Lightweight travel trailer or pop-up camper recommendations? - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-18-2008, 05:00 AM Thread Starter
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Lightweight travel trailer or pop-up camper recommendations?

Thinking about getting a small(ish), lightweight camper. There are 3 of us so it'll have to be able to sleep at least that many and be viable for towing behind my '05 XT. I know about Aliners but would like to hear about other options. I'd want to be able to add options like AC and maybe a heater too.

This will be a long term thing for the family, so is it a good idea to finance something like this? Can you get financing on this type of trailer or just the big RV/5th wheel types.

Thanks

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-18-2008, 05:04 AM
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Keep an eye on craigslist!! I picked up an old '79 Apache pop-up for less than $500. Needed a little work, but hey that's ok with me. Newer ones are EXPENSIVE. From what I know financing is really hard to get on them, as they're considered a "luxury" item.

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-18-2008, 05:05 AM
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Look the T@B trailers (about 1600 lbs):

Tab-rv.com - T@B Microlite teardrop RV travel trailer campers - Tab

Or the R-Pod by Forest River (1700-1900 lbs):

R-Pod Ultra Lite Travel Trailer by Forest River

They can all be financed just like the larger trailers/5th wheels.
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-18-2008, 05:08 AM
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Personally, for gas mileage, I'd recommend looking at a true pop up. When you're driving the roof line will be below the Foz's.

Dash: '03 XS MT
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-18-2008, 05:41 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input. The popups will be better for MPG for sure. The one appeal of the Aliners is they fold down but are similar to the tear drop type in that when erected tehy have solid sides as opposed to the soft screen type like a pop-up. They are a bit small for my liking I think and are expensive.

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-18-2008, 05:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hockeyfreak View Post
Look the T@B trailers (about 1600 lbs):

Tab-rv.com - T@B Microlite teardrop RV travel trailer campers - Tab

Or the R-Pod by Forest River (1700-1900 lbs):

R-Pod Ultra Lite Travel Trailer by Forest River

They can all be financed just like the larger trailers/5th wheels.
The rpod looks interesting due to size. My son is 6 so we need space for 3 right now and I imagine as he gets older (and bigger) he'll want to bring a friend with us.

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-18-2008, 05:57 AM
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I'd say the Aliner is the "Cadillac" of the bunch...but the R-pod looks pretty sweet too!

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-21-2008, 10:54 AM
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Go to the showrooms for major vendors to see what you like

My wife and I thought about buying used, but every time we looked into a used popup it was all mildewy. We ended up not looking at individual ones on craigslist so nothing to say plus or minus there.

We did go to all the major vendors in the area and ended up buying a new Coachmen Clipper 108ST. It has the right feel for us, is sufficiently tall inside (we're tall people), and had the optional potty and heated outside shower (we've got little kids).

One other thing: the published weight of the trailer is with NO options added. The only way to know for real the tongue weight and weight of the trailer is to go to a scale and get the trailer weighed.

Check out popupexplorer.com. I found it to be a helpful forum site.
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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 10:39 AM
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Quick silver pop ups-----
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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We bought a pop up last summer.

After renting a Coachman Clipper (not sure the exact model). We ended up getting a used Coleman Santa Fe 2005 in great shape for $6000 CND.

The Coleman (Americana series) is superior to the Coachman. I like the One piece door, the large entry step (which you can ACTUALLY LOCK), high pressure stove and the lift system that doesn't require safety bars. We had a problem with the Coachman lift system (which is used by other manufacturers too), where the roof actually fell about 3 inches with my wife inside, when I opened the door. She did not like that.

Also with the Coleman, my wife can set up (almost) everything by herself. She is not tall enough to manage the awning by herself. The Coachman, she couldn't work the lift crank or pull out the beds.

From the research I did, Coleman (aka Fleetwood which owns Coleman Trailers) and Jayco are the two best names for quality for Tent Trailers.

We also looked into the Trillium Outback, since they are made in Canada (like me). They actually have a photo of a forester towing the trailer on the web page. I couldn't find one used locally, or even one to have a look inside. I didn't want to order one without actually having seen it first.

The trillium is similar to the popular and hard to find Boler travel trailer or Scamp. Rumor has it that both Boler and Scamp travel trailers are made from the same original Fiberglass mold. Boler is no longer in production, but the Scamp is, and both should be more readily available in the US than here in Canada.

I think that these three fiberglass Travel Trailers would be worth considering to use with the forester, if you are willing to pay the extra over the price of a Pop up tent trailer.

We also looked at the T@B trailers. I found them too small, especially if you have three people. And after having been in them, I don't think I could get used to having to crouch over all the time (little head room) and I am not that tall. The T@B does look nice, but I would not recommend it for more that two (shorter) people.

For the money, I would try to find used Tent Trailer. Some people buy them but then hardly use them. I got my tent trailer after watching Craigs List for thee months. The good ones go fast.

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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 12-29-2008, 06:38 PM
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In Europe the André Jamet trailers used to be excellent trailer tents. Unfortunately they are not made anymore but you can still find a few if you are lucky enough to live say in France or the UK. The main reason I loved the Andre Jamet we had when I was a kid was that it could potentially sleep about 11 to 15 people. The fact that those trailers make an enclosed space, including the extensions that jut out and make beds on each side (one side could sleep 3, the other 2), meant that you could double the beds underneath and add another in the center. There was also another tent room in the front and an awning that projected out from that.

In the end it looked like this: as opposed to the north american models which invariably look like this:

'03 N/A Auto
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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 01:42 PM
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small r-pod camper 152

Quote:
Originally Posted by James View Post
We also looked at the T@B trailers. I found them too small, especially if you have three people. And after having been in them, I don't think I could get used to having to crouch over all the time (little head room) and I am not that tall. The T@B does look nice, but I would not recommend it for more that two (shorter) people.
I looked at the T@B as well - too small inside. I found the r-pod 152 at a camper show last weekend. It has a full heigth interior, except at the far end by the dinette. With our son we can camp and he gets the bunk and wife and I get the bed made from the dinette. The dealer at the show wanted 12,400 for the 152 model - I found one on ebay for under $11,000. We are going over next weekend to pick it up. If you have not seen one in person the best photos on the net that I have found are here. The price included the r-dome awning, microwave, a/c and LCD TV/DVD player. Go to an RV show - they are all in the next 6-8 weeks and check out your options.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smash81 View Post
Keep an eye on craigslist!! I picked up an old '79 Apache pop-up for less than $500. Needed a little work, but hey that's ok with me. Newer ones are EXPENSIVE. From what I know financing is really hard to get on them, as they're considered a "luxury" item.
Heh,

My folks had an older Apache when I was younger, only pop-up I had seen that had hard sides.


For the wife and I we have a Jayco Jay pop-up. Queen bed on one end, twin on the other. Picked it up on craigslist for $700, needed a few screws, some caulk, screen patch etc...... but it's all good now.

It's real velour. Just let yourself go!
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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 04:29 PM
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Here is one interesting trailer. Not very practical if you main use is for camping but if you need it for other use this is very interesting.
Slyvan Sport Go Trailer

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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 04:54 PM
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What else would you use a tent for?

It's real velour. Just let yourself go!
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