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Travel trailers?

Old 10-27-2020, 08:19 AM
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Default Travel trailers?

I'm kicking around the idea of getting a bumper pull travel trailer for winter use parked at the hunting camp, then family trips the rest of the year. I've got an F150 (max tow package....whatever that means) to pull it with, so probably want to stay in the mid to upper 20 foot range.

All of the ones I've ever been in seem to be made pretty poorly. So as I look around I see brand new ones in the low $20k range, or 7-10 years old in the $12k range. I don't need anything fancy, but I also feel like an 8 year old trailer is probably ready to fall apart; and I'd probably be replacing something almost every time it was used. I could be way off, but that's just the feel I get.

I've never had anything like this before, so it'll all be new to me. What's been your experience?
Old 10-27-2020, 08:30 AM
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Don't buy new. There are plenty of nice barely used travel trailers for sale online. We have had 2 in the last 2 years. Bought the first one almost half price that the bathroom nor stove had ever been used. It was a 2019 model.
My wife decided she wanted a 2 bedroom, so she found another 2019 with 2 bedrooms and made an offer and it was approximately 12,000 under the list price of new. It still had the new smell. She sold the first one the next day for 1,500 less than we paid.
I think it's 29 ft., (not sure really) but my F150 4x4 pulls it just fine and I'm pretty sure I don't have the max tow package.
Old 10-27-2020, 08:32 AM
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I had a 24' Travel Trailer. They are all made like junk. Light weight everything, garbage appliances. 1x2s stapled together for framing.

You want to see how they are made?

They all leak because they flex going down the road and all the seals get loose. Once you have a leak, it rots out a wall or a floor and you have a mess.

The one I had, one of the access doors for storage on the outside leaked. Caused the whole back of the trailer floor to rot. Had to cut all that out and redo it. Took me several weekends.
And the door leaked.

Floor in front of the door was a soggy mess



Here is the leak in the back. The floor under the linoleum isn't supposed to be black...



Here it is after I got it mostly dried out.



Mopped it with bleach severla times to kill any mold spores.

Then I put down new plywood and carpet tiles



Yes, they are fun


But its a maintenance nightmare. Tarp it in the winter time if you can. And when you aren't using it, run a dehumidifier in their non-stop to prevent any water damage or mold growth.

I towed ours with a Silverado 1500. It did ok, never had any real issues towing, and it had the v6 engine too.

Once my girls were older, we decided it wasn't worth it. A 2 night camping trip just isn't worth the amount of setup and breakdown required. And then if you use it during the summer, its hot and everyone just wants to sit inside in the AC.
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Old 10-27-2020, 08:35 AM
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I have a 10 yr old trailer right now, after just regular maint, I would hook it up and pull it to FL from WI without hesitation. All of the systems work and I have no leaks.


Old 10-27-2020, 08:36 AM
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youd be better off getting a large box trailer and finishing the inside yourself!

they are all built very shitty!

dealers have 100% mark up just an fyi to know how much they are screwing you!
Old 10-27-2020, 08:36 AM
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For hunting, check out bumper pull toy haulers.
the "haul" areas usually have some type of rubber matting for flooring. Making them ideal for winter muddy days.
Old 10-27-2020, 08:42 AM
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Was your’s a Jayco? I guess it pays to buy better if you learn what’s better built.

Old 10-27-2020, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by capt.gene View Post
Was your’s a Jayco? I guess it pays to buy better if you learn what’s better built.
Nope. Surveyor. Which was a Forrest River product. But they are all made like that. All the manufacturers are in Indiana. Its a supply line system, they all use the same parts, same doors, windows, appliances, same mechanisms for the pull outs on the sides or back. One company tells you theirs are "built better than the competition", but when they use all the same parts, I don't see how that can possibly be true.
Old 10-27-2020, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by lugoismad View Post
I had a 24' Travel Trailer. They are all made like junk. Light weight everything, garbage appliances. 1x2s stapled together for framing.

You want to see how they are made? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLHux4SuXbY

They all leak because they flex going down the road and all the seals get loose. Once you have a leak, it rots out a wall or a floor and you have a mess.

The one I had, one of the access doors for storage on the outside leaked. Caused the whole back of the trailer floor to rot. Had to cut all that out and redo it. Took me several weekends.
And the door leaked.

Floor in front of the door was a soggy mess



Here is the leak in the back. The floor under the linoleum isn't supposed to be black...



Here it is after I got it mostly dried out.



Mopped it with bleach severla times to kill any mold spores.

Then I put down new plywood and carpet tiles



Yes, they are fun


But its a maintenance nightmare. Tarp it in the winter time if you can. And when you aren't using it, run a dehumidifier in their non-stop to prevent any water damage or mold growth.

I towed ours with a Silverado 1500. It did ok, never had any real issues towing, and it had the v6 engine too.

Once my girls were older, we decided it wasn't worth it. A 2 night camping trip just isn't worth the amount of setup and breakdown required. And then if you use it during the summer, its hot and everyone just wants to sit inside in the AC.
Username checks out.
Old 10-27-2020, 08:55 AM
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If you are looking for a cabin for your hunting camp, have you looked into amish pre-built cabins?

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You can get something like that, a 14'x30' delivered for around $8000.
Old 10-27-2020, 09:05 AM
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Yes they are cheaply built but man are they fun! We got a 2017 Jay Flight 28BHBE for $17K last February and LOVE IT! Setting up is nothing compared to tent camping. We try to camp at least once a month. Come Friday it's game on. Everything is already in the camper so we are out once the school bell rings. I tow mine with an older 4.6 f150. Kind of weak but on flat surfaces it does fine. I will be upgrading my truck this month to either a max tow f150 or an f250 since we are going cross country next summer. Get one...you will love it.
Old 10-27-2020, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by lugoismad View Post
If you are looking for a cabin for your hunting camp, have you looked into amish pre-built cabins?



You can get something like that, a 14'x30' delivered for around $8000.
Interesting.... think I could pull it up the mountains in Colorado with a half ton?
Old 10-27-2020, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Kenny Powers View Post
Interesting.... think I could pull it up the mountains in Colorado with a half ton?
No, but you could get a smaller travel trailer or a popup for traveling, and have a nice big cabin for hunting.

Was just tossing out ideas.
Old 10-27-2020, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by lugoismad View Post
No, but you could get a smaller travel trailer or a popup for traveling, and have a nice big cabin for hunting.

Was just tossing out ideas.
I'm just messin' with ya.

We actually have a nice lodge. This would just be parked on the side. I've always got somewhere to stay in the lodge, but there are many weekends where all the beds are taken. As my boys grow, I would like to have a place to crash where we don't have to worry about taking up 3 beds.
Old 10-27-2020, 09:19 AM
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BTW your max tow package is sweet. Over 11K towing capacity (If you have the 3.5 ecoboost), integrated trailer brake controller, 36 gallon fuel cell, oil and transmission cooler. upgraded front ens, 20" wheels....Very capable tow vehicle. I am swaying towards it over the giant f250.
Old 10-27-2020, 09:20 AM
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Very true that they're all built crappy. What makes them so crappy is that all the manufacturers are building them out of the lightest materials they can find - so that they can tell people can pull them with their F150s. Therein lies the problem. You can get better built trailers, but it costs more money because they are more heavily built - which means you're not going to tow other than the smallest ones.
Old 10-27-2020, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by tcpip95 View Post
Very true that they're all built crappy. What makes them so crappy is that all the manufacturers are building them out of the lightest materials they can find - so that they can tell people can pull them with their F150s. Therein lies the problem. You can get better built trailers, but it costs more money because they are more heavily built - which means you're not going to tow other than the smallest ones.
Ya, I don't see any way to build a 27 foot trailer at under 6000# and expect it to go a thousand miles down the road at 70mph without something rattling loose. I know they're built with light weight 1x2s, but if they were 2x4 construction you'd never pull it with a half ton.....probably have to step up to a Rav4.

So I guess I do understand they're basically junk. I just hear horror stories like Lugo^^ and and at the same time I hear people saying "had mine 7 years and haven't done anything more than regular maintenance"
Old 10-27-2020, 09:42 AM
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Mine is a 2020 Riverstone 39FK. It's 43' long and weighs nearly 21,000 lbs fully loaded. It has 3"+ walls and a pin weight of over 3,000 lbs so I need a DRW to pull it. In this case they didn't skimp on the construction, but in doing so that's why it's > 20,000 lbs. I also have a 37' Grand Design travel trailer. Not built badly, because it weighs 10,000 lbs, but it's still not built nearly as well as the Riverstone.

Take a look at the Forest River Alpha Wolf The Alpha Wolf and Arctic Wolf lines get pretty good reviews in the RV world.

Last edited by tcpip95; 10-27-2020 at 10:43 AM.
Old 10-27-2020, 09:47 AM
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Which ones are better? Airstream?
Old 10-27-2020, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Kenny Powers View Post
Ya, I don't see any way to build a 27 foot trailer at under 6000# and expect it to go a thousand miles down the road at 70mph without something rattling loose. I know they're built with light weight 1x2s, but if they were 2x4 construction you'd never pull it with a half ton.....probably have to step up to a Rav4.

So I guess I do understand they're basically junk. I just hear horror stories like Lugo^^ and and at the same time I hear people saying "had mine 7 years and haven't done anything more than regular maintenance"
i would say the ones with 7 years of standard maintenance, probably has an issue brewing they just dont know about it! that or it has very little use!

personally id go find an older run down air stream, gut the inside except bathroom and make it just an open floor space or some built in bunks. in reality you use the camper to sleep in. any cooking is usually done outside anyway!

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