Do people only choose Pop Ups because they have no other choice?

djmello99

Active Member
Feb 19, 2013
157
Anthem, AZ
I'm not sure why the title of this thread rubs me the wrong way as much as it does. "Had no other choice" implies hardship, or poverty, or something. Every time it gets revved back up I have these same thoughts again:

Do you live in your home because you had no other choice? Wouldn't you rather live in a 15-bedroom mansion?

Do you drive the cars you do because you had no other choice? You poor thing... you drive a Honda? Too bad, an Lexus would have been so much better...

Most of us have plenty of choice. Most of us also have limited resources... not necessarily a small amount of resources but limited nonetheless. We spread those resources among all the things we seem fit. Sometimes we take some of those resources and save them for another time.

Some of us enjoy camping simpler too, and the idea of dragging around what amounts to a mobile cabin isn't our style of camping.
Amen and goodnight.
 

Briorick

Active Member
Sep 2, 2012
128
Southern Illinois
Like many here, we too started out tenting with the folks as kids then upgraded to a PopUp later in our adult life. Had a lot of fun tenting with the folks and friends.

Long story short, after purchasing used our 1994 Starcraft Starflyte, we thought we wanted something different and easier to set up other than a popup. So we upsized 3 times ( 1 used HT and 2 new TT's ) over the years, only to realize what we really missed was having our Popup. They all 3 fit the bill at that particular moment, but we loved and missed the openess, and the 360 view most of all, that the popup affords us. The HT was a close second but still felt closed in.

It was nice pulling in with a TT, and with little effort to set up, but there's nothing comparable to a Popup, IMO.
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
14,046
Albuquerque, NM
All of us (or at least most of us) have to make trade-offs and budget, one way or another. For me, it's not that one form of cmaping is superior to another, it's different. Backpacking is much different than even front country ground tent camping, and so on.
I made that trade-off argument years ago, when the dues for a quilt guild were in need or being raised. Once I thought about it as being the price of a yard of fabric, for the entire year, the increase really didn't seem that much - especially since that's what helped pay for a place to meet and other things. It applies to much of life.
For camping, the trade-off began when we forsook ground camping to use the first popup, most of the time, after we renovated it in 2010. We actually had less space inside that tiny popup than our 6-man REI tent, but we were off the sometimes-wet ground. When cranky joints caught up with me, while we had our second popup, we moved to the TT. A couple of health issues later, I don't tolerate cold as well as I once did, so solid walls, a warm quilt, and a furnace all help continue to having the longer camping season that our first popup began.
Do I dream about having one of the gigantic RVs, or even a large travel trailer? No, but I've met very nice people who are enjoying the heck out of them.
It's all good.
 

Canoe2fish

Active Member
Apr 14, 2014
426
Ontario, Canada
I'm not sure why the title of this thread rubs me the wrong way as much as it does. "Had no other choice" implies hardship, or poverty, or something. Every time it gets revved back up I have these same thoughts again:

Do you live in your home because you had no other choice? Wouldn't you rather live in a 15-bedroom mansion?

Do you drive the cars you do because you had no other choice? You poor thing... you drive a Honda? Too bad, an Lexus would have been so much better...

Most of us have plenty of choice. Most of us also have limited resources... not necessarily a small amount of resources but limited nonetheless. We spread those resources among all the things we seem fit. Sometimes we take some of those resources and save them for another time.

Some of us enjoy camping simpler too, and the idea of dragging around what amounts to a mobile cabin isn't our style of camping.
Excellent post. I have to echo everything you said it is exactly the same for us. That being said, I do feel like a bum dragging our tired 30 year old pup around. I have a new-ish company vehicle we sometimes take but if not, it’s our 12 year old Toyota which DW wants replaced with new. (I’m like, NO, it’s a Toyota…we’re not done with it until it his 20 years old or at half a million miles…)

We also have 12 year old seasonal. We are continually torn with the idea of replacing with new but neither of us wants to pull the trigger on $60-90k on something that costs another $5k a year for the annual lot fees and a mandatory 15% commission on exit sales! And when that money could be going to retirement or that plus other travel. (Camping, cottage rentals or or world travel). Needless to say, this will likely be our last year with our seasonal.

So why do I envy those who pull in with late model TV’s and RV’s? And they are the majority it seems. Even though our home is basically paid off, I am still too “thrifty” to buy a new vehicle or an RV. Especially in our recent economic climate and at the time new RV quality is at an all time low.

I think I struggle with what I perceive as societal standards that causes some of my hard feelings. We live in an area where there is an abundance of affluence. (And MEGA debt). For instance, 30 years ago, the really nice homes had 2 car garages and maybe brick or stone and some dressed up finishes. Now, the new standard seems to be higher end levels of finish inside & out. Beautiful craftsman styling with timber accents, stucco & stone and 3-4 car garages on sprawling lots…and that’s the NEW standard.

And it seems that not one of those home owners would dare have a 10 year old vehicle attached to it, let alone a tent trailer (gasp! Not a lowly tent trailer???). If they own an RV at all, it’s often an A class MH or an Airstream etc.

Again, we choose to keep our standard of living as “practical”. I feel like We really have it all compared to the rest of the world. We have multiple choices of camping & recreation, and in reality, an excess. Yet it’s a challenge not to feel like we’re slumming which is totally silly when I think about it. So many people can’t afford to buy homes these days and I’m whining that the excess that we have is too “old”. That’s consumerisms influence. With all the commercials and advertising consistently pounding “you need this to be happy” messages into our heads, it’s a challenge to distance ourselves from that.
 

gladecreekwy

Super Active Member
Sep 25, 2016
1,811
Jackson Wyoming
we chose a pup because we wanted the smallest, lightest camper that we could get into very remote sites in the mountains and desert. at the time RTTs and these micro campers didnt exist or we probably would have gotten one of those. Got a TT a few years ago but kept the pup for the same reasons we got it in the first place.
 

Maria E

Happy Camper!
Mar 2, 2021
7
Idaho
Not all pop-ups are tents, remember! We have a Forest River Flagstaff A-frame hard-sided pop-up that we love. We wanted something that folded down for easier towing and also something hard-sided so we could camp in places where tent pop-ups aren't allowed (grizzly country). We chose a pop-up even though we could have selected a TT - the Flagstaff sets up in just a couple minutes and contains everything we need.
 

G.P.

Member
Jun 5, 2021
53
The wife and I had a 36' class A ... loved it .. traveled across the nation .. Walmarts , Costco's & Home Depots .. RV Parks .. always felt secure & safe .. our son [wife and 2 boys] bought a toy hauler bumper pull for camping .. the class A .. yea not designed for that so we sold it ... two must haves .. bathroom w/shower and a King Size bed .. wellll I had to settle for a queen size .. oh well .. we figured a 3 to 4 day camp trip will be our limit .. so far the A-frame was and is a good fit .. I am planning several major modification to it however ... we'll see ..
 

Attachments

  • A-Frame : Toy Hauler.JPG
    A-Frame : Toy Hauler.JPG
    198 KB · Views: 11

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
14,046
Albuquerque, NM
Not all pop-ups are tents, remember! We have a Forest River Flagstaff A-frame hard-sided pop-up that we love. We wanted something that folded down for easier towing and also something hard-sided so we could camp in places where tent pop-ups aren't allowed (grizzly country). We chose a pop-up even though we could have selected a TT - the Flagstaff sets up in just a couple minutes and contains everything we need.
We looked at A-frames early on, too tight for us, which is why checking out a range of options can be a good thing. As it was, my husband's head brushed the ceiling in our first popup. The "you sit down, so I can stand up" in that tiny popup got old. Even with travel trailers, we've had to look carefully. The Casita our shorter friends love is too tight, and my husband is only 6'; at just under 5'6", I hit my head on the doorway when I exit, if not careful. (Seems to be common) I once saw a Casita on th elocal lot, brand new, one trip, the 6'6" owner hadn't realized he wouldn't like the low ceiling.
 

Susan Premo

Super Active Member
Nov 5, 2020
1,137
Minnesota
I'm not sure why the title of this thread rubs me the wrong way as much as it does. "Had no other choice" implies hardship, or poverty, or something. Every time it gets revved back up I have these same thoughts again:

Do you live in your home because you had no other choice? Wouldn't you rather live in a 15-bedroom mansion?

Do you drive the cars you do because you had no other choice? You poor thing... you drive a Honda? Too bad, an Lexus would have been so much better...

Most of us have plenty of choice. Most of us also have limited resources... not necessarily a small amount of resources but limited nonetheless. We spread those resources among all the things we seem fit. Sometimes we take some of those resources and save them for another time.

Some of us enjoy camping simpler too, and the idea of dragging around what amounts to a mobile cabin isn't our style of camping.
That's one reason I get a bit upset with my husband, I love what we have, an aliner, and so many times he says things like, look at that camper we should get one like that, I just say I like what what we have, we've only had it for 2 years! There's not really a lot of storage space but I don't bring that much, he overloads with things we've never used, I try and tell him to take some stuff out, especially duplicates. He finally did. It's very comfortable too. We only spend time inside when it's raining too hard to stay dry in our little clam shelter or when we're sleeping. I love it.
 

WimStang

Member
Jul 17, 2022
24
That's one reason I get a bit upset with my husband, I love what we have, an aliner, and so many times he says things like, look at that camper we should get one like that, I just say I like what what we have, we've only had it for 2 years! There's not really a lot of storage space but I don't bring that much, he overloads with things we've never used, I try and tell him to take some stuff out, especially duplicates. He finally did. It's very comfortable too. We only spend time inside when it's raining too hard to stay dry in our little clam shelter or when we're sleeping. I love it.
Hmmm...I go through that too. Last year, in Wyoming, we were camping right next to an Aliner Expedition and once we saw the inside of it, well I wanted to trade my '23 for one. Then I came to my senses and know the Ranger 12 is the best fit for us. I think we sometimes get caught in the "wow that's shiny, I like it" bit and forget why we bought the smaller trailer in the first place. We tented, had a family, popup, TT, back to popup. Are there things we would change or will change? Sure, but for me dragging around a TT the size of a small apartment is no longer appealing. Yes, I could afford to do so.
 

kudzu

Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Oct 20, 2014
680
Knee deep in kudzu
To answer the question in the title, no. In fact, there were almost too many choices. Every camping option required compromises, like everything else in life. Canvas popups came closest to what I thought I wanted but I needed something I could set up & breakdown solo. Plus, I didn’t trust my big dogs to not damage the canvas. The Aliner is what I chose, my first trailer. It was fantastic for us at that point.

Now I have the little toy hauler & love it but I miss the towing ease of the Aliner. Plus, despite the new trailer being only 2 feet longer than the Aliner, the new trailer is too big for some spots we used in the past.

There were times with the Aliner & are still times with the new trailer that I wished for a canvas p’up instead. But as I’ve said, to meet other needs, I had to compromise.

There is no one right way to camp. There are always other choices. Choose what works for you & your circumstances. If a popup works then don’t let someone else’s attitude towards them change your mind.
 

TexasTRex

Member
Nov 9, 2018
17
Houston, Texas
We can financially afford any size or style of travel trailer. We specifically choose the older pop-up.
1) we like to boondock and go places not easy to get to. *Flipped axle
2) we like storing it on our city lot property
3) it's just us two and our dogs
4) did not want to cook, poop and sleep in the same enclosure.
5) never even know it's behind the 4 Runner.
6) can put up and take down in 15 min. (Timed it)
7) cheap $3000 so I can work on it myself, demo'ed and rebuilt it exactly like we wanted it.
8) cheap, if I pull it somewhere and rip an axle, well damn
9) lightweight, if I get in a bind, I unhook it and pull it around by hand.
10) lightweight, pulls easy on the beach.
11) takes 30-40 minutes to strip and clean inside and same for wash/wax outside
12) very little to break (all power converted to 12v and solar generator)

I'm no snob. We understand everyone has their preference and this just fits our lifestyle!!
 

Mark CASTELLANI

Active Member
Aug 23, 2019
634
New York State, Erie County
We can financially afford any size or style of travel trailer. We specifically choose the older pop-up.
1) we like to boondock and go places not easy to get to. *Flipped axle
2) we like storing it on our city lot property
3) it's just us two and our dogs
4) did not want to cook, poop and sleep in the same enclosure.
5) never even know it's behind the 4 Runner.
6) can put up and take down in 15 min. (Timed it)
7) cheap $3000 so I can work on it myself, demo'ed and rebuilt it exactly like we wanted it.
8) cheap, if I pull it somewhere and rip an axle, well damn
9) lightweight, if I get in a bind, I unhook it and pull it around by hand.
10) lightweight, pulls easy on the beach.
11) takes 30-40 minutes to strip and clean inside and same for wash/wax outside
12) very little to break (all power converted to 12v and solar generator)

I'm no snob. We understand everyone has their preference and this just fits our lifestyle!!
@TexasTRex ... hats off to you... my best is 20 minutes (yes, timed it, too)

Happy Trails!
 

PilotJohnPE

New Member
Jul 20, 2017
3
Hi,

Just looking to hear if anyone chooses to use Pop Ups despite being able to get a travel trailer if they wanted. Not everyone has the money and capable tow vehicle to haul a travel trailer, but for those that could if they wanted to, why do you still choose a pop up?

I have never had a camper, either as a kid or adult, and am looking into getting something for our family of 4 and this is something I’ve been wondering.
I actually prefer tent camping. For trips that involve short stays at multiple locations the pop-up is nice because it doesn't require as much packing and repacking at each campsite and is more like tent camping than a travel trailer or RV.
 

Lei Zhao

Member
Oct 8, 2020
67
Spokane, WA
Yes, I have no other choices.

I bought this PUP to learn RV life. Yes, I learned a lot, but I am too lazy to work with PUP. I want a van, which do not need to set up and pack up every site. And I can go out every weekend with kids. BUT my wife denied my budget.

Van or wife, hard to choose. Sigh!
 




Top