Experiences with washboard roads? Where are the weaknesses in a popup?

coyotepixel

Member
Mar 29, 2022
46
Portland, Oregon
New tires and new springs on my 2000 Viking 2107. Thinking of all the possible places I may go when it's finally on the road.
Some of my favorite places pre PUP were on gravel roads with varying levels of washboard.
I imagine that slow and steady driving is the best.
Does anyone have experiences with shake, rattle, etc and the weak points of the PUP?
Should I reinforce the cabinets with a couple of extra screws? I'll make sure the battery, gas tank, etc. are all tied down well. What else?
Thanks for your suggestions.
 

SteveP

Super Active Member
May 21, 2015
2,647
Check the screws holding the door frame together occasionally, that's the most common problem we have. Also the screws holding the drawer sliders to the sidewalls, I used wood glue and toothpicks to reset those, no problem since.
 

Oldspurs

Active Member
Jan 2, 2022
277
Central Texas
As neighbormike stated, " between coupler and rear bumper". We boondock a lot, you will find every nut, bolt, screw, hose clamps, requires constant vigilance on both PUP, and TV. However, I find that it is about the same as towing long distance on any highway system in the US. By their very nature, whether it is Popup, or Class A motorhome, you are towing or driving your mobile house down the road. Things happen! Be vigilant watch for problems, repair as required, never let it get you down. After all, alternatives are stay home, go to motels, and then you shortchanged yourself from the most beautiful sights, sounds, of a absolutely life-changing experience. Enjoy the camp. See you on the trail.
 

xxxapache

Super Active Member
Jul 30, 2008
4,558
I went to a campground with a terrible washboard road that was up a steep grade for the last mile. Very slow wasn't an option with a 2WD truck. Upon arrival, I found my bathroom cabinet half hanging off the wall. I had to go to Lowes and buy a drill. That experience caused me to up my already full camper repair kit. I added, wood glue, clamps, metal angle and straight repair brackets, wood screws of all types, wire, and a bunch of other crap I can't remember.
 

Hilldweller

Super Active Member
Mar 2, 2021
1,057
Hog Waller, GA
Seems like every road we drive is washboard. Not much you can do but slow way down. We usually air down our tires (TV and trailer) so the whole thing doesn’t rattle apart. A high quality compressor is a must IMO
This.

If you're going to do LOTS of washboard and don't want to slow down that much, there are trailers that can handle it. But you pay for that level of quality.

 

KeizerTrailer

Active Member
Aug 31, 2020
166
Keizer, OR
PUPs aren't known for rigidity. The best practice is to try and avoid the rough sections of washboard. I know that is easier said than done. Carry a good, reliable portable air compressor, that way you can air up after letting some air out to help increase the absorption of the bumps. A good tool kit, like THIS with a small drill/driver and some glue and sealant would help with bush repairs.
 

KeizerTrailer

Active Member
Aug 31, 2020
166
Keizer, OR
I have tried a few, the Bauer hand held compressor from Harbor Freight works well, can't speak to the reliability of it though, don't use it often. My buddy has THIS. It's a Craftsman and it works like a dream!
 

Hilldweller

Super Active Member
Mar 2, 2021
1,057
Hog Waller, GA
Thanks, all, for the experiences and suggestions. Any recommendations for good, reliable portable air compressor? I see lots on the web with varying ratings.]
I have one of these from back when they were $50 at Pep Boys



Or you could spend a few bucks and get an ARB which work really really well. Many of my friends mount them under the hood and hard-wire them.

 

Arlyn Aronson

Super Active Member
Jun 11, 2014
2,132
Houghton, MI
New tires and new springs on my 2000 Viking 2107. Thinking of all the possible places I may go when it's finally on the road.
Some of my favorite places pre PUP were on gravel roads with varying levels of washboard.
I imagine that slow and steady driving is the best.
Does anyone have experiences with shake, rattle, etc and the weak points of the PUP?
Should I reinforce the cabinets with a couple of extra screws? I'll make sure the battery, gas tank, etc. are all tied down well. What else?
Thanks for your suggestions.
How much air did you have in those new tires?
 

Annunzi

Active Member
As everyone has stated above, washboard roads are tough on RV's in general, especially pop ups given their lighter weight and weaker suspension. Having good suspension system (like a torsion axle) as well as good quality tires can help a bit.

As for the compressor, we have a compressor/jumper combo, so we can fill the tires and jump car battery if needed:

1664488226085.png
 

Grandpa Don

Super Active Member
Sep 5, 2018
1,886
Southern California
I have a Viking Model 1906. It's a smaller popup. I routinely take it off road on my boondocking camping trips. I have been on some pretty darn rough and rocky roads with it. Several times in 6 inches of snow. I do use four-wheel-drive on my truck and go very slow. Sometimes I'll come to a complete stop and then slowly creep over a bad spot. So far I have not had anything come loose in the camper. At least nothing I can attribute to the road conditions. I do have my camper raise with the famous Axle-Flip mod. So I have a lot of ground clearance. One time when I was doing some routine maintenance I found an inch and a half square runner in a front cabinet that was broken in two. I didn't even notice it until I got down and looked under the top. I don't know if it was broken when I purchased the camper or not. But I removed it and then glued it back together before reinstalling it. At the same time I added a few more screws to the cabinet for good measures. In the almost 5 years that I've owned the camper, that is the only actual repair work I've had to do to it. Everything else was just a modification for my convenience.

In your case, I think I would keep an eye on miscellaneous screw and fittings. And just take it easy.
 
Last edited:




Top