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Old     (diamonddad)      Join Date: Mar 2010       04-20-2010, 1:15 AM Reply   
Anyone know much about travel trailers?

We want a 24' or so light-weight trailer for 2 people and 2 dogs. A kitchen, bath, shower, dinning table, couch, master bedroom with slider(s). They are generally pretty inexpensive so I would be inclined to buy the best available.

Got a brand recommendation?
Old     (Chuch)      Join Date: Mar 2010       04-20-2010, 6:21 AM Reply   
Right now we have a 31 foot Fleetwood and before that a 27 foot Jayco. No real complaints on either one man. In your size range we owned a "cub", It was one of those trailers witht he pop out tent ends....PITA! I wish I had a more solid suggestion for you. Play with all the gadgets you can get your fingers on. Things like faucets (especially in the shower), storage compartment locks, cabinets, mattresses, curtains and shades....all those little things are what you need to be worried about most in my opinion. Also, pull the awning out and get a feel for it...thats one more item that can turn out to be a pain in the AZZ. What does the hot water run off of (gas, electric or either)? - another great question. Anyway, just trying to get you thinking a bit. Let me know if you have any specifics, and I'll try my best to answer. I've been setting them up for about 16 years now, and we used ours almost 60 days at the lake last year.
Old     (Chuch)      Join Date: Mar 2010       04-20-2010, 6:25 AM Reply   
BTW, we looooove our sliding pop out with 2 dogs. dogs are always on the floor, so the extra floorspace is crucial. Adds a little weight to the keep an eye on what you are towing with.
Old     (Matt)      Join Date: Mar 2010       04-20-2010, 6:46 AM Reply   
I got a 2010 wolfpack 27' bumper pull toy hauler last year, none of the bells & whistles, I can fit a 700 rhino 170 rzr & two dirtbikes in it.... It has a queen up front and a fold out couch on the rear... real nice deal.. Brand new was about $16,500.. Its perfect for us & we have a 7yr old daughter and 1 dog...
Also it is 1/2 ton towable...
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       04-20-2010, 7:38 AM Reply   
Do not be too optimistic about the size you can tow if you have a 1/2 ton. They tow amazingly poorly compared to boats, mostly due to the boxy shape. The levels in the black/grey/fresh tanks also have a noticeable effect on towing.

If you're buying used, the #1 thing to check is the roof. Not only should it not be leaking, but the caulking needs to be kept up with regularly, so it should be plentiful and fresh. Also make sure the water tanks aren't cracked. Everything else is fairly easy to fix.

I'd also recommend considering a big popup. They are a bit more hassle to set up, but tow WAY better. They are really pretty roomy, especially with a slide, and always have two adult-sized beds. The newer offroad toyhauler types (a la Jayco Baja) are pretty slick if you have toys to bring and want to get way back in the woods.
Old     (wakeboardin)      Join Date: Apr 2001       04-20-2010, 7:41 AM Reply   
Dane i don't have one but have several friends that do. Most have toy haulers and the advantage to that is it carries more water and has larger gray water tank opposed to just a normal travel trailer. I always tend to look at the resale side of things due to sooner or later I'll get rid of it. Weekend Warrior has one called a fs23 I think, if I recall I almost bought this one and it was considered a super lite model meaning the frame had holes in it to lighten it up. I think Gramps has this exact model and can probably comment better on it. Also will you be visiting areas where there is no hook ups if so the toy hauler may be better if not the travel trailer will be more affordable. There are a ton of models and manufactures out there and my suggestion is check them out find out what you want and do not want also here is a site that I used to frequent that was kind of the RV wakeworld.

Good Luck
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       04-20-2010, 8:24 AM Reply   
Unless you're planning on hauling dirtbikes, quads, or other toys, I would stay away from a toy hauler. They're more expensive, not nearly as cozy, and have configurations that aren't optimal.

I'm a fan of the pop-ups for a couple of reasons. They tow good, offer all the space, lighter, and you can store them in the garage. Unless you're doing a lot of winter camping, they're a good route. As mentioned above the downfall is setup time. I've spent countless nights in my 14 foot popup in rain, snow, mud, they can handle anything.

With that said, I'm now looking at RVs!
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       04-20-2010, 10:23 AM Reply   
If you plan on camping in cold weather, you will need heated tanks too. I also agree on only getting a toy hauler if you have toys to haul.
Old     (Chuch)      Join Date: Mar 2010       04-20-2010, 2:23 PM Reply   
HAHA...we took a down spout ( Basically a tornado of sorts) in our pop up on Hatteras Island in NC one time when I was about 18. It was strong enough, after my parents went running for cover, to take their truck door and pin it forward! The pop up lived! Our neighbors mechanisms were bent to crap, and one other went over. Your right....a pretty good investment overall man, as we used the piss out of that thing. I will say that the pop ups are a PITA to put away wet though...then to get them home and let them dry out. Maybe they are designed a bit better these days.
Old     (diamonddad)      Join Date: Mar 2010       04-20-2010, 5:42 PM Reply   
Jarrod, what type of RV are you looking for? That is tempting too but a lot more $$$.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       04-21-2010, 8:08 AM Reply   
RV's are tempting, but more expensive in several ways. Beyond the initial price - the insurance, storage, and fuel costs all go up, plus you have a drivetrain to maintain that sits unused a lot.

I like class C's and class A's about the same. They both have pros and cons. Driving a class C feels a little easier to me because the cab is more like a normal vehicle. You can also usually get two adult sized beds in a C. Class A's are roomier inside and usually have more storage than a C, but always 1 bedroom unless you're looking at the Prevost level. The drivetrain and suspension is usually more robust in an A, and they are better at towing than a C.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       04-21-2010, 8:12 AM Reply   
Personally I would like to buy an older class C and convert it to a toy hauler.
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       04-21-2010, 11:09 AM Reply   
Do it once, do it right...... Airstream.

Ha, ha, ha... I've been dreaming of an Airstream for a while now.

We just checked out a bunch of trailers at the Sac Boat show. There are some seriously nice configurations now. I don't remember the manufactures (there are so many), but we really liked the ones with doors on the master bedroom and living room of the trailer. They had 2 pop's. One in the master, one in the living room. They were huge inside when popped. Easily enough room for family and dogs. About 27' if I remember right.

A lot of the so-called 1/2 ton towables will be very close to max weight for a 1/2 ton. Look carefully. If you're planning on getting into the mountains you will want to consider very carefully. Towing a 20+ foot trailer fully loaded up to tahoe with a 1/2 ton would be a haul. Just something to consider.
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       04-21-2010, 2:24 PM Reply   
Damn what happened to my disapeared
Old     (ritchieps190)      Join Date: Aug 2001       04-21-2010, 3:14 PM Reply   
"A lot of the so-called 1/2 ton towables will be very close to max weight for a 1/2 ton."

I've looked at them recently too and a lot of the "1/2 ton" units are geared towards brand new trucks that have 9 to 10k lb tow ratings...
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       04-21-2010, 3:33 PM Reply   
It's more than just the gross weight, too. All except popups need an anti-sway hitch. Some are really tongue-heavy, especially empty toy haulers as they are designed to have stuff in the back. Also the boxy shape catches a lot more wind than you will expect coming from boats.
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       04-21-2010, 4:52 PM Reply   
Rvs are more expensive in general, but in my case, I would have to buy a truck to haul the trailer. For the cost of a decent diesel truck and a nice trailer, I can just buy the RV. Either way I'm paying for storage. The advantage is no hooking up, unhooking, loading up.....just throw the bags in and go.

The RV will just make road trips a lot more fun. Daughter can nap, people can sit at the table, do whatever, have a good time. I can also hook up a small dirtbike trailer, or even a boat.

The downside, aside from the above, is that I would have to avoid snow, mud, and sand. That's the only thing I'm struggling with.
Old     (bg__dereks_mom)      Join Date: Aug 2009       04-21-2010, 5:42 PM Reply   
In our 31 years of marriage we have gone from a small 20 foot trailer, and hauled the dirt bikes in a van. Then when we bought our first boat, so we went to a pickup and cab-over camper, so we could tow the boat. Then our first son was born so we bought a 26 foot motor home. Like J Rod said, it is much easier with a little one to have a motorhome for the reasons he already mentioned. Then we bought a 31 foot trailer, just because I fell in love with it at an RV show. Then went went back to a 32 foot motorhome, because we were racing Motorcycles and it was much easier to take to the tracks. Now the kids are grown, and it is just the 2 of us and a dog. We went back to a 28 foot trailer, I have to say I like the trailers best. Ours has two slide outs which makes it very roomy. It is nice to be able to park and un- hook, allowing use of the truck to run around in. The motorhomes were noisy while traveling. You can hear everything, from the stuff in the cabinets, the mini blinds rattling, to the burners on the stove with every bump in the road. Just my opinions from our experiences over the years. Good luck with your search. I'm sure you will be happy with whatever you choose.
Old     (diamonddad)      Join Date: Mar 2010       04-21-2010, 11:53 PM Reply   
Thanks everyone! Once again, WakeWorld followers bring great advice!
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       04-22-2010, 8:00 AM Reply   
Intersting point on the rattles and noices, Becky.
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       04-22-2010, 11:34 AM Reply   
Yeah... Great insight Becky.

Jarrod... I guarantee that when we take your RV places you wont be able to hear any rattles. Now with the family it may be another story.
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       04-22-2010, 11:41 AM Reply   
I'm with the group. WE have a Rampage toy hauler and love it. We opted for the motorized dual beds in the back for the kids which is the best thing we could have ever done. All of the warning on the caulking and tanks are right on. Keep in mind than many of the companies are no longer in business so that may/may not affect your warranty. Make sure you have a good local service company just in case.

Good luck and happy camping.
Old     (ointment)      Join Date: Jun 2008       04-22-2010, 11:49 AM Reply   
Currently have 33ft trailer, atleast I think that is the length. It's a very nice trailer with slide outs, it served it's purpose when were able to leave it at the river. But now it just sits there with no use. I think if I were to do it all over again I would either go used or buy a RV. Since I cant tow the travel trailer and boat, it is a waste of money until the economy turns around and I can sell it. The other thing you might think about is where you will be storing it.
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       04-22-2010, 12:26 PM Reply   
RV's are awesome to road trip in, but they are definitely creaky and noisy. In general you end up developing the habit of storing everything carefully so it doesn't rattle, slide, or fall. Don't put too much heavy stuff in a drawer either; the little stops can only handle so much force.

On one road trip I had a towel get stuck under a cabinet. It flexed up off the floor during a turn or something, towel slid under it a bit, and then it came back down on top of the towel. Ripped the corner off trying to get it out.
Old     (bg__dereks_mom)      Join Date: Aug 2009       04-22-2010, 12:50 PM Reply   
Oh.......and another bit of advice coming from experience. When traveling in an RV with a little one on board, never assume your spouse strapped in the car seat. One time while leaving Lake Don Pedro we took a turn and here came Brandon rolling to the front, car seat and all. Good thing he was OK, because it was just too funny.
Old     (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       04-22-2010, 1:33 PM Reply   
That explains a few things about BG. Ha, ha, ha.
Old     (bg__dereks_mom)      Join Date: Aug 2009       04-22-2010, 1:48 PM Reply   
Yep...... That was his first roll to revert (25 years ago) He was smiling when we picked him up. I guess he thought it was fun. Maybe becuase mom and dad were cracking up.
Old     (buffalow)      Join Date: Apr 2002       04-23-2010, 8:44 AM Reply   
Oh, here is a great trip when you are first starting. Put a pad of paper and pen somewhere handy and every time you realize something is missing from your trailer, write it down so you can be prepared the next trip. It took many trips to make sure we had everything, but once we did, we never show up and have forgot the basics.
Old     (brycejb328)      Join Date: Aug 2009       04-26-2010, 8:08 AM Reply   
I had a 24 foot KZ. had the pop out tent bed in front. functional yes... annoying to open up, YES. I personally thought it was horrible to tow. Not sure if it was weight distribution or what. I always used my load leveling hitch and it still sucked. Towed things of greater weight and seemed to tow easier. When i was shopping, Jayco always stood out as a good brand.
Old     (micah)      Join Date: Mar 2008       04-26-2010, 8:45 AM Reply   
We just bought one of these and love it for our purposes. Here is the inside configuration

I always wanted one of these to haul the ATV's but the Spree trailer won out for comfort
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       04-26-2010, 9:13 AM Reply   
I'm in love with this one.

Need to save a little more cash, and then hit the wife with a value proposition! :-)
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       04-26-2010, 12:45 PM Reply   
We rented a nice 31' class C a few months ago. They are very nice, but the one glaring thing I noticed missing was leveling jacks!

I really dig the Fleetwood Scorpion line:
Old     (westsiderippa)      Join Date: Dec 2006       04-27-2010, 2:47 PM Reply   
my vote is for the travel trailer here. we are loking to buy one ourselves right now. our purpose is to have all the comforts of home behind the truck and at the track. dirt bikes go in the truck. like stated above, toy haulers are way more expensive and not nearly as cozy as a travel trailer. dont get me wrong though, some of the big a-- raptors and ragen fith wheels with garages etc.. are pimp as f--- but you might as well just buy a freakin diesel pusher at that cost. under 10k and you can find a sweet little travel trailer with pop outs etc... the one issue with travel trailers over toy haulers is they seem to lack generators, i think its because the are more designed for hook ups instead of being 100% self contained like the toy haulers, but thats not a big deal you can get a nice little honda generator for cheap.
Old     (diamonddad)      Join Date: Mar 2010       04-27-2010, 3:10 PM Reply   
Micah, I dig that SPREE unit you have. Nice floorpan. Now, if that sofa was also on a slider then it would be perfect. Its nice to have more space between the sofa and dinette.
Old     (diamonddad)      Join Date: Mar 2010       04-29-2010, 1:24 PM Reply   
These Sprinter conversions are interesting RV options.
Attached Images
Old     (micah)      Join Date: Mar 2008       04-29-2010, 1:58 PM Reply   
GD, check out the Spree 245KS. I think it has exactly what you are looking for.
Old     (patrick232)      Join Date: Aug 2008       04-29-2010, 2:10 PM Reply   
We supply parts to they have light weight uprights and hardside popups. I would say they are on the higher end.
Old     (duramat)      Join Date: Feb 2008       04-30-2010, 5:30 PM Reply   
Years ago we were looking at a 5th Wheel, it would of been good for us at the time. But we waited. Then we were kicking around the idea of a larger Pop-Up tent and we just about did that, but we waited. Well fast forward a few years and a few kids later we ended up picking up an ex-rental unit with high miles on it. I tried to pick up an older unit but everything on the market was rotted out and they still wanted primo price. We walked in this unit and it was clean and with no water damage, and it was just a few thousand more than the other rotted units. Its no frills, no leveling system but its got a shower, bed and crapper, stove, and an engine to pull the boat. (which did awesome last week) This was the best decision and the kids had a blast! Good luck searching whats right for you.
Attached Images
Old     (jarrod)      Join Date: May 2003       04-30-2010, 6:00 PM Reply   
which engine do you have in that thing?

That last conversion is sweet, but you can get something twice the size for the same price
Old     (duramat)      Join Date: Feb 2008       04-30-2010, 8:24 PM Reply   
J, Its got the V10 amd so far Im impressed! Pulled the boat like a champ!


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