Buying a used pop top caravan

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 07, 2014 at 22:02
ThreadID: 108164 Views:2499 Replies:5 FollowUps:2
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The boss and I are looking to buy our first used pop top caravan - tight budget (well compared to some budgets) of $20,000 - $30,000 max. Only the two of us to accommodate but both are quite tall and a wee bit on the wide side. Based in Brisbane and still working .... so will only be used for weekend jaunts and holiday stays. No beach work or Cape York type adventures -prefer beachside/riverfront caravan parks, national park type areas. Wife is looking at pop tops with shower/toilet combos in them whereas I prefer not to have one as (a) we will not be heading anywhere remote and if we are camping without amenities, I can put up the porta potti/shower tent ensemble and (b) worried about extra weight of van carrying bathroom and (c) concerned that once I get into the darn shower/toilet combo there will not be enough room to move at all! Tow vehicle is a Ford Ranger Hi Rider Turbo Diesel. See used pop tops for sale that look good but are 10 - 15 years old but were originally top end models - totally confused on which way to go - realise that a lot of choice is personal preference on whether you like Jaycos, Coromals etc but I am really after advice on anything, really ... Cheeers
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Reply By: Grant Tas - Saturday, Jun 07, 2014 at 22:36

Saturday, Jun 07, 2014 at 22:36
Hi Ranger57
Nothing beats having your own shower/ toilet in your van especially when some parks are not up to scratch. Not sure about the pop top think about outside noises and wind .
Grey Nomad 101 puts out a range of introductory DVDs which is very useful when starting out.
Good luck
AnswerID: 533973

Follow Up By: Ranger57 - Sunday, Jun 08, 2014 at 12:03

Sunday, Jun 08, 2014 at 12:03
Thanks Grant Tas - need a pop top for storage reasons - wife agrees with you re some caravan parks amenities being not what they should be ... - have seen a couple of nice Coromal/Jayco vans online - but the ones with shower/toilet onboard are tending to be 8 - 10 yrs old whereas for the same money I can buy a newer model without shower/toilet - does the year model matter that much if obviously the van is in good condition?
FollowupID: 817482

Reply By: Emerging I.T. - Saturday, Jun 07, 2014 at 23:43

Saturday, Jun 07, 2014 at 23:43
Ranger when will you learn the boss is always right.! No extra weight in a bathroom mate, these are fibreglass jiggers, reckon re-sale value is always good with all the options. Great tow rig, have fun and send some photos when your done.
AnswerID: 533976

Reply By: Member - Sanantone - Sunday, Jun 08, 2014 at 06:49

Sunday, Jun 08, 2014 at 06:49
You wont be sorry, buying a van, it is a life worth doing.

Your budget would put you into a NEW Jayco camper trailer, I had the Swan model but there are some smaller ones. We had a portaloo & shower tent also.

We have eventually upgraded to a caravan, but they are quite spacious. The initial setting up is a bit long, but after a while we had it down to a reasonably quick time.

Certainly worth a look.

Jayco Campers

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AnswerID: 533980

Reply By: Steve - Sunday, Jun 08, 2014 at 12:01

Sunday, Jun 08, 2014 at 12:01
For your first van I wouldn't worry too much about brand if you're staying in parks and on road. Chances are, you'll probably change it in a couple/few years for something else anyway and Jayco and Coromal make pretty decent vans regardless of what some would have you believe. What I would do, regarding toilet combo, is go to your local van sales yard and have a look in some. The staff usually leave you to look around and you can see if you feel it's a bit of a squeeze getting into a combo if you try it out (I don't mean actually leaving a "deposit" in there ;)) For what it's worth, we have traded a combo van and use a porta potty and shower tent where necessary, which works for us and we're glad we did....but that's us. We do a fair bit of offroad. If your Missus decides after a year that you should've got the combo model, you'll end up trading in for a combo model. If they're not happy, you won't be happy. As another suggested, there is the wind-up camper option but that's not what you asked about.....but.....great space inside and good for longer stays but a pain if you are travelling on the road with occasional overnight or even successive overnight stops. We got rid of ours after a year.
AnswerID: 533999

Reply By: Cruisevessel - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 20:56

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 20:56
Gday Ranger. Mate I have a 2003 17'6 Galaxy poptop locked away in a shed on the Sunshine Coast that I need to let go as we are up living in Weipa and cant see us useing it again for a long time. Send me a PM if your interested mate.
AnswerID: 534441

Follow Up By: Cruisevessel - Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 20:58

Sunday, Jun 15, 2014 at 20:58
My wife has just flown down for the next week if you want a look at it
FollowupID: 818068

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