Author Topic: Pop-Up Camper Help  (Read 8636 times)

iamlittlehedgehog

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Pop-Up Camper Help
« on: June 09, 2015, 11:55:12 AM »
DH and I married in April, at the time we knew we couldn't afford a honeymoon so we said we would take one in 2016, this issue is neither of us seem to be crazy about coughing up a large sum of money for a one-time vacation.
But spending that money on a pop up camper for our various trips did. We frequent parks all around our state on a regular basis for paddle boarding and kayaking and the idea of having a small pop up with AC sounds amazing and much better than our current camping situation.
So long story short - is there any thing we should be looking for in a pop up camper? Vinyl vs. canvas, etc? How about bringing paddle boards and a kayak?

kpd905

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2015, 12:36:12 PM »
Would you be willing to wait until September or October to buy it?  I think you'd save a lot of money buying it outside camping season.

iamlittlehedgehog

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2015, 12:41:53 PM »
Oh yes. In fact we may wait till next year so we can buy a slightly better used one. The prospective budget is 5k.

Gone Fishing

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2015, 12:43:12 PM »
Not to state the obvious, but do all the parks you go to have power at the site?  I've thought seriously about a pop-up, but then when I started thinking about all of our favorite places, most of them do not have power or even water to most sites (water is central).  Like you say, AC would probably be the significant improvement, but a generator big enough to run one would be completely out of the question for me.

iamlittlehedgehog

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2015, 12:56:19 PM »
Not to state the obvious, but do all the parks you go to have power at the site?  I've thought seriously about a pop-up, but then when I started thinking about all of our favorite places, most of them do not have power or even water to most sites (water is central).  Like you say, AC would probably be the significant improvement, but a generator big enough to run one would be completely out of the question for me.

Most of them do. We would visit the sites with electric hook up during the humid summer months (May-mid October) then visit the non-electric sites during our "winter" months. We didn't even consider a generator being an option. I agree that could be a deal breaker.

Gumbo1978

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2015, 01:03:06 PM »
Big thing is making sure you already have the vehicle to tow it.  If not, that would be expensive.  You should be able to get a nice used pop-up camper for $5k or less. 

iamlittlehedgehog

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2015, 01:10:16 PM »
Big thing is making sure you already have the vehicle to tow it.  If not, that would be expensive.  You should be able to get a nice used pop-up camper for $5k or less.

Husband has a Nissan Xterra, not very fuel efficient but reliable and paid off.  I've heard of people towing pop ups with sedans or hatchbacks but that would make me nervous to haul something like that behind my little Fit.

Clean Shaven

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2015, 01:12:07 PM »
I used to have a popup camper.  Lots of good info at this site & forum:
http://www.popupportal.com/

iamlittlehedgehog

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2015, 01:18:01 PM »
I used to have a popup camper.  Lots of good info at this site & forum:
http://www.popupportal.com/

This wonderful! Thank you very much! I've been trying to find some unbiased help this has a wealth of knowledge.

Capsu78

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2015, 01:21:40 PM »
As an alternative, have you considered a teardrop trailer?

http://www.tnttt.com/

They seem to hold value better and offers quicker set up ... and they have their own internet cult too!

Bob W

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2015, 01:26:22 PM »
Best day of the year to buy a pop up is December 18th.   

People will chew their arms off to get rid of them and have some xmas cash.   I've camped for 30 years in a tent but I did sell RVs for awhile.   You can find one cheap in the off season.   Make a low ball offer in November and walk away.   Call back in December and offer them 5% less. 

Best day to sell around here is between April 1 and April 20. 

Remember that a lot of people actually have big loans on these,  so ask them as that may limit their ability to negotiate.

For many campers you can add an ac unit.    You generally can tow yaks on top the pop=ups.   

Here is the annual cost breakdown --

1.  alternative use of capital  = 500 (5K invested at 10%)
2.  Depreciation = 500
3.  Taxes/insurance = 150  (don't forget to check you auto insurance to make sure it covers and in Missouri you pay extra for lisc plates)
4.  Extra for electric camping site vs. primitive = 400 (based on 20 nights annual camping)
5.  Extra gas 100
6.  repairs and maintenance reserve (tires, ac, etc..)  150
7.  Storage (if you need it)  400

So your annual costs will be in the area of 1,800 to $2,200. 

You can beat some of these down by buying right and selling right.

So let's just guestimate annual costs of $1,500.   

So around here we could tent camp for 50 days all inclusive.( food, booze, site rent, etc.)

Or rent a river front cabin at a very cool location for 2 weeks.   

So yeah we never did the pop up.   Most of my customers used them less than 7 days per year at an average total cost of $225 per night.

We also like to "real camp" most of the time  -- which means not in a parking campground.   We do end up in some busy spots but try to avoid them and often camp right on the gravel bars or grass next to the lake or even mountain top. 

Their kinda like boats -- seem like a good fun idea but pretty quickly own you and your choice of activities.   (as in you feel bad if you end up only using it 5 nights per year the second year)

I must admit the pull of the comfort and convenience over tent camping is very appealing.

So just know going in about the hidden costs and negotiate like bastard on the purchase price while holding your ground on the selling price.   

iamlittlehedgehog

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2015, 01:42:25 PM »
Best day of the year to buy a pop up is December 18th.   

People will chew their arms off to get rid of them and have some xmas cash.   I've camped for 30 years in a tent but I did sell RVs for awhile.   You can find one cheap in the off season.   Make a low ball offer in November and walk away.   Call back in December and offer them 5% less. 

Best day to sell around here is between April 1 and April 20. 

Remember that a lot of people actually have big loans on these,  so ask them as that may limit their ability to negotiate.

For many campers you can add an ac unit.    You generally can tow yaks on top the pop=ups.   

Here is the annual cost breakdown --

1.  alternative use of capital  = 500 (5K invested at 10%)
2.  Depreciation = 500
3.  Taxes/insurance = 150  (don't forget to check you auto insurance to make sure it covers and in Missouri you pay extra for lisc plates)
4.  Extra for electric camping site vs. primitive = 400 (based on 20 nights annual camping)
5.  Extra gas 100
6.  repairs and maintenance reserve (tires, ac, etc..)  150
7.  Storage (if you need it)  400

So your annual costs will be in the area of 1,800 to $2,200. 

You can beat some of these down by buying right and selling right.

So let's just guestimate annual costs of $1,500.   

So around here we could tent camp for 50 days all inclusive.( food, booze, site rent, etc.)

Or rent a river front cabin at a very cool location for 2 weeks.   

So yeah we never did the pop up.   Most of my customers used them less than 7 days per year at an average total cost of $225 per night.

We also like to "real camp" most of the time  -- which means not in a parking campground.   We do end up in some busy spots but try to avoid them and often camp right on the gravel bars or grass next to the lake or even mountain top. 

Their kinda like boats -- seem like a good fun idea but pretty quickly own you and your choice of activities.   (as in you feel bad if you end up only using it 5 nights per year the second year)

I must admit the pull of the comfort and convenience over tent camping is very appealing.

So just know going in about the hidden costs and negotiate like bastard on the purchase price while holding your ground on the selling price.

Beautiful cost break down! Thank you very much!
Repairs are probably my biggest concern because we plan to buy used and outright. We have an annual park membership so our camping fees for electric hookup is right about what we would pay for non-member primitive camping.
Definitely some additional costs associated but I believe our "trip" cost breakdown last year came out to around 1.2k. A lot of that was spent on hotels because you can't tent camp on a lot of Florida beaches anymore but you can park your pop up or RV at a close designated site.

iamlittlehedgehog

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2015, 02:15:05 PM »
As an alternative, have you considered a teardrop trailer?

http://www.tnttt.com/

They seem to hold value better and offers quicker set up ... and they have their own internet cult too!

Sorry! I didn't mean to ignore you post. I didn't see it until a hot second ago. We did consider a tear drop but every one we have been in seems a bit...snug. We need to fit myself, him and 2 dogs. I'm sure they make larger ones that have a bit more breathing room but then they tend to be out of our price range and I don't trust us enough to build one. I do however see their appeal and noticed a growing passion for them which is wonderful.

Bob W

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2015, 02:24:55 PM »
Best day of the year to buy a pop up is December 18th.   

People will chew their arms off to get rid of them and have some xmas cash.   I've camped for 30 years in a tent but I did sell RVs for awhile.   You can find one cheap in the off season.   Make a low ball offer in November and walk away.   Call back in December and offer them 5% less. 

Best day to sell around here is between April 1 and April 20. 

Remember that a lot of people actually have big loans on these,  so ask them as that may limit their ability to negotiate.

For many campers you can add an ac unit.    You generally can tow yaks on top the pop=ups.   

Here is the annual cost breakdown --

1.  alternative use of capital  = 500 (5K invested at 10%)
2.  Depreciation = 500
3.  Taxes/insurance = 150  (don't forget to check you auto insurance to make sure it covers and in Missouri you pay extra for lisc plates)
4.  Extra for electric camping site vs. primitive = 400 (based on 20 nights annual camping)
5.  Extra gas 100
6.  repairs and maintenance reserve (tires, ac, etc..)  150
7.  Storage (if you need it)  400

So your annual costs will be in the area of 1,800 to $2,200. 

You can beat some of these down by buying right and selling right.

So let's just guestimate annual costs of $1,500.   

So around here we could tent camp for 50 days all inclusive.( food, booze, site rent, etc.)

Or rent a river front cabin at a very cool location for 2 weeks.   

So yeah we never did the pop up.   Most of my customers used them less than 7 days per year at an average total cost of $225 per night.

We also like to "real camp" most of the time  -- which means not in a parking campground.   We do end up in some busy spots but try to avoid them and often camp right on the gravel bars or grass next to the lake or even mountain top. 

Their kinda like boats -- seem like a good fun idea but pretty quickly own you and your choice of activities.   (as in you feel bad if you end up only using it 5 nights per year the second year)

I must admit the pull of the comfort and convenience over tent camping is very appealing.

So just know going in about the hidden costs and negotiate like bastard on the purchase price while holding your ground on the selling price.

Beautiful cost break down! Thank you very much!
Repairs are probably my biggest concern because we plan to buy used and outright. We have an annual park membership so our camping fees for electric hookup is right about what we would pay for non-member primitive camping.
Definitely some additional costs associated but I believe our "trip" cost breakdown last year came out to around 1.2k. A lot of that was spent on hotels because you can't tent camp on a lot of Florida beaches anymore but you can park your pop up or RV at a close designated site.

Very good my friend.  Just wanted to share with a fellow mustachian what I felt the real costs were.   I used to sit at the RV dealer staring at the 4-5K pop ups all day long and the wife even promoted them.   I could never pencil out or justify for the type of camping we do.   

Our favorite campground even rents out RVs for $50 a night.   So we have it made there.

You might also consider renting if you do not use them too frequently.   As I recall we rented new pop ups with AC, toilet, showers for $40 a day.   

We even had a program where if you bought a new pop up from us that we would house and rent for you for a 50/50 split when you weren't using it.   It was a decent program full of tax write offs and helped defray the cost of buying a super nice new one. 

Really,  $40 a day is not bad when you consider the hidden costs of depreciation and alternative use of funds,  etc..

You might start with renting to see if you really like it? 

Stachetastic

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2015, 06:10:39 AM »
We bought our pop up a year ago in February. We're in Ohio, which definitely has a camping season and an off-season. We didn't know how much we'd get to use it while the kids are young, and wanted to be realistic about the cost of use (thanks to Bob W for his numbers on that--very enlightening). We bought used (of course) and ended up getting an older Coleman for $900. It's old enough to go to college, but in very good shape. It did not come with AC/heat, or a fridge, but our goal was just to upgrade a but from tent camping and have room for all of us and our small dog. As predicted, we did not get it out as much as we would have liked last season, but we don't feel guilty about the purchase. We are hoping for more time once some house projects are completed in a few weeks. We store it in a garage at one of our rentals, so we don't have storage fees. We do have to pay for tags every year. If you can find the right deal, I highly recommend getting one. I'm jealous you have year-round camping opportunities!

Bob W

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #15 on: June 10, 2015, 07:14:28 AM »
Yep,  900 is the sweet spot and they can be found.   I have two friends with deals like that. 

Capsu78

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #16 on: June 10, 2015, 08:00:34 AM »
As an alternative, have you considered a teardrop trailer?

http://www.tnttt.com/

They seem to hold value better and offers quicker set up ... and they have their own internet cult too!

Sorry! I didn't mean to ignore you post. I didn't see it until a hot second ago. We did consider a tear drop but every one we have been in seems a bit...snug. We need to fit myself, him and 2 dogs. I'm sure they make larger ones that have a bit more breathing room but then they tend to be out of our price range and I don't trust us enough to build one. I do however see their appeal and noticed a growing passion for them which is wonderful.

Yes "snug" is a proper consideration- We bought a 4x8 which was a mistake for 2 adults plus I toss and turn in a queen size bed so while we enjoyed it, I ended up donating it to a BS troop.  I really did enjoy the back end kitchen however, and would even break it out for block parties etc.

Jack

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #17 on: June 10, 2015, 09:25:13 AM »
Yep,  900 is the sweet spot and they can be found.   I have two friends with deals like that.

Just out of curiosity, what's the "sweet spot" price for a used version of the smallest Airstream?

Bob W

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #18 on: June 10, 2015, 09:29:04 AM »
Yep,  900 is the sweet spot and they can be found.   I have two friends with deals like that.

Just out of curiosity, what's the "sweet spot" price for a used version of the smallest Airstream?

We never dealt in airstreams.  Sorry I can't help.  I find the old Airstreams very cool.  They are collectable items.   

Gumbo1978

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Re: Pop-Up Camper Help
« Reply #19 on: June 10, 2015, 11:11:35 AM »
I've seen a lot of the smaller pop up tent campers that have kayaks and bikes attached to them with roof racks on the hard top of the camper - some being pulled by small cars - so it's very doable I think.

Doable, but might not be the best idea.  I have a buddy with small pop-up camper he pulls with his Kia Mini-Van.  He's OK doing it in town (Charlotte, NC), but after making a mountain trek to Virginia with it, he declared never again.  Was slow going getting up the mountain and he could feel/hear his brakes struggling coming back down.