Buying a travel trailer can seem intimidating, but with the right information, it can be an exciting and empowering decision. It’s all about figuring out which type of trailer is right for you, and finding the features that best suit your lifestyle. We’ve asked expert travel trailer owners their best advice for buying a travel trailer
10 Pieces of Advice From RV Experts When Buying a Travel Trailer
Travel trailers are one of the most popular non-motorized RVs. They have solid walls, hitch to a car or truck and come in all shapes and sizes. They are safe and typically have slide-outs to create wide-open living spaces.
There’s a lot to think about before buying a travel trailer, but check out these tips to help guide your way.
1. Decide on Size
You’ll need to decide which travel trailer is best for you, not just aesthetically, but the exterior size and interior dimensions. Make sure to choose a travel trailer that your car or truck can pull. You don’t want to purchase a travel trailer that’s too heavy to tow.
You’ll also want to make sure the trailer’s floor plan fits your needs. It should have enough space for the items you want in the trailer. Make a list of assured items you’d like to bring and make sure you have plenty of space. You’ll also want to make sure that the bathroom and shower are large enough for you.
2. Make Sure You Have Enough Storage
While you shouldn’t overpack your travel trailer, storage space helps keep you organized and keeps clutter away, so always look for more storage opportunity when buying a travel trailer.
3. Look for Damage Before Buying (Aesthetic)
On the interior of the vehicle, walk the floor and corners with bare feet. It can be a great way to check for damage. Make sure to check the cabinets and other storage areas for damage as well.
Before buying, make sure to get the breaks, axels, tires, rear bumper and front towing capacity checked out. Also check the seals and locks on doors as well as utility connections and hookups.
4. Look for Damage Before Buying (Mechanical)
It’s also important that all operational systems such as electrical, water, sewer, and mechanics are functional before buying your first travel trailer.
5. Choose a Travel Trailer Based on Your Lifestyle
Think about what you plan to use you travel trailer for. Will you want a 4 season trailer for winter? Think about the size of trailer you’d like based of the number of people that will typically be inside the vehicle, and consider your own height
6. Check How The Drain System Works
Check if the drain system is a strait shoot to waste tanks or a system that twists and turns and could have clogging issues.
7. Match Your Towing Vehicle to Your RV
Make sure your vehicle is rated to tow the gross weight of your trailer, plus the estimated weight that will be loaded into the trailer.
AAA, recommends adding 1000 pounds to the labeled dry weight, for all of the items that will go inside the trailer.
8. Buy Used and Get and an Inspection
Some people appreciate having a new vehicle. But when buying a travel trailer, it may be in your best financial interest to find one that is used.
As a first time buyer, if you realize over a year that it’s not the right vehicle for you, you can always sell it and not lose a ton of money compared to buying new. Make sure to get it fully inspected before you buy.
9. Rent a Few to See What You Like
It’s hard to know exactly what you want in a travel trailer when it’s your first time buying one. Some great advice we’ve received from travel trailer owners is to rent a few RVs first to get an idea of what you like. And who knows, maybe the lifestyle is not for you and you could save some money. Renting can help you determine the size and style you like best.
10. Have a budget for repairs
Financial responsibility shouldn’t be in your rear-view mirror when buying a travel trailer: you should set aside some money for repairs. It’s as simple as that. Mobile RV repair can help in a pinch, but the peace of mind offered by that security will make your first trip that much easier.