Looking for pop up have questions

Discussion in 'Camper Pre-Purchase Questions' started by razcob, Jan 13, 2018.

  1. razcob

    razcob Member

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    Jan 4, 2018
    Powhatan, VA
    I am looking to purchase a pop up camper for a planned tripped to Alaska from June to September, via the southwest.

    I have been researching pop ups through this helpful site and elsewhere. I am looking for a used, quality, 8 foot or less than 2000 lbs, lightweight pop up that I can modify to install an inside shower. I am willing to lose seating or counter space to accommodate the shower. I need a pop up for moderate off road use, so I would flip the axle or modify the leaf spring mount height, if necessary.

    It may depend on the weight of the pop up, but how do they fair in heavy wind during full extension?

    Does it get messy inside an extended pop up with heavy gusts of desert dust/sand?

    In fair weather, how long does it take for the canvas to dry out from rain before storage?

    During extended rain, does the canvas eventually allow moisture through to the inside?

    I am looking for an efficient way to heat and pump a couple of gallons of water for the shower. I am looking at portable propane water heaters, but have a generator for an electric water heater.

    I am new to pop ups, so if there are some considerations or factors I haven't considered, please let me know your thoughts.
     
  2. Strawhouse

    Strawhouse Active Member

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    Oct 4, 2015
    Muskoka, Ontario
    Re canvas, you may want to consider a model that has a vinyl exterior, such as Forest River Flagstaff.

    BE7ACCC3-C555-44A0-916A-4A7856932BBF.jpeg CBFBFFCD-B1BB-46BF-B689-BADD145C6D3C.jpeg
     
  3. razcob

    razcob Member

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    Jan 4, 2018
    Powhatan, VA
    Thanks for the reply. Just so I understand, I thought all soft exteriors were a combination of canvas and vinyl. Are you saying that some are all vinyl? If so, which manufacturers have vinyl?

    The picture of your camper is exactly what I am looking for. Nice!!
     
  4. Strawhouse

    Strawhouse Active Member

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    Oct 4, 2015
    Muskoka, Ontario
    QUOTE="razcob, post: 1173353, member: 99897"]Thanks for the reply. Just so I understand, I thought all soft exteriors were a combination of canvas and vinyl. Are you saying that some are all vinyl? If so, which manufacturers have vinyl?

    The picture of your camper is exactly what I am looking for. Nice!![/QUOTE]

    I’m no expert on tent trailer, but I’ve read several posts re owners using waterproofing spray on their canvas.
    This is my 8ft trailer:
    Factory floor plan:
    705DD64E-49EC-4864-A52B-583E6D159DBD.jpeg

    My revised floor plan:
    0392CF08-346B-4D8E-A0AA-519753A851A4.jpeg

    My mods:
    7F6A4442-3BB0-4805-907E-ADE809BEC7BA.jpeg

    I’m selling mine in the spring, because I bought an Aliner last year.
    Have you considered an Aliner? In your weight range, up in minutes, and you can get them with shower/toilet combo. Definitely worth researching.

    http://aliner.com/media/
     
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  5. razcob

    razcob Member

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    Jan 4, 2018
    Powhatan, VA
    Wow, you did a nice job of renovating.

    An Aliner hard side is probably advisable, but I don't like some of the added indoor showers, that I have seen modified by Potatohead on Youtube. Also, I am looking for a camper under $3000.
     
  6. Strawhouse

    Strawhouse Active Member

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    Oct 4, 2015
    Muskoka, Ontario
    Thanks, I really enjoyed doing the mods myself.

    Yes, I certainly understand budget limitations!
    Re shower, I actually meant the factory installed indoor shower/toilet combo available in some models.
     
  7. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    Disclaimer: My intent for this reply is not to discourage you from a mod but show that there are viable alternatives.

    I've read several articles and seen videos from some experienced pup owners that have tried to mod their pups to add showers. I haven't see one of them that were completely happy with it. Click HERE for a video on one example and some alternatives.

    I have seen quite a few articles and videos from people that were very happy with their built in showers that were original to their pup. But most of the time I am seeing people that want to shower when there are no facilities and no shower in their pup go with a shower tent rather than a mod.

    I am currently shopping for a shower tent and will probably go with a NEMO Helio Portable Pressure Shower for the water.

    I am also planning to add a porta-potty to that setup.

    Good luck with your search!
     
    Byrd_Huntr likes this.
  8. GalsofEscape

    GalsofEscape Active Member

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    Nov 26, 2013
    Maryland
    regarding the tenting - there is old style canvas, vinyl coated canvas and sunbrella fabric. May depend on year of popup and manufacturer as to what you will find. Older campers more likely have canvas or vinyl coated canvas. When we were looking at new popups in 2010, the colemans were touting the sunbrella fabric.

    we liked our vinyl coated canvas in our Rockwood popup that we had, it dried fast. Things to make note of, the window canvas on the bed ends were not vinyl coated, they were canvas only. Did have to be sure bedding did not touch the windows in rainy weather as the water could bleed through if touched, not really an issue on the vinyl coated canvas. Condensation was more of an issue, usually would open a vent or unzip a window just a bit.
     
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  9. razcob

    razcob Member

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    Jan 4, 2018
    Powhatan, VA
    Bikenfish, thanks for the reply. I am learning, so any advice is appreciated.

    I agree that an outdoor shower tent may work, but I am thinking about mosquitoes, with some of the boondocking locations that I have been.

    I like the Nemo, and didn't know such a device was available. Great suggestion.

    I am looking at something portable, quick to set up, but not a permanent modification.

     
  10. BikeNFish

    BikeNFish Well-Known Member

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    Apr 24, 2017
    Maplewood, MN
    Having been born and raised in Minnesota (the state bird should be the mosquito) and a veteran of many mosquito filled trips to Canada, I can tell you that mosquitoes can be controlled but not eliminate. That is why I like the shower tent that you can zip closed. Some of the outdoor shower tents are very quick to popup and take down.

    I was looking heavy into the hot water on demand units but what I didn't like was that you cannot turn them off to conserve water. That is important if you do not have quick access to a water source when boon-docking. They must continually pump water or they will overheat and shut down. Because of the limited amount of water you can carry with you, I like to only use water when needed to wet down or to rinse off. That is why I like the Nemo.

    With that being said, I have seen videos of people setting up their hot water on demand units with the intake submerged into a creek or a lake for unlimited water.
     
  11. petefuller

    petefuller New Member

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    Aug 27, 2017
    My 2 cents, having spent time in the southwest, sand eventually gets everywhere, its just part of the deal.
    They all take some time to dry out after extended rain, but vinyl is quicker
    Since your looking for used, look at the parts that are hard/annoying to fix, get a roof that cranks up smooth and decends as smooth, bunks that slide nicely. Look at the frame since extended vacations always carry a bit more gear, make sure its rust free and in good shape. Try and find a pup that has limited mods, not all skill sets are the same and fixing the last genius handiwork isnt always fun.

    A shower in a pup is almost never how you thought, the humidity is gross, it takes space and leaves a mess, I'd brave a few mosquitos. You'll hustle and use less water.
     
  12. razcob

    razcob Member

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    Jan 4, 2018
    Powhatan, VA
    Great information for thought, thanks.

    I see too many problems with a shower tent: setting it up in the rain and walking back and forth through mud, etc.

    Petefuller, you mentioned about the humidity. Is the humidity still bad inside a pop up, if you use warm water sparingly, in a rinse, shutoff, wash, rinse manner?
     
  13. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    Oct 10, 2013
    Northern Virginia
    A lot of helpful advice here. I am only going to add that if you are looking at an older camper you may be stuck with canvas. My old 1990 Jayco had like an old fashioned army canvas. Although good enough you had to keep everything away from the sides or water would soak through. It also took all day for that old canvas to dry. Did good for breath ability though. My 04 Fleetwood has a Sunbrella canvas. That only takes a few hours to dry depending on the weather. Water doesn't bleed though like it did on my old camper as long as I make sure it was waterproofed. She also fairly breathable and keeps condensation down to a minimum. I never had vinyl canvas, but admired how much easier it would be to dry. Although I think it would be less breathable and you may have condensation problems if you don't crack a window open.
     
  14. petefuller

    petefuller New Member

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    Aug 27, 2017
    well humidity inside is of course a function of humidity outside and how you feel it depends on temperatures. Our home in Ontario has awful summer humidity, our home in AZ is so dry humidity is welcome. I just never liked the condensation that showed up on surfaces since a shower was always 1st am or last thing at nite for us.
     
  15. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    Jul 19, 2007
    Ontario
    If you google around looking for "laundry tub pop up shower" or similar you should stumble the mod s friend ( the great OzandUs) did to part of his dinnette seating using a standard size laundry tub..
     
  16. durhamcamper

    durhamcamper Active Member

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    Apr 21, 2010
    Pickering, Ontario
    As far as Vinyl vs Canvas or Sunbrella is concerned, our previous pup was a Dutchmen and it had vinyl. I can't remember for sure, but I think the bunk end zippered flaps/walls were still a canvas or sunbrella. They were very easy to roll or fold over and I don't think vinyl is that flexible. I may be wrong though.
     

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