Travel Trailers

#1
We are looking to buy a 25-28' tongue pull travel trailer. After looking at reviews on 20 different brands (including Airstreams) I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing out there worth buying. Anyone have any input? Thanks.
John
 

Darkstar72

Active Member
#2
RV = Ruined Vacation

That’s a little joke with the RV folks. I have been doing RV warranty claims for a couple years now and will say one thing...they all break. If you do buy one I highly recommend getting a service contract on it because those things are not cheap to fix and a lot of RV shops are just part changers. Roof AC - non serviceable and about $1000 to $1500 to replace when it stops working (as an example). The more bells and whistles just means that much more shit that will fail.

They also require a lot of maintenance...tank flushes, bearing packs, roof inspections with resealing, etc.

I am not an RV owner and probably never will be since I’m the one that sees the repair bills on these things. I’m sure people out there that own some have a great time with them but I would rather keep that money for the TR.
 

corsair231

Well-Known Member
#3
Like all hobbies, RV'ing can be expensive and time consuming. If you are experienced campers and want to upgrade then you will probably love it. If you are just getting into the hobby then it can be challenging. You can stay in a lot of hotel rooms for the cost of a travel trailer. Yes, things break and they can be a chore to maintain, but so are many big boy hobbies. Just ask anybody who has tried to go fast in a Buick. It's just part of the cost of the ride. What you have to measure is the fun to cost ratio and ask yourself if you are willing to pay.
There are also other things to consider when you get into the hobby over just the cost of the trailer such as is the tow vehicle up to snuff? I've seen people buy bigger trailers than they can safely tow and get forced into either buying a new truck or selling their trailers. Which brings us to one way you may consider tipping the scales is to shop used trailers. With careful shopping you can take advantages of other people's mistakes. Of course you must be careful not to get their headache too. Another thing you may want to do is to rent one first. They are ridiculously expensive to rent but it may help you decide on a particular model or what features you want or maybe even help you decide that RV'ing is not for you at all.
 

~JM~

Wrinkled Member
#4
Do you have a shop or covered parking large enough to store & protect the RV?

Reconsider the size you are looking for. Two to four people = 18' to 24' dual axle trailer. Able to park & maneuver almost anywhere with that size. Easy to pull with 3/4 ton diesel truck. Shop for the nicest/largest bathroom with a shower stall separate from the toilet & sink. Make sure the shower is tall enough if you are over 6'. Look for the largest fresh water storage capacity. You will be limited to how much water you have. Keep the RV simple so it will remain reliable. Avoid pop-outs & the fancy stuff. Find a clean used RV.

Here's a few RV tricks for you. Keep a clean white bucket of approximately 1 gallon with your supplies for taking on fresh water. Prior to hooking up or taking on water, fill the bucket about half way to check the water clarity & smell. Any soap/shampoo type of containers that are pump operated, need to have the caps loosened when changing temperatures/elevations, or they will self empty & make a mess. Place a rubber band around TP rolls to prevent them from unrolling while you drive. Find a rubber plug that fits the shower drain to prevent gray water from splashing back into the shower. Buy a white RV. Much cooler inside & easier to keep clean.
 

ITSAV6

It's my Granny's car!
#5
Worked for Coachmen for a decade. Minor roof leak=rotted floor. There was always 2-3 a week in for floor replacement. Markup on roof top ac units is crazy. We were selling the 13.5k ones to dealers at a 100% markup. A shelter is the way to go. Rubber roof leaked less than metal. Slide outs are the worst for leaks.
 

INEEDAGN

Seen Your Member
#6
I have an 05 keystone bumper pull with one large slide. Its a decent amount of work to set up and maintain but our family grew to the size where tent camping was nearly impossible and it's worth every bit of the effort and expense to get my kids out of the house and off their iPads. Once you own an RV especially an older one, you can never again say "I don't have anything to do today".

Slides are like t tops. Mine leaks. I deal with it. Newer/fancier ones have individual awnings that roll out with the slide to keep water off the top and goes a long way to reducing (but not preventing) leaks.

My kids are 10/8/4 and are rough on things so we purposely bought a 10 year old camper. Also was a good way for me to get my feet wet on maintenance without a five figure investment to take care of. Just last night I was on the roof with duct tape because of a hail stone that broke a hole in one of the roof vents. Need to install a couple of the "max air" vent covers when I replace the vent. In the last 2 years I've also had to: re-engineer the step that was trying to break off, put a new door handle on the bathroom door because the slide caught it when extending, re-fasten the piece of trim that was ripped off the slide from the bathroom door handle, re hang the sliding door into the bedroom, replace the egress window latch my kids broke, replace two of the tires (other two need it soon), replace the circuit board on the roof air conditioner (lucked out on that one), and put a small fan in the refrigerator to keep it from freezing everything. Still to do: replace 3 of the 4 stabilizer jacks that are damaged (2 were my fault and one was bent when we got it), fix a soft spot in the floor that was there when we got it (likely from the slide leaking) and replace a couple plastic latches etc. on the exterior that chalked out and broke from sun exposure. I'm also getting a power tongue jack soon. Strongly recommend covered storage or at least a good cover for it if you're investing in a new or nearly new one. Also consider all the bedding/dishes etc you'll want to buy to leave in it full time.

Would I do it again? Hell yes! This coming holiday weekend will be the 6th consecutive weekend we've spent in it since the weather finally got nice. Btw it's about a 26' and I pull it with a 2013 Ram half ton. Fine for 1 hour trips but if I was going cross country I'd have a fifth wheel/diesel or a self contained motorhome.
 
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#7
Find a person that has one that suits you and ask if they will rent it to you, helps them and you. Or just rent one unless you are going to use it every weekend
 

INEEDAGN

Seen Your Member
#9
Bumping this thread as I'm now in the market again. Wife and I talked about upgrading earlier in the year and that decision was made for us when another hail storm hit it a couple weeks ago. Insurance is going to total it so we are upgrading this year. Like the OP I've been looking at reviews and they seem to be all crap. If it sits outside it'll be a piece of rotted crap in 5-8 years. So after winter storage I think I'll be putting up a carport in the spring to keep sun/rain off it.

This time I'm going 30' or so and probably not brand new but nearly new.
 
#10
We went from tent to pop up to 28ft hard side (7,500lbs loaded). I pull with a one ton GM 6.0. Bought it used only slept in four nights by prior owner. Like anything things are going to break. Not for us yet knock on wood.. I found it really hard to find any make or brand that did not have a bunch of bad reviews online. Seems they all get beat up for one thing or another. We love to camp and explore. While camping we are rarely at the camp site but rather exploring the things of interest in the area. With that said the joy of nice camper with all the amenities is the weather will not hinder your camping. We shopped new and were very glad we went used with the money we saved. I have a 12, 9, and two 7 year olds. They love to camp and beg to go as often as we can. Great way to build life long memories and time with your family. Good luck on your shopping and purchase.
 

LSTTYPE

Active Member
#11
Jayco owner here. I currently own a Whitehawk 28dsbh that's been really good to us. This is our second new travel trailer any we upgraded because we ran out of room with our first one. We looked at used ones but they all had too many issues and the financing on a new one is hard to beat. I have 3 children and we absolutely love the camping lifestyle. I have to say that I enjoy it far more than I do the car hobby. There have been minor things go wrong with it but they are like turbobuicks. Intimidating at first, but once you learn the ins and outs of them they aren't that big a deal. The slides have adjustments on them below so that's generally how you would fix a leak etc. luckily mine has had zero leaks since new and it's a 2013. Sits outside. You do have to keep these things waxed or the will fade fast! Hope that helps
 

INEEDAGN

Seen Your Member
#13
I'm with you Luke, anymore I'd rather camp with my family than work on my cars.

They do 0% on campers? Be about the only way I'd buy brand new is if they financed at 0%. I'll have over 50% down maybe even more the way work is going this year.
 

Dennis Kirban

Well-Known Member
#14
kirban 2 cents worth a bit of trivia and a bit of humor:

Years ago I had an old time mechanic was really into camping. He had one of those VW campers....loved it....think it had maybe 36 hp.....a real slug....wintered in Florida and camped on my driveway every summer (I had 3 tow trucks).....good old days...

I used to travel to various pontiac GTO shows spotted one of those 13 ft Scotty trailers for sale scotty is like the VW bug never changed the style made in western PA...cute little trailer for 2 people...paid a grand for it....great investment....

used it for several years sold it for the same money.

here is the trivia bit.....

Bill Campbell was the co-founder of Hurst Hurst being the shifter company made the jaws of life...he was the engineer behind the company got fired in 1969 just prior to Christmas...he loved camping....him and I think 2 or 3 buddies went to canada and bought the Prevost Bus company.....google that name Prevost they are the cadillac of campers rock stars use them.....

they later sold it in the early 90s to either volvo or ford can't member which.....he kept one for a number of years....if money is not a problem prevost is the one you want...

bit of a joke.....so I woudl take my ittle scotty with my mechanic on road trips...we would go to camp grounds.....he had bad kidneys and had to usually get up at nite and go potty....one nite at one camp ground I heard him get up and wonder done to the latrine....whie he was gone I got in the truck and pulled my rig around the entire camp ground to the other side....he came out of the bathroom and could not find the truck and camper in the dark.....

not sure of the exact profanity words he said but he did not find the humor in my joke....I miss the old guy.....we had some great times.....he was a heck of a mechanic....

true stories

denniskirban@yahoo.com
 

INEEDAGN

Seen Your Member
#15
Scratched the itch on Monday. Planned to shop around a lot more but recognized a bargain when I saw it and raced to it (4 1/2 hours away). It's exactly what we wanted for less than I thought I'd ever get it for. 2011 29ft triple bunks and outdoor kitchen and everything is power on it. I'm the proverbial happy camper right now.

IMG_6945.JPG
 

LSTTYPE

Active Member
#20
Congrats on the Camper! You will enjoy it. We absolutely love the camping lifestyle. Nothing beats waking up to a nice lake. The look on my kids faces when they wake up and realize were at some nice lake is priceless! They are cheaply made no doubt but I'm used to it and I don't mind fixing little things that go wrong here and there. I'm jealous of that outdoor kitchen.