Any experiences with Travel trailer ownership?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by zekmoe, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. zekmoe

    zekmoe Member

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    The wife and I have been casually looking at travel trailers. We're looking at the type you can sort of park for the summer, renting a spot by a lake. Not really able to buy a second home or camp now.
    We are a family of 5 with 3 sons who'll want to bring friends. We figure we will use it weekends and some full weeks during the summers. Maybe as long as a month straight. We don't think we will be moving it weekend to weekend but might try to locations over the course if an upstate ny summer. Any experiences? I see many used, like boats, but they're not brutally expensive new until you start looking at Airstream which I'm not. Probably 40k range or less.
     
  2. HoboMan

    HoboMan Silver Supporting Member

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    My girlfriend and I live in a 28' Travel Trailer for a few years in SoCal back in the 80s.

    I think they are GREAT. Very comfortable.
    Move it to a vacation spot of your choice.
    Important thing for us when we bought ours was a full bath. We got one with a full tub/shower which really make it nice.

    Downside, don't expect them to increase in value like a house.
    I think you're doing the right thing by looking at used. Huge savings.
     
  3. mango

    mango Member

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    I'm not an owner but I know some who are,in our area (E.Ont) most of the prime spots by a lake are rented seasonally,or even yearly,there is not a lot of moving around happening.
    Might be something to consider inquiring about if you haven't already.
     
  4. mango

    mango Member

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    Oh,one more thought, don't want to dissuade you at all but,

    6-7 people in a trailer can be a challenge even for the most patient,not so bad in good summer weather but after 2-3 days of rain...

    What worked for us at our cottage(which really was not much bigger than a trailer) growing up was,1 guest at a time,alternating between kids .
     
  5. Blueswede

    Blueswede Gold Supporting Member

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    We own a Keystone Hideout, 32'. Bought it 2 years ago new. Before that I had 2 used motor homes and a used travel trailer. We love having the trailer and try to use it once a month.
    Used is fine and there are lots of deals out there. Just make sure that the truck you're using to tow it has the proper towing capacity.
    Trailers are great because there is little maintenance needed. But packing in too many people can be a drag.
     
  6. scott944

    scott944 Member

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    My inlaws were long time trailer campers, beginning when my wife was young. They eventually ended up with a 31 foot Holiday Rambler, which they towed with a Suburban. I recall my father in law talking about having "everything that can go wrong with your house and everything that can go wrong with your car in one package". We stayed with them in it a few times, even with our 2 kids later on. 6 was really pushing it in a 31 footer. They, my wife included, loved it. All I could think about was how many nights in a hotel I could buy with the same money. You might try a rental before committing to a purchase.
     
  7. Motterpaul

    Motterpaul Tone is in the Ears

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    There are some amazing camping spots right on the beach here in North San Diego county - but I believe they are booked years in advance even in the dead of winter. In this area there are even many great full-time "trailer parks" where you would be able to stay for a year or more paying monthly if you wanted to - right on the beach. The only challenge is finding an opening.
     
  8. pjs ire

    pjs ire Member

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    My parents owned them for years. The last one was a fifth wheel- 38 ft, with tip outs in the kitchen and dining area. We had a lot of fun with them over the years!
     
  9. lefort_1

    lefort_1 Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt Gold Supporting Member

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    You can save immense cash if you are handy with carpentry/plumbing/electrical.
    My daughter and her husband picked up a 24 footer they use in his biz (contractor).
    There was some rot in the floor I the head, and the electrical needed some upgrading, plus a bunch of trim and board replacement.
    Inside a month he had it in like-new condition inside for the cost of some finish-surface plywood, plastic-plumbing, and wiring.
    But the frame HAS to be solid if you're going to try (forget fixing a 20 year frame... if it's bunged, it's a bear to weld to in place without burning it down....so sez my SIL)
    Some of the 'apartment-sized' prefab sinks/cabs fit in them quite well (Lowes and HD).
    Plus, you get to build your own secret compartments....for cash and such, right?

    The spent about 500 on the hull w/rot, and about 600 in parts + sweat equity, and it'd CL for 4-5 grand today.
     
  10. Madison

    Madison Supporting Member

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    Now that I'm recently retired, I joke with my wife about buying a camper and spending the winter months in Slab City, off the grid. Honestly though, much to her chagrin, it might not be such a bad idea.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Otto Tune

    Otto Tune Member

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    Where to sleep is not the problem, it's where to store all the stuff 5-6 people bring.
    In inclement weather everyone will go nuts in that space.
    BTW, many campsites are going condo, you buy the space. That prices out the junkers, and unfortunately, many families.
    If you're not moving it often, I'd look into the Park Models, that are a cross between a trailer and a mobile home.

    Also, many campgrounds have rental units, and that is much more affordable in the long run.
     
  12. hellbender

    hellbender Member

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    My older in laws did this religiously for years. Eventually they grew tired of the slab city vibe.
     
  13. El Caballo

    El Caballo Retired bar hopping musician Supporting Member

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    Not really. Depends on how the trailer is used.
     
  14. El Caballo

    El Caballo Retired bar hopping musician Supporting Member

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    I never knew how much my wife and I would love camping/RVing until we bought a pop-up in a whim last year. Turns out, that's all we want to do!! Travel, "camp", see new things, explore the world. We promptly traded that pop-up in on this guy,

    sleep's six, plenty of storage for extended trips, living in it full time would be a challenge though.
    [​IMG]
     
  15. MrTAteMyBalls

    MrTAteMyBalls Member

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    A couple of years ago we bought a used travel trailer from the 70s. A Great Divide. The guy we bought it from had done a lot of work to it including replacing some roof panels and resealing the roof replacing the floor etc. We got a little bit burned on it because the first time we hooked it up to Plumbing water went everywhere. He didn't winterize it and all the copper pipes burst. It was a pretty big pain in the ass to get behind the walls and shelves and built-ins to replace the plumbing but we used shark bite and pex and once we got the hang of it it was really easy to finish up. We had to replace the water pump as well. Turns out the fridge didn't work either and those camping fridge that can run on gas are very very expensive. That was a lesson learned I trusted that guy and he just flat-out lied to me about a lot of the things that didn't work in the camper.

    It was small like an 18-foot Maybe. Perfect for 2 people. We used it quite a lot and we really loved having it. But camping fees, gas, and maintenance on our ancient truck we're getting to be too much. As it turns out in the mountains you actually need a good bit more horsepower to tow your camper then what you think. Our truck was rated to tow 6000 pounds and that camper loaded down weight about 4,000 and we could barely get anywhere with it. In the end we decided to sell the entire rig since I am going back to college and we can buy something newer, nicer, and lighter when I get out of school. We did love having it and using it though. It's much easier for one person to set up than a tent so there were a lot of weekends I would just drag it up to the mountains and Camp by myself. Highly recommend if you can afford it.
     
  16. MustardCap

    MustardCap Member

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    You have to Religiously commit to using it or it will be the most expensive Garage Ornament you have.
    Realize appliance, generator, Hot water tank, AC , etc replacement is very expensive.
     
  17. armadillo66

    armadillo66 Member

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    A. Get enough truck
    B. When in doubt, see A.
    C. when you think a trailer is light enough, challenge yourself find one that weighs 1000lbs less
    D. Trailer Brakes, yeah they cost a bunch, but shut up and pay the man, you will thank me later
    and unless you have a death wish, stay on US highways in the Rocky Mountains, that little dashed line on your map that looks like such a good short cut to Yellowstone, NOT FOR TRAILERS
     

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