What final tent-camping event drove you into a pop-up?

Discussion in 'General Camping Discussion Forum' started by Dback2k4, May 2, 2018.

  1. GreyFox

    GreyFox Well-Known Member

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    Been in this game for 20 yrs now and like many have been through the usual progression from tents when much younger to popups, a hybrid, couple of travel trailers. We did a LOT of travel camping when our boys were youngsters, here in Ontario and many US eastern states, then out to Yellowstone, RMNP, The Badlands, and countless places in between - hundreds of nights, tens of thousands of miles towing - great times to be sure! [8D] However, they're now adults, have their own lives, so a few years ago we sold our triple bunk bed family travel trailer and eventually settled on a 19' couple's travel trailer which was perfect for 2 adults, had everything we needed in terms of amenities but at just 22'6" was much easier to tow, park, and store. Perfect - what else could one want? [?]

    Well actually, more time to camp! :smiley: As time has gone on we've found ourselves actually camping less & less as my wife since her last promotion to management just can't take off work anytime as she used to and 'though I'm retired I don't particularly enjoy the alternative of camping solo. We now most often manage to only get out perhaps a weekend a month and mostly when friends or relatives are also camping, which we particularly enjoy. At our age we're also now both much more interested in doing more international travel, which obviously also impacts time available to camp. Thus arose the question - why are we continuing to support such a costly investment in a travel trailer that mostly sits on the driveway depreciating in value as every month goes by yet still costs us a minimum of $1000 yr in basic costs like insurance and winter storage, not to mention the inevitable maintenance costs, whether we even use the trailer or not? [?:~{]

    Looking back over these last 20 yrs the popups we owned cost us little to nothing - minimal investment to buy in cash so no need for a loan, minimal depreciation, minimal maintenance costs, no need for insurance, easy to park on my driveway year 'round or even in my workshop, far better fuel mileage when towing, no need for WD/sway control - the list goes on - yet a quantum leap up in comfort & convenience from camping in a tent. [:P] Certainly I wouldn't argue for a second that popup camping does have some drawbacks and for those camping much more frequently are certainly issues worth considering. However, for us, for perhaps 6 trips each season, maybe 12 nights camping if we're lucky, our overall costs of sticking with a travel trailer increasingly began to make less & less sense so we recently made the difficult decision to sell it and instantly rid ourselves entirely of the commitment in time, energy, and $$$$$ required to own any full height recreational vehicle. The timing however was inconvenient in that we were already committed to camp shortly thereafter with my nephew & family so we did it in a tent, quickly reminding us of all the disadvantages of tent camping, and led to the easy decision to invest a relatively minimal amount $$$$ in a used but well maintained popup that will allow us to still camp with friends on occasion but without all the hassle involved in trying to do the same with a tent. Looking forward to it! :grin:
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
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  2. cruzinZ

    cruzinZ New Member

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    Never really tent camped much growing up. Went out with my brother and some friends on a bachelor party camping trip. The day was cool and night turned into a watershed. The tent I was sleeping in was on an incline. Water flowed down under the tent and my feet were in a bowl of ice cold water. My whole sleeping bag was soaked. I was sleeping in clothes to try and keep warm.

    My wife refuses to tent camp and requires a shower & comfortable place to sleep. We are close to several national parks that I would like to explore more. Day trips to Yosemite & Kings Canyon/Sequoia are all within an hour to the Gate. Another hour to get to a destination within the park. After a couple of short hikes and returning home it turns into a long exhausting day and we never really get much time inside the parks.
     
  3. The Bob

    The Bob Member

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    I love it. Would not miss the kitchen, as we never use it. It's just the wife and I, so we don't need a great big camper.
     
  4. Whiteycracker

    Whiteycracker Active Member

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    The DW and I with the eldest daughter 9 at the time tent camped for years. But when we found out we were going to have an addition to the family we decided to upgrade. Glad we did.
     
  5. FARfetched

    FARfetched Active Member

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    Used to have a humongous cabin tent—one of those ancient Sears ones with all the poles. My father-in-law gave it to me, and once he started remembering how to set it up, I got my engraver and etched numbers into each end! I got to where I could set the thing up in 20 minutes without help. Wife hated tent camping, but went out once. We had an air mattress, the kids had cots, and we even had a lamp and a fan (our site had electrical hookups). She admitted it was a nice weekend, but light rain had her breaking camp in a panic. Then in The Boy's st00p1d late-teen years, he took it out with his friends a lot, and they managed to burn some substantial holes in it.

    Our grandkid joined Cub Scouts, and wife got us a new popup tent ("4-person" which in reality means 2 people plus gear). We went out a couple of times, the first one in below-freezing weather for the Polar Bear patch, and we stayed warm enough (except that 2am pee run) even on an air mattress (put yoga mats under the air mattress, it helps a LOT). I boggle at people filling F150s and Explorers with gear; grandkid and I can carry everything we need for a weekender in a Miata. And we've done 300-mile trips (one way) in that rig. It's like a backpack on wheels—a little tight, but if I got a trunk-mounted luggage rack, I could clear the cockpit and bring the river tubes.

    We now have an almost-3yo foster, and the grandson (9) lives with us. I need something bigger to take them both camping—they both love being outside—and I would like the wife to come. She's onboard with a PUP, so as soon as I find something suitable… but if we haven't found it by February, I'll take the 9yo down to Savannah for one last tent trip if there's on open spot.
     
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  6. JunieB

    JunieB Active Member

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    Yes, to me half the fun of camping is cooking outdoors. That said, I tend to not camp in the rain much. When weather is good and I can afford to take a weekend day and night off, I look for any state park openings. They can open up due to last-minute cancelations. We are lucky that way in FL, loads of state parks and other CGs within 2 hrs drive.
     
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  7. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    We like to camp, hike or work on trails and eat good. like you, if the forecast is wet, why go?

     
  8. The Bob

    The Bob Member

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    We plan our trips well in advance and some distance away, so we deal with the weather we get. We put an EZ-Up over the picnic table and do our cooking there, regardless of weather.
     
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  9. dbhost

    dbhost Active Member

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    I still tent camp because, well we haven't gotten a pop up yet...

    I am still working toward going with a pop up, or other camper to extend my camping season as I live, and camp around in the south, and the heat, and humidity without AC is just miserable to try to sleep in.

    I do have a window unit AC that I can toss into the back door of my tent, and throw a reflective tarp over the whole thing to help insulate. It helps, but that leads me to my next issue.

    I have some serious back problems as well, that restrict my mobility somewhat, as well as my ability to move gear in / out do the setup without having to take a break off of my feet. This can be a big problem when trying to set up in the rain, and honestly, my wife is some help, but not much in getting set up. She's only 5' tall and can't reach up high enough per se to help set up the tent, or the EZ up for the kitchen. Oh and we use Stansport Big Ol cot army style cots for beds, with Therm A Rest Camp Rests. Literally 30 year old sleeping pads. They work well, but...

    And to top that all off, I want a real bed to sleep in. I literally want a pop up or other small agile camper that I can throw a memory foam mattress on. They are getting cheap these days...

    But above all that, I just can't deal with sand blowing through my tent all night when camping on the beach on my surf fishing trips...

    My biggest hangup though is finances, and being able to find a camper that won't restrict our camping options. Much of the camping we like to do is on the beach, and most pop ups end up being anchors in the sand. Axle flips with larger wheels / tires are needed to get where I want to go. We've only got a half ton truck so most truck campers are too heavy. I know I will figure it out, just need to use the old brain box...
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2019
  10. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    The final tent camping event that led me to a pop up was running out of room in the car to haul the gear. It was either buy an enclosed trailer for the gear or move into a pop up.
     
  11. MintHillBill

    MintHillBill Member

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    Bristol August Race late 90s. Son and I went and had a good time despite rain and heat, but on way home we decided to look for popup. found an 84 jayco for $250 needed tires and lift work. Used it 5 years until it leaked and sold it for 250! Bought 1995 Coleman with AC & heat in 2005 Sold his year and bought 2016 Rockwood Premier.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2018
  12. JunieB

    JunieB Active Member

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    If you let people know where you are, in your profile or signature-- maybe somebody with a popup would be almost ready to part with theirs.
    Depending on what sets off the back issues-- remember that you have to crank up a popup, too, while bending over. Unless you have one of those systems you can crank up using an electric drill or some such thing.
     
  13. dbhost

    dbhost Active Member

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    Good catch! I thought I had that info put into the site. I am in Houston / Galveston TX metro area...

    I am working a trade with a friend on a soft side pop up, an older Coleman. It has an AC but it is a funny setup as the AC is a window unit poked through the cabinet / wall of the trailer. (Hard to explain, home brewed job, something like an 8K BTU AC. It sort of works, but that's a LOT of canvas to gain heat and leak AC.... But I digress.... The bigger issue for me right now is I need to get my truck running again. I have the Ford F150 with their goofy 5.4L 3V V8. The timing set failed, badly... I am working with my in laws that have a shop that can fix me up, but I need to pay for parts, and their cost for labor... (Their guy doesn't work free you know!)

    I've mentioned it before not sure if it was this thread or another one. My Dad had a Starcraft, not sure the model, in the late 80s / early 90s that had fold out hard side walls, sort of like a precursor to the modern A frame trailers. The bunk ends were still canvas, but those he insulated somehow. I think if I remember right he would toss a couple of old sleeping bags on them, and then cover that with a tarp held on with bungee cords or something like that. Hey it was a LONG time ago now, memory is fuzzy... Anyway, what I do recall is the roof lift, was spring assisted, and was so easy you could do it one handed almost... I'd love to find one of those trailers in top shape and have a go at it! He towed the thing with a Nissan pre-hardbody 4cyl King Cab 4x4 all over the northwest with my Step Mom...
     
  14. danointhenw

    danointhenw New Member

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    The wife and I went to a rock and gem show about 5 years ago and I saw some opal that came from the Virgin Valley in Nevada. Told myself "I gotta have some of that!" We decided to head out and try our luck. Upon arriving at the CCC camp, my wife looked around and with a look of surprise and dismay asked "is this where we're camping?!" It's desert, hard and rocky and got really cool at night. On top of that, wild donkeys would come thru the campsite and make a general nuisance of themselves.
    Despite finding some nice opals at the Rainbow Ridge mine, I wasn't sure if the wife would ever allow herself to be talked into something like that again and frankly, I realized I was getting a little too old to be sleeping on the ground.
    Long story short, the next year I bought a 93 coleman destiny for $1500 to see if that might be a better option than tenting it. It was and we used it for 2 years before upgrading to a 2017 Rockwood 1970ESP. We love the PUPs, easy to tow and it'll get into just about anywhere I can get my 4x4 1/2 ton chevy.
     
  15. Balthisar

    Balthisar Active Member

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    Don't give up tent camping! I still tent camp, even though I have a popup. Different experiences. In my case, in a canoe or on a bicycle tour, the popup is, uh, "inconvenient" to bring along. I hope to do some hiking when the wee one is a few years older, and that will preclude pulling the popup along.
     
  16. JunieB

    JunieB Active Member

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    I still tent camp, too! I like the small tents, like a 2-person backpacking tent. Cozy, dogs keep me warm and stay out of trouble in it since it's just like a "Den" to them. I still love tent camping and Popup camping too if I want some electrical appliances, heat, etc. Does that make me fickle? Maybe.
     
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  17. JunieB

    JunieB Active Member

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    Thanks for the reminder I always take a tent as a backup. Packing for tomorrow night!
     
  18. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    So do we! We still don't have a camper with a bathroom, or a refrigerator or a "real" kitchen for that matter. Life is to short to site at home, planted on the couch....
     
  19. hammb

    hammb Member

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    I grew up camping with my parents. We had a popup, although as my brother & I got older we mostly moved into the tent. That was especially true as we started bringing friends and all the kids hung out in tents. I've always loved tent camping, but have always said, "Anything more than a popup is not camping." Of course the popup we had growing up was just a trailer with some beds and an "icebox". IT had a sink, but dad removed the water tanks for more storage room. My wife, OTOH, did all of her camping in large travel trailers, but she still enjoyed it. So since we've been together we've always tent camped once or twice a year, but we've never taken our little one (now 3) unless we were joined by her folks or mine (in their large travel trailers). Due to the difficulty of packing the tent and all the gear along with the kiddo and his necessities we've been toying with the idea of a popup for a couple years now.

    Pretty typical story for many on here, but where mine diverges is that it was not a tent camping experience that pushed us over the edge for the popup at all. Instead it was a HOTEL experience. To my above story most of the reason I grew up camping with my folks is that we couldn't afford vacationing in hotels, but liked to travel. Fast forward now I enjoy traveling, but I don't enjoy hotels, and prefer camping. Our summer vacation this year was 3 days in the White Mountains, followed by 5 days in Bar Harbor/Acadia area. As is typical for us our destinations were outdoor oriented. Our activities of choice were all outdoors (hiking, beaches, etc). We had a great vacation, but it REALLY irked me how many nice looking campgrounds were around us in both areas we stayed, while we went back to our hotel rooms that were $100+/night in NH and $200+/night in bar harbor. And on top of that insane expense on just lodging there is the fact that when you're living out of hotel rooms you're eating out pretty much every meal as well.

    By the end of the trip, I had pretty well convinced the wife we needed to look at popups. She was ok with tent camping, but was never going to be on board with weeklong trips in a tent; especially with our son in tow. And in reality she wanted more than the barebones popup that I grew up with if we were doing longer journeys. So we started doing research and just bought our first popup a couple weeks ago. We are so looking forward to going out camping this spring/summer in our new camper. And, much like my parents, being able to afford taking my son to fun places that we just couldn't justify spending hotel fees+restaurants on. Hopefully he, like me, will grow up to prefer camping over hotel stays anyhow.
     
  20. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    @hammb-
    Courtenay and I began tent camping early on (our honeymoon), partly to save money and partly to go to places that don't necessarily have handy hotels. One of our favorite campground in Colorado is about 45 minutes from the nearest town, though there are a couple of resorts and cabins on the way. Being able to hike into wilderness isn't something that one can do from many hotels.
    The popups were mostly a step off the ground, albeit with an inside stove for the first one, and lights and furnace + stove for the second, and a place to sit inside out of the weather. Our small TT has a few more amenities, and provides a bit more shelter in bad weather but we still camp in the same places we did in tents and popups. We've used tents through TT in lieu of staying in a hotel over the years, as we visited friends and family. We didn't take the TT this year when I went East, and stayed in a combination of KOA cabins and a couple of hotels. One was definitely a reminder of why I don't like hotels very much!
     

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