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Author Topic: pop ups vs hard shell trailers  (Read 8248 times)
jvanetten
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« on: March 07, 2011, 05:32:11 AM »

My husband and I are in the exploration stage.  We have been looking at popups but also the hard sided trailers.  Does anyone has experience with both, particularly in terms of ventilation?  It seems like the popups would be cooler in the warm weather.   What are the pros and cons?  Many thanks.  I should add that we are thinking about a long, cross country trip of about six months and will try both out prior to that but thought that it would be good to ask this group for their perspective.
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Localyokel
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2011, 05:53:49 AM »

I'm a rag top man myself. Pop ups are better for the feeling of the great outdoors. That being said, The kind of trip you are taking is probably more suited to a TT. They are easier to manage as you will be moving from one campground to the next. Though gas economy isn't so good.
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2011, 07:09:08 AM »

My husband and I are in the exploration stage.  We have been looking at popups but also the hard sided trailers.

Many popups are in a weight / size class that they can often be towed with an existing family vehicle because they're low profile and therefore don't suffer much in terms of wind resistance but once you move to any type of full height trailer the ball game changes considerably ... so before offering any response to your questions my own would be - do you already have or intend to buy a vehicle suitable for towing a full height trailer? Question
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rabird
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 07:16:41 AM »

Garage storage is the reason I kept my PU. That's a pro and a con!
When it's in the carport, the truck gets  bombarded by bird dropping as they migrate through.  Dead
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KristinU
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2011, 07:43:53 AM »

On your 6 month trek do you plan on a lot of single-night stops?  (TT) Or do you plan to bed down for a few days in each spot? (PUP)  While on the road do you plan to eat a lot of your own prepared food? (TT) Or eat at restaurants/fast food? (PUP)  Do you have a place to store a full height trailer?  Rabid's point is one of the factors that keeps us in our PUP, although our big tuck can't fit in our little garage anyway, LOL!   And like OZ said, do you have a tow vehicle that can pull a TT?  How many are in your camping party?  Just 2 adults?

I've never slept in a canvas PUP (well, when I was a baby I did...no recollection, though!)  We went directly from tenting to our hardside A frame PUP and I would think that there are times when we'd catch a better cross breeze if we had big screen sides and had them open, but we do have a fantastic fan and that brings in a ton of fresh air on warmer nights.  But, for the most part, we're pretty comfortable in our hardside.  And on cool nights we use a little heater (electric if we have hookups or if not we have a propane one that we don't leave on when we're sleeping).
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2011, 09:03:19 AM »

You can still get the better fuel economy of a low-height vehicle, and hard sides with a folding a-frame trailer.  There are three makers: Aliner, Chalet, and now, Fleetwood.  They take longer to set up than a TT (it will take you a two or three minutes to get the walls up and stabilizers down), but still pretty quick and shouldn't be a major inconvenience on a long trip.  Downside, there's considerably less space inside.  If you're like us and spend most of your camping time outside touring, hiking, fishing or sitting by the fire, that's not a problem.  But if you are going to be inside much of the day, you'll want another option, either a pop-up or a hardsided travel trailer.

We have a very small a-frame Chalet, and love it.  It's great on a road trip, and so easy to open that we often stop at rest areas or overlooks and cook a lunch of make coffee.  But it would probably be cramped to sit around all day, and while fine for a couple, it's not for a crowd.

Do let us know what you decide!
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2011, 09:39:57 AM »

How about something like a Trailmanor?
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2011, 04:47:09 PM »

You can still get the better fuel economy of a low-height vehicle, and hard sides with a folding a-frame trailer.  There are three makers: Aliner, Chalet, and now, Fleetwood.

Certainly not Fleetwood RV which is now out of the towable trailer business.  Forest River however did recently introduce A frame trailers under both the Rockwood and Flagstaff monikers. 
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Harryshoe
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2011, 04:33:50 AM »

DW and I looked at a number of trailers.  Larger, motor homes too.  The deciding factor was the 360 view provided by a PUP.   If I have to be inside, I want to at least feel like I am outside.
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D-mo
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2011, 09:37:18 AM »

If your like us .. the only reason your inside is because its raining.
If its raining, you have to zipp up your internal flaps, which makes things much smaller or seek out a spot intown to spend some of your "rain time".

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D-mo
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« Reply #10 on: March 13, 2011, 03:31:16 AM »

I like the open-ness of a PUP, Tt's have those small windows that hardly catch a breese and make me feel closed in.
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« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2011, 01:52:06 PM »

Hard shell TTs and high walled PUPs will have much greater wind resistance and therefore use more fuel.  IMHO you're best to go as small and light as you possibly can.

The RV industry has already gone through one wave of closures when gas jumped above $2.00 a gallon.  What's going to happen when it settles at $3.50 a gallon or higher?
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« Reply #12 on: March 13, 2011, 02:05:27 PM »

TrailManor really does provide the best of both worlds. Most of the attibutes of a TT when set-up but it is still low-profile while towing and storing in garage.

It really does only take 5-minutes for one person to set-up (if you don't store a bunch of stuff inside). Here's proof:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSHR0CYnEV4
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« Reply #13 on: March 13, 2011, 02:53:20 PM »

TrailManor really does provide the best of both worlds. Most of the attibutes of a TT when set-up but it is still low-profile while towing and storing in garage.

I agree with you to a point.  TrailManor definitely makes a very nice product, and it's a great design for a hard-side unit with less wind profile.  I just think the "day" of the 2 ton camper that requires a full-sized truck or SUV as a TV is coming to a quick end thanks to unleaded gasoline at $3.50 + per gallon.  How will current fuel expenses affect this year's season???  My mother has already changed this year's plans for traveling with their 42' diesel MH.

I'm not one of those people that thinks Europe has all of the answers, but I think their "caravans" are a good indication of how to "RV" with extremely expensive petroleum.  They don't have 2 ton campers.
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« Reply #14 on: March 13, 2011, 02:58:33 PM »

The RV industry has already gone through one wave of closures when gas jumped above $2.00 a gallon.  What's going to happen when it settles at $3.50 a gallon or higher?

Nothing ... travel trailers, 5ths, MHs continue to sell well.  In 2006 when we bought our 2007 hybrid I asked my TrailCruiser dealer what impact he thought increasing fuel prices would have on his business and without batting an eye his answer was that until it reached $2.00 litre (that's $7.57 US gallon) he was sure it wouldn't have any measurable impact at all.  He must have been right because he's still in business, still sells a ton of travel trailers every year.  A couple of years later when we traded the hybrid for our current travel trailer (at the height of the recession, as it turned out Shocked) my KZ dealer who sells mostly travel trailers and 5ths said he was having one of his best years ... no doubt he was because we had to wait 6 weeks for delivery of our new Spree which was already on his lot and had we instead decided to custom order from the factory we'd have had to wait a whopping 13 weeks to get it because the factory was going full tilt as it was trying to keep up to demand.  Meanwhile, during this same time period Fleetwood decided to get out of the folding trailer business entirely by ditching Fleetwood Folding Trailers ... good move, for as we all know that plant in Somerset only continued producing popups for another two years before being closed permanently by it's new owners.  Meanwhile, other popup brands are consolidating, no doubt to survive.  Yeah, I know, it would seem to defy logic but all you have to do is read the forums on a regular basis and almost every day you'll note someone announcing they just bought a new hybrid or travel trailer.  You'll also notice a lot of people who go to RV shows complaining that all they see are travel trailers, 5ths, and high end MHs, but not many hybrids and very few popups.  Whether gas is "expensive" or not is relative ... as an American you may whine about gas at $3.50 a gallon but here in Canada we're already paying ~ $4.50 gallon and of course in many other parts of the world it's double that.  The evidence is all around you ... people adjust to their new reality, including significantly higher fuel costs.
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'14 Freedom Express 192RBS / '05 Avalanche 4x2
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'08 KZ Spree 240BH-LX / '05 Avalanche 4x2
'07 RVision TrailCruiser C21RBH / '06 Silverado 4x4
2000 Fleetwood Santa Fe / '98 Explorer 4x4
'98 Jayco Eagle 10UD / '94 Caravan
'69 Coleman CT380 / '65 Impala

"If the women don't find you handsome they should at least find you handy!"
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