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Old 04-27-2009, 02:04 AM   #1
IrregularPulse
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Default looking at a camper tommorrow.

Need a little advice what to look for. It's a 1978 Rockwood popup. Only $500.

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Old 04-27-2009, 03:49 AM   #2
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Depends what you want in it. Do you just want to get off the ground when you sleep, or do you want more? Chances are that for $500 the furnace might not work, nor will the fridge. That is, if it is so equipped. My first camper none of that worked either, but I didn't care. I would take a good look at the canvas. See if it is still soft and pliable, check for rips, and see if it looks as if the mice have been munching on it. Ask if the camper has ever been re-canvassed. Ask if the thing has ever leaked.

Check out the windows and screens. You don't want mosquitos getting in there when you are trying to sleep.

What kind of lifting mechanism does it have, and is it in good shape? I had to buy a rebuild kit for my camper right after I bought it because the springs kept buckling.

How's the wiring? By this I mean both the trailering wiring, and the inside wiring. Do the overhead lights work? Do you plan on using it on campsites with electric service? If so, how's the extension cord, and the DC converter, if it has one?

Does it have an awning? If so, make sure it is set up so you can see it.

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Old 04-27-2009, 04:14 AM   #3
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All good points by Bernie. Basically you have to realize that the equipment in most popups and travel trailers are crap. Even if they weren't, with time you really cant expect them to have lasted . So you'll have to figure in what you will be using it for. Is this just a mobile tent, or you really want all the amenities.

Replacement parts are expensive, but alot of the work can be done by you. You can also forgo the oem appliances and put in your own, for example the micro, and fridge. Most RV type fridges are 2way. They run on propane or electricity. If you plan to boon dock, where no power is around, you will need a propane fridge, other wise you can replace with an electric after market. The ac is another amenity you may or may not want. Sincd you live up north, you should inquire about the furnace. It runs on propane, but requires 110 , (i think ) for the fan motor.

For me, something that old, I'd just make sure the outide is not all banged up and that it opens and closes (raises/lowers) fine. And no leaks in the top and side.

One more thing, some popups donot have a shower/toilet. If it does check it for leaks etc.

Good luck. If its in fairly good shape you will have lots of fun, and you will recover the 500 fairly quickly.

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Old 04-27-2009, 12:31 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips guys.
We are really just expecting to stay dry and off the ground. I wouldn't mind tent camping if it wasn't for the sun beating on you at 5 in the morning roasting you inside. We don't expect a whole lot for $500. The add says all the electric is good inside and out and there are no leaks he can see and no evidence of leaks anywhere. The guy bought it last fall thinking he would use it but did not.
I'm hoping we're just finding a decent buy in bad economical times and not just a load of crap.
We figure this is a great way to get into our first camper and if we end up not using it often we are not out thousands of dollars.

I'll post back tonight after looking at it or tomorrow morning from work.

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Old 04-27-2009, 12:45 PM   #5
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Like to hear more on this topic! My wife and I would love to have something easily tow able. I don't know much about pop-ups but guessing they are the most economic way to go? How many can most pop ups sleep and can you get toilet / showers in them?

Oh and irregular, post pictures up once you get it especially if you plan on renovating.

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Old 04-27-2009, 01:01 PM   #6
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The only reason I got out of the tent and into the pop-up was because it was a real PITA when the kids were little to pack all the baby stuff. With the pop-up we could keep a lot of the stuff in there, thus making it less of a pain. The only reason I upgraded to a new one was because my old Steury pop-up was heavy. It was the only double-axle pop-up I've ever seen.

Aleforge, you can get pop-ups with showers/toilets, but they are the higher-end ones, and are hard to find used. I just get up and make the walk to the pits, but I have friends that use the little porta-pots. And most pop-ups will sleep 6 comfortably, 8 uncomfortably.

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Old 04-27-2009, 02:06 PM   #7
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Timing is funny. Sorry to hijack, but the wife and I just got the score of a decade last week. A coworker of hers offered her a popup for just the cost of title transfer. Being the cynic that I am, I am assuming this thing is gonna be rotting away where it sat. Turns out, it was a 2004 Coleman popup (I forget the model name). It has the 2 queen sized beds and the layout dining area. AC, heat, toilet, shower, sink stove, fridge all in perfect working order. It was used a total of 4 times in the total life of ownership by the coworker.

It turns out, her husband has some heart condition, and they will not be doing anymore camping. She really likes my wife, and wanted to give it to her. I offered money not feeling good about just taking it, but they would not accept.

We are big fans of camping, and have been tent camping up until the baby was born. We did the tent gig with her once, then decided to just do cabins fron then on, but we could not bring the dog. Now we get everything we could ask for!

I am getting the SUV fit with the brake controller tomorrow, and should have the camper home by tomorrow night. The title work and registration is all done. I am so siked to get it home. There is a little work to be done, as it sat for 2-3 years, but it is almost turn key.

Again, sorry for going OT, but I found a popup thread and got excited.

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Old 04-27-2009, 02:18 PM   #8
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We planned on a popup a few years ago and ended up swinging for a 28' bunkhouse travel trailer. Nice not having to move everything around to drop the sides and move. I'd check with banks/credit unions in your area. Chances are they have some repos in house. The CU my wife worked at just took 50% of the bluebook value for a 2008 5th wheel.

For a used pop up, inspect the fabric around the bed slides and look for pinches, tears and dry rot folds. The fabric is fairly easy to patch and any awning shop can do it. Also check how easy the slides go in and out. If you have to horse the stuff around and get rough you'll eventually end up tearing the fabric.

Good luck!

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Old 04-27-2009, 02:25 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JesseRC View Post
Sincd you live up north, you should inquire about the furnace. It runs on propane, but requires 110 , (i think ) for the fan motor.
The fan should run on 12V and use the 110V - 12V converter when hooked to shore power. Other than a microwave the rest of the electrical should be 12V. Add two 6v golf cart batteries in series and you have a good power source for boondocking.
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Old 04-27-2009, 02:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_PA View Post
Timing is funny. Sorry to hijack, but the wife and I just got the score of a decade last week.
Again, sorry for going OT, but I found a popup thread and got excited.
No worries. Nice find!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmb View Post
I'd check with banks/credit unions in your area. Chances are they have some repos in house. The CU my wife worked at just took 50% of the bluebook value for a 2008 5th wheel.

For a used pop up, inspect the fabric around the bed slides and look for pinches, tears and dry rot folds. The fabric is fairly easy to patch and any awning shop can do it. Also check how easy the slides go in and out. If you have to horse the stuff around and get rough you'll eventually end up tearing the fabric.

Good luck!

We're really not looking to spend a ton, but if we can get this at this price we will go for it. We're not wanting to take on a monthly payment for anything. Plus a small popup is most likely all our Rendezvous can handle. I'll post pics tomorrow. Hopefully of a camper in great shape with money down holding for me. We are driving up to look at it tonight and well just put money down to hold it if we want it. We'll then have to get a hitch and receiver installed this week.
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