Greetings from a former pop-up camper - Fiberglass RV

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Old 11-02-2015, 11:50 AM   #1
Junior Member
Name: Fritz
Trailer: Formerly Starcraft
Posts: 4
Greetings from a former pop-up camper

New attendee to group session: "Hello, I'm Fritz and I'm a recovering pop-up camper."

Group: "Hi, Fritz!"

New attendee: "I've been four years free of my last pop-up."


New attendee: "I've been meaning to turn my life around, and get a fiberglass RV, or possibly a class-B motorhome, but my life just hasn't quite got to that point yet."

Group member: "We understand! We've all been there..."

New attendee: "So I thought I would at least start coming to group, and learn how to take my next steps. I'm sorry I hurt so many people before with my camping habits. Well, not many people. Actually, just me - I hurt my back setting up & taking down that d^mn pop-up all the time!"


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Old 11-02-2015, 12:10 PM   #2
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Dennis mn's Avatar
Name: Dennis
Trailer: Scamp
Posts: 254
Welcome from another former Pop-Up owner.

For me the choice between a MH and trailer was: Do I want to drive a car and pull a camper, or drive a camper and pull a car? For me the choice was simple, one engine to maintain and less expensive.

1999 Scamp Fifth Wheel, pulled by a 2014 Nissan Frontier Pro4-X
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Old 11-02-2015, 12:35 PM   #3
Randy P.'s Avatar
Name: Randy
Trailer: 2014 Casita Spirit Deluxe
Posts: 91
Admitting you have a problem is the first step to your recovery. Second step, research, research , research. or is that step 2, 3 and 4?

Anyway, hello and good luck. We're all pulling for ya!
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Old 11-02-2015, 01:54 PM   #4
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Timber Wolf's Avatar
Name: Tim
Trailer: '88 Scamp 16, layout 4
North Florida
Posts: 1,394
Welcome. My family had various slide-in campers, sticky trailers, 5th wheels, Class Bs, pop-ups, etc. when I was growing up. I spent many a night on the ground in a tent or under just the Stars as a Boy Scout. I bought a Scamp as my one and only RV purchase as an adult.

Both of parents smoked, I never have. I watched my brothers get into trouble drinking and with drugs so I never did either. I guess you could say I learn from other's mistakes.
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Old 11-02-2015, 02:45 PM   #5
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Bob Miller's Avatar
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,914
Yep, many of us know all about that evil she-devil, the pop-up camping trailer. But just be sure my son didn't go astray I have rebuilt two for him and his wife to use so they will better appreciate the FGRV's as they mature.
Here's the StarCraft 14:

and here's the Palomino, which they seem to like a lot better... Go Figure.

But Recovery is Possible
Dr. Bob
He Good Medicine.....
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Old 11-02-2015, 03:30 PM   #6
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Jon in AZ's Avatar
Name: Jon
Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 Std
Posts: 3,584
I grew up traveling the country in a largish tent trailer. When you have a lot of people and a small budget, you can't beat 'em. With plenty of people helping, set-up and tear-down is more manageable.

With a small budget and limited towing capacity, I was in the market for one 3 years ago when we decided to upgrade from a tent. Several were sold from under me when I happened across a 13' Scamp bunk model parked beside the road sporting a "For Sale" sign. Twenty-four hours later, it was parked in our driveway.

There are times when I miss the extra space in a tent trailer. Then I remember what it was like to set it up and fold it down in the rain. And what it was like when the wind blows. I lie in my Scamp on a wild night and I'm thankful for what I have!

Class B versus a trailer… I'd say if you do a lot of one-night stopovers, a van camper might be more convenient. My mother has one, and it suits her style. We usually stay in one place for several days, so it's a lot more convenient to leave the trailer and have the car to explore. I also like that you can upgrade the car every so often (about 10 years for us) to a new(er) one that's safe and reliable, but keep the same trailer. Upgrading a motorhome is a much more expensive proposition. A molded fiberglass trailer will likely outlast quite a few tow vehicles.
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:02 PM   #7
Senior Member
Name: Gordon
Trailer: Scamp (16 Std Layout 4) with '15 Toyota Sienna LE Tug
North Carolina
Posts: 1,256
Times I miss my pop-up:

1. When towing. With a small pop-up, I hardly knew it was behind me and mileage only took a small hit. With my Scamp, I can still forget it's there at times, but mileage is cut in half.

2. When the weather is absolutely perfect, and I could open all the tent flaps. That rarely happened.

thats it.
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:07 PM   #8
Junior Member
Name: Fritz
Trailer: Formerly Starcraft
Posts: 4
Yeah, I owned two different pop-ups (a Flagstaff, then a Starcraft), and rented many before that, over a total of about ten years. And indeed, if you need space for quite a few people and want to feel really out and open, almost like tent camping, then you can't really beat a pop-up.

But I noticed that, while yes occasionally it was great to take 3-5 pals out camping in the pop-up, 90% of the time it was just me, or maybe just one guest (I'm childfree-by-choice, so not like I have a lot of kids to worry about). But you can't setup just *half* of a pop-up, you gotta do the whole thing, even if you're not even going to use one of the slide-out beds. Total PITA for simple overnighting, especially if it's raining!

Anyway, nowadays it's almost always just me, mostly not really "camping" per se, but as temporary housing while visiting friends & family for a few days, or even working onsite for a week or so (I do computer consulting for medical systems, which is mostly done remotely from home office, but I need to be onsite some weeks, like for go-lives and whatnot). I never really boondock, usually state parks or RV campgrounds, or even just plugging in at a friend's driveway for a few nights.

I'm also an avid scuba diver, and if I can stay in a camper overnight instead of paying for a hotel room near the dive site, well that pretty much pays the boat fee for a typical two-tank dive right there!

In the long run, I will likely get a class-B; but for the next few years, I'm thinking I can save a little money, maybe get a used fiberglass shell camper I can just pull behind my Sienna (which towed the 3500# Starcraft easy-peasy).

Anyway, I've already been poring over the infomation in the forums here for some time, just seemed like joining up was the right thing to do.
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:37 PM   #9
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Bob Miller's Avatar
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
Posts: 7,914
Put up just 1/2 a tent trailer? Sure...

The StarCraft 14 is almost that, with only 1 pull out bed and a dinette. The seldom seen StarCraft 12 had no pull outs, just square walls on the tub with a dinette/bed.
And there are a few pop-up motorhomes such as the ubiquitous Chinooks and nicer yet Bandit, but the king of that group may be the Sunrader Adventure shown below. The last of fewer than 50 built 1986-1989.

More images here: 1989 Sunrader Adventure II by Robert Miller | Photobucket
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Old 11-02-2015, 04:47 PM   #10
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Name: Steve
Trailer: Scamp 13
Posts: 1,037
I had a large Starcraft popup until it finally rotted around me and had to be scrapped. I thought the pop-up was the greatest even when I upsized to a 22 foot Lazy Daze class C motor home. Within a year I knew that was a mistake and finally sold it after 7 years or so using it less and less each year. Then I went to my current 13ft Scamp and I know now that my worst day camping in that Scamp is better than the best day in the pop-up. What I could have enjoyed if I just started with a Fiberglass EGG. I can only buy used as I have limited budgets for extra things in life but all in all it been a fairly good ride even if you don't have the best stuff in life. Getting out in anything is better than doing nothing.
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Old 11-02-2015, 05:33 PM   #11
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David Tilston's Avatar
Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Posts: 5,281
For one person, I recommend a 13' or 15' with a front dinette. The bed can stay down, and you still have a table to eat at. Works just as well for a party of two.

I'm a Trillium guy, so I would recommend a 1300, or 4500, with a front dinette. But there are several options available that fit this description.
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:31 PM   #12
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Mike Magee's Avatar
Name: Michael
Trailer: Li'l Hauley
Posts: 4,523
I owned a popup for one season, and after that experience I feel that a person would be better off carrying a tent in a cargo trailer. Setting up a tent is easier and faster IMO than the popup. If the weather's good, use the tent. If the weather's bad, avoid the hassle and stay in the cargo trailer.

Of course, a nice FG trailer is far better than either of the above. One can eat or sleep in it without doing any setup whatsoever, just walk in and enjoy. Need light, flip a switch. Need clothes, open the closet door. Want food or a cold drink, reach into the cupboard or the fridge. Need air movement, flip on the fan. And so on.

A popup is a glorified tent on wheels. But a FG egg is a tiny, sturdy house on wheels... with a better roof than most houses.
To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven... --Ecclesiastes 3
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Old 11-02-2015, 07:58 PM   #13
Name: Wayne
Trailer: Casita
Posts: 96
Former Pop-Up owner

We have a Casita Spirit Deluxe that we have owned for just over a year; prior to that I owned a 1984 Rockwood 906 pop-up which was one of the best purchases I ever made. As Gordon mentioned when the weather is nice there is nothing like opening the flaps and getting the feeling that you're really camping and we were off the ground.... Sweet. One of the reasons the Rockwood held up so well was that it lived in a garage when not in use, and I was able to pass it down to my daughter when we bought the Casita. We camped at Grand Isle state park in Northern Vt. (no hook-ups) this past August and with temperatures in the mid nineties the Casita certainly got stuffy and restful sleep was hard to come by. We are planning on getting a Solar Suitcase but haven't purchased as yet so we were mindful of our battery usage.(not running the Fantastic Fan) We love our Casita and all its amenities and sometimes have to pinch ourselves because it feels like we just scored the Penthouse Suite. The Pop-Up afforded us many years of great memories and for young families trying to step up from tent camping it's definitely a great option.
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Old 11-02-2015, 10:21 PM   #14
Junior Member
Name: Fritz
Trailer: Formerly Starcraft
Posts: 4
2009 Starcraft Centennial 3608

Here's my last pop-up, a high-wall Starcraft Centennial 3608. I loved that slide-out dinette. Windows completely surrounding it, made it almost feel like you were dining outside. Plus it meant the hallway thru the middle was wide enough for two people to pass one another, unlike the Flagstaff I owned prior which had no slide-out.

But I will not miss having to setup that thing and break it down all the time. Especially in the rain.

As to solar, I spend the majority of my camper time right here in my home state of Florida, especially diving in South Florida and the Keys, so I need a good A/C 365 days out of the year. So I'm not even going to pretend to try solar. Usually it's plug-in for me, although I might consider a generator as well.

I rarely cranked up the furnace on the Starcraft, but on chilly evenings in North Florida or Georgia, I would sometimes use a very sweet feature that came factory on that thing: heated mattresses! The dial went up to 10 but all it took was a 1 or 2 to be comfy. Never once had to "winterize" - in fact, winter is probably the best camping time down here.

BUT there are some downsides too... like spending lots of time so close to the coast means lots of exposure to corrosive salty humidity. Another reason I'm looking at a fiberglass unit this time around.
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