Used Pop Up Campers Trailer

The question Used (pop-up camper trailers) versus New is certainly as old as the famous Shakespearean “To be or not to be” or even older.

Fortunately there is little “philosophical matter” in the first question so there is no need for long debates.

The answer usually falls into two categories:

  • What can I afford given my set of requirements (in other words an immortal “Bang for the buck” problem to solve), and
  • How do I feel about using someone else’s personal “stuff”.

The latter is a bit tougher nut to crack and depends on our personal level of acceptance which may be quite wide from person to person. For example some will never re-use second hand mattress, for some it really does not matter.

 Once you have answers to these questions, it is time to roll-up sleeves and start the homework to maximize the value for the money spent for the used pop-up camper trailer.

Well, may be this is not exactly so simple equation. I guess at the end of the road you still want to be happy enjoying your new “toy” and frankly, as we all know, the happiness is priceless.

The first and probably the most important step of your homework is to narrow the range of used pop-up campers trailers to just few manufacturers and models. And honestly with market flooded with countless choices and “noisy” publicity, it is also the most difficult task draining your physical and mental strength.

Unfortunately the “digital space” quite often transforms the “Information Age” into the Disinformation one. The best pictures and descriptions will not replace the feel and touch. That is why I would suggest visiting the closest RV Show or big RV dealer to get the “feeling”.

The “feeling” is a complex “state of mind”. In the language adequate to the used pop-up camper trailers, it is also quite complex task and should include the following:

  1. Manufacturer(s) and model(s) of choice
  2. Here you have to look at the reliability data (remember the Murthy’s Law? – “What can be broken it certainly will”!), potential cost or repairs, technical support (may be difficult for obsolete manufacturers and/or models), simplicity of the structure (if you are a handy-man) etc…. In general this part can be summarized as the 6E criterion: Easy to store, Easy to tow, Easy to maneuver, Easy on your pocket, Easy to maintain and Enjoyable.

  3. Size
  4. Here you have to deal with two antagonistic requirements: comfort of vacationing versus required parking space and towing effort). Keep in mind that in most cases the pop-up camper trailer spends its life staying folded on your driveway or parking lot.

  5. GVWR (gross Vehicle Weight Rating)
    Make sure that you do not fall in love with a pop-up camper trailer with GVWR exceeding the towing capabilities of your car. What a nightmare if you have to rent a car or buy the new one!Pay attention to the maximum load (in other words hum much of “extra stuff” you can take with you for vacations).


Required Amenities

    This is the most important area opened for the “feel”. Queen size beds or smaller, do you need 2 or 3 burners stove, will you need a microwave, what about AC or heater, sink, fridge, cabinets, what size of the water tank, … Hey, what about the shower and toilet …. and the list can only go on and on. Do not forget to invite your wife to the RV show (or dealer) as she may like to have the final word in these matters. You can reserve for yourself the technical aspects like for example the set-up/folding system (hand crank or a hydraulic lift to ease the workload and speed the setup time). It is purely your choice because anyhow this will be your job!

List of wishes

    In other words what you would like to have, but you are not dying for and certainly not ready to pay for. If you find the bargain, they may come for free. However here is the red light warning – used features (and not only used) are decreasing the overall reliability of your used pop-up camper trailer. If you can “smoothly” get rid of them when broken, then there is no problem, but think twice if this is not the case. Keep in mind this old wise saying: “Simple is beautiful”….:-)

Used Pop Up Campers Trailer: Setting up the Coleman Cheyenne pop-up camper trailer (part of your virtual visit to the RV Show)
Presentation by www.AmericanRV.com


Cost of Insurance

    This is often a forgotten part of your homework, but it may be a vital part of your “economy” plan when searching for used pop-up camper trailer. So start from calling you agency (usually you can get a discount). Get at least some ballpark number to have an idea what is still on the table and what you may have to remove from your list.

Only and only then it makes sense to move to the next step, this time taking advantage of the virtual world where it is at its best.

Value of the used pop-up camper trailer.

The next step in your homework is to find the market values of your favorite used pop-up camper trailers: average retail values, expected price range (from “so-so conditions” for those more handy to “perfect state” for those ready to go on the road). And all that for each selected model and production year.

The available tools are:

  • NADA guide (National Automobile Dealers Association)
  • Kelley Blue Book – Travel Trailers
  • Ebay
  • Craiglist

NADA RV Appraisal Guide

(Please click on the left picture to be re-directed to the NADA's website)

The NADA guide provides probably the most comprehensive information updated three times a year and available 25 hours per day online.

It provides relevant data for all kinds of RVs (including pop-up camper trailers) manufactured over the last 15 years.

KBB's Travel Trailers guide

Kelley Blue Book despite great its popularity is much less helpful for those looking for pop-up campers trailers. First and most important – the currently the KBB’s Travel Trailers are not available online. You have to either have subscription, or buy the guide (you can do it online from the company for around $70 or on Amazon). You can also find it in the local libraries.

Navigation of the popular websites like Ebay and Craiglist should be also on your “Must-to-do” list. These sites provide the current values for used pop-up camper trailers including seasonal and regional price trends. Armed with that knowledge you can now storm RV dealerships, check for adds in local newspapers, brows Craigslist….

To continue to the practical aspects of buying a used folding campers please select the link: Used Pop-up Camper Trailer for Sale

Good Luck :-)



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