Episode 151: The Pop Up Trailer Explored with Mary Ellen Arndorfer

We have spent this year exploring all of the different kinds of RV’s available.  Today we are looking at the tried and true Pop Up trailer. That magic box that so many of us grew up camping in and that is still out there today. On today’s show we are taking a look at t in but don’t consider for ourselves.  Maybe it’s time to reconsider this classic.  Here are some of the Pro’s and Con’s of the Pop Up trailer.he frequently overlooked Pop Up trailer. This family classic is one many of us grew up

Mary Ellen Arndorfer’s family Pop Up!

Pros

  • Big and Airy – there’s lots of sitting room, sleeping areas, site lines and airflow in a pop up.
  • Great Way to Start Towing – A Pop Up is low to the ground so you can see over it. There’s less wind interference. You get better gas mileage. You can see over it in the rear view mirror.
  • The Sleep a Crowd – The large wing beds that slide out are King sized and can hold several small children. They also have two tables that fold down for added sleeping. There’s nothing else in their size range that can hold that many people.
  • Easy to Store – They can be stored in a garage and their hard shell top allows you to stack camping equipment on top of them. You save on storage fees when you can store it at home.
  • Easy to Find in the Used Market – There are so many pop-ups in the used RV market. Because they are not as popular a choice as many other models, there are more available.
  • Light Weight – Compared to most travel trailers, the Pop Up is light weight and can be towed by most six cylinder vehicles.
  • Less Costly to Maintain – They have fewer systems so there is less to repair and maintain.
  • They fit in small spaces – Even the longest pop up is only 16′ long and can fit in most campsites.
  • They are Maneuverable – A Pop Up sits high and is easy to take on dirt roads. It can also be moved around by hand when it’s disconnected from the tow vehicle.

Cons

  • Requires Assembly – Has to be set up and broken down in any kind of weather
  • You Can’t Access things in storage – When you are driving and need something that is stored in it you can’t simply open the door and get it. It’s folded down and not easy to reach.
  • You Can’t Nap In It While On the Road – Because it’s folded down you can’t easily open it and take a nap along the way.
  • Soft Side Walls – The soft side walls require maintenance and offer less protection from wildlife and cold weather. They also need to be dried out as soon as possible when the trailer has been  closed up in the rain.
  • Kitchens are Not Great – The kitchens in pop up are low and cooking and prepping meals in them can be awkward. Most pop up users set up a camp kitchen outdoors. They also have small sinks, very little refrigerator space and poor storage.
  • Potty Situation – The porta potty in a pop up is not ideal to say the least. Some have none at all and some offer a hidden portable johnny that has to be taken out and dumped and also has no real privacy around it unless you consider a curtain on tracks adequate protection. Most people are a little more self conscious than that but if you are alone it would be a better option that a flashlight in the dark at 2 AM.
  • Less of a Four Season Trailer – The Pop Up would not be a great choice in really cold weather. You can take a winterized travel trailer and stay warm in it in cold weather but the pop -up will offer less cold protection.
  • Noisy – In heavy winds and rain the pop up can be a noisy option. The canvas snaps in the wind and the rain can sound like a real weather event on the canvas sides.

A Pop Up trailer is a great way to transition from tent camping to RVing. You get the same feel with the wide open windows and view and you are off the ground. You can use a Pop Up forever or transition to a travel trailer or RVer. They are an inexpensive, low maintenance way to get started RVing.

Mary Ellen and her friend Darlene traveled from Arizona to Waxahachie, Texas to participate in our Wonderful Women of Waxahachie event last April. It was there first time traveling without spouses and doing all the RV chores alone.

Mary Ellen Arndorfer and her family bought a Pop Up as a step up from tent camping. They were reluctant to leave “real” camping behind. The kind of camping where you are actually outdoors and not watching television in your air conditioned trailer when you end the day. The Pop Up accomplished a few things for them. They were able to get out of tents and off the ground. They were able to enter the RV world without making a big financial commitment. They have loved their Pop Up because they feel connected to the outdoors when they are in it enjoying all the windows it offers.

Mary Ellen’s family bought a vintage Avion but still use their pop up most of the time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Ellen shares her story today on the podcast and it’s one that will resonate with a lot of people. Even if you never left the safety of corporate America to become a River Guide in the Grand Canyon, chances are you thought about it or something similar. Creating the life you want when you are in your thirties can be scary but she did just that. She is now preparing for the next stage of life when she becomes an empty-nester and can get back to the things she enjoyed before being blessed with a wonderful daughter. In January she will be premiering her website, www.campergroove.com. You can click the link below to hear Mary Ellen share her story and follow her on Instagram at Campergroove.

A tranquil scene captured by Mary Ellen at our event in Waxahachie last year.

 

Other RV  Pros and Cons Episodes

In Episode 117 we Reimagined the Toy Hauler.

We explored the Class B with Girl Camper Carole Steinberg.

Episode 121 was dedicated to the Class C.

In August we covered the pros and cons of the Teardrop trailer .

In Episode 149 we explored the Class A Motorhome with Jo Lynn Black.

SHOW NOTES

Camco’s Globe lights are available in 6 or 10 light strands! I think they’re so cheery!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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