Pop Up Camper vs Travel Trailer

Discussion in 'Towing & Trailer Tech' started by ChevyFan, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. Blackmatter

    Blackmatter Member

    I use to like to tent camp in the more wilderness areas and i would not eat anything when we were camping unless it was cooked over an open fire. It would take me so long in the morning to get breakfast and get going that we then got a gas stove and it just progressed from there.
  2. dtzackus

    dtzackus New Member

    I grew up in a pop up camper, it was just me and my parents. About 6 years ago, my wife and I with our 3 kids bought a 19TT Keystone Zepplin 2 HTT (Hybrid Travel Trailer) which is an enclosed trailer, but the two ends fold out like a pop ups. It was great, very light weight, a/c, heat, bathroom, a total of 4 beds. One on each end, dinette broke down to a bed and the jack knife sofa folded into a bed.

    The problem was when we got to the site, we had to set up the camper, pop out both ends, then set up while our friends with enclosed campers, just pulled in and leveled up and they were done. At night, we had to fold down the sofa and dinette, in the morning, remove all bedding and use it during the day for cooking and kid down time, it got "old" quick, setting up and then packing up.

    Also, with the canvas ends you are limited by the weather, even though it had heat, the only thing that secured the ends to the bottom was velcro, a R value of 0. Plus when it would rain and get really humid, you would get the entire water dripping on your head from the condsation build up on the ends. Plus, if you were next to people who partied till 3am or just sat and talked next to the firepit, you heard everything thru the canvas ends. Plus I had to put the bunk ends away wet twice which got water everywhere and then had to "re-setup" back home to make sure the ends got dry or you would open a moldy mess.

    We upgraded to an enclosed travel trailer. We love it, the beds are all made, pull in, level up, and boom your done, set up the chairs, extend the awning and you can sit back and enjoy the RV lifestyle.

    Just my two cents.. get the enclosed unit!!
  3. forace2011

    forace2011 New Member

    Like everybody else here we started in a tent, then to a cheap popup, which we loved with no air, then we traded up to a top of the line Jayco popup with air and thought we were in the big time. Kept it 2 years and went to a dutchmen tt 26ft. Wow what a difference. Took it everywhere, Disney to Washington DC. Last year we traded her up to a 34 ft Rockwood with slides. Central air and heat, all the luxeries of home and very roomy for all. Also had to buy a truck(Diesel) to pull it. Used it for a year and love it. Took it to a camp ground in Myrtle Beach, SC and left it there. They pull it out anytime and now we have a place at the beach. Sold Truck. Best of both worlds for us. We can go or wife can go with friends , we are sleeping in our own bed and sheets and not behind anyone else. We would not have it any other way. But that is what we want. You do it your way and be happy. Just enjoy it. According to our dealer, most go through the same steps and usually end with an enclosed Travel trailer.
    There again it's just my $.02 cents worth. Good luck and happy camping.
  4. steved

    steved Former Member

    It really depends on your use...

    If you use it like a tent (a place to sleep) then a pop-up (or even a slide-in) are perfect as they are small, easy to tow (thinking fuel mileage and maneuvering), and easy to store (if you don't keep them covered in the off season, they will eventually leak). I owned a 8-foot slide in for several years, it was an older unit without many amenities; but it saw nearly every state in the contiguous 48 states. Being it was on the truck, we were allowed into places that you couldn't take a typical camper (Pike's Peak, Valley of the Gods, even Key West).

    I "upgraded" to a small 5vr, its nice but we find we don't use it as often. Its nice because it has a bathroom and AC, but we camp to be outside; and find we really don't spend that much time in the camper. We are really considering buying a pop-up or another slide-in, and trading the 5vr; instead of installing rails for the 5th wheel hitch in this new truck.

    My coworker started with a BIG pop-up, then upgraded to a 24-foot, and currently has a 30 footer. They camped all the time with the pop-up, went everywhere. They haven't moved the current camper yet this year because they can't justify the gas and its intimidating for him to tow.
  5. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    my wife and I bought a Coleman Cheyenne pop up camper when we were dating for weekend getaways. It does require a bit more set up than a travel trailer, but not as much as a tent. Mine had AC/Heat, and when we had to camp in places where there was direct summer sun, we had tarps that we covered the canvas bunk ends with. That kept it nice and cool during the day.

    To us, camping takes place outdoors. We used the inside for sleeping and napping. otherwise, we were outside. We had some really great adventures in that camper. I used to dream of a travel trailer, but looking back, I would do a tent camper all over again. this time, I would buy one of the bigger ones (Not that my original was small, it had a king bunk and a queen bunk) I am talking about one that has a MUCH larger box with a bathroom/shower and plenty of seating for those rainy days when you have to sit inside and play board games.

    Cons for tent trailers: If it rains while you are packing up, you have to open the camper back up when you get home so it doesn't mildew and rot. Limited space for hanging around inside. Extra set up time.

    Pros for tent trailers: Lightweight. Better fuel economy, smaller tow vehicle. Closer to nature. You sleep to the sound of the night instead of being isolated from it.

    At the end of the day, it really comes down to what you are going to do with it. If you want a place to hang around inside, then a TT is for you. If you want sleeping quarters only, but don't want to sleep on the ground, then a Pop-Up is probably the way to go.
  6. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Having done more than my share of tent camping in the 15+ years of Boy Scouts, I don't want to camp in a rolling tent. I want an extension of my house. I have my 32 foot travel trailer with a slide-out that I can pull into a spot, and in a short while after parking, be ready to go, or simply park it on the side of the road and walk into it with no prep and crash for the night. Even when I still backpack and camp in a tent, I pack in some luxuries. I'm helping restore a pop-up currently, and it's entirely too small and labor-intensive to set up.
  7. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I saw a Coleman pop-up on a dealer's lot a few months ago. This thing was EASILY 4 times the size of the average, garden-variety tent trailer... tandem axle, king bunks front and rear with a slide out for the galley. the cool part is that it was all motorized, just like travel trailers. you press a few buttons, stretch the canvas over the bunks and you're set. Of course, the other amenities of camping will have to be manually set up either way... Grill, awning, chairs, indoor/outdoor carpet, etc. no, it isn't the best option for an overnight stay at the "Wal*Mart Astoria", but it is cool just the same. It all comes down to what the end user has in mind. Now, I am not saying that I would not like to have a fully enclosed TT, but it isn't something I NEED and would be quite happy with the RIGHT pop-up, personally speaking.
  8. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy All hail the Mad King!! Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Before the person bought the pop-up that needed a complete restoration, he wanted to buy a Jayco 14SO, the biggest popup with a slideout like you describe. I saw pictures of it, and it did look quite roomy. It's amazing what a slideout will do in terms of massive increases of "roomieness". I love the slideout on my TT, I just wish I had one on the other side of the living room and another in the bedroom to give me more room.:money:
  9. moogvo

    moogvo Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Shall we break out the plasma cutter and welder? MUHOOHOOHAAHAAHAA!!

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