Camper Newbie Pointers

8/16/18 @ 8:49 PM
ORIGINAL POST
Timmothy A
Timmothy A
USER since 5/17/09

We've tent camped for years, but we are considering buying a camper, getting tired of dealing with rain and heat in a tent.  Poked around the web, it's a bit of a foreign land.  Here's our criteria...regular hitch not 5th wheel, AC, shower, sleeps 6, not a hybrid, and it has to be as small as possible.  What are some good features to look for or bad features we should avoid?

From a practical standpoint, my main concern is electricity.  Our favorite sites are non-electric, can I still camp at non-electric sites considering I will only use the electricity for AC when needed, which is rare, and will still cook all food outside as we do now?  How long to the charged batteries last (if at all) under this premise?  Thanks

Post Your Comment
Displaying 1 to 9 of 9 Posts
9/5/18 @ 6:19 AM
Thump55
Thump55
USER since 7/19/04

That's a solid camper. Be careful though...people have problems with brand new campers too and sometimes major problems.

Just because it's new doesn't mean you don't have to watch it close. Look for any leaking, especially in the plumbing.


Post Your Comment
8/28/18 @ 11:35 AM
Timmothy A
Timmothy A
USER since 5/17/09

Ended up buying a Keystone Crossfire Bullet 2070BH.  Like the couch/bed combo and the tandem axel.  We looked at a lot of used ones, but the private used ones were priced like they were not used, just crazy.  In the end, we're keeping this puppy 10 years (I'm not a new stuff chaser, only on fish locators, LOL), so at least I can take great care of it so it lasts that long. 

I wasn't impressed with Camping World, but those comments will be posted when I have more time.  All  will say at this point is they just seem shady to me.

Post Your Comment
8/23/18 @ 7:42 AM
Thump55
Thump55
USER since 7/19/04

I think a lot of people start with tents, progress to a pop-up, but then when kids come along, many go to a hard side. That's what we did.

As mentioned, avoid any unit that has any kind of water damage. It is not worth it no matter how good the deal. Once you buy something, the same holds true: maintain/take care of it to prevent water damage at all costs.

Pop-ups with AC are great. The reasons people move from that to a hard side are: room, better bathroom/shower, no leaking canvas, much easier to store stuff and to load up for a camping trip.

If you have any specific questions, let me know.



Post Your Comment
8/22/18 @ 7:42 PM
percheye1
percheye1
USER since 6/24/01

Lots of choices in floor plans and types of campers. Sleeping 6 I assume kids so bunks are probably in order. Making the table or sofa in and out of a bed everyday to just move around can be a pain. Going the pop up or hy bred route I think you will find some with three pop out beds. After you find what model or models you like search the web. I prefer to buy from private party I find you can get more honesty and a much better price. Good luck have fun.

ps

I really enjoy my outside kitchen and it all got started with a pop up that had a stove that could be hooked up inside or attatched to the side of the camper outside. So after 3 pop ups a hybred I have a hardside with an outside kitchen, so handy!

Post Your Comment
8/21/18 @ 11:39 AM
Timmothy A
Timmothy A
USER since 5/17/09

I'm getting more interested in a pop-up that has AC.  I like the size advantage for ease of everything, but I think wifeypooh is angling towards a unit with a sofa!  I'm hoping to keep it simple.  We just need to get to a rv place and see what is out there, but not get duped into buying before we are ready.  

Post Your Comment
8/17/18 @ 12:20 PM
Esox JJ
Esox JJ
USER since 6/4/05

   Tim, you mentioned shower. There are two options for camper showers. One is what they call wet bath, which is sitting on the toilet and you spray yourself with the hose attachment. The whole bathroom gets wet. The second is a dry bath which has a small shower area with a curtain separating the shower area from the toilet and sink. The dry bath was a big concern for my wife when we bought her camper. As mentioned before your air conditioner will not run on batteries, you will need AC power. To offset that some campgrounds allow portable generators (certain hours though) so you can run air.  A Honda 2000 generator might have enough wattage to run a camper air conditioner. That is something you would need to ask the camper dealer. My wife and I camped in a tent for twenty years before getting her truck camper. I can still tow the boat with it and take it off the truck when we get to the campground.

Good luck, I hope you find something nice, JJ


Post Your Comment
8/17/18 @ 9:44 AM
dsinwi
dsinwi
USER since 1/24/02

Tim,

Based on the info you have given you are looking at a hard side. Personally, I'd be looking at used on dealer lots. There's a lot of value in used campers and buying from a dealer assures it should be in working order as well as service after the sale. I recently purchased going this route and was not seeing much in the way of savings going private party.

I'd be looking at a light weight model with tandem axel. They tow easier and track down the road better. Sounds like you will be travelling with it. Soft floors or walls are a problem. Those can be fixed if your handy but I'd avoid it personally. Slide outs are nice.

You won't be able to run A\C on battery as far as I am aware. Even if you could it would probably last about 10 minutes. In my experience, you won't get much life out of the battery, even just running lights for a few days, not to mention water pump for sink and toilet and heat if needed. Mine has fire\co2 hardwired so that's another drain on the battery. I think you will find that given the amentias a camper provides you will want to either plugin or run a genny.

Good Luck in your search.







Post Your Comment
8/17/18 @ 9:32 AM
HotPockeT
HotPockeT
USER since 3/18/11

You can run your fridge on propane when not plugged in. Your battery will last quite awhile.  Kinda screwed with a/c in non electric site.  Your outlets won't work either unless your plugged in.

Mine has a nice slide out for the kitchen/couch area that's nice on one side. My cousin bought one that has a slide out for the kitchen area also. It has flexible hose for the propane running to the stove and fridge. Needless to say it's already had a leak in the propane hose must have gotten pinched in slide out process so I personally would avoid that.

I also switched all my inside lights to LED lights. Seems to help battery life a little but still try use them as little as possible when not plugged in

Edited on 8/17/18 9:49 AM
Post Your Comment