View Full Version : Need your opinion on camping

09-24-2009, 09:16 AM
We like to camp when we go boating so we can be on the water early in the morning and late in the afternoon. Last couple of times we have been poured on. It does not bother me, because we stay dry, but my wife is ready to give up tent camping and get off the ground. She wants a pop up trailer so we can store it in the garage with the boat and keep it nice. Meaning out of the sun, out of the rain and away from bugs and critters while we are not using it. Everyone tells me they are fun, but you will want a full size trailer. I figure we will get a lot of use out of something for five years and then the kids will just want to go for the day with friends as they get older. My plan was to buy a pop up used, use it for a couple of years, sell it, sell the boat and buy a bigger, newer boat. If we bought a trailer, we would have to store it about 30 min. from the house. Covenants will not allow us to keep at home and we do not have storage close because of our proximity to town. We visit different lakes so going storage would add time on to our weekend. We just bought a new Tahoe and I kept my old Tahoe, so towing both to the lake is not a problem. Just want to get some opinions and I figure some of you might have been where I am now. Penny for your thoughts:rolleyes:

09-24-2009, 10:00 AM
I wish I could help, but after 23 years of sleeping on the ground I no longer have the desire to camp or trailer.

That being said, if what you want is to get off the ground, have a semi solid structure, and easy storage around the home then I think a popup would be a good go for you.

I've had plenty of friends that have motor homes that believe this is the best of all the worlds. If you launch your boat and leave it in the water then a motor home a is a go. Do you think your neighbors would get upset if you brought it home later in the evening on fridays took off sat morning returned sunday night and then took the motor home out monday mornings?

09-24-2009, 10:16 AM
Bringing it home the day before is something I have not thought of. Pick it up and return it on my lunch break. Do you think if we went pop up we would want upgrade later. A lot of the adds I see, folks are saying they are moving up to a camper. I just want to hear everyone's opinions.

Cary K.
09-24-2009, 10:21 AM
If you or the kids still don't mind tent camping, then just let her sleep in one of the Tahoes. We don't camp very much, but when we do my wife follows me on her mini-van with all the seats out. A queen air mattress fits in the back perfectly. As a bonus, she has remote start, so we can start it up to run AC or heat (or radio), and if we happen to fall asleep, it will shut itself off after like 20 min.

09-24-2009, 10:33 AM
We have reached a similar juncture in our camping experience but instead of going to a camper or trailer we now seek out lakes that have "camping cabins" or "yurts". Not sure if this is an option in your area but you may want to check it out. They are becoming more popular in our area.

09-24-2009, 10:52 AM
if i am not mistaken, these units can be rented by weekend, week, etc. why not give it a try before you obligate to see if you really like it. air matress in a tahoe is not a bad option either and very easy on the $$$.

09-24-2009, 11:01 AM
How can you tow both at the same time?? Is your lake that close you can do two trips?

Pop up tent trailers are better than tenting. Still can be cold and damp, but low maintenance and easy to tow. Travel trailers are REALLY sweet. Warm, dry but a bit heavier to tow and a little more maintenance. I sold mine when I bought the boat (can't tow both 4 hours to the vacation spots).

We started off with a motorhome, which was awesome camping-wise, but too much maintenance and expense. The camper van worked well, but was pretty small. Again, another vehicle to insure and maintain. Then we tented it for a couple of years, but it became a job. Half the weekend was setting up and tearing down and if it rained or was cold it was pretty miserable.

We considered a truck and camper for a while, but lost our regular spot to go. Now we condo it or rent cabins.

If I was to find a nice seasonal spot to set up for the whole summer, I'd go with a nice big travel trailer. Maybe even a 5th wheel.

09-24-2009, 11:49 AM
Coming from tent camping, a pop up will be luxurious for your family. Thye're not cold or damp like a tent. One of those little Coleman propane heaters that uses the camp stove bottles will keep the whole thing warm down to freezing temps.
We tent camp all the time because I can't see pulling 2 trailers to the lake, otherwise we might get a pop up, becuase most of the high country camping we do is pretty cold and wet all summer (snow in June sometimes!).
If you're willing to pull 2 trailers, I'd get a pop up for ease of towing, compact storage, cheaper than a TT, etc. The biggest convienence I think though is all your camping gear is ready to go in the trailer, don't have to load up a truck full of gear every time, just coolers and clothes.

If I did need a hard side camper, I'd go with a slide in for the pickup. 4 seasons ready, don't have a 2nd trailer to haul with the boat or sleds, and we spend almost all our time outside anyway, no matter where we're camping, so shelter only gets used for sleeping and inclement weather.

Don't see ever getting a TT until we're old enough (retired) to do some serious roadtrips!

09-24-2009, 12:49 PM
Some great ideas. Our lakes are relatively close. Wife has become quite good at towing. I come in early to work and get off before her, so I could have camp set up when she arrives. I like the idea of renting, but not sure we (she) would go if it meant spending the money. I realize this does not make sense, but if the money has already been spent on the trailer she would jump at the chance to go. She wanted to rent boats instead of buying one. Since we bought a boat, I say what do you want to do today, she says I don't know and I say I'll hook the boat up. If I told her lets go rent a boat, she would tell me we need to save the money for the kids college tuition. When all is said and done, I might save money by renting a room and a boat, but that would never happen. I actually enjoy the whole camping process. We would travel with it to other states when we were not boating. We tried the air mattress idea a couple of times before. The downfall is when it rains, we all sit on the floor of the tent, playing games. I think she is ready for some comfort. I have found some of the best water after a summer rain shower. I guess the whole purpose of a pop up or trailer is to make the family comfortable so I can be on the lake more. Those of you who have or have had pop ups, did you like them or regret purchasing them. I am not really worried, because you can get them pretty cheap, use it and sell it. Everything I purchase used is in better shape when I sell it than when I buy it. I'm not bragging, I just have a tendency to look at something and say "I can fix that", whether I can or cannot. To her credit she is a good tent camper. We have camped in every season (cold) and many times out of a canoe on the Chattooga river. I think she is ready for a little luxury (heat and AC) and I owe her that. The trailer was her idea and I can't believe I am saying this, but as I get older, I'm starting to like the idea.

09-24-2009, 02:04 PM
Our family switched from tent camping a few years ago. We were in the same situation but instead of rain it was the heat. In our area its not unusual in the summer for the lake weather to be in 100s. I just couldn't do it anymore, sleeping on the ground in 85 degree weather and waking up when its 90 out, all the storage bins, the kids asking for crap out of them every minute. Ahhhhhhh.

A tent trailer would be great. Gets you off the ground, etc. We went with a small class-c RV that was about 23 ft. We just recently upgraded to a 32ft class-a. We love(d)'em both. Probably would have kept the smaller RV but the kids are getting bigger and we really felt it on longer trips. We enjoy having a shower, our own bathroom, all the accomodations of home really with the class-a. The big plus with the new RV is that leveling it and other set up is all push button. It makes my life easier and in turn everyone is happier. It's a more expensive route for sure but for us it is worth it. I also have to store the RV and the boat in a storage place. We have the same rules against them in our neihborhood. I just go the day before and pick them up. load up that night or the next day and head out. Launhing the boat is a challenge more so now with the larger RV. If the ramp area is big enough to turn around in than I can launch with it. If we are not familiar with a place or know that it is to tight we bring the truck to lauch the boat.

In either case anything is better than sleeping on the ground. I'm just getting to old!!

09-24-2009, 02:13 PM
The trailer was her idea
What are you waiting for. The key words have been said.;) It will most likely get you more time on the water so it is a win-win situation. And as you have pointed out if it doesn't work out, you haven't lost much money and you can move on to plan "B".

09-24-2009, 02:15 PM
Moho is the way to go if you can swing it.

We have rented 4 times this year and are looking to buy one, right now. My parents want to use it for long driving vacations, my younger brother wants it for dirt biking and boating, and I will use it for boating and maybe a trip to the beach every now and then.

After renting 3 different types of Mohos, we have decided on a Diesel Super C. The class A's, both diesel and gas, are great but we could not find a layout that allowed for bunk beds. The normal C's are nice, but a bit gooshy in suspension and heartless in power. Trailers are out of the question as I will be towing the boat, my brother will be towing his boat or his dirt bikes and my parents will be towing a car.... impossible with a TT or a 5'er.

09-24-2009, 02:43 PM
We were in about the same spot as you when it came to the "do I get a pop-up or just get a tt question". We normally tented, but when our lake flooded last year, our normal tent spots were 5ft under water and most of the other spots weren't condusive to tent set up. Luckily this prompted us to start looking for a pop-up and we ended up buying one. Our lake is 3.5 hours away, but we just take two vehicles down at the beginning and end of each season, and store the boat and pop-up in a 40 ft private storage building that is 1/4 mile from the camp ground. Definately buy used. The new ones are nice, but they will cost you. We ended up with a '93hard sided Palimino MXL. It's not a Hi-Lo, the walls fold in and it works better than I could have imagined. Do we ultimately want a hard sided camper? Yes. If I had my rathers and more money, I'd get a 5th wheel, you can put more stuff in them, and you don't have to plan out where to put everything when you put the top down on the PU. The pop up works great for what we want for it to. We wanted off the ground, and to be able to set up anywhere, grass, gravel, concrete, you name it, we can set up on it. I did end up building a new roof for it this winter, (the old one was holding water) but you can really find some deals out there if you just look. For us, the hard sided pop up just happeded to be the one that we found on that particular day, but I wouldn't even consider one that is canvas and screen all the way around now that we have used it. The windows slide open, everything stays pretty tight air-wise, and you don't feel like you are in a tent that is set up on a trailer. If you would like to see pics, just let me know. It may make more sense then.

09-24-2009, 02:57 PM
This is the way we do it.

09-25-2009, 08:51 AM
Thanks for all the advice. I guess I have many options to think about. I am always searching and after your responses, I will probably look for a deal, whatever it might be. I like the idea of storing the camper close to the lake we go to often and bringing it home at lunch on Friday if we go somewhere else. I also like the hard side pop up and of coarse the motor home, but that might be in the future. I did own a 1968 Airstream Globetrotter before I got married. I loved that trailer, so I might look for another one to restore. I still have the problem of not being able to have it at home and that is why I was thinking about the pop up. Not sure I need another project this year.

09-25-2009, 09:02 AM
I didn't think about this idea but someone mentioned it.

Would make it easy to tow the boat and have a better place to sleep. If you have a truck your half way there.


09-25-2009, 09:38 AM
Just bought another Tahoe. That is pretty cool though.