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Where to rent a Pop Up Camping Trailer

camping trailer rent popup pop-up

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#21 JustPractical

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Posted August 16 2014 - 09:26 PM

Just got back from camping trip. Had a decent time (nice to get back to a real shower). Some facts and observations (for those considering camping):
- Rented a pop-up here on the island at Deangelis. $100 per day, 4 day minimum. The trailer they rented us was not in the best of shape (some rips, tears, screen tears, small leaks in top during rain, stains, and an amazingly overpowering stench of cigarette smoke). A half bottle of Fabreze later...not much better.
- Had reserved 2 days at North South Lake (about 2.5 hrs away). Took Steve936's advice (big thanks) and got the last spot on Loop 5. Map said it faced the lake, but actually faced trees. No biggie though. The spot was very nice and quite - as is most of loop 5 - lots of trees, and water very close and bathroom a short (like 2 minutes for a fat person) walk. For those new to camping, walking to the bathroom is not the huge pain in the Butt you might imagine it to be. Even when it was raining, the tree cover kept most of the rain off. The bathroom themselves...eh...clean enough. The showers...I took a pass.
- We did some hiking (amazing views), walking, and some time at the beach on south lake. Plan on lots of time prepping food, then eating and relaxing. You go though a lot of wood, just sitting around the fire. This was a real insight. If your a preper, and you think two logs will last you the night, think again. Depending on the type of wood, it may not last long at all. Pine smokes when it burns and burns up FAST. Hardwoods burn cleaner and last longer (though are harder to start burning).
- North South Lake has almost zero cell reception and zero wifi. This is a good thing. Tell stories about anything - your parents, when you were a kid, crazy people you have known, stupid people you have known, basically anything - and your kids will love it (mine did. Either that or they were humoring me for a long time). If you are desperate for cell, it popped up at the beach at South Lake (or at the top of the hike for where the hotel used to be)
- It dropped to 44 degrees one of the nights we were there. Bring pants for kids to sleep in, and bring a few extra blankets. If you get too cold during the night, it seems to make you have to pee, then you are going out in the cold to go to the bathroom (twice) - which is no fun if kids believe running is the best way to avoid bear encounter (side-note - "running" and "bear avoidance" do not go together)
- Bring a spatula and a serving spoon and a table cloth (we forgot the first two - they are helpful if you plan to make eggs)
- Get used to "clean enough is good enough" (germphobes should NOT camp)
- As 2edgesword pointed out, trailer is mainly a place to sleep and stay dry. Don't be spooked if the trailer does not look huge - it's not for entertaining. That said, I would go with something bigger than the smallest Colman trailer (I am taller than the bed is long). But, for a first try, it serves the purpose.
- I'm used to staying in hotels and planning every day full of stuff to do (fun stuff, but still stuff). We usually go straight through the day, and then have dinner as late as the location allows (usually between 7-10pm). Not so with camping. Plan on doing less and relaxing more. Plan on starting dinner around 6, unless you want to clean up in the dark. If you have this cool vision of you waking up to the smell of coffee brewing over the fire, that's not gonna happen unless someone wakes up about 45 minutes before you, gets the fire going, and then gets the coffee going. I opted to make the fire and the coffee (wanted to test drive the pot).
-Last comments on North South Lake: the place is beautiful. beautiful sunrise over the lake (had to pee. The only sunrise I ever specifically woke up early for was at Cadillac Mountain - and it was foggy). Loop 5 is quite and treed. Loop 4 seemed more young kids and social (if you like that). I did not explore other loops too much.
- We could not get another night at North South Lake, so we moved on to Whip-O-Will campground about 20 minutes away. This was a VERY different environment. Most of the campsite here were for seasonal campers - meaning they bring up a trailer and have a permanently built deck/pouch to pull it up to. Sites were on top of each other with few trees to separate them. However, it seemed people wanted it this way. Had a "small town" feel (complete with people on their decks giving us the "who's that" look as we drove by). That said, everyone we spoke to was friendly. They gave is a spot in the back - "the Pines" (super buggy), but told us "check it out - if you don't; like it, let us know and we will put you someplace else". They moved us to the front (right across from the main office), which seemed like a crap spot - like being seated near the door - but was not buggy and turned out to be super convenient and little to no noise.
- Most of the people at Whip-O-Will had golf carts to get around. They were there for the summer. Some of the "porches" were setup to look like a bar. This would be the opposite of North South Lake. However, the front spots were nice, and there was a pool, playground, bocci ball court, mini golf and horseshoes. All of this may sound like corny crap, but we all blew hours playing and kids really liked it.
- Camping tip - you would think you get into this routine of "get up at dawn, and be in bed by 8pm". Nope. We went to bed as late as midnight, and the main entertainment is the fire, bs'ing, and laughing when someones marshmallow catches fire. In the morning, if it's raining, it may turn into a "sleep till 10am" morning.

Overall conclusions: camping is relaxing family time. Give it a try. Get some hints on where to camp. Ask lots of questions since campsite very in a lot of ways - you want to "match" with the site. For example, we went to look at Hither Hills Campground out east. Had heard great things. It's basically a bunch of parking spots all lined up. Mostly big RV's there. People there seemed very happy, but it was not for us. North South Lake we plan to go back to. Also, at some point I'd like to try a larger trailer with shower (mostly for convenience). I do not think tent camping is for me - only for the sleeping conditions, since I think sleeping on the ground, even with a good sleeping pad, would leave me a cripple. This is the main difference between popup and tent - a slightly softer bed. Also, the pop-up - with it's metal screen door - gives the kids the illusion that they are protected from bears.

A decent trip. Thanks for all the advice and help. Photos below are of:

View from top of hill at North South Lake:2014-08-14 14.04.38.jpg
View from the beach at South Lake: 2014-08-14 16.40.30.jpg
An equipment malfunction (I should have brought the good knife. Damn you Harbor Freight!): 2014-08-14 10.36.01.jpg

Edited by JustPractical, August 16 2014 - 09:37 PM.

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#22 VietVet

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Posted August 18 2014 - 12:23 PM

VietVet - you are thinking more elaborate camping than I will be camping. My understanding is North South Lake has no electrical hookups. Also, the trailer I rented is an 8 foot box - basically it is the same size as my Harbor Freight trailer, only it has beds that fold out. Single axle, so I am *assuming* no breaking system (a think fairly light). Your setup looks extremely civilized. Shower and toilet? Can you still call it camping? The generator in the pictures - how loud is it? Also, what is the white thing on the table? (can you tell I'm new to camping?) The big question - what do you pull that trailer with? As for backing up a trailer - my daughters come out to mock and laugh whenever I back a trailer into the driveway (boat for a few years, now just utility trailer); so backing the pop-up into a tight spot should be real entertainment to watch.


Sorry for the delay in response but I just saw this post and your write up on your trip.

Camping experiences can run the gamut.
Best advise is be prepared for anything. Weather can make or brake a camping trip. Camping supplies/equipment is the deciding factor IMO. When I plan a trip I keep a careful eye on the forecast. I'm NOT going camping if my trip is scheduled for 4 days and rain is expected for most of them. A day or so of bad weather, well, that's fine. I just make sure it's not the first or last day of the trip. Nothing worse then setting up or breaking down in the rain.

It's taken me years to gather my equipment. I add to it each year and find the better equipped you are the more enjoyable the trip. If you're into the comforts of a Motel/Hotel with all the luxuries, camping isn't for you.

It's fun I enjoy it. Part of camping is the cooking. Again, best to have the equipment to do this easily.

Now for your questions:

The generator is so quiet I can start it and stand right next to it and still hold a cell phone conversation. Honda is known for this feature. I can run everything in my camper with it. Also a great back up for the house if needed. Worth every penny I spent on it ($2,000.00).

The "White Thing" on the table is the antenna to my Dish TV system.

Vehicle I tow all of this is a Dodge Ram 1500 (didn't buy from Security).

Now for the BIGGEST factor in ENJOYING camping.
Make sure you do your research on the campgrounds you're going to.

I recently returned from a 7 day trip. I went upstate NY. Campground was "Happy Hollow Campgrounds".
Web site made the place look like Club Med. After being there about 30 minutes I realized it was "CAMP GHETTO".
Place was a disaster. Signed in, went to my site and found out someone had parked their car in my assigned spot and left for the day. Had to wait about 3 hours before he returned. Camp was full so there was no other spot. As you mentioned there were campers there that had houses built around them. Next camper to me was literally within arms reach. Stacked on top of each other. Noise all night long. Since it was clear people "Lived" there the guy next to me left for work at 4:30AM on his MOTORCYCLE. No alarm clock need here. Owner comes by and informs me although they had electric hook up and I paid for it I couldn't run my AC at night...... WTF!

I could go on but I think you get the picture.

Camping is fun...............just make sure you do research on the place you're going to.

My next trip is mid September. Going up to Maine.

#23 Dchilde

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Posted August 18 2014 - 01:11 PM

I recently returned from camping in PA.
On the recommendation of another member we stayed at twin pines campground in pine grove PA. http://www.longislan...y/#entry1285590 Over all I was very pleased.

#24 JustPractical

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Posted August 21 2014 - 09:09 AM

I recently returned from camping in PA.
On the recommendation of another member we stayed at twin pines campground in pine grove PA. http://www.longislan...y/#entry1285590 Over all I was very pleased.

Dchilde - you mean Twin Grove, yes?

#25 bio2431

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Posted August 21 2014 - 09:29 AM

Great write up! North south lake is great. Also, I've been to whip-o-will a few times with my neighbors when I was younger. They were one of those "seasonal"campers you speak of. Their camper stays in place year round. He spends more time building his deck and fixing his golf cart up there than he does at his house here. It was a fun time for the kids though.

#26 Dchilde

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Posted August 21 2014 - 11:27 AM

Dchilde - you mean Twin Grove, yes?

yes twin grove

#27 JustPractical

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Posted August 21 2014 - 01:09 PM

VietVet - Thanks for the additional info. Dish TV=Camping? (I had to break chops a bit on that)
I saw the AC in the photo. Did he tell you not to run it because it is loud? I assumed those AC's are fairly quite, but never heard on in person.
Big question (not so much related to camping, but trailer) - When we pulled the small popup with my van, there was a noticeable front to back sway at speeds below about 50mph. Did you ever get anything like this. Do you think it was an issue of problem with trailer, problem with tow vehicle, or just part of towing a popup. I noticed your popup is bigger, so thought the problem would be more pronounced if I tried to tow it with a van. The 1500 has enough power to pull either small trailer, so maybe you have never noticed a problem.
Do you carry the generator in the trailer or truck bed? (really wondering if the trailer can take anything loaded into it for travel)

#28 2edgesword

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Posted August 21 2014 - 01:30 PM

Thanks for the very comprehensive review and pictures. Glad to hear your first experience camping with pop up was positive. The assortment of equipment is endless so everyone can find the sweet spot for them whether it's only the absolute necessities to pulling/driving what amounts to a nice size ranch house with king size bed, full bath, satellite tv, etc. One of the fun aspects of camping for myself and my wife is walking through the campground to check out that huge variety, even the stuff that doesn't fit our personal taste. For us it's trying to keep things simple with a focus on being outdoors enjoying what nature has to offer.
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#29 JustPractical

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Posted August 21 2014 - 03:41 PM

For the first try, I wanted to keep it simple. However, I won't lie - I lusted after those 5th wheel trailers. Simple is nice, but clean fungus free showers are nicer.

#30 Piper

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Posted August 21 2014 - 03:49 PM

Did you need a brake controller?

#31 2edgesword

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Posted August 22 2014 - 10:47 AM

For the first try, I wanted to keep it simple. However, I won't lie - I lusted after those 5th wheel trailers. Simple is nice, but clean fungus free showers are nicer.


I saw a triple axil KZ Inferno fifth wheel toy hauler at Smith's Point this past week. Forty-two feet long with a max. gross weight of 18,000 lbs! It's for sale if you're interested :).

#32 VietVet

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Posted August 22 2014 - 11:39 AM

VietVet - Thanks for the additional info. Dish TV=Camping? (I had to break chops a bit on that)
I saw the AC in the photo. Did he tell you not to run it because it is loud? I assumed those AC's are fairly quite, but never heard on in person.
Big question (not so much related to camping, but trailer) - When we pulled the small popup with my van, there was a noticeable front to back sway at speeds below about 50mph. Did you ever get anything like this. Do you think it was an issue of problem with trailer, problem with tow vehicle, or just part of towing a popup. I noticed your popup is bigger, so thought the problem would be more pronounced if I tried to tow it with a van. The 1500 has enough power to pull either small trailer, so maybe you have never noticed a problem.
Do you carry the generator in the trailer or truck bed? (really wondering if the trailer can take anything loaded into it for travel)


I was told NOT to run my AC at night because if EVERYONE in the Campground did it would blow the circuit. No one was allowed to run AC's at night. That's when you want it most. It's not loud at all.
They should have let this be known on their web site.

I never had an issue with my Camper "swaying" while towing. Not sure why yours did but if you decide to buy there is something called a "Sway Bar" (something like that) that will control/reduce this. Having one will depend on the brake system your camper has. If it has one.

The generator I put right in the camper. Fits perfectly when it's closed down. Right in the doorway. Only load it when going to an area that has no electric hook up.

I'll add this for those who may be interested. If you're thinking of buying a camper and are undecided what style you want (pop up, travel trailer, 5th wheel) and can afford it go with a travel trailer or 5th wheel. Pop Ups are fine but if I had to do it all over I'd most likely NOT go with a pop up. Each have advantages and disadvantages. At the time I purchased mine I didn't have the Dodge Ram and couldn't afford to purchase the camper and a new truck so I went pop up. I also do not have the space to store anything larger then the pop up and I'm not paying someone to store it for me. I like it, we enjoy it so I really have no regrets. It works for me. Also keep in mind a camper here in the NE isn't something you'll most likely use year round. May thru mid Oct at best.

#33 LongIsland Guy

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Posted August 22 2014 - 12:24 PM

Got back from Otter Lake camp/resort, PA(Obviously they have a different definition than me_resort) GREAT campground mix of seasonal and overnighters (we tented(12' x 19'),save that story for another day..first time for wife and 9 yr. old daughter) Bathrooms cleaned 5 times a day (very clean), showers are individual (3) "rooms" front part bench with wall hooks rear part shower (hot,hot water ..press button 10 second bursts) The restrooms are spread out in the campground .Was there 4 days (during a downpour (the one we had here on LI was the one we had in PA for 2 days) , lots of kids there due to the daily activities they have plus a pool, ball fields etc
Took trips to pretzel factory and candle making store to keep us busy on the rainy days As for eating at the campground ,get yourself a Coleman 3 burner stove (coffee, eggs, bacon ,sausage in the morning ) and lantern. I have a collapsible grill top that fits over the fire ring (we brought marinaded steaks, bbq chicken wings , of course hot dogs and hamburgers ,etc). The lake is basically shallow but I took my daughter on a rented canoe around the lake, a lot of fishing going on but saw no fish,LOL
http://otterlake.com/

Edited by LongIsland Guy, August 22 2014 - 01:05 PM.

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#34 2edgesword

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Posted August 22 2014 - 12:57 PM

I was told NOT to run my AC at night because if EVERYONE in the Campground did it would blow the circuit. No one was allowed to run AC's at night. That's when you want it most. It's not loud at all.


Since the trailer power cord plugs into the generator I'm not sure what campground circuit would be blown by everyone running their generator at once.

On the other hand, as far as noise goes, if everyone had a quiet generator (~60dB) then it wouldn't be much of an issue. Unfortunately there are people that bring their 5,000 watt generators that are ~80dB+ making you feel like you've camped at a construction site. Campground operators don't want to have to police generator noise level. To avoid this they will publish hours during which generators can be operated, typically during the morning after 9:00am for a few hours and then in the afternoon/evening until 9:00pm, and not allow operation at night when everyone is trying to sleep.

#35 LongIsland Guy

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Posted August 22 2014 - 01:15 PM

Since the trailer power cord plugs into the generator I'm not sure what campground circuit would be blown by everyone running their generator at once.

On the other hand, as far as noise goes, if everyone had a quiet generator (~60dB) then it wouldn't be much of an issue. Unfortunately there are people that bring their 5,000 watt generators that are ~80dB+ making you feel like you've camped at a construction site. Campground operators don't want to have to police generator noise level. To avoid this they will publish hours during which generators can be operated, typically during the morning after 9:00am for a few hours and then in the afternoon/evening until 9:00pm, and not allow operation at night when everyone is trying to sleep.

I don't think he was referring to a generator powered AC but one plugged into the ac box on site.

#36 Incognito

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Posted August 22 2014 - 01:23 PM

Big question (not so much related to camping, but trailer) - When we pulled the small popup with my van, there was a noticeable front to back sway at speeds below about 50mph. Did you ever get anything like this. Do you think it was an issue of problem with trailer, problem with tow vehicle, or just part of towing a popup.


Tounge weight should be 10% of the weight of the trailer. If the tounge weight is too low then it could cause side to side swaying.
I'm not sure what you mean by front to back swaying. How are the shocks on the tow vehicle? Was there too much tounge weight? Or too much weight from gear and people on the rear of the tow vehicle?
Did you pack heavy items inside the pop up, and if so, was the weight in front of or behind the axle?

Edited by Incognito, August 22 2014 - 01:24 PM.


#37 The Architect

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Posted August 22 2014 - 01:23 PM

I get sway from 40-50 miles an hour on the highway. after that (55-65) no sway.

Equalizer hitch/sway control.

11,000 pound camper
famous Ram 2500

#38 How474

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Posted August 22 2014 - 01:30 PM

I get sway from 40-50 miles an hour on the highway. after that (55-65) no sway.

Equalizer hitch/sway control.

11,000 pound camper
famous Infamous Ram 2500

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#39 Steve936

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Posted August 22 2014 - 01:57 PM

I'm glad you had a successful trip...Sounds like a great time...We love camping where there's no cell/wifi...It forces us to entertain ourselves in other ways and that's when we really "connect" and some of our best laughs are had as a family...Boardgames, charades, goofing off around the fire, card games...our kids love it. We have had our camper stationary at our hunting spot for the last few years. It's great to get away from the Island. We do miss dragging it around and trying different campgrounds. When we went to the unit we have now we became too big for many state campgrounds(31ft box/35ft bumper to ball)So we started hitting some Jellystone Parks, namely The Birchwood Acres in Ellenville NY and Lazy River in Gardiner NY....Definitely put them on your list of places to check out...Great fun for the kids with activities all day for them....Once again, thanks for the write up...
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#40 VietVet

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Posted August 22 2014 - 02:32 PM

I don't think he was referring to a generator powered AC but one plugged into the ac box on site.


This is correct.





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