TT -- is it really an upgrade?

Discussion in 'Going to the DARK SIDE' started by Ebisaki, Jun 19, 2012.

  1. Wingo

    Wingo New Member

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    I'd love to get a small TT, I'd rather not pull a real huge one though. A hybrid would be nice. Popups are great but when we are on a long over the road trip it would be nice to just pull off into a rest area or somewhere similar, get out of the truck and jump right into the trailer for a quick nap or cook something quick for lunch. Can't do that with a popup.

    Also I don't see the disdain for people with the big class a's. Most I've talked to are retired and probably started out the same as me. Only guy that has stuck in my mind as kind of a jerk is an older guy with a vintage Airstream polished as shiny as a mirror pulled by an old body style dodge pickup. Beautiful rig and I told him that. Never asked to look inside, I didn't really care to. I'm guessing though he was probably tired of people coming up to him in the campground asking about it and it bled over in our conversation.
     
  2. niagarafam

    niagarafam Active Member

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    Upgrade, Downgrade makes no sense at all. It is simply about needs and preferences:

    All of the pros and cons have been hashed out on the Portal ad nauseam. Sorry, but we want to express a few of them again. One of them that resonates with us is the confinement we feel in a TT or HTT, and the brown interiors do not help this. The other thing that we do not care for is the offensive formaldehyde odor. It actually gets in our olfactory; we can taste it after a couple minutes. We know that the odor dissipates over time, but the VOCS remain for a long, long time. That bothers us as it runs counter to one of our camping tenets - Get Fresh Air. Admittedly, we are both pretty sensitive to chemicals, pollens, pollution, and other air borne trouble makers. This is more of a problem the older we get. Both of us have had to deal with some respiratory issues the last 5 years.

    Some brands that we have investigated were absolutely awful. The Jaycos, Keystone, and Forest River products were rife with chemical vapors. The Jaycos were super pungent. We both got nauseated sitting in them and wound up tasting the chemicals in our mouths for the rest of the afternoon. Pretty big turn-off. It made for an unpleasant shopping experience. It really detracted from our day of exploration. For us it is disconcerting and annoying; they are like formaldehyde coffins (dark, limited views of the outside, smelly, and uncomfortable furnishings made with low grade fabrics and materials). Actually, most coffins are better appointed. We were also underwhelmed by the unfinished cabinetry with protruding staples and loose cruddy poorly mitered plastic trim everywhere in the units. Many of them had very high MSRP stickers (really proud pricing), but the quality was not there. We definitely know that all of the brands are RV junk to one degree or another, but some are less refined than others. Knowing that they are "rolling problems" too, it does seem like the Lance, Escape, Arctic Fox, and Livin' Lite travel trailers that we've investigated were a little more carefully finished.

    When we consider hybrids and travel trailers, we keep coming back to our original conclusions for buying the Niagara. Confinement bothers us. We want to look out through clear (not tinted) windows. We want to feel like we are connected to the nature around us when we are in the camper. Our Niagara has enormous clear windows. While our PUP has a smaller box than the TT units we consider, it is light and airy with a maximized floor plan. We love our huge windows and bunkend views. Pop ups are made with the glues and chemical treatments, too. But they, by design, allow the VOCS out sooner and more completely. This is especially true in our Niagara with its Sunbrella breathable tenting, a very nice product and feature.

    So, bottom line, we have not found a TT or HTT that wows us enough to trade the camping experience that our PUP provides. Confinement, tow ability (parking, gassing up, storage, visibility, etc.), and maintenance remain as concerns for us. So far we are not swayed even with the PUP negatives (ease of access, inclement weather set up and take down, small gray and black tanks, storage). Those are our very real negatives.

    We are curious about the Winnebago TT. One floor plan in particular looks interesting, the 2401rg. We especially like the look of the new Mamba interior that features off white cabinets and walls. We love white, and with just the two of us, it is not a problem to maintain. We have a white kitchen in our home that we love. But we have to get inside and spend time in and around it. The bummer is, to get the space floor plan amenities we have in the Niagara, we have to go to at least a 24' TT or 22'HTT. In actuality, the 27'-30' range units are more appealing from a floor plan and comfort perspective for us. We would want a walk around queen that eats up 6-7' of the box. That's a lot of trailer, not so sure we ever want to go there.

    It may just be that we will PUP for the next decade or more and move to a TT when we need their attributes more than we do now. Or maybe US customers will gain greater access to new concepts like the expandable roof designs in some Canadian, European, and Australian TT units. But for now the we'll stick with the PUP experience in the CG and on the road.
    M&K
     
  3. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    You could always buy a vintage TT and renovate it to a custom trailer :)
    That's what I would have wanted to do at one point, but when it came down to changing a) we'd already renovated a pup and had a clue as to the work involved and b) we needed to make the change more quickly than finding and renovating a TT would have permitted.
    The dark interior design was one of my issues, so I was happy with the beige wall paper and cherry-look wood in the Retro. The floor plan is also far less cut up than many I saw, it was the smallest (17') TT I looked at while shopping, yet felt the most open. One of the big space eaters I encountered was the full bathroom, so we chose to go with the tiny one - short of desperation, we'll never use the shower function as such, though it may come on handy to rinse things off - I've used it to rinse the well of the floor in there. (Unless we were somewhere with full hook-ups even the most water-saving showers would take up a lot of fresh water and gray water capacity. If we were camped in that type of spot, more than likely there would be campground showers.) We have the walk-around bed, with storage under it, which has been great.
    The Retro was one of the better built brands I found, though even it has issues with seemingly never-ending sawdust and metal shavings. (The FB owners have commented on that.) Apparently, vacuuming the behind the scenes areas once holes are drilled, furnace is installed, etc. is not common. The woman at our dealer who often sweeps and cleans the newly arrived campers - across several brands - says she encounters the issue on campers and RVs of many levels. We have had some of the new camper odors, though they are abating. They are worse when it has been closed up tightly for a while.
    One of the hybrids or TTs I looked at during my long shopping day last fall had sealant dripping out of the corners on the exterior, plus visibly ill-fitting molding inside. (It was also 2' longer and 1000# heavier than my stated limits, and no, I couldn't "make it work", as the salesman asked if it would work for us.)
    If you think that someday you'll want to move on from a pup, just keep your eyes peeled. We had visited the RV show early last year, and decided that any TT they had with amenities that made it worth while for us to change to from the pup were too huge and too expensive. We'd looked at the Retro line there, but they were showing the smallest models and they would have been a big step backward as far as space for us - and we only had an 8' pup. Six months later, it was obvious that I would not be able to continue camping, especially solo, unless we bought a TT. That made making the decision to buy a TT easy, the difficult part was finding one that would work for us.
    BTW, our Retro does elicit interesting reactions - usually thumbs up, or the comment "cool" or "cute". Last week, the roofing company owner came to estimate our replacement (flat) roof. He thought the Retro was a great looking TT, and something he and his wife might consider to take the grand-kids camping. The he looked at the TT roof as he was on our roof and his comment was that he was impressed with the type and quality of the roofing on it.
     
  4. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Yes but at my age they are harder to tow.
     
  5. swordfish

    swordfish Well-Known Member

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    My psychiatric clinic is open for new patients. We are specialized in:

    1) Grass is greener syndrome
    2) Buyer's remorse disorder
    3) Upgrade/downgrade confusions
    4) Indecision
    5) Compulsive mod syndrome

    Popup Portal member discount applies.
     
    inthedirt likes this.
  6. niagarafam

    niagarafam Active Member

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    I'll take one of each please . . .
    Camper styles that is! [:D]
     
  7. labomb

    labomb New Member

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    I agree, we sold our 32' with slide TT and went back to a pop up, it's a completely different camping experience. We were getting lazy in the TT and sat inside especially when weather was not optimum. I miss being out doors, cooking, huddled under a canopy with all the family/friends while the rain poured and we laughed and made a grand time of it! It got mighty lonely in the TT when the rain came and everyone scattered to their own rigs for the whole weekend. Might as well have stayed home. It never felt like real camping. However their are many people that need those amenities. I have to admit at first when we went to TT from PUP, it felt wonderful to have that bathroom and full shower, but what we gave up was it worth it? Too much like being home. But everyone is different. Most people I know that go to TT because they don't like the set up of a PUP or tent. But again, set up is part of the whole camping experience in my opinion.
     
  8. silverfz

    silverfz Active Member

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    Its funny as we went the other way , we camp more with the TT then we ever did with the TT , I think its because being in new England we start camping in April and End in late October. both very cold months and the TT actually helps with the weather component. I also think as packing in our case involved only throwing the food from home fridge to camper fridge. after a year the camper is full ready to roll without the perishables. Even do a lot of back to back camping weekends. A reason we never camped in one location for more than 3 days yet camped 30 days in a 4 month period.

    I do setup , just the mats, grill, unload the bikes, Get the fire wood , set the stabilizers , hook up the utility's , get the fishing stuff ready , setup the table , set the chairs but. the only setup I am not doing is pulling the beds as my pup had the electric lift. I would say taking the WDH off equals the bed pulling on the pup. so I cannot see where I had less setup.
     
  9. SLOTerp

    SLOTerp Member

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    Someone mentioned feeling claustrophobic in a PUP. Yes, it's possible. The first time I slept on the very end of the bunk (DW likes to be near the edge), I felt a little claustrophobic. The bed is plenty big but you've got panels on three sides and the canvas over your head is quite a bit closer. I got used to it, but it was a strange sensation. I didn't even know I was claustrophobic until I had my first MRI a few months ago. [:(O]
     
  10. West Coast Canuck

    West Coast Canuck Jumped to the dark side ......

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    Our TT is Jayco X213 with the Rear King Slide Out, the beauty of this is that it can still be used when closed. We lose the dinette and couch but the Kitchen, washroom & beds are available to be used. GVW is 5500 lbs. Length closed is 24' from coupler to the rear bumper
     
  11. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Has Jayco actually stated that can be done ?? Keystone advises against it.
     
  12. gruss

    gruss Active Member

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    Not sure why this comes up so much? It's not the camper it's the person...most people in a campground are easy to get along with. Some not so much...and honestly from tent to mansion on wheels the percentage is about the same. Get what fits and enjoy it.
     
  13. nineoaks2004

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

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    The way I look at it there is a reason that they make so many different types of RV's. I have had all the various types at one time or another. And usually went back to the PUP, but due to age and medical problems (when I had my last operation a friend drove 200 miles to help the DW close the PUP. On the way home we discussed our problem and we now own a small TT and it does have it's advantages especially when setting up or breaking down, packing, unpacking etc. I still do most of my cooking outside unless there is inclement weather. I also solo canoe camp and still use my old backpacking equipment do I am not out of touch with tent camping and PUP camping, Most motor home owners are nice people and er friendly to even tent campers. I also own a 31 ft. motorhome that we haven't used for quite some time and never looked down on anyone or acted snobbish.
    The main thing is that we are all (hopefully) out there to enjoy ourselves and the great outdoors and have a nice relaxing time.
     
  14. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    ^^^^ That's it - we're the same people who ground camped for two decades (we got a late start), had two pups and now the TT. Same with friends who just jumped directly from ground to TT camping. Three out of the four of us are 60+ (my DH is the youngster), with various health issues. The issues have varying amount of impact on camping, but most of them will not go away. For all of us, camping has been an important part of life (our friends have been camping since they met 40 years ago), so we've opted to makes changes so we can keep getting outdoors.

    There are things we miss about both ground and pup camping, others we don't miss at all. DH still backpacks, and often I base camp while he's off in the back country - we're both enjoying the outdoors.
     
  15. niagarafam

    niagarafam Active Member

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    This is inspiring and spot on! We have also met several senior couples beyond their 60's who were fortunate not to have health concerns, and they still camp on the ground or in a PUP. It's all good!
     
  16. Donald

    Donald New Member

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    i'm very new to the pup, actually have only one outing done before i had to put it away for winter. hear in Montreal... my only worry is when i will be out camping and it's raining like crazy and very windy. how is that experience.? i can see the advantage of having a hard shell hide out.
     
  17. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    Upgrade, switch, move over, whatever.....I loved my Apache for 8 years. I honestly only bought it because it suited my tow vehicle. I knew when a stouter tow vehicle came along, the pup would be history. Packing, setting up, and breaking down is much quicker for me with a TT. I bought what I needed the first time to camp off the ground. I bought what I wanted the second time. I don't regret either decision.
     
  18. Ken1967

    Ken1967 Can't wait to Camp!

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    Wow! What a long thread with so many varying opinions. We started in 07 with a small tent... then a bigger tent... then a small PUP and then a large PUP with a slideout. However, last spring my honey decided we needed something way easier to set up and take down. We shopped and found a TT that was virtually the same size as our old PUP... 28 ft long. It does have a few amenities that our PUP did not have... hot water... tv, AC... full size fridge and freezer... outdoor kitchen and much better beds. However, we do miss the outdoor quick connect grill our PUP had and the fact you can unzip the windows and be in the open air without bugs. But the set up and take down times are a big upgrade. Less than an hour to set up and to take down... before it was about a half a day on each end of the camping trip... so we figure we have gained a full day of extra camping each trip out! As we get older we may look at a different camper again... one that meets our family's current needs. At present our TT is perfect for our teens and grandkids to stay with us!
     
  19. niagarafam

    niagarafam Active Member

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    The deeper I go into RV land, the more I think a New Horizons fiver or a MH are about the only units that I would consider an "upgrade." All of the tow behinds are pretty much unregulated junk. With a MH at least the chassis and drivetrain are DOT regulated products. PUPS, TVS, HTTS are made by an industry that is playing us like a fiddle. RV manufacturers are getting away with unmitigated slop in their products both from quality of workmanship and safety points of reference. We will milk all that we can out of our Niagara and then probably move to the Extra Dark Side of a C Class MH. We would consider the move now, but we have spent so much time, energy, and money rectifying our unit that we want to get some value out of it before we move on.

    You have to wonder about the politics behind it all as the DOT keeps a hands off policy on the RV industry. Automobiles, homes, and boats all have to meet strict DOT regulations. It is going to take significant public outcry to bring about change. Or wouldn't it be interesting if Toyota or Honda started to make travel trailers. Maybe then we could have a legitimate claim on an "upgrade."
     
  20. Revelations

    Revelations Enjoy the adventure!

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    I read a lot of great points here. I just want to share that I enjoy all kinds of camping. Much like I enjoy all the tools in my toolbox or all the food in my fridge. I have never believed that one size fits all scenarios. When I travel on adventures with my family, my current vehicle is a TT, previously it was a PUP, and previously a TT, and previously a tent. I still use tents, I have quite a few. They come in handy when travelling by foot up mountains or paddling to islands or on two wheels. This year I invested into some hammock gear, more costly than tent gear, but I am enjoying it tremendously. Someday I may go back to a portable PUP for my motorcycle or car. Car one will need to be powerlift. Or perhaps I'll try a class C MH for a while. Okay here it is: ENJOY THE ADVENTURER in whatever capacity that you are able to, get out there and explore.
     

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