Many people prefer travel trailers because they can unhitch their tow vehicle and still have a car to drive around. However, some buyers are concerned about getting a travel trailer due to towing and potential maintenance issues. And with so many different models on the market, how can you even begin to figure out which one is right for you?
Is A Travel Trailer Right For You?
Travel trailers are the most popular type of non-motorized RV, and for good reason. There are a wide variety of models, layouts and price points. You can find long or short travel trailers, models that come with multiple bedrooms and slideouts, and plenty of interior and exterior storage space.
To help address some of these concerns and highlight just how reliable and diverse travel trailers really are, we asked three different owners to share why they ultimately decided to buy a travel trailer and how the RV they chose fits their unique lifestyle. They address some common travel trailer complaints, including towing capabilities and tire maintenance, and share their advice for anyone interested in buying a travel trailer.
Why did you choose your specific travel trailer?
When we were first looking at purchasing an RV, we actually looked at fifth wheels instead of travel trailers because we liked the idea of wide, open interiors. However, we considered how and where we would travel, and a large part of that was wanting to visit national parks. We wanted to have more flexibility with our travels and plan some fast-moving itineraries, and navigating a large towable RV would limit that for us. Ultimately, we decided that we wanted the comforts of a large fifth wheel with the flexibility of a Class B camper van, and the Keystone Outback travel trailer felt like the perfect middle ground for our needs. — Giancarlo Damiani / Full-Time RVer / Keystone Outback
Did you have any concerns about buying a travel trailer? If so, what were they and how did you address them?
When we first purchased our Jayco, we were worried it would be difficult to tow and maneuver. Since we had never actually towed anything before, and we had only owned a truck for a few months before purchasing the travel trailer, the first time we took it out was a bit nerve-wracking. But practice really does make perfect. Another concern of ours was the overall cost to purchase a new travel trailer, but once we actually did the math, we realized that owning an RV (and being able to travel comfortably and see as much as we like) actually saves us money in the long run. — Jason Takacs / Part-Time RV Family / Jayco Jay Flight
What are some of your favorite hobbies and activities, and how does your travel trailer fit these?
Even before we purchased an RV, our family has always loved taking road trips. Getting a travel trailer was a no-brainer once we learned we could bring everything with us on our trips. We love exploring national and state parks, and our travel trailer allows us to stay in these remote places and avoid renting a cabin or booking a hotel (which can often be expensive near national parks). And finally, we like to do a mix of both weekend and extended trips, and having a travel trailer allows us to pick up and go. We can bring everything we need with us and not have to worry about renting gear or packing and unpacking. — Stephanie Deininger / Weekend Warrior Family / Heartland North Trail
How do you handle maintenance issues in your travel trailer?
Like the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Every couple of trips, we clean the air conditioner filter, walk around the travel trailer and look at the caulking and seals, inspect the tires, and make sure the fire detectors are in proper working condition. These little tasks take minimal time to perform but are really beneficial to the health of our travel trailer. — Jason Takacs / Part-Time RV Family / Jayco Jay Flight
How did you address towing and finding the right tow vehicle for your travel trailer?
We were already planning on purchasing a Ford F-150, and our 30-foot, 7,500-pound Keystone Outback could be towed by this exact truck. We also knew we’d be using the truck as our primary vehicle, and we didn’t want to drive something too big, especially in major cities. It’s critical that you research your vehicle’s tow capacity and stay under that number. — Giancarlo Damiani / Full-Time RVers / Keystone Outback
What advice would you give someone who is considering buying a travel trailer?
If you’re considering a travel trailer or recently purchased one, we highly recommend joining an online RV group or subscribing to an RV owner’s support group. Being able to crowd-source questions with people that also have travel trailers (or, even better, your exact model) is extremely helpful. I would also recommend renting an RV before buying one. This will give you a feel for how they work and exactly the space you’ll need. — Stephanie Deininger / Weekend Warrior Family / Heartland North Trail
Giancarlo and Erik are full-time RVers that hail from Los Angeles. They have been traveling the United States in their travel trailer for almost two years with their dog Juno, and have traveled to 38 states, 30 national parks, and are still on the road checking off as many bucket list items as possible.
Stephanie Deininger is an organizing and productivity professional and Founder of The Organized Flamingo. She loves the outdoors, the beach, road trips, sunrises and sunsets. Stephanie lives in Colorado with her husband Todd, their son Axel, and two furry pups.
Jason and his wife Alison love traveling to and photographing the most scenic places that America has to offer. The Takacs, along with their two boys Preston and Grayson, have been RVing for six years in their Jayco Jay Flight travel trailer.
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