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Old 03-25-2006, 12:49 PM   #1
tikilyn
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Thinking about buying a pop up camper.

I haven't started looking yet. Just toying around with the idea of buying one for camping trips. What should I know about them? How much do they go for? what kind of interest rates would you pay for one if financing one. Would you buy new are used and why? Can a Dodge caravan tow a pop up?

Please tell all.

Thanks Sabrina
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Old 03-25-2006, 02:16 PM   #2
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We bought a used 98 Bayside last year and love it. It is very heavy, though, so you need to check the weight towing capacity of your van. I highly recommend Coleman/Fleetwood for ease of setup. Additionally, we have a dinette glideout that we love. It provides so much more room. Have fun looking and good luck. Our first major trip was to the Fort. We go back June 4 and can't wait!!!

For loads of info from seasoned popup campers, go to www.popupexplorer.com
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Old 03-25-2006, 04:11 PM   #3
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For the price of some really nice pop~ups, you could get a nice travel tralier. Make sure to check around. Most pop~ups are to heavy to pull with a caravan and you don't want to mess up your transmission trying it!
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Old 03-25-2006, 07:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tikilyn
I haven't started looking yet. Just toying around with the idea of buying one for camping trips. What should I know about them? How much do they go for? what kind of interest rates would you pay for one if financing one. Would you buy new are used and why? Can a Dodge caravan tow a pop up?
Check out my page Pop Up Camping Frequently Asked Questions

A couple of things, they can be as inexpensive a $100 used and more than $15,000 new. It all depennds on what you are looking for.

Interest rates depend on your credit rating and the type of institution you are borrowing from (i.e. Bank vs. Credit Union)

New vs Used could take pages to answer. If you decide to buy used, check out Purchasing a Used Pop-Up-Camper

The towing ability of a vehicle is specific to that vehicle, meaning it's towing ability ios based on the options installed. Dig out your owners manual and check out the towing seciton. I do not agree that "Most pop~ups are to heavy to pull with a caravan". Properly equipped a Dodge Caravan can be a capable tow vehicle.

ugadog99 already mentioned one site for pop ups, but there are a bunch of them out there. The bottom half of my Our Favorite Camping Links page has all of the pop up sites I have been able to find.
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Old 03-25-2006, 10:06 PM   #5
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Do you know if you Caravan has the trailer tow prep option? If not, you'll want to look into adding a few things like a transmission cooler to your van.

We found that to be our biggest problem when shopping for a used vehicle to tow our inherited (kind of) pop up. A minivan seemed like the best thing for us, but finding a used one that was equipped to tow didn't work out so well and we ended up buying a new one. Since you already have a van, you can make modifications to it. We just had two sedans.

You can also rent a popup for the weekend to see if you like it.

Happy shopping!
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Old 03-25-2006, 11:04 PM   #6
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We weren't sure if we wanted a pop-up either so we spent several months just looking them over. On Saturdays DH & I would scout out the local camper dealers and just look at all the sizes and amenities. It took us a little while to discover what we really wanted: the whole "sleeping in canvas" thing and that we did not want a pottie in there. We have 3 kids--boy19-girl12-boy10--and one of them is autisitic, so that meant specific sleeping configuration.

After looking at pop-ups for about 4 months, one day we happened to be at a dealer when someone traded one in. It is small, a 10-ft box, lightweight, and sleeps 7! Since we knew exactly what we wanted we were like sharks going in for the kill. We paid $4500 cash on the barrelhead for a pop-up that had been used one season by a family who found out they didn't like camping. It has worked out great. It's in mint condition, smells good, and fits us all. We outfitted it from the thrift store and we use it 6-10 times a year.

The trick is to hold onto your money now and wait until you know exactly what you want. Take your time.
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Old 03-26-2006, 01:08 AM   #7
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We don't get out that often so we opted for an older one, but in good condition. The canvas is great on it, which we felt was obviously important. Everything inside works well and it doesn't look half bad either, and with a $600 price tag, it was very easy to break that down for us as a value for the few times we get to use it. I would be hard pressed to validate 8,000 - 12,000 for a new one in our circumstances. Everyone has different needs.
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Old 03-26-2006, 08:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WAHMto5
For the price of some really nice pop~ups, you could get a nice travel tralier. Make sure to check around. Most pop~ups are to heavy to pull with a caravan and you don't want to mess up your transmission trying it!
We towed an older Coleman popup with a Plymouth Voyager for many years without a problem. With today's newer lightweight materials, there are many models of pop ups available that can safely be towed with a minivan. Not sure what this poster meant when they suggested a hard side for the same money. This may be true, but if a pop up is too heavy, wouldn't a hard side be too heavy too?
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Old 03-26-2006, 09:12 AM   #9
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Sabrina,
We're kind of at the same stage in looking at pop-ups. Although, weight limits are different for us in that we'll be pulling with a Sequoia with a towing package(our limit is 6500lbs). I'm leaning towards a pop-up with a dinette slide-out and a potty. I'm looking at used ONLY at this point due to my wife being unsure of the camping thing. Her idea of roughing it is no iron in the hotel room!
We have a week reverved at FW the 3rd week in Sept. We have a fall break during that time and are hoping for smaller crowds and cooler temps. Anyone have an idea of crowds during that time frame?
Tim...I noticed that you are in GA. Any good referrals for camper dealerships?
Thanks,
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Old 03-26-2006, 09:38 AM   #10
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We attend several camping shows a year and it has been our observation that the smaller or lighter a trailer is, the more expensive they are. I think that is what the above poster meant when they indicated that you could get a small travel trailer for the same price as a pop up.

Everyone has different needs. We moved up from a tent to a used travel trailer. We have always had a safe vehicle to pull it with though.

I cannot stress enough, please check your tow capacity on your vehicle and make sure it is rated high enough. I think Chrysler product over rate their towing capacity. Their motors may be able to pull them but their vehicle weights cannot handle them if the start swaying.

We purchases a Hensley hitch for our 30' travel trailer. We pulled it with a Ford Excursion and still had sway! We really love our Hensley. I think they allow a smaller vehicle to tow safer. Here is their web site: www.nosway.com

Good Luck and tow safe!

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Old 03-26-2006, 11:28 AM   #11
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Thanks everyone! I'm really interested in getting one. I presented the idea to hubby and he likes the idea. I will have a tow package added on the my caravan. Does anyone know approx. how much I'll spend on this?

Now I just have to get out and go to the dealers and check pricings. I don"t want to go over 5000.00 for the camp. Is that possible? Like I said, I want a basic model. We'll only be camping at camp grounds so no need for a potty or shower in the pop up.

What kind of question should I be asking at the dealers? Well they come down on the prices. Whats the best way to haggle? I'll probably have my financing arranged throught USAA.


OK one more question. How hard is it to get reservation at Ft wilderness?

Thanks for all the help.


Edited to all: I know someone mentions a Travel trailer. I don't/cant have one because of my neighbor hood. We have a stricked HOA and they don't allow us to park tt's in the driveway. They have to be outta sight. We also have no way to put it in our back yard. And a pop up will fit in my garage!!! I also like the open air when camping, just don't like sleeping on the ground!
Sabrina
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Old 03-26-2006, 11:39 AM   #12
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We have a pop up and LOVE it! Pull it with a Dodge Caravan every time with no trouble at all. It doesn't even sway at all. We bought the camper used, but it looked brand new on the inside and on the canvas outside, with only a few minor wear spots on the other outside spots--no more so than if WE had been using it. We only paid $1500 and it was a steal. We have a queen bed, full bed and the table area makes another bed. It has a small fridge, cabinet space and the stove can be either on the inside or outside. WE bought a microwave for it last year at Goodwill. You will love a pop up. I can't wait to being camping this year. OH...and USAA will have the BEST prices out there for financing. That is who we insure through and the prices are so excellent for even that. Best of luck!
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Old 03-27-2006, 11:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kmccain
I cannot stress enough, please check your tow capacity on your vehicle and make sure it is rated high enough. I think Chrysler product over rate their towing capacity. Their motors may be able to pull them but their vehicle weights cannot handle them if the start swaying.
We found the trick to sway is packing in our Starcraft. If we put all the heavy items in front of the camper axel, there is no sway. If we put the heavy items behind the axel, there is sway. With a double axel, there should not be any sway, but most popups have a single.
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Old 03-28-2006, 09:27 PM   #14
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GSUonion
We also live in McDonough, Ga. The fall break is a great time to go. We have gone the last 3 years. The crowds are small (almost no wait time) and the weather has been great. Send me a email you have any question.

Charles
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