Camper vs Tent?

chapman8523

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2017
Messages
38
Location
Palmer, AK
Rooftop tents look cool but seem so impractical to me. I always have to piss once and climbing down would be a pain.plus the set up isn't much faster than a tent. Maybe I'm missing something. But with little kids, I wouldn't mess with it anyway.
I just sold mine, thought it was a good idea. The biggest issue is after set up, if you want to go anyway you have to tear it back down. So if you plan to camp in the same location for several days, you're either stuck or prepare to repeatedly set up and tear down. We now use a Cabelas guide 8 man tent, works well. A camper wouldn't make to the places we go.
 

rclouse79

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 10, 2019
Messages
1,076
I have gone trough phases of looking at campers. Most of the ones that would be in my price range are not designed to be towed in the types of areas I would like to use it. I came to the conclusion that I will buy one when I retire. I bought a tipi and stove to hold me over till then.
 
OP
jpmulk

jpmulk

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2021
Messages
96
Found a decent deal on a new flexbow Kodiak canvas tent. I'm going to try that route out with the discobunk beds. Campers are stupid expensive right now and it just seems ridiculous to me to spend $8000 on something that is not that much better than a tent and that will spend most of the year sitting in the weather behind my house.

Future idea, I do like the thought of buying a utility trailer and making it into a camper. Still expensive unless I can find a deal, but cheaper than a camper.
 

Mtnmilsurp

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 16, 2021
Messages
111
Location
Larkspur, CO
Hopefully that tent works out for you. One thing nobody mentioned is that having a camper can be like getting a part time job between winterizing/dewinterizing, maintaining tires, axles, batteries, water heaters, generator, plumbing, seals, slideouts, propane, cabinet hardware, jacks, etc.
 

hh76

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Messages
150
Just as a little background, I have never owned a camper, but I have free access to a pop up, which we've used a dozen or so times.

We chose to go with a wall tent for our car camping. I don't like crowds, so my idea of camping is avoiding people and staying away from busy campgrounds. The tent has far more room than a smaller trailer, and I can get it to more remote locations. The places I like to camp are generally near good hiking or fishing, so they can have lots of traffic. I can carry the tent and gear off the road pretty far to avoid people driving right past us.

I do day dream about the convenience of a nice trailer, but I don't forget how much work they can be. Yes, the tent and gear can be work set up/ break down, and to dry out and store, but not much worse than cleaning a camper after a few days of kids dragging in dirt and mud, or dealing with winterizing.
 

BigNate

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 24, 2020
Messages
129
Location
Athol, Id. USA
Don't ask my wife! We went from tents and air mattress to a 5th wheel.
The big trailer is gone, and she won't even consider going in a tent again.
 

Customweld

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
988
Location
Idaho
Campers are a nice feature, but they have their own drawbacks. If you don't have a spot to park them, you're paying storage fees. One of the hardest things on a camper is not being used. Be completely honest with yourself about how much you are going to use it. Also, there is up keep to them. Winterizing, wheel bearings ,tires (always sun rotting) and plumbing issues. If you plan on being off the beaten path, knowing your limitations on where you can pull one. They also have advantages. You can keep everything that you need in them. Fridges are nice. A regular bed is extremely nice.
Tents: Inexpensive, easy to haul and store. More of a rustic experience for the youngsters. They most certainly have their drawbacks too. Usually, you have to set them back up when you get home (it inevitably rains the morning that you are headed home). Smaller, cramped living. but you aren't up there to be inside.
I worked and lived in the woods for 10 years when I was logging. I lived in wall tents, campers and cheap plastic tents. IMO, you can't beat a wall tent and woodstove. As soon as I quit working in the woods, my camper was on the chopping block.
 

SwiftShot

Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2019
Messages
57
I have both tent and camper. The camper is for the family, the tent is now back country hunting.
 

Titan_Bow

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 10, 2015
Messages
953
Location
Broomfield, CO
I’ve mulled around the idea of a travel trailer many times. I live in suburban hell so one thing that keeps me from doing it is having to pay to store the damn thing. Plus, all my neighbors and friends that have them all complain about always spending money on fixing broken things, spending money to winterize them, spending money to register them. Just seems like a money pit.
I went the route of buying an old army trailer and fixing it up as an “over landing” trailer. I bought a 10 person turbo tent from Australia, that is super easy to put up and is 10’ by 20’. I’ve got propane and electricity onboard the trailer, so we have heat and lights. A porta potty tent and little camp toilet for a bathroom, and even a homemade solar shower for warm water. The trailer allows me to bring all the amenities of home, at a fraction of the cost of a travel trailer. The only downside is setup and tear down is a little longer, but the turbo tent is way way faster than a wall tent. The trailer fits in my garage though, and I can empty all the camping stuff and use it as a utility trailer.


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Moserkr

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 26, 2020
Messages
953
Location
Mountains of CA
I cross a bunch of party lines here since I have all of the above. 2 tipis for backpacking plus more tents, an alaknak wall tent, and just recently a travel trailer (wife’s idea). Everything said before this is true and all have their pros/cons. When we decided to get the trailer, it was expensive. Less work to setup and break down camp, but stuff does break too. Just know going into it that they are built like junk and will need work even if new.

To help with the cost of a trailer, we started renting ours out so now it pays for itself and some. I still have the alaknak for hunting and for when my kids are older to experience more “rustic” living. Then I will take them backpacking - real camping - when they can hike at least a few miles with minimal gear. My oldest is almost ready for that. But a newborn…. Im up at 5am right now for a reason, and my wife wouldnt camp in a tent for that reason too. I told her that cave people slept under the stars by the fire with newborns for thousands of years. She argued more than half of those kids died - touché. Thats how I lost and had to get creative to buy a trailer.

Now, I made sure that my wife understood that the big counter space in the trailer will be used to butcher an elk. She said yes i understand. So there ya go. Im going to vote trailer, and everything else too. All tools that have their place, find a way. Lots of my stuff is bought used and I fix things up. Trailer was new but i swear all I do is fix n clean stuff.

Last thing - parents story of camping with friends. Parents had a trailer, friends had tents. By the time my parents had the awning n chairs out with drinks in hands, friends were still yelling at each other about which pole goes where in the tent. Organizing buckets of gear for a camp is now a thing of the past for me and I dont miss it. Still havent used the tv in the camper but im getting older so comfort and convenience is rising on the list.
 

Mojave

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 13, 2019
Messages
481
I have a big OzTent family car camping tent. Honestly though, no one of the female persuasion in this family is interested in camping around here. Everytime we go on a big hike my wife rolls her ankle and spends 6 months in physical therapy trying to get over it.

She says no more hiking or camping for her.

Ours is a dome tent they don't make anymore (just looked), kind of like a Big Agnes Bunk House 8.

Roof top tents would be a pain in the ass for you. I recommend heavily against that with small children.
 
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