Torn between a "regular" POp up and an A-Frame

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by Grakken, Jul 20, 2015.

  1. Grakken

    Grakken Member

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    Hello Everyone! [:D] There is a wall of text below so I apologize in advanced. [:(O]

    I went to my local dealer (Here in San Diego, I think I am pretty limited on how many RV places even carry pup's out here) with the intention of really eyeballing the Rockwood Premier 2514G...and we did...and we liked it even better than the pictures online. The no A/C part was a bummer but it can be added after the fact he said. We really like that there is no bathroom/shower inside. We arent considering models with a bathroom/shower inside. With that being said, he showed us a Rockwood A122S too and we really like that layout as well! I like both a lot for different reasons and since I have no experience in any kind of camper (I have been a tent guy my whole life), i am not even sure the features that I like, are even important or germane to my decision. So I have some questions I am hoping to get answered or commented on. Of course your opinions will make a difference as most of you I'm sure have forgotten more info about this than i know right now (ive tried to read everything I can get my hands on).

    Typically when we camp, we aren't hanging out inside our tent, we are outside on the tables, under the easy up or out and about doing things.This is why I am not entirely sure if I will miss the space of the 2514G, since, i'm not entirely sure we will be hanging out in there a lot (I don't know what I don't know [:D]). What are your experiences?

    oh, my TV is a 2015 Toyota Highlander XLE (5000 lbs rating)- I think that is plenty for either option.

    2514G pros to me are:
    1. Space- there is more space inside than I originally thought and it felt roomy.
    2. Having 3 beds is nice as we can then bring other people and they can sleep with us. No need to get a second camping spot for the tent folks.
    3. ?

    2514G cons to me:
    1. No A/C included
    2. Setting up. I've read people state anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours! I am assuming i would fall in the middle. so 1-1.5 hours?
    3. If other people are in there with us, I have read that you will feel every little bump and movement in the night (even with stabalizers). I am an Infantry Marine so i can sleep through a tornado but the DW is about as light a sleeper there is.
    4. Soft Sides- Will most likely never be a problem but some places may have restrictions due to bears/Unicorns and whatnot. Most places we are eyeballing to camp at don't list any restrictions on pup's so probably a non issue.
    5. I have read that it is best practice when you come home to open the tent back up and let it air/dry out before storing it for any length of time as to mitigate mildew/mold and whatnot. This would essentially mean putting it up and taking it down twice for every trip. That kind of sucks.
    6. Canvas will probably eventually wear out/get nasty and need to be replaced?
    7. ?

    Aframe pro's to me: (By the way, would probably get the A192HW model if we go this route)
    1. Super easy setup and take down of the pup itself.
    2. Hard Sides- Better security for starters, I would imagine it is also much easier to clean. Not as much maintenance (Don't have to worry about drying out/cleaning any canvas). Just rinse and dry (outside) if needed.
    3. It has A/C included
    4. I think it is more stable-ie if someone is moving about in the small cabin, don't think it will shake as much (compared to the 2514G)
    5. ?

    Aframes cons to me:
    1. Lack of space- I mean, it has a bed and a dinette bed. The main bed, my wife and I can make do, however the dinette bed really looks like it can only sleep one other person comfortably. So it would be perfect for my daughter (she is 8). However, I don't think anyone else is fitting in that bad boy.
    2. Lack of a real awning that doesn't come with. The option they list for a screen room is like 600 bucks!
    3. ?

    I am sure I am missing some obvious stuff so if you feel there are some items (both pro and con) please list them. All input is welcomed.

    Some of these things are subjective and only i can decide how high on the priority list (or down) they are. What are your experiences with either or both? Help my indecisiveness please, it is killing me..haha

    I am sure I am forgetting other things but I just previewed this and it made my eyes bleed. if you are still reading this, thank you! [;)]
     
  2. razorbackcamp

    razorbackcamp New Member

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    Got to keep in mind camping in the rain in an A also. Little bitty space to ride out an 8 hour storm if your out in the middle of nowhere.
     
  3. nineoaks2004

    nineoaks2004 Every meal is a picnic and every Day is a holiday

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    I have never owned an A frame, some people really like them, there is not enough space for us especially with the three camping buddies (3 Chihuahuas ).
    We have a Rockwood Freedom 2318 G (2002 bought used ) with slide, no shower or bathroom. We do have a Porta Potty as my DW does not like to go to the bath house at night. The problem with a shower is the shower is really small and it gets everything wet. The cassette toilet is a good thing but ours did not have one. As for the canvass wearing out, if properly taken care of it lasts a long long time, our canvass is original from 2002 and is still good. We have an awning and it is nice, I usually cook or grill on the picnic table anyway weather permitting, I like the underneath of the awning to stay cool for me and the dynamic trio to relax under.
    As for the AC the dealer would probably install one to make the sale or at least give one heck of a deal on one, you will need the AC.
    Mine has a furnace too but we usually use a ceramic heater anyway, why use propane at a campground when I am paying for the Elec. anyway. The 4 stabilizers, tongue jack and wheel chocks will keep the PUP sturdy as a rock.
    Thanks for your service, MY first for out of 22 1/2 I was on Gator Freighters.
    Weight your options and you and the DW make the decision together, and whatever you decide Happy camping.
     
  4. pjnlorrie

    pjnlorrie Member

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    We have lots of time in an Aliner. You have a good grasp of the differences. Our reasons for going hard-sided were:
    *On long distance runs (FL to the Rockies) we wanted fast setup/take down and no wet canvas worries. Our observations regarding setup time is about 5 minutes for A-frames vs 30 minutes for conventional popup. Also, in a pinch we have spent the night in rest areas w/o problems whereas setting up a canvas popup would attract more attention.
    *Short of tornado or hurricane, the A-frame is unbeatable. I have felt so sorry for the tent and popup people in the CG during bad weather.
    *Long term durability-no fabric components to wear out.
    *Camping in bear country (minor aspect).

    The smaller space in an A-frame makes it fine for two, very tight for three people. An important personal choice between the two styles is this, when I turn in for the night in my Aliner I feel like I am in a hotel room. In a popup it is more like camping in a tent which is not a bad thing. When we felt the need we used a tarp and some collapsible poles to make an awning for the Aliner. Again, our observations indicate many use free standing screen rooms (even folks in class A's and big travel trailers).
     
  5. Zephyr

    Zephyr Active Member

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    I grew up camping in a tent trailer, but when it was time to give up our little backpacking tent, we bought an A-frame. We briefly considered a tent trailer, but decided on the a-frame for the following reasons:
    • Very quick set-up. DH does the outside stuff while I deal with the roof, walls, and inside stuff.
    • On road trips, we often don't unhitch unless necessary to level it.
    • No worries about breaking camp in the rain. :)
    • A little more insulation. We camp early and late season in the mountains. It also helps with noise issues.
    • We don't spend much time inside, so extra space isn't a concern. Two people and two dogs fit just fine (dogs sleep under the bed). Of course, after a backpacking tent, an A-frame seems huge.
     
  6. Customer

    Customer Well-Known Member

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    We love our Aliner but for more than two people it will be too small.

    Keep in mind that your child will grow and will have friends. The a-frame is too small.
     
  7. metro6775

    metro6775 New Member

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    Re: Torn between a "regular" POp up and an A-Frame

    My opinion: If it was only my significant other and I camping then I would go with A frame. But, since my two kids camp with us I went with the pop up. There is so much more room in a pop up unless you get one of those tiny 8 footers, but even those have more space than an A frame.
     
  8. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I suggest to go sit in both trailers with the whole family for longer than 10 min. This will give everyone a better feel for the size. For me when I had three people in the a frame it felt very closterphobic. Three people their stuff just wouldn't work for us. However I was extremly envious of the a frame setting up in the poring rain next to me and be finished in a matter of a few min. I also tried to think if my family dinamics was to change to include more people I didn't want to sell the trailer within a few years of buying it. So for me the traditional popup works better and allows us to spread out. Gosh knows my side kick feels she needs to pack her entire bedroom as it is. [:O]
     
  9. Grakken

    Grakken Member

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    Great responses so far, Thank you!

    I think I really want an Aframe deep down but the more i think about (with your input), i don't think it is very practical because of the space issues. I think that is too big a hurdle to overcome. We will want to at times bring friends or maybe the 100 pound dog we have. I also live in So Cal, most of the places we are wanting to camp are in the southwest/west coast. Setting up in the rain would suck but not sure how often it will rain but if i have to set it up in the rain, so be it, ive done worse. :)

    Some follow up questions:

    How often do I need to apply waterproofing spray to the canvas?
    Do you need to "air" out your tent after a trip, even though it never rained?
    Does AC in the roof work good?
    Any suggestions/tips a noobie would need to know that you won't really read about anywhere regarding camping in a PUP?
     
  10. NJGuy

    NJGuy Active Member

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    I love seeing them. Next time I will ask the owners if I can go in and take a look. Always wondered if there is enough head room.
     
  11. gruss

    gruss Active Member

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    AC works fine in a pop up.
    We don't open ours back up unless it's wet, or we need to do something to it.

    A frames are cool, I want one too...but it will have to wait until the kids aren't camping with us anymore.
     
  12. Popup1206

    Popup1206 If there is a will there is a way

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    Re: Torn between a "regular" POp up and an A-Frame



    Newer pups dont need canvas water proofing

    No you dont need to air it out unless it rains or you closed it up early in the morning amd had a lot of dew on it

    My AC does a decent job in 85 degree weather and high humidity would probably be better with gizmos but Im too cheap.

    Ask questions and ask more questions even if they seem stupid.
     
  13. ~erik~

    ~erik~ Active Member

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    Never had a regular pop up but did look at some used ones before looking at A-frames. The used pop ups we looked at all had moldy canvas and sour smells, which turned us off.
    In fairness the first few Aliners we looked at were also used and had floors that were either moldy or suspect in other ways.

    We ended up with a new Aliner Ranger 12. Those 12 feet do get a bit cramped at times, but so far the only time DW and I spent in the Aliner we've been reading or sleeping in the nearly queen size bed or sitting at the breakfast table. There is enough room for us for those activities. Other activities are done outside, so space isn't a factor. Kids are grown up, so it's just two of us using the Aliner.

    We like being able to set up quickly, and having the security of hard walls against bears, unicorns, zombies, etc. The insulation against noise, heat, or cold is nice too.
     
  14. nimrod65

    nimrod65 Member

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    We had a pop up before our A-Liner. Both brand new, not used. The A-liner Ranger is 15 ft. It has lots more space than the 12 ft. But we also have two dormers. That gives us more head room. I'd say we have more usable storage space than the pup because we have cabinets with doors, not benches, to put things in. It is just the two of us, but occasionally have a granddaughter or daughter with us. Then they sleep on the dinette table. No awning but we use free standing canopy. If daughter gets older and wants to bring friends along, get them a tent. Ease of set up is priceless.
     
  15. Ryanincc

    Ryanincc Truth is poetry. Most Americans do not like poetry

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    You might be surprised at your towing capacity when you subtract all the weight of everyone and every piece of gear/luggage in or on your Toyota from the 5000 lbs tow max. FORGET the "Dry Weight" and use the GVWR of the trailer to estimate what you will be pulling. My Toyota 4Runner has a 5K lb tow max and I wouldn't pull anything heavier than my 3500 GVWR pup with a family of 2 adults and 80 lbs for my two little ones, plus gear of course. My Pup is actually closer to 3000 lbs when loaded up and I wouldnt tow more. To read more about determining you weight capacities, I recommend a fun, not long, 3 part article here


    http://popupbackpacker.com/how-much-trailer-can-you-tow-part-1/
    [SIZE=78%] [/SIZE]

    My wife is in love with A-Frame popups and I always here about it while my shirt is drenched with sweat after setting up our Coleman Sun Valley. Its more of a joke, to HER, actually because theres no way we could be a growing family of 4 with even the biggest A-frame with double dormers. Not unless "I", not the kids, "I" want to sleep in a tent and the girls and their friends get the Air Conditioning. I often hear/read others saying to just put a couple kids in tents when camping and all is fine.
    Nope
    Nuh-uh
    Not gonna happen
    Not with my girls
    Not in our typical weather in South Texas.
    Not when Air Conditioning is an option.
    But, when we are empty nesters and its just the 2 of us, I cant think of a better camper than an A-frame for us [:D] but it would still be a big one [LOL]
     
  16. Abrams1997

    Abrams1997 Member

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    We bought a 2001 Palamino 2 years ago. At 12 years old, the canvas was just cracking...two seasons later, I bought the tent covers advertise on this site and lots of duct tape and still using that old canvas. This season we had a 6-8" tear on two corners and the sides around the door will no longer reach, so I will have to get new canvas the end of this year. All of that to say 12-15 years, if properly cared for, is not an issue with the tents.

    I have 4 kids, 14 to 10 and it is big enough for us all to each lunch in side...having just done that two weeks ago camping at a lake...low and humid and the heat index above 100...so we enjoyed our AC.

    Ours has a fridge (use it), a gas heater (use it late in the season), a water heater (use it every trip for dishes and clean up), electric AC (absolutely in the summer), an indoor shower and casset toilet (WILL NEVER USE). I would like the shower and toilet if it was me and Momma alone, but not with kids my age. Too much crap to deal with [:D]...just kidding. Also, I think when the kids leave home, we will want to do more dry camping in remoter areas than the State Parks we enjoy now.

    We have an indoor gas hook up for the stove and an outdoor. We cook outside all of the time...but could see cooking inside if we were remote and had bad weather.

    We also have an outdoor shower option which we love...cleaning sanding feet at the beach, washing mud after a hike, cleaning really dirty pots and pans, cleaning the dog...it goes on and on and is a feature I would never have looked for but am glad I got in the used camper.

    For set up...30 minutes up and another 30 minutes on the inside for DW's glamping set-up. That's her deal. I have my oldest help with setting up and it goes quickly...and would go faster if we had good canvas.

    For tear down, we went 8 months between trips and I simply packed it up dry on that last trip and opened it up the day before the first trip this season...no issues at all.

    I have broke down in the rain...no biggy really...just a pain to have to open it up and let it dry on a later day...but that is not that often. I have set up between showers before...good pucker factor, but overall pretty easy.

    All in all, for a family of 4 or bigger or taking the kiddos friends, you can't beat the options, size, and comfort of a pop up for the weight of the camper. Good luck!
     
  17. Grakken

    Grakken Member

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    Wow, i really appreciate the feedback everyone[SUN] [SUN]

    I think we are going to go with a PUP. If it were just the DW and I, would have already bought the Aframe. I want my DD to be able to bring a friend or 2, we will want to occasionally bring friends/family and to have to worry about getting possibly 2 spots or setting up another tent in the same spot, kind of defeats the purpose for me. lol.

    I am glad that with proper care, the canvas shouldn't get nasty..or that it need to be weatherproofed and whatnot. I wouldn't mind weatherproofing occasionally however. My main concerns was that the canvas would be crap after 6-7 years because well it's canvas.

    I take it to run AC for camp driveway, you need a 30 amp outlet at the home?

    You know when you buy a car (or at least when I do), you always have to ask to make sure you get the floormats,cargo netting etc and whatnot (for free) even though technically, it all is an "option". Auto Dealers never bat an eye for that stuff. What kind of things like that should I make sure the RV dealer "throws in", or at least things I should fight for?

    As far as weight, the numbers are this (I tried reading the site linked and so I hope I have it right [:!] [:!] [LOL]:

    The GCWR of TV- 9740 lbs
    Curb Weight of TV- 4310 lbs
    TWR - 5000lbs (meets sae j2807)
    GVWR of TV- 5840 lbs
    GAWR of TV 3415 lbs
    Combined weight of cargo should never exceed 1455 lbs (Sticker in the door of TV)

    GVWR of PUP- 3303
    UVW of PUP- 2446

    So i take it the GCWR is the number you subtract from? So 9740 (GCWR) - 4310 (Curb) - 3303 (GVWR PUP- Lets just assume it is fully loaded-which, it probably wouldnt be in reality))= 2127 lbs. isn't this number the max left over weight? And since the combined weight of cargo for TV is 1455 anyways, in theory, the TV engine still has room to spare?
     
  18. Byrd_Huntr

    Byrd_Huntr Well-Known Member

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    Lots of good comments here, and I think most are spot on. Almost every campground, and even in our driveway, people ask to see inside. We don't mind.

    As far as head room. I am 6'2" and i cannot reach the peak from the inside. I can barely reach the vent controls on the roof. Two people at the dinette=no problem. Four people=tight.

    Claustrophobic? No way. With the model we have, we can see 360 around us, and straight up through the large domes at each end.

    We live outside, and on a rainy day, we have the bed for a nap, or the dinette for hotly contested cribbage matches or reading etc. We do miss the traditional canopy, but we use a Coleman screen house for that.

    We have owned a TT, a big Palomino popup, and now the Aliner. For us as empty nesters, the A frame has been perfect.
     
  19. Ryanincc

    Ryanincc Truth is poetry. Most Americans do not like poetry

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    Re: Torn between a "regular" POp up and an A-Frame



    Excellent job! It always gives me hope when I see someone put in effort to tow safely BEFORE they buy. [emoji4]
    As with my 4runner, it looks like your payload capacity (hauling) will max out before you max your towing. Since Toyota uses the JS2807 standard, some weights are already accounted for like a certain weight for the driver and full tank of gas, I forget all of them and being on my phone yada yada Do a quick search and you'll know. Besides the other people and all the gear, you also have to consider the Tongue Weight of the pup as part of payload or hauling. 10-15% of GVWR of pup, or the loaded weight if scaled, is ideal. Less than 10% you are likely to have sway and being able to tow at trailer tire max speed of 65mph would be white knuckled at best. You know almost every significant number and the pup tongue weight is usually listed when the GVWR but doesn't account for propane tanks or batteries (I think) so try out a couple different towing weight calculators and be sure to play with the 10-15% number. You can just Google search for them. Good luck!

    My phone did this using Tapatalk
     
  20. Grakken

    Grakken Member

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    Other than rvtrader, are there any other sites that has good pricing on PUP's?

    Also, if i don't buy locally, and I have a warranty issue, can I use my local guys to do the warranty work?
     

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