best popup for rough roads?

Discussion in 'Off The Wall Campers' started by vbrown, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. vbrown

    vbrown New Member

    Apr 8, 2018
    I'm looking to get a popup for hunting. I'm thinking that a 8 or 10 ft box would handle dirt/logging roads best but I'm guessing. Does any one have any experience with popups on rough roads?
  2. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    I've never taken my pup any distance on logging roads but I have taken my boat on 37 mile, one way trips, on some pretty rough Canada logging roads. I can tell you that things get pretty shaken up.

    Make sure you have good to excellent tires and you check the leaf springs on a regular basis. Slow your speed down or you will have dents all over the front of your pup from rocks coming off of your tow vehicle tires (even if you have mud flaps). Secure everything in the trailer and expect to have various screws backing their way out.

    If the roads have been sprayed with calcium chloride for dust control, wash every inch of metal or it will corrode. If there is no calcium chloride treatment, expect dust to get into everything outside of the tow vehicle that is not COMPLETELY sealed. Also be prepared that every exposed surface will need a good rinsing.

    If it rains on your way in, expect everything to be covered in varying layers of mud.

    Be prepared for flat tires (vehicle and tow vehicle). Have a jack and tools handy at all times. I once had a tow vehicle double flat on the rear tires. The extra weight while towing is hard on the tires. In the past seven years, we have changed five flat tires.

    Prepare for the worst, expect the best.
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
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  3. bearman512

    bearman512 Well-Known Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Albuquerque NM
    BikNFish gave good guidance and I will add a couple recommendations:
    If you can find them any Jayco Baja or Starcraft 10RT will work. They both run 15" LT tires that can be aired down for rough roads "I HIGHLY RECOMMEND LOWERING THE AIR PRESSURE"
    Both have shocks to help with cyclic dampening on washboard roads but lowering the psi is a plus working together
    Both have 6 gal water heaters dual propane tanks 1 double and 1 king bunk.
    Either would work great for hunting.
    Both have aluminum diamond plate on the front to negate any rocks tossed.
    The question is do you have a TV that can pull one. Both weigh in at around 2800LBS empty.
    You can find them advertised from 5K to 6K 2005-2010.
    This is my old RT10.
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  4. Tumbleweed53

    Tumbleweed53 New Member

    Sep 11, 2016
    Look closely at your spare tire mount. Most will bolt to the bumper and to the body. Those that go through the body will vibrate loose and may loosen your back wall completely. Mine did. There is not much support there, no matter how much you brace it. I mounted my spare under my tongue. You could also just put the spare in your trailer or tow vehicle for those rough roads.
  5. thethird152

    thethird152 Active Member

    Feb 1, 2015
    Mt Pleasant, MI
    The Coleman Evolution series also has large LT tires for clearance and beefy leaf springs for shock absorption (along with the aforementioned Jayco Baja and Starcraft 10RT).

    This is my 2011 Evolution E1

    HOBBE$ and Sharkdude like this.
  6. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2016
    King George, Virginia
    I have the 2008 Starcraft RT14 series... This has 15-inch wheels and a whopping 6x2 inch frame under it... Also have a front deck designed for ATV units... I can do some serious hauling of camping supplies between the front deck and the truck bed...

    I have taken it back on some pretty rough roads... Back on the George Washington Forest Service 85A behind Harrisonburg VA road a couple of places has a creek running down the middle of the road... No problem with my 14 R/T...

    I was on a trip to Texas a few years back and going through MIss heading for Ala and I pulled off to go into a gas station and looked back and here is County Police following me in... I sitting there thinking what have I done now hehe... The trooper comes over and wanted to look at my R/T 14.... After I filled up I pulled over to the edge and raised the roof and gave the officer the grand tour hehe... He was a hunter and fishing guy looking for camp trail trailer...

    Mine draws attention every where i go with it...





    When you get one of these this is the kind of roads you start looking for hehe...

    Roy Ken
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  7. Firehawk068

    Firehawk068 Active Member

    Mar 22, 2016
    I have the “High Wall” version.
    Starcraft 34-RT
    Frame is built like a Tank! And it has 16” LT tires on it.
    Super Beefy, although it is a bit large to be towing down Goat-Trail type hunting roads. It handles off-road really well.
    HOBBE$ likes this.
  8. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2016
    King George, Virginia
    I looked at one of those on the same lot my 2008 14 R/T was on... I kinda figured it was a tad too big hehe...

    So here I am carrying all kinds of camping supplies way back off trail in my 14/RT and now I am looking at one of these...

    Googlie image

    There is a time and need for both types hehe... With this TERRA version I could use my TJ Jeep to pull it around... These come out of UTAH and they sure don't give them away it seems...

    I would never never get rid of my 14 R/T trailer tho... I am going to pull the Air Conditioner off the roof however and replace it with four solar panels...

    Roy Ken
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  9. weaselguys

    weaselguys Member

    Jul 31, 2010
    The above Star craft's and Coleman's would be best because they have larger frames, pickup tires & shocks. That said my Coleman Cedar that I lifted for offroad has giving me 5 seasons so far and more to go.

    lift 2 pic 4.JPG
    And I have taken it over rough roads like this and worse many times.
    shell res 058.jpg
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  10. MrsSquid

    MrsSquid Active Member

    Aug 31, 2016
    If money is no object, I think those TAXA Crickets might work too.
    Rik Peery likes this.
  11. Dan from Troup

    Dan from Troup Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2018
    Troup, Texas
    Hey Roy, I have the same floor plan as your camper minus the toy hauler. Do you use the stock dining table it came with? We can't figure how to get around it to sit at the U shaped dinette/couch without sliding the table around. And, it's so darn heavy. Thinking about making a new one that's more ergonomic and lighter.
  12. Woodrow SC RT11

    Woodrow SC RT11 New Member

    Apr 18, 2018
    I have a StarCraft RT11 and the table is particle board that is coming apart and is heavy. I'm not sure what size table you currently have. I too have thought about building my own, but also have looked at this one as I know they are lite and fairly durable and approximately the same size as the SC original:

    If you have more room, maybe consider this 4 foot table:

    I would be hard pressed to make one myself for less than the cost of these, they are durable and can get wet so using them outside the camper when camping wouldn't be an issue. I also have an ALPS Mountaineering aluminium fold up roll top table that i really like, is a good size table and stows in a small package. Would highly recommend one for your outside camp kitchen area:
  13. WunFiddy

    WunFiddy Member

    Oct 28, 2017
    Loserpeg, Manitoba
    So the Starcraft off roads dont shake the insides to piece when driving off the road? There was a 2010 here used a month ago but i think he sold fast. it had the slide out though and I have zero interest in slides. Those campers are like Unicorns around here.
    Good to know the frame is actually beefier. Unfortunately SC isnt making campers like that anymore. Very few manufacturers are. Around here they are $23-25k new if you can find (like a Rockwood ESP)
  14. Redhat6161

    Redhat6161 New Member

    Dec 6, 2015
    RT10 here. Driven the wheels off that thing and it still works perfectly. Do a lot of boondocking of road and she still works great.
  15. Rik Peery

    Rik Peery Active Member

    Jun 15, 2018
    Saw some of those at Road Trip Camping, as well as the Tiger(?) Moth campers in Orange Va when we picked up our Ranger 10, wife said no lol, they are nice...
    MrsSquid likes this.
  16. HOBBE$

    HOBBE$ New Member

    Jul 15, 2018
    Denver, CO
    IMG_1693 (1).JPG
    2004 Starcraft 10rt M.jpg
    2004 Starcraft 10rt Interior.jpe
    photo 2.JPG
    photo 6.JPG
    Battery Tray 2.JPG
    6V Battery Tray 1.JPG
    2004 Starcraft 10RT. We upgraded to dual 6V batteries and an 80W, 15amp solar charger. The A/C was not on our priority list but has proven to be useful at times. It fits in our garage so we don't have to pay to store it. My wife and I love this PUP.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
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  17. Overland

    Overland Active Member

    May 1, 2013
    Bristol, Pa
    Nice trailers guys! Like minded people..

    I'v only towed a Military M-416 with a RTT into the backcountry so far, but currently building my first offroad capable pup.
  18. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2016
    King George, Virginia

    Dan - Sorry i missed this question... We use the portable table with legs to put into the wrap around seating setup all the time... This allows the wrap around seating become a lounge area. Me and the wife can sit looking at each other and play footsie and watch TV... When we eat inside we just take our serving from the stove area and set on the lounge... I have a couple of those small folding tables to sit the drinks on etc...

    This is what out lounge looks like with the small folding table with legs under the cushions as shown...
    Roy's image

    Most of the time we eat outside on the picnic table if we are at a camp that has one... We would rather have the sitting lounge verses the U-SHAPED seating with the small table with legs setup...

    I thought I would miss a slide out table with seats that we looked at the same time I was looking at the RT14 but fell in love with the wrap around seating the RT14 has so stayed with it...

    I have my RADIO CONSOLE setup on the fold-over side where the stove top is. I am setting on the lounge with the radio console in hands reach. All the radio are remoted and the main chassis is mounted behind the board next to the window flap. This is the leg board for the fold over stove and sink when packing up. Good spot to mount my radios and then I just use the remote heads to operate them.

    Alot of my outings include the LAPTOP computer and I like to have 24-inch monitor along so I can have a bunch of folders on the screen... Since there is only the two of us I get to use a large flat board setting inside the unused tent bed end and Have my computer item and printer etc all on it... This is the back of the lounge where I am setting etc.. All fits in just great... I had some earlier photos of my setup but I think they all got eat up by the Photobucket thing... Can't find them anywhere now...

    My off-road RT14 has a pretty good antenna farm on it. One of the later things I installed was a fold up two sect small 3-inch triangle tower section. They are 5-feet tall and that puts the top up ten feet above my RT14 bumper. I have my long wire off-center fed antenna here. I just throw the ends up in a tree on both side then pull it tight and wrap around the base of the tree... I also drive a short ground rod into the ground close to the trailer... Does HF frequencies real good with my ICOM 706 MKII hf SSB radio... I have a couple of Radio whips on the rear roof of the trailer also. I also have a TARHEEL Screwdriver II HF mobile antenna that has a large coil on it and can tune the HF frequencies too. The long wire I put up however way out performs the mobile whip setup... Have same mount on the truck so I usually just run a long section of RG cable to the truck for that antenna... Antenna tune is all remoted to the trailer...Can tune antenna from either location... We also have a HDTV antenna mount on the side of the trailer using the BATWING setup. Always picks up HDTV station just about everywhere we go...

    I don't know what I would do without my RT14 5x8 front deck. Between the front deck and the bed of the covered and locked truck bed we can carry some serious camping supplies and items...

    Everything is lashed down and covered with tarp during travel...

    I'm about the get started camping again so I'm about to get excited... Been sitting for a couple of seasons here in King George with the RT14. I go in my truck only a few time but I miss my Ham Radio Shack in the RT14 hehe... Gonna have lots of Battery Power with the new setup...

    Roy Ken
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  19. BrewskiSucks

    BrewskiSucks New Member

    Jul 24, 2018
    Since no one has mentioned it yet, I'll throw mine into the mix.

    I have the the V-trec V2 (although, the V1 may be suited more to your needs. It's a 10'). Mine is 12' with very large offroad tires and lift for ground clearance. I got it specifically for offroad usage. I always go as far away from people as I can and that means bumpy gravel roads.

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