TT -- is it really an upgrade?

Susan Premo

Super Active Member
Nov 5, 2020
1,039
Minnesota
I'm still new to this wonderful forum, really am enjoying it, and I feel like people listen, and don't judge refreshing. I just wanted to say Happy New Year, I sincerely hope for a much better 2021. Hard to believe its 2021, almost....hope you all have a great camping year, I know I'm going to try. Thanks for all your input and helpful information and tips.
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
@SusanPremo... We did the bypass. If you do the bypass, make sure to create a reminder that will notify you to undue the bypass before the first camping trip post winterizing. Since we’re in the AZ Desert, we just blow out the lines instead of using chemicals nowadays. Its not often we have freezing temperatures. We also have our water tank inside the trailer under the bed and PEX plumbing. A Dura faucet quick connect shower sprayer for the outside shower. We keep that inside the trailer during storage and transport. So it’s not exposed to the outside elements. It’s the same one that Rick from “GoingNoWhereFast” installed on his Aliner. He posted the video of the install.

Hope you will enjoy your Aliner as much as we do ours.

Happy Camping...[ALPU][PUT]
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
@SusanPremo... Keep the sink. Great for hand washing, brushing teeth and dishwashing when the weather outside prevents it. Especially now that the pandemic has closed many bathrooms at campgrounds. I mainly wash dishes outside using the outdoor shower sprayer but there have been times during bad weather where I’ve had to wash dishes in the small sink inside.

Happy Camping...[ALPU][PUT]
 

Susan Premo

Super Active Member
Nov 5, 2020
1,039
Minnesota
Did you do the bypass? I'm watching the video right now, and see that he did a bypass, seems like a good idea.
No, not yet, we haven't actually gotten to use our aliner yet, its sitting outside, in the snow, we look at it from our sunny back room. We just bought it in October, dont know a lot of the lingo yet, I will have look up the bypass, but I did watch his video, I may have to rewatch it a few times, thanks!
 

tfalter

I MUST work, so I CAN play
Jul 16, 2011
171
I tend to bristle at the notion that a TT is an upgrade from a pup. They are entirely different products, with an entirely different experience! Is wine an upgrade from beer? Are hamburgers an upgrade from hotdogs? The cost of a nice new pup is comparable to that of a TT, so if it's not price that's driving this notion that pups are somehow inferior, what is it?

I certainly can tell you my experience through the move... Had a Fleetwood Niagara and it was an amazing first exposure to popup's. However the setup was a PITA. we had soft ended sticks to poke the tent where it needed to go so it would fold up, then you close it and open it and refold it cause it would not close. Then I am sleeping in a tent basically. Personally if I am "alone" way out in the woods and all I worry about is 4 legged critters I did not mind a tent... but in a camp ground with all the two legged critters... I did not like the tent idea.

So we went to a 29 foot fifth wheel. Well it had its set up pains also. It also had some interesting learning curves... my pickup has the apprentice marks on it.. I am just not that good at backing and pulling into spots. Probably just more practice needed, but its my learning curve.

So now I am thinking about a middle ground... something easy to move yet hard sided.

There is work at camping. Anyone who says there is not, that is okay, but there still is. What I find is that some people really don't mind certain things and find it all just a lot of fun. Others aren't comfortable with the same tasks as their tolerance level is just different.

I found the popup takedown and setup to be outside my enjoyment range... did not like it even a little bit.

I also have to allow for the type of popup I had to be problematic and difficult compaired to others. but the people I spoke to while camping seemed to have similar dislikes.
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,933
Albuquerque, NM
@tfalter - We have camped in tents, two popups, and now a 17' TT - there is always a cost or trade-off between types of equipment - even between, say, backpacking and front country tents. Our 17' Retro, which is actually more like 19' nose to tail, isn't any larger than some large popups, but it is taller. That means I can't see over it, which is how I learned to back up the pups. I don't like towing it as well as I did the pups, but it's what gets me to interesting places with a comfortable "cabin" when I get there. I can' reliably handle either a tent or popup set-up anymore, at least solo, but the TT allows me to keep going for now.
I'm taking a friend on a trip next week. I'll have the outside cooking space set-up. It looks like we'll be happy to have the furnace, with lows on the 30s or low 40s. In our mid-60s, neither of us copes with the cold very well anymore; sleeping on the ground would be possible but not pleasant for either of us, with cranky and/or deteriorating joints. Both of us miss backpacking, but we'll enjoy what we can do.
 

tfalter

I MUST work, so I CAN play
Jul 16, 2011
171
@tfalter - We have camped in tents, two popups, and now a 17' TT - there is always a cost or trade-off between types of equipment..... - It looks like we'll be happy to have the furnace, with lows on the 30s or low 40s. In our mid-60s, neither of us copes with the cold very well anymore; sleeping on the ground would be possible but not pleasant for either of us, with cranky and/or deteriorating joints. Both of us miss backpacking, but we'll enjoy what we can do.

Totally get it... and your right... its like an evolution that you go through... I guess you gotta find your sweet spot and what you like and don't like... I think its good to experience different types of hardware or campers...
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
So true about evolving. We went from a tarp lean to shelter, EzUp, tent, Teardrop trailer, Aliner and now a 21.5’ travel trailer. The travel trailer is so much more comfortable. But it comes at a heavy price of more weight to tow. I don’t want anything larger than our current trailer. If we upgrade again, it would be a similar model with bunk beds for the GK’s. But that’s a long way from now as DS is enjoying his bachelorhood.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

Taxus812

Active Member
Jun 1, 2010
255
When we were at Dreher Island SP, SC we met this nice family from Charlotte. They had this huge TT with all the amenities. They had just upgraded from a PUC, you could tell since it took them 20 minutes to back it into their spot. It only took them an hour after getting setup to come over and talk to us. First thing they said, "we made a mistake, should have never upgraded!" They said there was no connection to nature and they missed the canvas smell. They spent all this money on a camping mansion and spent all their time outside. I did the upgrade from tent to PUC, I have this strong feeling I am done with upgrading (except for mods).
Lets call it a change. We changed from a tent to a pup to get off the ground and not worry about rainy days.

I recently changed to a hybrid because i could pack food in a larger refrigerator without having to fully open the camper, full bathroom and setup is faster. We still retained some of the openness of a popup fortunately. However it now takes lots if space and more fuel to go places.

When setting up bunks becomes a too much for me, we probably will change to a TT but that is more of a mobile cottage than camper to me.
 

penny

Super Active Member
Nov 9, 2017
769
they are different. whether one is an upgrade from another, totally depends on the owner and what they need. For the family that goes on summer camping trips, and does not want to bother with vehicle able to tow a load, heavy duty hitches or the size and height of the thing when they are not camping, pop ups are the best, hands down. For road trippers, those who want to slip into a parking lot for a one night stay, vans or class B units may be best. For full timers or retirees, or those who like to use their camper when they are visiting friends or family and want to have their own space, a travel trailer is good. We had pop ups the entire time we had kids at home. nothing has the sleeping area and comfort of a big pop up. Now we are old retired grandparents. We love to camp, to travel and visit our kids and grandkids. We have 2 TTs. a 25' vintage Avion double axle and a 15' jayco Baja. The Avion is like the Ritz and we use it when meeting friends and staying places where there are hook ups. The jayco is the back woods, disbursed camping and road trip vehicle. it fits anywhere and is very comfortable. park it and cook, sleep or shower. We tow with a chevy silverado, kayaks on a bed rack and extra stuff in the back. after 50 years of camping, it seems like the perfect solution for us.
 

Jimbow

Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Nov 30, 2012
2,082
Through the years I've done Texas to Maine and back three times, in a tent, with my PUP, and in my 26' TT. For overnight stops, the TT is so much quicker to set up (actually it's already set up, just stop and get it) so we never stayed in a hotel. With the tent we always overnighted when tent camping, about half the time with the PUP.

In the Rockies it opened up some NFS campsites that are closed to soft sided camping.

I know that our years with a PUP helped us to make the right decision on a TT. We resisted the just two feet longer syndrome. We wanted what we had in the PUP. Dinette, couch, kitchen, bed. We wanted to add a walk around bed and shower. We then looked for the shortest, simplest, floorplan that met our requirements.

There are certain remote campsites that just make us miss the PUP. But there are times we love closing the door and blocking out the campground.

YMMV.
 

heathdavis

Active Member
May 15, 2011
569
My husband wants to go to the dark side and get a small-ish travel trailer (Rockwood GeoPro 16BH). Basically, he thinks the Pup takes too much time and effort to set up. He just wants to park, level, and walk in the door with everything inside all set up. He also wants a bathroom inside. (I'm more a nature girl and it's not a high priority for me.)
I'm having trouble wondering how he will feel about towing a thing he can't see over and that will be generally harder to maneuver and store. (And he doesn't want a hard-side popup (e.g. Aliner) either because--- set up time.)

To be fair, our PUP is very small (7.5 foot long box) and rather old. It's a 1984 Jayco J-705 which we bought about 11 years ago, at a yard sale, for $50, from a guy who just wanted the deteriorating thing out of his driveway. I replaced rotting wood on the roof, replaced a "melting" particleboard countertop, replaced/upgraded the power supply, ran several new outlets and patched the canvas. Also bought a portable AC and rigged up a way to vent it under the bunk canvas. (The AC is a pain to get set up and it takes up a lot of room.) The camper is quite functional but a little funky-- you have to know all of its irregular quirks to get it to pop up smoothly, pull the bunks out, and arrange the canvas.
I can see the appeal of something a little larger that is easier to set up. And.... I'm not sure how well the little Jayco would hold up on long road trips if we decided to do that when we retire.

Before we do anything we're going to rent a GeoPro for a weekend and see how it goes.
It's a dilemma for me.
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,933
Albuquerque, NM
My husband wants to go to the dark side and get a small-ish travel trailer (Rockwood GeoPro 16BH). Basically, he thinks the Pup takes too much time and effort to set up. He just wants to park, level, and walk in the door with everything inside all set up. He also wants a bathroom inside. (I'm more a nature girl and it's not a high priority for me.)
I'm having trouble wondering how he will feel about towing a thing he can't see over and that will be generally harder to maneuver and store. (And he doesn't want a hard-side popup (e.g. Aliner) either because--- set up time.)

To be fair, our PUP is very small (7.5 foot long box) and rather old. It's a 1984 Jayco J-705 which we bought about 11 years ago, at a yard sale, for $50, from a guy who just wanted the deteriorating thing out of his driveway. I replaced rotting wood on the roof, replaced a "melting" particleboard countertop, replaced/upgraded the power supply, ran several new outlets and patched the canvas. Also bought a portable AC and rigged up a way to vent it under the bunk canvas. (The AC is a pain to get set up and it takes up a lot of room.) The camper is quite functional but a little funky-- you have to know all of its irregular quirks to get it to pop up smoothly, pull the bunks out, and arrange the canvas.
I can see the appeal of something a little larger that is easier to set up. And.... I'm not sure how well the little Jayco would hold up on long road trips if we decided to do that when we retire.

Before we do anything we're going to rent a GeoPro for a weekend and see how it goes.
It's a dilemma for me.
Renting is a good idea. Towing a travel trailer is different than towing a popup, especially a small one. We went from a 6' box popup to an 8' box, then on to a 17' TT. i will admit being able to pull in, level, hook up what needs to be hooked up are handy. That said, even in our small one, there is some shifting of "stuff" from travel to camp mode, but less and easier than what we had to do in either popup. I still dislike setting up or breaking cmap in the rain, but it's a huge improvement over tent and popup days with the TT, and we manage a longer camping season and wider range of weather.
You have to see for yourself what will work for you and for some time in the future. When we bought the second popup, we planned to keep it for manyyears, but my getting-creaky joints had a different idea. So, maybe, for us it was an easier decision than it might be for others - to keep camping, in a small TT, or to stop camping.
 




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