Pop Up vs. Travel Trailer

Discussion in 'Going to the DARK SIDE' started by Bobby H, Nov 16, 2017.

  1. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Our pup has a full bathroom with toilet and shower. I could not live without the toilet. Too many night trips to the potty for this grandma!

    Prior to buying a pup with a bathroom, I had bought a chemical toilet that we used both tent camping and in our last pup for more than a decade. That is honestly the one thing I wished I would have purchased 30 years prior. It would have made camping with our 4 kids so much easier! Once you have one, and realize how easy they are to deal with, there is NO going back.

    So when we went on a search for our current pup, a full bathroom was #1 priority, tied with rooftop air conditioning. We live in Florida, so that was a must as well.

    This is exactly why we purchased the TT to begin with. We planned to use it as a mobile hotel room. Ended up being too many family responsibilities at this time for us to really go far. So, we ended up taking it on a regular camping trips and that was not good for me at all.

    People that didn't have a lifetime of camping memories would be much more comfortable in a TT camping. I was just jaded at an early age. A tent or pop up camper is the only place I can sleep without rx sleeping pills.

    So, for the time being, we even use our pup at Disney, which is one of the places I don't really go to "camp" so planned on using the TT. Fort Wilderness is a nice campground, we just don't spend much time there, other than sleeping and eating. We are at the parks all day. The pup does just fine though.

    When we have the future opportunity to explore the rest of the country, we will get a smaller TT. On that trip, camping won't be the main focus, travel will be. I'm going to look up your retro model. Those are so appealing to me!
     
  2. silverfz

    silverfz Active Member

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    Congrats. My favorite way yo camp is still a small tent on the back of my motorcycle. simple and amazing way to travel and to get lost. i did not appreciate when young the freedom of a 20 dollar tent in my old used motorcycle and me just putting around on weekends and time between contracts. I hope to return to be a bit more nomadic when i retire which is atleast 2 decades away ...yuck.
     
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  3. NorthernSpirit

    NorthernSpirit Member

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    Thanks Silverfz! Enjoy the next 2 decades - they will go by very fast!

    I think the best way to describe our PUP camping is, we're just tenting it on wheels! We still keep it to the bare essentials.
     
  4. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    While this is true for some, it's just the opposite for me. When people say that pups are a tent on wheels, I just smile to myself. Mine is hooked up with all the comforts of home inside.

    We have a full bathroom with shower, air conditioning, memory foam beds, microwave, convection/toaster oven, stove, sink, crock pot, large dorm fridge, a freezer the size of a dorm fridge, tv w/dvd player, USB outlets, LED lighting, fake wood flooring that looks real, and probably lots of stuff I'm forgetting.

    Definitely not roughing it in there and not enough a close comparison to our tent camping days.
     
  5. Sharp21

    Sharp21 New Member

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    New here looking for inspiration. I’ve got 2 cents to throw in the pot.

    Young family with 2 kids. We’ve owned two large TTs and have done lots of long term, long distance camping. I used to work a 6 week on/off rotation so we had all the time in the world.

    Moved to Houston for work 3 Year’s ago and finally sold the truck and trailer. My new job has me home more frequently but for shorter periods. Not enough time to justify the offsite storage expenses, setup time, and hassle of towing 36ft through Houston traffic to camp for a weekend.

    My wife and I camped for a weekend without the kids this past summer, in a tent, and really enjoyed it! Got our juices flowing again for the great outdoors. We’ve got a week long camping trip booked for March and are considering a pop up. Lots to like:
    • Store at the house
    • That outdoor camping feel
    • Permanent storage for some camp amenities like propane and water
    • Easy to tow with her Ford Flex
    • Real easy to head out for a weekend
    We don’t have one yet, but are looking. They look super fun to me and as someone mentioned earlier, are a great way to keep the family in one place
     
  6. NorthernSpirit

    NorthernSpirit Member

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    We really enjoy our PUP. I honestly can't say anything negative about it. Our first one was an 8' box, which we used with 2 teenagers. It was plenty of space for us, as we had just come from the tenting way of camping. Our new one is a 10', which is the size I would suggest you look at. We don't have slide outs, as we like to keep it simple.
     
  7. Merlin14

    Merlin14 Active Member

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    I've been obsessed with this subject for well over a year now. Read everything, watched hundreds of youtubes, lurked on forums, and more.
    I've been all over the map on whether to move to a small TT like a Casita or R-pod.
    Before we got a new TV, I looked at vans, and class A-C.
    It's just us two now and will stay that way. Retirement is anytime I want it to arrive starting in December.
    My uncle and aunt FT'ed for about 5 years in a 40' TT and now have a big class A with a toad, but it's mostly parked now.
    My parents were out 6 mos at a time regularly in a TT. They raised me car camping, then tent, then tent-trailer, but never a TT.

    We've pupped for years and when the weather is fair to good, and like the cowboy said, "wood and water handy" it is marvelous!
    (That's DW's word choice. Anytime she says marvelous, I pay attention!)

    We're outdoor campers and like to cook, eat, and be outside when camping. We cook on a pump-up Coleman and use a Coleman lantern.
    With a few battery LED lights we've got lighting under control. The TV tailgate will do double duty as a galley and with a topper on the TV, plenty of dry storage.
    It's pretty uncomplicated, so fewer things to go wrong. I read lots about troubles with this or that on forums about TT's and Class A-C. Forums are where to go for help.

    But as time passes, ease of setup and simplicity of food prep may mean more for us to keep enjoying outdoor life.
    For the near future (couple years or so), I expect the pup will stay with us. It's never failed us yet. She's in the garage, always ready to go.
    We're dry campers, but will use the A/C. This is Texas after all.

    This summer, we plan to be out two months and cover Texas Gulf coast to Indianapolis to Denver to Houston. All in our pup this year, so its the trial by fire.
    With 6 weeks in Colorado, the plan is 3 nights of dispersed boondocking, then a couple nights in a campground for showers, laundry, shopping, sightseeing, etc.
    At the end of that trip, we'll know how well we can stand extended time "out there" in a pup. That will help inform the decision on any change we may make.
    We know we could do all of that in a Casita or R-pod type trailer as well. But, we have our pup now and it's sure working well for us.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That and KISS are things I always need to keep in mind.
     
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  8. JWeible

    JWeible Active Member

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    The first time my husband and I camped was 5 1/2 years ago. It was September in Iowa and our kids were 4 years old and 10 months old. We borrowed my uncle’s PUP, with the intention to buy or own within the next year. We had so much fun the first night! The second night, it got below freezing which is unseasonably cold. We were completely unprepared. We packed up the next morning and cut our trip short.
    Because of that trip, we bought an 18’ TT the following spring. I was not going to spend a miserable night with my babies freezing again! We camped 5 times that summer. Due to having to make payments on the camper, we couldn’t afford as many trips as we would like. I often felt too enclosed in the TT and missed the tent camping I had done growing up.
    We sold the TT the following spring and bought a used PUP off of Craigslist. The seller lied about its condition. Tons of issues we didn’t know about. We went through 2 more PUPs in the next 2 years with similar bad luck.
    This year, we are without a camper of our own and will be back to borrowing my uncle’s PUP. Our goal is to buy a brand new PUP in the fall.
    I think, we will always have a PUP from here on out. The TT just didn’t feel like camping to us. We camp to hike and sit by the fire. Electronics are off limits during our trips and we focus on bonding as a family. We don’t require a/c and a walk to the facilities during the day and a bucket with a toilet seat is just fine for overnights.
     
  9. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    I've decided that if I had more space and more money I would keep all three of my campers. the old class b/c rialta, the little rockwood pop up and the recent purchase of the small TT, a fun finder. As my DH and I discuss which one we should sell and which to hang on to, we realize we really don't want to sell any of them. we do have to though, and are attempting to sell the pop up. but it's so easy to tow, to pack and to take into the woods or to the lake to really camp!

    the rialta is great for road trips, and we are just too attached and invested in that one to sell it. It has high miles and we are probably the only ones who believe it has a lot more left to give.

    the last is the new travel trailer. It's clear that is the best compromise camper. good for camping in the woods, boon docking as well as touring, it probably meets our needs best. but it is an untested unit. Ease and safety of towing being the main question.
    I guess this post is just late night verbal wandering. but it's true.
     
  10. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    When we bought our TT, we gave some thought to keeping the pup too. Storage would have been an issue. The real stopper for me was the idea of keeping two campers stocked with basics, and packing whichever one was going on a trip with all the last minute things (or things we didn't want to duplicate). One trailer for my husband to do the maintenance on is enough, since I can only do the small stuff, keep up with tires, and work that we have done at a shop. In the end, we sold the pup, and have kept our good, large base camp tent, just in case we want a more primitive site - I can still sleep in the gruund, but can't do the set-up and so on.
    One thing we learned from selling the two pups was that it takes patience, and where the buyer appears from can be surprising. For the second pup, we advertised a bit in the fall, then didn't bother over the winter. In the spring, we advertised on Craig's list and in the "newspaper" where my husband works. The eventual buyer turned out to see it on CL, live just uphill from us (next to our former pastor), and work in the same building as my husband. A year or so after we sold it, we ran into the family in Costco - one of the kids excitedly told us about all the places they'd been in it. What little regret I had left from selling it disappeared.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018
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  11. penny

    penny Well-Known Member

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    I've been posting in several other threads about this dilemma, might as well post in one more, and maybe where it belonged in the first place.
    so we have a small motorhome (19' class b+) a new to us travel trailer and a pop up. I'm having a tough time trying to decide which one we need to sell. But it isn't going to be a fast decision, I find now. the small motorhome (VW Rialta) is really not something that would be easy to sell. We probably would if it were newer or had less miles on it, but it is really only worth something to us. we know it's dependability.
    the travel trailer is absolutely great. but even as small as it is, it may not get into the wilderness places we like to camp, although it may be easier than I think it will be. and if the weather gets stormy, we'd be glad to be in that one. The gas milage suffers when we pull it. I recently filled up the tank and gas is at $2.70 today. that will make us choose to take the pop up camping this week.The pop up is the simplest, lightest and easiest to camp in the wilderness location in. the van isn't even aware of it following us down the road. all three were great deals, we have a lot of room on our acre to park things. registration and maintenance on three campers is one downside. I don't think I'd like to have to choose one to keep and the others to sell. but it would probably be the travel trailer we'd keep.
     

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