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Merrykalia

Appalachian (apple at chun) Mtn in the GREAT SW Va

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Posted: 07/29/19 05:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We LOVED our little popup and pulled it behind our Subaru for years. My opinion on this and would give it to anyone who asked:
1. Get a fridge. If it can be accessed without lifting the top, that's much better than not, but those are few and far between.
2. Don't get one with a bathroom/shower. Use a porta-potty for nighttime use ONLY. (The less water, sewer you have to deal with, the better. Available at Walmart for less than $75).
3. Used is more economical and if they don't like it, someone else has taken the depreciation hit.
4. A small popup, about 10 years old, but taken care of shouldn't cost too much - less than $5k.
5. A small popup with go almost anywhere and be pulled by most anything that has a tow package on it.
6. They are just FUN!

Craigslist in Pittsburgh

In Wooster


2017 Ford F350 Crew Cab 6.7L 4x4 DRW

Rick Jay

Greater Springfield area, MA

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Posted: 07/29/19 05:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Shearwater,

I don't wish to rain on anyone's parade, but minivans are generally NOT good tow vehicles. I learned that 17+ years when we were looking to get into RV'ing and trying to find something to tow with our Odyssey. It quickly became apparent the Odyssey wouldn't tow what we needed for a family of 6. The family you're talking about is a family of 5, so perhaps a bit less of a problem.

Most minivan's have a published tow capacity of about 3,500 lbs. However, that is with a single driver of average weight (150 lbs. or so). Add people into the van and all of that comes off the tow capacity. Add cargo and that comes off the tow capacity. When you connect the trailer to the minivan, the tongue weight is added to the minivan. The minivan's are front wheel drive, so putting the weight of a trailer on the back unloads the weight from the front of the minivan, lessening the traction at the front wheels.

I'm not saying it can't be done, but you have to look at the weights very carefully. Seeing as they're already tent campers, they might be able to work with a minimalist solution. We knew we were going to be "sissy campers" and wanted more conveniences than anything could offer us that was safely towable by our Honda. As an engineer, I tend to read specs and limits and take them to heart and I didn't feel comfortable carrying my family in a vehicle which was operating near, or over, some of the specified limits of the vehicle. It might work fine 99% of the time, but during an evasive maneuver, it might make the difference between avoiding an accident and causing an accident.

If they do go through with this idea, they should also investigate to see if they can add an auxiliary transmission cooler for their minivan. Honda made one for our Odyssey as part of their "tow package". I think that's a prudent step for any vehicle which will be towing.

Don't get me wrong, minivans are GREAT. But they are NOT great at towing anything of substance.

Oh, by the way, I HOPE they don't go as overboard as we did. We started out looking for something we could tow with our Odyssey and ended up with our Class A which tows our Odyssey behind. We've been thrilled with THAT solution for all of these years, but it did cause us to adjust our budget upward just a little bit!!! LOL [emoticon]

Good Luck,

~Rick


2005 Georgie Boy Cruise Master 3625 DS on a Workhorse W-22
Rick, Gail, 1 girl (22-Angel, Lexi96.org), 1 girl (17), 2 boys (19 & 16).
2001 Honda Odyssey, Demco Aluminator tow bar & tow plate, SMI Silent Partner brake controller.


SoundGuy

S Ontario

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Posted: 07/29/19 06:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Shearwater wrote:

I have family members (nephew, wife, twin 5 year old boys, and 10 year old girl) who have become interested in getting a pop-up trailer for their minivan.

3. What other factors should they consider?


Their minivan's towing capacity. They should tow nothing bigger than a 12 footer, no front trunk, no dinette slide - a popup that weighs around 2000 lbs dry and loaded for camping no more than ~ 2800 lbs. Good examples in the used market would be Fleetwood / Coleman Sun Valley or Tacoma and the Jayco 1207.

RickLight

Washington

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Posted: 07/29/19 09:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I owned a Coleman Taos for 20 years and passed it on to family.

Taos is an 8' box, so all it had was a sink, heater, table, some lights and a stove. As ex-backpackers with little kids we thought the heater would be priceless. As it turns out the battery wouldn't run it for more than a few hours. Simply having a secure roof and a place to store all the camping gear turned out to be the best part. Yeah, I'd do it again.

Having the stove that moved outside was so great we made sure our new 5er had the same thing.

No bathroom or fridge didn't bother us till getting up in the night was physically hard. A week in it was about our limit, but we rarely had a chance to do anything more anyway. The Coleman came with a really good cooler that kept a block of ice for 3-4 days.

We towed this 1600lb trailer with a 1999 Subaru Legacy and then an Outback. Almost anything could do the same.


Rick,
2019 Grand Design Reflection 150 273MK
2015 Ford F350 Lariat Powerstroke
PullRite Superglide

dodge guy

Bartlett IL

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Posted: 07/30/19 12:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Get a nice used one for around $2-3k. You can get them with AC and a fridge. They also can be had with toilets and showers, but then you are getting up there in weight!

I would certainly buy used in their shoes, especially if they aren’t sure if they are going to enjoy it.


Wife Kim
Son Brandon 17yrs
Daughter Marissa 16yrs
Dog Bailey

12 Forest River Georgetown 350TS Hellwig sway bars, BlueOx TrueCenter stabilizer

13 Ford Explorer Roadmaster Stowmaster 5000, VIP Tow>
A bad day camping is
better than a good day at work!


dodge guy

Bartlett IL

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Posted: 07/30/19 12:21pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Rick Jay wrote:

Shearwater,

I don't wish to rain on anyone's parade, but minivans are generally NOT good tow vehicles. I learned that 17+ years when we were looking to get into RV'ing and trying to find something to tow with our Odyssey. It quickly became apparent the Odyssey wouldn't tow what we needed for a family of 6. The family you're talking about is a family of 5, so perhaps a bit less of a problem.

Most minivan's have a published tow capacity of about 3,500 lbs. However, that is with a single driver of average weight (150 lbs. or so). Add people into the van and all of that comes off the tow capacity. Add cargo and that comes off the tow capacity. When you connect the trailer to the minivan, the tongue weight is added to the minivan. The minivan's are front wheel drive, so putting the weight of a trailer on the back unloads the weight from the front of the minivan, lessening the traction at the front wheels.

I'm not saying it can't be done, but you have to look at the weights very carefully. Seeing as they're already tent campers, they might be able to work with a minimalist solution. We knew we were going to be "sissy campers" and wanted more conveniences than anything could offer us that was safely towable by our Honda. As an engineer, I tend to read specs and limits and take them to heart and I didn't feel comfortable carrying my family in a vehicle which was operating near, or over, some of the specified limits of the vehicle. It might work fine 99% of the time, but during an evasive maneuver, it might make the difference between avoiding an accident and causing an accident.

If they do go through with this idea, they should also investigate to see if they can add an auxiliary transmission cooler for their minivan. Honda made one for our Odyssey as part of their "tow package". I think that's a prudent step for any vehicle which will be towing.

Don't get me wrong, minivans are GREAT. But they are NOT great at towing anything of substance.

Oh, by the way, I HOPE they don't go as overboard as we did. We started out looking for something we could tow with our Odyssey and ended up with our Class A which tows our Odyssey behind. We've been thrilled with THAT solution for all of these years, but it did cause us to adjust our budget upward just a little bit!!! LOL [emoticon]

Good Luck,

~Rick


Not sure now, but the Chrysler/Dodge vans are rated at 3800lbs with a full load in the van. A smallish PuP will be fine behind a properly equipped minivan.

SoundGuy

S Ontario

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Joined: 02/11/2015

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Posted: 07/30/19 12:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RickLight wrote:

I owned a Coleman Taos for 20 years and passed it on to family.

Taos is an 8' box, so all it had was a sink, heater, table, some lights and a stove.


The Taos 8' box can work just fine for a single adult or adult couple but is awfully tight for a family of 5 and offers no advantage that a 12' non-slide model like a Fleetwood Sun Valley will offer - FAR more interior space, 2 dining areas, 2 king beds, a fridge that can be accessed with the roof down, and easily towable by a minivan. JMO but it's a no-brainer when we're talking about a family of 5 using the camper.


2012 Silverado 1500 Crew Cab
2014 Coachmen Freedom Express 192RBS
2003 Fleetwood Yuma * 2008 K-Z Spree 240BH-LX
2007 TrailCruiser C21RBH * 2000 Fleetwood Santa Fe
1998 Jayco 10UD * 1969 Coleman CT380

RickLight

Washington

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Posted: 07/30/19 01:01pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are a family of 4 and were comfortable.

Our original TV couldn't pull anything more, loading the family and gear actually overloaded it.

SoundGuy

S Ontario

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Joined: 02/11/2015

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Posted: 07/30/19 05:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

RickLight wrote:

We are a family of 4 and were comfortable.

Our original TV couldn't pull anything more, loading the family and gear actually overloaded it.


Great that a Taos worked for you but the OP's nephew apparently will be towing with a minivan that can tow a non-slide 12' popup so there's little reason for them to restrict themselves to a small model like the Taos.

RickLight

Washington

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Posted: 07/30/19 07:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I say that's for them to decide.

My story is to help them make that choice.

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