Traveling by RV has become a popular trend since the start of the pandemic. It offers families the chance to see the country while still being able to social distance and avoid public lodging, restaurants and restrooms.
Travel trailers are a great way to enter into the RV scene (and the least expensive!) This is because they simply attach to the family truck or SUV, so you can hit the road quickly. They’re easier and cheaper to get started when compared to motorhomes, and they also come in all sorts of shapes, sizes and prices.
Another benefit is the fact that your trailer can be removed from your SUV when you are not using it. Allowing you to use your vehicle year-round without being only a vacation vehicle. In addition, the vehicle hauling your trailer is likely to include safety features like collision warning, auto emergency brakes or airbags, which are only now arriving in some types of RVs. Plus, tow vehicles are safe to use with kids and car seats, something you can’t do in an RV.
Trailers are also one of the best options when staying on a campground. This is because they offer you and your family a lot of flexibility. You can leave it behind by unhitching it, so you don’t need to bring it along with you during family excursions. This allows you to come and go as you please without needing to pack everything up and disconnect your water and power lines each time.
Keep in mind that with a travel trailer, the driver must still learn a few new skills that they might not be familiar with. You’ll need to get used to taking up a lot more room, and you will need much more space to park the tow vehicle and trailer combo. Learning how to reverse the trailer will take some patients as well as practice. You’ll also need to figure out how to safely hitch and unhitch the trailer, and you need to know whether your vehicle is safe to two the trailer that you have or want to buy.
There are a lot of factors to think about when buying a travel trailer. Keep reading for tips on how to buy the best travel trailer for your needs.
Know Your Towing Capacity
The first step knows whether the vehicle you have is capable of towing your potential travel trailer and if it can handle going on the road. If you have a truck or SUV you will typically be fine. However, if you have a smaller car you might need to look at other options or get a lighter travel trailer.
Decide on What Size You Want
The next step is to decide the exterior size and dimension on the travel trailer that suits you. Be sure the trailer’s floor plan fits your needs and lifestyle. You should be able to fit all the items you want to bring along within the trailer. It’s best to make a list of things you want to bring, and make sure you have plenty of room to move around. It’s also a good idea to go into the bathroom and shower and make sure that it can fit you and other members of your family.
Get Enough Storage Space
This doesn’t mean you should try and stuff every square inch of your trailer with stuff, but you should make sure that you have enough storage space to keep you organized. This keeps the clutter at bay, so you should always keep note of how much storage a trailer can offer you.
Inspect the Looks of the Trailer
Always do a walk around on the outside of the trailer to check for any aesthetic anomalies. Do the same thing for the interior as well. Check for damage inside by walking around with bar feet as this can help you feel around. Open and close all the cabinets and look inside other storage areas, so you can spot any damage as well. Before you buy be sure to get the breaks, axels, tires, rear bumper and front towing capacity checked. Another important thing to check are the seals and locks on the doors and utility connections and hook ups. Make sure everything is in good working order before you drive off the lot.
Inspect the Mechanical Components
Other than the aesthetics of the trailer, you will want to check and make sure that all of its operational systems are fully capable as well. Such as the electrical, water, sewer and mechanics should be working before you purchase your travel trailer.
Base Your Decision on Your Lifestyle
You should take the time to think about what you will use your travel trailer for. Are you planning to travel all four seasons or just through the summer? Will you need room for just you or are you planning to hit the road with others in your family? Consider your height as well the height of whoever is travelling with you as well.
Always Match the Vehicle You Will be Towing With to Your Travel Trailer
Check and double check that your tow vehicle is rated to tow the total weight of your trailer, plus the weight that will be added once you load your trailer. AAA recommends that you add 1000 pounds to the labelled dry weight, just to make sure you can tow all the items that will go inside your trailer.
You Can Always Rent
If you’re still unsure of what you should go for, there are tonnes of different options to rent. This gives you the opportunity to try a few out and figure out what you like and don’t like. Or, maybe you will discover that the lifestyle is just not for you, and you can save some money instead. Renting will be able to help you determine what size is a good fit for you, what style is the best and what features you just can’t live without.