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Thoughts on Trailer in Park vs Camper?
Old 09-05-2016, 06:57 AM   #1
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Thoughts on Trailer in Park vs Camper?

I just retired Sept 1 . Still feels like vacation at this point. Talking about options for camping/travel with the DW. We're not big travelers, mostly regional and we prefer trips where we can haul the dogs with us.

We've camped off and on for years and love it, but of course, there's the trailer storage hassle and the hauling.

I should add that my DW is a nervous (and verbal) car-rider, even more so when we're towing and being passed aggressively. Frankly, it can be hard to listen to for more than an hour or so.

I have a 12 year old Tundra with less than 80k miles on it. Perfectly good for around town, especially now that I don't need to commute.

Option1 - Buy a camper, probably less than $25k. Replace the pickup (maybe), probably a Tacoma, another $25k. Monthly storage ~$150.

Option2 - DW has been looking at trailers (mobile home) in parks in the TX Hill Country. I have family in Kerrville/Frederickburg. With the trailer, we can take the dogs. Cost $50k - 100k. Probably $200 mo for utilities. We'd hope that we'd make friends in the park that could look after the place when we're not there. Of course, this limits us to day trips from that area.

With the camper, we can go anywhere, if we can stand the towing/car time. With the trailer, we get a less stressful drive and a 'second home' to get to.

It's not an investment decision. Obviously, the camper will depreciate. Probably the trailer also.

Any thoughts or advice.
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:10 AM   #2
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Depends on whether you want to be a camper (fixed base) or a traveler (towing). Looks like your wife already wants to be the 1st. That settles it.

I bought an RV to travel, not to camp. I already have a 2nd home in the boondocks.
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:04 AM   #3
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I'd look at renting. Some places will take dogs. No storage, no maintenance, no trailer towing stress, no obligation to go to the same place all the time. Cheaper in the long run.
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:43 AM   #4
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Check out the RV forums on Facebook. Many people have asked the exact same question. Join a couple of the groups, ask questions, ask cost, and browse! Several I suggest are Living the RV Dream, and Average Joe Camping. RV/Trailer sale groups are also on Facebook so you can get an idea of cost.
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:46 AM   #5
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easy decision - get a camper and get out of Texas a few months a year

DW will get used to the road, if not they have prescriptions for that type of anxiety
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Old 09-05-2016, 11:56 AM   #6
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For Option 2 - consider park model type trailer parks, in Nev and FL they easily exist that cost 10-20K for the trailer, and $600/mo for fees (swimming pool, community building, etc). The ones I saw in FL had very active members.

However, all you would have is a 2nd home, and would then want to travel from there.
Instead really I think you need to travel more, perhaps trips broken out into shorter stints, like find places to camp overnight or stop to tour for hours every 2 hours of driving.
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Old 09-05-2016, 12:54 PM   #7
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It could be the driving that is scaring his wife. We have that issue too and no matter how bad the weather is and what I say he drives to fast with an RV. It is scary to feel yourself getting blown around. It is negatively impacting the trips we are taking or not taking. His son who is 25 drives much better and slower.
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Old 09-05-2016, 01:01 PM   #8
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Be very cautious about mobile home parks in the Hill County. Most of them aren't a place to reside without concerns about leaving the house unoccupied. There are exceptions but they are not the norm.
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Old 09-05-2016, 02:03 PM   #9
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It could be the driving that is scaring his wife. We have that issue too and no matter how bad the weather is and what I say he drives to fast with an RV. It is scary to feel yourself getting blown around. It is negatively impacting the trips we are taking or not taking. His son who is 25 drives much better and slower.
I have seen some RV'ers driving like maniac. And I have seen overturned RVs. It is not pretty.

I used to look at yellow caution signs on highways, advising "Curve ahead, 35 mph", and thought why it was that big a deal when I could easily go 50 mph with one eye close. But that was when I was driving a car. With an RV, I realized that those signs were meant for semi-trailer trucks, and my RV's handling is worse than a semi when I pull a car behind it.

Never a semi-truck driver, but I think the handling is better than mine because with strong crosswinds, they don't get blown around as bad as mine does. The semi-trailers have axles at the two ends, instead of motorhomes that have the rear axle more forward, causing a big overhang. The short wheelbase allows tight turning, but causes poor stability.

I have seen travel trailers come snaking down the highway (they zigzag like a sidewinder), and they pass me while moving like a dog wagging its tail. Or is it the tail wagging the dog? Just accidents waiting to happen.
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Old 09-05-2016, 02:08 PM   #10
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Be very cautious about mobile home parks in the Hill County. Most of them aren't a place to reside without concerns about leaving the house unoccupied. There are exceptions but they are not the norm.
This is one of the very useful things about this forum. On the ground reports about what a situation really is. Things that would be hard to discover by people who are not right there over time.

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Old 09-05-2016, 03:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
It could be the driving that is scaring his wife. We have that issue too and no matter how bad the weather is and what I say he drives to fast with an RV. It is scary to feel yourself getting blown around. It is negatively impacting the trips we are taking or not taking. His son who is 25 drives much better and slower.
+1

I was thinking the same thing. Something is making her nervous.
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Old 09-05-2016, 03:40 PM   #12
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Be very cautious about mobile home parks in the Hill County. Most of them aren't a place to reside without concerns about leaving the house unoccupied. There are exceptions but they are not the norm.
Subtle, very subtle.
Compare that to when I was talking to a cop about the theft/break-ins of cabins near a small town and what could we do.
The cop said "Nothing as 50% of the town folks were criminals"

But maybe you were talking about the weather ?
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Old 09-05-2016, 04:00 PM   #13
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+1

I was thinking the same thing. Something is making her nervous.
Not necessarily. My DW is a very nervous passenger and I am a very careful driver that obeys the speed limit - no at fault accidents ever and have only been lightly rear ended a couple of times while stopped, by inattentive drivers. When I pull a trailer at 60 -65 mph, she is really nervous. Some people are just not good co-pilots.
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Old 09-05-2016, 04:23 PM   #14
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easy decision - get a camper and get out of Texas a few months a year

DW will get used to the road, if not they have prescriptions for that type of anxiety
Seriously?

You've obviously never had to take that garbage. I'd rather live with crippling anxiety than have to take meds, till it get the best of you. Mine as well be nap time and wake up feeling like a cat crapped in your mouth.
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Old 09-05-2016, 04:38 PM   #15
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But maybe you were talking about the weather ?
Nope.
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:46 PM   #16
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We have a deeded membership in a large campground in the North Georgia Mountains. For $425 per year dues, we can stay 14 days monthly for free.
For $32 per month, they keep my fifth wheel trailer in storage. Any time we're going to use our trailer, they move it onto a campsite for $15.
The campground has 20 rental RV's for owners without RV's.
Any time we want, we can take our RV out of the park for extended trips. There are a number of lakes in the area with campgrounds. We're about 120 miles from the Smokies.
The area is very mountainous, and a number of waterfalls are close by. And we're only 65 minutes from the edge of Atlanta--if I had any desire to visit ball games, etc.
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:47 PM   #17
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As stated above "sort of" some of the mobile home parks in Texas be careful where you buy. This comment is not to be taken negative for the majority of hard working folks that live in trailer parks but I think you get the drift. I was born and raised in Texas. On swapping trucks from a Tundra to a Tacoma, I am not sure the Tacoma is one I would chose to pull a camper depending on the size of your camper. I have a Tundra and Tacoma as you know the smaller one will have its limits. I would go the renting route as mentioned and there are plenty of pet friendly rentals available.
Congrats on your retirement and good luck!
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:37 PM   #18
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Thanks for the replies. The advice to rent is spot on. Personally, I don't think my driving is the cause of the anxiety, but I've been wrong before

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Old 09-05-2016, 06:48 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by travelover View Post
Not necessarily. My DW is a very nervous passenger and I am a very careful driver that obeys the speed limit - no at fault accidents ever and have only been lightly rear ended a couple of times while stopped, by inattentive drivers. When I pull a trailer at 60 -65 mph, she is really nervous. Some people are just not good co-pilots.
Could be...true or not.

Why We're All Better Than Average

"
Drivers consistently rate themselves as better than average even when a test of their hazard perception reveals them to be below par, said Mark Horswill, a psychologist at the University of Queensland in Australia.
"You find it across all ages, you find it among novice drivers, and you find it among drivers over age 65," Horswill told LiveScience."
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:04 PM   #20
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Could be...true or not.
I never said I was better that average, only that I can competent and my DW acts like her life is in danger if I don't slam on the brakes when a car slows down a 1/4 mile ahead. You'd have to see it to believe it
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