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redneckpunk
07-31-2017, 03:20 PM
Over the past several years sportygirl and I have found ourselves doing a lot more "off season" camping, but due to weather it usually involves renting a cabin or RV. And at $300+ a weekend it's starting to add up. Combined with many of our friends starting to do more and more RV camping, we started thinking about how to "keep up with the Joneses" on a budget and with limited storage space. After all, if we have to pay for storage, it defeats the purpose. So we started thinking about a small pop-up that I can slide into the garage as soon as my boat project is complete. We've thought about a camper, but both trucks are only 1/2 ton so that limits us on what's out there.

We don't need fancy, I've been tent camping my entire life. And we don't need big, it's just the 2 of us and the dog. Basically, it's portable shelter for the off season trips and will allow us to go to some of the camping areas our friends do that don't have surfaces conducive to putting a tent down (i.e. Big rocks or muddy ground). On board storage isn't a concern because everything we camp with will still have to remain in our Rubbermaid tote boxes because we will still need it for boat camping and tent camping for the places we take the boat. And we don't need amenities such as a sink, stove top, fridge, etc. because again, we already camp with these things. Although, I'm certain sportygirl would argue it would be nice to have a port a potty inside for those late night bladder calls.

So, who has any experience with small pop-ups? And what kind of advice or suggestions do you have as we look for one? Of course the basics such as no ripped canvas, rotted wood in top, soft floors, etc.. Basic modifications and fixes don't scare me but not looking to put us into a worthless money pit either.


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Grncrestliner
07-31-2017, 04:49 PM
My first RV if you want to call it that was a Coleman tent trailer. We used it a lot from the time my son was 1 year old until he was 8 or so. Took it everywhere and that is the advantage for a guy like me (being able to take it anywhere). The things I really liked was 2 good beds since when you extended the ends we had a good bed and so did who ever else was with us. 99% of the time it was family. Being able to sit inside at a table and cook inside was a huge step up for us over tenting it and doing most of that outside. We did not have a toilet but a lot of the ones now have one so that shouldn't be too hard to find or go with the port a potty.
The downside is of course in the snow they can get cold. I woke up a couple of times with ice on my sleeping bag but those were late October deer hunts. I think a good tent in really cold weather is warmer but I doubt you two are going camping in freezing weather. I am sure some have heaters now but that might not matter to you.
I would say buy a name brand that you can get parts and pieces for but there really isn't a lot to go wrong as long as you don't allow the canvas to rot. Even rotten canvas can be replaced but it is expensive. I have had two hunting buddies who went the tent trailer route and one still has his. If my wife didn't go occasionally and if I was younger I might get one again but it is tough to get away from a nice travel trailer like we have now.

MKE
07-31-2017, 05:15 PM
The problem is how are you going to tow both without taking both trucks ( pop up and boat). I know you probably don't want to hear this but get a 44 diesel with a cab over to tow your boat.

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CRABBY
07-31-2017, 05:22 PM
My old landlord where my shop was, rented them for years,the owner would buy em near new at the auction.Most I saw that came for service was for axle/bearing problems from overloading an the cranks for putting up the extensions,some were really flimsy,wish I could remember the brand names but never paid that mach attn.Almost all had built in heaters,sink,ice box an table,porta potties were the norm an stored in a cabinet.We also had insulation blankets for the walls for cold weather.(Req.their own internal simple frame.)He even brought in a bunch of off road luxury tent trailers,fully loaded with 16" tires,mags,diamond plate etc.etc.Sold 2 an had to auction off the rest.(3)The brand was champion an they were lemons(wouldn't buy a used one) LOL.....AN you can NEVER STORE any of them closed up when wet>>>>>MOLD,guaranteed......:bugsbunny:

CRABBY
07-31-2017, 05:26 PM
The problem is how are you going to tow both without taking both ( pop up and boat). I know you probably don't want to hear this but get a 44 diesel with a cab over to tow your boat.

Sent from my LG-H820 using TapatalkLOL,I do believe that would be beyond big D's budget by a mile..$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ Tent trailer $$$ :smile-new:

Merle
07-31-2017, 06:17 PM
I used to pull one behind my old bronco o I had to put the axle under the leaf springs to get it up higher for where I would take it. Only issue I had was the scrank up and down worm gear busted. Sure was glad it was cranked almost all the way down. other then that it was great for camping and being comfortable.
I just kept a small boat on top of it for fishing the rivers if I didnt bank fish.

AnglingWes
07-31-2017, 06:43 PM
Love my 26' trailer. AC,TV, toilet,shower, queen bed with real mattress, indoor and outdoor kitchen. Camping in comfort. Also doubles as a quiet office and in-law quarters when parked at the house.
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170801/d7afacb7f2a39a5366cfe10d9676c46a.jpg


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CAL.NDN
07-31-2017, 06:57 PM
Yep i agree Wes. Me and the wife going to pull the plug on the trailer life soon. Was going to go with pop up but figured we might as well do it right the first time plus the cost of pop ups even used that are in good condition are 6-7k mite as well spend a few more k and get something the wife will enjoy more. She getting to old for tent life i guess. I been doing it all my lige so used to it. But i aint going to lie im probably going to enjoy it more than her.

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Waterdog
07-31-2017, 07:20 PM
A hunting partner and I had one we used for waterfowl season many years ago. Kept it parked outside of Williams at a duck club. My opinion is that they are fine for summer camping but not for cold, rainy, or winter camping. I say this because you mention off season camping. It's difficult to warm them up when it's cold. When it's raining they become a mess quickly because you bring in mud and crap in. They are small inside and after a couple days they seem really small. They are good as a place to sleep, get out of nasty weather, and have a meal. We sold it after one waterfowl season and went to a regular travel trailer.
Also as mentioned you can't tow your boat so that is something to think about.
So for summertime camping go for it but for off season think about it carefully.
one other thing, a guy at our duck club had one for a couple years. He left it set up for one season. That year we had a heck of a storm up there with very high winds. The winds blew the trailer apart, ripped the canvas to shreds. I don't think it was rotten cause it was fairly new. It wasn't really salvageable.

redneckpunk
07-31-2017, 07:20 PM
The problem is how are you going to tow both without taking both trucks ( pop up and boat). I know you probably don't want to hear this but get a 44 diesel with a cab over to tow your boat.

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If I'm going to do that I'm just going to get a 1 ton with a fifth wheel and pull the boat behind it. LOL

Fortunately, when we camp with the boat we don't need the pop-up because it's boat in camping. And when we camp with friends, it's usually not somewhere we would bring and use the boat. With the exception of maybe a Collins Lake trip here and there and dragging both wouldn't be an issue because I could go up early and she could drag the other up when she got off work.


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redneckpunk
07-31-2017, 07:22 PM
Love my 26' trailer. AC,TV, toilet,shower, queen bed with real mattress, indoor and outdoor kitchen. Camping in comfort. Also doubles as a quiet office and in-law quarters when parked at the house.
https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170801/d7afacb7f2a39a5366cfe10d9676c46a.jpg


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Thought about it, but nowhere to store. Even thought about a class C motorhome I could tow boat with, but same issue.


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fish_junky
08-01-2017, 12:26 AM
What about a light weight pop up camper for your truck? 4 wheel campers in Woodland builds some really nice ones. Should be light enough for your 1/2 ton and still pull a boat.

http://www.fourwh.com/

brokea--boater
09-12-2017, 12:32 PM
Try the tent trailer, if you don't like it after a season sell it, it holds it value pretty good as long as its in great shape and a major mnf. so start with a decent one. There's no perfect rv, just like theres no perfect boat. I've had two over the years. As far as heating in cold weather, they can be heated with a 10,000 btu, or two 5000's propane heater hooked to a tank ( which was a better set up to heat evenly and saved propane on the long run. I used mine Elk hunting in Colo. during the open season, so it was well into late fall. It stays warm enough , just doesn't hold heat efficient, so a 7 gal. tank is what I had. Your not really going to be worried during the day temps vs staying warm at night and waking up to a warm rv. The other downside is that mine had to be raised up to get into it, so stopping on the road to get something out of it was a PITA. The big plus was pulling it, low profile met better economy, fuel was high during the time that I had one, so I was happy about that. I see some of the new ones on a flatbed trailer and room for ATV's, those are pretty cool and pricey too. I had a 24' bumper pull rv, loved it for its accommodations with having young kids, but the boat has to find another tow or stay home. We're on a second go around with a overhead, it seems to be a good way for just two of us now, because we want the boat where we go, but with small kids it was a bit cramped. Again, buy a decent one, so if its not for you, it'll sell easier then a well used one,,,gregg

redneckpunk
09-12-2017, 01:54 PM
Update:

We found a perfect size pop-up that we are hoping meets are needs. It was actually the first one we looked at, but the price was just too high. After looking at numerous models and deciding what we wanted it came down to only a couple things; 1) had to fit in the garage, 2) it's mainly a dry warm bed for late fall and early spring camping, 3) canvas in good shape. Everything else is a luxury or can be dealt with. After getting tired of dealing with flakey people on Craigslist and Facebook, to seller sent a text message with her price dropped $700 from original asking. We picked it up a couple hours later. It's in really good shape, with only one or two small pin holes in the vinyl portion of the top that covers the bottom and corners, easy patches. We haven't tried the sink but everything else seems to work fine.

We took it to Lawson's Landing the weekend after we bought it and
Gave it a good 3 day trial run. I will have a few adjustments to make but nothing major at this point. The biggest being the power converter in this model doesn't have a built in charger for the battery. So I either replace the converter with one that does ($120+/-) or add a separate charger. The other issue is the wiring on the TV needs to be "fixed". Whoever installed the tow package either didn't hook up the charge wire to the trailer or disconnected it at the plug. I have to drop the spare to get up in and look and just haven't got to it yet.

As for heating, one of the people we camp with said he doesn't even bother using his. Instead, as he prepares for bed he turns the stove on for a couple minutes to take the chill off and in the morning he uses the stove to make a pot of coffee and it does the same thing. Wil have to try it.


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redneckpunk
09-12-2017, 01:54 PM
Update:

We found a perfect size pop-up that we are hoping meets are needs. It was actually the first one we looked at, but the price was just too high. After looking at numerous models and deciding what we wanted it came down to only a couple things; 1) had to fit in the garage, 2) it's mainly a dry warm bed for late fall and early spring camping, 3) canvas in good shape. Everything else is a luxury or can be dealt with. After getting tired of dealing with flakey people on Craigslist and Facebook, to seller sent a text message with her price dropped $700 from original asking. We picked it up a couple hours later. It's in really good shape, with only one or two small pin holes in the vinyl portion of the top that covers the bottom and corners, easy patches. We haven't tried the sink but everything else seems to work fine.

We took it to Lawson's Landing the weekend after we bought it and
Gave it a good 3 day trial run. I will have a few adjustments to make but nothing major at this point. The biggest being the power converter in this model doesn't have a built in charger for the battery. So I either replace the converter with one that does ($120+/-) or add a separate charger. The other issue is the wiring on the TV needs to be "fixed". Whoever installed the tow package either didn't hook up the charge wire to the trailer or disconnected it at the plug. I have to drop the spare to get up in and look and just haven't got to it yet.

As for heating, one of the people we camp with said he doesn't even bother using his. Instead, as he prepares for bed he turns the stove on for a couple minutes to take the chill off and in the morning he uses the stove to make a pot of coffee and it does the same thing. Wil have to try it.


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LineStretcher
09-12-2017, 02:03 PM
Update:

We found a perfect size pop-up that we are hoping meets are needs. It was actually the first one we looked at, but the price was just too high. After looking at numerous models and deciding what we wanted it came down to only a couple things; 1) had to fit in the garage, 2) it's mainly a dry warm bed for late fall and early spring camping, 3) canvas in good shape. Everything else is a luxury or can be dealt with. After getting tired of dealing with flakey people on Craigslist and Facebook, to seller sent a text message with her price dropped $700 from original asking. We picked it up a couple hours later. It's in really good shape, with only one or two small pin holes in the vinyl portion of the top that covers the bottom and corners, easy patches. We haven't tried the sink but everything else seems to work fine.

We took it to Lawson's Landing the weekend after we bought it and
Gave it a good 3 day trial run. I will have a few adjustments to make but nothing major at this point. The biggest being the power converter in this model doesn't have a built in charger for the battery. So I either replace the converter with one that does ($120+/-) or add a separate charger. The other issue is the wiring on the TV needs to be "fixed". Whoever installed the tow package either didn't hook up the charge wire to the trailer or disconnected it at the plug. I have to drop the spare to get up in and look and just haven't got to it yet.

As for heating, one of the people we camp with said he doesn't even bother using his. Instead, as he prepares for bed he turns the stove on for a couple minutes to take the chill off and in the morning he uses the stove to make a pot of coffee and it does the same thing. Wil have to try it.


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The stove trick works... I do it all the time.