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Old 03-17-2007, 02:30 PM   #1
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Location: Hernando, Florida, USA
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Looking for used pop-up camper and would like some recommendations for name brand ? We have had it all, class a and c, 5th wheel and slide ins. We are scaling down again to lighten the load for obvious fuel consumption reasons.

Any suggestions will be appreciated.
We live in Florida and travel to western U. S. and Canada frequently.

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Old 03-17-2007, 02:30 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Hernando, Florida, USA
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Looking for used pop-up camper and would like some recommendations for name brand ? We have had it all, class a and c, 5th wheel and slide ins. We are scaling down again to lighten the load for obvious fuel consumption reasons.

Any suggestions will be appreciated.
We live in Florida and travel to western U. S. and Canada frequently.

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Old 03-17-2007, 04:32 PM   #3
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Location: Cumming, GA
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Wow Cathy, this could be classified as a loaded question and kick off a brand war.

But since you asked I'll be happy to express my opinion. Depending on the age of the pre-owned unit you go for my recommendation would be either Coleman (up to 2004 or 2005, can't remember for sure) and then Fleetwood after that. Many will warn you of the one-piece ABS roof but I never had a hint of problem with mine. In fact, I loved the sound of rain falling on that roof. It was unique and soothing. Just be sure you inspect the ones you look at closely and make sure there are no hints of cracks.

I had a 2000 Coleman Niagara. Two king size bunks, a cassette toilet/shower, 13" wheels, 13.5k A/C, front storage compartment, swing-down galley and a well designed-robust roof lift mechanism.

The Niagaras built since the Coleman name was dropped have changed considerably. The hard sides are much taller and allow the galley to stay in a fixed position as well as make room for a cabinet mounted microwave. If I were still in the pop-up market I would be very interested in this one.

The Niagara is one of the heavier pop-ups. My 2000 model was rated at around 3,500lbs. We could put a lot of stuff in that front storage compartment. Even though I pulled it with an F-250, I found that a sway bar was still a necessity.

Good luck on your hunt.
'06 F-550 PSD Tow Boss
2012 37' Majestic by New Horizons
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:37 AM   #4
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Thank you JPerry for your input...very helpful re the new Niagaras. I did a lot of reading throughout the pop-up forum last nite and think we have jumped the gun. Guess we are staying with our slide-in truck camper for at least one more year. Our mode of travel isn't conducive to a pu I'm afraid. Sometimes staying in a place one nite, sometimes a week. Where we stay in Alberta has very high winds and rain come on you in a heartbeat.

We'll look again next year as I think our western trips will be a thing of the past after this year.

Thanks again.

Cathy and
Husband/friend, Larry
and mini Schnauzer/friend, Gretchen
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Old 03-20-2007, 07:30 AM   #5
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I too would recommend Coleman, partly because of the resale value ~ I've heard they hold their value a little better than some other brands. We had a Jayco and had a number of issues with it, don't know that I would recommend that brand.
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Old 03-20-2007, 03:24 PM   #6
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Howdy , and welcome to iRV2.

I have been watching this for a few days, I don't suggest what folks get simply because you never know. I will say that in 1998 My wife andI bought a New Coleman Bayside. Great camper it was the second largest in the fleet. We didn't want the shower simply because we had already decided that most of our camping would be done with Electric, and water on the site. I even made a hose for the sink so I didnt have to dump the blue tank when we camped and had sewer. The camp grounds had showers so we had no trouble. My brother in law had a shower and toilet in theirs and it seemed way to small to realy use. We put a porta pottie in ours and if I realy needed a shower and none were around we had a outside shower. As long as it wasn't cold you slipped on your swim suit took a nice hot shower then went inside to do the personal things. After 6 years of the pop up in wind storms, rain and great times we decided we needed a better way to take the gold wing along instead of me driving the bike and the wife pulling the pop up and went to a small toy hauler which was great after a year we found a great deal on a bigger unit and got everything back on our old one we moved up to our latest 35' toy hauler. The old pop up was 26' when the beds were out and it even had a slide and we never had a roof problem. If you look at one with AC on it you can see if it sages, I believe the dealer told me once they hange a stringe from front to back and measuer the distance from the string to the lowest point on the roof . More the 1 1/2" it needs replaced. I must admit the first night in the camper and the wind started blowing hard I stayed awake worried but after that I new i had no worries it was a great camper. My wife tells the story that it was the most expensive pottie training tool in the world. You see my Granddaughter who was 2 at the time wan't tp go camping with us. She was told that Grandpa dose not change diapers when camping so when she didnt need them any more she could go with us.... She went to her room and came back out with training pants on. She never wore a diaper again and still loves camping with us.

All I can say is decide what you want to do.That will help decide what you need, IE air conditioning, heat, a sink and fridge. remember all these great things add weight so next you need to decide if your truck can handle it. And I always say if you can find a RV show that has a lot of pop ups and go look at them almost side by side. One thing we learned a long time ago is cosmetics help resale. Once you all have made up your mind what you need and want its time to get it and enjoy.

Good luck and let us know if you have any other questions
Jim (SSG US Army Ret.) and Cheri (TSG Phx ANG Ret.) Mesa, AZ
2006 Dodge Ram 2500 HD Mega Cab Diesel | 2005 Honda Goldwing | 2006 35' Dune Chaser 5th Wheel
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Old 03-20-2007, 06:03 PM   #7
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Cathy, you might want to check out the "A-Liner's". They are great for use when you only have two people traveling.
<font color=MediumVioletRed>Ron & Barbara

'01 Coleman Fairview W/GlideOut
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Old 03-21-2007, 06:53 AM   #8
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We had a 99' Coleman we used for 6 seasons (225 nights). For towing we were getting about 16 MPG with a V-6 SUV. Now with our 24' hybrid we are getting 11-12 MPG with a V-8 SUV. So yes, your gas milage will be much better. I was 100% happy with our Coleman. As far as the roof problem, they started to install a inside roof brace starting with the 99' model year. Before that the larger 12' box Colemans had some roof sag problems. From last word I hear about 10% of the 96-98 with a the 12' box had problems with their roofs. So next year if you decide to trade down to a used pop-up, just keep that in mind.
Jim, Diane & Robert ~ NE. OH.
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Old 03-29-2007, 03:19 PM   #9
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The wife and I started out in a tent and moved up to an A-liner. While back in the day the A-liner was limited for inside space the set up wa very simple and it was hardsided all around. Another plus is that they are very light we had a 16 or 18 footer that didnt break the 1000 lb mark. Well not till the wife loaded it anyway

If we ever decide to downsize back to the pop up genre we will first look A-liner
How many famlies can say they ate 3 meals together in the same day. We do every time we go camping.

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Old 04-03-2007, 09:55 AM   #10
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We bought a Jayco and had nothing but problems with it. Wished we had purchased a Coleman!
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Old 04-05-2007, 05:40 PM   #11
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The very first camper that my DW and i bought was a new 2000 Starcraft Galaxcy 12 ft box 2 king beds very nice floor plan Great camper would recomend them to anyone anytime

2006 30 ft Cherokee TT
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Old 05-20-2007, 05:00 PM   #12
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I bought a 98 model Coleman Westlake brand new. I was one of the 10% with the saggy roof problem but Coleman replaced it quickly under warranty ( of course).

on wood--no major problems, as of yet. We did have a lift system problem that occurred due to a rats nest being built around the gearing and getting wrapped around it. Took a couple of adjustments to finally get it functioning right...

I would buy another one today...Mine still has the new smell to it..
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:52 AM   #13
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Here in Wisconsin, the dealers all compare thier model to the Jayco's. There must be a reason for it.

2000 Dodge Dakota
1406 Jayco Dual axle
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