I love the great outdoors, being a keen river and lake fisherman I spend a lot of my leisure time out in the wild. I've roughed it over the years and been happy to sleep under canvas, but hey, I'm getting on a bit and I need some comfort these days. So what's the alternative to the humble tent? I've taken a look at Jayco Tent Trailers and I like what I see. But am I willing to fork out the extra dollars for the added convenience and comfort of a popup camper?
Let's take a look and compare. Even luxury tents that can sleep up to 8 people will only cost about a tenth of the cheapest new popup camper. Angelbleie So to make comparisons on price only is not really relevant. It's all about convenience and comfort. It doesn't takes long to pitch a two-man tent, but have you tried pitching an eight man tent in the wind and rain? I used to love all that mucking in and getting dirty. The truth is, it no longer appeals to me, a middle-aged outdoors sort of a guy.
OK we've got our tent up at last, awesome but where are all the amenities? Yeh, I'll just nip behind a tree for a minute! I admit that I can find a campsite with all the amenities I need that's great, but then I ask myself what about the fishing?
It takes longer to pitch a two-man tent than to have your popup camper ready to live in. What does the Jayco Popup Camper offer? The most basic camper sleeps up to five people. You get loads of features including decent sized comfortable beds. The economy options are 11 to over 13 foot in length and include a sink, a fridge, a dinette, two storage cabinets and loads more. Other larger models offer a porta potti cabinet, carry out stove, sofa, multi media sound system and a bath/shower option too. You can sleep up to 8 people in some of these larger designs.
If like me, you take plenty of equipment with you, I recommend the Jayco Baja which has the extra feature of a hard-core bike port deck that can hold up to 1,500 pounds. The Baja will set you back plenty of dollars but I think it's worth it. You will get most of the comforts of your own home on a trailer!
As an alternative to Jayco, take a look at Coleman RV campers. They also offer a good range of pop up styles. Also consider used models which can save you thousands of dollars but may not offer all the amenities you get with the latest models.
So that's all the good stuff, what don't I like about popup campers? Here a few things to consider:
- You got to pull a pretty large trailer behind your vehicle
- Where do you store it?
- You need to make sure it's bone dry before you pack it away otherwise mould can form and you get that familiar smell of damp.
- They ain't as cheap as the humble tent.
Actually I don't mind all that myself, the advantages far outweigh the inconveniences.
Popups take camping to the next level. Will I go back under canvas in the more basic and traditional style? Maybe once in a while for the odd weekend when I'm alone. But I'm sold on the popup camper and for my longer trips especially when I take the family or friends along with me, there's no way back for the humble tent.
For even more convenience with easier maintenance you could consider other types of trailer. There is so much choice and Jayco offer a full range from lite weight trailers to massive motorhomes that cost more than a house! I will be taking a look at these options in the future.