Best Travel Trailer for Alaska?
Moving the family from Seattle, up to Anchorage in the Spring. So, we're thinking about buying a Travel Trailer down here, hauling it up with us, and using it a lot more after we settle there.
We went to the Seattle RV Show this past weekend to look at Travel Trailers. Saw some that seemed well designed, and some that were obviously built to be economically priced. But they all seemed to have one thing in common: the "R" values of their insulation. All of them were rated R-7 in the walls, while the roofs/floors only varied from R-11 to R-14.
How much "R" is enough for 3-season camping in AK?
When I told one salesman that I was moving up to AK and wanted to see his best insulated trailer, he bragged that his "flagship" model was rated at R-28 in both the roof and floor. It turns out that both the trailer and the "slide-outs" are only rated at R-14. But, he was trying to sell me on the idea, that if I kept the "slides-IN", it would double the insulation of the trailer!
Clever salemen notwithstanding, what brands of Travel Trailers are best suited for Alaska?
I can't answer your question, as to wich is best, but I would be more concerned with how tough it is built, so it doesn't fall apart on the roads.
After searching for used travel trailers in KS, MT, IN and MO. I do not see real bargains in the used category between buying in one of those states vs shopping for used (FSBO) in AK. Just my observation, but there is more to look at outside of AK so if you are not willing to wait awhile to shop around for awhile drag one on up.
Kinda pressed for time due to the impending move and we're kinda "new" to trailers (but not camping).
So, we're planning to do some research, make a deal with a Dealer from his inventory, then take a week-long shake-down trip here in WA, and have a warantee to help with any "issues". Buying a Brand with some dealer support in AK would be a big plus. We'd also like to camp in it along the Al-Can on the way north.
So, what are the favorite "Brands" of travel-trailers for resident Alaskans?
(maybe not the same as the most common rentals for summer tourists?)
Are there some brands that have "cold weather" insulation "options/packages"?
Or are all the trailers up there, just the same as the trailers down here?
(Just inhabited by tougher Alaskans that can cope with colder conditions, of course?)
Most trailers you can either get with a winter package on them or have one installed (for $$$) afterwards. Insulated or enclosed bottoms and heated tanks are important. I've only had larger trailers, 4 total over several years 28-35' and have stayed on the pavement for the most part. I would also recommend the higher BTU rating heater.
Some of the most forgiving stuff is the cross between trailers and toy haulers (look like a trailer but have trailer life inside) due to the axle strength. Clearance is nice as well as a trailer that does not have low hanging grey/black holding tanks and pipes. Also some trailers have their clean water tank inside (under beds or benches) while others are mounted to the underside. All things to consider.
I have ragin 28 foot toy hauler and It does great. Stayed 9 days up on the steese in early Oct and we lasted 8 days with two standard rv propane bottles. Had to put on the spare for the last night. The only problem I have is the on board generator is loud when trying to sleep so we use a small Honda for lights tv and heater fan when camping at remote sites. We do not use the water tanks when it's below 0.
The Outback by Keystone is a good one.
Love my Desert Fox 28' Alumistructure Toy Hauler....
Heated tanks not on a seperate switch but heated when the heat is on.
Onboard generator and fuel cell very handy
Some non standard add on's I love
Larger propane tanks
2x big solar panels are great for keeping the batteries with the long days here in the summer