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Old 08-20-2013, 04:55 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 9
Pre-purchase questions

Hi to the rest of you tent trailer owners! We owned an old 1978 Coleman tent trailer years ago when our kids were little, and then went through a series of regular travel trailers before selling our last one when the kids got too big to want to go with Mom & Dad.

The kids are older and wiser now , and have recently given us our first 2 grandkids. We always enjoyed camping with the kids and think it would be neat to go with the grandkids, so we've been thinking of getting another tent trailer and are hoping for some advice before spending our hard-earned money.

First, has anyone started with a tent-trailer and gone to a regular trailer and then back again? The model we're looking at has a slide out for the table and a toilet/shower inside since I'm too old to traipse to the outhouse in the middle of the night, but it's obviously smaller than a regular trailer. I always loved our tent trailer as it seemed more like "real" camping, but is it possible to go back down once you've had a 24' travel trailer?

Second, and this isn't meant to insult anyone, how happy are you with your Rockwood tent trailer? A couple of the other pop-up forums make it sound like they're not as good as a Jayco or Coleman (and yes I know they're no longer made), but I figure the people who own them are the best judges of the quality or lack thereof.

Third, do you recommend buying new so you get the warranties and don't inherit someone else's problems, or is the cost savings from a used model enough that we should patiently watch and wait for the perfect used pop-up to come along? My husband and I still both work, and I do some volunteer work on Saturdays so my camping time is fairly limited -- but I hate to get into something that may not be satisfactory.

We live in Utah, and there are tons of camping places around here. I've missed not being able to get into the mountains and spend some time over the last few years and am excited about being able to take the grandkids with me.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 08-20-2013, 08:41 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 233
Hello, and welcome to the site. We might be able to help you out somewhat, since we have bucked the system ourselves and gone from pop-up to travel trailer and now back to a pop-up. Our previous trailer was an Outback 23RS, so the move to the HW296 was not a whole lot of downsizing, nor did we give up much in terms of amenities (actually, we gained a couple). The reason for downsizing was strictly economic as we are getting around 14 MPG towing as opposed to the 8 to 10 we got before, plus the pop-up is just easier to tow and will let you camp in places you might not get a full-size trailer into. Granted, the pop-up takes a little longer to set-up and tear-down, but we were used to it from our old Coleman. As for the other brands, we couldn't find anything as large as the 16' box highwall Forest River pop-ups, so that limited our choices. We haven't had any trouble with ours so far (knock on wood), so we have been happy so far. Seems like all brands have their issues, and I don't know if one brand is really any better than another. Bottom line, we haven't regretted the decision to downsize, though admittedly, my wife doesn't think too much of that "phone booth" bathroom.


Bob & Doris
Roanoke, VA
2009 Toyota Tundra CrewMax 4x4 - 5.7L - 6 Speed Auto - 4.30:1
2013 Rockwood HW296
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:50 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 49
Welcome! I actually started out in a conventional TT about 35 years ago. Raised a family, and now that I'm retired and the kids are grown, I wanted to get back into trailer camping. I bought a used Rockwood about a year ago and I couldn't be happier. What I really liked about the Rockwood was that it has more clearance than the Jayco and Coleman, as far as I can tell. Larger tires as well. I think I have the smallest Pup on the market. No shower nor toilet, but I just don't have a problem using the park facilities. Never liked cleaning out the tanks anyway. I was lucky. I bought one that was 10 years old but was in almost new condition. I started out last spring looking until I could find the one that was just right for me and I found it in September. I'm 62 with a bad back, but I can manage this little guy just fine. My Ford F-150 only loses 1 mpg when I'm towing the Pup and that pleases me to no end...getting about 18 while towing on fairly level terrain. My advice is to take your time if you're looking at used. Good luck.
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:35 AM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Catonsville Maryland
Posts: 795
We bought new. We have not had any serious issues related to the manufacture/quality of our Rockwood high wall, our biggest issues have been more related to newbie mistakes. There are some things in the camper that I wish were made with more heavy duty materials, the trailer tag holders are cheap plastic tabs (found the tag in the yard during the winter) and the dinette bed needed extra support but these were easy fixes. We have learned a lot in the four years we have had it. We were tenters going up to the PUP and absolutely love our camper and have no regrets.
HTT: "EscapeII" 2016 Shamrock 23WS (current)
PUP: "Escape" 2010 Rockwood HW 277 (gone)
TV: "Bruce" 2011 Dodge Durango V8 Hemi Crew
Just us gals (me, Sis and our daughters)
Traveled 19520 miles and 209 nights in 7 years and counting
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Old 08-21-2013, 12:28 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Big brown desert
Posts: 1,986
We love our high wall PUP but are actually looking now at selling/trading in for a hybrid or complete hard side due to DW health issues. I agree with the rookie mistakes statement as we all learn on what does or doesn't work. Most of us have made good upgrades to our second homes also. I do think that the hardest part is when tearing down of taking your time and making sure everything gets folded or out of way of the roof closing.
2014 Stealth Evo 2850- "Woodstock"
2011 Toyota Tundra Rock Crawler TRD 5.7- "Clifford"
2013 Honda Accord Coupe V6 w/Track Pack- "Julia"

Just glad to get away
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