Choosing an RV – Travel Trailers

Travel trailers are some of the most common RV units purchased by the working family, as the cost of entry is fairly low especially if one already owns a suitable tow vehicle. Travel trailers are popular as they can be towed be a wide range of commonly available vehicles including pickup trucks, vans, SUV’s and in the case of the very small trailers, possible even a car.

Travel trailers come in hard or soft walled varieties, the nostalgic teardrop shaped, and other imaginative configurations such as models that telescope upwards when camping, and lowered when towing. Many hybrid models also exist blurring the lines between tent trailer and travel trailer, with fabric or hard walled extensions that pop out on one or both ends. Exteriors will often feature the older, standard aluminum siding, though many are now featuring smooth, easy to clean fiberglass siding as standard.

In the larger models, slideouts are often featured, with some sporting as many as three slides. Travel trailers can come with interiors that are rustic and standard in the lower end, all the way up to immaculate appointments in the high luxury models. In these coaches, you will get what you pay for. Floorplans can come in every imaginable arrangement including separate bedrooms or bunkhouses even with a slideout for the kids.

Pros:

Travel trailers are fairly easy to hitch and unhitch freeing the tow vehicle to be used for sightseeing and running errands.
Many available floorplans allowing the couple or the large family to find a model ideal for their needs.
Can be towed by a wide range of vehicles saving the buyer from having to buy a motorized RV if a suitable tow vehicle is already owned.

Cons:

Travel trailers can be more difficult to tow than a fifth wheel trailer, as sway and drift can occur. Proper equipment such as sway bars can and proper balancing can help with this.
Not as convenient as a motorhome in operation, as one has to get out of the tow vehicle to enter the trailer. This can be a security concern when overnighting in rest areas for instance.
Travel trailers have larger footprints as they include the tongue in the total length advertised. Because they are hanging in back of the tow vehicle in contrast to a fifth wheel, larger models can be difficult to maneuver and get in smaller campgrounds.

Cost: The cost of entry to the world of RV’ing can be quite small if buying a standard pull trailer. Provided you own a tow vehicle, travel trailers can range from a low of around $8,000 to $50,000 or more depending on quality, options and customizations chosen.

Travel trailers can make an excellent buy for the fulltiming couple who also want to have a tow vehicle besides a truck, which isn’t possible with fifth wheel trailers. Some tow with a van or van conversion or even a truck with a camper mounted for multiple use RV’s in one package. For the family a standard trailer is also a great purchase as they will surely find a perfect floor plan to suit their needs. Keep in mind that the larger models may be difficult to drive to, and setup in the more primitive campgrounds when purchasing. One just needs to determine their unique needs as far as goals for the trailer and the terrain they wish to travel in. With a wise look at these factors you can’t go wrong.

Paul has been living in RV’s for most of his adult life. With a passion for any home on wheels or one that floats, he seeks out all information pertaining to the nomadic lifestyle.

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