a big payment. I know I don't.
     
  4. jenthern

    jenthern New Member

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    We went to a large dealer yesterday. The salesman said popups go out almost as fast as they come in. He was more than happy to work with us even with our tiny budget. I didn't think any salesman would find it worth their time when our ceiling was $3k, but he said his commission wasn't solely based on price. They had 5-6 in their main lot, two we were interested in. When the salesman looked into them, they were both sold and waiting to be picked up. He said in the spring they easily had 20-30 in the lot. That's used. New, they had $15k pups with showers and all that that I couldn't hope to pull behind my minivan.

    We found 3 that interested us on Craigs List. One said theirs was already sold. One didn't respond so I assume sold. The third was perfect for our needs and far nicer than the ones we were looking at on the sales lot. We were the first people to look at it and snapped it up.
     
  5. NW_Dale

    NW_Dale Member

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    We bought our Clipper in 2007 and in mid July it was the only one left on the lot. Anything coming in later that year was already sold. For a few years we didn't visit any dealers as we found a small repair shop that did great work for us. We did note however that whenever we passed our old dealer, there were never any popups visible for a few years at all. Suddenly, this year we saw some but they had skylights?? A little research later and I learned they were the Rockwood A-Frames. Finally we decided to drop by for a look. Well, not only were the a-frames prominently displayed, the classic pups were there in large numbers, too. I figure they had 30 units on the lot. Up here in Alberta, the oil industry has taken a big hit so I'm guessing there is now more interest in less expensive forms of camping. I actually had one lady at a campground this summer tell me that her family was going back to a pup from their mega fifth wheel. She said they used to have a pup and have really been missing it.
     
  6. sfrancois06

    sfrancois06 Member

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    Here in South Jersey they are hard to find at the dealer, we bought a new one last year and love the PUP! At the camp grounds we sometimes see a bunch of PUP's and then another weekend we will see only 2 or 3.

    I enjoy setting up camp and not sleeping on the ground in the PUP, also the A/C in the humidity is great for sleeping. I feel that the TT's are too close to my living room, the family could accomplish the same experience by staying at home and lighting a fire ring in the back yard.

    Long live the PUP!
     
  7. 61cubby

    61cubby New Member

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    Interestingly, at the RV show this past February here in MPLS, there were alot of pups on display by Jayco, Rockwood, Flagstaff, Viking, Coachman etc in all box sizes including high walls. A frames were in abundance as well. We purchased a new 2514G and sold our 97 viking on CL in 2 hours to a family that drove 4 hours and were downsizing from a small 5'er. Our salesman was great and did not try to upsell us at all. We told him our needs an why we wanted another pup and he did his best to help us find the right one.

    Camping so far this year, at the county park there were about a dozen or so pups. Possibly because they have set areas that have only electric/water sites and then others with sewer for the big fellas. At another CG (privately owned) out of almost 100 sites, there were 5 of us. All huge TT's and 5'ers with a smattering of hybrids but very few MH's.

    I guess we like the pup for it's ease of towing/storing, availability of TT type luxuries in them these days, the outdoor feel you have inside them, the number of windows to open and lightness of interior vs a TT.

    I don't honestly ever see us in a TT. A hybrid maybe but then again, it won't fit in the garage or on the drive very well so would have to pay to store it basically all year which adds significantly to the cost of ownership. We do store the pup and 2 vehicles on a county fairground inside over the winter for $400 total but figure that's pretty cheap. [PU]
     
  8. Popup1206

    Popup1206 If there is a will there is a way

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    I see a good mix of both here in PA but do see more TT. Last year I turned two friends from tent campers to popup camping I guess it was the rain that did it seeinge under my awning drinking coffee and them fighting the rain pushed them over the edge. As for buying new I wouldnt buy used dont like the idea you never know how well it was takin care and what the po is covering up. We got our 2013 jayco 12bs with AC and brake controller for 8500 at the RV show in Pittsburgh. Honestly if buying new I think RV show is the way to go.
     
  9. Popup1206

    Popup1206 If there is a will there is a way

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    Also just checking CL people seem to think thier campers are worth way more than they are. Just because they took some extra long term loan and want to pay it off doesnt mean its worth what you owe. If people would understand how bad a long term loan is maybe popups would be more popular but nope people now only think what is my monthly payment. When we bought ours we got 2% intrest on a 5 year loan the dealer tried talking us into a 10 or 15 year loan with 6% intrest thats crazy by the end of the loan we would have paid almost double in intrest and not to mention the resell value.
     
  10. hiker74

    hiker74 Member

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    My feeling on the subject is that people like me with crossovers and small SUV's are kinda fed up with the RV market in general. It used to be that popups were bare bones and would not exceed 1500 lbs dry and basically anything would tow them...Now when some people want all the bells and whistles RV manufacturers build the standard ones with a fridge, heater, roof AC support bars, propane inside only stove, etc. No one I know actually cooks inside their popup so that's basically useless...not sure why companies do that. When we were looking for a popup to tow with our 4 cylinder Outback we were extremely limited and discouraged. Sure we could have been dumb and bought a 2700lb popup (based on the towing capacity of our vehicle not knowing about GVW and tongue weight, but i'm thorough). For us it came down to the only practical units for our family were a Quicksilver 10.0, Starcraft Starflyer 10 or a mid 90's Coleman Destiny Royale. All had low tongue weight and low UVW and GVW. As I started considering the Starflyer it was apparent the company didn't really care about its crossover and small SUV owners as they were installing mandatory AC supports on the roofs making the minimum UVW well over 1600 lbs...so I began thinking that the Quicksilver was the best option. We found a used one and have never looked back on the plywood jobbies. I'm sure they are nice, but in considering my options finding a 9yr old Quicksilver was better than a brand new Starcraft. The main issue is that Yes the RV market wants you to buy a Travel Trailer...this is why the big RV companies make popups...Its the starter home of the RV market. Dealers like Camping World sell you popups with their logo on them (Coachman/Viking) and give you a year and two year trade in value.

    I look at what the RV market is doing and it is concerning. Back in the 70's when popup campers were really going full steam cars were limited by emissions controls and even the big V-8's of the day only made 150hp. Those cars did fine pulling Apache and Coleman campers. My own personal feeling is that if another company like Quicksilver with better distribution would come to market with lightweight popups with at least one queen sized bed in their campers I think they would sell like hot cakes. Someone should build a popup out of composite thermoplastic built on a powder coated frame. They could adopt the basic fold out method used by the Quicksilver as its not exclusive to Quicksilver. The Apache Buffalo of the 1960's used the same method.

    Sometimes I think if someone like ELon Musk (Tesla and SpaceX) built popups for the small SUV and Crossover market we would be in good shape. The Quicksilver 10.0 in my opinion is the most practical popup for a small family...two real queen sized beds and a nice sized dinette that turns into an almost full length full size bed...It is a tent on wheels but has tons of storage. I'm sold on them. We had a couple come up to us at a campground who had a 26' travel trailer and they also had a Subaru Forester. They were looking to downsize and were very intrigued over our Quicksilver. I think the market is there for lightweights, but the market needs to produce them. If you build it they will come [;)]
     
  11. jyoung

    jyoung New Member

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    Put my 98 Starcraft on Craig's List. Had 6 people looking sold it for full asking price in 4 days. Couple said they couldn't find decent popups in the area for sale. All they could find was big units. I would say the demand is there...people just don't want the new price.
     
  12. bought with blood

    bought with blood New Member

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    Here in Ontario, it seems to be much different. Most lots have a number of PUPs on them. The dealer we stopped at showed us PUPS and gave us advice about them without trying to upsell us. Even told me that we would be better of with a PUP than a hybrid since our TV is a minivan.

    Everywhere I go there are PUPS. Camping last week, the no hookup CG we were at about 1/5 sites had a pup. In the hookup sites about 1/3 or 1/4 sites had a PUP as opposed to the TT's etc.. Every time I turned around there was a PUP checking in or out.

    Six dollar a Gallon Gas will do that to you.
     
  13. Black Bear

    Black Bear Well-Known Member

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    We always count RV's & trailers on our camping trips. We typically get around 200 total each way in the summer months. In past years we might see 3-5 PU's out of those 200. This year, it seems we are seeing 20-25% of the total being PU's! Lot more of them at the campgrounds too. That being said, almost all of them seem to be the smaller type & at least somewhat older, (before 2005). Very few new ones & I think I have only seen 3-4 Highwalls since we bought ours 9 years ago.
    At the time we purchased ours, through CL, we visited no less than 4 RV dealers that had large amounts of new PU's for sale. Three of them are now out of business and the last one no longer sells PU's.
     

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