Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Larry and I are vaguely considering a (for us) significant purchase (and no, it's not a dishwasher - why would Larry BUY a dishwasher when he managed to MARRY one?).  A friend brought to our attention a used pop-up camper for sale nearby; and, given that I have recently converted to being a person-who-camps, we're actually discussing it.  Well, I'm discussing it, anyway...

"Look, Larry!  It sleeps 6!"
"And, oh, a little sink!  Isn't that nifty?"
"Honey, it's a tent on wheels - no more, no less.  And we have a tent already."
"But it's cute!"
"$2900 dollars is never cute."

Now, while I doubt that my readership encompasses a large camping demographic, I am nevertheless throwing this question out there: Is a pop-up camper worth the money?  I'm thinking less mud on the sleeping areas, less chance of things getting wet in a storm, and - oh, look - a dinette table to play cards on while we listen to the pitter patter of raindrops on the roof...

Also?  It's cute.

[Camper image: Squidoo.com]


  1. As a person that does not camp and will probably never be converted into a person that does, I say stick with the already paid for tent and spend the $2900 on a new dishwasher!

  2. Beth, that had better be one heck of a dishwasher!

  3. I want the pop up camper. Depending on the camper that is a pretty good deal. There is something to be said for not walking where you are about to sleep.

  4. Sorry, I won't be much help. As a child we were forced to go camping and as an adult I swore that I would NEVER do it. Spend the money on a dishwasher.

  5. I'm not a big camper, but I think if you're gonna spend almost $3K on something, it needs to sleep six COMFORTABLY. And this won't. Ever. And the minute it gets stifling and you realize you can't reach any of the nearby flaps because there are people sleeping in the way, all romanticism will go straight out... oh, no, wait... you can't open the window.

    In other words, I vote dishwasher.

  6. I have fond, nostalgic memories of camping in our family's tent trailer as a kid. We bought a huge, used one and took it on dozens of weekend trips, as well as a few 2-weekers through several states. We eventually sold it (resale! Get some money back!) but many years later my folks bought another, smaller one for their own little get-aways. If you're gonna keep camping, you would do well to consider it.

    +When it rains, your sleeping surface won't flood.
    +Set-up is quicker than a tent: each of us (2 kids, 2 adults) had "our" jobs and we could get that bad boy set up in the dark in under 10 minutes.
    +Doesn't matter how lumpy/rocky/hard the ground is, as long as the wheels are level!
    +You can move from place to place without having to completely un/repack all your stuff.
    +You can keep the tent...for the kids!

    -That money could buy/repair a few oft-used house appliances, as others have noted
    -Storing one of these in your driveway or backyard always feels a little tacky to me.

  7. I say no to the pop-up, too. Been there, done that. If you're going to spend that much, get a regular pull behind camper. At least, it's already set up when you get where you're going. I hated having all that work ahead of me at the campsite.

  8. Dishwasher. A pop-up camper was my husband's idea of something that might be fun. Turns out, his camping trips when he was a kid totally turned him off to camping with his own children.

    So glad we didn't make the purchase.

  9. I think $2,900.00 would get you many nights in a pretty decent hotel!

  10. Get one of those big travel trailers that sleeps 8 and has it's own dishwasher.....
    Or spend the money on a new dishwasher for your house and spend the rest of the money on yarn.

  11. Almost $3K for a pop-up tent that you'll use maybe 3 weeks a year? I'm with Larry on this one. Also, if you don't have a garage it will literally rot in your driveway.

  12. I'm mostly with Jillybean.

    Go ahead, buy 2 brand new really good dishwashers plus extra insurance if they collapse within a year and you will be less stressed out when going camoing with only your tents ;)

  13. Rick's family had a pop up trailer. They liked it a lot. They went to Ocean City every year with it. They stayed in a nearby campground. I think they bought it after Hurricane Agnes carried their tent away (they were camping next to the Shenendoah). However, they were only sleeping 4 or 5. They did not have a garage but lived on a cul de sac. I think figuring out where to keep it would be harder for you?

  14. You and Larry talking about buying stuff sounds a lot like me and Mr. D.
    I say you get the pop up and the rest tent it!

  15. @Faith - Guess that means you're not volunteering your driveway?

  16. How much are you willing to pay?

  17. We thought about the pop-up but went with the bigger hard-sided trailer. If we weren't going to be comfortable, we figured we wouldn't use it so it actually was more frugal to spend more. We used to do a pretty good number of weekend trips (Fri night, Sat, come home Sunday). However, as the kids are now older, we've only gotten out once this year.

    If you can borrow one for a "test drive", you might find it works well, or not. Would be lovely to be able to try before you buy.

  18. I'm not sure ... my husband grew up in a family that hit every KOA campground in the U.S. ... a family of six in a pop-up trailer. Today, just the IDEA of camping makes him shudder.

    He's not a happy camper ... Marriott points for us;-)

  19. My husband has very fond memories of his years in a pop-up and there were 5 kids. We just did the great-big tent thing--and now we kind of just do the Doubletree thing.

  20. We had one when the kids were little and I really enjoyed it. I was NOT camping on the ground. Hope you enjoy the camper.