Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Looking For A Pop-up Camper

Mayberry calls his an "escape pod" wife an I have been looking for quite awhile at the smaller travel trailers but we have decided on a pop-up camper for our "escape pod". Her requirements are a shower and toilet...which seem to be reasonable enough. The campers we have been looking at have an outdoor shower (good enough, just wash with a bathing suit if other folks are around) and most have a cassette type toilet available (porta-potti). I have always told the little woman that a 5 gallon bucket with a seat on it will do just fine as well (needless to say I don't think she believes me).

We looked at a few of the travel trailers...mostly Jayco and they are a lot more expensive and they don't offer that much more than a pop-up. The fact that I only have a 6 cylinder Dodge Dakota (it does have a higher axle ratio - came with towing package) limits me to under 5,000 lbs fully loaded. This won't be an issue with a pop-up but does quickly become an issue with the travel trailer.

We have been looking for many reasons...we are avid campers and it will be nice to bring a little home with us when we go. Me, my wife and two dogs in a tent can get a little old fairly quickly. This doesn't even take into account the back issues I fight with, they always seem worse after an enjoyable week camping (even with a sleeping pad - I use a Big Agnes).

The other reason goes back to Mayberry and the "escape pod". It will be nice to have a mobile residence that we could live in quite nicely should some disaster hit that makes our home uninhabitable. There is a place right down the road that charges a nominal fee to store items like campers and boats. I may store it there so that if a disaster did strike my main dwelling the camper would still be available. Having the option to not be completely homeless is compelling me to make this purchase even if the wife and I finance a small portion of the purchase. On the other hand if I could find a decent deal on a used one I may go that route to save some money. Right now we are still leaning towards a new one so we know what is going on with it. You always take a small chance when you buy used that you are inheriting someone else's problems but I am not ruling used out completely.

If anyone has any suggestions on brands or models I would be happy to hear them. If you have any experiences with a pop-ups, I am all ears as I am a relative newbie in this area. We have a Camping World very close to us and will be heading there next weekend to have a look at what they have available. All my research has been on the Internet thus far.

...that is all.

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  1. I would look at the used market with alot of folks selling campers and RV's with the current economy you may find a steal of a deal!

  2. I like the Fleetwood Evolution series. Fairly rugged and you can find them used (a year or two old) and looking quite brand new.


    Good place to do some research and find out if anything really jumps out at you.

  4. I've found a toilet in a popup is a great idea until you have to take a couple of craps during the summer, even then the magic blue or green stuff in the tanks can't get the lingering smell out of the camper - yeah.. sure, you can burn enough incents to make pot smokers jealous.

    I'd rather have one of those pop up shelters you can shower or dump in set outside the tent - it's the SAME TYPE OF TOILET SYSTEM!!! I know four serious pop up camper types who have forgone the inside 'toilet' for one of the popup shelters just beside the camper.

  5. There's all kinds of great crap on pop ups on the web. One I check regularly is (I'm Mayberry there too, heh heh heh). I found an excellent website from a guy who made a shower in his pop up out of a wash tub. Pop ups are great for a bug out shelter. Light, easily towed, and can carry a lot of stuff. I think I just got inspired for my next post!

  6. There are TONS of used campers on the market. Fewer people willing to drive their vehicles to carry them all over the place. Look and hold out for a bargain - you'll find one if you're patient.

  7. You might want to consider an old Apache popup like my Royal. they have hardsides (no canvas) and are quite comfortable when erected.