We feel the "Dark Side" calling...will I answer the call...or hang up?

Discussion in 'Going to the DARK SIDE' started by Backtonature, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. Backtonature

    Backtonature Active Member

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    yep! We do feel the "Dark Side" is calling my wife and I, however I need to know if we answer the call or hang up?

    We currently have a ntu 2005 Fleetwood Bayside purchased a few months ago, but have not been camping in it yet because of a roof leak which I have almost completed the repair on.

    We will go camping in this pup soon and are looking forward to it, however now we feel that maybe a used 16' TT will better serve us and our needs.

    I know the TT & Pups have pros and cons and we would love to hear about those pros and cons for folks who have crossed over to the "Dark Side" OR crossed back from the "Dark Side" to a pup.

    I have always owned either a pup or a tent (in my younger days), but never have owned a TT.
     
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  2. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    We used a popup for 8 years. It had a stove, RV fridge, cold water and no onboard waste water tank. We enjoyed it. The packing and setting up became tiresome, though.

    5 years ago we went to a 25ft TT with all the amenities. Packing and setting up are a breeze. We can go at least 5 days without taking on water or dumping....Ain't no way we would go back to a pup.
     
  3. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    You need to first understand the weights and if you can tow it. Then add people, just you 2 or more?
    Pros, space, easy to set up( pup was easy also), full fridge and freezer ( key for my 8 yo who decided she only likes frozen waffles for breakfast now) holding tabks for black and gray. No need to dry out the canvas after setting up in the rain. No need to pop the top after a trip to geth the stuff out of it. No bugs, camper seals up nice and no spots for bugs to get in at night.

    Cons, not many, holding tanks, you need a full hook up or a trip to the dump station, and there is a bit more involved. A bit diffrent towing, not harder per say but diffrent. And may need to buy more stuff.
     
  4. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    I've owned all the types of RV's and currently have a 12ft. Pup with slide out. It is just simpler to pull and store. The set up and take down time isnt an issue for me. It would be like getting a job 200 miles away and bitching about the prices of gas.
     
  5. xxxapache

    xxxapache Well-Known Member

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    My final trip last year was a multistate, multistop trip. We did not stay in the same place two nights in a row. Back in, unhitch and plug in. See the sights for a day and hitch up and go the next morning. We could stop on the road to use the bathroom or fix something to eat anytime....I doubt if we would do such a trip with a popup.
     
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  6. NMroamer

    NMroamer Well-Known Member

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    We made the move to a travel trailer and a couple years later we are back in a popup and could not be happier. The popup just feels more like camping than the travel trailer did. Nothing beats watching the sun rise in the morning through the side picture window while drinking a hot cup of coffee.
     
  7. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    To each their own. Like mentioned above it entirely depends on your tow vehicle. My tow vehicle can tow a TT but I can guarantee it will be a very uncomfortable tow especially if I want to tow it in the mountains. The weight of my popup is the same as a smaller TT, however the popup does not have the massive wind resistance I would have if I towed a TT. That wind resistance is a huge factor in if your tow vehicle can tow a bigger unit or not. For me I looked mainly at an ease of towing as most of my camping is in the mountains. I also knew that I love my slideout. If I wanted a TT I would not be able to get one with a slide not without having to upgrade my tow vehicle as well.
    It was a little easier for me as I owned a smaller popup before I got what I have now. So I already knew what I loved most about the popup and what I did not like. I did consider upgrading and I looked at both hybrids, TT, and even a high wall popup. I made a pros and cons list of every single factor and looked long and hard about my camp style, storage factors (a huge issue for me), my family, and also a huge factor finances. Because I would need to sleep more than just two people and didn't want the third or fourth person to sleep on a table or couch. That already limited me.
    , I was going to be traveling in the mountains, and didn't want to stress my current tow vehicle my popup is the all time best option for me. Anyone can say yes, you absolutely must have a TT, but they are not you. They don't have the same family, camp style, environmental factors you will. So I say look long and hard at everything, really STAY in each camper not just for a few min, but for an hour and with your family. Where is everyone going to sleep, how comfortable will everyone be. Will you be able to hang out if your stuck in a storm and be able to get around. If you get a TT where will you keep it? Does your city have rules about campers? Will your tow vehicle be able to handle towing a bigger unit with far more wind resistance? What is your camp style? Will you be camping or towing in the mountains a lot? Make a pros and cons list look in each unit long and hard. Maybe even get a few camping trips under your belt with your current unit to get a better feel.

    Good luck with whatever your decision. I for one love my popup and do not regret my decision because what matters to me is getting my family out there safely and comfortably. Not stressing my current vehicle too much. Most importantly have fun.
     
  8. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    We had our PUP for 6 years, and went to a 29' toy hauler two years ago, and we are VERY happy we did.

    Setup: Yeah, it may not take that long, and it may not bother you, but without question, a PUP has more set-up and tear down than a TT. If you're in a place it rains a lot, both you and the PUP get wet, and then you have to find a place to dry the PUP at home. That alone pushed me to a TT since it rains EVERY trip here in sunny Alaska.

    Food: If you're in bear country, having food in the PUP is bad. So, I grew tired of running to the back of the truck for food. Cooking in the PUP is another issue.

    Standing space: In a PUP, you have plenty of room, if only one or two folks are standing at the same time and everyone else is in a bed or the seats.

    Access while towing: The PUP prohibited access to food in the fridge, or use of the fridge, and sitting space while on the road. When we stopped to eat, and it was raining, like it often is, we had to pull coolers out of the truck, make food, then sit in the truck to eat. That was a pain. Rest stops in Alaska do not include picnic tables, to say anything of covered tables.

    So, those were my main gripes with the PUP. Our TT solved all those issues. We back in, unhitch, level, and we're done. EVERYTHING we need is already in the TT. I can setup, including sewer, in less than 15 min, and then it is TV and a Gin and Tonic time. Plus, I make ice in the fridge, with all of the food we need, right where we cook. We also have plenty of space inside, and we don't have any slides. One of my favorite things is the roadside food stop now. We pull in to a gravel area on the side of the road and cook lunch, sit and relax, and maybe watch some TV before getting back on the road. We even took a nap once. Also, towing your own clean bathroom is a very nice thing in Alaska.

    I didn't hate my PUP, but it had a few shortfalls for me that a TT fixed. Sure the TT is heavier and bigger. I don't care since I can tow it and have place to store it.
     
  9. Backtonature

    Backtonature Active Member

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    Well, just FYI
    I have a TV that I special ordered to my specs and with a tall ring gear, pinion, oversized rotors and pads with a towing pkg
    11, 400 lbs max minus cargo ect.
    HEMI Ram 4X4 . I love this truck

    I will read all the comments but just wanted to put this out there
     
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  10. nineoaks2004

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

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    The main question : What do y'all want, there are pros and cons both ways
    and you will be the ones using the unit.
    I have had all types over the years but we finally settled on a small TT. Faster set up and put down. I usually stay in state parks so I have full hookups in most, "I do carry a honey wagon" to empty the holding tanks
    if needed. Most times (except in bad weather)I use the facilities in the bath house. The TT has larger reefer, duct-ed furnace, and better appliances including ac etc. at my age and medical condition the PUP was just too much for us. Now as stated back in level, hook up and be in camping mode. Little more learning curve for towing and backing up etc. but not much difference in towing than a pup. some of the small TT's have about the same towing weight as a large pup. Good Luck with the choice and whatever unit you decide on Happy camping
     
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  11. neighbormike

    neighbormike Well-Known Member

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    Nothing more I can add other than: we want pictures when you get her home! :grin:
     
  12. shfd739

    shfd739 Member

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    Ill note our experiences with going pup to Dark Side and now going to the Gray Side.

    Our first pup was a 2007 Jayco Baja 10Y with the shower/toilet. We used it a few times then sold it due to not using it. That was mostly our fault for not really knowing what we were doing.

    Second pup was a 2001 Coleman Niagara that we got in 2012. We made some mods, did some maintenance and used the heck out of this one. The slide and shower/toilet were great features and we really enjoyed it. Then 2 kids came along in 2014 and 2016 and the setup/takedown became a pain and it was time for something different.

    So in July 2016 we got a 2017 Shadow Cruiser 240BHS travel trailer. Double over double bunk beds. Big U-shape dinette on a slide and a nice outdoor kitchen. We've really enjoyed the ease of setup and and loading but there have been some drawbacks that have us selling it. First is a lack of floorspace for the dog bed due to the shorter floorplan length.Second is no place for us to relax. All we have is the dinette which is ok for lounging but Id rather have a sofa.Floorspace gets tight when the kids put out their bean bag chairs. Third is we're about 29 feet long overall so it had to be stored somewhere. That adds a monthly expense and another hassle for the pick up and drop off. I love having the trailer but at this point it's getting sold and replaced with a hybrid.

    Now we're at the point of looking for a used hybrid. Probably a Roo/Shamrock 23IKSS. With this we get a sofa that opens into a queen bed when we need sleeping space for more adults(happens a couple times a year), a sofa for us to relax on, more floor space for the dog and the kids bean bag chairs. The length is 5ft shorter so I can store it at home saving the expense of our storage space. Also it weighs less so no more annual safety inspection to renew the tag. Im almost regretting not going hybrid in 2016 but it is what it is
     
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  13. GalsofEscape

    GalsofEscape Well-Known Member

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    unless you go with a hybrid type trailer, that 16 foot trailer is going to be small. Non-hybrid 16 foot campers tend not to have a permanent bed - so you may find that you have to convert the couch to a bed each night or leave the bed up and not use the couch. if they do have a permanent bed, they don't have a couch. i would look into renting one for a trip to see if this small of a trailer would meet your needs and type of camping you do. For some, they are happy with a trailer such as this, for us it would not work (but i could see myself being in one if it were just me)...
     
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  14. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    We went dark at the end of 2017. I had no issues with the Pup, setup, space, etc. The only thing I miss is sleeping in the Pup. I really enjoyed going to sleep with a gentle breeze blowing through the Pup and waking up to the birds singing. I like to leave the windows open in the TT at night but it's just not the same.
     
  15. bheff

    bheff Well-Known Member

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    Popups definitely seem more intune to an actual camping experience
     
  16. davekro

    davekro Active Member

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    The first camper we looked at was a 2012 17’ Holiday Rambler TT. This was beautiful with lots of cooler owner upgrades asking $12,000. We paused to reconsider for most likely pushing our ‘17 Kia Sorento’s supposed 5000lb cap. Though the inside was beautiful, we did bemoan the few and small windows that would limit the open feel of a pup, while being inside. That and the weight for our TV were #1 & #2 downsides. We camp mostly in the Sierra foothills to 3-4000’, so it was very important to me for the towing feel and experience to feel safe with a margin for error. Especially since my wife occasionally drives, is good, but not quite as at ease as me w/ 40+ years of boat towing under my belt. Our current pup’s towing weight is about 1900 lbs. when we find our dream ‘07 or ‘08 Fleetwood Sun Valley, we’ll be at about 2500 lbs. That tow weight along with fitting in our garage are the most significant, for us. Everyone has different preferences. Variety is the spice... they say.
     
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  17. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    I would think if you've only had the pup a few months and have never actually camped in it, you'd want to try it out and see how it meets your needs.

    We like looking at TTs when we're at the state fair or whatever, but I honestly think I'd miss the pup. Someday when we're older and don't need room for our kids it might be an option to go to a TT but for now you can't beat the space efficiency, van-towability, and cost of a pup.
     
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  18. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    I found the opposite true. The TT was not bigger space wise in its foot print , but was bigger in usable square footage because of the space utilized upwards. In the pup i had 2 king beds , couch and table. In the TT i have a king, full and twin bed with the same coich and table. The space i gain is the 2 wardrobes, floor to celling, and the celling cabinites. Much more space and no modifications needed. Plus i dont have to bend over for everything. For me thats the biggist plus. It is more $$$ to buy a TT but not by a ton. And it did add on some weight. Pup was closer to the 3200 max weight loaded, and this is closer to 4400.
     
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  19. tfischer

    tfischer Well-Known Member

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    I mean towing and storage footprint. I have a 10' box but it opens up to 20'. I could never haul a 20' TT with our minivan.

    And the huge screened windows in my pup vs the tiny ones of TTs makes me feel like I'm camping vs in a smal cabin.

    Again, not knocking TTs and we may get there someday, but I'm loving the practicality of our pup for now.
     
  20. Sjm9911

    Sjm9911 Well-Known Member

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    My pup was atually longet then the TT when opened up. Closed it would be close!
     
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