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oldschoolsdime92

School me on travel trailers..

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I’m looking to buy a small travel trailer. Sleep 3-4. Less than 20ft. Sub 5000lb. I know absolutely nothing about these things. What are some important details? 

Edited by oldschoolsdime92

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Roof doesn’t leak. Use a Weight distributing hitch. Pop up campers suck. 

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are you looking for a toy hauler or just a  living trailer? 

  you need to know what all you want in a trailer.. then decide what wall you need as you will make concessions to get the right one at that size and  weight 


what are you hauling it with... at 5k  any 1/4 ton truck is more than fine.. just mind your tongue weights a lot of haulers can easily be 500+...  they have trailer brakes does your truck have a brake controller..if not get one. run a weight distribution hitch helps control swap and manage handling better. length are you looking at 20 ft living space? or 20ft total length.... axels dual?  what is their capacity.  THE TIRES ARE SHIT , SHIT SHIT rated generally at 60-65 mph  swap them.. Michelin makes great trailer tires with better ratings

look at Gray , black and fresh water  capacities,  most  trailers are 20-45 grey , 20-45 black and 60-100 fresh (in gallons)   fresh is any water that comes out of any pipe including drinking. grey is any used water that goes down a drain(sink, shower, ect) black is your bathroom.  these caps matter depending on how long you'll be out at a time and if you'll be around a dump station or hooked up at a rv park/ campsite

bed size?  shower /  bathroom size at 20 ft toy haulers many have the  pot right inside the shower not next to it so you have to shower  around the pisser lol.   cabinet / storage space?  if  toy hauler... do you need a separate garage space... you wont get that under 20 ft 
then there is other things... kitchen size EG fridge size... microwave /  and stove top... does it have an oven? do you need one?  many don't have one. 

so if buying new...  look out for the above to help you decide on your needs and wants and uses...

if buying used....  when was the roof last serviced....  i  clean and seal mine twice a year.... the manufactures say every 90 days!  how old are the tires.  check the undercarriage for major rust look at the pipes and lines, outside check the  gas lines and fridge lines. inside look for water damage,  bowing  panels doors /  cabinets that don't close properly and so on

i know there is more but i just woke up..

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Strictly living trailer. No toy hauler. 20 ft total length. Will be pulling with my first gen Honda Ridgeline. We will be buying new. I’ve known too many who have bought used and ultimately had to redo plumbing , or electrical, or had big issues that weren’t apparent until they tried to use the systems. 

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I wouldn't pull much with that oversized unibody car.  

The transmissions in those things are not built to pull a lot of weight and 5000 pounds is a lot of weight or something like that.

Edited by max power

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You must understand this (which I didn't understand when I bought my first trailer), they are money pits. High maintenance, and unpredictable. Between my father and I we have had four travel trailer. Even the new ones have been back in the shop for warranty work multiple times. 

I have had the best luck buying a slightly used one from someone I know took good care of it. So, all the money I saved could be used to maintain it. 

Other then that, if you used them enough they are worth every penny. I miss my C class toy hauler already. 

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 i agree on money pits.. they remind me of a home... except  they are built even cheaper...  moving constantly and vibrate themselves to shit haha
i'd keep buying them of course...

 you will have many options with a travel trailer vs a toy hauler.. layouts and amenities are easier to come buy with those...  will say though at 20 ft you will actually be looking at a 15 or 16 foot living space trailer as 3-4 foot will be the hitch in the front...  and even most 16 ft trailers  fully loaded are around 4000-5000lbs on the low side...

personally i don't care what you tow with... BUT you shouldn't ever  load your tow vehicle past 75% of its total towing capacity...  you will  really strain parts... so  a fully  equipped ridgelines towing cap is actually 5k.... so 75% is 3,750 lbs  total weight....

your rating showed will show empty weight and  cargo weight  added together is the  gross weight...  remember  1 gal of water  =  8lbs so if available wait to fill your fresh till you get close to our destination as say you may weigh 3k with full water but acceleration and braking will slosh it around and strain parts and brakes more!  and every single thing you put in the trailer... bedsheets /  food / clothes /   dishes ect adds to your weight

 

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Ultimately,  the ridgeline may not be my long term vehicle , but I see lots of guys using them over on the ridgeline forum. I've pulled a lot with it, but never a travel trailer. The ridgeline is what I currently have and will be using initially. The trailers I've been looking at have weighed 2600-3k unloaded. I need to set up my brake controller on the ridgeline also. 

 

Are there any particular brands to look at, stay away from, or "go too" brands? 

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well forest river pretty much has the general monopoly on trailers  so even a lot of the brands out there are made by them...  but they do have a lot of variation in cost and  features... 

i personally wasn't a fan of and haven't heard much good come from their  econo line trailers   the wolf/ wolfpup and coyote... they look pretty good but felt and preform cheaply..

i  liked a lot of the renegade and XLR series  and work and play is what i own but I'm unsure if they make a TT

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I have a 18 ft Fleetwood Mallard , 2005.  Sleeps 7!  Good condition.  Yours for $4.5k!

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52 minutes ago, Qman said:

I have a 18 ft Fleetwood Mallard , 2005.  Sleeps 7!  Good condition.  Yours for $4.5k!

Pics and details? 

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3 hours ago, oldschoolsdime92 said:

Pics and details? 

Coming soon!

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4 hours ago, oldschoolsdime92 said:

Pics and details? 

Coming soon!  It's a model 180CK.

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Jayco builds quality trailers.  I personally would stay away from anything with fiberglass smooth sides. There's always seem to delaminate. Look at the campers that the sides look like siding. In my experience they leak a whole lot less than the slab side campers.  

Edited by max power

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max i see the opposite atleast in the toy hauler world... most of the time the older siding style tend to have  bowing and  leak issues at the seams...  the 1 piece sides  and roofs on the fiberglass do very well as long as you maintain them..  EG the roof is the most important thing to the life of the body.... 

seal it at least 2 times a year. 

cover it or store indoors during the winter and you'll be great

bad things on both sides

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Ultra quiet generator is big +. 

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On 4/8/2018 at 1:32 AM, Qman said:

Coming soon!  It's a model 180CK.

Here's one pic that I found setup at the campground 2 years ago.  Need to get more of the inside!  I'll include a winter cover (includes wheel covers), and a basic hitch with ball.  I've added the winter valve for easy adding of RV antifreeze, and has a new (and longer) sewer drain tube.  This is one of the few smaller campers I've seen that have such large tanks: Fresh, Grey, and Black tanks all 50 gallons each.

IMG_20150516_123506735.jpg

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there is also the price per square foot.

5th wheels will give you more bang for your buck, and the toy haulers are pretty impressive for their capacity to carry toys and quite a few have fuel storage.

if you can turn are mechanically inclined, hit craigslist and save $$.

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6 minutes ago, redbarron77 said:

there is also the price per square foot.

5th wheels will give you more bang for your buck, and the toy haulers are pretty impressive for their capacity to carry toys and quite a few have fuel storage.

if you can turn are mechanically inclined, hit craigslist and save $$.

Must consider the bucks you will need for the truck hitch for the 5th wheel....they ain't cheep to buy and then mount!...plus you will have to drill holes in your truck bed!

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I'd laugh hysterically if I saw a Ridgeline pulling a fifth wheel trailer... 

Don't they have that weird little trunk under the bed too? 

Edited by Steve Butters

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43 minutes ago, Steve Butters said:

I'd laugh hysterically if I saw a Ridgeline pulling a fifth wheel trailer... 

Don't they have that weird little trunk under the bed too? 

Yes they do. A rather large trunk at that. If I go new, the is what I’m leaning toward

 

https://www.jayco.com/products/travel-trailers/2018-jay-flight-slx-7/174bh/

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On ‎4‎/‎7‎/‎2018 at 6:02 PM, oldschoolsdime92 said:

I need to set up my brake controller on the ridgeline also.

Are there any particular brands to look at, stay away from, or "go too" brands? 

I wasn't sure if you were referring to TTs or the brake controller, but if the latter, I can vouch for the Tekonsha Prodigy P3.  It's a proportional controller so it sends increasing currents to the trailer the harder you brake.  Mounts at just about any angle (doesn't need to be flat mounted), programmable voltage output for different weight loads, has menus for single axle/dual axle/tri-axle set-ups, all electric or electric-over-hydraulic systems, and a manual control.  Been in my Ford F150 for at least 5-6 years and not a single glitch.

https://www.etrailer.com/s.aspx?qry=p-3+brakecontroller&furl=-pg-Brake_Controller&msclkid=34e277881f2315a084282d43e56deb51&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Search - Brake Controller&utm_term=tekonsha prodigy p3&utm_content=P-3 - Brake Control

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On 4/8/2018 at 11:12 AM, max power said:

Jayco builds quality trailers.  I personally would stay away from anything with fiberglass smooth sides. There's always seem to delaminate. Look at the campers that the sides look like siding. In my experience they leak a whole lot less than the slab side campers.  

Jayco makes a good camper. We’ve been happy with ours. Fiberglass sides are much better in my opinion. Easier to clean, easier to repair, etc. 

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Go into it knowing they will all break something at one point or another but they are pretty easy to work on. 

I got a used 2014 Keystone raptor toy hauler last year and have had decent luck so far. 

Issues so far.. the roof seemed like it was never washed but it's in good shape so I cleaned and sealed it, which should be done regularly anyways. It has an on board cummins generator and I had some issues with deposits in the carb on that but cleaned them. Also the fuel pump on the fuel station was locked up. Apparently after time has caused the gears in the motor to swell and hit each other causing it to lock up. I took it apart and replaced the gears with a different type and its ran great ever since. 

They all have their quirks but you learn to work around them or maintain it in such a way to prevent common issues. We love going camping though and it's great at the track (though I know that's not what you are looking for).

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Our Mallard looks exactly like this on the inside, except it has a bunk above the main bed, rated 150lb max.  We use the bunk to store extra stuff, like our luggage for the weekend.  

Edited by Qman
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