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Pop Up Camper Trailers, Pros/Cons?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by tacomtn, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Sep 15, 2011 at 1:28 AM
    #1
    tacomtn

    tacomtn [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thinking about getting one of those pop up trailers. They sure look nice but can be expensive. I might be checking one out tomorrow. A Coleman, don't know the model or year, but it's got a queen bed, double bed, stove, table. Asking $1700.

    After camping this year and taking 3hrs to set up tents and kitchen gear, these trailers are looking better and better.

    How is it towing these things? Leveling? Pros/cons?
     
  2. Sep 15, 2011 at 4:42 AM
    #2
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Towing is very easy. They're typically low and track pretty well (obviously there are some exceptions but they are generally an easy tow). Leveling is a breeze, just bring a 4' level with you camping and get it close.

    That sounds very very cheap for a Coleman camper. Watch out for a few things when buying such as water in the overhead light and stick your hand up underneath the fiberglass shell. There is plywood under the shell and I've looked at a couple where that was soaking wet and will basically just crumble on you or if it feels very wet, walk away! It's very expensive to replace the top shell of a pop-up so make sure you get one with no leaks!
     
  3. Sep 15, 2011 at 8:11 AM
    #3
    tacomtn

    tacomtn [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for those words of advice. I'd have never known about leaks of plywood had you not told me.

    Another trailer I might check out is a 1997 Coleman Taos. They're asking $1800. Good deal?
     
  4. Sep 15, 2011 at 8:16 AM
    #4
    97yota4wd

    97yota4wd Well-Known Member

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    alot of metal, small engine, decent travel.
    caged, camburg long travel, 50t leafpack (soon to be installed) light rack over cab, 5pt harnesses etc
    i have a pop up camper and i like it alot, very easy to maintain.

    but you need to give us more than just year make and price, 2 fold outs, sink, shower, shitter?

    one thing... make sure the vinal in not ripped (the fabric) they cost like 800 bucks and replacing they sucks major balls!

    the only bad part about getting a pop up other than something like a box trailer is.. well popping it up, and making sure its water proof.

    make sure they crank up and down easily, if not walk away!
     
  5. Sep 15, 2011 at 8:31 AM
    #5
    mantry

    mantry Member

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    If it has an ABS roof, be VERY VERY cautious!!!!!

    Here is a thread on the subject:
    http://www.popupexplorer.com/forum/index.php?topic=76491.0

    Summary, Coleman started using a 1 piece ABS Plasitc roof (looks like maybe what your plastic cooler is made out of) and about 10% of them would fail. They failure was 2 fold:
    1. The roof would SAG in the middle. If you look at it front to back or side to side the roof should be flat or crowned, if it sags then it has the problem. We have a 1996 Coleman Cheyenne that has the problem. If I run a string from front to back there is about a 2" sag in the middle. The problem with this other than it doesn't shed water properly is when the sag develops now the SIDES of the roof no longer sit on the rail of the trailer properly which means going down the road you are apt to get dirt and water inside. Again, you can look at the left and ride side of where it sits on the trailer when it is closed and it should be sitting on the rail, ours hangs out over the rail but an inch or two. Then also the front and back of the roof don't seal on the trailer rail, so again, dirt and water while your towing.

    2. The ABS plastic material will start to develop cracks in it, which can let moisture into the roof and that starts its own set of problems. Also you can see bubbles forming where the roof is starting to debond from the sandwhich construction that it is made out of.

    Now are all ABS roofs bad? No, again, about 10% someone quoted. So if you find one, and it is in good shape, no cracks or sags then OK, and it probably won't develop the problem if it hasn't already. If it does have the sags and the cracks, I would personally walk away. Ours has the problem and we just deal with it. It is a minor inconvience and we are stuck with it.
    They did warranty them, but it was only for the origional owner and that may have even expired by now. To replace the roof you are probably looking at 2K with Cost, shipping and installation.

    Hope that helps.
    Mark
     
  6. Sep 15, 2011 at 9:13 AM
    #6
    MJonaGS32

    MJonaGS32 MJ on a GS

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    a good forum that I joined after getting a TT was rv.net. Check it out for ALL kinds of info
     
  7. Sep 15, 2011 at 10:49 AM
    #7
    Tigahshark

    Tigahshark Senior NEWBIE

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    Look up "Jumping jack trailers" there pretty sweet as i was thinking about getting one for myself
     
  8. Sep 15, 2011 at 11:08 AM
    #8
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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    I went through two of them they are OK but I'll never buy another one after getting a real TT. They are a pain when it's raining, you got to take all the stuff out and put it under the beds outside very little storage, they are noisy you hear every thing, when the humidity is high they rain inside and they are less then bug proof. That said they can be bought cheap they tow easy and have a low profile that should save you a little fuel. I just bought a 18' TT it has every thing shower, electric brakes, toilet,stove heat that will keep you warm, hot water and tanks to drain stuff in. I payed $2,500 for it and it weights under 2,400#
     
  9. Sep 15, 2011 at 11:12 AM
    #9
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    That's a neat idea! How much do they cost? It doesn't look like there's a dealer in my state or any neighboring state.
     
  10. Sep 15, 2011 at 11:14 AM
    #10
    Pugga

    Pugga Pasti-Dip Free 1983 - 2015... It was a good run

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    Damn man, where did you get a TT for $2,500? I might have to look in Maine for a trailer!
     
  11. Sep 15, 2011 at 11:30 AM
    #11
    aficianado

    aficianado Well-Known Member

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    my "deer camp" is a bad ass fleetwood off-road pop up camper. it has a small shower and toilet. we never use the toilet,but after a week of chasing deer, a quick 5 minute shower is worth it's weight.

    this is my brother's camper. it is extremely waterproof. sleeping in it, is loud like a tent, but i love it. we fire up the heater, and the thing heats up instantly.

    it is heavy tho. with water, i bet it weighs in around 3000. he tows it with a duramax, so it barely registers.
     
  12. Sep 15, 2011 at 11:31 AM
    #12
    MJonaGS32

    MJonaGS32 MJ on a GS

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    I got mine for $300 :D

    but I agree. TTs are excellent. Mine is about the same size and weight and taco pulls it great.
     
  13. Sep 15, 2011 at 11:35 AM
    #13
    aficianado

    aficianado Well-Known Member

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    i think that jumping jack trailer is very expensive for what it actually is. a trailer, with a tent. i think i saw them at sportsmans warehouse for $6k+
     
  14. Sep 15, 2011 at 8:41 PM
    #14
    tacomtn

    tacomtn [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Wow, great info boys.

    I never thought of the disadvantages of the popups. I guess the only ADvantage is their lower profile and...? Is that it? Weight maybe?

    Seems like a regular solid trailer is better.

    Then I'm wondering, financially is it really that much better. Even if I can find a decent one for $2500, I might use it 2x/yr max. Unless I find an exceptional value like MJ at $300+repairs, then maybe. I guess it comes down to the question of "Is it worth it for me?" Maybe for couples/families it is. For someone single, maybe not.
     
  15. Sep 15, 2011 at 9:29 PM
    #15
    Tigahshark

    Tigahshark Senior NEWBIE

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    But then again you get two for one, you can take out the tent and use it as a pretty heavy duty trailer then put the tent part back in and go camping PLUS you can still use it like a trailer with the tent on it.:eek:
     
  16. Sep 15, 2011 at 9:40 PM
    #16
    Scooter

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    Pop up pros:

    - easy to tow
    - great gas milage when towing - no wind resistance
    - lost of room for a small package
    - easy to store

    Pop up cons:

    - gets damp after rain, even when closed. Must pop open to air out.
    - can not shut out noisy campground neighbours
    - prone to leaks in when camping in rain

    TT pros:

    - quiet inside with windows and doors closed. (A.C. on)
    - less problem in rain
    - can pull off at rest stop, run in the TT and have lunch

    TT cons:

    - harder to tow - Wind is a huge factor
    - bad gas milage when towing
    - harder to store
     
  17. Sep 16, 2011 at 4:20 PM
    #17
    maineah

    maineah Well-Known Member

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    I towed a popup with my 4 cyl. 97 Tacoma and never did much better then 13-15 MPG (it was wide though wider then the truck) towing the TT to Canada with the new Tacoma 6 cylinder 10-12 but yes a TT has a lot more surface area and can't be as good on fuel but I'm not sure it's a huge improvement. A/C or not they are much quieter and when you have lunch another plus is you can pee!
     
  18. Sep 16, 2011 at 9:47 PM
    #18
    Scooter

    Scooter Canadian Member

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    You got that right! :thumbsup:
     
  19. Sep 17, 2011 at 4:21 AM
    #19
    Fagro

    Fagro Active Member

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    Also be aware that Coleman is out of business, so if buying one, parts may be hard to come by. I bought on last year. A 1997 Coleman Cheyenne. The biggest problem was a rotted floor in the front storage area. Has plenty of room. Wife now wants a TT with a toilet/shower.
     
  20. Sep 17, 2011 at 1:23 PM
    #20
    Scooter

    Scooter Canadian Member

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    Most people I know start out with a pop-up, and then want the amenities of a TT, so they tend sell the pop-up and buy a TT. 'm not saying all who buy a pop-up eventually move to a TT, just know what you want before you invest.
     
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