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View Full Version : Should we get a pop-up?


verlee
07-15-2009, 08:48 AM
I was wondering if you all could give us some advice? (this might get long)

We have the chance to purchase a nice 8 ft palomino pop-up for $1000 from a family member. (Does that sound reasonable?) We have been tent campers for several years (8). Have no clue about campers. :confused3
We go camping about 1-2 times a summer but we think we would go more if it was not such a hassle to get the gear packed and unpacked.

I would like to take the camper on out of state vacations (ideally to FW next summer :thumbsup2) as well as hitting the state/national parks. Is it hard to pull a pop up on long trips? We have a toyota sienna. We would be coming from wisconsin and I am concerned about traveling through the mountains. Would it be hard on the van?

Sorry for all the questions. :rolleyes:I am just not sure if we should go for it or not. Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated. We get first shot at the camper so we need to let them know. Thanks in advance for the input

becky1960
07-15-2009, 08:59 AM
Price sounds good and they easy to pull..

southcarolinagirl
07-15-2009, 09:39 AM
Sounds good to me, but if you are going to bring it to FW in summer, make sure it has A/C or plan on having one installed.

scot@dvcstore
07-15-2009, 10:50 AM
Price seems great and pop-ups generally pull very easy, obviously depending on the size of the trailer and the tow vehicle. You may want to check the towing capacity of your van. Once you know the towing range of your van, there should also be a small metal plate or sticker on the camper that will provide you with weight etc of the camper. Make sure you are in that range.

I would also invest in a set of new tires for the camper they are more than a couple years old. Pop-up tires are generally 13 or 15 inch and should run about $75 each to replace. Tires can get very hot on long trips especially in Florida. If the tires suffer from any "dry rot" they may not last the long trip.

Hope this helps.:cool1::banana::rockband:

verlee
07-15-2009, 12:39 PM
Thanks for the input everyone! So going through mountains is no problem??

2goofycampers
07-15-2009, 12:42 PM
Thanks for the input everyone! So going through mountains is no problem??

No problem IF your van can handle the weight.

Shan-man
07-15-2009, 12:49 PM
Other than occasional sounds from the hitch, and a little sluggishness under accelleration you will probably barely notice the PUp is back there.

:santa:

DaveInTN
07-15-2009, 04:18 PM
Just one caution...do some research on Toyota's requirements for towing with your Sienna. I used to tow a pup with a couple of minivans (Pontiac and Honda) and both manufacturers required a tow package which included transmission and power steering coolers. I ignored that requirement (as I was brand new to towing and didn't know better) on the Pontiac and had transmission issues. I had the full towing package installed on my Odyssey and towed many miles with zero issues. I believe Toyota has similar requirements but am not sure, so check that out, especially if you plan on towing through hilly terrain. You may already have the necessary equipment, as Toyota did include it as standard equipment with some models (like the XLE) in some model years....

gillenkl
07-15-2009, 04:56 PM
We have a PUP and we did have to install a tow package and a transmission cooler. Ditto what a previous poster said - consider get A/C installed. Also consider purchasing a set of gizmos from www.popupgizmos.com as they will cut down on bunk end heat.

We often take weekend trips to local state parks. Once you camp in it a few times you'll have a setup/take down system so I wouldn't worry about that.

When we go to FW we have to camp 2 overnights before we get there. It takes alot and frankly gets old fast. But we only do that every 2-3 years. I have no problems with a trip that's one day of travel and you setup for a few days and stay there.

verlee
07-15-2009, 05:16 PM
Thanks for the info. My Sienna can tow 2000lbs and the camper is 1391 lbs. How does that sound? Do you think we would need trailer breaks? I am going to give the dealer a call tomorrow. My bil towed it with a town and country but he did not go far, never out of state.

dtum
07-15-2009, 05:40 PM
My family grew up in a Palomino. It had hard sides and actual windows in the body when it was up and tent ends. We had it until DD actually got married and it was getting a little run down so DH and I moved up. Sometimes I look back on those days and can't figure how we survived with no A/C at Disney and all the gear we packed...oh my! Great memories though. Good luck.

BRDof3
07-15-2009, 05:50 PM
Thanks for the info. My Sienna can tow 2000lbs and the camper is 1391 lbs. How does that sound? Do you think we would need trailer breaks? I am going to give the dealer a call tomorrow. My bil towed it with a town and country but he did not go far, never out of state.

Depends on whether that is 1,391 pounds empty or fully loaded. You van has a tow rating and a gross combined vehicle wieght rating. That last one is the max that the van and trailer are allowed to weigh, combined.

If the popup is 1391 empty, then there's no way you can load it up with your gear, then put people, gear, and gas into the minivan without going over your weight limits. Even if that is the weight fully loaded you will be at the upper reach of your limit by the time you put people and "stuff" in the van. As for brakes, I believe that any trailer weighing more than 1,000# has to have its own brakes.

lovemygrowingfamily
07-15-2009, 05:53 PM
That is a good deal for the price. We just traded in our palomino stallion for a palomino stampede. We like it while we fit in it and ours was a 8 foot one. We pulled it behind a chevy venture from northern Minnesota to the black hills through the badlands and all over and it traveled great.

Hope that helps

bama_ed
07-15-2009, 06:43 PM
I'll leave the towing advice to some of our gearheads on the board here - they really know their stuff!

As a pop-up owner, I do want to raise your awareness about 1 issue. An 8-foot box (under the roof) is pretty small. It might be okay for you and the family now. But as the boys get older (bigger) you may outgrow it. But it sounds pretty cheap and since it's family selling it you have someone you can go back to and ask questions.

Your tow vehicle might be okay now but as you your family grows and you bring more stuff (4 adult bikes on a bike rack for example) you might exceed your tow vehicle limits.

If you consider this as a starter/short-term opportunity then I'd say go for it. You will enjoy (as we did) not having to sleep on the ground. Then you can see if you want to go bigger (we have a 12-foot pop-up with a slide out dinette) for a family of 5 with 2 teen boys and a DD11 or be seduced by the dark side (a hybrid or travel trailer). This will also give you time to make considerations next time you get a new-to-you vehicle: will its towing capacity be a consideration if you want to upgrade?

So spend the $1k, use it, take good care of it, sell it if you want to later on. You will have probably gotten over $1k of utility out of it (especially if you take it to the Fort!) :goodvibes

Bama ED

verlee
07-16-2009, 08:05 AM
Wow, thanks everyone for the advice. You all are so friendly.:lovestruc

Just an update..... I called the dealer this am and found out that we should be just fine pulling the 8 ft camper. We can pull 5500lbs. They said we would not need breaks but suggested getting the wheel bearings and tires checked before going on a long trip. The woman I talked with had previously worked at an RV center so she knew what she was talking about.

So it is looking good. Maybe we will see you all at the fort next summer. I see on another thread that I can call and get my reservation now.:thumbsup2 I am so excited. We were planning a two week trip in a tent but now who knows maybe we will be in our camper!:woohoo:

pjhootch
07-16-2009, 07:32 PM
Are you sure she said you can pull 5500 lbs? That doesn't sound right at all. Many SUVS are only rated for 4500 lbs.

I think you could tow the little pup with your Sienna, if you have a tow package with the correct type of hitch and a tranny cooler (and you pack light). However, I can only guess and it isn't even an educated guess :-)

Pop-ups are a lot of fun so hope you get it all worked out.

verlee
07-16-2009, 08:20 PM
That is what she said??? Maybe I will call the other toyota dealer in town tomorrow. Thanks for the heads up.

dtum
07-17-2009, 06:37 AM
Not sure what you have in yours, but here's a link to trailer lifes tow ratings and it says 3,500 lbs.

http://www.trailerlife.com/towratings/tr99_subaru-volvo.cfm

Never believe what a dealer tells you because they just want to make a sale.

dfchelbay
07-17-2009, 06:48 AM
This is just a side thought to a pop-up or Pup...do you have to carry auto insurance on them. I know for my Class A we are required to have auto insurance. What about travel trailers, pop-ups or Pups, is auto insurance required on them????

dtum
07-17-2009, 06:58 AM
Yes, we have to have insurance on our 5r and you need it on a PUP also.

lovemygrowingfamily
07-17-2009, 07:27 AM
We had insurance on our pup and now we are required to have both comprehensive and collision on our hybrid.

SCCamper
07-17-2009, 07:29 AM
Here is another link to check the tow ratings of your vehicle. http://www.trailmanor.com/WebDocs/Camping-Towing/tow-vehicles.html As a previous poster stated, always try to verify what a dealer tells you.

CarolinaBlue
07-17-2009, 09:06 AM
A Sienna will not pull 5500 lbs. We have one, a 2006 that has the towing package and it will only pull 3500 lbs. You need to check your owner's manual for all the specs. If it doesn't have the towing package, I *think* it will only pull 1000 or 1500 lbs.

verlee
07-17-2009, 01:26 PM
I was thinking the 5500 as the gross wt including the van which is round 3000?
We did check the owners manual but it is kind of confusing. I think from all the info we got we could just barely do it since the pop up is small. We did not think about insurance though? Hummm? :confused:
Maybe we should wait until we get a new van in a year or two and then get a tow pkg and a larger pop-up.:idea: Just thinking out loud . Thanks for all the advice.

FlaFortCampster
07-17-2009, 04:02 PM
Hello fellow Toyota owner. This topic sounds all to familiar as I did extensive research before purchasing my RAV4. I knew I was getting a PUP, so the tow package was a must. I was dismayed by the lack of knowledge at the dealership on this topic. I had picked out a RAV that I liked and asked about towing. Without hesitation, I was told any RAV could tow 3500lbs. WRONG, it HAS to have the tow package.
I ended up with the perfect RAV and tow a Fleetwood Yuma which is rated fully loaded at about 2,400 lbs. Seriously, it's hard to tell it's even there. The biggest thing I notice is the gas mileage. It goes from a great 27 MPG to about 15. UGH, but the Fort is worth it. Lastly, I only tow in Florida and the only ice, slush, cold stuff I encounter is if someone dumps a snow cone or slushy out the window of their car.
I believe the weight the dealership quoted you is for EVERYTHING, PUP, people, equipment, food, water, air, gas, paper clips, maps, etc, etc. It sounds like the total max weight the van can handle. Don't get close to this number, it's not a good idea.
So, I did some researching on the Sienna and this is what I found.

MAX TOWING IS 3500 LB WITH TOW PACKAGE
Standard is 2000 LB

The good news is, depending on your year Sienna, the tow package was standard equipment up until 2008. The tow package includes engine cooler, transmission cooler and wiring harness. Have you looked for your wire harness at the back of the van? It probably will be where the jack handle is at the back, drivers side of the van, stowed away in a compartment. This would confirm that you do have the tow package. Also, the radiator is suppose to be larger than a standard one.
I also found this info from one of the many Sienna forums.

The summary of those discussions are presented below. It is based on Sienna's electronic brochures and recollections of other members, who read those disussions, spoke to dealers and made their purchases.

Towing capacity
Model year . . . U.S.A . . . Canada . . .
2004-2007 3500lb 3500lb/1587 kg
2008-2009 1200lb 3500lb/1587 kg

I had U-Haul put the hitch on for me along with the brake contoller. A visit to them also might help find out exactly what your van has already installed for towing. I found out that our local U haul does the hitch work for all the local dealers. So, be sure to research a little. Some dealership say they can install the hitch and then send it out to be done.

If you have the tow package, you should be fine with the PUP your thinking of. And yes, it's a good price.

Best of luck with your project. :thumbsup2

verlee
07-17-2009, 09:42 PM
FlaFortCamper, Thanks for the info.! I too had been scanning the Web. Lots of conflicting information out there. I am not sure why this all is not just straight forward? :confused3 I am going to check for the wires. But I think we don't have the towing pkg.

It is looking like we may pass on the camper and wait a year or two for when we get a new vehicle.
Thanks everyone for the input! It has made researching this much easier.:flower3:

FlaFortCampster
07-18-2009, 08:37 AM
FlaFortCamper, Thanks for the info.! I too had been scanning the Web. Lots of conflicting information out there. I am not sure why this all is not just straight forward? :confused3 I am going to check for the wires. But I think we don't have the towing pkg.

It is looking like we may pass on the camper and wait a year or two for when we get a new vehicle.
Thanks everyone for the input! It has made researching this much easier.:flower3:



Agreed on the misinformation. I spent weeks researching about the RAV4 and tow packages. Even Toyota.com rep couldn't tell me what a tow package included. And the dealerships were almost clueless without a brochure. :scared1:
As for waiting, good things come to those who wait. I waited over 20 years until finances and timing was right for vehicle and PUP. But I got exactly what I wanted and now, ahhhhhhhh.
Previous post about your family growing and what you will get is very valid point. Just think, you can spend the next few years or only 24 months and counting. looking and researching what you guys want. That will be lots of fun and the time will fly. Going to RV dealerships and checking out the different models was REALLY fun. It also helped me decided who I was going to purchase from.:banana::banana:
Good luck. :thumbsup2

dtum
07-18-2009, 08:42 AM
Have to agree with waiting..better safe than sorry. Bak in 2004 we looked at Titanium 5th wheels. After much looking around we decided this was the model we wanted, but at that time it was a lot of $$ and I wasn't really sure about a fifth-wheel and towing it given the size so we put the idea away. Comes 2007 and the exact model we had been looking for in 2004 shows up on e-bay from a reputable dealer in GA. The price was too good to pass up so we jumped. Just waiting those three years got us what we had wanted for a much better price (and used means the "new" bugs had been worked out). We now love our Ti and are so happy how it turned out. :goodvibes