RV Travel Trailers
Travel Trailers are the beginning of what the RV or Recreational Vehicle has to offer in “fully self-contained” RVs.
Travel Trailers can start very small in size and features, as Travel Trailers can also get very elaborate in size and amenities. The most distinguishable features of travel trailers are that they are indeed that, trailer living accommodations that is made to travel. Travel Trailers have hard sides, with the ability to add slides, and now even fold outs similar to Pop Ups, but are typically full height with hard sides during travel. If there is any canvas on a travel trailer it is typically the fold out awning.
For this piece, we will focus on Bumper Pull Travel Trailers rather than the fifth wheel type covered in another section. The bumper pull traditional style Travel Trailer was started much earlier in the century, when it was realized that cars had the ability to pull living accommodations behind them. I have seen Travel Trailers from as early as the 1920’s,
with beautifully crafted wood interiors and ice box and stove amenities. I own one from the 50’s that would be hard for me to sell, and is extremely basic, but a love for the vintage RV.
With all practicality of this selection process, these have fun restoration values to them, and can make a love of life as well as a fun hobby and sense of living in history, back in time.
The new RV Travel Trailer will have all the amenities of home. We are full time RV Travel Trailer “residents if you will”, and ours has a full service bathroom with shower and small tub, full kitchen amenities including built in microwave, duel fuel propane/electric refrigerator and freezer, built in gas stove and oven, even vent hood fan with light, just like at home. in the year 2009, we have wireless Internet and satellite TV with HD and surround sound. Travel Trailers can get as big and modern, or as small and efficient as you choose! In all cases, these are where full time RV use or extended RV stay starts, with hard sides that can give you a sense of four walls and a place to live. The sizes and floor plans are for each individual need, offering couples with rear living and front living options, as well as bunk house options for Family RV unit Selections. Look for the letter B for Bunk House, or the give away letters BH, when looking for your RV.
We wanted the floor plan to be useful for us as a married couple, so the Rear Kitchen Floor Plan gave us the most area for Cabinets. We got lots of stuff, and bring everything with us.
Travel Trailers can be any number of beds, any length you typically choose, run a price range of 12,000 dollars and up to 50,000 dollars for new Travel Trailers with four slides and the weight that would require a diesel pulling vehicle to pull it with.
Your pulling vehicle may determine your RV Trailer Limit! Many of the small RV Travel Trailers can be pulled with a car or light pick up truck. With the thresh hold of about 5000 lbs dry weight, most can be pulled with a half ton pick up truck and a gasoline motor with some strength. Automatic Transmissions are a must for pulling capacity, as a manual transmission is made to slip upon start, and will slip much more dramatically when pulling heavy weight. Automatic Transmissions pull much more weight. Your motor’s horsepower will also make a big difference, a 6 cylinder engine not pulling near the amount of RV Travel Trailer the 8 cylinder sibling can with some bragging horse power.
Beyond our 25 foot Jayco Travel Trailer with a small slide at about 5000 lbs dry weight, we can fill it up with our gear and belongings, and have power to handle the altitudes in the Colorado Rockies with our motor’s horsepower, as well as have four wheel drive low gear, to be able to shift to, if we get in a high climbing grade situation.
To summarize, match your weight, vehicle to RV Travel Trailer, and you should be prepared to go coast to coast, even through high altitude and steeper mountain areas.
(We have been in four wheel drive low and doing a 26 percent grade up California’s Senora Pass. Don’t recommend that one! We did have rear differential failure once, the weaker single axle puller, and now have a better limited slip rear end in the truck.)
Price as well as vehicle pulling capacity, size and beds, all are based on what you need in your RV. The offering however is vast, so you will be pleased to start in this area. You will need a hitch on your vehicle, and we highly recommend you do get two things, for yes another 400 dollars!
- Heavy duty hitch on vehicle, not just a bumper hitch. (bumper mounts are weak! Frame Mounted Square Receivers are far better) This could cost 250 dollars.
- Leveling bars for leveling out the weight of vehicles. This requires big receiver component with level bar attachments, as well as bars. This leveling system might cost 400 or more. It is well worth it. (It pushes the weight to your front tires, making turns much more predictable. Rear vehicle overweight makes your front end light! This system pushes the front of your vehicle down to be more level, bringing headlights back down, as well as required steering weight!)
- Install a towing sway bar, if you feel you need one. (The sway bar has simply a friction bolt to tighten and loosen, that adds friction to your sway motion. This will help keep from basic swaying due to wind, but will have friction from the component to return to straight. This can create a push or over steer, so for the safest in towing, go slower than you normally might to remain at a safe speed. We are not big fans of sway bars, if weight distribution and leveling bars are all set up correctly.)
Please consult the advice of your manufacturers for your vehicle and RV for recommended attachments, Weight matching, as these are opinions to consider before asking these questions. Here is a shot of our old camper, the vintage 1957 Comet Travel Trailer. They call these Vintage Travel Trailers, Canned Hams. Can you see the similarity to the vacuum packed can of ham?