Jump to content
BC Boards

Recommended Posts

So, I have finally decided that a camper would be a *good* thing. I am not a hoteler (and with all the bedbug stories of late, I am totally a bit freaked out by that). I KNOW a lot of the trialers here have campers What sort of campers do you think are a good plan? Now, I have a car that isn't made to pull heavy weight, but certainly an ultralight it could handle. A pop up comes to mind, basically because I don't want to re-mortgage the house to own one, but the ultra lights are nicer right? Anyway, any ideas?

Julie

Link to post
Share on other sites

Having done a pop-up; I'd not go back. The canvas offers no insulation and damp in the rain. Only the heavier ones (up to 3500 lbs) come with bathrooms. Pop-ups can be difficult for one person to set-up and take down, especially in the rain or wind. I'd recommend a hybrid over a pop-up; better still an ultralite solid wall trailer (if your tow vehicle can pull it).

 

Make sure you buy a trailer with a GVWR that does not exceed the max tow rating of your vehicle; better still about 10%-20% below max tow rating.

 

Mark

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can drive yourself around the bend looking for the perfect outfit.

 

For long hauls, you should stay at 70% to 80% GVWR. Many people do not pay sufficient attention to this, and the result is unsafe. Do not believe salesmen who tell you that your vehicle can pull a particular trailer. Pulling is not the issue. Stopping and not swaying are the issues. You have to check on this yourself. Also manufacturers lie about weights so you have to go to a truck scale and weigh the trailer yourself.

 

The subject makes me feel like Goldilocks. First, I had Dodge dually and 3 horse LQ Sundowner. This outfit was too big. Now I have a Tundra and Casita. This outfit is too small.

 

I'm still looking for the perfect thing. My wonderful husband crumbles into a large pile of crunchy granola at the thought of RV mileage. If he could get over that, I'd get a fuel hog class C with a generator.

 

Penny

Link to post
Share on other sites

Penny,

I was just going to mention the whole gas thing.I recently bought a little antique,lightweight camper. But given the gas prices, I may well just go back to using the tent or sleeping in the van for now.

 

Julie,

If you like the idea of a pop-up, you might want to consider a hi-lo trailer (is that what you mean by hybrid Mark?) or even something along the lines of an A-liner. They are pricey, but I like the fact that they drop down to reduce drag. I rented an A-liner once, and it was very easy to put up. I haven't tried a hi-lo, but Joan who posts here has one, so maybe she'll comment.

 

J.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We have a pop up and have enjoyed it. But I would give my eye teeth for one of the new hybrids! Mark's right, in wind or rain the PU is a pain to get up and down. In perfect conditions I can haul it and set it up without hubby's help, but otherwise I wouldn't want to try.

 

The hybrids are great because you get the convenience of a trailer and still have that outdoors tent feeling too.

 

Check out some of the camping boards, you can pick up alot of opinions on different makes and models.

 

Let us know what you get!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, Julie, I have the A-Liner brochure and I have been drooling over the smaller ones that my little car could pull (I think). However, finances tell me to sleep in the car and change in the tent, for the time being. But those A-Liners are lovely (I saw a lady with one at the beach last spring - just perfect for one or two people and one or two dogs). If I come into some money (which won't happen), I'd sure give one of them a good long consideration...

 

I thought a hybrid was like Deb Mickey has - a solid camper-shell with pop-out beds at one or both ends. That's nice - lots of ventilation, heat, hot water, shower, toilet, stove, etc. Way too big for me and for my vehicle but lovely.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My family used a popup once and we froze to death. It was hard to sleep because of the cold and wind. Couldn't get warm the whole next day. It was used in Minnesota around October. Not a good idea.

 

If you get a popup, pick warmer states then we did!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I grew up in Wisconsin with a pop-up camper. We ran the stove on cold nights to stay warm until it was time to snuggle into our beds/sleeping bags. Now I go tent camping (in MN and WI), and I'd give anything for a pop-up camper. I roast in my tent in the summer here. At least we could plug in a fan in the pop-up! I guess it really depends on how often you go camping, where you go camping, and when you'll go camping.

 

~Kelly Deneen

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, I have a hybrid and really like it. (hi-lows are different from hybrids) It has all the modern conveniences. Yep, it is a pain to fool with the beds if it's raining, but those times have been few. And if the weather is too bad you can sleep inside without folding the ends out.

 

Click HERE for a pix of what mine looks like (this is a newer model so my floorplan is different).

 

What I like about mine is it's only 17' closed but over 22' when it's opened up - less length to haul but more length when camping. I do like the openness and tent feel and it seems my hybrid has more floor space than some comparable trailers.

 

I haul mine with an V8 Ford Explorer, but I do know of someone who hauled her identical hybrid with a 6 cylinder mini van. No matter what you haul, gas mileage can be an issue.

 

Guess it all depends how "rustic" you want to camp.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Deb - I'd be happy to camp with you anytime! Your camper is a port in a storm, so to speak. Beats my car anyway you look at it.

 

As for Julie's tent - It's the Taj Mahal of tenting. Inflated mattress, heat, toilet, carpets, welcome mat, nightstand, reading light, you name it. Well, and six or seven dogs, too. Of course, it's a lot of work to put up and take down but it's like a palace compared to most tents.

 

Wouldn't we all like to be able to afford to buy (and transport) a really nice rig? I'll dream on that a little A-Liner will find its way to my bumper hitch someday. I'll appreciate my little car and little tent, or occasional cheap motel (and lovely, generous friends - you know who you are) for now.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by Deb Mickey:

No matter what you haul, gas mileage can be an issue.

For the most part, you loose gas mileage due to the frontal area of the trailer you pull (and to a lesser extent due to the weight). Think of pulling the trailer as pulling a parachute; bigger parachutes are harder to pull (bigger hit in mileage) than smaller ones. In this scenerio, Hi-Los, Trail Manors, A-liners, and pop-ups are better than hybrids and trailers.

 

The first question you must answer is, how much can my vehicle pull? Most cars won't pull much beyond 2000 lbs, minivans up to 3800 lbs, and small SUVs 3000-5000 lbs (I'm guessing on some of the weights); this would really limit your choices.

 

Mark

Link to post
Share on other sites

I do love my Hi-Lo! I have the smallest size (17') and pull it with a 6-cylinder minivan. On most trips, it doesn't affect my gas mileage AT ALL. If the trip is excessively windy or hilly, I'll lose a few miles per gallon. Because of its low profile while hauling, it's really easy to handle. I've been really happy with it.

 

(Edited to get my its/it's straight!)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Our family does a lot of camping (30+ days a year) in all kinds of weather. We have a '97 Volkswagen Eurovan Camper (pop top). Sleeps up to 4 adults + 2 dogs (albeit a bit snugly. :rolleyes: ) We have a side-tent we attach when we will be somewhere more than 1 night, which you can detach and drive away from and which gives us a considerable amount of extra storage and living space. The van is easy to park and maneuver, gets reasonable mileage, has gas stove, forced air furnace, sink with running water. No potty facilities (but you can get a porta pot). We LOVE it!

 

Unfortunately, Volkswagen doesn't import them to the U.S. anymore and they are commanding a bit of $$ used because of demand.

 

Some of the pop-up tent trailers are really cool, too!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well the only real camping I've done with my family (the 'rents, that is, hubby and I haven't been brave enough to try it yet) is with a Camper - the kind that sits on the back of a pickup truck. We had one for years and years, it's all we ever used. No set-up or take-down really, unless you wanted to take it off the truck.

 

We did try a tent-trailer (what I think y'all are calling a pop-up) ones or twice, and it wasn't too bad. However there was a huge windstorm that night and my bro and I freaked out and refused to sleep under the canvas part. :rolleyes:

 

The worst by far are tents. My husband insists that we try tenting at least once. I say he's crazy. Every time I've used one I'd wake up in the middle of the night FREEZING and in the morning sweating. No thanks. I'll stick with something a bit more comfortable from now on. (Especially with two dogs.)

Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by Lunar:

The worst by far are tents. My husband insists that we try tenting at least once. I say he's crazy. Every time I've used one I'd wake up in the middle of the night FREEZING and in the morning sweating.

LOL. That reminded me of the first time we went tent camping a couple of years ago. It was so cold that I slept in the fetal position all night. The result in the morning? My knees locked up and I spent 3 PAINFUL minutes trying to straighten my legs! And age had nothing to do with it. I was only 21 then!
Link to post
Share on other sites

Weird. I've lived in a tent for up to six weeks at a time and I was always quite comfortable. It's important to buy a good tent. I have a decent dome tent from REI and the only issue I ever had with it is that it gets hot in direct sunlight (but you can ameliorate that to a good extent by opening the windows and being aligned with the prevailing breeze). I have a good down sleeping bag, a camp pillow, and a Thermarest mattress. Quite comfy, even though quarters are close for a gal and three (OK, two and a half) dogs.

 

That said, I would LOVE to have a sink and a toilet and most importantly a SHOWER to haul around to trials, which are the reasons I want a travel trailer. Not going to happen anytime soon, and I can't really pay for hotels anymore now that I live on the other side of the country from my trial buddy, so I stick to trials that I can drive to and back from the same day.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I like tents, too. A good Thermarest mattress makes a big difference. Despite the fact that we have our Eurovan Camper, we also have 4 tents (not including the side tent for the van. Granted, we don't use them nearly as much as we did before we got the Eurovan, we still do use them. If you have a good sleeping bag, pad and pillow, it makes it tenting it quite comfortable. (Oh, and don't forget the Sun Shower!)

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have looked at a lot of small campers and one that appeals to me is the Casita Travel Trailer. It has fiberglass construction and is light enough to be towable behind many smaller vehicles. Inside it is NOT spacious, but it has all the necessary amenities.

 

Casita only sells factory-direct (not through dealers). They have a program where owners will show their own personal trailer and then that owner gets a little kick-back if you buy a Casita.

 

Occasionally you may find a used one, but the Casita holds its value pretty well.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...