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JUSTANOLDERGUY

Need input on travel trailer

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We own a 34 ft class a. I want to go to a towable and hopefully something smaller. (20 ft or so) We have done some travel in the past few years, but I suffered a severe medical set back that lasted about 7 years. (Today I am about 95% of where I should be God is good). Anyway not new to rving, but would be new to travel trailer rving. I need some advice and input please.

We have found several that would suit our needs but I am worried about some of the reviews I have seen. Can anyone out there enlighten me on what brands ma be better than others? I have researched until I am tired and just want some honest opinions. Our class a has had some issues but nothing like I have read on travel trailers. 

My first job was driving a truck so I really don't need much input on trucks.

 

 

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I have had different brands of travel trailers over the years haycock, forest river,and a couple other that I can’t remember. I definitely think the older ones are the best. I would stay away from ultra light or light weight trailers. If you look close when you go through them a lot of the wood is thinner and just doesn’t seem to me to be as solid, especially if your going to use it more than just the occasional weekend. Forest river Salem model that I had was 33 ft was very happy with that one. Just pay close attention to how it’s built and not so much on the shiny stuff. For sure check the tire ratings compared to the gvwr. 

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Welcome to the Escapee forums!

Since you are downsizing to a small travel trailer, I will assume that you plan to use it for mostly short trips or seasonal travel? I happen to own an ultra-lite trailer that is 19'(inside demension) in length and it has been quite satisfactory for seasonal travel, as most of them are designed to be used. No lite weight RV will have the same quality construction as the much heavier trailers because you can't have light weight and heavy materials in the same RV. 

When it cones to reviews, it is important to remember that an unhappy owner is far more likely to take the time to write one or more reviews than is the happy owner. It has been my experience that such reviews should be taken as what they are, reports from an unhappy buyer. I do not know of any higer quality/price travel trailer of 20' or near that which is of the highest quality because the market for them is too small due the the cost. There are some brands that tend to have better than average support, such as the Arctic Fox line, but I would not limit myself to 1 or 2 manufacturers. Higher quality will always weigh and cost more than lower quality in the same size of RV. 

Edited by Kirk W

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The reviews that I've come across have been posted by disappointed/dissatisfied consumers so taken has a whole I suppose there's not a lot of happiness there... do satisfied and thrilled consumers post anymore? 😁 What you're looking for in a trailer will be a major player in your satisfaction. Research online goes a long way but nothing beats getting into the trailer to see, fit, feel, & smell what you'll be living in. I've had a "favorites" list be modified too many times to count regarding travel trailers once I was actually in them to see, fit, feel, & smell. There are trailers that I haven't been in yet so they're on the "to see" list, Bigfoot, Northwood, Outdoors RV, & Winnebago. The size range that you're interested in will have an assortment of trailers that can be profitable sellers for the manufacturer so I feel your pain, it is disheartening at times. Seems that when I view trailers I'm already considering the modifications that I'd do, something that I'd appreciate being there already. Then there are other trailers that are just a flagrant foul, far too price point orientated. 

     Spot

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Best place I’ve found for reviews is a campground. Just drive through and stop and talk to people most will give an opinion. Ask them about good and bad and you can see what they pull them with. 

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When I was looking for a small trailer 4 years ago, I was surprised at how few higher quality, smaller trailers there are. The ones that were being made were a lot more expensive than the majority of the ones I saw. I ended up ordering one of the more expensive brands and have been very happy with it. I’m planning on starting full-timer life in that same trailer when the house sells. If I decide it’s too small for full-timing later on, I would look at trailers from the same manufacturer first. 

So my thought would be to not buy cheap if buying new. If your budget is more limited, I would look at the same trailers used.

It depends on what you are looking for. I would not rule out some of the independent or smaller manufacturers. Some of that may depend on your location, when it came down to my final 2 choices, one (Lance) was manufactured not far away and I could buy from a dealer who did not charge delivery charges.

There are some manufacturers who seem to put out higher quality units than others, but even they can miss something in production. The big thing is to either buy from a dealer with a good service department and/or a manufacturer that has good customer service. 

Good luck with your search.

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So, it appears that you are looking only at new units, is that correct?  Also, if you would share a couple of the units that looked like they might work, it would give us a better idea of what you are looking for.  There are manufacturers who consistently fail at quality control, there just are.  Asking owners?  Sometimes they don't admit that the unit is crappy as it was their choice.  If they love a unit, often things that go wrong aren't considered as serious as if they just fed up with their choice.  Big Foot tends to get very good reviews most of the time, and they are pricey.  Do you have a price range that you are working with as that definitely would come into play?  Also, sometimes a good used unit can be a really good choice in a more reliable manufacturer.  These days it is important to buy from a good dealership that will take care of the issues that the manufacturer fails to address.  I know of no manufacturer that is doing better than they did in the past, so if someone has a great unit that is few years old, that same manufacturer may not be putting such a unit out now.  Buying in the fall or winter gets one a better deal on a unit in many places.

Edited by SnowGypsy

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1 hour ago, fpmtngal said:

 Some of that may depend on your location, when it came down to my final 2 choices, one (Lance) was manufactured not far away and I could buy from a dealer who did not charge delivery charges.

An example of this; Two dealers that sell Northwood Trailers, Apache in Oregon close to the manufacturing location & Mike Jones Motor/RV near Cincinnati Ohio, and a $5K to $8K price difference with the same model trailer.

     Spot

Edited by $Spot

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Have you looked at any of the fiberglass egg trailers? Their longest ones tend to be 19-foot 5th wheels but all the eggs seem to hold their value quite well and the owners I know are all surprised at how well insulated they are.

Linda

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Just want to thank you all for responding. 

Yes only new units - I am an engineer by trade and I assure you you do not want an older unit with a lot of miles. Not even the best units are designed for that sort of stress. (true I think they are built better).

I agree on the ultralights - you cut weight somewhere. I think what I was really fishing for was input so that I could sort of get an idea of who may have better materials, processes, and quality control without having to tour the factories or pull a lot of information and comb through it. Often times the person using the product is a better judge than anything else that you can use to measure quality.

Again I thank you all so much!!!!

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