Monday, April 4, 2016

Research on small Pop-Up Campers and RVs


October 2018. Our old used Coleman Toas is set up at a friends house in the woods for the last two years and doing great. We don't tow it much, but we do go for overnights there with the kids. We only take it down for the winters so it stays dry and aired out.

May 2016. Got a camper  on Craigslist for $800. It's a 1997 Coleman Toas. Canvas is almost gone, but it's waterproof. Put on new tires. Family loves it. Of course, we're using it more in the back yard then camping. Here's the post.

Summary of My Research int Pop-Ups and ultralight RVs.

  • Rent first and try out the idea of Pop-ups and small RVs first. Pop-ups are rentable, but hard to find. For big RVs, Cruise America, the main RV rental in the US. The sometimes have really good one way rentals for delivering new RVs from Chicago to all over the US. Really cheap. See:
  • Danger. Why?: RVs are like sailboats and real estate for me - dangerous avenues of potential "grass is greener' fantasy play. But they are for a reason, because they do rock! But you will use them less than you think and they will cost more than you think. I have to be careful to monitor why I become so suddenly passionate about them. What am I avoiding?
  • My favorite Pop-up: Livin Light QuickSilver 8.1 or 10 site. We've seen these new in RV stores. They are awesome for us, but pricey. But they use aluminum, no wood and little plastic. Durable, light, simple, seems worth it if used a lot, need to store outside, and can take care of it). 
  • I dream of and could actually afford used someday: A Scamp 13', fiberglass hard top. I love their bunk beds and simple layout. 5 to 10K. Photos here on Google Images. Fiberglass RV 4 here
  • I dream of and can't ever probably affordHappy Camper from California makes a great tiny RV that you can get with nothing or just beds, etc. Expensive, but this is what I wish other's would do more of! and the strange and expensive adventure Cricket camper.  

Our Wishlist

  • Simple, no need for air conditioning, heating, toilets, shower, refrigerators, or lots of plastic. We're campers who just want to get off the ground.
  • Small enough for our 2009 Subaru Forester to pull, so about 1500 lbs.
  • Sleeps four. But two are small kids and we can fit in a large full.
  • Low budget.

My Craigslist Alerts for Small Pop Up Campers

I got a free account on Craigslist and set up alerts. I get an email right when a new listing is up. This will keep me from getting fired from too much surfing during work!

Pop up campers around 1500lbs dry weight or less.

  • Heard great things from a friend who got a Prolite Plus S from this Canadian company Roulotte.
  • Livin Light QuickSilver 8.1 or 10 site.
  • Opus Camper also has the right idea, but expensive!
  • Somerset Columbia Northwest Pop-up campers from Aliner. Lots of Aluminum like Livin' Lite, but a cranked hard top, not canvas.
  • Forest River seems to have changed ownership
  • Palomino, Rockwood, Flagstaff now is owned by Berkshire Hathatway. The Palomino Pony 280 is an old small model with good reviews. The new RLT-8 is small. The old Rockwood 1640LTD is small.  Flagstaff Model 176LTD 8' box. Seen at rental places.
  • Coleman Toas #3075 or Larado 3070 (More affordable, small standard wood and plastic popup). Company folded in 2011 but the earlier years seem ok in the small models.  
  • Starcraft Starflyer 8 and 10 and 2106.
  • Jayco Jay Series Sport 8SD. 
  • Viking 1906. Seen at rental places. 
  • Fleetwood Sedona 8' box. Seen at rental places.
  • ALiner Newport and Chesapeake
  • Opus Camper. Pricey, hauls things too. 
  • Sylvan Sport. Hip, but small and expensive. 
  • iKamper roof top small tent. Not really for families, but perhaps for parents when the kids are bigger and take the entire pop up?
  • Microlite P'Up site. Only a tent with two beds.  Microlite P'up video

Hard Top Ultra Light RV Trailers

    Recommended Campgrounds

      Search Links

      RV Trader search for Palomino Pony 50 mi from Brat:|198071&sort=geo_distance%3Aasc&zip=05301&radius=50&page=1&make=Palomino|2289282&model=PONY|764846886&
      Fleetwood search

      Search Camping World for 50 miles from zip

      Search RV Trader 50 miles.|2289282&model=Pony|764846886&sort=geo_distance%3Aasc&

      Major Sites, Specs and Media



      Towing with an Subaru:

      Subie manual:

      Forum posts:

      Livin' Light debate



      RV Share site: 

      Ruby's RV in S. Maine. 207-671-2236. 55.00 per night - $330.00 per week

      Seacoast RV; 729 Portland Rd. US Route 1, Saco, ME 04072 ,(800) 718-5884

      Rent: Bow, NH 03304
      530 S. Stark Hwy, Weare, New Hampshire 03281 (888) 277-8948

      426 Middlesex Rd, Tyngsboro, MA 01879

      27 Lawnacre Rd, Windsor Locks, CT 06096

      1629 NY-7, Troy, NY 12180

      Mekkelsen RV2419 US Route 2 E. Montpelier, VT 05651
      Rents for $320 per weekend/ 3 nights.


        • Repair:
        • Bear Creek had forum discussions and canvas replacements

        Slush Links

        Vermont RV

        169 Marlboro Rd.

        Brattleboro, VT 05301

        Phone: 802-254-4881

        Fax: 802-254-3838


        We're ready to try pop-up tent camping.


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