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Old 03-23-2019, 07:33 PM   #21
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If I may share my actual experience with an A-Frame. Five years, 15K miles, and over 200 nights camping. Headroom is better than even a motor home, because the peak is 8 feet high inside. It is lower over the bed and dinette ares, but at 6' 2" I have never felt squeezed in. Tows like a dream and I get 22 MPG at 65 MPH because of the low profile. Quite quiet inside because of the insulated sides and roof.



On the other hand, same tow vehicle (with a 5K Lb. capacity) pulling my 19 foot trailer gets 10 to 13 MPG and is difficult in crosswinds because of the high profile.

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Old 03-23-2019, 07:57 PM   #22
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I personally think that you should keep the TT you've already bought and upgrade your tow vehicle to at least a 1/2-ton pickup.

The A-frame is a smaller camper...and your kids aren't shrinking as they get older, which means that you will eventually upgrade to a larger camper, which means that you most likely will have to upgrade your tow vehicle then!

Those are my thoughts as well, if you can do it. You are more likely to upscale campers rather than down scale. It looks like you have a good fit for now with a bigger tow vehicle.

Get a camper top for your new tow vehicle to carry/stow all the extra stuff that you need. It will work for you a long time.
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Old 03-23-2019, 09:09 PM   #23
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Pop-Up

FYI-Fishing Bridge camp area @ Yellowstone is closed for 2019 for renovation. I am staying @ Bay Bridge which has 8 sites where you can camp w/truck and trailer "Side by Side". Otherwise limited to 40" max, truck and trailer. We camp in September when berries are ripe, have had bears walk between camper and road in Glacier. Staying in St. Mary's campground @Glacier- No Softside campers. You are right, there are not a lot of NPs that do not allow in national camp grounds, but after seeing a bear destroy a BBQ, I'll pass. Still a consideration, if planning a trip in those areas. Usually human's fault in interactions w/ wildlife.
I used Reflection, insulated foil and bubble wrap insulation at night w/ our pop-up. Still use is to cover bedroom and north side windows at night in TT, $40 a roll at Lowe's or Home Depot. We have pieces cut and just roll them up when not neededc
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:33 AM   #24
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Having owned a hybrid I will also tell you that beds will be hot during the day, and cold at night just like a pop-up. We just traded our hybrid because my wife had a stroke and it was impossible for her to rest during the day in hot weather. Yes the camper body was nice and cool but if you are not in shade the bed area cooks. At night the bed area is cold and damp. we used an electric blanket in cold weather and sometime aimed a space heater toward our bed. The electric blanket was the best for my wife and it kept her nice and warm. Just saying this to tell you you are facing the same temp issues with a hybrid as a pop-up. I have had both.
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:56 AM   #25
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Having owned a hybrid I will also tell you that beds will be hot during the day, and cold at night just like a pop-up. We just traded our hybrid because my wife had a stroke and it was impossible for her to rest during the day in hot weather. Yes the camper body was nice and cool but if you are not in shade the bed area cooks. At night the bed area is cold and damp. we used an electric blanket in cold weather and sometime aimed a space heater toward our bed. The electric blanket was the best for my wife and it kept her nice and warm. Just saying this to tell you you are facing the same temp issues with a hybrid as a pop-up. I have had both.
Wes, Popup Gizmos and a decent table top fan will help a lot with keeping the tent ends at a comfortable temp. There are pros and cons to both hybrids and TTs. We moved to a TT primarily because we had problems with the bed door seals leaking (our Roo was the previous generation with bungees) and although I think I had it fixed when I sold it, I couldnít stop worrying about it. Up here, the AC and furnace did fine with the help of the Popup Gizmos. If we didnít have that leak issue, we would have kept it for several more years.
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:10 AM   #26
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First popup in 1984. Viking with pull out bed on one side only. Jayco 1002 from 1987 to 2007. 4 kids and 2 adults. Still have it and the canvas has finally started to give out 2 years ago. Never had AC in either popup and relied on small fans.
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:50 AM   #27
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Like most RVers I have owned several rigs including TC, TT, pop-up and a hybrid. Even with PUGs I found the hybrid to be too hot, too cold and too loud. Easy to tow and lots of room, but not comfortable and little storage space. I just went back to a TT, nice Rockwood that weighs 4,700 lbs dry.

Your list of features that you want is pretty easy to attain. The problem is your weight limit. I would consider a different tow vehicle. Buy a used one and never look back. Then you can get on the winning team. People live with the limitations of pop-ups and hybrids for years without even realizing it. I never want to sleep in a hybrid again in hot weather.
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:28 AM   #28
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Thumbs up Thank You All!

Thank you all for the advice, suggestions and sharing of experiences!

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Originally Posted by McCormickJim View Post
The negative of the canvas side popup, or any popup is it takes up to 2 hours to either set up or break camp.
I read a post below yours that stated their set-up time was 30 minutes or so; I would suppose that depends on a variety of factors... how much help you had, how much gear you are moving in and out, etc.
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How about something like a Hi-Lo?
What is a Ho-Lo?
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Originally Posted by Anderson15 View Post
I'd like to punch whoever sold you the Roo in the first place.
This one's on me. True, the wife was all-in on getting this, but it was my responsibility to do the research. I focused way too much on what I'd seen other people tow.

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Originally Posted by bikendan View Post
I'm pretty sure that the diesel Liberty, if it has the factory tow package, has a max tow capacity of 5000lbs.
I was surprised but that doesn't factor in the frontal area limitation.
Our Liberty is rated @ 2,500 lbs. or 5,000 lbs. if it had the "Trailer Tow Package." I can add everything in the "Trailer Tow Package" to her Liberty except the automated, computer assisting braking that was programed into the ABS from the factory. Apparently, it is "smart" enough to detect trailer conditions, and activate trailer brakes to compensate. Or something like that. Anyway, I thought I could still tow our camper with the Liberty, until someone in my Liberty Forum mentioned their owners manual listed a "Frontal Area" limit of 64 sq. ft. This info is missing in my manual. All mine reads is to be aware of Frontal Area. So, after researching frontal area, and as she and I are both new to RV towing, I'm no longer comfortable towing a camper that large at highway speed with the Liberty.

An update to our situation... I'd stated this in my OP;
Quote:
For storage, a pop-up will fit in the garage. The travel trailer was supposed to be stored beside the garage in a yet-to-be-built addition, but that adds additional expense.
On our property, there is a 24" clay storm sewer (rainwater) drainage pipe that cuts across the area where I was to put the above mentioned storage add-on for the camper. A large section of it has since collapsed. Therefore, adding the additional cost of that repair, plus the cost of the add-on, plus the cost of a newer tow-vehicle, it's sealed the fate of our current camper... it will be for sale as soon as I can get it listed. Our camper will have to be a pop-up of some type.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:16 AM   #29
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I am not saying the Liberty is up to the task but 64 sq ft is 8' x 8', most travel trailers won't exceed that for the front of the body.
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:33 AM   #30
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You are also slightly limited w/ soft sides at some National Park campsites where there is bear activity. Where we are staying at Glacier and Yellowstone this year, no soft sides allowed.

Yellowstone has one campground like this its closed all of 2019. Glacier has zero restrictions of this sort unless there is specific bear activity in a specific area at a certain time.


Having camped in a tent in Yellowstone and Glacier, i would have Zero issues camping in a pop up in those parks. One side note, we have a fifth wheel now but have very fond memories of our Popup and sometimes miss it. Our friend bought it from us and we like to go see it when he has it set up
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Old 03-25-2019, 11:59 AM   #31
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What is a Hi-Lo?
It's kind of a combination between a pop-up and a hard-sided trailer.

https://www.google.com/search?q=hi-l...w=1102&bih=488
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:19 PM   #32
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[B][I][U][...] I read a post below yours that stated their set-up time was 30 minutes or so; I would suppose that depends on a variety of factors... how much help you had, how much gear you are moving in and out, etc. [...]
Pretty much a one person job:
  • Chock tires and drop the hitch.
  • Level side-to-side. I recommend a BAL leveler. Takes about 2 minutes with that awesome device.
  • Crank up roof.
  • Drop stabilizers. Use the up-down, up-down rule for roof and stabilizers.
  • Pull bed ends out, pull slide-out, and secure canvas.
  • Move stove and gear from inside to outside.
  • Organize duffel bags, clothes, etc.
  • Make up the bunk ends with sheets and sleeping bags.
  • Put door in place.
  • Have a beer.
I honestly cannot figure out how to make this much more than about 30 minutes. We had 2 adults, 4 kids, and a dog. Lots of gear inside to remove, rearrange.

Once, I got all the way to pulling out the bed ends, only to realize I was too close to a tree. I had to reverse everyting, hook up to my truck, pull forward a foot, and re-do. After all that, I think I was still only into it about 45-50 minutes.

I got tired of cranking up the roof every time I packed, set up, took down, unpacked, or just wanted access to the interior. It's really inconvenient. Even for little things, like cleaning the trailer and such ... I just got really tired of cranking that roof and began to avoid it. It was one of the things that moved us to a trailer.

I love being able to run out to my trailer, hop inside, grab something, and go.

It probably takes us about 10-15 minutes to set up our trailer now. Leveling side-to-side is more difficult with 2 axles, but that's only relative. It's still pretty easy ... it's just amazingly easy with one axle and the BAL leveler. I wish there were a double-axle BAL leveler!!

I really do prefer the set-up and tear-down of the hard-sided trailer. No question and no doubt. But, a pop-up only takes 30 minutes to set up under normal circumstances.
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:23 PM   #33
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We had 3 popups over about 20 yrs, mostly a Coleman Utah. They all took my wife and I about 30 min +/- to setup or breakdown. We are also quite happy with the Roo 21ss, although we did have to upgrade the tow vehicle. Setup is about 20 min, and we can leave it hitched, with beds deployed on travel nights. All but our first popup handled 5 adults on extended trips with decent available space. Good luck with your solution!
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Old 03-25-2019, 12:48 PM   #34
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I think I have this in the correct Forum… concerns RV economics, purchase questions, but also towing...
RV economics:
Based on our experience the saying "buying your second camper first" is way cheaper than the other way around.
Your concern to try to fit the camper within the limits of your current vehicles is probably how this saying started.
Since you already bought a Roo, I'm assuming the Roo have what you want but not the weight your vehicles can handle so if you find a camper that your vehicles can handle, you probably will want a bigger (back to Roo?) camper very soon.
Also, If you have kids, you will start accumulating "stuff" and your Vehicles will not be able to carry those.
My recommendation would be to get a Truck that can tow / carry twice the weight you have today (Roo) and stick with the Roo.
Next year, when you decide to buy a bigger (than the Roo) camper , you will not need to change vehicles again...


We all have different tastes but we all run the same software so believe me, being there done that!
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Old 03-25-2019, 01:00 PM   #35
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Actually, Forest River might have a trailer that fits your needs.
Take a look at the No Boundaries Series 16.5 that's under 3,500 lbs and they show it being towed by a Jeep!

You wouldn't be able to carry much stuff and sleeping might be a bit tight though.
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Old 03-25-2019, 08:44 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by RACarvalho View Post
RV economics:
Based on our experience the saying "buying your second camper first" is way cheaper than the other way around.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RACarvalho View Post
Since you already bought a Roo, I'm assuming the Roo have what you want but not the weight your vehicles can handle so if you find a camper that your vehicles can handle, you probably will want a bigger (back to Roo?) camper very soon.
Well, yes, but no. I bought this one based some misinformation, some misunderstanding, and a lot of "I want it." It's bigger than what I wanted, the wife loved it. I'm a minimalist, primitive tent camper at heart; I don't need all this stuff.
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Also, If you have kids, you will start accumulating "stuff" and your Vehicles will not be able to carry those.
No, because the camper and TW will both be too small, therefore all their stuff stays home.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RACarvalho View Post
My recommendation would be to get a Truck that can tow / carry twice the weight you have today (Roo) and stick with the Roo.
Next year, when you decide to buy a bigger (than the Roo) camper , you will not need to change vehicles again...
In a perfect situation, I'd agree. But if you saw my above "update" post (it's a page back,) that's no longer an option. And I listed the Roo for sale this afternoon.
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Old 03-27-2019, 05:18 PM   #37
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You probably don't need any more advice, but...

I am where you are. I refuse to have a tow vehicle bigger than my Hyundai Entourage minivan. And we were quite happy with a pop-up (I've owned 2). Storing in the garage is essential to quick get up and go.

Having sold our last pop-up when we moved to Colorado (2007), in 2014 we decided we wanted to start camping again. DW spotted an A-frame, and we examined them closely and compared them to a pop-up.

The A-frame has less room inside because the ends are fixed, and is generally hard-put to sleep more than 3 adults. But the great thing about A-frames is the literally less than 15 minute setup or take down time (includes leveling, disconnect, WDH removal, stabs, hook-ups when available, set up of picnic table for cooking). For most of our pop-up days, the kids preferred to sleep in a tent rather than share the pop-up with Mom and Dad. Now the kids are grown and don't go with us all the time. But when they do go, they often still bring a tent and sleep there. Or they put up with the dinette.

The High Wall models have are really too tall for my wife and I (I'm 5'9") to reach stuff like the fan switch, but the extra headroom at the end of the main bed is very nice. The higher cabinets, microwave, deeper sink, and bigger fridge are all a result of the 8" higher walls.

None of the FR A-frames go above 3500lbs max weight. The longest A-frames are exactly 21ft with the spare tire on the tail. The shortest is 17ft 3 in. We have owned both. With the T21 Flagstaff, I have to remove the spare tire to store in the garage (20ft 10in bay), which I really don't like because it adds 15-20 minutes in the garage. I need to invent a quicker way to install/remove the spare.

Another feature of the A-frame and the minivan is that it is quite manageable solo. When she camps with me, DW assists with locating the A-frame in the campsite and then disappears for a short walk with the dog while I set up (or take down).

We tend to lounge, cook, and clean outside, and only use the A-frame for a deluxe hotel room. We prefer to use the campground restrooms and showers, although the T21 does have a cassette potty. Our Coleman PUP had a wet shower and cassette potty that we never used. The A122 came with a portable toilet - again, never used.

The A-frame is better insulated, and has a much smaller inside volume to cool and heat compared to a PUP. And the bed and dinette are all inside the box, so no worries about spreading the heat/cool air to the ends.

Whether you would prefer an A-frame or a pop-up really depends on your camping style. If you prefer to stay inside with 4 people, you'd be better off with the PUP. If you are willing to live outside and sleep inside, the A-frame is an easier and simpler way to camp.

just our experiences, hope this helps
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Old 04-01-2019, 06:39 PM   #38
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Another thing to consider. If you plan to do any camping out west soft sides are not a good idea.
Bears shred them quite easily.
Just saying.
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:42 PM   #39
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Jeep + PopUp

We towed our little pop-up (10' box) all over the west with our Jeep Wrangler with a 5K lb tow rating. Banff, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Glacier... we hit them all. No issues camping in the national parks, although Banff has a separate area for tents and hard-sides (and the soft-side area was MUCH nicer!) Of course you can't store food in your camper, but you can't store food in your tent, either.

Some of the high wall popups can weigh as much as a TT, so stick with a regular model popup if you can. The Jeep pulled the pop-up easily on flat ground and struggled in the mountains. The reflective end covers helped in hot weather, but being out west, we mostly camp in the mountains and have to worry about cold, not heat. We didn't have an AC unit in that PU.

We upgraded to a TT last year because the set-up and take-down got tiring, but I got to the point where I could do it on my own in about 45 minutes. TT takes about 20 minutes (mostly leveling.) Good luck and happy camping!
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:52 PM   #40
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You could also consider a TrailManor. Collapses down to tow, fits in a garage (especially if it has the swing-away tongue), and opens up in minutes. New ones are pricey, but used ones are available.
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