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Old 11-06-2008, 04:46 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by jsprad View Post
The pop-ups are great for kids and if you love the sounds and feels of camping. A pop-up can be opened up all around and get great breezes throughout. The sounds of crickets, frogs, etc. are so much more clearly heard in a pop-up.
If you want to hear frogs & crickets & streams with an Airstream you can always sleep with your windows open. Both of our trailers have LOTS of windows and you can catch a breeze - no problem. We don't have A/C in either of them - but we don't really need it here.

I think the thing w/alot of "travel trailerites" is they close up their rigs to run the A/C and the sound of that plus the generator to run it drowns out all the sounds of nature. No A/C or generator running with the windows open makes your experience closer to nature and more tent-like. Plus you have options of closing them up in inclement weather.

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Old 11-06-2008, 04:52 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Jezibels View Post
Airstream or Pop-up?

We are a young family and Ive been camping since I was a tiny tot, would like to introduce camping to my husband and tots, what are the pros and cons of Airstream vs Pop-Up?

1). I love Airstreams, always dreamed of having one, cant park it in our subdivision, but will find a place to park, should it be indoor storage in winter?
2). Pop up can store in my garage.

Only want to spend 20K or so, should I go for an Airstream fixer or maxed out new pop up? Any advise would be great guys! Thanks!
If I may be frank, the pros and cons should be obvious. My advice -- don't try to make the decision for the family yourself. Take all of them to as many RV shows/dealers as you needed and let THEM choose.

If I'm right, your kids (depending on age) will much prefer the "coolness" of the popup -- which may help you sway your DH as well if he's a sticking point. Buy a good quality used Coleman/Fleetwood for $10k and make some memories.

The A/S is for later when you gain some experience.

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Old 11-06-2008, 04:56 PM   #23
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We rented a pop-up for a week before we got the Airstream bug. We camped in western WA state for a few days (pouring rain) and that sealed the deal. There was no way to dry out that wet canvas before we had to de-pop the trailer for travel to our next destination. Soaked the mattresses were the result and we swore we'd never do that again.

You might consider looking for a recent model (gently used) Airstream in the 25 foot range. You shoudl be able to find one in your price range that doesn't need substantial work.
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Old 11-06-2008, 05:40 PM   #24
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We too rented a pop up w/two boys (about 7 & 9 at time) and headed out. We spent about 4 days camping and although it was a step up from the tent camping we had always done, we found it cramped & a hassle to put up and down. It would have been better for storage cause we could, like others, have put it in our garage. Instead we started watching & doing research on AS trailers. We ended up w/an Argosy Minuet which is a painted AS. There are Argosy trailers, which are the same size as AS trailers and there are Argosy Minuet trailers which are less wide (by 7") We chose it because it doesn't require the polishing, since its painted (wash & maybe a wax occasionally). It is much lighter in weight so makes for easy tow & pretty easy clean inside too as most parts are vinyl. Ours is 22' which held the 4 of us, when boys were 11 & 13 pretty nicely (I have mentioned in other posts that I did put out the "be careful when entering" sign when trying to cook). Now its mostly the 2 of us, but our 18yr old still comes sometimes (he takes a tent or sometimes the back of car works as he wants more privacy). There are quite a few options when it comes to the sizes/models of AS & its very nice to just sit in them on your driveway & share some memories & a cool drink as parents! My 2 cents.

PS On a post that I started called Calling all Minuet Owners someone posted pics & a post on their 7.3 (about 24') Argosy Minuet. They said they might want/need to sell it. You might want to look at it as it has twin bed setup w/dinette that makes into bed. I think they called her "Snow White".
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:09 PM   #25
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Everyone is gonna wanna hang me for this, but I say go with the pop-up, heres why: You say you want to introduce your family to camping...why spend $20K on a trailer then find out they dont like it? Also, since it sounds like your children are younger, why buy a nice big comfortable camper for them to start out in. I feel the whole reason for camping is getting out into the outdoors. If you buy a nice AS, I can see the kids sitting inside watching DVDs on the TV, instead of being outside, hiking, swimming, fishing, riding bikes, roasting marshmallows, etc. Let them "rough it" in a pop-up till they are teen-agers, then they can have their own tent, and you and your husband can move into an AS. I am probably younger than most here, at 27 with an almost 3 year old boy. This spring we bought a pop-up and have used it alot this year. He loves it and thinks its so cool to put up and he loves helping. It has AC and heat and is comfortable even here in the humidity of VA summers. The only drawback is mine doesnt have a bathroom, but I think that adds to the "roughing it" The only thing I hate about them is the quality. You can get a nice used one for $5K if you look around. Save your money for an AS in the future. I plan on keeping mine, and I wanna find a vintage AS as a project, so the pop-up will keep me camping in the meantime. I have a corny dream of fixing one up and touring the country for a summer when my son is old enough to appreciate it. With $20K, you could have both a camper and a fixer...but since you cant keep it at your house, I dont know where you would work on it. Sorry for rambling....I usually just lurk around here in the shadows, but this was getting a little one-sided, but then again, this is the Airforums.....and you did ask about a pop-up....how dare you!!
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Old 11-06-2008, 07:17 PM   #26
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Of course the fact that you are asking the question on the Airstream forum tells us the answer you want to hear!
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:14 PM   #27
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We delayed the gratification and went from camping in the SUV straight to AS. AS was the only choice as we weren't going to settle. Buying something else sooner just to make do would have delayed acquiring the AS.
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Old 11-06-2008, 08:32 PM   #28
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My 2 cents:
We, 2 adults and 3 preteens, currently camp in in a small popup, although ours does have a wet bath.
Currently looking to upgrade to an vintage Airstream Globe Trotter, Safari or the cats meow a World Traveler, we spend 4 to 10 weeks at a time camping with no agenda.

I would like to upgrade for the following reasons.
Can pull over to sleep and eat without setting up, especially nice when its raining. Also save's on hotel bills, with 3 kids I find I can only get in 600 miles a day and after the kids have been in the car all day they want nothing to do with setting up, they want to play.
It takes only 15 minutes to set up but add the time it takes to make beds, get dinner ready, kids ready for bed, unpacking and packing things back up to be ready to go in the morning, then packing up the trailer for the morning haul a hotel is much easier. Of coarse once you get to where your going this is no longer an issue except for having to put the dinner table up and down for sleeping.
If its humid out everything gets damp, and if it rains for more than a few days in a row everything starts to stink because you can't dry things out. We go through a lot of the those little disposable dehumidifier thingies.
Use a lot of propane if you need furnace all day and night and the canvas is very difficult to putaway when it gets really cold, 45 deg and below.

If your going to be camping on weekends and a week here and there a popup is a good choice, popups are smaller yet can sleep more people and you can store it at your house a big plus in my book.
If you do go with a popup I would encourage you to get one that you do not need to use the dinette for sleeping.

Our camper is ready to go at all times, we keep a few days supply of nonperishable food and water in the camper, MRE's are great for this, we store the linens and food in 18 gal rubbermaid totes then use the totes for our clothes when we get to our destination.

FYI: A Coleman Xtreme Cooler using dry ice if possible is a must have item for a popup.
Ultra pasturized or UHT milk if unopened will last 3 times longer unrefridgerated than regular milk, it will also last 3 times longer in the fridge, up to 50 days this is nice if you have little kids and they don't much care if it's served room tempurature or cold. My point being it lasts much longer in a cooler than regular milk.

Go for the popup I bought mine used in 2001, a 2000 Dutchmen Voyager 1008D, shower, cassette toilet, hot water heater, 3 way fridge, furnace, sleeps 6 for $2600.00.
Parts needed: Fan for roof vent or whole vent fan assembly, vented catalytic heater.
My blog for the 1975 Tradewind restoration, Has not been updated in a while but I am still working on it.
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:20 PM   #29
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If I may jump in, I would tend to be against an Airstream even though I own one. All the previous postings tend to point out the positive virtues of an Airstream, which I agree with. But this is a case of a young family, probably workers in a horrible economy.

The decision should consider how much the unit will actually be used. A decision to buy an Airstream wouldn't make sense if it was only going to be used 2 or 3 weeks a year. Most young families maybe couldn't even do 10 days. If a very usable pop up can be had for $10,000, that extra $10,000 plus storage fees and associated hassles may not be worth it. What about insurance and maintenance costs as well? Bottom line, if the young family has money and the time, then yeah, the Airstream is great. But just the fact that the writer mentioned budget limitations suggests this may not be the case.

I'm retired and bought a new Airstream two years ago. This has only made sense because we use the thing 8 weeks a year. If I was in 2 week mode, I'd own a pop up.
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:59 PM   #30
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2003 22' International
Waverly , Pennsylvania
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When I started camping after a ten year hiatus I purchased a pop-up. We never had a bad experience during the time we camped in the pop-up.

Advantages (in general and compared to tent camping) to a pop-up:

1. Pop-up could be towed by our vehicle and was very easy to tow and maneuver.

2. Pop-up was fairly inexpensive.

3. Pop-up provided a convenient place to store all our camping equipment and there was surprisingly plenty of storage space. When I was in my tent camping phase, all of our equipment was stored in the utility room. Some of this equipment was multifunctional and an inventory had to be made before each trip to ensure everything was packed.

4. Pop-up provided dry, warm and/or cool (heater and air conditioner) respite from unfavorable weather.

5. Pop-up provided ample comfortable sleeping areas. Although lacking floor space, pop-ups in general have large capacities for sleeping. There was also plenty of seating and table space when needed. Our pop-up had a king and a queen end, a dinette and a wrap around (U-shaped) dinette. Both dinettes converted into beds. This is truly one of the main advantages of a pop-up over an Airstream. When we had our pop-up we often didn’t even have to use the dinette beds.

6. Pop-up was small enough to be easily stored.

Perceived Disadvantages to a pop-up:

1. If it rained during a trip the pop-up had to be set up and allowed to dry.

2. Although there was a lot of storage space, getting to things required shuffling things around to get to the storage bins. Pop-ups don’t have much drawer space and virtually no cabinet (typical kitchen type) space. Because of this lack of drawers and cabinets everything has to be stored in bins and the bins are usually stored under the seating areas. This really only becomes a problem if you are taking a trip with multiple destinations within a short period of time. It can get really monotonous setting up and breaking down every day.

3. Set up and break down of the camper only took about 15 minutes. Actual set up and break down of the campsite probably took 1 hour and 1.5 hours respectively. This takes into account that I did all of the work, perhaps it would take much less time with someone helping.

4. Our pop-up didn’t have a bathroom, though we did have a porta potty.

5. Very small refrigerator. Ours was a 3-way so that did provide a level of convenience. Since the refrigerator is so small you have to pack perishables in coolers and replenish the ice.

6. There isn’t much security in a pop-up as it’s pretty much a tent on a platform. This became an issue for me only after a service tech made a comment which made me aware of the vulnerability of tents and pop-ups.

I bought our Airstream 5 years ago and we have enjoyed it tremendously and look forward to many more years of camping in it.

Advantages of an Airstream (many of the advantages would apply to any travel trailer):

1. Easy to tow.

2. Set up and break down are easy.

3. Our Airstream has a lot of cabinet and drawer space. This allows things to be organized, easily accessible and easy to find.

4. Airstream has a bathroom, larger capacity water tank and waste holding tanks.

5. Our Airstream has a very nice kitchen area with a larger capacity refrigerator.

6. Feeling of security being in a hard-sided camper.

Perceived Disadvantages of Airstream ownership:

1. Fairly expensive.

2. Had to purchase a tow vehicle so that had to be factored into the expense of Airstream ownership for me.

3. Airstreams hold their value. Especially if you buy a used camper as you will bypass the new vehicle depreciation.

4. Not much sleeping capacity. This may become an issue as your children grow up and require more sleeping room. It may also become an issue as they get older and want to invite friends along.

5. Storage of your camper may be a problem. I store mine on a driveway extension and don’t cover it during the winter (though it is often covered in snow!). Having direct access really helps when getting ready for a trip and when unpacking.
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:17 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Jezibels View Post
BTW the tow vehicles we have are an 06 Chevy Trailblazer EXT and an 03 Lincoln Navi. Are those sufficient for a 25' or less? Im sure a dealer will tell me they are!
Hi, "Can we tow it?" "Yes we can." [Bob the Builder]
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Old 11-07-2008, 07:01 AM   #32
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We bought a new popup in the 80's and camped in it for 17 years. We enjoyed that trailer very much. It did get smaller over the years as our dog family grew. We bought the Airstream because it was time to move up. We love the Airstrem life very much, but also love the times we had with the popup.


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Old 11-07-2008, 09:27 AM   #33
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If I were in your exact shoes, in these economic times, I'd probably opt for an inexpensive, used pop-up. Our Coleman Williamsburg could sleep 6 comfortably, and had a hot-water shower- all for $1k, about 10 years old. Also cheaper to tow, cheaper to store (in your garage), cheaper to repair, cheaper tires, etc. They are definitely more like "Camping" than an AS, which is more like having a small mobile home. Your priorities will give you the answer. Either way, you will have fun!
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Old 11-07-2008, 09:42 AM   #34
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All kinds of good opinions here so I won't rehash what's been said. But please let us know what you decided on.
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:43 AM   #35
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Thumbs up Airstream or PUP?

All posters to my thread:

We are leaning 90% towards A/S, my DH's motto "Go Big or Go Home", we know we love to camp, and security is the big issue with our tots, we will buy in a year or two and explore adding on a 3rd car garage with a 10' door opening, then we can keep it inside and @ home.

We love all the advice you guys contributed and I printed this up for the A/S file!! I will post the new addition as soon as we buy it....oooo I cant wait!

Ill be on here everyday, this forum is really large, Ive been swept up in it for hours at a time! Thanks for welcoming us into your community! I feel at home here!
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Old 11-08-2008, 10:41 AM   #36
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I would try both... rent or borrow a pop-up for a camping trip and then try a travel trailer the next time. Most larger rv places rent units, I would try both before buying. While the travel trailer most likely will not be a Airstream, it'll give you a good feel for both.
Plus it will also give you an idea of what features you want and like.

good luck.
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Old 11-08-2008, 11:36 AM   #37
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Welcome to the Forums,

I have never owned a pop-up so I might be a little biased.
My parents had hard sided trailers.

Towing is a major factor to be considered.
The trailer weight should not be over the tow vehicle's towing limit.
The size/weight of an Airstream does dictate the size of the TV.

One major factor to consider is that an Airstream trailer properly maintained will last for many many years.

How many 20 or 30 year old pop ups do you see on the road?

What ever your choice may be, enjoy RVing.

It is a great lifestyle.
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Old 11-08-2008, 01:04 PM   #38
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I have a pop-up as well as an airstream. I find the pop-up more of a pain to set up, and not soundproof enough at loud campgrounds. You should find some good deals right now on airstreams.
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:23 PM   #39
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With a young family I'd go for the pop-up! We started with a pop-up in 1963 ("Florida Camper"), graduated to a Starcraft in 1968, and then, in succession, bought two more Starcraft, with the last one being a Starcraft Galaxy - which I sold in 1988. We took the Galaxy on a 15,000 mile, 3-month tour around the U. S. and parts of Canada with three kids, accompanied by the Grandparents who were towing another Starcraft. I wouldn't trade those years with the pop-ups for anything! We frequently made overnight stops enroute to new places, and yes, we put it up and took it down in quite a few thunderstorms. The answer was "technique" - as we never once had wet mattresses. The only "drying out" took place when we returned home and prepped the rig for the next outing. We often, via the use of an attached "add-a-room" were accompanied by two or three additional kids or an additional couple and child. We were also heavily dependent on a top-notch Eureka screen room - which is where the wife and I took refuge after putting the kids to bed. We had a Norcold AC/DC chest-type refrigerator/freezer that travelled in the back of the Suburban until we arrived at our campsite. It then sat outside the camper door on a low portable steel table, plugged into available A/C. The interior iceboxes that were so common in early pop-ups were virtually useless for anything other than dry storage. Once the two older kids got the hang of things we could set up or take down the whole rig in less than 10 minutes - consistently - and the kids loved doing it! Truth is, if I was feeling a bit worn out after driving all day, I often sat back and had a beer while they worked. During this period I had the opportunity to buy a small 19 foot travel trailer real cheap. We may have camped in it once or twice before the wife and kids mutinied and refused to go anywhere with it. They felt closed-in and somewhat claustrophobic. When fully rigged out, we carried two 17' Grumman canoes on the Suburban and five bicycles on the Starcraft - plus lifejackets, a 3 hp Evinrude outboard, a trolling motor, canoe paddles, and miscellaneous additional gear. We frequently camped at Fort DeSota Park in Pinellas County - where we had the distinction of being the first pop-up camper to ever camp there. Other frequent campgrounds were Juniper Springs in Ocala National Forest, Myakka River State Park in Sarasota, Florida, as well as many different campgrounds in the Smoky Mountains and along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Now that we're retired the Airstream is definitely the way to go - but I seriously doubt that you would regret starting out with a pop-up.

2003 GMC 3500 D/A, CC, LB, 4x4 and 2000 Airstream Excella 30. WBCCI 7074
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:54 PM   #40
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I don't disagree with any of the advice given here - aren't these folks great. Just ask and they share life experience. I have had both and went long distances with both. In my view, it is a majr lifestyle choice. Pop-ups are all that has been described but still reminded me of camping in a tent. Being in an Airstream is like being at home. Then there is the pride factor.

Not mentioned is the tire size. Pop-ups have smaller tires for the most part and tend to overheat and have flats more often. I personally love the 70s models which are available for very reasonable prices and can be refurbished personally or professionally.

If you have the tow vehicle, get the Airstream. What's the question anyway? I know the answer is obvious to everyone on the forums. We're affected by the disease.

Good luck.
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1973 Excella 500
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