Anyone move from a Pop-Up to an A-Frame

Discussion in 'A-Frame PopUps' started by razcob, Jan 19, 2018.

  1. razcob

    razcob Member

    Jan 4, 2018
    Powhatan, VA
    I am planning an extended trip to Alaska from June to September or longer, and am still weighing my options between a Pop-Up up and an A-frame.

    Is the move from a Pop-Up to an A-frame a probable progression?

    Have any of you moved from a Pop-Up to an A-frame?

    If so, how would compare the two?
  2. PointyCamper

    PointyCamper Active Member

    Nov 25, 2015
    We went from a tent to an Aliner. Only needs to sleep 2 + dogs. Ymmv
  3. jeicher

    jeicher Member

    Sep 17, 2011
    Went from tent trailer to Aliner. Used it mainly as a travel trailer so the advantages were no wet canvas to fold up and quick setup and tear down - Plus the hard sides do provide a bit more security and noise reduction. The Aliner has less interior space than a conventional pop-up so you have to decide what will work best for your situation and usage.
  4. Byrd_Huntr

    Byrd_Huntr Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    Another advantage over a canvas popup is that you can pop up fully in 30 seconds without disconnecting from your TV. Makes it possible to make lunch or take a nap in a rest area or roadside park.
  5. nhlakes

    nhlakes Active Member

    Oct 15, 2011
    DE and NH
    We've had popup, aframe and htt. We went with the Aliner this time for the quick setup, easy to heat/cool for 4 season use, easy to tow/store, simplicity of design, easy maintenance, and it is just my wife and I now so plenty of room for a week or two.

    We put 3000 miles on our Aliner the first 2 weeks of Jan. The unseasonably cold temps and some rain had us inside more than we're used to, and we both agree that if/when we get to the point of spending a month or two or more on the road at a time, we'd probably want something different - but for our current usage the Aliner is great - and it feels more like camping than a larger RV.

    We have met a number of former Aliner owners in campgrounds down south who are now full-timers or seasonal snowbirds in big rigs and they tell us how they loved their Aliner, took it all over the country, etc...
  6. ~erik~

    ~erik~ Active Member

    Jan 19, 2015
    North Georgia
    We went from tent camping to our Aliner. Like nhlakes we used ours for winter camping, traveling from Atlanta to Seattle and back last February. It was great, but made us wanting more room, a shower, and a real bathroom. We sold our Aliner and now have a 28' Airstream. We do miss our beloved Aliner Ranger 12 though!
    Halford likes this.
  7. f5moab

    f5moab Retired from the Federal Government

    May 7, 2013
    Somewhere in Idaho
    I looked a few years ago; however, due to the decrease in interior size, I decided to stay with the popup. Only me and two very large dogs, doesn't sound like much, but every square foot counts.
    LiRoper likes this.
  8. TNW

    TNW Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    After over 25 years of camping in a Jayco pop-up, I bought an Aliner last summer. I still love the Jayco and have done many mods and improvements to it, but as previously stated, having a camper that does not involve packing up with wet canvas steered me toward the Aliner. It is more cramped, but at this time I'm a solo camper and can be quite comfortable in the smaller confines. It also has more amenities such as AC, fridge, and heat. I heated the Jayco with a Buddy propane heater which was fine, and we used a large ice chest for perishables, but not having to replace the ice every day or two is a step up.
    Also previously stated, the set up and pack down of the Aliner can't be beat. 30 seconds at most and you're out of the rain. I towed it for well over a thousand miles last summer and fall, and had no problem at all, well, only one failure, the pedestal that the table post sets into broke apart after towing with the table set up. Bumpy roads stressed it to the limit, I guess.
    AMMatz likes this.
  9. kudzu

    kudzu Active Member

    Oct 20, 2014
    Ditto. Looked at tent trailer & hard sided. Canvas PUPs are more roomy and give more of a feeling of being outdoors. I love that. However, one of the big reasons for switching from tent camping to a trailer was to get easier set up. We are rarely in one spot for more than a couple nights & I was looking at using a trailer as something like a motel room on wheels. Canvas PUPs win in many categories, but ease of set up is not one. It would take as much time as my tent & EZ Up combo. (Though with decidedly less packing & unpacking.)

    Ultimately, I chose the Aliner for ease of set up/take down. Having hard sides seemed better where my dogs are concerned. We also do some cold weather camping and I love the hard sides for that. As others have pointed out, it takes less than a minute to pop open the a-frames. As long as the site is reasonably level, you don't even need to unhitch. When unhitching, setting up power, water & stabilizers is added it, the whole set up takes about 5 minutes for one person. (And I'm an out of shape, middle-aged, 4'10" female.) We frequently pull into campgrounds quite late at night. It takes less time to park & set up the Aliner than it does to check into a motel & move our stuff into our room. If you are going to be doing a lot of one or two night stops, the a-frames are a better candidate than most tent trailers as long as interior space won't be an issue.

    The other thing that comes to mind are bears. If you are going to be camping on federal property where there is a lot of bear activity, you could run into the "no canvas allowed" issue. We've only had that at two campgrounds, both near Yellowstone. In both cases, there were plenty of other good campgrounds that allowed canvas, so not a big problem. It may not be an issue on the trip you propose, but thought it worth mentioning.

    Whatever you choose, have fun!
  10. shuang2

    shuang2 Well-Known Member

    Apr 20, 2010
    We went from 2007 Fleetwood Sequoia highwall to 2005 Chalet XL 1940 highwall camper. The very different from those two are: Set up & break down time, and towing weight. Fleetwood is 3770 lbs, Chalet is 2000lbs. Fleetwood set up is 30 minutes, Chalet is 3 minutes. Chalet has more storage than Fleetwood while on the road.
  11. OkieCamper

    OkieCamper Member

    May 15, 2015
    We started in a pup moved to a Chalet aframe and now have small travel trailer (16"). I loved the Chalet for ease of towing and quick set up and down. The pup definitely had more interior room. But there are usually just 2 of us. We have spent the last two summers traveling in Alaska. Doing it in a pup is totally doable and you will see them. But the thing about summers in Alaska is it rains a lot. I wouldn't want to spend the summer in damp canvas. You probably won't be spending much time inside even when it rains, put on your raingear and go ahead with the days plans. A pup would be great for a weekend or a week but if you are going to spend the whole summer my vote would be for the Aframe.
  12. razcob

    razcob Member

    Jan 4, 2018
    Powhatan, VA
    okiecamper, I agree with your advice. I looked through the Alaskan Craigslist and didn't see many canvas pop-ups, so they must not be popular with the locals.
  13. OkieCamper

    OkieCamper Member

    May 15, 2015
    *(16") wow that would be a small travel trailer, should read (16').
  14. OkieCamper

    OkieCamper Member

    May 15, 2015
    Enjoy your time in AK. If you boondock it is the greatest, free camping almost everywhere. We are touring the East coast of the US this summer and know we will spend more $ than we did the last 2 combined in AK.
  15. AMMatz

    AMMatz New Member

    Jun 5, 2016
    We had a small 2000 Viking pop up with an 8ft box. We moved to a Rockwood A212HW, Which is a 14ft box. Interior space wise we lost 2 feet. But, the layout is so much better for us, and we live the features we now have. ( a.c., furnace, water heater, stove, fridge) And the true queen bed is so much better for us.
  16. razcob

    razcob Member

    Jan 4, 2018
    Powhatan, VA
    This is good news about free AK camping. I was concerned about having to camp next to a noisy family, if I couldn't find boondock locations.

    I have a '10 FJ Cruiser with the 4.0 engine, how is your MPG with your Tacoma towing the Taos and Alpine. I am looking at fold ups and a small Taos.
  17. Tukee44

    Tukee44 Member

    Apr 28, 2012
    Well, it's me and I was the one requested to create this group.
    I have a Coleman Westlakes which served me well for 10 years. But as my kids have grown up, it was too big for two of us. The Aliner is perfect for 2, even 3/4 sometimes. It's a big trade-off between space and convenience.
    To set up a tent trailer, it took me a minimum of 1 hour. Aliner - after said and done- <10 minutes.
  18. OkieCamper

    OkieCamper Member

    May 15, 2015
    About 16 mpg towing the Taos and Alpine, which isn't different than what I got without towing. Really hardly knew they were back there. Towing the TT is much different just due to the frontal area.
  19. Michigan Desert Rat

    Michigan Desert Rat New Member

    Feb 12, 2016
    We went from a Coachman Clipper pop up to a Rockwood A122S. We only had the pop up for 5 months and realized the A Frame was the way to go for us. Love our A Frame!
  20. Dback2k4

    Dback2k4 Active Member

    Jul 16, 2017
    I have a pup and looked quite thorougly at an A-frame at the local RV expo a few weeks ago. Wouldn't be my thing, but I can see the benefit of no wet canvas and hard-side walls with a footprint smaller than a regular TT or 5th wheel, if that's what you're looking for. Definitely less interior space. For me, popup camping is all about extended the abilities of old-fashioned tent camping with an off-the-ground bed and less packing/unpacking to do! Everyone's requirements are a bit different...

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