Jump to content
aztex

Trailer Options

Recommended Posts

Howdy,

Last year I "escaped" for 6 months in an Airstream 22 footer. It was GREAT but I was ill prepared. I ended up selling it at a minimal loss...almost break even! THAT is a great benefit of Airstreams!

So I am planning this again come next December and will buy a trailer at that point. Oh yea I have a 2019 Toyota Tundra and think tow cap. is ~10,000lbs.

I'll be 60 by then and figure my last chance to get a quality trailer based on my earning potential. I want to max out at ~$80K or assume <$800mo payments. I may go used but can't have RV's where I live and storage is expensive and far away.... Last year I got nailed because I could not prep it as need be before I hit the road. So buying used and fixing up problematic....I need something ready to go!

I want something that IF things go too sideways I could move into it on a more permanent basis so looking for a model that will still be on the road and viable 10-20 years down the road.

Targeting an Airstream Flying Cloud 25 footer which offers just enough more space to work I believe.

Aside from the logistics of this what other brands of trailer should I be considering? It seems all the other trailer brands are about equal but is there another that approaches Airstream quality and I could count on for 20 years on the road? I'm pretty sold on Airstreams but want to consider all options.

My motto: "Buy the best and cry once!"

Thanks!

Aztex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Quality as compared to an Airstream is a pretty subjective thing. Airstream RV owners are much like Harley Davidson motorcycle owners in that you almost join a cult. There is no doubt that they have some very positive features, but not everyone would agree with the cult that Airstream is the best travel trailer built. I would agree that they do have a very long lived exterior, but there is no way that we could ever be happy with one. They have pretty much the same interior and appliances that any other reasonably well constructed RV has, but with a design that has very little storage space and an extremely high price. The travel trailer that we currently travel with would cost me today about $20,000 new, which an Airstream of similar size is priced at more than $50,000! With the rounded shape of the Airstreams they have very little in overhead cabinet storage, when compared to travel trailers with a more conventional design. My point is not that an Airstream is bad, but they have negatives as well as positives features. They probably do have the longest life span of any travel trailer, but with reasonable care even those that cost far less can serve one well. When we bought our current 20' long travel trailer, we paid $12,000 out the door, all taxes and fees included. It is now 8 years old and is still in very good condition and I expect to keep it for several more years.What we bought is not a 4 season RV, but you can find good ones for perhaps 2 times what we paid. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with the comments about the Airstream however, I believe you talked about living in it for a long time and wanted something viable for many years.  Before you run out to purchase any RV you need to look at the long term feasibility of the floor plan.  Hit some RV shows or large dealerships and look over as many as you can and do not buy the first one you like.  Imagine yourself living in it day to day and decide if all features work for you.  Sleeping, storage, kitchen, bathroom, towability, etc.  We had a great TT that was 31 feet in length and until Tropical Storm Debby did damage to it back in 2012.  We then purchased a smaller unit, a 27 foot TT with a floor plan that we liked and has proven to be the best choice for us.  We tow with a RAM 2500 and it helps with storage in the bed, the RV storage pass-thru, and under bed storage gives us all we need.  Closests are good and the bathroom is roomy, the kitchen set-up works well with enough counter space for the things we need.  We were able to personalize the living room to fit our needs so we enjoy the time inside on evenings and inclement weather days.  Before we made the purchase we must have looked at close to 30 units.  The one we bought was about the 20th on the list.  After a trip several hours away and two more large dealerships we went back to order #20.  One final thing don't look at just the RV.  If the dealership is going to be responsible for warranty work, look at them closely.  I sat in their waiting room for about an hour and a half while Mrs. C. did some shopping elsewhere and talked to the folks coming in and got their sense of the customer service and knowledgeability of the service staff.  Just some other things to consider.  Best of luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Airstream as well as other brands all use RV appliances and it is important to remember these wear quickly.  Most RV appliances are just slightly above junk in my opinion but expensive.  I agree with Kirk assessment with Airstream and like others I have owned RV's for years and have had to replace many things such as refrigerators and AC's so keep that in mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks!

Well I met plenty of people on the road with similar sized and half the price RV's that were in no way shape or form like the AS! One thing I really liked about the AS was the LIGHT! Much brighter and more windows! Those wrap around end windows! But storage was a challenge! AS designs them like week end trippers and not for long hauls IMO. The dinettes huge over stuffed space wasters. I took mine out first thing!

I was thinking if I could find a better quality at same price...not bigger per se but better! More reliable with better amenities/appliances..

Appliances were as good as I have at home; better microwave I thought...Bath was not that great and felt cheap.... Atwood is all we really have options fpr right? Or are there other brands of appliance upgrades to be sought out?

 

So are all other brand equal or does one rise above with quality and support and resale value? I got saved big time by not really losing a dime when I figured 6 months rent into the equation... Are there other brands that could be sold within first year and still have 90%+ value?

How rigidly enforced is the "no trailers older than 10 years allowed" rule? Can't tell if a good condition AS is 10 or 50 years old...Lot's more options for long term parking.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, aztex said:

Thanks!

Well I met plenty of people on the road with similar sized and half the price RV's that were in no way shape or form like the AS! One thing I really liked about the AS was the LIGHT! Much brighter and more windows! Those wrap around end windows! But storage was a challenge! AS designs them like week end trippers and not for long hauls IMO. The dinettes huge over stuffed space wasters. I took mine out first thing!

I was thinking if I could find a better quality at same price...not bigger per se but better! More reliable with better amenities/appliances..

Appliances were as good as I have at home; better microwave I thought...Bath was not that great and felt cheap.... Atwood is all we really have options fpr right? Or are there other brands of appliance upgrades to be sought out?

 

So are all other brand equal or does one rise above with quality and support and resale value? I got saved big time by not really losing a dime when I figured 6 months rent into the equation... Are there other brands that could be sold within first year and still have 90%+ value?

How rigidly enforced is the "no trailers older than 10 years allowed" rule? Can't tell if a good condition AS is 10 or 50 years old...Lot's more options for long term parking.

Thanks!

Airstream is the most expensive trailer on the market in terms of $$ per square foot of living space. So no, there really isn't anything out there that is similar.  Some of the fiberglass "egg" trailers share characteristics and are also rather expensive on a $$ per square foot basis, but also lack storage space and (in my opinion) long-term livability. But they too seem to hold their value at a higher percentage than more "typical" trailers. 

I think that choosing a trailer based on resale value after one year of ownership is a terrible criteria, unless you actually plan to sell it after a year. And if you do, don't buy  a new one to begin with!  

If you are truly enchanted with AS, you likely won't find anything similar enough to warrant your interest. But if you step outside of viewing other trailers through that lens, you can find some very nice trailers, suited for full-time living, for significantly less money per square foot. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arctic Fox trailers have a good reputation and are built to be used in all seasons. It appears to me that people who own them keep them for a long time. Here's a link to some you can study: https://www.rvtrader.com/Northwood-Mfg-Arctic-Fox-Travel-Trailer/rvs-for-sale?type=Travel Trailer|198073&make=Northwood Mfg|765318892&model=ARCTIC FOX|764941915

Linda Sand

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, aztex said:

Well I met plenty of people on the road with similar sized and half the price RV's that were in no way shape or form like the AS!  ....................................

So are all other brand equal or does one rise above with quality and support and resale value?

As I said before, that question is subjective and only you can make that decision. Pam & I do not care for the cramped space that their rounded design creates, but you obviously do like it. There are no other manufacturers who build an RV that is designed in the same manner at the Airstream. They do have a 3 year warranty while most RVs today have only 1 year, and a few have two years. If there is another with a 3 year warranty, I don't know who it is. If that means the price compared to their competitors is justified, then you probably won't find anything else to suit you. If it were me, I would consider an Arctic Fox, or if you want to stay with smaller trailers an Oliver, Casita, or Scamp. But all of those are fiberglass and not as rounded as Airstream. 

I would suggest that you would be very wise to visit a major RV show with an open mind so that you can walk from one RV to another and compare what each one offerers for the money you would have to pay. It is very clear to me that you would not want the same travel trailer that I would choose, even if price were no object. That is OK since they make many different RVs because we have such varied likes and desires. The key is to make sure that what you buy fits what you like, not what one of us think that you should like.  On appliances, I do not agree that those in an RV are junk as we have owned RVs for more than 40 years and it has been my experience that in part-time use most of the appliances will last for 20 to 30 years if properly maintained and for 10 to 15 years under fulltime use. Standard home appliances may last longer but they are not drug over the roads and subjected to the vibrations and shaking that RV appliances are. 

Edited by Kirk W

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Howdy!

We’ve owned a Airstream and liked it very much. But found out it did not do well in extreme heat and cold. If I were in the market for a fulltime travel trailer I would be looking at Articfox like suggested above.they are good quality four season RV.

” Happy Trails”

Chiefneon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back to your Tundra's towing capacity. You stated 10,000 lbs., that is the maximum the loaded trailer can weigh-assuming you do not have the truck loaded to capacity. All new trailers sold advertise the unloaded weight, which may not include aftermarket options the selling dealer installs. That is meaningless to you unless you plan to tow the trailer empty of food-stuffs, clothes, etc.

This travel trailer weight calculator may prove useful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like the Arctic Fox and ORV trailers, but they tend to be heavy.  Since you have the Tundra, you might want to also look at Lance trailers. Until relatively recently (10 years or so) they only made truck campers so their trailers tend toward lighter weight with lots of storage and a smaller size.  They aren’t for everyone.

At some point I may replace my trailer, and those are the 3 manufacturers I’ll look at first - I currently have a 1/2 ton truck but would have to replace it with a 3/4 if I buy either the ORV or Arctic Fox, and possibly if I buy one of the larger Lances.  My current trailer is 21’ total length.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of comments, first quality construction usually comes at a heavier weight so you also need to be prepared to replace your tow vehicle. As far as appliances go, you can do custom builds with residential appliances and specified the way you want it. This is a trailer we had built last year and at over 46' long we were under $100k and that is with a 20' garage. 

ukFedL1l.jpg

OTAyeYwl.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/7/2020 at 3:33 PM, mptjelgin said:

Airstream is the most expensive trailer on the market in terms of $$ per square foot of living space. So no, there really isn't anything out there that is similar. 

Airstreams are cheap compared to the Bowlus....one of their models starts at $185,000.

It's all relative.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, podwerkz said:

Airstreams are cheap compared to the Bowlus....one of their models starts at $185,000.

No thanks. Little storage space, small tanks, little carrying capacity, plus cassette toilet. My conversion van was better than this.

Linda

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks!

I went to the local RV dealer and was about to look at other brands... They were pushing Lance and don't cary Arctic Fox.

They had a 2019 AS Flying Cloud for $69K. List is $94K.... Tempting...

I don't want to buy a new TV. MY Tundra is a 2019 and I like it. Adding that expense starts to make it more complicated. It'd probably be a wash money wise but a hassle... I really like Toyotas and when shopping last year couldn't come up with a second place finisher...so...

AS have all that light man! I'm a jeweler and work on the road and the idea of putting a small bench right at one end with those wrap around windows....plus they open wide for air....

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're single and that's a big factor. I've owned eight VW Westphalia pop tops, one Coleman pop up, two 36 foot fifth wheels, a 1990 HitchHiker and a 1998 Challenger, one very nice 28 foot Sunnybrook, and our last a 19 foot scamp fifth wheel. I have looked at lots of tail waggers and found none that would suit me for full time RVing. That basement in fivers (5th wheels) was crucial to our first year when we carried twice what we needed and by then we didn't want the extra weight for stuff we didn't use. Motorhomes are out for us except maybe a Class C. Just preferences.

Here's my advice to keep you from making two mistakes, the first being the wrong AS. We aren't in the AS fan club as you can see. We may never full time again, but no TTs in even part time RVing for us, just a fiver, truck camper, or Class C.

None of us posting have ever full time RV'd in an AS. I'm sure you know the AS online clubs etc. But my advice is to find as many past and present full time AS owners. If you can't find any that's your answer.

See when we full timed for seven years I had to sell my one year old State's Blue Harley Davidson Electra Glide Classic. If you want to be an AS collector or like the tight knit special interest groups great! But you can't collect as a full timer without a large garage and home base (not really full time).

So go find AS owners currently full timing in them, or actual past full time ASrs, and get them face to face, not online, and ask why they stopped full timing in it or if they would do it again.

For $80k you could buy a new truck and a decent trailer, TT or fiver. Or buy a lightweight fiver and keep it ten years then buy another if it does not last. Then you've not spent on a new truck, and have a new trailer.

Or look at a new under $60k Class C https://www.rvingplanet.com/blog/top-5-best-class-c-motorhomes-for-sale-under-60000/

Now I don't know Class C motorhomes either, that article was an example only.

I thought we could part time in a little 19' Scamp fiver, but I could not do it for the same reason as an AS - no storage. So it was sold before we moved to Colorado. My expensive toy is the Tesla I just ordered and may cancel tomorrow now that they are shipping Model Y AWDs. If I'm ever alone I may full time, or buy a chalet on a mountain. See no help because I've never owned an AS. And as I've found every time I made a leap into something new It never "feels" like I anticipated. Maybe better, maybe worse, but different.

I too wish you luck, but as you said before, you made a mistake with the first. And full time, storage is everything, even when a minimalist.

Good luck!

Safe travels!

Edited by RV_

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

RVAir The cleanest air in RVing!

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

AGS Now Hiring

RV Pet Safety

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...