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Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-28-2007, 06:39 PM   #1
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Travel trailer suggestions

I am seeking input/advice on the purchase of a travel trailer. This is intended to be our "home base" as we travel to some area, roll the motorcycle out of the bed of the pickup, and see all there is to see for 3-4 weeks at a time, several times per year. Salesman at the local dealer, knowing that I had no intention of buying for at least two years, says we won't be happy with a straight trailer. Says that we should focus on the ones with the slide-out sections for the space, based upon the 3-4 week scenario. He also said look in the 24 - 26 foot range, for ease of handling both in the campgrounds and in towns. And to make sure we visit at least two RV shows for ideas.

So far, though pricey, this is what I consider to be the best choice.

What is the wisdom of the collective?
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-28-2007, 06:47 PM   #2
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredbop
I am seeking input/advice on the purchase of a travel trailer. This is intended to be our "home base" as we travel to some area, roll the motorcycle out of the bed of the pickup, and see all there is to see for 3-4 weeks at a time, several times per year. Salesman at the local dealer, knowing that I had no intention of buying for at least two years, says we won't be happy with a straight trailer. Says that we should focus on the ones with the slide-out sections for the space, based upon the 3-4 week scenario. He also said look in the 24 - 26 foot range, for ease of handling both in the campgrounds and in towns. And to make sure we visit at least two RV shows for ideas.
Just curious since you have a pickup: any reason why you aren't looking at 5th wheels? They are allegedly easier on the road, have tons of room, and you can even get a "toy hauler" version where your bike can be stored safe, dry and ready to roll on arrival?
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-28-2007, 07:09 PM   #3
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Rich, I need the bed too often to be bothered with that hitch thingy in there. So the bikes travels in the bed......I think. Heck, I don't know. I know even less about this than I do about investing.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-28-2007, 07:21 PM   #4
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

What bothers me is all the cranking up and back. Can you imagine what would happen to the mechanical stuff after several months of pot holes?

We use a small trailer for our mother-in-law digs when we visit family, park it there. What I like is both a sitting area (bench seat) separate from the dinette table (usually cluttered with stuff), a shower/toilet, and an L-kitchen.

This doesn't have much of a sitting area apart from the dinette. Assuming you are fair weather travelers you could lounge outside under a shade.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-28-2007, 08:19 PM   #5
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brat
.....What I like is both a sitting area (bench seat) separate from the dinette table (usually cluttered with stuff), a shower/toilet, and an L-kitchen.....
I think that's why he says go for the slide out sections. And we're not planning on fair-weather at all. I mean, heck, does anybody have a weatherman who is right more often than not?
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-28-2007, 08:24 PM   #6
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

I've been looking at Flagstaff (made by Forest River) as a towable by my 1/2 ton P/U. They aren't much different than what you are looking at.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-28-2007, 08:32 PM   #7
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by retiredbop
Rich, I need the bed too often to be bothered with that hitch thingy in there. So the bikes travels in the bed......I think. Heck, I don't know. I know even less about this than I do about investing.
Take a look at a bunch of them. Just camped at a large campground this weekend and spoke to at least a dozen 5th wheel owners; they seem to feel wtih the newer hitches that it's not much harder than backing up. Course, they bought one, so it has to be easy . But on watching them in action it looked like a piece of cake.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-28-2007, 08:37 PM   #8
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Whatcha putting in the bed of the truck?

Asking because several of my neighbors have 5th wheels and between the room around the "hitch thingy" and a small trailer, they seem to manage pretty well. The neighbor that has two 5th wheels (yes, two) puts a couple of quads, dog cages and whatnot in there on a regular basis. But he's got an f350 and I think its a long bed, so might have more room than whatever you've got in the first place.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-28-2007, 09:37 PM   #9
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Sounds as good a place to start as any.

Important thing - buy something relatively inexpensive, try it out, learn the lifestyle, see if it's enjoyable. Once you gain experience you'll have a much better idea of what you REALLY want, and you can upgrade.

You gotta get out there and camp to see what's really available and how things really work - the true trade-offs that benefit your style of camping.

Audrey
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-28-2007, 10:24 PM   #10
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Mike, I may not have spent enough time with that website, but from looking at the floor plans I couldn't see where they had slide outs. Maybe I missed it.

Now, I'm definitely not an expert on trailers, but working with the crew of people I did I listened to enough discussions about trailers/RV's and bass boats to have made a couple of observations. The slide outs are very, very nice. Also, everybody winds up replacing the truck they started with for something with a more powerful engine. I'm not sure why that happened, but they all seemed to do it and they all said it was much better than what they started with.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-29-2007, 07:08 AM   #11
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by audreyh1
Sounds as good a place to start as any.

Important thing - buy something relatively inexpensive, try it out, learn the lifestyle, see if it's enjoyable. Once you gain experience you'll have a much better idea of what you REALLY want, and you can upgrade.

You gotta get out there and camp to see what's really available and how things really work - the true trade-offs that benefit your style of camping.

Audrey
Good points - I would recommend finding what you are interested in and then contacting people on the web who own a similar unit. Also, buy used. You can find relatively new models significantly less than new.
Three items you want to condsider besides towing safety are:
1. Mileage while towing
2 Set up time
3 Resale value

I looked at the unit you are considering and did a little research. I didn't like the effort of setting it up and the potential for leakage both water and dust.

I have a 17' Casita. The size works for me.
Good luck and let us know what you decide.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-29-2007, 11:09 AM   #12
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

You didn't say what size truck you had. Size of your truck is really important. Check the past annual Trailer Life tow vehicle reports. Each year trailer life has done a report on the tow rating of all pickups and vans sold in USA. Find your tow rating from the report and DO NOT exceed it. If you you do you are unsafe ay any speed.

We have a 26' Prowler TT with slideout. Weighs in at 8600 loaded. It was all it could do for my '95 Surburban to tow it even though it was rated for the weight. Bought a 2500 HD PU with an 8.1 engine, the allison trans and 4.11's. The truck only knows the trailer is behind it on a hill. As well as the fact that the fuel milage drops to around 7 MPG at 65 mph towing. We have a shell with a Yakamia rack on the truck. We use it for the canoe and Kayak.

You might consider either a 5th wheel or a TT configured as a toy hauler. These have become quite popular. The rear portion of the trailer is configured to store bikes, atv's, and snow mobiles. I know DW would never go for these as I suspect that you would end up smelling fuel and lubricants in the people side of the trailer.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-29-2007, 12:19 PM   #13
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

We are looking at TrailManor, a light weight pop up. Last time we went to a travel trailer show, I had just had surgery on my shoulder so my wife tested how easy it was to set up. She's sold on this. Towing "dry weight" for the largest model is something like 3500 lbs, so we can easily haul it with our Toyota 6 cyl.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-29-2007, 04:03 PM   #14
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

We haul around motorcyles frequently which is one of the reasons we went for a motorhome rather than a trailer. Removing cycles from the bed of a pickup is a major PITA. I would lean more towards a toybox where you can store the cycles in back. You can get a 5th wheel version or a standard trailer. There seems to be many on the market now with a wide range in price and weight.

It might not matter to you but one issue with the popups is getting at your stuff when you are on a trip. We stop for lunch and simply walk back in our MH, use the bathroom, fix lunch, take out the dogs, etc. You will not have that same easy access to your stuff.

If you haven't done this before I do agree with Audrey on getting something used and inexpensive to try first.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-29-2007, 05:03 PM   #15
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Here's my home base.

I can also pull a 6,000 lb trailer with it at the same time. It will go anywhere with 4 wheel drive and has all of the creature comforts, h/c water, inside/outside shower, sat tv, etc, etc. I can load/unload the unit in fifteen minutes with the wireless remote electric jacks. Truck Campers are very versatile, but not for everyone.
Here's a shot of it at camp on the Outerbanks of North Carolina.
[img][/imghttp://i41.photobucket.com/albums/e294/wsdepa/Ocracokecampsite1.jpg]

Goog luck.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-29-2007, 05:05 PM   #16
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Here's that shot...
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-29-2007, 05:24 PM   #17
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

madeit!,

What are the specs/make of your camper? Do you have a 1/2 ton PU?
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-29-2007, 05:45 PM   #18
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

The advantage of a truck camper is that they are available in so many price ranges - you can try out the lifestyle with a used unit and upgrade over time. The disadvantage of a truck camper is that they don't have a 'cabin in the woods' aura, you climb up into them. They aren't difficult to off-load if you want to use the truck for scoping out the area.

Purchase a toy hauler for your bikes. They will be more secure and unloading them won't be as difficult.

The a used truck camper/toy hauler combo will be the best value IMHO.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-29-2007, 05:50 PM   #19
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2B
madeit!,

What are the specs/make of your camper? Do you have a 1/2 ton PU?
My camper is a Lance 981. There website is: www.lancecampers.com
No you really can not really haul any kind of Truck Camper(or fifth wheel) with a 1/2 ton. Mine is a one ton dually with airbags and custom overloads rated for 13,000 lbs gvwr. Everything that you want to know about this subject, toyhaulers etc you will find at www.rv.net
Good luck.
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions
Old 01-29-2007, 05:51 PM   #20
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Re: Travel trailer suggestions

I am not so sure a 1/2 ton would be enough to haul a trailer and the gear you want to bring along.
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