What is a Good Travel Trailer?
What in your opinion is a good travel trailer?
This question is directed at you, the Reader.
Those of you who own or have knowledge about travel trailers, we would love to hear from you.
Mostly looking for opinion regarding trailer manufacturers, models, who’s good, who’s not so good, what to be wary of, what to be sure to include, pitfalls, issues, favorable experiences, bad experiences… anything that may help someone in their decision process while picking out a travel trailer.
Please add your response to the Comment string of this post. This could be beneficial to many folks.
A good trailer is one that you can pull into the places you want to go. If you are on forest service roads, a 30 footer is probably too big. If you are trailering in the winter, a lite-weight is probably going to be too cold.
Looking at new trailers, there are only a few that differ from the others. High end trailers like Carriage and Franklin have all the fancy leather and corian. For the money, we prefer used trailers.
We just sold our 1968 Holiday Rambler 30 foot. It was solid and very comfortable. But for living in. it was narrow. We definately wanted more room, something with slideouts.
A generator goes without saying. There is no power in the forest.
We suggest lookng at a used trailer, something between the years of 1990-2000. Why pay top dollar for a newer trailer that will probably be less stable when you can pick up a used one and use the extra cash to outfit the trailer as you like. Just pick a good spot for the short wave radio.
We currently live in Alaska and have owned our used Fleetwood pop up for the last 6 years. It is 15 feet long for towing and has served us well for camping here. We have even towed it past the Arctic circle and camped. It has a 10 gal water tank so you would need to carry extra water or have some filtration system you could use. The heater in it has worked fine and my family of 4 has slept well in it. It would be cramped for long stays (we have done over 5 days at a time) but you are camping anyway. Like the other post you would need a generator but we have gotten along fine without one.
The best travel trailer is one that can be towed without breaking the bank. Mine is a 20 foot comfort lite complete with king bed and an office where the bunk beds were. We take it everywhere and are very comfy. With all the bells and whistles and no hassles!
What is a good travel trailer?
It depends on the towing car.
It depends on the specs set by the user.
It depends on the budget available.
The ideal travel trailer contains comfortable bedding, a good kitchen, a good cooker and heating/cooling system, a fresh water tank and a dirty water tank, a toilet/shower unit, can be used under summer and winter conditions = isolation and double glazing, can be towed into rough terrain, hence has sufficient ground separation, has good brakes and stabilizing system to drive safely at speeds up to 55 mph,
has sufficient loading space and capacity (which most trailers don’t, most of them exceed their maximum pay load only by filling up the clean water tank) and the entire structure and interior should be made from fire retardant materials which don’t produce toxic gases.
Unfortunately the last requirement eliminates 90% of the products currently in the market.
Plastics, foam, untreated wood and artificial fibers applied for curtains, the bedding, cushions, insulation and bedding turn modern trailers into potential deathtraps in case of fire.
Anyhow, all depends on the chassis which should be made from aluminum with a light weight sandwich structure for the body which is cheap to maintain and repair.
In Europe the Alcoa chassis is in use for most trailer models and I especially like the Tandemaster model with two axis and four wheels.
It allows for high payloads and safe and stable driving.
The interior should be made from laminated wood with rounded corners, a very solid solution.
The wood should be treated with a fire retardant.
For dressing the interior, the bedding, curtains etc, etc, only use natural products which don’t burn easy and don’t produce toxic gasses when on fire.
Take care to install a fire alarm and a product called Fire Knock Out.
In short, a good trailer is a safe trailer.
One of the best trailers produced in Europe was “De Reu” from Belgium but this factory closed in 1985.
Many of their trailers however are still in use.
Translate with google translate.
This trailer comes close with many of the specs but is too small and too expensive.
I personally love the Airstream trailers.
Even classic trailers go for big money which is a tribute to the quality of the product but i.m.o. they offer the best bang for the buck. That is if you can make a good deal or buy one to refurbish by yourself.
Maybe someone could give a good price rang (and which years), one is the best for the money.
What companies make the best for the money? I don’t want to pay 50,000 for one. I could buy survival property for that much money.
This is the wrong answer to your question,but I prefer an older diesel pusher,I bought a 1986 Holiday Rambler 38 Imperial Limited with a rebuilt caterpillar 3208(10.4 liters)for 14k on Craigslist last summer and it gets 10 miles per gallon(it holds 150)it holds 67 gallons of propane and it cost 75 dollars a year to register where I live.it holds 100 gallons fresh water.it is self contained and can tow a car or trailer.it has air ride and is robust in the suspension department.It’s built on a chassis supplied by a long standing bus manufacturer(Gillig)I live down a long dirt road with steep hills and theres no problem going in or out except if things get really muddy.(rare)It has an allison automatic transmission and of the couple in their late 70s that I bought it from it was the wife who did most of their long trip driving.(it seems easy to me to drive,but I have heavy equipment and dump truck too).it can carry a ton of supplies in the hardwood cabinets that are everywhere.
I forgot to mention that it only costs me around 250 a year to insure(liability).I live on 40 acres,so storage isn’t an issue.I like trailers too but I don’t think they’re as sturdy as a diesel rig.Just my opinion.
I forgot to mention,I have driven my motorhome for thousands of miles replacing at my option the alternator(It didn’t need it,the voltage guage was reading low.)$400 and the Starter(It was working,when i went to change it the solenoid was loose)$650.I felt better after changing them by hand,myself now knowing what I have down there.
Critter proof. Keep your granite countertops. Just make them mice proof!
What is the best way to mice proof? I’m planning in living in a trailer full time, any other advice?
Mice are creatures of habit. They tend to travel on the same routes. You want to get rid of them *before* they start breeding. I ended up killing more than thirty a few years ago. Some with glue traps, some with a hammer(the juveniles couldn’t jump out of the box that contained the nest). Using the hammer was therapeutic.
I am thinking about buying a 1991 32 foot Terry. Has been used (not pulled) in an RV park. It’s in great condition as the people who owned it live far away and are older and didn’t come down very often. More summer months. The furnace/AC and all kitchen appliances, bathroom work great. No leaks ever. Has storm windows and a cloth awning that is like new. It has a flush toilet. I’ve been told.. easy to change if I want to put in an RV toilet. Asking price is $6500 CAD. What do you think?
By what you say, it sounds like it may be a good thing… Check for dry rot that may be hidden from plain sight, things like that…
What is the best way to check for dry rot? Showers in particular seem more difficult
Any All Terrain travel camper made in Australia is and has been tested in some of the most hostile terrains that this world can dish out – I would put my money on anything built by some of our 4WD fraternity! I’ve been to a few Four Wheel Drive show’s with my previous employer and all I need to say is “WOW”… Couple one of our trailers with one of your H1 Hummers and bring on Dooms day – it would be a walk in the park!!!
Although I did not purchase my trailer with survival in mind, I learned quite a bit shopping for one in a few years time. First, if you can find the right one, buy used. second, on AVERAGE, most people store these items outdoors. Sun destroys rubber and cheaper plastic roofs which causes leaks. In FL, 7-10 years is the life of a roof and, the basic trailer. If you catch one BEFORE the roof is leaking, it can be replace for about $3K depending on size. Otherwise look for an all fiberglass or metal roof trailer – there are very few out there used. The best bet is Airstream. Check out the floor on those for rot. Also the all fiberglass trailers Casita, etc. The Airstreams though come in all sizes where the fiberglass trailers are usually smaller. Trailers are less off-road but an option – staying within the thread topic.
I live in a 21 ft coachman cadet for 6 summer months of the year, i mostly use hydro as the trailer is in a trailer park and hydro is metered , but electicity cost less than running propane, i look forward to summer , as the people in the park are my summer family , if it was,nt for the bitterly cold winters in canada , i would sell my home and live in my trailer full time, as i find that this kind of life style really sets you mind of what is really important in ones life ,, “friends” those you can count on , those who live and experience the same life style that you enjoy
JUST PURCHASED A COLEMAN CTS 16 QB TRAVEL TRAILER. JUST WANTED TO SEE IF ANYONE HAS ANY EXPERIENCE WITH THIS BRAND.
That is a great brand I’ve had mine 17years my jayco 30ft.
In response to sundance 118, I can relate to what your saying as I live in a 1979 coachman cadet 25’bunkhouse. Layed off from job lost house, so I am glad I hung onto my travel trailer. I find that I actually enjoy it as it sits on a private lot in the country, I find my life don’t depend on the things I had but on what makes you content and happy in life. I do use 2 electric heaters and my stove to keep warm for winter and I did fine, I also live in SC, but I plan on getting one of the new catalytic propane heaters for next winter, god willing.
How many times have the various religions predicted the end? Thats their way to control you. Hasnt happened yet, may never happen in your lifetime so why live waiting to die? Enjoy your life. We dont know when our number comes up.
only god knows just when end comes enjoy life now but be ready when that last breath leaves your body then we will stand before him just you and god
Why conjure up ‘god’ at the last moment? How about one just dies . That’s it.
I’m working for a travel trailer. what should I look for in the best interest of living situation
We’re looking at at 2007 Cruiser RV Fun Finder. Seems in good shape. We are first time buyers. It’s at a mom & pop place. How do we figure out if there are any water leaks or history of them? The selling lot is consignment. He doesn’t use any high pressure system & soapy water to test. Is there something we can buy to run along walls/floors to detect water leaks? Super nervous buying our first camper. It’s up for $5700 & I think but am not positive if that’s a great price in the market. It’s fully loaded with the usuals & bath.
Love any indeapth feedback, recommendations etc.
Look for signs of wood rot or discoloration (from possible previous water leaks) around hoses/pipes. Inspect visually as best you can. If they won’t let you connect the water supply, then I would ask for a condition or contingency such that you have a number of days to check for leaks – with a guarantee of repair, refund, etc.
If you’re buying ‘as is’, then all due-diligence is entirely up to you. Inspect as best you can and get the best price you can (just in case you need to repair afterwards).
Tks for quick feedback. He sounds to be setting up the camper today, getting the fridge going & we’ll go see it tomorrow. Hopefully a rainy day tomorrow ;) He said he was gonig to go through the camper with us & show us how to use everthing, especaially as it’s our first camper. I think he’s a good guy but one never really knows.
Is there some sort of sensor, like a studd finder, that one runs across camper walls to see if there is wetness? ANd, if it’s raining will it automatically “falsely” trigger off if I was doing it from the inside out?
Love the feedback & recommendations. Thanks super much.
When I bought my house, the inspector used the thing you are describing to test if ceilings were damp. I can’t tell you what it is called or if it would give you false readings if the rain outside is too close to what you are measuring. You may want to contact an inspector to find out more about this.
I bought a 2014 autumn ridge by starcraft new on show room floor. Drove 40 miles home, two days later were going on trip, all loaded, went out
night before to check everything out. To my surprise the bathroom door and frame had come off the wall leaving wall pushed in. This happened as it just sat there. This 266rks unit really surprised us.
Good travel trailer can be the most effective way to enjoy the journey and can relax more with no worries. Those that are the most important points. Some may undergo different experiences but the great deal is the most good role.
We love our Jayco, 26 foot pull behind (264BHW). We like the so called stick-and-tin trailers vs fiberglass, but both have pluses and minuses. Something that fits your family’s camping preferences and can be towed well by your vehicle are musts.
Look into Livin Lite trailers. They are all aluminum — walls, roof, floors, joists and the frame, too. Shop for a pre-2015 on the used market. (Before Thor bought them out and made changes — changes that are making them closer and closer to the rest of the market.). We had one but it was too small for our longer journeys. Even the cabinets have welded aluminum frames. They are light weight, long lasting and hold their value well.
Outdoor RV built in Washington state is only one I’ve heard of who has many attributes for cold weather. Some of them are: 2 in. walls, radius roof, insulated windows, holding tanks mounted on heating pads are a few. Keep the trailer no more than 21 feet. Have solar cells or wind generator installed. Protect your batteries from extreme cold.
Primative camper for 30 yrs
I am now living in my 4th travel trailer which is a borrowed 1972 21′ Airstream Globetrotter. who is begging me to restore her, but her owner, a mature gentleman, has reached that stage in life where he has had enough of things coming and going and refuses to let her go. So I will scrub the years of grime away, patch the holes, replace crumbled rubber seals and live with her lines and wrinkles while I search for another like her to perform real magic on. I have also lived in a 24′ Terry, a new 32′ Jayco 5th wheel and a 39′ 11″ Country something or other that had dual heating & air units, a single slide-out,, washer,dryer, microwave, basement storage, and a water heater that would run on electricity or propane. Here are some things I prefer to do. 1.) Travel light. 2.) Wash often. 3,)Think small. I have a paperweight with fish suspended in clear glass that I call my aquarium. As with cars, I have found that the more bells and whistles the trailer has, the more things there are to go wrong. The big one had an elaborate twisting and winding holding tank design that was always getting blocked. Many parks in remote locales did not have the higher power hookups. The microwave, vacuum and just one of the AC units running would trip the breaker for sure. The electric pre-warmer on the water heater would trip the breaker just as you got settled into the warm bath in the full sized tub forcing you to fumble around in the dark for something modest and warm enough to wear as you quickly ran outside to restore power. Trailer living can be delightful for those who enjoy (or prefer) their own company, Likewise it can be an added stress on a shaky relationship. A kitchen located on the end of the trailer helps avoid stepping on each other. I have said nothing about the Terry because the only problem with the trailer which was 15 at the time of purchase was that it was just too small for two adults, a 2 yr. old and a big, hairy dog, Th Jayco was fairly stylish, but the drawer fronts were simply stapled on and fell off after a couple of months. Real screws took care of that permanently.