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Posted: 3/28/2009 11:17:41 AM EDT
I have the opportunity to pick up a Fleetwood Evolution 3 for a rediculous price. Ive never camped in a pop-up camper before so what can i expect in colder weather? No better then being in a tent? Having a soft shell i wouldnt imagine a ton of heat retention. Please share your experience before i make a purchase

(I live and travel between the Pacific Northwest and Texas...so we stay and camp in a variety of terrains and environments)
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 12:24:01 PM EDT
I've had my Coleman Bayside for about 7 years now, and we're in it for probably 8 weekends a summer and two week long trips. We've had some cold nights in the spring and fall.

Heat retention is not that great, but better than a tent. The furnace will keep things comfortable at night (I usually keep it around 55 at night, 3 kids 8,8,3), then I turn it up before the wife and kids get out of bed. Later in the day the sun warms it up enough that its comfortable with a sweatshirt.

If you only have two people in it, you can use blankets or tarps to block off the un-used sections of the camper to retain the heat in the area you are using. You can also put foiled bubble insulation under the beds and in the windows for added insulation.

Link Posted: 3/28/2009 12:45:25 PM EDT
My Fleetwood has a heater and I'm impressed by how well it does in the cold. We don't take it camping where it is zero degrees or anything, but the heater will warm the thing up to a comfortable temperature in most circumstances. We go at least once a month, from February to November. While not insulated, it will keep warm just like a wall tent - you just need to keep reintroducing new heat every now and then.

We have been very pleased with the tent trailer. It is extremely roomy and has a very open feeling. It is very easy to tow; you can take it a lot of places that you would never thing of taking a conventional trailer. The only thing it lacks is internal storage space.
Link Posted: 3/28/2009 1:06:10 PM EDT
We have a Flagstaff pop-up.....Its a nice little trailer...we've had up to 8 people in it...plus 2 dogs

It has a frige & a heater.....we usually dont camp when its less than 40 or so....so the heater does well....it has a thermostat & kicks on when its needed.

You'll like it.....

My wife, who said she never liked camping, enjoys it alot since we got the pop-up....

Tent camping sucks ass unless you are actually out hiking.....

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 3:09:37 AM EDT
They're not all that bad . . .even in a nice hard sided trailer there's not all that much insulation in the walls and they can get cold in a hurry if the furnace isn't running. I'd bet that popup has a furnance in it. You WILL burn more propane running the furnance but it's managable.

We camped with a really old, crappy popup with the kids for 3 years before we went through the evolution of small hard sided trailer to hard sided with slideout to diesel vehicle to pull new larger trailer. . . .if I could do it all over again I'd have one really nice popup.

The key thing to using them is learning how to pack them. Things like those rubbermaid "action packers" are wonderfull as you can slide them inside when it's folded down and easily "unload" them before putting the thing up.

Get into the habit of putting it up when you get back from a trip to let the canvas dry and you'll probably never wear the thing out.

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 4:11:25 AM EDT
We camped all the time with an old popup. We never got snowed on,but we camped into the 30's at night. We camped from early spring to late fall. I had

a small clamp fan pointed at the ceiling to keep the warm air stirred up. We also added a couple extra blanket and we were good to go. It's a lot of family

fun; your kids will remember.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 4:18:52 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/29/2009 4:19:42 AM EDT by upl8te]
Line the floor of the bunk ends with reflective space blankets. In the winter it will help keep the heat in and the chill out. In the summer it will help with heat dissipation as well. I have also known a few people that line the bunk ends with 1/8" foam for insulation.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 6:02:31 AM EDT
I used to have a hybrid trailer (a travel trailer, but the bunks fold out and look similar to a pop up. As was mentioned earlier you can line the bunk ends with space blankets (a company called Pop Up Gizmos also makes them custom fit to your camper). You set them up reflective side down in the winter to keep heat in, and reflective side out in the summer to keep heat out. They also help protect your canvas from sap, bird shit, etc. Some people also use space blankets under the mattress (reflective side up) to keep heat in. I personally never used either, but always have a couple f space blankets around if I ever needed to.

Even if you have a furnace in your pop-up, if you are camping in a campground or have power bring a ceramic heater - it will help heat and reduce your propane consumption.

One thing to know is that when it is very cold you may get condensation - ensure your let it all dry out (to include condensation under the mattress) before you pack up to prevent mildew.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 7:05:44 AM EDT
We had one when I was a kid, but never did any real cold weather camping in it. Ours did not even have a furnace. But it was not unusual for it to dip down into the 40s, even in summer time. As long as you are out of the wind, a few extra blankets should take care of you, no matter how chilly it gets.

Link Posted: 3/29/2009 7:20:36 AM EDT
growin up we used different pop-ups. once i can get my own ill have one, tehya re so much fun, lets ina nice breeze. good stuff
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 9:00:50 AM EDT
it can get kinda chilly, but it's better than a tent
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 9:15:28 AM EDT
we had one for quite a few years and really enjoyed it but eventually I got tired of all the popping-up and popping-down sold it and bought a traval trailer it was easier
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 11:59:48 AM EDT
I've done moose hunts in northern Ontario and Quebec. I've done them in tents, in pop-ups and pickups, and in a cabin. Obviously the cabin is 'best'. However, its my experience that a popup is far superior to a tent.

A tent leaves you on the group, without comfortable seating, without real opportunities to stand (unless its a BIG tent) and can be pretty tough in rough weather. A popup isn't great but it has two levels (beds and floor) and frequently a small table so you can sit and relax in comfort in the evenings. The beds are off the grounds and therefore far less vulnerable to getting wet (which usually happens from standing water on the ground). There is typically far more room inside, and its easier to rig drying lines inside.

I know I'd FAR rather have a popup than a tent in touigh weather. We hunted in temps down to 10 degrees, in rains, wind and snow. Cabins are best but a popup beats a tent by a wide margin.


Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:01:02 PM EDT
I have a Starcraft 2409 and camped in it when the overnight low got down to 31F. I wouldnt try to go out much colder than that in fear the pipes will freeze. No problems keeping warm with the furnace on. We usually go for 3 nights and I when I take the 20lb propane tank to fill it up I have never had to put more than 2 gallons in it after each trip. Thats with running the furnace all night, using the water heater and light cooking. I would recommend a couple of 6 volt batts together to extend your electric power as well. Condensation can be a problem inside but if you leave a window cracked you will have no worries. I also would recommed a memory foam topper for each mattres as well not only to add comfort but also keeps you warmer. The pop up gizmo's are great but they add one more thing to set up. If someone wanted to be all warm and toastey they might as well stay in a hotel and skip camping all together. Try the following website for better info. Just hit the folding trailer section and have fun.

RV. net
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 12:06:39 PM EDT
me and my old man used one for deer hunting in northern wisconsin. As long as you keep a heater going, you're fine. Btu if the heater goes out, it gets cold fast. We used one of those Big Buddy heaters with an external tank. worked great.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 1:15:01 PM EDT
We have been looking at the Fleetwood Evolutions but I have taken a real liking to these.
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 2:57:37 PM EDT
Dropped down to around 21F one night, had the furnace running and a 400 watt plug in heater, with the quilts and PJs, stayed compfy....
Link Posted: 3/29/2009 7:33:13 PM EDT
For the deer lease I sleep in an old 1976 starcraft.The furnace,stove etc. had been pulled out of it. There were several mornings in the low 20s. The coldest was an 11 degree morning and the wind was blowing at 15mph(I didnt want to know how cold it was with the windchill). I just used an electric heater I bought at Wal-mart. I also had an electric blanket. I stayed plenty warm.
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