This is my 2008 OFF-ROAD 14RT STARCRAFT POPUP that has all the things you have on your list.
This thing weighs in at 4200LBS loaded down and is the 12-foot box with a 5-foot front deck... I Get great gas mileage pulling this behind my 2010 F150 Truck. Usually 20-21MPG if I use Shell gasoline products ???
Dont think you will get away with pulling this with your small car.
I think you would have better luck traveling cross-country in a ALINER model instead of a POPUP. Less hassle setting up...
Here is an POPUP being towed by 2006 Ford Escape...
My Posts are IMHO based on my experiences - PM me Roy and Carolyn
RETIRED DOAF/DON/DOD/CONTR RADIO TECH (42yrs)
K9PHT (Since 1957) 146.52M
2010 F150, 5.4,3:73 Gears,SCab
2008 Starcraft 14RT EU2000i GEN
2005 Flagstaff 8528RESS
I dont have any tow info for the ALINER. It certainly is a simple setup trailer and great for two people. My co-worker used to have one and they traveled all over using it... They would quickly setup even at a rest stop. I dont know if the Air conditioner woould be a problem or not. You dont normally see one mounted but I do know you can use have an air conditioner installed.
I would imagine you are going to run into all kinds of problems with your vehicles not designed to tow much. Things like rear ends, transmissions, and suspension problems may show up real quick.
Alot of folks are doing just what you want to do. Maybe Beemerphile1 will dime in here about what you might expect pulling the ALINER trailer.
I've also been looking at pop-ups and hard side foldables, so I have some numbers. I'm looking at it from the standpoint of a single, current motorhome is now way to much for my needs although it was the way my wife wanted to travel before she died.
An ALiner Classic (which can have toilet, hot water supply, heat and A/C) will have a GVWR of 2000 pounds, although with those options you might want to have the off-road package for a 3000 GVWR. The larger Expedition is designed to a GVWR of 3500, smaller Sport is 2000, even with hot water.
Popups with similar options tend to run the same weight or heavier, as the roof is a substantial piece and the two pull-out beds add a lot of weight. Compared to a hard-side foldable, what you are buying with the pop-up is a lot of extra sleeping space outside the box, great for families, more than you might need as a couple.
"Standard" popups run about 1800-2000 pounds empty, 2800-3000 GVWR in a 10-foot box, 2000-2400 empty and up to 3200 GVWR in 12-foot, with the amenities you list, particularly hot water and optional refrigerator and furnace. This would be like the Rockwood Freedom or Jayco's J-Series (I've no information on discontinued Fleetwood and Coachmen brands). In some cases the toilet will be a porta-potti (or a cabinet dedicated to one) or cassette toilet. There are a few models that offer a shower/toilet package at this level.
In the 12-14 foot sizes, high-wall and premium models with more equipment, and sometimes slideout rooms, will be at or over 3000 empty, GVWRs 3800 to 5000 pounds. In these cases, the toilet will be either cassette, or at the top of the line and heaviest weight, RV toilet with holding tank, usually part of a shower package.
Toy-haulers run a few hundred pounds heavier (weight of the platform, and typically equipped with indoor showers), with GVWR to 5500 pounds or more, to carry the toys.
At the other end of the scale, there are "basic" popups in 8 and 10 foot boxes (Rockwood LTD, J-Series Sport) that weigh under 1500 pounds empty with GVWR in ALiner class, 2000 to 2500 pounds. But these are more like tent trailers, lacking amenities on your list. Expect cold-water plumbing with a limited supply (and maybe hand pump), ice box instead of fridge, portable stove on a counter rather than a kitchen "unit" and if you want a toilet you will carry a porta-potti, though it may not have a dedicated cabinet.
For two people, and a tow under 3000 pounds, with your list of amenities the folding hard side trailer may be a better fit, because a similar popup tends to be heavier when equipped as well. Heavier by the weight of two pull-out beds.
With respect to A/C, hard-side foldables use a 4000-8000 BTU box air conditioner mounted down in the box, venting to the side like a window unit. It may be under a seat or bed, location varies. Pop-up campers almost always use RV roof air conditioners, in the 7,000 to 11,000 BTU range. The larger space, with much of the walls being tent, requires more capacity.
My 06 Aliner LXE has all the features you mentioned with an inside shower, microwave, king bed, etc. and weighs in at only 1,700lbs loaded! It is so light and easy to tow that I pull it with a 4 cyl car. The 30 second set-up and take-down is no joke - great for people who like to move daily.
* This post was
edited 04/05/12 09:53pm by sushidog *
My Sport weighs just under 2,000 pounds loaded. The earlier ones had an aluminum skin rather than fiberglass and are lighter. Chips LXE is aluminum and is lighter even though it is larger than mine.
The a-frame trailers like Aliner, Chalet, and Rockwood/Flagstaff make great traveling units. Security of a travel trailer for overnighting in parking lots, lightweight, fast set up and fast folding. You do give up some space compared to a canvas style pop up.
Taking naps regularly prevents old age, especially napping while driving!
I'd have to agree with the 'Folder', being the bomb. It will have less room inside though. Another problem is finding one used for reasonable, at least out here.
I'd love to find one to supplement my RV stuff, but have not found one to fit the bill yet.
If you have to go with the pup, get the 8' box. It'll weight less than a 1000#s, so it won't break the Tow vehicle or the bank on fuel. Takes a bit more to set it up, but will have more room inside. Get a Portable Toilet, and forgo the AC if you have to. Outside showers can be as simple as a bag & hose set up. Just carry some extra water in the TV for showers, as the Fresh tank in the 8'ers is small (5-10 gallons).
Another good thing about the 8'er is, it doesn't need trailer brakes. Just take it slower going down the big hills, and you'll be fine. (When towing, you should slow down on the Downhill side anyway. Brakes or not.)
Oh yes, make sure you service the wheel bearings BEFORE you leave. It's a PITA to lose a bearing out on the road.
2011 Dodge 1500 C'boy Caddy
2000 Jayco C 28' Ford chassis w V-10 E450
Doghouse 36' or so Trophy Classic TT