Pop Top Camper

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 19:40
ThreadID: 44309 Views:10379 Replies:8 FollowUps:4
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Hi Guys 'n' Gals!
My husband and I are looking into purchasing a Camper Trailer and would like any wisdom & wise advise to help our selection. We have looked at the Jayco and Coromal so far. We need it to sleep two adults and two children. We are looking for feed back on Fors and Against (what you might look for and why? and even what to stay away from?)
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Reply By: Max - Sydney - Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 20:41

Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 20:41
Hi Lyndell

Happy choosing! My suggestion would be to see if you can rent one for a few nights (at least) and find out what you like and don't like you can be much sharper in your questioning.

AnswerID: 233407

Reply By: Rytrac - Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 21:06

Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 21:06
Hi, thanks for the reply,
Locally we are only able to hire the Camper Trailer (glorified tent) from Johno's. Although my husband and I had a great night sleep, the kids didn't. It took us 4+ hours to set up (and pack up). The cooker was stuck to the trailer in a bad position which we had to endure all week...not good (An unhappy cook is not a good place to start...hee hee). We are in Central Qld and are not knowledgable to where you would hire the next stage up? We are towing with a Jeep Wrangler so size cannot be too large? It's purpose is for long weekends...& 2 Adults 2 kids. We have been looking at the Jayco Dove to Swan varieties. Are we kidding ourselves that these are much simplier to set up and pack up... We have noticed a lot for sale...Why?...cheers and thanks again
AnswerID: 233419

Follow Up By: lenni - Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 21:21

Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 21:21
Jayco and Swan camper trailers are very easy to set up. We had an old jayco swan and could set it up in less than 10 minutes. It was a breeze and very comfortable even in bad weather with 2 children. I think people sell them when they need them no more, like we did. However I miss ours. It never leaked and the kitchen was ready to go. All in all I would highly recommend them. Look around for a good used one, ours was a 1982 model and still great after 20 odd years.
Have fun in your search.
Kind Regards Lenni
FollowupID: 494296

Follow Up By: Blaze - Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 21:37

Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 21:37

We own a Tent style camper trailer business and have just purchased a Jayco Eagle Offroad for personal use when we are doing what I would class as normal 4X4 driving, heavy offroad stuff I would still use the normal tent style camper.

Even though I own a Jayco, I believe the Coromal is better finished and better value for money. (reason we went Jayco? heaps more ground clearance, approach and departure angles) Guess it depends on where you intend on using the rig.
FollowupID: 494300

Reply By: kingswoodwagon - Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 21:49

Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 21:49
the Wrangler might be a bit of a problem, a friend had trouble towing a Pioneer Camper Trailer he particularly bought due to it being light weight (lighter than a Jayco). he has upgraded his car. :(
sorry to be a doom sayer


AnswerID: 233438

Follow Up By: Brian B (Brisbane) - Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 22:27

Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 22:27

I agree with that. My son has a Wrangler and if my memory serves me correctly it is rated to only tow around the 600kg mark. This would be a bit limiting with a lot of campers you may consider.

Hope you have a win.
FollowupID: 494314

Follow Up By: Rytrac - Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 22:41

Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 22:41
Hi yes you are right but the vehicle we presently use has diff gears changed 4;56 ratios,and a better draw bar and electric trailer brakes fitted and 4 wheel disc brakes, which when engineered certified, should bring the towing capacity to 950 kg.
FollowupID: 494320

Reply By: ev700 - Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 22:33

Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 22:33

I think pop-tops are not usually referred to as camper trailers and people could get confused.

Could I suggest and alternative? With children and an eye to the future with more travelling I would be more inclined to get a full size van with shower (outside) and toilet (inside).

Many start with a pop-top and find that it is inconvenient travelling. Yes, they are quicker than a camper to set up but feeding the children en-route or having a sleep by the road is not really on. Storage is very limited in a pop-top. Then there are the problems with condensation and folding up when wet.

I guess the look of a full size van puts some people off until they have owned one. Storage when not in use can be arranged.

If you really want a folding unit then have a look at a Jayco Expanda or a Windsor Rapid. These come in 'off road' at a price (not real off road as in what some camper trailers can do). Wait and you'll get one second hand if required.

Either way be sure to get a good estimate of the probable loaded weight and the weight at the towball. Check against what your vehicle can handle.

Just trying to give you some alternatives. Have fun.


AnswerID: 233458

Reply By: Keith_A (Qld) - Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 22:42

Saturday, Apr 14, 2007 at 22:42
Hi Lyndell. We owned the wind-up style for over 20 years, (first a Jayco then a Coromal). The facilities/comforts are the same as a van, but sleeps 5 or 6. They only weigh around 1.2 ton so any mid sized vehicle can tow them (even our Subaru Forester).

For us, this style is almost the perfect home-away-from-home, and we mainly camp off-road. I can only think of 3 negatives.
1. Bull dust gets in (but that applies to almost every type of trailer/van).
2. The wind-up mechanism does need some maintenance.
3. Fitting the full door is the only set-up item that isn't dead simple.

Two items that seem useful but are not :
1. A built-in hot water unit is very convenient, but pumps your limited drinking water to the shower.
2. The full annex - used it twice in 20 years. A waste of time and money.

The most useful :
1. The awning was simple to erect and was used on every trip. (The awning is stored in a vinyl bag on the side of the camper - same as the bed end covers.)
2. Always erect the bed end covers - keeps the outside temp off the beds, plus reduces the likelihood of moisture - from dew or rain.

We have had an excellent run with the Coromal, and the offroad build is much stronger than the on-road model. Also better resale even if you do not camp off-road.
After 20+ years using the wind-up style we traded on a pop-top (Coromal) last year. Children are now adults - but we have 20 years of memories of them camping in the wind-up style unit.
The single most important aspect is making time to use it............Keith
AnswerID: 233462

Reply By: HGMonaro - Sunday, Apr 15, 2007 at 00:59

Sunday, Apr 15, 2007 at 00:59
Doesn't sound like your Jeep is capable of towing a wind-up camper as the Jayco's are listed as around 900kg dry. Add some water and your gear and you'll be way over. The Coromals and Goldstreams are heavier still.

There aren't many (read that as any!) 'full' vans that will accomodate a family that don't need a large 4WD or similar to tow them. If there are, we didn't see any at the recent van show and we went thru a lot of 'family' vans. Most had bunks that my 8yo only just fit in (although he's tall for 8). I'm assuming you don't want to have to make up a bed out of the breakfast table each night! The Expandas and Rapids (we liked these the best) are an option.

Best you go into a van yard and have a poke around as there's a lot of variety, but you'll have to sort out the towe car 1st.

Cheers, Nige
AnswerID: 233479

Reply By: Rytrac - Sunday, Apr 15, 2007 at 17:45

Sunday, Apr 15, 2007 at 17:45
Hi Again, thank-you all for your thoughts,input, suggestions, negatives and the positives.you have helped a great deal.
AnswerID: 233575

Reply By: ev700 - Sunday, Apr 15, 2007 at 21:36

Sunday, Apr 15, 2007 at 21:36
I didn't see the Jeep badge. Here is a sobering story to remind to keep the weights down:

AnswerID: 233645

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