Why did you choose your specific pop-up camper?

#18
I spent the better part of a year trying to find a used pop-up camper for our Tundra to no avail. Any possible lead i found was snapped up way before I could even consider traveling the great distances to acquire one. We also had a pretty particular floor plan in mind to fit our needs, and that made it all the much harder to find a used one. We ended up making the decision to order a new camper and went with a Four Wheel Camper (Hawk model) for a few reasons. I liked the Silver Spur optional exterior look, we spoke to a number of owners at last years NWOR who were very informative and offered lots of opinions on what they liked and what they would do different over again. Most importantly it was Gary, the Canadian FWC rep who sold us on a FWC. He was fantastic to deal with, on our first visit we spent 3 hours chatting with him, looking at all the models available and sitting around his kitchen table just talking with him and his Wife. His insight and expertise in this style of travel was invaluable to us. We had certain options in mind which he offered his opinions on, and some we kept, others we decided to change. He was a gentleman to deal with from beginning, through the order process, along the 5 month wait-time, and to the installation and run-through with us.

The camper itself is awesome, it is 110% everything we could have ever hoped for and imagined. It is lightweight and compact, but has enough space and amenities to suit our needs. The Tundra hardly knows it there, and we think it's a good compromise between our travel trailer and our old Xterra w/rooftop tent setup that should allow us to camp everywhere from those beautiful Oregon State Parks to mountain tops, to wherever we decide to stop on our way to the Arctic this
 
#20
Wanted to try one out and for the 200.00 asking price figured I couldn't lose. Took a day of vacation and drove about 450 miles one way to pick it up. It was an 86 Fleet. That was about 8 years ago. Getting ready to redo some of it and use it this summer. Still can't beat it .
 

locrwln

Expedition Leader
#22
Never quite understood the window thing. The camper is for sleeping in. If need to see outside I'll be outside.
You'll understand it more when you are in rainy weather/location for a couple of days. Being inside the camper warm and dry while it's wet outside and you can see makes if more pleasant.

Jack
 
#23
Some campers are more geared for just sleeping and it doesn't matter much how great the windows are because all you need is airflow. (They are probably lighter and lower profile.) Others are designed for spending a little bit more time in comfortably and a lot of windows adds to that. These differences are all worth noting if you're shopping for a camper. They are all compromises; you just have to pick the one that works best for you. I assume that's the point of this thread.
 
#24
I have a used Starcraft, 1985 model. Its old, wood, wood frame. I replaced the canvas, removed the fridge and overhead storage above the sink counter. Removed the old inverter/converter combo. Rebuilt the roof, and other items. The price was right, new these things are nuts for what you get for your money. Used is the way to go if you can find em. People have mentioned aluminum for durability. Mine is wood, and almost 40 years old, forest service roads all its life. The wood frame is not the weak point, where it attaches to the lift mechanism wears out.
 

Attachments

#25
Some campers are more geared for just sleeping and it doesn't matter much how great the windows are because all you need is airflow. (They are probably lighter and lower profile.) Others are designed for spending a little bit more time in comfortably and a lot of windows adds to that. These differences are all worth noting if you're shopping for a camper. They are all compromises; you just have to pick the one that works best for you. I assume that's the point of this thread.
It is. The problem I have is that living on the East Coast, it isn't practical to visit all the different manufacturers, so it's really hard to see the nuances of each brand and the differences between.

Ultimately, I'll probably just end up buying whatever I can find within a handful of hours drive time that is in good condition for cheap. I'll use it for a while and figure out what I like about it and what I'd like different. That will make it a lot easier to narrow down which models I might be interested in investing more money into.

Advice like "I went with ABC brand because of their superior construction methods and building materials" or "I bought XYZ because it's the only lightweight model that had a rear-wall AC unit as an option" gives me things to think about.
 
#27
Should have mentioned I bought mine based on availability and price. Around here (Rockies-Canada) these or any kind of pop-up are few and far between to get used.
 

calicamper

Expedition Leader
#28
We tried a pop up trailer rental, but found it limited our ability to go “everywhere”. Of course my neighbor then told us a horrible tale of his “friend” who left their trailer at the campsite while they went exploring only to come back and find it gone. Then they got home and found their house empty. You see they left their house keys in the trailer. Anyway, no trailer for us.

We then rented an fmc and it was fine, but felt very top heavy and I worried as above that it was somewhat fragile off-road. Now that I have had a chance to see others up close, I think our rental had been abused. Anyway, for us we have now decided to go with a van top pop of our own design. Mainly, because I like building things and I've convinced the wife it is the only way to get everything we want. My point is and to answer your question, we tried a bunch of different configurations without committing in order to truly discover what we needed/wanted.
Thats why I remove a tire on the trailer in camp. Better yet have a removable hitch.
 
#29
Popup

Buy used. We paid 3500 for ours been from Alaska to Canadian maritimes in it
We typically spend a month or two in ours each year
Store it inside if you can
Be meticulous about sealing any joints

We took our water out as we camp below freezing a lot
Also help on weight
Took out the three way fridge and put in compressor fridge
Added more battery storage and solar
I wouldn't be afraid of Wood if properly cared for
On your rig purchase quality e-rated tires and remember you spend way more time on pavement
Than off road
Air bags if needed
Popup are pretty comfortable and you will get most places
good luck
Kp
 

Boston Mangler

Expedition Leader
#30
I just picked up a Four Wheel Campers Hawk Front Dinette Last Week.

So far, couldn't possibly be happier!

I did months and months of research, Here's why i decided on FWC:

-Offroad Durability.. This was my MAIN reason for choosing FWC. Almost all of my travel is off the beaten path, usually in the dirt. I've watched TC twice the price literally break apart in front of me while offroading. Their design and mounting system is amazing and genius!
-Reputation, they have been around 40+ years and many of their original campers are still being used, everyone that owns one, loves it!
-Layout options, being able to sleep comfortably in it without popping the top was paramount for me, i often want to stealth camp, or just pull over for a nap, the Hawk FRONT DINETTE option works perfect for this.
-Community, when first researching, i was invited to their "Owners Rally" in Ocotillo. I went out for the weekend and they answered a barrage of questions, and everyone their let me check out their campers inside and out like i was family.
-Options... I wanted it configured pretty specific. It was easily ordered/modified to exactly what i was looking for.
-Modularity, the design of the interior is extremely well thought out and makes it easy to work on and make personal modifications.

Yes, it was expensive, but at this point in my life, i want comfort and ease of use. FWC made that happen!

I've only spent one night in it so far, on the drive home from the factory, but i slept like a baby with the furnace on in single digit temps in Mammoth.

That's My .02