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By coop
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Mar 16, 2010
Indian Creek Climbing

So for all you families out there, does anyone use a pop-up or camper trailer? We are having the debate currently about the good and the bad of them, but with kids it seems if you can afford it that it would be nice.


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By Eddie Brown
From Tempe, Arizona
Mar 16, 2010

My father has always rented them a couple times a year because it's cheaper to rent than to own. So I stay in different rented ones about twice a year. He typicaly gets less expensive ones, (i.e. no hot water heater, no lazy boy, no TV). Here are my observations:

Pros of "pop up tent": easy to haul, doesn't get as hot in summer, seems very spacious because often times they fold out.

Cons of "pop up tent": friggin cold in winter, security is minimal, set up and take down time

Pros of "hard side": warmer in winter, easier set up, more security

Cons of "hard side": cost, hauling can be a pain depending on what you drive


One way or the other know how to back a trailer and have a grand in the bank for the maintenance and repairs that are inevitable with that kind of investment. It seems as though something breaks or is not in working order every time we get one. Good Luck!


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By Will Butler
From Boulder, CO
Mar 16, 2010
ice park

These things look pretty sweet too: www.sylvansport.com


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By dnoB ekiM
Mar 16, 2010
Wonderstuff

coop wrote:
So for all you families out there, does anyone use a pop-up or camper trailer? We are having the debate currently about the good and the bad of them, but with kids it seems if you can afford it that it would be nice.


I bought a used hard-side travel trailer last year.

The pro's:

1. Way more comfy than my usual more dirtbag options. I wanted a 19 footer ended up with 25 footer. It's a bit overkill but very comfy.
2. You can get used ones pretty CHEAP these days if you are patient and look around. (Bad Economy = People Selling Toys Cheap) I ended up with the 25' because it was sooo cheap. Still wish I would have waited and got a 19'.

The con's:

1. You need a REAL truck. Most SUV's and smaller trucks have horrid tow capacity and you do not want to max or exceed their capacity.
2. Gas! My F250, which I would usually not road trip with, gets horrid mileage with trailer in-tow. (Versus my Element...my old road trip vehic)
3. More limited camping location options. Although my F250 is 4WD...my trailer is very limited on where it will safely go. Finding good spots very near your selected area...may be more challenging. For instance, I am going to Maple in the late spring and may end up "camping" 20+ miles away. I really want to take it to Jack's in the fall...but not sure it will like being towed across the ruts that are sometimes in the road to the campground.
4. Storage....I have to pay for storage...which stinks.

My read is...if you get a smokin' deal, have a truck and a place to store it...go for it! Nothing like waking up in a real bed, taking a hot shower, cooking some breakfast, and then stepping out side your door and climbing!

I looked at pop-ups...but most are just really expensive tents!


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By coop
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Mar 17, 2010
Indian Creek Climbing

Thanks for all the posts and info. I have a truck capable of pulling one. A 19' seems to be the max we would want. With hard sided one seems like less setup, warmer, quieter however more expensive. What I don't want to get into is one that sucks the money out of my wallet in repairs.


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By Ron L Long
From Out yonder in Wisco.
Mar 17, 2010
City life

You might want to check in to a slide-in camper for the back of your truck. You can also get these as a 'pop-up'. I have had one for about 10 years, used it for road tripping all over the country for months at a time. Love it.

Advantages - no different than driving a truck, the pop-up has reasonable clearance, reasonable amount of room when compared with tent camping, usually come with fridge/stove top.

Disadvantage - It does cut down some on gas mileage.


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By jnowis
From Laramie, Wyoming
Mar 17, 2010

I'm going to be building a teardrop camper with high clearance and burly enough to stand up to most forest roads. It is inspired by Adventure Trailers really nice (and pricy) teardrop. Little Guy also makes one that is forest road worthy. Google "outback teardrop" or "Dave & Louise's 4x4 Teardrop Trailer Website" if you are curious in homemade trailers.

Adventure Trailers offroad teardrop
Adventure Trailers offroad teardrop



You get a nice hardsided place to sleep and a kitchen that is always set up. Most cars can tow a teardrop, but for off-road a small SUV or Jeep can handle them. You can also leave camp relatively secure but set up with a teardrop camper.

Downside is no place to stand up, not really family friendly (kids can sleep in a tent or the back of the truck though).

I looked at high clearance pop-ups, but a lot of comments talk about always have something breaking, leaky tents, etc. I've also always wanted to build one, so why not? Little Guys sell for around 5 grand.


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By Tina
From Loveland, Co
Mar 17, 2010
me

I have the best camper ever.

setup less than 30 sec (after leveling of course).
setup less than 30 sec (after leveling of course).


very light and folds down just as easy as set up.
very light and folds down just as easy as set up.


includes fridge, heater, sink, outlet for inverter, water tank.
includes fridge, heater, sink, outlet for inverter, water tank.


lots of room
lots of room


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By NjC
Mar 17, 2010

We have a '97 pop-up trailer that we bought to replace our '84 VW camper. It was at the end of it's life but also just wasn't the best for young children in several ways, though it was perfect for a couple, if you could live with it being horribly underpowered on hills!

I have loved the tent trailer, especially when the kids were young. It may look like a glorified tent (and definately doesn't look cool), but the extra headroom and "bounce room" made it ideal for kids. I'm sure something larger would be even better, but we didn't want anything larger than the very smallest tent trailer.

It is light, hand maneuverable on cement though less so on gravel, fairly high in clearance, tows easily (my husband prefers a heavier car for safety), and has endured over 12 years of regular use with minimal repairs...even with very strong winds. It also has lots of visibility, is well vented in hot weather (if there is any breeze) and is warm enough in colder weather, and very toasty with the small heater.

It is less secure, but we lock the outer door when we are away to discourage an opportunistic thief, and have never had any trouble. It's felt luxurious on week-ends to week-long trips, and really is fairly easy to set up for an overnight. We also disabled the sink in favor of storage and carry a stove for the picnic table for use on all but very windy, cold, rainy or snowy weather just to keep the camper cleaner for sleeping/lounging, though this was just personal preference.

As our kids move off, we're already thinking of what next. We'll stay with the camper as long as the SUV holds up (and as a couple have sleep in the back of that for an overnight), but are tending to think of something smaller like a van or the right tent. Don't know yet...it's awfully nice to be off the ground in the desert or primitive sites, but a tent ( with a luxurious sleeping pad) is also a possibility. Towing isn't hard unless you're going into a big city, but it does take more gas. We liked not towing when we had the VW but like not having to put things away to drive somewhere. Everything is a trade-off!

Hope that helps! I'd be glad to answer other questions if you have them!


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By Cameron Turner
From Eagle
Mar 21, 2010

Pop Up Heaven
Pop Up Heaven

If you desire to get off the beaten path, then a pop up is a great choice. I have a Rockwood 232 Xr and have been delighted with it.
Yes they take 20 minutes to set up and have canvas, zippers etc but they also have heaters, toilets and showers too. The pros are towing, gas, vehicle size. Storage in winter (mine fits in my garage).The off road versions can be towed in anywhere, great clearance and suspension.
If you want to go to camp grounds and hook in to the power and water then definitely the hard sides give you more creature comforts.
I would say it comes down to where you want to camp and what the wife says. Cameron.


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By coop
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Mar 21, 2010
Indian Creek Climbing

Is that lime creek? So after searching craigslist and the classifieds and setting a budget we ended up with a gently used 99 popup. My 18month old loves climbing in and out already and we look forward to a campground free summer and free camping, climbing , campfires, and homebrews anyone? I might need to flip the axles for independence pass. See you out there on the western slope or the desert.


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By Cameron Turner
From Eagle
Mar 24, 2010

Coop, Yes thats Lime Creek. Its a great place to camp and climb off that beaten Track. Happy trails. Cameron.


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By coop
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Mar 24, 2010
Indian Creek Climbing

been there a few times and love it, perhaps some route development this summer?

Cameron Turner wrote:
Coop, Yes thats Lime Creek. Its a great place to camp and climb off that beaten Track. Happy trails. Cameron.


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By mcarizona
From Flag
Mar 24, 2010

Tina please reveal the cost of something like that Aframe new.


Coop - we have used a pop up for at least two years and have beaten it and it still rolls! I took some time tightening everything before putting it away last time. It will need lots of TLC but so far it has been worth the 7 grand. I think if it lasts through next year I will feel the value was there. Any repairs I have made have been with stuff I already had laying around in my garage. Good luck,
Steve


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By Cpt. E
Mar 24, 2010

at an undisclosed location that isnt near any good climbing at all.
at an undisclosed location that isnt near any good climbing at all.


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By coop
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Mar 25, 2010
Indian Creek Climbing

I'm envisioning using the popup for 2 years then upgrading to a hard sided camper so I can extend the season a little better. I also just thought about last year in CO and all the rain we had. Going to have to dry a popup out before storing versus a hard sided camper.


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By kachoong
From The Outback, Texas
Mar 25, 2010
Climbing at Frog Buttress

Great thread!

The wife and I have been thinking about getting a pop-up camper. Still in the "thinking about it" stage though, but all these ideas is making me excited to get one.

I think we'll rent one or two to begin with to see if it's really what we want. That sylvansport one looked awesome!


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By Jason Gilbert
From Lakewood
Mar 25, 2010
...And a few Push-ups just for fun.

Those Sylvan Sports look Awesome!
I'm thinking about buying one.
Has anyone ever used one?

Jason


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Mar 25, 2010
Stabby

Tina's is better. The Sylvan Sport is just a tent on wheels. If you're going to haul a trailer, you should at least have a table to sit at and have a little heat.


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By Lee Smith
Mar 25, 2010
You can love your rope but you can't "LOVE" your rope! <br />(Back by Popular Demand.  There you are Mom) <br /> <br />

Here is a link to Chalet Campers


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By Lon Black
Feb 14, 2012

The first camper I had rocked because of clearance and the heater and solar panels. Most climbing areas and BLM land require more clearance than a normal travel trailer.

Now I have 27 campers, hybrid trailers, and off road campers, because my wife and I own Colorado Camper Rental. Now when I go to Indian Creek I take one of the off road campers with a solar set up.

Some people posted saying pop up tent campers are friggin cold. Most have heaters, so just turn it on. Makes camping in early Spring and late Fall much more comfortable.

If anyone is wanting to look at different types of campers, feel free to stop by. Happy to share any info I can with you.


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By Mick S
From Sandia Park, NM
Feb 14, 2012

Jtree Camping
Jtree Camping


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By coop
From Glenwood Springs, CO
Feb 14, 2012
Indian Creek Climbing

We now have a 1984 Skyline camper which has been all over Colorado, Wyoming, and Utah! Would be nice to get the heater working but everything else works great.

Looks similar to this one.


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By Zirkel
From Bishop, CA
Feb 14, 2012
Owens Gorge.  Mt Tom in background.

Chalet Campers link update: www.chaletrv.com/folding.php

Also a fan of these: www.fourwheelcampers.com/

And the Jayco Baja looks pretty durable and is set-up to carry toys: www.jayco.com/php/products/floorplans.php?id=374


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By Rob Warden, Space Lizard
From Springdale Ut
Feb 14, 2012
blah

SCAMP Trailers are awesome


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By Edward Gerety
From Miami, FL
Feb 15, 2012

When I was young, my family moved west from New England to New Mexico. My Dad bought a pop-up tent trailer for the move. We spent a month going across the country to California and back to New Mexico, camping in national and state parks.

It was a family of two adults, seven children and a dog. The older kids had their own pup tents to sleep in and the two youngest slept in the trailer with Mom and Dad on one of the two almost queen sized beds. Setup was minimal and all the cooking/camping supplies fit in boxes in the trailer, leaving us to be crowded in the station wagon.

It worked fine in wet and dry conditions, in hot and cold. It was one of the formative experiences in my life. My opinion: It's a fine way to go and you can use the money you save to stay a little longer or go a little farther.


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