Closer view of the buggy itself.
We got a license plate with the buggy's name on it.
2005 Fleetwood Colonial Popup
We used our popup for three years of vacation travel from 2004-2007, and we named it the Luvnest because it was so darned
cute and so much fun. Whenever we spent time in it, even just a weekend in a local campground, we fell in love all over again.
We took it out whenever possible. In the first two years we spent 157 nights in it.
We bought it after a trip to Bryce Canyon National Park (Utah) in a tent. The rain was relentless. While we drove around looking
for warm coffee shops and cozy places for lunch and dinner we noticed that all the people in RVs at the campground were
happily playing board games and reading, snug inside their trailers. All the tenters packed up and left. When we got home we
went shopping for a popup.
The 2005 Fleetwood Colonial Folding Tent Trailer is 12' long
end-to-end, including the hitch. It has a 10' x 8' box containing
the dinette, sink, cupboards and some nice shelving and gives
150 square feet of living space. There is a King bed at the
hitch end and a Double bed at the other end, We had a
furnace and outside shower which both came in very handy.
We never camped anywhere that required air conditioning, but
we often had chilly nights and ran the furnace. When we got
hookups we would use a Holmes ceramic space heater
instead, as heating the trailer with the furnace used a lot of
It had 26 gallons of fresh water (including the 6 gallon hot
water tank). There was no holding tank and no toilet. We
kept two small sets of Rubbermaid drawers in the trailer.
One set contained our toiletries and the other had all those
miscellaneous things you need like scissors, string, tape,
stapler, pens and pencils, pads, sewing kit, etc.
We pulled the popup with a 2004 Toyota Tundra pickup truck
(4.7 liter engine). It was a perfect combination for towing. The
trailer was easily within the truck's capabilities and there was
plenty of storage under the cap of the pickup for all the things
that wouldn't fit in the trailer.
We purchased a bike rack for the roof, as this particular
model did not include a roof rack. It was a little awkward to
get the bikes on the roof, because the rack system required
strapping the bikes down in addition to using Bike Tites to
clamp the fork to the roof, but it gave us more room in the
The beauty of a popup is that it is light and easy to tow, can fit
in almost any campsite at any campground and can be
parked in the garage. Most have a king bed. The
disadvantage is that the canvas sides don't provide any
insulation and you can't easily overnight in a Walmart or eat
lunch at the dinette while stopped at a rest area.
A popup offers a fantastic introduction to RVing. We learned all about the basic RV systems: batteries, gas fridge, gas hot water
heater, furnace, etc., with the popup. We also learned how to conserve water with our showers and how to conserve battery
use. We did not have solar, but we could spend about a week in this rig without charging the batteries. We often used candles
at night to extend our stay. The furnace was very effective but used a lot of battery power. I nicknamed it the Fire Breathing
Dragon, because it was quite loud and would make the buggy so hot I'd have to unzip the canvas near my nose to get some
fresh air! We found that if we were staying several days in a place where temperatures got into the 30's at night we were
happier with hookups so we could run our electric heater all night long. The lowest temperature we ever camped in was 28
degrees in Moab, Utah, in March. We like to be warm and we don't camp in humid areas, so we have never had a need for air
conditioning in any of our rigs -- except when we were east of central Texas.
Long-term travel in a popup can be done, but it is the exception. We met a couple in their mid-sixties that has full-timed in a
Fleetwood Niagra popup for four years. They had a bumper sticker, "Life is better outdoors," and they were grinning ear to ear.
We also met a couple in their twenties that was spending six months in their Fleetwood Santa Fe touring the country and
peforming music in local bars as they searched for a community they liked enough to settle in.
It was hard to give up our first Luvnest when we purchased our Lynx travel trailer. However, our good friends Rich and Mary are
now the proud owners of this rig, and we have had a ball camping with them, seeing our old Luvnest in a nearby campsite.