Used Popup Campers: A Buyer’s Guide

Posted September 28, 2022 by in Lifestyle

Popup campers offer an affordable, lightweight, easy-to-tow alternative to larger tow-behinds and fifth-wheels, which makes them an appealing option for those who are new to RV camping. Just deciding to purchase a popup camper is only the first step, though. There are many different models available, so choosing the right one can be a challenge. Future RV campers need specific information before buying one.

Why Buy Used?

Let’s start at the beginning with a rundown of why people might want to buy used popup campers instead of investing in new ones. Everyone has a different set of reasons, but some of the most common include:

  • Lower prices
  • Better return on investment when upgrading
  • High quality when purchased from a dealer
  • A greater range of options

Of course, the greater range of options when buying a used popup from a dealer means there are many more choices to make. RV buyers should consider the following factors before even heading to the nearest dealership to ensure that they make the right choice.

Vehicle Tow Capacity

One of the great things about popup campers is that they are light enough to be towed by a wide variety of vehicles. That said, it’s still important to check a truck, SUV, or car’s tow rating before purchasing a used camper. Check the owner’s manual, then set sights on popups that are well below the max rating to accommodate extra capacity for gear and passengers.

Necessary Features

Popup campers are smaller than full RVs, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be feature-rich. It’s important for buyers to know what they need in a camper, though, because popups range significantly in not just cost but also available amenities. Those who are used to backwoods camping may not care about extra amenities, but those who consider a constant supply of hot water an absolute must will need to be more selective.

Determining what features are necessary for a popup camper isn’t just a matter of personal preference, either. It’s also dictated by climate conditions and the need to accommodate passengers. In hot climates, AC may be a must, while in cold ones a furnace is more important. If campers don’t ever plan on staying in RV parks but still want access to fresh water, a holding tank is a must.

Ability to Make Renovations

Some handy RV owners love purchasing older, somewhat run-down units and restoring them to their former glory. For most, though, that kind of project takes too much time and specialized knowledge, which means any kind of damage will need to be fixed by a professional. Some of the most expensive fixes include:

  • Bent frames
  • Leaking roofs
  • Soft spots on the floor
  • Sagging or cracked roofs
  • Damaged canvas
  • Broken lift systems

People who want to hit the open road as soon as possible should avoid campers that show signs of any of these issues if time and money are at a premium whether they seem like feasible DIY fixes or not.

Buy From a Dealer

The best solution for any future RV camper who wants to buy a popup is to head to a reputable dealer. Buying from private parties often means wasting time dealing with undisclosed issues, driving around to visit multiple sellers, and having to find independent financing options. Dealers often offer financing to qualified customers and have the widest range of available options to check out.

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