Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 29

Thread: Buying a travel trailer?

  1. #1
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Searching for more cowbell!
    Posts
    1,945

    Default Buying a travel trailer?

    I'm stuck around the house watching the smoker for another 17 hours or so and would like some advice. My wife wants a travel trailer. We have an infant and a toddler. Does anyone have any advice in regards to purchasing a travel trailer?

    A queen bed (or larger) would be nice. Bunks would also be nice. There is a catch. The trailer has to be towable with a 1/2 ton.

    I'm looking at a 21-24' probably. I would rather spend less than more (no more than $15k, preferrably $7-8k). I know I can pick up a trailer down south for about half what I would pay here (for new and used) but I don't really want to be away from my kids for a week and a half to do a mad dash to pick one up.

    I also can't justify paying 4x Nada, which seems to be the case with a lot of trailers.

    What should I look out for if I buy used? Any brands to stay away from and are any far superior to the others?


    There are quite a few questions here (no sleep in a long time). Basically, any advice or experienced perspective is appreciated.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

  2. #2
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Palmer, AK
    Posts
    11,415

    Default

    I am hoping to find essentially the same thing there Phish, though probably not for another year or so. Keep me posted on your research!

    I keep leaning toward something like this: http://anchorage.craigslist.org/rvs/1220849137.html 16K and you can drag your wheelers along w/ you
    Last edited by LuJon; 06-14-2009 at 12:40.

  3. #3
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Searching for more cowbell!
    Posts
    1,945

    Default

    Hey Jon,
    I like the idea of a toy hauler but I'm probably a few years from actually justifying one since the little ones are so small. I have seen some of the bigger ones that are like a 24' with a little extra on the back for toys. I'd have to buy a different rig to tow it with and therein lies the crux.

    I'll keep you updated.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

  4. #4

    Default

    Hey Phish when we were looking at trailers I was looking at Toy-Haulers and decided against. My main reasons were- Unless you are buying top of line haulers the comfort level inside is not up to par with regular trailers. Second and the most important for us was. If you are camping in one spot and want to do a day trip with your 4-wheelers in a diff. location then where your camping you have to take the whole set-up with you. We opted for a pull behind trailer and a rack for the 4-wheelers in the truck bed. This way you have a much nicer liveable space when you have them with you and if you want to go for a ride somewhere throw em on the truck and go. You might want to think about getting one from the lower since there is such a flooding of them down there right now. You might be able to get a nice score. How much will your truck tow?

  5. #5
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Searching for more cowbell!
    Posts
    1,945

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKpegleg View Post
    If you are camping in one spot and want to do a day trip with your 4-wheelers in a diff. location then where your camping you have to take the whole set-up with you.

    How much will your truck tow?
    That first jewel is a great nugget of information.

    My truck tows 9700 lbs on flat land.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Wink or be the turtle with your camp on your back

    Quote Originally Posted by AKpegleg View Post
    We opted for a pull behind trailer and a rack for the 4-wheelers in the truck bed.
    Or go the exact opposite route, like I did, and get a fully self contained truck camper for the back of your truck. Then pull any flatbed or haulmark full of toys, or you can switch to pulling a boat for other types of fun and still have your camper with you.

  7. #7
    Member mainer_in_ak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Delta Junction
    Posts
    4,078

    Default

    Phish,
    Let's face it......a good many of us have to accomodate our families on outdoor trips. If I had it my way (and of course a wife and kids that could handle it)......my version of a family outing would consist of at least 250 miles up or down the yukon just to get started! I have a yota taco and hauled a 19ft. camper trailer up to lake louise, it was very good trip! The last family outing we did....we rented a cabin and I must say that renting a cabin weather from the forest service, a camp ground owner, or from a private owner, or staying at a lodge is much less stress than hauling a camper! With the economy in the dirt, and gas prices the way that they are.....maybe the "pay as you go" method might be better than spending 15k on a camper trailer. It actually ends up being an easier trip too! Less gas, less wear n tear on the truck, less packing, no draining of the black n gray water, less propane refills, less money, and more relaxing.

  8. #8
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Searching for more cowbell!
    Posts
    1,945

    Default

    Familyman, I wanted to go that route originally but I don't want to buy another truck right now. When the kids get bigger than that may become an option again.
    Mainer, I'd rather write the check up front, then haul the trailer to wherever we want to go. I'd prefer a tent but Mama wants somewhere covered to feed and take care of the newborn.

    I figure that I can take a canoe on top of the truck, maybe a cataraft or something as well. The back of the truck is free for hauling wood and whatever else I want to take with.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

  9. #9
    Member tccak71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,174

    Default

    Why not consider a motorhome if your looking at spending $7-15k?

    I just went through this with my wife; I wanted to by a newer truck camper (and bought a NEW truck to accommodate that wish ), but my wife wanted more room and the "ease" of an RV so we picked up a '97 26' F450 motorhome with a V10 for $11,500. It'll tow a boat/trailer and is comfy/roomy. It IS another chassis to maintain though. Just a thought.

    Tim

  10. #10
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Searching for more cowbell!
    Posts
    1,945

    Default

    If I could find a deal like that, I would buy a Motorhome. If you see another deal like that, please let me know.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

  11. #11
    Member tccak71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,174

    Default

    I'll let you know if I see anything. I've found a couple of good deals before picking mine up, but they went kinda quick.

    BTW, you're right about the lesser-48; many good deals to be had. I initially wanted to drive to Seattle, buy a newer truck camper and drive back (could get a camper that is 3-5 years newer for the same price as you could here), but that is a spendy trip regarding time and money.

    Tim

  12. #12
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    6,031

    Default just a half ton

    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    Familyman, I wanted to go that route originally but I don't want to buy another truck right now. When the kids get bigger than that may become an option again.
    My camper is self contained, has two sinks, a shower, hot/cold running water, a toidy for the girls, stove, fridge, furnace with thermostat on the wall, 3 bunks... and all in a shortbed 1/2 ton Toyota pickup!

  13. #13
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Searching for more cowbell!
    Posts
    1,945

    Default

    I bought a 4 door Titan for a "family friendly vehicle. The back seat is child seats (unless a few guys want to do a mignight sprint to the Russion). If a camper could fit in the back it may hold a cooler. The bed isn't much bigger than the back of a Suburban.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

  14. #14
    Member tccak71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,174

    Default

    Yep, sounds like you need a travel trailer, or good used Class C! Is your Titan a v-8?

    Tim

  15. #15
    Member cdubbin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    KP, the dingleberry of Alaska
    Posts
    1,749

    Default

    Basically, just keep shopping and you will find what you want. I got my 1973 24' Prowler for $1000 and dropped another few hundred in it ( new flooring, panelling in the bathroom, toilet). It's not new but it's got a fridge, range, oven, furnace, full bath, queen size bed, closet, tandem axle with electric brakes; basically not roughing it. I tow it no problem with my Dakota and an equalizer hitch. We're currently living in it until our cabin's done- although now that the garden's in and the outhouse is built, we're pretty well set. Ask around-it's amazing what you can find through word of mouth.

  16. #16
    Member aces-n-eights's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Soldotna
    Posts
    189

    Default

    Hey Phish,

    Saw this on Bigboytoys and think it looks pretty cool....

    http://www.907bigboytoys.com/index/l...s/page6683.htm

    Pop up trailers pull easy and have a lot of room inside when opened up.
    English is an odd language. It can understood through tough thorough thought, though.

  17. #17
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Searching for more cowbell!
    Posts
    1,945

    Default

    I recently purchased, then sold, a pop up. I got it for a great price and passed that same deal on to a family with 2 children. We tried the pop up. It would be more convenient to have an actual kitchen (with oven for cookies )and much more storage.

    I don't want to set up and take down in the rain. I'd rather park, do a quick setup, then call it good.

    The titan is a V-8. It's rated for 9700 lbs but that's a flat land rating. I towed a 5 ton trailer that was loaded with tree material to the dump recently; no problems.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

  18. #18

    Default

    We own a 22ft 2006 Winnebago Chalet rv and really love it but we don't use it that much so we are looking at buying an 18 foot enclosed v-nose trailer that we will have modified. It will have the basics for us, furnace, fully insulated, a window on each side, man door, fuel door, and cabinets for helmets and gear.
    We are planning to bring cots with foam mattress' and sleeping bags. Right now the going price is $16,000 and I have to go down to the lower 48 and get it but if it saves me money it will be worth it.
    Motorhomes are really nice to have, only issue I have with them is if we want to go to the store or out to eat, we have to drive the rv to do it.

  19. #19
    Member jmg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    At the end of the cul-de-sac
    Posts
    964

    Default

    I can give you my take for what it's worth. My first 'camper' was an overhead that went into the back of a pickup. We hated it. The reason being that whenever we went somewhere, we either had to unload it, which was kind of a pain, or pack it all up anytime we wanted to drive somewhere at camp because it had to go with us. The plus side of this, I think, is that you can still haul a trailer with a boat/atv's/etc., but it sounds like you might need a bigger truck for that.

    Then the wife and I owned a popup. We liked it. It was light, easy to drag around - only had a Ranger pickup then. It had a sink, toilet, fridge, shower, and all the amenities. What I didn't like was that the canvass tent portion of it required upkeep yearly - sealing seems, etc., and there was a bit more of a risk for mold growth on the canvas that you see in regular tent camping as opposed to trailers.

    We sold the popup when we came to Alaska and purchased an 18 foot pull behind trailer. It was me, my wife, and daughter who was 1 when we purchased it. We really liked it. It had all of the amenities and was easy to tow with an F150. It was a bit older - 1991, but in good condition. We bought it off of Craigslist here for $6200, which I think was way higher than NADA, but of course, somewhat market value for here. No problems towing at all.

    Now my daughter is five and my son is one. The 18 foot did not have a "bed" in it, but rather, a couch that folded out and table that dropped into a bed. So no matter what, we always had to do stuff to get ready for bed. It was not a big deal, but we did have storage issues and where to put everything on the couch, etc., when going to bed. It was also pretty small with two kids. Not really any "floor room" for them to play. We got to looking at new campers on occasion and were really interested in the ones with a slideout. It opened up the floor quite a bit for the kids to play. We also liked the one with bunk beds, but didn't think that was a must have.

    We did not want to pay the super high price of new, so we just kind of watched Craigslist on occasion. Three weeks ago we found one that was 25 foot total length - box is about 22 1/2 feet. It has a slideout in the living room portion and a double bed at the front. Bigger fridge and other amenities. Far more storage. I think taking the kids with us we always seem to take far more than we need "just in case." We will no longer have to put the table down. There is a couch that drops down easily and then the double bed. There will be plenty of play space for super rainy days for the kids, etc. I have only towed it across town so far but it pulled fine. We are taking it to Kenai this weekend. But, it is relatively new - 2003, and it is an "Ultralight" model. So its dry weight is only about 150 pounds over my 18 foot model. I don't anticipate any problems. Dry weight is 3850.

    Here is the best part. We bought it from a guy here in town that goes to Arizona for the winters. He buys a trailer and lives in it, then drives it back here, living in it along the way, and sells it when he gets here. He took really good care of it given that he had to live in it. He has done this 4 years in a row now. I think he basically sold it us for what he paid for it - $8200. I think we got lucky, but I've seen these go for well over $11k on CL. I told my wife we could sell it next year and buy his next year's model.

    As far as market prices go, they are pretty high up here. That 18 foot trailer? I put in on Craigslist the night we brought the new trailer home. I had a number of calls on it, and a nice older couple showed up first. They seemed like they would take very good care of it, so it went to them for $5900. So I had it for 4 years and it cost me $300.

    As for motorhomes, I've never owned one, but I have a friend that did. They didn't like having to pay the insurance on it - almost like having another car. My trailers sort of attach to my tow vehicle for liability, and it costs me another $150 or so per year to insure the actual trailer. Pretty cheap. Another issue I think is what AKHunter45 said - which I think I echoed with my overhead camper issue - if you want to go anywhere, you have to pack it all up to go unless you bring a tow vehicle with you.

    Good luck.
    Never count your days, but rather, make all of your days count.

  20. #20
    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Searching for more cowbell!
    Posts
    1,945

    Default

    Thanks JMG, our logic is running about the same on this point. I wish I could find a deal like you found. If you see anything else with a similar price/quality ratio, please drop me a line. Enjoy your camping trip this weekend. A trip report in the camping section would be nice.

    Costco has the quiet Yamaha generators for $750
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

    "People who drink light 'beer' don't like the taste of beer; they
    just like to pee a lot." --Capitol Brewery

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •