DW and I are right at 50 and also on our own. We are on our 3rd. Coleman and love it. More then enough room for two people and the 10' box is easy to pull.
Advice: Try each type (PU, TT and motorhome) before one buy. I must add that all the people that I know that own motorhomes say that you better know how to work on them. The cost of having them fixed will eat you up.
Turn Key and DW
Pepsi, One Very Spoiled Boston Terrior
'03 Chevy 2500HD, 4X4, X-Cab, Long-Bed
'04 K-Z "Durango", 275RK ("Sunday Haus II")
Twin Kayaks, "The Ride" by Wilderness Systems
I currently own a Holiday Rambler motorhome but started with a tent, moved to a pop-up, and then bought my current motorhome. I owned a 1995 Coleman and I must say it was a great unit. I really like the Coleman product, although it is somewhat higher is price. I thought the one piece roof, solid floor and decent quality cabinets, etc were worth the extra money. Set up normally took me about 15 minutes or so once you get it down. Pulling the pop-up is also a breeze. I used my Ford Explorer with the 4 liter six cyl. engine and never had a problem. I mainly bought the motorhome so I would have access to a bathroom and also have some more "home" comfort like the couch and tv, etc. I think the pop-up will be a great step up for you before commiting to a motorhome (you know you will eventually!!!!). Find a good late model used one and use it for a few years. There are some real good deals out there if your willing to look for them. Good luck.
I have owned a MH and currently a fifth wheel. Not too up on Pop ups except I see mostly Coleman's in the Denver area. If they are made by Fleetwood, my 5'er is a Fleetwood and I am tickled pink.
My MH was also a Fleetwood. It was fine except the insurance was expensive and the mileage was pitiful! In CO, we got 5-6 mpg. It was just too expensive to drive.
If I were you I would look at pop-ups or a hard-sided travel trailer. My in-laws have a TT and love it. In Colorado the TT stays warmer on those cold mountain nights, plus you can have AC for the hot Kansas days. I think some pop-ups come with heat and AC too, just not sure.
Whatever you buy, you may want to consider used until you settle for exactly what you want. We purchased our fifth wheel in Houston. Saved us about $2,500 after travel expenses. Trailers in CO are expensive.
Frank in CO
2000 KZ Sportsmen 2205QSS
2002 F350 4X4 Crew Cab
We went from a tent to a popup and now on to a Travel trailer. We are in our 40's also but have kids and in-laws on every trip. After 2 years we got lazy and putting up the popup up or down in the rain became one of the reasons we went on to a TT. Also getting down on the knees to use the icebox was a chore. I think that you will love a popup, but should really consider if you might like to jump straight to a dofferent type. We found that when we traded in our popup to the same dealer where it was purchased that we got a fair trade, so really didn't lose considering we had used it for 2 years. So either way I don't think you can lose.
Family of 6 in KC, Missouri
2000 Suburban 6.0L 4:10 gas 2500 4x4
2002 ForestRiver Wildwood 28 ft. 26BH
McKesh Mirrors, Tekonsha Prodigy
I agree with everyone else who says you need to remember some of the problems with a popup. We had our Jayco popup with AC/Furnace, Toilet/Shower for 3 years. We started when our son was 2 yrs. old. I told my husband we must have a bathroom because I wasn't going to use the public restroom and walk a long way to the bathroom with a little one.
I agree, you need to remember if it rains you must have your popup still up to let it dry so you won't get mildew. If it rains while taking it down you have to go home and set it back up the same day.
A few things that really bugged me about the popup:
1)I couldn't set up the beds by myself.
2)I always had to wait for my husband to set up the popup when we needed to check if we had specific supplies inside of the popup. My husband had a back injury and it was difficult for him to set it up.
3) We set up our awning only one time - it was a real pain so we decided it wasn't worth it.
I wanted a TT. If we had known his F-150 - (V8) could tow a TT, we would have started with a TT! Unfortunately, the salesman let us to believe we wouldn't be able to tow anything else except a popup.
It is such a relief when it rains to know we don't have to worry about the canvas anymore. Plus, there were several times when we arrived a campground and it started to rain. Trust me, several times we had pull out the beds and try to secure the canvas in a downpour.
I really like our TT, and to have a large refrigerator/freezer to store your food is wonderful. We don't have to live out of so many coolers anymore. We just keep extra pop in the cooler outside.
We are thrilled to have a real awning now, it's so easy to set up and it provides a large amount of shade.
My personal opinon, find out what you can safely tow with your vehicle. Then, look at TT about 2,000 pounds under that specific weight. (That's what we did.) Then you won't be overloaded once you pack and stock your TT with supplies/clothes, etc.
Last week in Indiana I toured a FLEETWOOD TRAILER FACTORY. Not meaning to offend anyone with GOOD experiences with Fleetwood, but I watched them being built. WOULDN'T HAVE A FLEETWOOD, ...ANYTHING. Past forum threads attest to poor Fleetwood backups with problems also. The way they were put together, and watching the work being done was unbelieveable. The work was "shoddy", and the material was poor quality looking to me.
I also toured the JAYCO "MOTORHOME" factory 5 miles North of Middlebury, IN, 2 days later. WOW...GREAT WORK AND COMPANY. Not because I just purchased a USED Jayco "motorhome" in Feb. 2002. I went there to have what I thought a problem checked-out. The problem was correted, "no charge" and a personal tour of the factory, plus I was allowed to stay in the Jayco parking lot "with electric hook-up" all night.
I have toured 5 or 6 factories in the past couple years. Most are good quality.
Check out the CAMPING WORLD MAGAZINE WEB-SITE. There is a section on "CHOOSING YOUR TYPE OF RV". travelgirl
We just sold our pop-up and bought a travel trailer. We also started out in a tent. Our pop-up was a Jayco, and in 3 years we never had a single problem with it. We shopped around before we bought one, and in my opinion Jayco was the best camper for a reasonable price. Coleman's seemed nice, but not for the extra money they cost. We did finally get a travel trailer because we were tired of setting it up and putting it down, especially when it was raining!
Only you can really decide -- you know how you will use, how often it will be used, who will be along with you and most of all what the "real" budget is.
We started with tents (one for us and the baby and one for the girls) and after two years and very very very long and very cold night in Bodega Bay with a cranking boy on his 2nd birthday we decided if we were going to continue camping, it would have to be with better/warmer accomadations. So we started looking. We were limited by the truck that we had so we were mostly looking at smaller/lite trailers that had some room. Looked at pop-ups, but it was too much like tents and my wife wanted to be warm when she was cold and cold when she was hot!
Found a Wanderer by ThorCA. The price was right and the credit union made us a deal that cleared title on the wife's car and the TT on a 5 year note at good interest at the time with no down.
Our only regret is that while it fits the family, it doesn't accomadate extras, but we still have the tents and we stay in the TT -- the kids get the tents!
Upgraded the truck to more truck than we were looking for, but the price was right and we were on vacation so. . .
Getting ready for a 10 day trip to southeastern Utah, so we upgraded the audio/video in the F350 Crew Cab to include a DVD player with drop down screen w/ wireless headphones for the kids, stereo with 12 CD-changer for me. If I want to listen to the movie, I have surround sound that is awesome.
Have been looking at deisel pushers, but in all reality, will probably only upgrade to 5'r (money talks and while we could afford the Class A, for now 5'r would meet the need). But I am going on vacation so we will see. . . . .
We started out in a tent, years ago, before we had kids. Once the kids came along, I told the hubby that there was NO WAY I was camping in a tent with little ones. Well, the kiddies are now 11, 8 and 5. We (mostly me) decided that we wanted to start traveling with the kids, and since the truck I bought had a towing package, we were all set! Great logic there, eh? (It worked, though! ) I talked about a pop-up at first, but that didn't last long once I realized they didn't have a bathroom (never knew that before!) Also, we had decided that we were going to go to Yellowstone this summer. Well, that clinched it for me. I want FOUR SOLID WALLS between me and them bears! Also, there's places that don't even allow tents or tent campers in Yellowstone. (I also worried about our German Sheperd somehow managing to rip her way through the canvas -- she's already on anti-anxiety meds, and I don't need her wigging out while camping, and getting away on us!)
After going to a couple of dealers and shows, we finally settled on a Sportsmen 2505QSS. It's 25 feet long while driving. Once we park and slide the queen bed out the back, we've got 30 feet! It's a very cool camper and comes with four bunks up front for the kiddies (and one friend at a time). I'm glad we went with this, instead of a pop-up. I'm certain I would not have been happy having to walk to a bathroom in the middle of the night! (I know, some have toilets now, but still, it's not like in a TT). I spent many years as a kid in a truck camper and then motor home and was fairly spoiled by those experiences. The TT is perfect for now. Some day we'll upgrade, probably to a 5er. Course, we'll have to upgrade the truck at that point, too. What a shame, having to get a bigger truck!
If you have decided that a pop-up trialer fits your needs & budget the "Folding Trailers" section of this forum will give you lots of opinions and experiences about the positives & negatives of the different manufacturer's brands. This
is also a very active discussion about pop-up trailers.