View Full Version : Shopping for a pop up camper - which one?
08-20-2001, 04:14 PM
We've decided to get back into camping, have borrowed brother in law and sister's pop up camper and now have the bug.
We have two kids and have heard some horror stories about some of the new campers having incurable leaks and electrical problems.
Which manufacturer should we go with? We want to make sure it has the furnace and porta-potty or equivilant and the availability to sleep at least 7 or 8.
I'm pulling it with a Jeep Grand Cherokee with the trailer tow package and trans cooler from the factory, V-8 engine etc. Hitch receiver and trailer light package already on the back end.
We hope to purchase this fall and take advantage of any deals for off season purchasing. Does this work?
08-20-2001, 10:48 PM
Jayco and Coleman seem to have a pretty good reputation. Check out all and buy the one that suits you best. I think you can get lemons in most anything you buy so check the new ones the same as you would a used unit. My daughter has a sun-lite (used) and it has worked fine. We had a Starcraft swinger for several years and never had any problems. Well, maybe I don't expect much. We have owned tents, converted bus (49 Ford with a 327 chev. engine), 3 Airstreams, Brougham TT and now a Cougar 5th wheel and loved them all and only had problems that I expect to have with anything. Haven't owned a home yet or car that didn't require regular maintance. Buy what you like and have fun.<img src=icon_smile_big.gif border=0 align=middle>
Chelse L. Nash
08-21-2001, 11:54 PM
We've owned several Pop-ups over the years...Starcraft (2), Rockwood, and Coleman. Coleman was the latest and favorite. Good luck!
08-30-2001, 02:11 AM
Just picked up a 2001 Coleman Timberlake. We looked at the Starcrafts and Jaycos. A buddy told me that he new of two people who had problems with Jayco so I ruled them out. Doesn't mean you should. There's probably plenty of people out there that would have good things to say about Jayco. The Coleman by Fleetwood just seamed to be a little better in quality then the Starcraft. Both are priced similar as far as MSRP went. We ended up getting ours for about $1000 less then what I had negotiated with a lesser Starcraft.
What I liked better:
1. Sunbrella canvas fabric was much thicker then the vinyl tenting of the Starcraft.
2. The Starcraft's sink in the model we looked at was at my thighs vs. the Coleman's at my waist.
3. Coleman's chassis is made of tube steel.
4. Price. $9100 out the door for a trailer with a shower/head and 12' box vs. $10000 out the door for a Starcraft with shower/head and 10' box (dining table would only fit two as well). This doesn't mean that you couldn't find a better deal on Starcraft, that's just what I found.
Hope this helps.
"Even a broken clock is right two times a day."
2001 - Coleman Timberlake
Pulled with 2001 Ford F150 SuperCrew
Edited by - CASUPERCREW on Aug 30 2001 02:12:32 AM
08-30-2001, 07:19 AM
I can't really recommend any brand to purchase but I can advise of one brand to be shy of. Our first RV was a Dutchman pop up and it was more of a pain to use than it was worth. Finally sold it for about what we had in it (we were lucky). Then bought a 78 Champion class A and had a lot of fun in it. Three years later we bought what we have now and love it. I guess I would think of the coleman and probably a used on at that.
Mike, Amy, Ashley, Candi
'95 Rexhall 36' Aerbus
#3 & #8 NASCAR
09-06-2001, 06:41 PM
My wife & I did the same thing you are doing. Got out of camping for 20 years and got back in with a pop top. Did a lot of research, and finally decided on the Coleman Niagara. Salesman for another brand convinced us when he said "mine is the best unless you can afford a Coleman". Wasn't that much more. Kept it for 1 year and never had a major problem. Had the faucet in the shower replaced, and zipper in the glide out room had to be replaced. (All under warranty with no problem). We decided after a year that we really didn't want to crank up everytime we camped, and wanted more space when it was raining. Neighbors would pay us to go camping when we needed rain. Camped 10 times that year and it rained 8 of them!! We probably didn't do enough research on what we really wanted. Bought a 34' 5th wheel in April this year and love it!! It's amazing the deals you can find on used ones. I found a 93 Dutchmen and 92 Ford F250 deisel in great shape. 5th wheel looks new.
However, if I were going to buy another poptop, it would be a Coleman. Went camping with friends that have others and you really can see the difference in quality. If you're looking at one of the larger units, be sure to get an equalizer hitch. Really does make a big difference.
Good luck & good camping.
93 Dutchmen 330 5th. wheel
92 Ford F250 Ext. cab 7.3LD
09-06-2001, 06:48 PM
Forgot one important thing. I sold my Coleman to a couple in Denver, Co. Seems that dealers there don't discount. Dealer in Atlanta, Ga. really discounts, so shop around and don't pay MSRP. It would be worth driving to save a lot of money. My 2000 Niagara with all options except screen room including upgraded A/C was approx $10,000.00.
93 Dutchmen 330 5th. wheel
92 Ford F250 Ext. cab 7.3LD
09-21-2003, 12:06 AM
New to pop up campers. We just purchased a nice 2001 softside Starcraft Lonestar. All the specs worked out but it feels big on the GMC Sierra 1500 short bed. Had air bag installed also. Does anyone pull a 17 foot boat also. Looking for any info!! Thanks :)
09-21-2003, 08:58 PM
Hi, We bought our first popup 6 months ago. We bought a colemen bayside elite. It is a 2001, they said that it was abought the biggest popup made. It can sleep up to 8 people! ;)
09-21-2003, 11:44 PM
Have you looked at the hybrid pop-out trailers? Our TT before the 5er was a 23' Rockwood Roo hybrid I pulled with a V8 Dodge Dakota. The hybrids are light weight but give you a fully self contained trailer and decent "hard shell" area if you need to stop while traveling (lunch, potty, etc).
Rockwood, Trail Light and Jayco seem to be the most popular. We settled on the Rockwood because of availability and price.
Trail Light: I don't have the URL
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