Ode to Our Popup

It’s been exactly one year since we purchased our popup. That blows my mind. Slow down, time! We have definitely broke in the popup and it has the miles to prove it.  Just for fun I am going to recap all the places it’s been this year, as well as a few lessons we’ve learned.

Our first trip was to the Triangle T Guest Ranch. We had a blast, but it was too cold and we left after one night. Waking up to a temperature of 19 is no bueno. Popup walls are really no different than tent walls. They do not do any better of a job keeping out the cold.


The Triangle T Guest Ranch

Our second trip was to Catalina State Park where we learned the importance of carefully reviewing campsite specs prior to making a reservation. We were so excited by the thought of camping with electricity that we brought our coffee pot rather than instant coffee. When we arrived at our campsite we learned I had selected a site without electricity. Fortunately we were not too far out of town so we were able to buy instant coffee packets to get us through the weekend. We also learned to pay attention to the direction the campsite faces because it’s a little awkward when the door opens into the bushes. 


Catalina State Park

Our third trip was to Lost Dutchman State Park. Aside from the camper top starting to peel off as we were driving down the highway, this was a perfect trip. 

(In case you are wondering, we stopped and bought a roll of duct tape to patch up the roof and then continued on our merry way. Another good reminder as to why you should always have duct tape in the car.)


Lost Dutchman State Park

Life got busy and we had to take a break from camping for a couple of months. During said break The Husband performed a much needed repair to the camper roof. For a number of years Coleman popup camper roofs were made from ABS plastic and they have had tons of cracking issues. Our roof cracked all over the place and The Husband had to fix the cracks and recoat the roof. It held up for a while but unfortunately it is starting to crack again. 🙁 The cracks are currently covered in white duct tape and that’s doing the trick for now.


The first roof repair before (below) and after (above).

Next up was our summer road trip. The first leg of the trip was to Bryce Canyon National Park. We had so much fun in Bryce and at this campground. I wish we could have stayed longer.


Bryce Canyon National Park – North Campground

The second leg was to Arches National Park where we learned that heat and camping do not mix. We knew this but we needed to be reminded. We had an amazing campsite though.


Arches National Park – Devils Garden Campground

The last leg of the trip was spent in Durango, CO. We had a nice time and made the most of our last minute change of plans. We were once again reminded of the importance of being flexible.


Durango KOA

Later in the summer we spent a weekend at one of our local mountain campgrounds. It was the perfect weekend and we had a great spot.


Rose Canyon Campground – Mt. Lemmon

We really had a hard time leaving.


Campsite View

We attempted another camping trip to a local campground and it was nothing short of a disaster. This was a character building experience to say the least. I will spare you the gory details, but in short, the campground hosts messed up the reservation and then once we got that squared away the camper tongue jack broke. (The tongue jack is what raises and lowers the camper off and on the tow vehicle. If it doesn’t move neither does the camper.) Fortunately it broke while the camper was still attached to the tow vehicle but at that point we had no choice but to head home. This goes down as the shortest trip ever and one we hope to never, ever, ever repeat.

One of my favorite trips was to our local mountain for some camping with our popup twin! These particular friends are the reason we have our popup and it was cool that we were able to camp with them. The popups looked so cute next to each other. ❤️


Bigelow Road – Mt. Lemmon

And to round out the year we tried something totally different over the weekend – we took the camper to the NASCAR race in Phoenix! I had planned to get a picture of our camper in the sea of 6,000 campers but race day was really chaotic and I forgot. We had a great time and camping at the track is an experience like no other. My only complaint, particularly in a popup, is all the generator noise. It didn’t bother me until I tried to go to sleep. I’m sure the parties going on all around us probably didn’t help either. The Husband and kids had no problem sleeping though so I guess I’m just special.  😉 The race ended up being delayed by six hours due to rain and I was so happy we had our camper to retreat to. I took a nap, we ate dinner, and then we headed back to the track once the rain quit. Since I forgot to take a picture of the popup here’s a family picture at the track.


Family Picture at Phoenix International Raceway

All in all, I consider this year a success and I can’t wait to see what the next year holds!


4 replies
    • Caroline
      Caroline says:

      They are a lot of fun! It is so nice to have a place to keep our gear. We can finally see out the back window of the car when we drive! Thanks for stopping by!

      • mcnaterNate
        mcnaterNate says:

        So glad I found your blog…I’m considering a pop-up for my family of 5 and this post might have solidified it in my mind. Got any pointers of must haves I should look for? Any advice on that front?

        • Caroline
          Caroline says:

          We love our popup! It is one of our favorite all-time purchases. We tent camped for many years but the popup has taken us to a whole new level of enjoyment. I say go for it!

          I am not sure how comfortable you are looking to be. Our popup is really basic but I have seen plenty of popups that are nicer than my house. Before purchasing a popup I would suggest thinking through what kind of camping you plan to do. Do you want hookups or will you be doing more dry camping? We mostly dry camp, meaning there are no hookups. We do not have a fridge and do not use our stove or sink. Instead, we use that area for storage. We always cook outside on our camping stove and use campground sinks to wash our dishes. This is what works for us though. If you want to deal with grey water and propane, or even a bathroom, the are plenty of great popup features.

          One of our favorite features is the awning. It makes for a great place to hang out and watch the rain and helps keep the trailer shaded.

          One thing to keep in mind is the condition of the roof. Many of the older popups (1996 – 2003) have ABS plastic roofs and overtime the plastic cracks and sags. It’s a common issue and the company that supplied these roofs is no longer in business, so the roofs stopped being fixed under warranty. We were not aware of this issue when we purchased our popup and didn’t think much of the few hairline cracks in the roof. It didn’t take long for the cracks to become an issue. We fixed the cracks and resealed the roof but several of the cracks have opened back up. Currently, duck tape is handling the situation just fine. If we were to buy another popup we would look for one with a different type of roof, but if you enjoy home projects one with an ABS roof might not be as much of an issue. There are tons of online tutorials for how to repair the ABS and I know plenty of people that have not had any issues with their repairs.

          Many people are into fixing up their popups and even glamping them out. If you end up needing to repair anything The Popup Princess has some great tutorials – http://www.thepopupprincess.com. Popup Portal is also another resource for all things popup – http://www.popupportal.com. Nada Guides has helpful RV price information – http://www.nadaguides.com/RVs.

          Good luck on your search! Stop back by if you have any more questions.


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