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Author Topic: Newbie with crazy questions  (Read 6739 times)
Four Angels
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« on: September 29, 2009, 06:36:56 AM »

Hello fellow campers.  I am new to this site and have found it to be one of my favorites.  I do have some silly questions so please bear with me.

My husband and I camped well before we had children.  Camping slowed down as we started our family (four children in six years).  We are now back to camping with the kids and we absolutely love it--canít wait for our next adventure.

We are ready to move from a tent, yes all six of us in a tent, to a pop up or hybrid.  My husband wants to buy used considering the financial benefits and future planning, one day we might want something bigger.  I, on the other hand, would like new for one reason only, cleanliness.  Yes, I am the crazy one who cannot stand walking on hotel floors without socks or some sort of flip-flops, hate getting comfy in a couch when I donít know who did what in it the day before, so I bring a sheet to cover it. 

My first question is this---when you buy a used pop up, do you buy new mattresses?  I cannot find any on line unless they are custom made.  They are way too expensive.  Am I the only person who finds sleeping on a used mattress kinda gross?

Also, did any of you go from a tent straight to a travel trailer and just skipped using a pop up?  Pop ups seem to be the way to go but there is the bathroom issue too.  Four small kids sitting on dirty toilets does gross me out again, but we have managed.  I am going to purchase a Lugaloo potty from Cabelaís along with the potty tent, but again, any comments would help.  I donít have a problem with the bathroom in a pop up, that I can clean and sanitize so we are looking into that option as well.

Sorry for the long post and thanks for reading/responding.  Happy camping! 

Tanya
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pianojuggler
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« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2009, 06:43:44 AM »

We bought a well-used PUP.  We did spend a couple weekends deep cleaning the trailer, including the mattresses.  We took the covers off, scrubbed them silly, and cleaned the foam pads with bleach and rinsed them thoroughly.

Yeah, sleeping on a used mattress may be a little icky if you are clean-crazy.  Investigate buying some new mattresses from an upholstery place, not an RV dealer.  A good upholstery shop can custom make anything, and the price shouldn't be outrageous..  You might as well get good memory foam if you are going this route.
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2009, 06:49:16 AM »

Hi Tanya, and congrats on your future purchase.  

When we bought our NTU PUP, I took the beds out and washed the covers.  The foam was in immaculate condition with no stains, so I used a sanitizer and washed/sprayed it down.  After washing th covers, I put them back on the mattress damp, and let tham sit in the 90+ degree Florida sun, I figured that would kill any possible germs that could be lingering.

I put mattress covers on the beds as well, and then we use sheets and comforters, since our AC is a little on the overly cold - humid side.

The couch seats I took out and sprayed/wiped down with sanitizer.

We have a small porta that got a thorough cleaning, but hasn't been used yet.  We do use the park bathrooms, and make the most of it.

For us, buying used was the most financially feasable way to go.

Good luck!
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2009, 09:29:34 AM »

My advice is to not worry about the used mattresses.  Just toss them and use air mattresses or a memory foam system (memory foam over a base layer of firmer non-memory foam).  IMO the mattresses that come with pop-up trailers are so uncomfortable one can't sleep on them.
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Baytoven
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« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2009, 10:41:10 AM »

You'll probably be able to wash the mattress covers, though I would recommend hand washing and air drying.  You can replace the foam, there are lots of places that sell it.  Many people add a memory foam topper to the mattress for comfort.

I'd be very careful about removing and washing the dinette cushions.  The covers can sometimes shrink and won't go back on over the foam.

I highly recommend a porta potty for families with young children.  Many people here own a Thetford brand potty.  It has a sealed holding tank that is a tremendous improvement over a Luggable Loo.  With your family size I'd get the biggest model available, especially if you plan to use it outside so convenient storage inside is not an issue.  If you look for a built in potty, I'd go for the potty shower combo.  The shower offers always-ready privacy for the potty, not to mention a convenient, clean, warm, private place to wash the kids.  Personally, I don't like a built in potty without the shower, as the potty doesn't offer the convenience of being removeable and the space used for storage.
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« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2009, 11:06:32 AM »

Thank you for the replies.  It has put my mind at ease about buying used.  As for the potty, I think again it would be worth it for the kids.  I would have to see how much space it takes up.  I will definately look into the Thetford brand potty as well.

Thank you!
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« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2009, 11:27:08 AM »

Tanya - feeling your pain!  We just bought our NTU PUP two weeks ago.  After a DEEP cleaning, we are ready to embark on our maiden voyage this weekend.

We tossed the old mattresses - for many reasons, the YUCK factor being one.  I spent numerous hours looking for mattress alternatives and since we are on a budget, I found what I believe to be a feasible solution.

We purchased Coleman air mattresses and 2" foam toppers from Overstock for under $200 for the two beds (a full and king).  We will be putting new Walmart 250 threadcount sheets on them and nesteling under our sleeping bags this weekend.  I believe, in total, we spend under $250 in total.  If I would have gone the cut-down mattress route, the tab would have been over $900.

Plus, the air mattress and toppers will be easier to store for the winter...then we don't have to worry about critters!
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« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2009, 12:30:07 PM »

PUXers/Itchers Wa-vez and Dogger went right to a TT.  They may pop in with their experiences, or you could PM them.
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« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2009, 12:34:26 PM »

Air mattresses are definitely a viable option.  I put the mattress from one bunkend on the other one when I'm setting up, then there is a piece of indoor/outdoor carpeting on the empty bunkend and the air mattress goes on that.  So one side has the air mattress, then the other side has TWO of the flimsy little foam "mattresses" that came with the PUP.
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« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2009, 12:59:09 PM »

Your complaint is that the original mattresses were "flimsy," Pianojuggler?  Wow.  Totally different experiences.  Mine were hard as rocks.  It was like sleeping on a 3.5" slab of concrete.
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« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2009, 01:23:12 PM »

Yeah, flimsy.  Three inch thick slab of soft, squishy foam rubber.  No support whatsoever.  You sit or lie on it and you just feel the board (with those screwheads) underneath you.  Concrete might have been more comfortable.  Two of them stacked together is almost bearable.

I love the air mattress, though.  I can blow it up to really really really firm and sleep like a baby.
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« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2009, 01:24:46 PM »

Welcome!

We planned to buy a used pop-up, but ended up buying a new one so I don't know about the mattresses.

We got a unit that does not have a toilet. We bought a portable toilet(like the thetford) and then a shower tent to put it in. This keeps the unpleasent odors out of the camper which keeps my wife happy. Smile

 We got this fold-a-privy from cabellas and it is super easy to set up, and once you figure out how to fold it, its easy to fold up. works for our outdoor shower,too
http://www.cabelas.com/p-0066855518958a.shtml
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jdanton
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« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2009, 01:26:45 PM »

Hi Tanya

Well, my experience was that I went as a kid with my parents and camped in an 18' Travel Trailer for nearly 2 years straight...we were moving across the country and dad was looking for work in the 1970's.  As you can guess after that, we didn't have the need to camp as much as we once did!  In fact I avoided camping like the plague for a while!

So, when I got into camping as 20-something I loved the tent experience, how the smells, sounds etc of nature are right there and a lot of the lessons I learnt with dad and the TT came back.  But now, we're in our 40's and our backs ain't what they used to be!  But we have a child (now 6 years old) We wanted to get up off the ground, but didn't want to miss the feeling of being in nature and giving that gift to our daughter.  So we first rented, then the next year bought a Pop-Up - the one we still have today.

We kept the old mattresses...we usually put our sleeping bags over them, then put a sheet or an Eiderdown on top, depending on how hot/cold it is.  I have no compulsion to go to a TT anytime soon.  Maybe when I near retirement age I'll not want to crank up the Pop-up, but until then, I'm still happy with what we've got. 

I rented a small one and then the next year we went to an RV show and out back they had some people selling their pop-ups, 5th wheels etc.  He wanted $6500, we gave him $4500. 
« Last Edit: September 29, 2009, 01:29:44 PM by jdanton » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2009, 06:39:08 PM »

My advice is to not worry about the used mattresses.  Just toss them and use air mattresses or a memory foam system (memory foam over a base layer of firmer non-memory foam).  IMO the mattresses that come with pop-up trailers are so uncomfortable one can't sleep on them.

I agree with this advice.  Just get your own memory foam.  You don't want to pay good money for the popup mattresses that come with a popup.

We bought Serta Deluxe 2" memory foam, which we put over the stock mattresses.  You can buy a foam base matterss and memory foam topper at overstock.com and cut it to size.

The member above ("UnstableTripod") has shared his extensive research on memory foam.  If you really want to learn about memory foam, see his posts, which explain it much better.


We have been very hapy with our Serta Deluxe Memory foam from Overstock.com.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2009, 06:56:54 PM by CampingFamily1 » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2009, 06:42:52 PM »

I highly recommend a porta potty for families with young children.  Many people here own a Thetford brand potty.  It has a sealed holding tank that is a tremendous improvement over a Luggable Loo. 

I agree with this advice too.  A porta pottie by Thetford is much better than the Luggable Loo.  You want something small that can be placed inside the camper for nighttime when its cold outside and when there are mosquitos outside.  The biodegradeable chemical you put in the portapottie takes away the odor and kills bacteria.  It's also good for the outhouses at state parks.  Reduces the odor there too.  I always empty our porta potty into the outhouses to do a good deed to those who use the outhouses.  It really does smell a little better afterward.

My wife would not camp without a porta-potty and a battery powered night light.

Leave the cleanup and rinse down of the porta potty to your husband.  Men can't smell as well as women.  It's a gift, related to the fact that we tend to eat too many spicy foods Smiley without permission from the females in the house.  We were made for this kind of work (emptying porta potty)!  I dump it at the outhouse and then do a through rinse with hot shower water into the toilets.  I am meticulously careful and proud not to get anything dirty in the toilets and clean up any spills with toilet paper.   Wink
« Last Edit: September 29, 2009, 06:59:14 PM by CampingFamily1 » Logged

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