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Pop-up Camper Parts
Pop-Up Camper Parts
My wife and I, along with our children are huge campers. I have been camping since I was a child but my wife started when she met me. I even proposed to her on a hike camping trip on the edge of a mountain.
One thing she talked me into was getting a camper which I'm not glad we did. I was a large pop-up camper that we used for almost 5 years. I'm sure you know like me that over time, campers in general get worn, pop-up's maybe even more. Things break, wear out and get dinged. When it came time to find parts for our pop-up camper, it was like I ran into a brick wall.
See, we had Coleman, they might be known for a lot of camping gear but Coleman is not known for campers. In fact it is harder than you think to find any Coleman pop-up camper parts! I wanted to share a little of what I learned on my search.
Where to Find Pop-Up Camper Parts
One thing that I have learned is it really depends on what type of parts you are looking for. Many parts are interchangeable like stabilizers, cranks, door parts, etc. Your best bet is always check places like Amazon first here. Search the part you are looking for like "pop up camper stabilizer jacks" or "pop up camper awning". If it is basic parts like this, I have never had any trouble finding it on Amazon.
The issue comes when you are looking for pop-up camper parts that are specific to your model. This could be the canopy, part of the plastic body or the canopy pole that goes over the beds. This is where it gets to be a pain. Even when you visit the manufacturer websites, they do not have the parts themselves.
I found out that specific dealers get the license to carry parts for each manufacture. That means the only way to get these parts is to find a local dealer that supplies parts for your brand of pop-up camper. This can be quite the task in itself.
What Type of Camer Do You Own
How to Find your Local Dealer for Parts
I found out the irritating way that each city can only have one "dealer" for each brand of camper within a certain distance of each other. The reason behind this is so no camper store is competing over customers for the same campers (hense keeping the prices up). Only the dealer of that brand can get and sell parts for it.
I will use our current camper as an example. We purchased a brand new 2013 Forrest River (manufacture) Shamrock (brand). We found the camper in Indianapolis at the trade show. Since we live in Cincinnati, we figured we would be able to get that camper at our local dealer (same dealer, different city). But the problem was, our local dealer didn't carry the Samrock camper because another dealer sold the Rio brand. The Roo camper is the same as camper as the Shamrock, just a different "brand". So it gets a little confusing. So my local dealer sells a different manufacture so they are not competing with the other in town dealer that sells the Forest River Roo... Have I lost you yet! Confusing, I know.
Okay, back on point. To find a local dealer that sells your manufacture, you can contact the maker of your camper. Remember that the maker is not the brand. Forest River also made our Coleman camper, so we would call Forest River and ask for the contact of the nearest dealer. Your camper should have a sticker on it with the manufacture of who made it. You can usually find it near the door or on a window.
My Last Thoughts
I will also bring up the following point. I also learned that just because pop up campers are cheaper to buy, doesn't mean pop up camper parts are cheaper. Plan to pay top dollar for any part you need from a dealer. This brings me back to always search Amazon before contacting any dealer. If you can find it there, you will save a ton of money.
Why We Upgraded
Okay, if you are still with me hear and care to hear, this is why we we upgraded from out pop-up to a Hybrid.
Firstly, it was just time. We were outgrowing our pop up quickly. We had two boys at the time and planning on a third. Our oldest boy was getting to the age where he wanted to bring a friend camping with us.The other reason was because finding pop-up camper parts for our year and model was just getting too hard. Plus the price is outrageous. We were paying almost $30 per canopy arm bracket, the little part that attaches to the ceiling to hold up the canopy over the beds. I don't know why but we were breaking them left and right.
We upgraded to the Hybrid I spoke about above, the Forest River Shamrock. Ours came with three fold out beds, a real bathroom and two, yes two pull out. We do love it, but everyone is different. It all depends on what you want.
Enjoy the camping this summer!