Author Topic: To pop up camp or not  (Read 1486 times)

Tester

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To pop up camp or not
« on: June 02, 2021, 05:20:35 PM »
I need some advice.

I think I would love to pop up camp.
I think my family would love it more than regular camping too.
I want to get the camping microbe into my kids.

I am dreaming of a pop up camper (used).

Problem: our only car is a 2009 Honda Odyssey with 190k miles. It is the base version so it has AC and kind of thatbis it. I installed an android auto unit myself for navigation, did not get to install the back up camera yet.
Bought it in 2018 at 145k miles.
Did a lot of what it needed, starting with new tires (need to replace them again soon), timing belt service (with tensioners/water pump), shocks, some electronics, front brake rotors, etc.
All in all, including the 9.2k buying price (including tax and registration), I think I spent 15/18k on it.

I know it "can" tow a pop up camper, but I am not sure it would be a good idea, as I know the transmission is problematic in these minivans.
I would need to at least install some extra cooling for the transmission to have some comfidence that I don't ruin our trips.


I am thinking my options are:

1. Continue camping with a tent. I kind of don't like it anymore, I am not sleeping well anymore...
2. Rent a pop up camper and tow it with what I have for a very short camping trip. Will have to see if I need any extra, I have an uhaul towing thing installed (without the hook/ball).
If this works well and everybody loves it, add the trns radiator and tow with this car.
3. Change this car for another one. I saw a 2013 Ford Flex at 15k USD with 100k miles. It already has the towing package.


I love minivans but I am not finding one with normal miles around 15k usd.
This is why the Ford Flex, it is really close to a minivan.
Plus it can tow more than the minivans, which means it will get less stress from it.

I don't really like suvs, I would love to have a wagon.
I also "need" 3 rows, as kids are still small plus we are sometimes getting visitors staying with us for one month.

Net worth 520k, invested 270k.
Got to this from 0 net worth in 6 years.

Please let me know if I am missing some option



draco44

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2021, 08:37:09 PM »
I would rent at least once before buying, but not so much to see how it fits with your current vehicle (though that would be part of the thought process if you do buy) but to see if your family (i.e. not just you) really does like it enough to justify this purchase.

Just remember this is a want rather than a need. I found it notable that in your post you say "I think I would love to pop up camp." Until you confirm with yourself that this is something you truly want to do, AND that buying is worth the opportunity cost of not being able to use the money you'd use to purchase a camper on anything else in the universe (because that's the calculus you are making when you buy anything), I would suggest not buying the camper. Doing a trial rental will give you a better sense of if this would be worth it for your family.

I also suggest the following reading homework as a refresher or in case you haven't seen this post before:
https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/09/18/is-it-convenient-would-i-enjoy-it-wrong-question/

seemsright

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2021, 08:41:34 PM »
We have a popup. It is not that much less work than a tent. Nor that much better to sleep in and we have really changed the bed hubby and I sleep on But it fits on the side of our house.


They are hard to find used in good condition if you do find one used...make sure the roof, floor and canvas are good.  We bought ours new for 9K. Hubby has kitted that thing out to the max. It is his toy, it has all kinds of mods. We use it A LOT. It is what we do during the summer.

They are light and not hard to tow once you have the right vehicle. If  you have to change your vehicle and get a popup (in this market) you might be better just to hold off for another year or two till vehicles and RVs level out.


draco44

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2021, 08:47:49 PM »
Follow-up suggestion: In your post the only specific reason you provide for why you would like to buy a pop-up camper is that you aren't sleeping well when tent camping. Can you attack that issue more directly and avoid getting the camper entirely? A quality mattress pad for your sleeping bag, for example, would surely be cheaper than a camper. If you have a problem like "can't sleep," there are likely ways to solve that problem more inexpensively than buying a camper. A camper could be cool, don't get me wrong, but the part about poor sleep when tent camping and a camper being the only correct solution seems like a rationalization strategy your brain is pulling on you.

pdxvandal

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2021, 09:55:03 PM »
I understand your predicament. I'm in my mid-40s and sleeping on the ground can really suck. I've rented campers the past two summers, but overall, don't think it's worth buying one unless you use it often. I've decided to upgrade our sleeping-pad and tent situation instead. Much easier to manage/pack and as other posters have said, not sure the sleep (or lack thereof) is much different. And much easier to go to far-flung places when you're not towing a tent trailer. Best of luck in whatever you decide!

Taran Wanderer

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2021, 10:01:45 PM »
To tow with the Odyssey you need a hitch, a wiring harness, and an auxiliary transmission cooler. I watched a couple YouTube videos and installed the hitch and wiring harness easily in a couple of hours. (It only took 7 minutes each in the video...).  We only use a hitch mount bike rack so I havenít done the transmission cooler. A friend did (also with help of YouTube) and said it was a piece of cake. He ties a pop-up camper and is really happy with the results. The dealer quote was $1500. The hitch and wiring self installed was less than $100. I think my friend said the cooler was another $300 or so. Good luck.

Tester

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2021, 11:07:09 PM »
Thank you.
Will provide some more info and insight into why I think a pop up camper would be a good idea - although for now I won't even rent, will just use our tent.

The car has the hitch already, I would need the wiring and the transmission cooler. I did not even get a bike rack as I could fit 3 bikes and the camping gear inside :-).
This is why I think minivans are the best invention since discovering fire (the one that burns).
I might rent a pop up camper for a weekend but I don't know if I want to buy the transmission cooler and the harness, will look at the dyi videos to see what it takes.
I don't want to spend 1k just to be able to tow something for one weekend if I won't finally like it...

I upgraded to some really nice and thick air matresses under the sleeping bags, I can't understand how I was sleeping on the trail pads while backpacking as a teen...
I still don't sleep well and wake up all grumpy. Might also be because we are camping with two kids and a dog...
We have a tent in which I can stand up at 6 feet so it has enough space. Again, my last tent before this I could barely sit in...

I won't buy a camper which requires a different vehicle as it does not make sense to me. Plus the crazy prices right now...

Most important part: my wife said that she does not want to go camping anymore because of the fact that she does not feel comfortable sleeping, plus all the set up, no shower for the kids, sometimes not so nice toilets, etc.
I think a pop up camper can solve some of those things ( some have shower and toilet).


For now I will stick to the current set up as I also bought a porta potty (did not try it yet:-).
Perhaps I will just also get a camping shower and get more organized to make it more comfortable for all and spend the money on other things... :-).

Thank  you all.

Fishindude

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2021, 07:13:56 AM »
Rent or borrow one a couple times, see how you like it, how the vehicle tows, etc.
A pop up is a bit nicer than a tent, but not a big improvement.    A tent you can stand up and walk around in with nice cots is probably as comfortable.

PMG

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2021, 07:33:18 AM »
We got a rather expensive REI brand camping mattress for tent camping.  It makes a big difference. Might be worth trying before buying a pop up. The advice to rent is also good. Renting might work out better than buying anyway unless you know youíll use it extensively.

ETA: I missed your reply with more details of what youíve tried.  I understand your wifeís perspective!  Why go to so much extra work for little relaxation?  Weíre not camping with kids so no clue there. But we did streamline everything. Itís stored ready to go.  Food is simple quick cooking with water stuff and whatever fresh we have around. No shuffling coolers/ice/thawing meat. Our little turbo stove makes coffee, tea etc quick and easy. We can pack up and go camping in about 15 minutes without planning. When we add some planning time food and activities get better, but itís really easy to get out of the house.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2021, 07:42:22 AM by PMG »

KYFIRE

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2021, 08:38:09 AM »
As I'm preparing to get ready to go camping in our enclosed camper this weekend I have a few insights.

I would also recommend you rent if you really want to try.  It is expensive to rent but maybe can find someone you know with one willing to let you borrow?  Going from tent to camper hasn't been as great as I thought it would be.

My two cents, we got our camper after we had our boys.  We'd talked about it before they came because we thought it'd be faster and easier to get ready to go camping......it's not.  I still spend hours preparing, packing, moving food, all that crap to get ready.  All of this while working around what ever tantrum one of the twins is having at that time.  Then once pulling that thing at 9mpg to whatever spot, it's an hour of set up and hoping the AC cools it down enough before bedtime.  So all of this is a hassle still to get ready and go even with a camper.  Adding to that is the all the extra cost on top of it (we got ours for a steal before COVID so it's actually worth more now than what we bought so we're still holding onto).  Of course there are upsides, like being able to be inside and dry when it rains.  And AC....

Another thing that I miss is that with a tent you can go pretty much anywhere.  There's some of my favorite campgrounds that were tent only so now we can't go there.  And way too many of the camp sites around here that allow campers are little more than parking lots with a sprinkling of trees.  So for me I can't wait til they're older so we can go back to some of the really more uncrowded sites to tent camp.

Some suggestions we learned in our tent camping (maybe you already have done);

-Get a big tent, don't have to prove yourself to the hikers with their tiny tents.
-Get the air mattress with a frame.  We only finally got this for one of our last trips and it's a HUGE difference.  Not being on the ground helped a lot. 
-Probably already do this but bin everything for faster packing
-Leave the dog....it was a hard one but for us it was just another kid we'd have to worry about

socaso

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #12 on: June 03, 2021, 10:23:06 AM »
Everyone who I know who got a pop up liked having one but also got rid of it after a few years due to lack of use. Most of these folks didn't camp that much to begin with so I think they overestimated how much they would be doing it. The resale market for pop ups seems to be good and the people I know who sold theirs usually made back most or all of the money they originally spent (except one guy, who made a profit, but he's a hell of a wheeler-dealer).

I think if you already camp a lot it's worth a try and if you don't use it much you are likely to break even or not lose too much by trying.

v8rx7guy

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2021, 10:27:17 AM »
We had a different experience.  Our PUP was a gateway to getting a hard-sided trailer... I think this is a pretty common thing to happen as well.  We LOVED our PUP and used it 3 or 4 times a year.  We pulled it with no problem with our 2003 Honda Pilot... longest trip was 10 hours to view the eclipse in eastern OR.  We rented ours out as well for $75/night and almost recouped the entire purchase price ($3000).  We just sold it this spring for $3,500!

Mr. Green

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2021, 12:02:56 PM »
Minivans are quite capable of towing. The engines in them are typically V6s with 250+ HP so they are more than able to tow a lightweight pop-up camper. Most pop-ups weight less than 2,000 pounds. Our Hyundai Santa Fe SUV is rated to tow 2,000 pounds with a 4-cylinder, 185 HP engine.

I don't know much about Honda Odyssey transmissions but manufacturers don't pare engines with trannys that can't handle the power (short of a defect).

The key to towing is mostly common sense. No hard acceleration or pulling harder than necessary uphill because it's harder on the mechanicals. This is especially true as you get closer to the vehicles maximum towing capacity. When towing, treat the car like you would pushing your 90 year old grandma in a wheelchair and you should be fine.

Edit: I see upthread a transmission cooler is needed.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2021, 12:08:00 PM by Mr. Green »

AMandM

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2021, 12:12:35 PM »
My husband's family had a pop-up and he has many happy family vacation memories connected to it. So we borrowed it a couple of times to camp with our kids. But we switched to tent camping when it was time to spend our money ;-), for several reasons beside the cost of the pop-up itself.

-The pop-up is almost as much hassle as a tent to set up and take down, and it requires more maintenance.
-It turns out that many of my husband's happy family vacation memories happened while his mother was alone in the campsite doing housework. I am the primary homemaker in our family, and our camping trips are supposed to be a vacation for me, too; tenting reduces the amount of housework and changes some of it to outdoor work that everyone else does more readily.
-Campsites with water and electric hookups are more expensive than tent sites.
-In our state parks, the water & electric sites are separate from the plain tent sites, and the people in them are more likely to have noise-producing machines. The loops with plain sites are a quieter "neighborhood."
-The bed in the pop-up was arguably no better than a good air mattress. It had the firm wood base, but the mattress was just a thin foam mattress and the bed itself was significantly smaller than a queen-size air mattress.

OP, another option for your family, if tenting is too uncomfortable but pop-ups are too much hassle and expense, is to rent a cabin. In my state, state parks have cabins of varying levels. Some are just a hut with beds, some have kitchens and bathrooms, some have fireplaces, some have heating and AC. But they all have beds.

Tester

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2021, 12:19:17 PM »
Thank you again, I will go camping on June 11, will see how things go this time.

I also agree with my wife, it got kind of complicated to go camping and it ruins the fun.
When I was backpacking I would stick everything on my back, get into the train for 12 hours, then hitchhike to the camping spot/mountain, then do day hikes, move the tent and repeat.
Backpacking sleeping pads, backpacking tent, burning only wood we could gather... At least I did not go to extremes, as we were not moving camp daily so did not have to get the lightest things (plus did not have money for the real advanced gear).

Now with a car(minivan) full of luxury camping stuff, it is not as fun as before...

We kind of have everything binned for camping, I just need to go through the bins and replace the expired items/batteries/whatnot as we did not use them for one year.
This time I will remove the meat/eggs and so on from the meal plan, or perhaps just get enough for the first night. That should remove part of the stress with preparing.
We have a gas camping stove so tea/coffee/cooking is really fine and quick (reminds me I need to get some fuel :)).
And we are anyway only going for two nights now, those are fine. The harder ones are when we go for 4-5 nights...


Regarding the cots, I don't think I can fit 4 in the current tent, might be the right time for a new tent...
The current tent is this: https://www.rei.com/product/128687/rei-co-op-grand-hut-4-tent And it is really a grand hut, but when you are 4 inside it gets a little crowded.
I will think hard about getting a larger one where I can fit cots in.

I have some good (at least I think they are good:)) air mattresses, these https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FELZ3TW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1
When we first got them we slept on them in our house and we were thrilled. Unfortunately it seems it is not the same in a tent :).

With the dog, we first need to neuter him so if we leave him somewhere he is not isolated. He is just over one year old and leaving him in dog care for 3 days around dogs without being able to play with them does not make me feel well :). We'll neuter him in the next 2-3 months and then will be able to leave him in dog care instead of hauling him with us.
Unfortunately this means this summer we will have to adjust our vacation plans with him in mind too.


EDIT: when going camping I am the one preparing food, setting/taking down camp, cooking/making coffee/washing dishes, especially because my wife is doing this a lot at home and vacation should be vacation.
We keep it simple with cooking, I don't want to go camping to grill (although I get my cast iron grill for a nice steak from time to time).
When I go camping I want to just relax/hike/play as much as possible, if I want to cook and wash a lot of dishes I can stay home :).
« Last Edit: June 03, 2021, 12:24:08 PM by Tester »

darknight

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2021, 08:59:23 AM »
I've owned a 5th wheel and a truck camper.. Was really considering a pop up camper. My brother had one last year and I was excited to get to use it if we wanted!... Long story short, I'll never own one. It's literally the worst of both worlds. You tow something to not "tent camp" and you're still "tent camping". You can't use them in certain parks that require hard sided campers (bears etc), you still have to tow something (mileage down, inconvenience), bed is really as all other posters have mentioned.. it's just foam on a plywood board. With a minivan you can pack it full, not have to tow and be able to travel faster and lighter. Get a bigger tent if needed, I see costco has a highly rated 10x14' tent that's 6.5 ft tall. $199, sets up in 2 minutes. Buy a decent air mattress and still be ahead 10-30x financially. Tent campers used to be "budget options", and to find one that is good condition will be very overpriced right now. Used campers are about 2x normal price right now with demand. Plus.. fittings, canvas tears, water leaks, mice getting in, water pipes, tires, registration, storage.... list goes on. I find that when I want something like that I have to consider how much I want outside of my circle of control. Tent camping FTW in this case.

centwise

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2021, 09:18:30 AM »

Regarding the cots, I don't think I can fit 4 in the current tent, might be the right time for a new tent...
The current tent is this: https://www.rei.com/product/128687/rei-co-op-grand-hut-4-tent And it is really a grand hut, but when you are 4 inside it gets a little crowded.
I will think hard about getting a larger one where I can fit cots in.


Why do the kids need cots? I slept comfortably on a basic mat on the ground until I was at least in my 30s. The parents should have comfortable mattresses or cots as needed; the kids should be fine sleeping on groundmats. Depending on their ages, they can even have their own basic little tent; family can gather in the big tent for rainy-day games, but leave the big tent for the parents to sleep in luxuriously.

Blue Skies

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2021, 11:16:58 AM »
Get a bigger tent and an actual air mattress.  If you are hauling the tent in your car, don't buy a backpacking tent.  They are small for a reason.  Get something that is rated to sleep at least two more people than the number you are planning to put in there. 
For our family of 4 we have a very large 6 person tent (not a 6 person backpacking tent).  We use a queen size air mattress for the adults, and nicer camping pads (like you have) for the kids.  The kids are fine, and I am comfortable.  It all fits in our huge tent.
You can even get humongous tents that have separate rooms so you can put two cots on one side and the kids on sleeping pads on the other side.  That is luxury.  DH wouldn't go for that because then you need a really big flat area to put up the tent.  Easier to find a good set up spot with the smaller (but still very large) one we have.

We have also sometimes let the kids use our 2 person backpacking tent and then slept in the big 6 person tent ourselves.  The little tent is so tiny you can fit it almost anywhere.

Tester

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #20 on: June 04, 2021, 11:59:00 AM »
Lots of good ideas, will look into a bigger tent, I think this is the main problem right now. It is a tall tent, I can stand up in it, but when we are 4 inside it is not perfect.
I think I will go for a 6 person tent first.
Then will see if things get better, next step would be looking into cots.

Regarding air mattresses, tried them in the current tent, but it fills it and if they are not properly inflated it gets adventurous to get in and out :).
It is funny the first time and during the day, we had fun, but not so funny during the night.

Will give those another try in the bigger tent...

I will see how things go next week with the current tent but with some improvements i thought of to get some more usable space inside.

jac941

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2021, 12:15:48 PM »
Iím super into camping and most years we camp with our kids a dozen times. Sometimes with the dogs, sometimes not.

This may seem counterintuitive, but once we started backpacking with the kids, camping got much more fun. This is even though we had to carry most of their stuff. So now whether weíre car camping or backpacking we pack like weíre backpacking. Instant lightweight shelf stable food (no cooler. Can be purchased in bulk for multiple trips), 4-person backpacking tent, and lightweight hammocks (ENO Doublenest) in case adults arenít comfortable sleeping. The hammocks double as kid entertainment during the day. It makes packing and getting out the door so much less stressful!

Sometimes when car camping we will throw in some camp chairs or bikes for the kids or the 2 burner stove instead of the backpacking stove, but if weíre trying to get out, we donít worry about that stuff. Itís not essential and not being stressed about packing makes everything so much easier.

All of that is to say going with the pop up means getting fancier which might make preparing and getting out more stressful not less. We found that going the opposite direction to less fancy camping was better for us.

spartana

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #22 on: June 04, 2021, 01:19:59 PM »
BAT (big ass tent) is the way to go. A big cabin tent (8 or 10 person) that comes with 2 rooms with a divider and is easy to set up/take down and has tons of room for off floor mattress etc will be much better than having to lug around a pop up tent trailer. They are inexpense too. I've done tons of longer term camping in everything from a tiny one person bivy tent (backpacking) to a ginormous cabin tent and for a family who is car camping it's the way to go imho. Bring a screen room for bug free cooking and sitting space and you are set. I go with my dog long term (months) and will set up a big tent if Im staying in one area for a week or so. Smaller 4 person tent if short stay (or sleep in my vehicle since Im usually alone or with BF). Just use my bike or car to get around in.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2021, 01:23:21 PM by spartana »

Botany Bae

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #23 on: June 04, 2021, 10:20:39 PM »
A two room cabin tent was our car camping go-to with young kids. Along with a shower/toilet tent with a porta-john and solar shower.

For food, we never do hardcore cooking on site. Camping is supposed to be fun, and for me cooking and cleaning up at a campsite isn't fun. Breakfast was baked goods or egg sandwiches on english muffins with fruit. We made scrambled egg "patties" in advance so it was heat and eat (either on the camp stove or inside a campfire pie iron). Lunch was always simple sandwiches and raw veggies. Dinners ranged from standard hot dogs over a fire, to foil packet dinners that were prepped before we left the house and just heated on the camp stove or placed in a pie iron and heated in the campfire. Dishes only consisted of wiping the plates and any flatware clean -- no pots and pans at all.

Tester

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2021, 10:47:48 PM »
I also think camping should be about nature, not about cooking.
I can cook at home.
For us morning would be oats, eggs yoghurt.
Lunch, sandwiches, dinner, friends would make some grilled meat...
We also had some hashbrowns which were easy to make.

sonofsven

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2021, 09:24:08 AM »
I also think camping should be about nature, not about cooking.
I can cook at home.
For us morning would be oats, eggs yoghurt.
Lunch, sandwiches, dinner, friends would make some grilled meat...
We also had some hashbrowns which were easy to make.

I was an avid backpacker in my younger years, now a car camper.
Part of the fun for me has always been meal planning and creating memorable meals on the camp stove or the fire pit.

As far as the pop up trailer goes, I was interested enough to look into them but the main attraction to me was the ability to store it in the garage.
At the time I had a vintage trailer that was difficult to store properly out of the weather, and I live in an extremely wet environment.

One of the benefits to a normal trailer is your ability to use the trailer en route to your destination to store and prepare food and use the bathroom. We would pull into a rest stop or parking lot and prepare a quick lunch in the trailer.

The downsides are pulling a trailer. It complicates everything and limits your available destinations.

I ultimately decided I wouldn't use it enough.

Tester

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2021, 11:36:40 AM »
Don't get me.wrong, I don't have anything against people who like cooking while camping.
I am also making a nice steak while camping from time to time.
I am just trying to minimize time spent cooking/setting up/tearing down and washing dishes while camping :-).
Guess I'm lazy... :-)

mountainmama

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2021, 12:25:26 PM »
I work with guides and have heard amazing reviews about this mat. Too heavy for backpacking, but great for basecamp situations. And while they are expensive, they're much cheaper than a camper!
https://www.amazon.com/Exped-MegaMat-Self-Inflating-Sleeping-Medium/dp/B077ZGWNKD

Tester

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2021, 11:23:20 PM »
I work with guides and have heard amazing reviews about this mat. Too heavy for backpacking, but great for basecamp situations. And while they are expensive, they're much cheaper than a camper!
https://www.amazon.com/Exped-MegaMat-Self-Inflating-Sleeping-Medium/dp/B077ZGWNKD

Thank you, I will keep this in mind :).

For now I have these (and I really like them... so I think it is something else, not only the mattress):
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01FELZ3TW/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

elaine amj

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #29 on: June 06, 2021, 12:53:39 AM »
That's a tiny tent for 4 of you! I'd be pretty uncomfortable too. We went with a 10x10 2 room cabin tent when the kids were small and upgraded to a 10x14 when they were larger teens. It's nice to have space to  stretch out when in the tent and not feel jammed up against each other. Also, this meant there was plenty of space for bags.

Speaking of bags, a few years ago my DH picked up a cool duffel bag at a yard sale for a few bucks. It had a built in clothes rack you can assemble. It was AWESOME to have a stand up closet inside the tent. I think it was sold for people travelling to dance meets to hang a variety of costumes.

We also have two totes of camping gear ready to go in our basement.

And what someone else mentioned is right - packing for a popup trailer is still going to be a bunch of work. Nowadays, my DH is fancy and prefers cottaging and it's a ton of work for us to pack all our gear, sleeping stuff, clothes, cooking supplies, and food. About as much work as packing for camping. Unpacking and setting up is maybe a teeny bit faster, but not by much by the time we make all the beds, load the fridge, and fill the pantry cupboards.

My instant tent takes me maybe 10-15 mins (mostly due to laying the groundsheet, putting up the tent, then setting the fly) and then another 30-60 mins to set up the carpet in our tent (yes, we are fancy like that) and our bedding.

I still prefer tent camping but he likes the protection from the elements (it is nice not to battle mozzies) and the interior bathroom. And I'll admit - cooking and cleanup are easier with running water and a real sink lol. But I sure miss laying in a tent and feeling the trees all around me.

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Tester

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #30 on: June 06, 2021, 01:05:14 AM »
I think the tent is the problem, it is hard to move inside when we are all in.
For me, when we got it it was humongous, but my last tent experience before this one was decades ago in backpacking tents, with no kids...

I will look into a 6 or even 8 person tent...

Settung tent and tearing down it fun for me, I am doing the cooking, washing whatnot, as I love camping/hiking.
I am doing everything to make sure we will at least try backpacking once...

The sleeping part is not as fun anymore :-).

I have this week to buy a bigger tent and see if next weekend will be better :-).

Weisass

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #31 on: June 06, 2021, 04:51:27 AM »
Fwiw my dad bought a pop up tent for the same reason you are describing: my mom hated camping and he wanted to make it more comfortable for her.

But it didnít work.

Sure, she went a couple times, but she never enjoyed it, because she didnít like camping. Simple as that.

My dad suffered because he just wanted us all to go together. I think, looking back, he should have just taken us and let my mom enjoy herself at home. Everyone would have been happier, and he wouldnít have wasted money on a pop up.

Tester

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #32 on: June 06, 2021, 11:19:58 PM »
Thank you, not buying a pop up, now really need to decide if I keep the current car or if I go for a new one or a new to me one... Just got a quote for a lot of things on the current one and don't know if I want to spend those money.
Openned a separate thread for that.

Thank you all for the suggestions on how to make it more pleqsant while camping, will try them and see what stocks for us :-).

stoaX

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #33 on: June 07, 2021, 05:24:18 AM »
I've owned a 5th wheel and a truck camper.. Was really considering a pop up camper. My brother had one last year and I was excited to get to use it if we wanted!... Long story short, I'll never own one. It's literally the worst of both worlds. You tow something to not "tent camp" and you're still "tent camping". You can't use them in certain parks that require hard sided campers (bears etc), you still have to tow something (mileage down, inconvenience), bed is really as all other posters have mentioned.. it's just foam on a plywood board. With a minivan you can pack it full, not have to tow and be able to travel faster and lighter. Get a bigger tent if needed, I see costco has a highly rated 10x14' tent that's 6.5 ft tall. $199, sets up in 2 minutes. Buy a decent air mattress and still be ahead 10-30x financially. Tent campers used to be "budget options", and to find one that is good condition will be very overpriced right now. Used campers are about 2x normal price right now with demand. Plus.. fittings, canvas tears, water leaks, mice getting in, water pipes, tires, registration, storage.... list goes on. I find that when I want something like that I have to consider how much I want outside of my circle of control. Tent camping FTW in this case.

I owned a pop-up and towed it with a 2008 Odyssey and enjoyed it, but everything Dark Knight says above is true. 

One other downside is that you have to disconnect it from the vehicle in order to set it up.  That means you can't just quickly pop it up for lunch on the way or for a bathroom break.

PMG

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Re: To pop up camp or not
« Reply #34 on: June 07, 2021, 06:37:00 AM »
OP, if youíre tired of responses after youíve made a decision you can update your first post to guide the conversation where itís useful for you.