Honda Element Owners Club banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
543 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
We're thinking of making the jump to a pop-up. :shock: Diane has two fully working knees now, which means camping can be back on the list :) -- but the travails of sleeping on the ground are pretty much out of the question. :|

We're thinking pop-up because I think we'd like a bit more usable interior. Not a place to live in, but a place you could spend a rainy day reading with a bit of elbow room.

Never had or even used a pop-up before, so we don't even know the right questions to ask. Obviously, E-towable will restrict the field. I need opinions on the best course of action, names to look for, names to avoid. Buy a cheap used starter for a year, and thereby learn fairly quickly what's good, what's bad, what we like or don't like, and what to look for in an upgrade? Or spend a lot of time in research (while not camping) and try to wind up with what we want right out of the chute?

Any easy answers? Opinions? As always, Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
124 Posts
Check out Bumgardner RV in Hudson, NC. They have the Viking popup mod# 1706 that is 8ft and under 1500lb that looks good. It is new and maybe soon they will have a 2010 close out sale. Right now it is 5k.
U
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,214 Posts
Congrats on being able to plan for camping again. Lots of info at this forum link below, where there is a section dedicated to pop-ups and a for sale section.

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php

I haven't owned a pop-up but looked at them hard before settling on my teardrop. Have talked to countless pop-up owners at campgrounds and gleaned a few things.

I'd be looking at used because so many peops buy RVs and only use them once or twice. I'd certainly drive a very hard bargain with any dealers of new.

I'd seriously consider a hard-sided folding A-Liner before settling on a canvas pop-up. The canvas advantage is more room once setup. A-Liner advantages include much faster set-up and breakdown and no canvas to deal with. You've probably already seen the ongoing A-Liner thread on EOC. An A-Liner disadvantage is, of course, less space than a conventional pop-up.

Such an enormous array of choices and considerations.

Good luck!

:)

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,181 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
348 Posts
There are a couple Aliner's a tad larger than our little Alite that are still within the towing range.

Honestly, we looked long and hard at there the Trailmaster series of motorcycle campers after spying one in a campground. Very nice little rigs for the money: http://www.trailmasterinc.com/

The Leisure Lite series were a little more expensive, but the entire rig is off the ground - http://www.leesurelite.com/

Just a starting point for ya!

Jamie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
trailers

Hello! Well, if you're soliciting advice, I'd suggest maybe renting (or borrowing?) a popup trailer (or one similar to what you're considering) for a weekend to see how you like it...that way, you might narrow your focus down before making the actual purchase.

That said, we knew that we wanted a small popup trailer for a while and started looking on Craigslist last fall for one. There are SO many RVs out there that people buy with good intentions, only to discover that they don't really use them as much as they thought...or they don't enjoy as much as they thought. There is such a great selection of used RVs out there, I'd be hesitant to ever buy new (I feel the same way about cars, too).

We paid $700 for our 1990 Starcraft Meteor trailer...it needs a new canvas kit as there are some tears in it from 20 years of service, but overall it's in fantastic shape. Instead of immediately replacing the canvas kit (available online for about $800) we decided just to patch the tears with some $10 Gorilla Tape and live with it for a while. I mean, if we're going to be white trash campers, we might as well go all the way! :)

Bottom line, there were a TON of used trailers to choose from online, so we just waited for the right one to come along. Most were in the $1500-2000 range, and this one would have been, too, were it not for the worn canvas. I am SO glad we took the cheap route since, realistically, we will only get to camp in it a few times a year...maybe 4-5 times max. The canvas will be fine for a few more years (maybe needing a few more patches along the way) and we don't have a bunch of money tied up in it if we decide in a few years to buy something else.

Our friends that we camp with also have a popup trailer (theirs has hard sides instead of canvas) and it weighs about 2x as much as ours -- it's nice and definitely has more space than we do, but we all spend most of the time outside anyways that the only time spent inside the trailer is after the campfire is out and we're heading to sleep. The extra space that they have is not really useful if your outside all the time. :)

We live near the Sierra mountains, which has several 8,000 foot passes, and most of our camping involves driving up into the high elevation...our first trip this past weekend went well, but I'm not sure the Element could pull much more than we've got. It did fine, but there were several times we were in second gear at 45mph on some of the steeper sections. Mostly, though, it was able to pull our 1,000 pound trailer (plus another 500-600 pounds of gear) at 55mph without straining.

Good luck in your search! I know you will enjoy RVing with your E!

Brian
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
I grew up canoe camping and backpacking in all seasons. It was a bit of an adjustment to consider buying a popup trailer. Eventually we found an Aliner Ease at a bargain price and jumped on it. We took it on a shakedown trip in April and had 6 inches of new snow fall on it. We took it from NH around Lake Superior and back in May. We took it on a quickie trip last weekend.

It is astonishing how quickly it goes up and comes down. I'm 6' tall and feel no cramping when I'm in the trailer. There's a wonderful feeling of airiness about it from the windows and skylights, but it stays bone dry in an extended downpour. There's a terrific amount of storage space available in various cabinets and lockers.

The Ease is one of the heaviest Aliners. If the price hadn't been so good, we'd have bought a lighter, less expensive model. On the plus side, it has electric brakes and larger wheels, and it rides like a charm behind my wife's Explorer. No, I haven't towed the Ease with my E. But I'm giving it very serious thought for this fall's hunting seasons.

I have a hard time imagining not owning one now. You can have it when you pry the key from my cold dead hand. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
543 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Well, after lots of help and advice here and elsewhere, and some looking, we finally settled on one, and we just brought our new (to us) popup home this afternoon! :lol: It's a 2005 Flagstaff 176LST that we bought from the original owner at a very good price. They've kept it in good condition (garaged when not in use), and included a lot of extras like a full set of sidewalls to convert the awning to a room, ground mats, spare propane tank (full), and numerous gen purpose accessories they've accumulated. There's very little we have to do before use. It's small but not too small, which is what we wanted-- a bit more convenient than tent camping, but still camping.

Just have to wait for the daytime temps and humidity to come down a bit! Can't wait!!
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,522 Posts
Welcome to the TrailE TrashE club John!

Good looking trailer. The awning looks exactly like the one we have on ours.
Can't wait to see it in person!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
543 Posts
Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
...... Do you have your first trip with it planned out? :)
Well, possibly.... The first trip may be down to a local guy's shop to have brakes installed! :lol: I had pretty much decided to do them myself, but if he's reasonable, I can be as lazy as the next guy! As far as a camping trip -- we'll probably do a couple of local weekends before venturing far afield. There are two nice NC State parks within 10-12 miles of us.


Is that an air conditioner on top of the pop up?
Yes it is. AC was a sine qua non in our camper planning!! :shock:
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top