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Pahaska 07-23-2002 07:21 PM

New trailer, old club rally
My old trailer was a TrailManor hard-side, fold-down. With it, I found that I fit in best with the popup crowd. Over the past several years, I enjoyed a lot of good rallys with the North Texas PopUp Camping Association. In fact, I had already paid for a rally over the 7/19-7/21 weekend with that club when I bought my AS. Kay and I spent the weekend with them at Blanco State Park.

When I arrived at the park, the low-water bridge over the Blanco River was impassable due to high water from the monsoon that we experienced (24 straight days of torrential rain). The only way in to the campground was a partially washed-out emergency road. The water was dropping about 6" a day, so I did get to cross the bridge on the way out through about 8" of water.

The park had just trenched to put in new water lines when the rain began. Much of the park was a muddy disaster. There was a spring gurgling out of the hill behind my site and running across the road. About 1/4 of the sites were unusable because of standing water.

It took a long time before any of the popup folks would come anywhere near the AS, then, at the pot-luck, one couple asked to see my new trailer. It was like opening a floodgate ... I spent the next 90 minutes doing show and tell. Every time I locked the trailer and started back to the gathering, there came another group of people to see the AS. Everyone just loved the International AS interior. Surprisingly, a lot of the people had seen photos of the CCD interior and knew something about the architect that designed it.

I made some good friends in the popup group and I'll still attend some of their rallys. I'm going to skip a couple and get acquainted with my new WBCCI unit, but I have made plans to attend the New Years rally with the popup folks.

Pick 07-23-2002 09:04 PM

Interesting that you made this post. I find myself looking at all the pop-ups first, whenever we go camping. There seems to be some interesting configurations out there. I am amazed at all the amenities that are available on these types of trailers. No, I am not about to buy a pop up, it would cost more than my Airstream!

thenewkid64 07-23-2002 09:19 PM

When We first started to look at campers we looked at used popups. This was when we lived in WI and AC was not as much of an issue. We found most of them to be too beat and smelly for us so we looked at new ones( I was trying to keep the size down for ease of towing). Then we got a case of the might as wells. You know "if you are going to replace the carpet, you might as well spend the money and get new drapes too". My lovely wife wanted something with a bathroom and a refer. We were shocked at the prices for new popups and without telling me she started researching Airstreams. She had always liked the shiney trailers. We were able to get our 74 27' Overlander for about the same as a new popup, but as you know, what a diffrence. We have been hooked ever since. I look at the popups, or Fold Downs as the industry now refers to them, and think I would not want to have to compromise like that! So now we are on our third one and it is a motor home. Who knows where it will end.

Pahaska 07-23-2002 10:32 PM

What is funny is ...
the amount of "stuff" most of the popup folks drag along. It seems to be a contest to carry along the most bells and whistles and it literally takes most of them hours to set up and tear down.

A popup awning is sort of passe'; to be really in, you need an attached screen room and maybe a free-standing screen room to boot. Then, there must be reflective covers for the bed ends, all sorts of bikes tables and chairs, fans, etc.

I talked to one couple for a half-hour as they tore down. Then, I went to my trailer, ate a liesurely lunch, and packed up to go. I dumped my tanks and took one more pass around the campsites. They were still there, still packing. They had their trailer packed solid inside, the front trunk packed full, the bed of their Dakota packed full, two bikes on the hitch, and the rear seat (4-door truck) packed full to the ceiling. One couple, no kids!

Many years ago, I had a little popup, but I used it only to stay overnight at the soaring field. All I ever carried in it was bedding, clean undies, and some cold cereal for breakfast.

davidz71 07-24-2002 11:45 AM

One of many things I like about making the switch from tent camping during the hunting seasons is that I can keep most of my equipment in the Excella rather than having to load and unload each time I prepare to hunt. When I get home, dirty camo clothing, certain opened foods and equipment such as binoculars, weapons, arrows, ammo are taken out and put in their proper place. After camo is washed , it goes back in the trailer in a plastic container with earth scented wafers. I carry an extra 5 gals. of water in the bed of the truck as well as an 11 lb. propane tank for cooking outside the trailer or additional propane source for my 2,000-3,000 BTU Coleman catalytic heater. It seems that it is much quicker to level the trailer side to side, wedge the tires, unhook, level front to rear then go put the tree stand up than it would take to put the tent up, unload everything into and around the tent. I won't miss that at all.

davidz71 07-24-2002 11:51 AM

I'm one of those who has to have breasfast in my stomach before I do anything in the morning. My wife is exactly the opposite. I have simplified my breadfast menu when tent camping to heating of water on the portable propane stove for my morning coffee and either a bowl of cream of wheat or oatmeal. If i'm really in a hurry, instant coffee and a honeybun or pecan twirls. I seem to have more time now to make a leisurely breakfast but haven't graduated to bacon and eggs at this point.

jcanavera 07-24-2002 01:58 PM

I would dare say that to a lot of us, the pop-ups were another step in the road to our Airstream. I have appreciated every vehicle I have ever owned, from my old VW Bus, to my 20'X10' foot tent with its screen room, through two Coleman pop-up's, to my Hi-Lo, to my SOB travel trailer, and now the Airstream.

Every one gave me grief of some sort, from the old 6 volt system in the VW, setting up a tent in the darkness, putting down a wet pop-up, having a dead battery in the Hi-Lo that kept the top from going up, poor quality in my SOB travel trailer, and now a soft sided aluminum beast that makes me dread every severe storm/hail warning that passes through St. Louis.

Each step provided me something better than what I had before, albet it more space, a furnace, a toilet, air conditioning, a big shower. Every one was a learning experience and I wouldn't do it differently if I had to do it all over again.


Pahaska 07-24-2002 02:26 PM

Trailer sequence
Trailer #1 was a tiny one-ended Starcraft. I used it only at the soaring field to prevent having to make 2 round trips on weekends. I had an ice box, a hot plate, and an extension cord to steal power from the clubhouse. Pain in the butt when it was wet and I had to re-pop it at home to dry out. It served the purpose.

Trailer #2 was a Scamp 5th-wheel. Beautiful build quality, but p-poor design. Axles were loaded to the limit and tires were already overloaded with trailer empty. I had 5 years of ruined tires and bearing failures. Trailer was terribly cramped and bed was too short for my 5'9" such that either my head or my feet were always touching the sides.

Trailer #3 was a TrailManor 3124K hardside folding trailer. Towed beautifully. Acres of interior room, tiny fridge, recirculating loo, and low cabinets. It wasn't built for the miles I travel and was really falling apart after 4 years. Putting it up and down is much easier and faster than a popup (5 minutes inside, 5 minutes outside), but got to be a real pain after a couple of years. Worst feature is not being able to use the toidy and grab a coke at a rest stop without partially popping it up.

Trailer #4 is my International AS. Obvious quality, but a number of things had to be modified before I was happy with it and I'm still finding and fixing little things. By far, the best trailer I have owned.

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