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  1. #401
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    I'm debating going to that festival. Maybe I'll see you there.
    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

  2. #402
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    I had a travel trailer for 6 months or so. Hated the storage, the payment, and the maintenance issues, and the quality of the thing seemed suspect. Everytime I took it out it needed to go back to the dealer for some service/manufacturing issue. And it was all so cheap and flimsy, I felt as though it wouldn't last as long as my loan payments! I also felt a little claustrophobic and closed off when using it, not engaged in the camping experience. I sold it at the end of the summer, and was glad to see it go. But I don't really like using my tent anymore either. I'm thinking about a pop-up/tent camper as a reasonable, affordable compromise, something that'll get me off the ground and offer a few more comforts than tenting, but that is also easy to tow and store, and that won't require a ton of upkeep. I do wonder about weather-proofness, durability and damage from moisture, though. It might also become a stepping stone to another travel trailer down the road, if I find myself wanting more comforts and conveniences in camp. Anyone out there enjoy their pop-up and care to share their experience?
    You'll probably find everything in the traditional RV industry that seems affordable is built very poorly, but used and cared for properly, they can last. I used my mom's class a for a couple of long trips to Moab. She bought used from a rental company with >90k miles on it. Everything worked fine. Between the 2 of us, we probably put 10-15k on it before she sold it. Only major issues were replacing the engine ac compressor and....wait for it....replacing the black water tank. Black water tank was covered by extended warranty she bought, only hard spot was finding someone willing to do it. So it worked overall and got little care as both a rental unit and being owned by my mom.

    I have also rented a pop up tent trailer...as a rental, it was functional. Felt cheap and cold (pisgah over thanksgiving).

    I have now had my own slide in pop up truck camper for >9 years that I bought 9. Most people that see it are amazed it is that old. I paid nearly 25k for it brand new...which back then was near top$ for the market segment. It was built cheaply, even for a 25k unit that is sold manufacturer direct...no dealer. These guys aren't making a killing with these either. It still works and I've used it a ton. Probably covered 80k+ miles with it on the truck. Even drug it up schnebly hill road in Sedona from the town side. Camped twice at the top of gooseberry Mesa just before Christmas when very few others (like 1 other car in 3 days) braved the muddy/snowy road up. But, I've had plenty of components (fridge controller- it is compressor fridge, water pump, water heater, furnace components, toilet, solar controller, bathroom faucet, outside shower faucet, and a couple of water line valves) all required replacement. I've done other things like replace 2 of 4 jacks, increased solar capacity, and gone back to the mfr to have them convert roof lift from manual to electric.

    My point in all the above is that unless you step up to a premium RV builder, expect it to feel cheap. The more comfort items you add...expect more stuff to break....like fridges, heaters, etc. even if you step up to something like an Oliver travel trailer....things can go wrong, but I expect one would have far fewer problems that something that costs half as much. Those are really well thought out, engineered, and built to last. Typical resale value of those back that up.

    Alternatively if you just want to be off the ground and not have a whole lot of maintenance issues, look at a teardrop with an outside galley. If you use an ice chest and camp stove..the only non standard tent camping maintenance you'll have to worry about are keeping the axle bearings lubed and maybe, depending on how it is built, checking status of caulking/sealing along seams on the exterior skin. If you need to sleep more than two in the thing, look at something like adventure traileres in Prescott or browse the info on expedition portal for an off road teardrop wit a roof top tent attached to it. Generally, the overlanding crowd at expedition portal are all into stuff that is stupid simple and rugged as hell.

  3. #403
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    I had a travel trailer for 6 months or so. Hated the storage, the payment, and the maintenance issues, and the quality of the thing seemed suspect. Everytime I took it out it needed to go back to the dealer for some service/manufacturing issue. And it was all so cheap and flimsy, I felt as though it wouldn't last as long as my loan payments! I also felt a little claustrophobic and closed off when using it, not engaged in the camping experience. I sold it at the end of the summer, and was glad to see it go. But I don't really like using my tent anymore either. I'm thinking about a pop-up/tent camper as a reasonable, affordable compromise, something that'll get me off the ground and offer a few more comforts than tenting, but that is also easy to tow and store, and that won't require a ton of upkeep. I do wonder about weather-proofness, durability and damage from moisture, though. It might also become a stepping stone to another travel trailer down the road, if I find myself wanting more comforts and conveniences in camp. Anyone out there enjoy their pop-up and care to share their experience?
    We had a hard sided A frame popup for a couple years. Ours was a Chalet LTW LTW | Chalet, Inc.. I have never owned a tent type pop up and have not been impressed with those from what I've seen. The Chalet seemed to be pretty good quality for the RV world, and the hard sides made for quick set up and take down, while still towing very easily and fitting in our garage. The LTW size worked well, if a touch tight, for two of us and a large dog. We towed with a Honda Ridgeline. Ultimately, we sold the trailer this fall after picking up a Ford Transit with a Sportsmobile poptop installed (that will be a project for this thread http://forums.mtbr.com/car-biker/van...m-1021494.html). Financially, the trailer made far more sense, and did nearly everything we needed, plus could be unhitched at camp so the tow vehicle could be used. The downsides were that we still found ourselves spending a lot of time packing the vehicle, bikes were still outside in the back of the Ridgeline, and getting it situated in our garage upon return was more hassle than anticipated, plus the female half didn't want to tow it on her own. It was plenty warm in the spring/fall, and we had no problems with rain when camping in light rain.
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  4. #404
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    I have had my 2013 R-Pod 177 for sale since November. It was great for 4 years of trips, basically a very good long weekend type trailer, kitchen, bathroom, shower, bed. I don't really need more than that. I also never went to a full service campground with it, always State Park campground areas and smaller tent campgrounds where it fit easily on a tent site. 36 gallons of fresh water can go a long way if you use it right.

    I never used it for more than 4 days camping, and I think it would have been difficult to go for a week given that it is small and storage space is minimal. I would have had to stay at full service campgrounds to do a week.

    I have my eye on a 25 foot Toy Hauler trailer for this coming Spring. Planning my first big trip out to Utah/Colorado already. Mountain biking and Enduro motorcycling.

  5. #405
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveF View Post
    I had a travel trailer for 6 months or so. Hated the storage, the payment, and the maintenance issues, and the quality of the thing seemed suspect. Everytime I took it out it needed to go back to the dealer for some service/manufacturing issue. And it was all so cheap and flimsy, I felt as though it wouldn't last as long as my loan payments! I also felt a little claustrophobic and closed off when using it, not engaged in the camping experience. I sold it at the end of the summer, and was glad to see it go. But I don't really like using my tent anymore either. I'm thinking about a pop-up/tent camper as a reasonable, affordable compromise, something that'll get me off the ground and offer a few more comforts than tenting, but that is also easy to tow and store, and that won't require a ton of upkeep. I do wonder about weather-proofness, durability and damage from moisture, though. It might also become a stepping stone to another travel trailer down the road, if I find myself wanting more comforts and conveniences in camp. Anyone out there enjoy their pop-up and care to share their experience?
    I think you've nailed it with the highlighted statement above. We started out tent camping with young kids and a dog just like everyone else. We had a 3 day weekend in the highcountry where it rained/snowed off and on the entire time one summer, everything in the tent was either wet, or wet and dirty. Plus the wet dog smell. This trip was the one where my wife green-lighted the popup after a few years of giving her some hints that this was the next step. We bought a "brand new second hand" 2000 Coleman Timberlake in 2010, I think it was one of the biggest made at the time with two king size bed slides and a shower/toilet combo. We still have this and plan to keep it for the more remote trips we do and areas with camper length restrictions. If you don't have kids or plan to sleep 4, then this is even overkill. Not maintenance free, we repack the bearings and change the tires every other year and of course you have to winterize them if you plan on buying one with plumbing. We've used ours 4 seasons, packing 5 gallon water jugs and sleeping in our zero degree bags.

    Popup positives are easy to store, easy to tow, more accessible to hidden spots (especially if you have an off road version) and lower costs to operate and maintain. Most will fit in a garage if you have an HOA issue, or they can go behind a fence on the side of your house. You still feel like you are in a tent, and more connected to nature. In the pic below, this is us literally backed up to the Yampa river just outside of Steamboat. That's the ski resort just over the roof. Some of the best sleep I've ever had was here, literally almost overhanging the river and listening to the water.

    The negatives are smaller/potential size issues on multi-week trips, harder to pack and store items if it is collapsed, more drafty in winter/oven-like in summer as all that canvas holds heat it seems... even fully unzipped. In our research of Coleman products, pretty much everyone on the forums said to steer clear of the models which have an ABS roof, you want an insulated aluminum model. Models with plastic ABS roofs crack and the owners say they are ticking time bombs so be warned! We put a Yakima rack on our popup roof, we can hold 7 bikes and a couple of coolers or a few bundles of firewood.

    So popups being a stepping-stone is exactly right. We went from being fine towing our popup for the first few years with my wife's Land Cruiser, to filling the popup AND her Land Cruiser up, then I bought a Tundra. Added dog #2, 2 motorcycles, growing kids now almost 13 and 10, and naturally just wanting to drive further - camp longer - and bring more toys. Hence the Outback 324cg purchase. So shopping for a 3/4 ton diesel Ram 2500 Megacab/F250/2500 Chevy or GMC now to pull 10,000 pounds....that is our story and experience! Brett
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  6. #406
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    Thanks for the comments and suggestions regarding pop up campers. I appreciate the input! Fun to ponder such things in the "tough camping," season...

  7. #407
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    I'm debating going to that festival. Maybe I'll see you there.
    Looks like our trailer will be done next week - possibly even early in the week. We've got a campsite reserved at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. With as long as we'll be there (a few days outside of the actual festival), I wanted access to a warm shower. I called the Forest Service office about their seasonal campgrounds, and they couldn't give me any details on whether their campground with the coin operated shower would be open during the festival.

    Looks like we've got the opportunity to take an extra day to drive there. My wife HATES long hours in the car for road trips. We're more or less going to be following Route 66 most of the way there, so we're going to stop by a bunch of the silly landmarks along the way.

    Also looks like nearly 2 dozen people from Indy will be there (many of whom I know or am friends with). Also met someone at Ray's in Cleveland last weekend who's going to be there.

  8. #408
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Looks like our trailer will be done next week - possibly even early in the week. We've got a campsite reserved at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. With as long as we'll be there (a few days outside of the actual festival), I wanted access to a warm shower. I called the Forest Service office about their seasonal campgrounds, and they couldn't give me any details on whether their campground with the coin operated shower would be open during the festival.

    Looks like we've got the opportunity to take an extra day to drive there. My wife HATES long hours in the car for road trips. We're more or less going to be following Route 66 most of the way there, so we're going to stop by a bunch of the silly landmarks along the way.

    Also looks like nearly 2 dozen people from Indy will be there (many of whom I know or am friends with). Also met someone at Ray's in Cleveland last weekend who's going to be there.
    Congrats!

    Dead horse is a pretty decent place to stay...with some good trail in its own right and nice views. I was there between Christmas and New Years. Rode there one day then Sedona the next. Would definitely go there again if I wanted to pay for a site....price is very fair compared to the RV park in Sedona.

    I'll be at the festival as well, but will roll the dice each night on dispersed camping off west of town off FR 525. I have hot water and inside shower...so easy for me.

  9. #409
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam-eye-am View Post
    Congrats!

    Dead horse is a pretty decent place to stay...with some good trail in its own right and nice views. I was there between Christmas and New Years. Rode there one day then Sedona the next. Would definitely go there again if I wanted to pay for a site....price is very fair compared to the RV park in Sedona.

    I'll be at the festival as well, but will roll the dice each night on dispersed camping off west of town off FR 525. I have hot water and inside shower...so easy for me.
    Yeah, I looked into that RV campground in Sedona. Wasn't thrilled with their list of rules. They're not a teardrop-friendly campground, with the restrictions they have to be inside your camper during specific hours. Excuse me, but my kitchen is outside my camper. The inside of my camper is for sleeping, and that's about it. So yeah, despite its proximity, that one wouldn't work for me.

    I was thinking about boondocking for the Sedona MTB fest, but since I'm only picking the trailer up next week, I won't be quite ready for that. Eventually, I'll have a system for a hot shower and bathroom facilities. At least the trailer comes with a solar panel to keep the battery charged. I may end up adding a 2nd battery, depending on how much life I get out of one.

  10. #410
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Yeah, I looked into that RV campground in Sedona. Wasn't thrilled with their list of rules. They're not a teardrop-friendly campground, with the restrictions they have to be inside your camper during specific hours. Excuse me, but my kitchen is outside my camper. The inside of my camper is for sleeping, and that's about it. So yeah, despite its proximity, that one wouldn't work for me.

    I was thinking about boondocking for the Sedona MTB fest, but since I'm only picking the trailer up next week, I won't be quite ready for that. Eventually, I'll have a system for a hot shower and bathroom facilities. At least the trailer comes with a solar panel to keep the battery charged. I may end up adding a 2nd battery, depending on how much life I get out of one.
    And you are right on top of each other at that RV park. I did stay there last year and pedaled each day to the festival.

    If you are driving each day regardless, dead horse is a good choice. If parked at the festival or west sedona trails, you don't need to go through too much sedona traffic to get back to the CG. Likewise if parks in oak creek, you don't have to go through sedona I get back to your CG.

    Regarding solar and batteries, really should do some amp hour calculations before spending additional $. I've got 2 Trojan 105 6v batteries and 220w of solar. But my fridge is electric, have an electric pop top roof, and in colder times, the furnace is a pretty big draw. I suspect your teardrop has a significantly less amp hour draw than my TC.

    I'll likely be parked at the festival each day...white outfitter pop up TC on a gray dodge if you have any questions or want to see another setup for ideas.


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  11. #411
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    Quote Originally Posted by sam-eye-am View Post
    Regarding solar and batteries, really should do some amp hour calculations before spending additional $. I've got 2 Trojan 105 6v batteries and 220w of solar. But my fridge is electric, have an electric pop top roof, and in colder times, the furnace is a pretty big draw. I suspect your teardrop has a significantly less amp hour draw than my TC..
    Our trailer comes with an AGM34 12v battery and a 40 watt solar panel. If I add another battery, I'm sure I'll need a bigger solar panel that can put out more juice. Since we'll have electric hookups at Dead Horse, we might not even bring the panel. At this point, the only things powered by the onboard battery system are interior lights and the roof fan. I'll be looking for a little DC powered space heater to add, also. Maybe a DC heated blanket. We're bringing our regular heated blanket to Sedona since we'll have full hookups, and since the nights are likely to be chilly. Our trailer comes piped for a portable a/c, but we didn't get the a/c with it. With the kind of draw something like that requires, it'll probably only be used when we are parked somewhere with hookups.

    I'm curious how the roof fan will be able to handle humid midwestern summers. I might wind up buying the portable a/c this summer if the rooftop fan can't quite cut it.

    I do have a small power inverter that puts out enough juice to handle a laptop computer, but at this point, I don't see much need for it. We'll see how we actually use the trailer. The nice thing about teardrops is that they're very customizable. And to top it off, the builder is located about half an hour away from where I live.

    I'm pretty stoked about the Fox Wing awning I'm getting with the trailer. That thing is seriously cool. Massive shade, and super modular. And the IMBA EP program through ProMotive merged with another company recently, and I can get EP pricing on a bunch of the accessories I can add on to that awning.

  12. #412
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    Here is our setup, highly modified 7.3 powerstroke with a bad camper. super comfy both camping and cruising, hauls butt through the mountains. I recently added a hitch to the front bumper so i can add a hitch rack for bikes.

    Tim M Hovey

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  13. #413
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    Wife and I had a Teardrop. Only time we *really* needed AC, and didn't have it, was in MISS,AL and AK during one brutally hot roadtrip. It didn't drop below 90 at night. Other summer trips we were fine with the fan including trips from MD to SD.

  14. #414
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dream Plus View Post
    Wife and I had a Teardrop. Only time we *really* needed AC, and didn't have it, was in MISS,AL and AK during one brutally hot roadtrip. It didn't drop below 90 at night. Other summer trips we were fine with the fan including trips from MD to SD.
    I'm hoping my experience is similar, but I overheat at night pretty easily. 70+F with high humidity is extremely uncomfortable for me, and that's typical summertime overnight conditions where I live. Sedona won't be a problem...with lows below 40F at night most likely, staying warm while ventilating the humidity out of the camper will be a bigger priority.

    Our camper is coming with a really nice reversible variable speed fan, so that will help.

  15. #415
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    Picked up my Hiker Trailer this afternoon. Just in time to load it up for Sedona!


    20170224_152509 by Nate, on Flickr

    The builder, Wes, gave me a few updates I didn't ask for. Axle upgrade (the usual he uses was unavailable), got some extra interior lighting options (we're the first customer trailer he installed them on), and a little reconfiguring of the interior storage space that gives a little extra room in the galley and better pass-through access in the cabin.

    We've got an onboard battery system to run lights and a fan, a solar charging setup, Fox Wing awning (what you see on the roof rack now), a memory foam mattress, 1upUSA bike trays for the roof, and a few other odds & ends. Got a nice diamond plate cargo box on the tongue for misc tools and other parts (like locks to secure the trailer, the support poles for the awning, and such).

    We're towing with a Subaru XV Crosstrek as our primary for now, but I've been wanting a smaller pickup for quite awhile now. We'll see if I can make that happen.

  16. #416
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    That's a slick little camper! Please share some pics when it's setup. And feel free to fire off any solar questions, I've got some experience from installing my own charging system on our camper.

  17. #417
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    Quote Originally Posted by ewarnerusa View Post
    That's a slick little camper! Please share some pics when it's setup. And feel free to fire off any solar questions, I've got some experience from installing my own charging system on our camper.
    Mine is installed and good to go. Only questions I might have at this point would be if I decide to upgrade. My electrical system has plenty of room for add ons.

    I just installed the roof trays.


  18. #418
    Don't worry, be happy!
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    1. All the photo bucket fail images in this thread gave me a headache.
    2. Is there a van conversion thread?

  19. #419
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    1. All the photo bucket fail images in this thread gave me a headache.
    2. Is there a van conversion thread?
    1. Yes.

    2. Yes. Search not even required, it's still on page 1 of this forum.
    If it's not powered solely by you, it's a motorcycle.

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  20. #420
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    Found it.
    Yay, now being out commission awaiting knee surgery I have lots of time for the conversion research project.

  21. #421
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    Use this mostly for the RZR, but will be throwing bikes in since I recently go back into mtb'ing




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