March 16, 2009,
J.W. asks from Henderson, NV on March 13, 2009
Travel Trailers That Are Easy to Tow Behind and SUV
I am looking for a lightweight travel trailer that can be towed behind an SUV. I recall seeing a post on this about a year ago but I can not find it anywhere on here. So i am wondering if anyone can tell us what brand of travel trailer they own that is easy to tow behund their SUV? We have been looking at some brands that weigh still around 6500-6700 lbs and the dealer says we should be ok towing it, but I want to know first hand from someone who has a travel trailer and pulls it with their SUV. If you have any insight please tell me about the brand of trailer you own, your likes and dislikes, and how much yours weighs. And if you have any advice on the pros and cons of owning a travel trailer. We have 2 small children and I think its a good way for us to be able to go more places with them if we invest in something like a travel trailer? Any thoughts or ideas are welcomed. Thanks for your help and insight.
1 mom found this helpful
J.S. answers from Los Angeles on March 13, 2009
You need to check the towing capacity for your car. Be realistic about how much extra weight will be in it with water tanks, food, equipment, etc. We had a Highlander but had trouble finding something we could tow. So my hubby got a new pick up, much to his delight. Given the market right now, salesman are desperate and may give you incorrect info to get the sale. Look into a lite or ultra-lite. A tent trailer will definitely be towable but not as warm.
We have a Salem (who do make a lite) and we love it. 23 ft. and can sleep up to 6. Wildwind is made by the same manufacturer as Salem but Salems are cheaper. Get a model from the last year to save money. I believe ours was $17K.
Some things we love about it. The sofa folds into a bed so we don't have to mess with folding the table up and down every night and morning. This is a huge plus and both of our kids fit on the sofa. Instead of sheets on the beds, we just use sleeping bags and store them under the large bed. Get one with an outside shower-perfect for beach camping and rinsing off sand. We also have a electrical converter for the battery and are looking into getting solar panels. You may want to purchase a small generator too. Get a dutch oven-you can cook anything on the campfire-even cake!
It's great to be able to leave the trailer parked and take off in the car. My parents have a motorhome and it was a hassle before they had a tow car (plus upkeep is more). Trailer regisration and insurance isn't too bad.
The only reason we don't use it more often is because most campgrounds fill up well in advance. State and national parks reserve 6-7 months out. We use it about 4-6 times a year. We are heading to Grand Canyon in May.
1 mom found this helpful
P.F. answers from Las Vegas on March 14, 2009
We are travel trailer owners...have been for the past 25 years and so we've gone through several different trailers through the years. Ours is a '05 Fleetwood Prowler Regal 23 foot and our "super sale price was $34,900"...I'm reading the paperwork! (ha) Anyways, I can't find the weight, but we found this one to be much better quality than many we've had through the years...and believe me....you do get what you pay for as far as quality etc. Many may LOOK nice but they are so cheaply built that they soon start to fall apart before your eyes (practically)! Also, as you travel along just the bumping around on the road--literally, just traveling down the road loosens things up and honestly, they start to fall apart! We have 4 children but since our oldest had already left home and now our 2nd has left home we just have two left. We also as previous writer said purchased NEW but in the next calendar year getting a better bargain. I have not pulled it myself as in driving, but my husband said this pulled much better than some we've had. (And how do you know until you've actually had experience)? Ours has a queen bed in front, also the couch folds down to a bed and/or if you need the table that also folds down to a bed. So, we've had our trailer now for a few years and really have enjoyed this one better than any other (of course, in our price range)! We also get a lot of use out of it even when it's sitting by the side of the house. We plug it into the home's electrical & water and use it as a guest room when we have overflow from the house...it works great, gives privacy and is an extra bedroom!
Hope you find what works best for you! If you have more questions feel free to ask.
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T.T. answers from Visalia on March 14, 2009
I know you asked for advice on travel trailers, but I thought I would just throw this out there. We were looking at travel trailers, but decided on a class A motorhome instead. We have a 35 ft winnebago brave and LOVE it. The trip starts the moment we get into the rv and go. We dont have to wait till we get to our destination to start our vacation. And as for the kids, I have two kids (they were 7 and 9 when we bought our rv) and the rv makes traveling with kids fun again. We just pop a movie in and they watch in the back, no more potty breaks, no restaurant stops to feed them. I dont hear "Are we there yet" anymore. when they are done with the movie, they can play games, sleep comfortable, etc. If you shop around, especially with todays market, people are almost giving them away. Just a thought to consider. Good luck on your purchase and for us, rving/camping are the best times. We try to go at least once a month even if it is just a weekend trip to Sequoia Natl. Park which is very close and affordable. And the kids love it.
C.S. answers from Los Angeles on March 14, 2009
We are a older couple and was looking for the same thing, We bought a Trailmanor which is easy to tow and easy to set up once you get everything down pat....... They have a great website. so you can see all the different styles. Its a hard siding and comes with everything you need. We take our grandkids alot and they love it. Besides having a web site for the trailer there is a web site for all the owners and they can answer any questions that you may have... Great people with so much knowledge.. I hope this helps.
K.J. answers from Los Angeles on March 15, 2009
We bought a Jayco travel trailer/pop up. (used about $3,000 3 years ago)This particular one has a king bed, queen, 2 singles. We have 6 children and a Full size Suburban, We have no problems towing it anywhere, set up takes a total of 20 minutes, to get EVERYTHING done. The beds slide out on the ends and it raises up! Kids are (now) 13yrs to 13months. It fits ALL just fine. It folds up to a small box, so no wind resistance and is SUPER light. They come with kitchens, small baths just about everything a full size RV does, we use to tent, but it now is too hard. This works wonderful. Does not cost too much more in gas than not having it behind us. Enjoy and good luck.
H.S. answers from Los Angeles on March 16, 2009
I have to second what Jennifer S said about finding the towing capacity of your SUV. Look in the manual. It should state the largest GCVW rating. (I believe that's the one). We had a trailer that was "eating up" the rear-end of my dh's truck. A lot of SUV's really are NOT designed to pull a trailer. Even a 1500 pick-up is not designed to haul a trailer. So be careful!!! Just because the trailer dealer says you can pull it does not mean you SHOULD!
Also, just FYI - Fleetwood industries has declared bankruptcy and as part of their reorganization is pulling out of the trailer market. You may be able to get a smokin' deal but make sure if you buy it from a dealer that you can still get it fixed when they no longer make them.
In all honesty in today's market, you should be able to find a smokin' deal! We are motorhome owners and LOVE camping and go at least once a month with our three kids. My son is constantly asking when are we going camping. ENjoy!!!
S.G. answers from Los Angeles on March 16, 2009
We have had it all - tent trailer, travel trailer, motorhome and now a travel trailer again! I absolutely LOVED my motorhome, esp when the kids were little. I could nurse, the kids could nap, we could get to snacks, go potty, whatever - without ever stopping. It was great. You don't get that luxury with a trailer towed behind you. But, I HATED the fact that it was difficult to explore on vacation without packing up camp. With a trailer, you can setup camp and then leave camp in your tow vehicle. Our first trailer was too heavy to tow behind our small SUV - we were assured it would be fine, but it wasn't. This time my husband did his homework and found a lightweight easy to tow trailer that we can tow in my Ford Expedition. We ended up with a Keystone Outback. I absolutely LOVE it!!!!!! It sleeps 6-8 and has all sorts of nice amenities - linen cupboard, side door, under cupboard trash, a/c, faux wood floor (no carpet), etc. It's actually very small for towing and then the back Queen size bed slides out the back to reveal a couch a dinette. Very room once open. I would highly recommend it!!!!!!!!!!!
D.C. answers from Los Angeles on March 14, 2009
Hi we are a family of 6 and we have a Pioneer travel trailer, 19 foot. We got it 2 years ago,good sale price about 10K. We love it. beautiful inside and sleeps about 7. Kids range from 22 to 6. It is very lightweight. We have a Dodge Durango, V8, 5.2 liter engine, and even though the car dealer and the RV dealer assured us we wouldn't have a problem towing, we still find it hard to pull up any type of incline. Last summer our transmission light kept going on. We cannot tow with the water tanks filled. We are now in the market for a truck, preferrably a diesel because we want to be able to go anywhere. Good luck. Our Pioneer is perfect for our family. If you don't have a big engine, I would be a little hesitant. (My SUV is a 2000, so maybe if you have newer SUV, you'd have better luck)