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Old 05-05-2021, 01:22 PM   #21
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Missouri City, The Republic of Texas
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We went looking for a pop-up. We were poking around in several that the local dealer had when I spotted a hybrid. Poked my head in for a look and was hooked. Our plan (4-5 years from retirement) was to try a smaller TT for a couple of years and if we liked the experience we’d upgrade to something larger.
We loved our little X23B and still fondly talk about it.

A word of caution tho. Our then TV was an ‘03 Ford Expedition (5.4 IIRC V8) with a 9000# max tow number so we were good to go. Reading JOF for tips, tricks and general words of wisdom I decided a visit to the CAT Scale was in order. I discovered our little HTT weighed 4500#, 600# on the hitch and (here’s the surprise) we were about 300# from overloading the Rear axle. With another couple and their gear we were most likely exceeding the Rear GAWR.
I’d suggest visiting a Scale and get some “real” numbers on your TV before buying. The Rear GAWR minus the Rear axle weight will be an indication of the limit on hitch weight. You can estimate hitch weight by multiplying the TT GAWR by 0.15 (15%). A similar calculation would estimate the max TT weight you should consider, (Rear GAWR minus the Rear axle weight)/0.15
Remember these are only estimates and as always YMMV.

2013 F-350 CC SB 2WD 6.7PS
2013 Eagle Premier 351 RLTS
-SOLD- 2012 X23B
-SOLD- 2003 Ford Expedition 5.4, Bilstein shocks
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Old 05-05-2021, 02:19 PM   #22
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 35
My wife and I started with tent camping over 25 years ago, and soon got tired of the ground. Bought a 1973 Popup over 20 years ago, bought it for $300.00. That worked for a while, but needed more space.

Bought a 1991 Scamper 190C about 14 years ago, used from a dealer, and were camping with that up until last year. It was great, but small, did not have a bathroom on board, and had a small fresh water tank. We boondocked/dry camp almost exclusively, so we learned to be conservative.

We upgraded to the current TT, a 2012 23-foot Jayco 198RD about 5 months ago. We did our first trip with it for four days, and got most of the bugs worked out. It was a great upgrade for us, we just got tired of the setup with a popup, the bathroom / shower tent, etc. We are going for two weeks to Utah/Colorado next month, and looking forward to our trip.

If you find a good pop-up, I suggest going for it. camp in it, get familiar with the processes, and then decide if a hard side TT is in your future. We did upgrade our TV to a 2021 Tahoe, since our Acadia was not rated for the larger TT and weight. But it pulled the pop-up with ease.

Whatever you decide, enjoy it! Nothing beats the outdoors.
2012 Jayco Swift 198 RD. Happy Camping!
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Old 05-05-2021, 02:26 PM   #23
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We finally did the move from a pop up to a hybrid and ABSOLUTELY love it. We didn't mind the set up (we had it mastered) but being 60+ my DW loves the washroom. We both love the full size fridge and still adore the 'tent' style beds!! I still toss lots of wood on before bed and love the reflection as I relax, wind down and go to bed. First thing in the morning the zippers/windows come down!!! The bunk ends take 45 seconds to set up!! This style suits us (and 2 kids) perfectly. We (really) only sleep in the trailer. We are VERY outdoorsy still
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Old 05-05-2021, 02:46 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Mommacita View Post
...We’ve decided that for now smaller/lighter is the way to go, and we looked at a used Jayco 17 ft Hummingbird. It was very nice, but I am wondering if maybe we should dip our toes into this with a used pop up. (Or maybe a hybrid, but they seem on the heavy side, too)
We started with a pop-up many years ago. It is day-and-night better than a tent. They usually lack a bathroom and the kitchen facilities are minimal. Getting your sleeping area off the ground is the best thing about them but the interior space is very limited. Imaging being stuck inside all day on a rainy day. Still, the investment is minimal and the things are easy to tow. As a short term commitment, you might start here. If you buy used, take a very close look at the roof. Most folks don't maintain their roof seams properly and water gets in there, eventually causing de-lamination.

Our next investment was in a 23' hybrid, GVWR 5000 lb. The hybrid had a full bathroom with a shower and full kitchen. The refrigerator was large enough to hold food and beverage for several days. It had air conditioning. Being stuck inside wasn't painful. It had two large beds, one on each end. If you can find one that your vehicle will tow, I think you'd be happier that way. There are two drawbacks with hybrids, they are more work to setup and the ends where you sleep can get damp if it gets cold out (less than 40 deg).

There are some lightweight regular tow-trailers. If the disadvantages of a hybrid turn you off, a tow-trailer that is light enough for you to tow might be a better option.

Whatever you do, make sure your vehicle can properly tow it. Don't ask the salesman. As us.
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Old 05-05-2021, 03:36 PM   #25
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Location: East Brunswick
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I was tent camping for years. In 2017 moved up to a hybrid, Jayco 17XY and I pull it with my Kia Sorento. I have not had any problem. My daughter and I love it. We have a electric Jack. I love having the bathroom and the shower. Going camping this weekend our first for the season!
We like the pop out beds. It's like tent camping but not on the ground.
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Old 05-05-2021, 03:39 PM   #26
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Location: Bailey
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We had two pop-ups (PUPs).

#1 was a basic 10' tub with no bath, flip over sink, queen up front and double in the back.

#2 was a "high-wall" pup, almost 4000# wet, with a king in front, queen in back, full-counter height sink, fridge, etc., wet bath, black, grey, and fresh tanks. It had a U-shaped dinette slide!! As PUPs go, the Taj Mahal.

Note that we moved from one PUP to a bigger, better PUP, and it served us well for years, but...we graduated to a hard-side. Why? (in no particular order)

A) PUP setup and teardown were far more work and time consuming;
B) Wet teardown required a setup at home to dry out;
C) Cold, drafty, insecure, and so bear country this is a big deal;
c-1) EVERY NIGHT in bear country we had to lock all of our food in our truck...two flip-lid tubs and a big (huge) cooler;
D) TINY FRIDGE compared to our 6' double-door fridge in our X-213...this one is very important;
d-1) I mentioned the coolers...two of these - one for food and one for drinks;
d-2) We do not EVER need to bring coolers anymore!!
E) A packed PUP is essentially inaccessible once it's folded down...there is precious little room inside, and you can't get to it without setting up;
F) Storage, storage, storage...there's no comparison;
f-1) In the PUP, we packed our clothes in duffels, and all toiletries and meds needed to be toted in as well;
f-2) In the hard side, we have closets, a bathroom with a medicine cabinet, and so on...and it's a DRY bath;
G) Ducted central heat that runs far more quietly than the furnace in a PUP;
H) All tanks are much bigger: 30 gallon black and grey vs. 12 gallons each in the PUP (Taj Mahal PUP), 30 gallons fresh vs. 20 in the PUP;
I) I could go on, but best for last: When I get home from one trip, I dump (we can dump at home) and park and plug in. Then I put the stairs down and grab the dirty laundry, left-over perishable food that we need to eat up before it spoils, and I'm done. Over the course of the week, I inventory what we need to restock and do it gradually over the week. I unload groceries and so on STRAIGHT INTO THE CAMPER...the fridge is started in May and is shut off in's always on. Meanwhile, non-perishable foods, from pasta to canned beans, to coffee, to beer-wine-softdrinks, are in the pantry and just get replenished as needed. If the sheets are dirty, we can grab and wash them and re-make the bed whenever it's convenient.

I think you get the picture. A hard side is vastly more convenient than a PUP.

Downsides of a hard side vs a PUP?
1) A PUP is much brighter inside.
2) The are also roomier inside...both ends are the equivalent of a large slide.
3) The hard side is heavier...more to tow...closer to 6000# vs 4000#.
That's about it.

And now the nail in the coffin of a PUP. As you get older, all of that extra work adds up. Lots of the gear I keep in my X-213 all the time had to be toted in the bed of my pickup.
This entire list is stored in my hard side...and the entire list had to be carried in my TV:
a) Two coolers...and when they are full, they are damned heavy - no longer even on the list;
b) 2KW generator...also heavy;
c) Camp chairs (4);
d) Camp side tables (2);
e) Inflatables: 2 tubes, a "party barge", and a kayak;
ALL of this stuff is stored inside my hard side...I don't have to handle it over and over again.

You mentioned "semi-retired." That hints at your age, and as you approach 70 years old, all that work gets exponentially harder and harder. Not to mention the struggles of folding a wet PUP when it's windy...trying to tuck away that canvas with the wind blowing it right back out at you. The workload may stay the same, but the toll it takes on you increases considerably...and I'll add that I'm 6'6" tall, 250#, fairly fit (a gym rat), and far more capable of wrestling a PUP into its nest than many...but I was losing my enthusiasm for camping, because it was exhausting.

It takes me between 1/3 to 1/2 the time to setup and tear down my hard side than it did my PUPs, and there is no comparison between them when it comes to comfort and convenience. Even dumping the black and grey tanks is much easier, because I can just open the door, walk in with a charged garden hose, and shoot water straight down to toilet to dislodge icky stuff...and run the hose down the sink drains to flush out any coffee grounds, food particles and so on. You can't do that in a PUP without setting up.

I loved my PUPs until I moved to a hard side...and now I regret the PUPs.

You asked for opinions. That's mine.
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Old 05-05-2021, 03:49 PM   #27
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I did a quick scan and didn't see a mention of Aliner. It is a hardsided popup. We had one for several years and really enjoyed it.
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Old 05-05-2021, 03:55 PM   #28
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: League City
Posts: 70
Well, you are well within range of most, if not all popups as far as weight. I grew up with a 1963 Gator 1200 Popup, and up until last year, we had a 2018 Coachman Clipper 125 SST. It was a great camper, even had AC and the shower/toliet combo. The main thing was, the older we got, the longer it seemed to take to set up. It was a great rig, but, we really wanted something larger, so traded it for a 2020 White Hawk 32RL. She is 36.8ft long and, can be a challenge at times to park. But, this rig has been, by far the best rig I have ever used. Would I go back to a popup, probably not. I kind of like that Dual AC, and the 3 slides. Yes it is heavy, but, she is very nice to have at the campsite. Just wish she did not weigh so much (9000lbs loaded). Tough work for my Titan, but, we get the job done. Happy camping, and there is a rig out there that will be the one that you want. Just don't settle for less that what you think you want.
2020 Jayco White Hawk 32RL
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Old 05-05-2021, 04:00 PM   #29
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After a disastrous camping with tent trip to Cedar Point in 2005 we decided we were done with camping forever. Then that March we looked at pop ups. OK its cute and we got something called an 8 box. Served its purpose went to Montana and back with us and then we traded it for 10 box and that thing was a nightmare. We added a lift to it so we didn't have to crank. That thing turned into a money pit. The lift unit died every chance it got. We finally got rid of it and bought a 20 foot Jayco. I loved that trailer cried when I had to trade it in because we had to sleep bigger and the husband decided he wanted to try out the sleeps 3 trailer. In 2018 I could not get the Jayco I wanted but saw a coachman of the same caliber and it sleeps 5. Now that its only me going solo in a year this trailer will serve me well. I say start with a pop up if you have a big family. Reason being is everyone can have a hand in getting it set up. Quite frankly with just two? It ain't worth it but give it a go and good luck. I will never go near a pop up after having a trailer for over 5 years running. Good luck.
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Old 05-05-2021, 05:06 PM   #30
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Location: West Michigan
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Tented for many years, got older, got a struggle-up for a year, got smarter, got a 2017 16XRB customized new from factory, got really happy and satisfied with the trailer.

Towed it for a few years with a Trailblazer 6 cylinder that gave up after about 30,000 miles. Now we have a 5.3 Tahoe and are very pleased. No such thing as a too big tow vehicle. The 6 bogged down in Nebraska headwinds and wouldn't take us to 10,000' (you lose ~3% hp for every 1,000 elevation). The Tahoe will do everything we want and with comfort if not always ease (like 14A in the Big Horns).

We really like our hybrid. Easy to set up, airy and fresh like a tent or pop-up and a bathroom and kitchen and refrig?! What more can you ask for?! Have never regretted this little rig and have never seen one I would rather have. Later this month we'll be traveling, perhaps another 12,000 mile year? We'll see.

We set it up so we can sleep front to back rather than side to side so we don't need to crawl over each other for the nightly bathroom visits. And we built a hide-away extension for the "sofa" so we we can sleep in the trailer itself if we want like at Walmart or sitting out hail storms.

This trailer came with very little weight leeway so, while we still have the 3,500# axle, we got bigger Endurance tires and 2,400# springs and at the beginning of each season we take it to a qualified trailer shop to check the brakes and install all new bearings, races, seals.

Our three-year search for a trailer netted us what we consider perfect.
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Old 05-05-2021, 10:10 PM   #31
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Oh my goodness... start out using a tarp and the pop-up looks great.
If you aren't afraid of getting wet when setting up, taking down, trips to pottie, shower, etc, the pop-up is good provided it isn't too hard to set up and take down. As most don't have an oven, you will have to figure out something if you want biscuits.

A self-contained trailer is expensive to only use for weekends or a week or so, but you can leave it loaded until you are ready to go. It is also handy for the rest stop. Step in, warm up a donut, lock the door, and stretch out for a nap.

Your main restriction is your tow vehicle which limits what you are able to get.

I camp several times a year using only a tarp, though I do drag out the tent every few years. When the wife goes, the 26' trailer goes. We usually take several short trips a year and one for 4-6 weeks. Hard to get away for longer because my parents are older than I am... can't ever tell.

If you just think of a pop-up as a tent off the ground you will like it better.
If you try a full size trailer you might get spoiled.
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Old 05-06-2021, 02:36 PM   #32
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We started with a pop-up, and after 1 year went to a 248rbsw....if we had to do it again, we would go directly to a travel trailer...It was just easier to set up the travel trailer and have all the amenities
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Old 05-06-2021, 04:43 PM   #33
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I use my 2016 Colorado V6 to pull a Starcraft 18QB travel trailer and it is more than enough power. The 17’ Jayco Hummingbird should be lighter than what I pull, plus you have the 8 speed transmission compared to my 6 speed. I started out years ago with a pop up, but do not ever plan on going back to one. They are work to set up. If you have not bought, really consider the Hummingbird. Your truck will do fine. I added a Weight Distribution hitch and it tows very good. Nowdays, a good pop up can run $20,000+ dollars, spend a little extra and get a small travel trailer.
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Old 05-06-2021, 11:01 PM   #34
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When the Covid scare is over there will probably be quite a few slightly used trailers for sale.


Pappy says a trailer is worth what you are willing to give for it, and when selling what you are willing to take for it.

When shopping be prepared to pay cash and it will probably cost less.
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Old 05-07-2021, 09:20 AM   #35
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Just wanted to add one more benefit for the Hybrid. If you are weight limited to something around a 20' trailer, you will get a lot more interior space in a hybrid. Our hybrid with a 20' box has pretty much 20' of interior living space, with 2 king format beds that do not take anything from that space. A small 20' full hard side trailer of similar weight class is going to give up at least 6' of floor space to a single queen format bed, leaving you with only 14' of living space.
There are some nice Murphy bed models out there in the full TT sector that cut that loss down a bit, but they are not the most common. I do like those, but DW questions having to drop and lift the bed daily to convert from day to night and back.
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2008 Jayco 1007 PUP (purchased new, traded for the X19)
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Old 05-07-2021, 11:15 AM   #36
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We love our hybrid. We started out with a popup and liked it but the fact that you can't get into it to clean and check supplies without setting it up was a problem.

The main thing we like about the hybrid is having screens on three sides of the beds. We dry camp and it can get pretty warm inside a hard side. Your truck would be just fine with it. I certainly wouldn't want to live in it full time but for occasional use for just the two of us it's perfect.
2009 Jayco Jay Feather 17C 130W Solar, 2021 F150 2.7L Eco Boost, 2021 Toyota Highlander
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Old 05-07-2021, 01:55 PM   #37
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We had our pop-up for 13 years before we upgraded. Don't regret it one bit.
2013 Jayco Eagle 328 RLTS
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