Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Peds109

First PUP: Need Help!

Recommended Posts

Apologies in advance for long post, but good-in yields good-out so better to be detailed than not.

With our newborn daughter, my wife and I are realizing quickly that cashing in my airline miles and hotel points acquired from work travel is going to be much tougher.  We both love camping and believe a pup will be a good purchase.  We’ve never owned any type of camper nor have either of us towed anything...  though we have some friends and family that have.  I’m an admitted over-researcher so I’ve don’t a lot of reading but I need input from folks who know things firsthand.  I’ve tried to provide all the info I can here.  Thank for your help!

 

Tow Vehicle & Weight:

i have a Honda Ridgeline truck with a max tow rating of 5000lbs.  I use the truck as a daily driver so I don’t want to stress it out.  I don’t want a TT...  I don’t want to store it and I don’t want the extra resistance/potential sway while towing.  I want a pup with a GVWR of 3500-4200lbs.  We’ll be doing one longer week (4-5+ nights) per year plus 3-4 long weekends of 1-3 nights...  all within 100+ miles.  We will take a second car (my wife’s SUV) which can take kids/dogs/people/cargo...  so the TV would really just be me and the pup.  I’m thinking a GVWR of 3500-4200 would then be very very comfortable for the TV...  correct?

 

Must Haves:

need at least 3 distinct sleeping areas.  Need fully enclosed bathroom.  One of our destinations each year will be a remote location so we need the bath for the dry camping.  Need towing numbers to work.  Can’t be a travel trailer.  Must have air conditioning.  Budget is flexible.  Would love to find a used option for under $5k but willing to go to $10-20k for a near new gently used option or even brand new if there are worthwhile incentives to buy new.

 

4 options:

ive narrowed our options to 4 and I’ve provided my perceived pros and cons below.  What I need to know is:  do you agree with these pros and cons?  Are there other options I may have missed?  With the info provided, which of these would you suggest?

option #1:  10+ year old Coleman Niagara high wall.  Pros:  Love the floor plan.  Lowest price point.  Well made.  Cons:  tough for service and parts.  Will likely need more maintenance bc it’s 10 years old... and again, parts and service may be scarce.

option #2:  new(er) Rockwood high wall.  Pros:  less likely wear and tear.  More service options.  Okay floor plan.  Cons:  higher price point.  Average quality.

option #3:  a frame hard side high wall (a liner or Rockwood).  Pros:  simple set up and very weight-efficient.  Less maintenance due to hard side.  Cons:  smaller space that we may outgrow quickly.  Higher price point.  Small local inventory.

option 4:  trailmanor.  Pros:  good floor plans.  Less canvas wear and tear.  Cons:  heaviest option.  Longer set up process.  High price point and low inventory.

 

 

bonus question:  anyone ever bought used from a dealer out of state...  site unseen.  If I found a perfect deal but didn’t want to travel  10+ hours to get it, is there any way to comfortably get one that way?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the Escapee forums!

We owned several pop-up trailers but quite some time ago. When it comes to used RVs the condition is everything. Without seeing the RVs that you are considering, I have no opinion at all about which is best. I would never consider buying a used RV unseen, and especially not one with canvas over large areas of it. A used RV is sold "as is" meaning that if you buy it and find that it is totally junk, you will have no recourse. It is also very risky for one of us to tell you what will serve you best because that is a very subjective thing. I will tell you that for comfortable towing you need to tow no more than 80% of the rated towing weight which for you means 4000#. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The condition of the canvas is everything! I would not buy sight unseen. Leaks or mildew would be a no-go for me. Plus, I would want to check every fastener for workability--snaps pull out and zippers break and owners can become so used to those that they no longer even think about them so won't think to mention them to you.

Linda Sand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rear floor is an especially prone area to rot, be real sure that is solid. Also, there's a pop-up forum you should ask these same questions. Be sure it has a title, not just a bill of sale unless your state will accept that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the input thus far (keep it coming!).  We’ve talked through some things and made some progress.  We’re going to rule out the A-Frame...  we just feel we’ll outgrow it way too quickly.  Our goal is to end up in a 2020 TrailManor 2518.  It’s our desired floor plan, it’s the perfect weight for our TV (more on that below), and we like the idea of hard side folding versus canvas...  But we’re not going to buy it new.  It’s out of budget and we feel like we should start off with something cheaper to make sure we’ll enjoy it as much as we think...  meanwhile we’ll let someone else eat the depreciation on the TrailManor and hopefully smooth out any of its kinks.  

 

In the meantime, we need a reasonably priced canvas pup.  We’ve narrowed it down to a Coleman/Fleetwood Niagara or a Rockwood HW296...  nearly identical floorplans and specs.  There’s several of each nearby priced between $3-8k.  Which leads to my questions:

1 - anyone able to comment on these 2?  The Coleman is older and a little cheaper...  and I found a traveling service person near me that has great reviews and an ability to source parts and perform any work that I can’t.  The Rockwood is newer and thus more expensive, but still manageable.  But aside from newer, I’ve read a lot of people think Coleman was higher quality.  Can anyone offer an opinion on this?

2 - both are around 3100lbs dry.  If I don’t fill water until I’m at the site, I would have a battery or 2 and propane.  Is it reasonable to think that me, my wife, 2 small kids, 2 kayaks, and all of our gear can come in at 1000lbs or less?  My goal is to keep total weight under 4200lbs.  

3 - any tips on how to inspect a used pup? Canvas (naturally) and rear floor suggestions are great.  Anything else you’d encourage a first timer to inspect/do/look through?

 

thanks again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Peds109 said:

any tips on how to inspect a used pup?

Pretty much the same as any RV but adjusting for the difference in structural materials. Make sure that all appliances work properly, that the water system does not leak anywhere in the tank or the plumbing. Examine the canvas parts very closely paying attention to all seams, fasteners, and attaching points. Check all parts of the canvas support structure and of the lifting system. Check the tires for both condition and age. Tires more than 10 years old should be replaced. Check the battery condition and age. Look for water stains or other indications of leaks from plumbing or weather. I would want to watch it be closed up and opened again, taking part in it if possible. Examine the upholstery around the edges, corners, and seams. Look for crushed foam cushions. Check all drawers for slider operation and condition of corners and attaching points. Check all mattresses closely lay down on each of them, turning over and feigning sleep. Do a walk through of the activities you will do when out in it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If there's a bathroom: Can you sit on the toilet with the door closed? Do your feet and knees fit? If there's a shower enclosure can you wash your hair without banging your elbows on the wall? If your dropped the soap is there room enough to bend over to pick it up? Will you have to remove the toilet paper when taking a shower to keep it dry? Will your towel hang within reach without getting soaked? Can you hang wet clothes in there when you got caught in the rain without making a mess?

I also recommend sitting and thinking about what you would pack where.When I find myself packing the same cupboard for the third time I realize either need less stuff or more space.

Linda Sand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're set on a new Trailmanor eventually, why not look for an older used one now instead of a canvas one?

We had a couple canvas popups in our early camping years.  It was great fun and a big improvement over the tent. Ours was simple from the 1970's!  I just looked at videos of the three types you were considering. 

The canvas Rockwood took 45 min. for the experienced sales person to put up.  Think of doing that in a rain storm or taking it down in rain.  The wet canvas tucks in on the bed when folding it up.  When you get home you definitely need to open it  for a day or so to dry everything out so you don't get mildew. Not fun.

The hard side A-Frame takes 13 minutes to set up.

The Trailmanor video was 3 minutes long to set up.  The Trailmanor I viewed had a tub/shower which would be great for small children. Plus, the whole bathroom wouldn't get wet as opposed to a 'wet' shower.  You can open & close it in the rain without the inside getting wet.

Make note of your holding tank sizes since you plan to use the shower & toilet.  If you had to dismantle the whole thing to drive to a dump station and then return to the campsite that would be a pain.  Or else you'd have to deal with a portable dump tank and have a place to store it when traveling.

Again, I would look into a used Trailmanor.  Good luck!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Be sure that you understand the features of the Trailmanor as it is important to know what a recirculating toilet or a cassette toilet is and how they are emptied, as compared to RVs that have both a gray water and a black water tank. Those types of toilet take more to manage and empty them than do the standard flush toilets found in most RVs. Looking at the specs of the current models, the refrigerator is only 3 cubic feet, which is very small and I'd be surprised if a used one will be any larger. If you have not actually been inside of these or the popup trailers, I really think that you need to take the wife and go spend some time studying just what they have and how things work. If you come to these from tenting you will find them luxurious but if you are used to the facilities of a house that may not be the case. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had Trailmanor 2619 that we bought new in 2000. We previously owned a Rockwood pop up. We loved our pop up but the Trailmanor was AWESOME. Recirculating toilet was no big deal, and the size was perfect for 2 Adults 2 teens and a 80 pound boxer. These things last are designed to require very little maintenance. We sold ours in 2008 and went to a class A, but it was as good as new.

Look around, I talked to a family last month that had just bought a used 2619 for 5000.00. I think they said it was a 2006 and it looked just like ours. 

Hope you have a blast in whatever you end up with.

Jeff

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, jeffslock said:

Look around, I talked to a family last month that had just bought a used 2619 for 5000.00. I think they said it was a 2006 and it looked just like ours. 

This is the exact kind of deal I’m looking for.  Unfortunately, tough to come across...  and even tougher for it to be moderately local 😕

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

DFW RV Roof

RVAir The cleanest air in RVing!

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

AGS Now Hiring

RV Pet Safety

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...