Why Buy an Airstream Trailer ?

Buying an airstream can be an exciting, even a life-changing purchase, so it will really make sense if you take your time and equip yourself with the necessary information needed before purchasing one.

Why Buy an Airstream Trailer

Airstream

The History behind the Airstream

Airstream is the oldest brand in the industry, which began in the early 1930’s. Wally Bryan had a dream to build a travel trailer that moved like a stream of air, hence the name, Airstream.

It takes approximately 350 skilled workers to produce one trailer, which explains the cost. The Airstream was used by NASA for Apollo 11 to quarantine the astronauts until they were cleared.

Pros of Airstream Over Other Trailers

  • Community –

The Airstream Community is like no other. Owning an Airstream is belonging to a family. They hold major Rallies and Events. Which is a good place to talk to others before purchasing an Airstream?

Check out the Wally Byam Caravan Club International which includes forums, rally info and more.

  • Made in the USA

The company originally started in California then moved to Jackson Center, Ohio. It is the oldest Brand in the industry. The plans used to be sold on the back of magazines.

  • The Manual Raw Mechanical Nature of an Airstream

On most motorhomes and RV’s, the mechanical features are automatic. Which just like cars when anything electric breaks and it will, it can become costly to repair. The mechanics of the Airstream are complex.

  • Flexibility

It’s got an aluminum structure and an aluminum body and of course an aluminum exterior put together entirely with rivets.

The good thing about the aluminum structure is you kind of get a little more bend and flexibility than you would with other trailers. This might not sound like a really good thing but if you’re on a super rigid road and you have a really rigid structure and you hit a big bump, it has a harder impact on the trailer if rigid.

  •  Storage

Each Airstream is different when it comes to storage. Some Airstreams have more windows, which then eliminates storage and vice versa. Although the Airstream design is genius at utilizing every inch of space.

  • Durable

About 60% of airstreams on the road today are from the 50’s and 60’s. Due to their durable nature, most airstreams can last for over 40 years. For a travel trailer or a motorhome to last that long you will really have to “baby” and take really good care for them to last long if possible.

The interior such as the wood cabinets, mattresses, heater, and microwaves are made of high-quality materials which last longer.

  • Environmentally Friendly

As said, ” Silver is Green”. The materials such as aluminum, steel, and wood used to make airstreams are can be recycled. When using an airstream, you’re indirectly saving the environment.

  • Unique Patented Aerodynamic Shape

Thanks to the unique aerodynamic shape of the Airstream trailer, their tow vehicles require 20% less fuel than a box type of trailer. This results to a 10 to 20% saving of fuel on each trip.

Also, airstreams are known for that slippery shape that enables it cut through the wind, whether is a headwind, a side wind, airstream trailers don’t get pushed around, so you feel comfortable behind the wheel.

  •  Towing

One of the things that have made Airstreams famous over the past years is the ease of towing. This really starts at the bottom, Airstreams are made such that the center of gravity is kept really low.

Most travel trailers manufacturers build above the wheel but with Airstreams, they are built between the wheels. This brings the floor down, the frame down, which lowers the center of gravity.

To enhance that, the tanks are kept within the frames so the huge water tank is closest to the road. This means that, in an emergency lane change situation, or a lane change, the trailer is much less likely to sway behind the vehicle and not fall over.

Airstreams use rubber torsion axle rather than spring suspension, not only are they more durable but they provide a better more stable ride.

Towing an Airstream can be stressful and dangerous if your tow vehicle isn’t the correct weight capacity.

 

Why Buy an Airstream Trailer

Cons

  • They Are Expensive

Compared to other travel trailers in general, An Airstream can cost you anywhere from $139,000 and above. This is due to their durability and how well-built they are. You can sway some of the cost by purchasing a used Airstream.

  • You Can’t Access the Airstream While on the Road

Not unlike any travel trailer, you can’t access the Airstream while on the road like you can in a Class A motorhome. Although they are easier to pull over and do an overnight in a Walmart parking lot than a fifth wheel. Setting up camp is also a bit easier because you don’t have slides to deal with.

An Airstream tends to be a bit more crowded and narrower. Don’t be surprised when you tend to bump your head and your elbow. Also, the ceilings are 6 inches shorter than an average travel trailer and if you’re 5’6 and taller you will have to duck each time you are going through the doors. There is very little counter space and also the water storage is 6 gallons instead of 10.

  • Costly Restoration

To keep an airstream looking shiny and new you must keep on top of maintaining the exterior. It is a labor-intensive process. To have it professionally done can be expensive, depending on size and deterioration.

Buying an Airstream

What to Look for When Purchasing a Pre-owned(Vintage) Airstream:

Airstreams are relatively rare, and if you restrict yourself to the purchasing pool that is available in your immediate community could changeling. As mentioned above, consider attending Rallies and Events to get a close-up view of all different designs and sizes of Airstreams.

By doing a nationwide search will typically result in better prices and more options. Finding the right Airstream at the right price might be worth having it shipped to you.

When we purchased our fifth wheel (not an Airstream), we drove from Northern Michigan to Florida. We inspected it ourselves, paid for it and had it delivered.

After searching our area for months, we began a nationwide search for a Mobile Suite fifth wheel. Even with travel expenses, it saved us money and we got the RV we wanted.

There are a few more Airstreams that are in good shape out West but there are also some good finds on the East coast.

When considering a type of Airstream to purchase, try not to involve your emotions in the process. Do not let the excitement about buying an Airstream overwhelm your good judgment.

In fact, you need to be attentive to the bad. That is while looking for the right trailer, you need to completely ignore the good things, and look for the bad things such as the condition of the exterior, structural damage, any electrical wiring that might need to be worked on.

Making a checklist will help you see things clearly.

I highly recommend you use third-party tools when conduction your airstream search. In addition to looking on eBay and Craigslist, we used RVtrader to find our fifth wheel.

The point of using the third party is, you don’t let emotion rule the process because emotion will draw up the price.

Questions to ask

Ask to see maintenance records and receipts (if pre-owned)

If a private seller, why are they selling?

How old are the tires (verify the year on the tire)?

Verify the year of Airstream

Does it come with an extended warranty?

Research thoroughly before making a purchase.

Have they made any electrical upgrades?

When purchasing a vintage airstream from a private party, you need to have someone look at it or better still you. I highly recommend you get an airstream expert to look at it for you and conduct a pre-purchase inspection.

  • Wiring

With some of the vintage Airstreams, you’ve got to be concerned with some of the wiring

Usually, if it hadn’t been tampered with, it’s good because it’s only taking 12 volts through the wiring, but a lot of the trailer owners often convert the wiring to run-off a 110 volt and some of the trailers have aluminum wiring which can become brittle over time.

If you have a problem with your wiring, most at times it’s going to be right behind the light fixtures, electrical outlet source, and areas where you can get to and examine and make sure there are no real issues. Very fairly will you see a lot of damage in the inner walls where you really cannot get to?

  • Frame

In addition, make sure to check out the frame. The frames have an underbelly which tends to protect them over the years however, it is easy to take the underbelly off to examine the frame.

Usually, if you’re going to have problems, it will be the part that is exposed in the front of the trailer, so check that really well and make sure that there is no bad surface rust or holes through the frame.

Why Buy an Airstream Trailer

  • Aluminum Exterior

For the aluminum skin, usually if it’s not too damaged, then you don’t have to replace it, but if the skin is in bad condition it will have to be replaced. This is a very labor extensive process to get all the rivets out, re-rivet and replace the panel. Whether you get a good replacement panel or you have to repair the panel, it can be costly.

You wouldn’t want the wood subfloor rotting. The flooring can be pretty expensive if you’ve got a lot of floor rot. Very often, it is easier to remove the whole body from the frame of the trailer to be able to get the wood frame back underneath the walls.

A majority of airstreams do sit on the wood flooring, so there can be rot around the perimeter, you’re better off in time and money to go ahead and lift off the whole body of the trailer off the frame.

How to Clean and Maintain an Airstream:

*Note -Airstreams are built completely different from any other type of RV out there. So, if you’ve owned other types of RV’s or travel trailers in the past, forget everything you knew, Airstreams are unique. Below are general instructions for how to wash and care for an Airstream trailer. Always refer to your owner’s manual on which products are recommended and safe for your trailer. One of the most recommended products is Megviars Carwash, Click here for the current price.

Airstreams exterior and made of aluminum. As you know, aluminum creates oxidation by reacting to the oxygen in the air. The chemical reaction between the two doesn’t damage the exterior, it actually dulls the surface and darkens it.

All Airstreams are not created equal. Meaning, depending on the year of the Airstream the grade of the aluminum varied. Because of that, it will result in different degrees of shine.

A protective covering called Plasticoat is applied to all Airstreams to slow down the oxidation process. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last forever. After a time, the UV rays start to burn off the Plasticoat. Which you probably have seen on vintage Airstreams.

Just know, that polishing isn’t for everyone and every Airstream isn’t the same.

How to Wash the Exterior

  • Step 1

The first thing, rinse entire Airstream with water only. This is to get as much debris and dirt off the coach as possible before we start the washing process, and this will help keep scratching down. Best done on a cloudy day or park in the shade if possible.

  • Step 2

The second thing is to identify where the grain is in the aluminum. Every metal has grain in them. For most Airstreams, the grain runs from side to side and that is how you are going to wash your airstream.

The reason why you shouldn’t wash from top to bottom is that, if there is something on the wash brush or cloth, it may cause a scratch that will be visible. However, if we go with the grain of the metal, it will help eliminate scratching.

When washing, use a mild soap or Megviars Car Wash solution together with a microfiber sponge. You can also use a very soft bristle brush to get to some of the high spots.

Stripping and Polishing – Because this is a very labor-intensive procedure and critical steps in the process, this is not a weekend task. This should be left to the professionals. If you feel you are up to the task, there are many how-to videos on this topic. Truly, no two videos are the same. Be prepared for a workout. Not to mention the tools and products that you will need.

How to Clean the Interior

For the interior of our Airstream, we are going to use a lot of products that we may even have in our homes or even a lot of products we use in our homes.

When cleaning your aluminum walls, wood, you can use Pledge. This works really great and it’s going to give your surface that shines and also protect your surface. Microfiber cloths or 100% cotton rags work best, especially when dealing with the aluminum on the inside, just to keep scratches down.

And again, make sure to go with the grain of the metal when wiping. It’s important to turn or change the cloth often when cleaning to prevent small shards of metal from scratching the surface.

You can use a regular household sponge with a mild soap and water solution, or a multi-surface cleaner to clean most surfaces of your airstream such as the countertops.

If you have something harder to get off on a laminated surface, countertop or the woodwork, you can make some paste which consists of you multi-surface cleaner and a little bit of baking soda, put it in a cup mix it up till you get some sort of a paste and you use your sponge soaked with a little bit of warm water to get rid of the stain.

When cleaning, do not exert so much force on the surface. Instead, let the product do the work for you this would prevent scratches on surfaces.

If you have to clean the curtains, use a regular dry eraser to wipe the surface of the curtains and you will be good to go.

Lysol is another product that is talked about a lot when we talk about airstreams and you can use to clean the bathroom, glass, shower wall and things like that.

When cleaning the inside, make sure to try light-duty products and mixes before trying to get aggressive with stuff, and that should keep the inside of your airstream nice and clean. lasting long time and looking great in the future.

Why Buy an Airstream Trailer

Mistakes to Avoid When RVing With Your Airstream:

  • Pay Attention to Your Tires

One major mistake many people make when they purchase an airstream is not to pay attention to their tires. Tires are important and easy to overlook. This is because most people think that as long as they are inflated, they should be good to go.

Well, it’s not just about the thread, it’s the side wall, and especially in warmer temperatures, if the side wall has cracks in it, you have a higher chance of causing your tire to blow. Especially when you have so much weight on them and you are going about 70mph.

Know the age of your tires, and check the tread at least once every week. And when in doubt, change them out and don’t just change the one faulty tire but try to change them all out especially if they are all getting old. This will ensure that the tires are in sync. Installing a TPMS is also an option.

  • If You’re in Doubt About Your Hitch, Figure it Out

If you have a problem with your hitch making odd noises, be sure to have a professional look it over, the hitch is a major safety feature when towing. Yep, better safe than sorry.

  • Without a Doubt, Don’t Bottom Out

Airstreams do not have a lot of clearance, and most airstream owners tend to overestimate what they can handle in terms of ditches, steepness of roads, and end up having a pretty nasty bottoming incident.

Should You Get a Smaller Airstream or a Bigger Airstream?

One major decision to make is choosing the right size of the airstream to fit your circumstances. The answer really depends on what you want to do.

But generally, the longer your rig, the more difficult it is to maneuver and limits access to remote areas. If you like to boondock, this should be an important factor to consider.

For a couple with no kids who full-time RV, a 25-foot Airstream might be all you need. However, you might want to consider some factors when deciding on size:

  • What size bed
  • A Desk and Space (Working Area)

There is nothing wrong with going big, again it depends on lifestyle and budget. For instance, if you plan on staying at RV parks for a month at a time than you might want a larger trailer. But if you intend on boondocking in remote areas a smaller trailer might be best?

Why Buy an Airstream Trailer

How to Hitch Your Airstream

This process is broken up into three stages, the first will be attaching the hitch ball, the second stage will be attaching the spring bars to the arm, and lastly, you’re going to attach the safety chain and brake cables.

There are four stabilization jacks on an airstream trailer, two on each side. Before you begin, make sure to double check that all four stabilization jacks are in the raised position. Also, do not forget to put a wheel chock behind your tires to prevent any form of rolling.

Step 1:

We are going to start with the electric jack, and we are going to use it to raise the coupler high enough that the ball can fit the underneath.

Now the coupler is higher than the hitch ball, go into your car and reverse. It’s always a good advice to have someone behind you who can guide you as you reverse. Make sure that you’re lining the ball to the coupler.

TO unlock your coupler, pull the larch forward, and then raise it up.

Now you have your car lined up so that the ball is under the coupler, the coupler is unlocked, you can use the electric jack to lower the coupler on top of the ball.

With the coupler on top of the ball, lock the coupler and close it with a safety pin.

Stage 2:

For stage two, we are going to assemble the two spring bars, from the hitch assembly to the arms. There are two reasons for attaching the spring bars,

  1. The first is that it helps redistribute weight across all the axles of your vehicle and the trailer.
  2. The second one is, it gives you three points of contact besides the spring ball which helps reduce sway when you’re on the road.

The spring bar is going to fit between the hitch mouth and the arm. But to begin, you are going to have the bar facing the vehicle. Place the bottom in and into the top and swing it around.

Lower the snap-up bracket by taking off the pin. You will realize that the spring bar doesn’t quite reach onto the arm, now what’s going to help is raising the trailer. When that is done, place the spring bar on the arm.

Now you are going to secure your snap-up bracket by raising the chain straight, and counting three lengths and grabbing the fourth and allowing the three fall, and you’re going to take the fourth length and put it onto the snap-up bracket and then you secure it with a safety pin.

Repeat this process for the second arm of the other side.

Stage 3:

For the third stage, we are going to touch three things, first – Attach the safety chains.

  • Secondly, attach the emergency brake cables
  • Third, attach the 7-pin connector which controls the lights and the brakes.

The last step of the hitch up process is to retract the jack and remove the jack stand.

Why Should You Get an Airstream?

Airstreams have been around since the 1930s and are the oldest RV company in existence. There were 400 RV companies around in the ’30s but airstream has stood the test of time.

The Airstream trailer outlasts and outperforms other RV product on the market. From the design to the aerodynamics, to the solid rivet construction, makes the airstream so different from any other product.

Unlike most RVs, Airstreams are built like yachts and airplane, thus the outside shell is built first. The outside shell is built with a riveted construction made of aluminum when makes the airstream durable.

Other Rv manufacturers depend on the furniture to build their rig, but with the Airstream, the shell is the heart of it. Also, the structure is made of aluminum, which means there is no wood inside that is going to rot and mildew.

I hope you found this article helpful. If you did, do not forget to leave a like and share with your friends. Feel free to leave any comment or question below.

 

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Extra Tidbits

10 Iconic Airstreams Ever Made

From Author of the book: by Patrick Foster  “Airstream: Americas World Traveler

1. Airstream Quarantine Trailer 1969

2. Florida’s Airstream Ranch

3. Grand Daddy Hotel, South Africa

4. Airstream Teardrop Trailer, 1930

5. The 1936 Airstream Clipper

6. Vanderbilt Commodore

7. Airstream Funeral Coach

8. Airstream Interstate Touring Coach

9. Airstream Bambi

10. Airstream Photo Archive

 

Happy Camping!

Bonnie

RV Groovin Life

Airstream Website

 

What Tools Do You Need For Your Fifth Wheel or Camper-[Tool Guide]

If you own an RV, travel trailer or fifth wheel, a day will come where you would need to work on your RV. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small repair or a big DIY repair, you need to be prepared.

What Tools Do I Need For My Fifth Wheel

Even though some campers have large storage spaces, most RVs have extremely limited storage space which means, your space for supplies and tools is really limited too. In this piece, I will share with you the essential tools and accessories we carry for RVing.

Tool Guide:

Before I start with my list, I w0uld like to put it out there that every RV, travel trailer or fifth wheel is quite different, but to go camping, maintain or care for your RV, there are some specific tools that every RV should have.

What Tools Do I Need For My Fifth Wheel

Tool Box

 Top 13 Essential Tools for Your RV:

  1. Rachet and Socket Set:

There are occasions where you might need this set. A typical example is; with tools like a half inch ratchet, extension, and socket, you are able to remove your camper’s water heater drain plug to drain out water after every trip.

Another reason why you should have a ratchet and socket set is that it includes a general purpose screwdriver with all the various screwdriver tips commonly used in RV construction.

  1. RV Water Pressure Regulator

This is a fairly inexpensive gadget that ensures you don’t have blown pipes inside your camper from high water pressure at the campgrounds, which you definitely want to avoid. Basically, the water pressure regulator regulates the pressure of the incoming water to 40-50 psi to protect the RV hose and plumbing system from high pressure.

When you regulate the water pressure of your RV, most folks complain that the pressure is too low especially when using the shower.

To help alleviate this situation, I will highly recommend you get a High flow water pressure regulators. A high flow regulator regulates the pressure of the outlet water to about 50-55 psi while increasing the water flow by 15% to 20%.

  1. A Cordless Drill and a Battery Charger

A cordless drill is good to lower stabilizer jacks if you have the right attachment. It’s also useful for the obvious reasons.

It is important that you add an assortment of drill bits, nut drivers and other types of bits on hand.

  1. A Battery Filler

When you charge your lead-acid battery, what happens is, water can evaporate and the evaporated water needs to be replaced with distilled water.

Adding distilled water to your camper using a battery filler goes a long way to increase the life of your battery.

Note* When filling your battery, make sure to wear some safety gloves and goggles.

  1. A Tire Inflation Gauge

When getting an inflation gauge, make sure you get one that is accurate, has a dual foot design, and capable of checking high air pressure.

A tire inflation gauge is essential when you want to check your camper’s tire pressure. Also used to check your tire whenever you’re on the road.

It is advised that you check your tires before each trip and before each return trip.

Make sure to keep your tire inflation gauge in a protective case and away from other tools to protect it from damages.

  1. A Digital Voltmeter and a Digital Line Monitor

This is essential when you want to have a quick check on your battery’s state of charge, and you can also use it to test 12 volts dc circuits and 12 volts fuses, and you can also check 120 volts ac circuits and outlets. Make sure to add some extra fuses just in case.

In addition to your voltmeter, it is important to add a digital line monitor which is essentially used to test faulty wires at the campground before plugging your RV in, and you can use it to monitor ac voltage during your trip. Some models monitor the frequency when you have a generator running.

  1. A Surge Protector

Don’t skimp on this!  A surge protector monitors and protects your RV from electrical problems at the pedestal.

  1. A Torque Wrench

When checking your tire pressure, it is really important that you check the nuts around the tire, and this can be done using a torque wrench. The torque wrench is essential when you want to tighten or loosen the nuts holding your tire, and also any nut or bolt that can be loosened or tightened using a torque wrench.

  1. Hand Tools

Pliers – Needle Nose Pliers – Hammer – Screwdrivers, Measuring Tape – Ractchet – Diagonal Cutters – Vise Grips – Utility Knife.

10. Bungee Cords

In assorted sizes, we use these for everything, from holding things in place in the back of the truck to securing chairs and shelves inside the RV. They have so many uses, especially for RVers.

  1. A Car Jack

A car jack is essential when you’re stuck on the road due to a faulty brake or tire. When you need to change your tire or even work underneath your camper, your only best friend is the car jack.

I highly recommend you get a rapid jack since it is easy to carry around and also takes up less space.

  1. A Foldable Ladder

If you need to do some waxing, maintenance or even repair along the side walls or the roof of your camper, there is no better way to get to the top or to the side of your camper than using a foldable ladder.

A foldable saves space due to the ability to be folded. If you want the top of your camper to be in great shape, then I highly recommend you get a foldable ladder.

13. Air compressor – to regulate the pressure of the air used to inflate the tires of your RV

 A Complete RV Essential Tool & Accessory Checklist:

This list is geared toward full-time or long distant RVers. If your an occasional weekend camper that travels less than 100 miles away from home, than this list is more than you need. Although there are still some important tools listed below that every camper should have.

(This list also Includes the tools from above)

  • Tire Gauge
  • Duct tape
  • A Water Filter
  • A portable holding tankstools
  • Carpenters Level 
  • Bubble Level
  • Utility Knife
  • Jumper Cables
  • Flashlight
  • Lantern
  • Batteries
  • Gas Can
  • Broom
  • Rake
  • Garbage bags
  • Shovel
  • Open end wrenches
  • Hammer
  • Pliers
  • Ladder or Step Ladder
  • Surge Protector
  • Water Pressure Regulator
  • Socket Set
  • Drinking hose
  • Air Compressor
  • Sewer Hose
  • Hose connector
  • Drill
  • Torque Wrench
  • Bungi Cords
  • Bucket
  • Rubber Gloves
  • Antibacterial Wipes
  • Battery Filler
  • Digital Voltmeter & Digital Line Monitor
  • Car Jack
  • Black tank hose and elbow
  • Chocks
  • Leveling Blocks
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Channel Locks
  • Wire Cutters
  • Small Orange Safety Cones
  • Reflective Vest
  • First Aid Kit
  • Umbrella
  • Rain Jacket
  • Stabilizers

 I highly recommend the tools in the checklist above, especially if you are a Full-time RVer. You want to be prepared if you something should happen. With these tools, you will be ready for your camping adventure.

Please like and share this article with your friends and family if you found it helpful.

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What is Boondocking 

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My 12 Favorite RV Kitchen Gadgets

5 Michigan Getaways for RVers

Happy Camping!

Bonnie

 

Before You Buy a Toy Hauler, RV or Camper…Consider All The Options

Before buying a Toy Hauler, RV, Motorhome, Fifth Wheel or Travel Trailer you should know the Pros and Cons of each, find out what best suits your needs.

Before you buy a toy hauler or camper consider all your options

Before Buying a Toy Hauler, RV or Camper…You should ask yourself the following questions:

Before you buy a toy hauler or camper consider all your options

Bill posing with just purchased new home

  1. Will you be using it for weekend outings or full-time RVing?
  2. How many people will it need to accommodate?
  3. How accessible is your camping location? Will you be going on off-road excursions, boondocking/dry camping or State Parks with full hookups?
  4. Do you want to get luxurious accommodation or just basic easy camping?
  5. A major factor- what is your Budget?
  6. The weather will also play a part in deciding what type of RV you should be investing in, do you intend staying in a warmer climate, colder, both?
  7. Now, what do you intend to use your RV for – hauling dirt bikes or ATV’s, accommodate a large family, maybe you need office space for working on the road or something smaller for just sightseeing and travel?

Buying a new or used RV or Toy Hauler is not something you do on a whim.

You will need to do a lot of research before settling on a particular RV. There are so many options, take your time, hopefully, this checklist will help you find the one that suits your lifestyle and budget.

To help you narrow down your search, we are going to look at the pros and cons, of Motorhomes to Travel Trailers and a few unique options you might not have considered.

Each and every RV has a variety of advantages and disadvantages. A camper’s goals and expectations are mostly what inspires them to choose the perfect toy hauler, motorhome, travel trailer or tent! Your budget also dictates what direction you should choose.

  • Motorhomesmotorhome

Camping can be very exciting but it’s important to note that all campers do not have the same goals or aspirations. It’s very vital that each camper looks for a toy hauler that meets their demands and it’s within their budget.

You will notice that motorhomes have several advantages over travel trailers. There are three classes of motorhomes. To help you make an informed decision, we are going to look at the pros and cons of the three types of motorhomes. The following are the three basic motorhomes available for camping:

  • Class A

These are the most expensive and largest motorhomes available. Most dedicated and experienced campers prefer this type of RV. They include purpose-built motorhomes and converted buses.

They can be set up as pushers or pullers and they are powered by gasoline and diesel engines. You don’t require a special CDL license to legally operate them even though most of them are more than 45 feet long.

Class A type of motorhomes will offer you a lot of interior space.

Some are even equipped with slide-out sections which can be expanded out to living areas. They also have a separate master bedroom.

Some of the desirable features of class A motorhomes include the following:

  • Washing machine,
  • Shower and full bath facilities      Class A Motorhome
  • Ice makers,
  • Home entertainment systems.
  • Ample cargo storage in the basement.

These are quick weekend getaways and full-time camping haulers. They might be a bit intimidating to some campers because of their size.

It might also be difficult to access narrow homes using this type of motorhome. You will also find it quite cumbersome to maneuver in twisted mountain passages.

Once you have set up camp, it’s also difficult to run errands using a motorhome because of its size. Most campers prefer to tow smaller vehicles for such. Its initial purchase is on the higher side, so is the maintenance and repair costs.

Pros

  • These types of motorhomes have plenty of interior space.
  • You can carry lots of supplies and cargo in the basement storage space.
  • It has very many options for luxury amenities on board.

Cons

  • Some campers find driving this type of motorhome intimidating. This is because they are quite long.
  • You might have to consider towing a smaller car if you intend to take several day excursions to explore.

If your budget doesn’t allow it, don’t purchase class A motorhome. This is because the initial cost to purchase them is high.

  • Class BBefore you buy a toy hauler or camper consider all your options

They are mostly referred to camper vans and they include smaller vehicles that barely qualify as motorhomes. They are typically standard chassis vans that have been converted into motorhomes. The roof is raised to facilitate upright walking.

They run on either gasoline or engine just like class A motorhomes They are comfortable enough to sleep in and they offer basic life necessities. They are easy to maneuver and store due to their small size.

It is possible to run quick errands on them or take short trips using this type of motorhome. They can comfortably accommodate two campers and they are self-contained. You will be able to enjoy hot showers, heating, and air conditioning, refrigeration, sinks, hot water. Just like class A motorhomes, their initial purchasing cost is on the high side.

However, class B motorhomes are cheaper to maintain and repair.

The interior space is a bit limited so when two users use it, they might find the space a little cramped. Also, the size of the appliances is smaller than what most people are used to. Space is limited for luxurious facilities like home entertainment or laundry services. Also, these are not motorhomes you can carry a lot of luggage in since it has limited storage space.

Pros

  1. It is easy to drive, maneuver and park these motorhomes since they aren’t too large.
  2. There are very easy to set up once you get to your camping site.
  3. Their fuelling and maintenance are on the lower side and affordable.
  4. These are convenient motorhomes to take short trips in or just run errands.

Cons

  1. They do not offer a variety of amenities as compared to class A motorhomes.
  2. Class B motorhomes don’t have a lot of space and even accommodating two people can be tricky.
  3. Also, you are not able to carry a lot of supplies or luggage since they don’t have ample storage space.
  4. It is not convenient for more than two campers.
  • Class C

Class C types of motorhomes are middle-sized RVs which range between 20-33 feet. Mostly they are built on top of van chassis or existing trucks. There are mostly ideal for larger groups of campers or family outings who want to camp on a budget. They compare mostly with class A motorhomes but at a cheaper cost.

They have more living space compared to class B motorhomes. Like class A motorhomes, they have a toilet, ample kitchen space, shower and bath facilities, etc.

Some of the larger class C motorhomes have a master bedroom suite. For more sleeping space, tables and couches can be converted into sleeping areas. It is also designed in a way that users can gain access using side doors.

Just like class A motorhomes, they can be difficult to drive and maneuver around. It’s advisable that campers should tow smaller vehicles for excursions and running errands. The fueling and maintenance cost of class C motorhomes is cheaper compared to class A motorhomes.

Pros

  1. They are large enough to accommodate a large family or a group of campers.
  2. Class C motorhomes have extra storage or sleeping space above the driver’s cab.
  3. They are fully self-contained with basic amenities to make camping enjoyable and comfortable.
  4. Class C motorhomes are way cheaper compared to class A motorhomes. The initial purchasing cost, fuelling, and maintenance are also affordable.

Cons

  1. Compared to class B motorhomes, they are still expensive to purchase and maintain.
  2. Some users might find driving this type of motorhomes quite challenging.
  3. You will need to tow smaller vehicles along to run errands.
  4. It does not have all the amenities that you require.

Motorhomes are convenient for families or groups working on a budget. Most motorhomes offer the fundamentals of camping and traveling enjoyed by most enthusiasts.

  • Towable RVs

Towable RVs offer a number of advantages compared to motorhomes. However, it’s important to find a balance when it comes to capabilities and costs. Their initial purchasing cost is affordable. They are more reliable and they offer users the convenience of a detachable vehicle that can be used to run errands or exploration. There are a variety of towable RVs vehicles that enthusiasts can choose from:

Before you buy a toy hauler or camper consider all your options

  • Travel Trailers

Travel trailers have the convenience of a home and living space. They are mostly constructed on top of a trailer frame. Travel trailers are equipped with a variety of amenities. You can decide to have your travel trailer basic and simple or fit it with all imaginable luxuries that you can think of.

They can also have their own water supply, small refrigeration, kitchens, and bathrooms. The size of a travel trailer can vary and there are some which are even fitted with extra space. What makes travel trailers attractive is that a tow vehicle can be used. They can be connected with a standard-sized ball hitch receiver.

They can also be pulled by almost every type of vehicle, so there is no need to buy a separate towing vehicle. However, like most trailers, they can be a bit cumbersome to maneuver. Also, it may be almost impossible to reverse when it’s attached. Trailers also need to be level. The removal and set up the tow vehicle might be also hard for some people.

Pros

  • Travel trailers can be towed using a variety of vehicles; hence users don’t need to purchase a separate towing vehicle.
  • They are cheaper compared to most full-sized motorhomes.
  • The towing vehicle can be used to run errands.

Cons

  • It may be practically impossible to drive in reverse.
  • The driver needs to be extremely careful of an excessive tail swing.
  • Some users find it difficult to maneuver travel trailers in restricted areas or rough terrains.

Travel trailers can be perfect for small families who are camping on a tight budget. The flexibility, reliability, and affordability of travel trailers, make them popular with most campers.

  • Fifth Wheel Trailers

Toy Hauler or Camper

 

Fifth-wheel trailers are very similar to travel trailers. However, there is one major difference. They have a gooseneck connection which is attached to the towing vehicle.

Fifth-wheel trailers have a number of advantages as well as limitations. There are easy to tow because it has better leverage from the truck’s Centre which makes it easy to maneuver them.

The sections that overhang the trailer adds more interior space compared to the standard travel trailers.

What makes fifth-wheel trailers not very desirable is the fact that a special towing vehicle is required. They must be towed using a truck with a flat and open bed.

These towing vehicles may not be very practical for exploring compared to other types of vehicles like SUVs.

Pros

  • The gooseneck connection is stronger compared to most connections of travel trailers.
  • The overhanging section of this trailer offers additional living and storage space.
  • Fifth-wheel trailers are fitted with many luxurious and basic amenities for the sake of convenience and comfort.
  • Fifth-wheel trailers also offer a stable driving experience.
  • The slideouts can be used to create extra sleeping space.

Cons

  • The choice of towing vehicles is limited.
  • It has less space for passengers while on the trip. This is because it’s illegal to carry passengers on the trailer.

Fifth wheel trailers are very popular with most enthusiasts this is because they are affordable, reliable and flexible. The Top 3 Rated Toy Hauler/Fifth Wheels (by Lifestyle Magazine)

  • Heartland Cyclone
  • Keystone Fuzion
  • Keystone Raptor

Tent and Pop-up Campers (Budget-Friendly)

This is the most common camping RV most people first set foot in. These are some of the smallest travel trailers available. Since they are collapsible, they require little storage space when not in use. Some of them are made using collapsible durable tent canvas while others are made using hard composite walls that a fold down. They are great for that occasional camping adventure.

They are mostly light and easy to maneuver. Most of the vehicle types can be used to tow these trailers. Small trucks, full-size sedans and station wagons can be used to tow this type of trailer. They offer the most basic essentials which make camping comfortable.

However, it’s not possible to store anything on them due to the nature of their design. Supplies and personal luggage must be separately carried. Setting up a tent or folding trailer is quite fast and easy. It requires less hustle compared to most camping RVs.

Pros

  • They are lightweight and easy to maneuver.
  • A wide range of towing vehicles can be used to tow them.Before you buy a toy hauler rv or camper consider all the options
  • They are affordable to purchase and maintain.
  • Little storage is needed when not in use.
  • Tent trailers are easy to set up and dismantle.

Cons

  • They have limited interior space.
  • There is practically no storage space and a separate arrangement must be made to carry supplies.
  • Users get more exposed to adverse weather conditions in this type of trailer.

For beginners, they are excellent and affordable.

  • Toy hauler/sports utility RV-Trailerstoy hauler

These trailers combine the features of a sports utility trailer and travel trailer. They are a perfect choice for most campers who would wish to go camping with their dirt bikes and ATVs.

The dirt bikes and sports vehicles can be stored in the rear compartment of toy haulers. The forward compartment is set up with the living areas for the campers.

It’s the most convenient travel trailer for a sports enthusiast. Campers prefer them since they have storage space for their gears, tools and small vehicles. However, there is limited interior space inside which doesn’t sit very well with most campers.

While a full-sized trailer is necessary, only a small portion of the space is beneficial to the campers. Most campers might not also enjoy the proximity of motorized accessories. Engine oils, fuels, and chemicals may be hazardous to the environment and they may also produce awful odors.

Pros

  • These are dual-purpose trailers.
  • It is possible to fit them with all the required facilities and amenities.
  • Possible Office Space for working on the road.
  • Hauling large toys, ATV’s, dirt bikes, motorcycles.
  • Large family, bunk beds
  • Extra storage

Cons

  • The close proximity to the garage area exposes users to hazardous material.
  • It has less usable space inside compared to equal sized travel trailers.

A sports utility RV trailer is a sports enthusiast answered prayer. They also offer campers the comfort needed during the adventurous camping experience.

  • The Top 3 Rated Toy Hauler (by Lifestyle Magazine)
  • Lance Camper TH 2612
  • Forest River Fury 2912x
  • Evergreen RV Tesla T3950   
  • Pickup Truck Campers

Pickup truck campers have a long history. They have been used for a long time and they were basically used by people who used them to go either hunting or fishing. Modern truck campers have features that are common to most RVs. You will find out that some are even equipped with showers, slide-outs, kitchens, and toilets. They have several advantages compared to most RVs.

Pros

  • They are relatively affordable compared to most RVs.
  • Pickup truck campers can be used as vehicles without any hitches.
  • Using them, campers can access even the most remote camping sites.
  • Driving them is easy so is maneuvering or reversing them.
  • They don’t require a trailer to tow not unless you want to tow a fishing boat.
  • Pickup truck campers come in a variety of attractive colors and shapes.
  • The newer models have slide-outs.
  • Since the camper is detachable, they can be used as regular work trucks.
  • These campers can fit in driveways.

Cons

  • Unfortunately, they have limited living and interior space.
  • They will require a suitable truck to fit the camper.
  • To enter the camper, you have to leave the cab and walk outside.

You might need to make clearance space since the overall height is bound to increase.

  • Park Camper 

These aren’t your typical camping RVs. They aren’t designed to be moved around. Mostly they are found in holiday destinations. They have virtually everything you’d require in your house. Also, they require a special towing vehicle. Park campers can accommodate close to ten people sleeping comfortably.

When you have the proper hookups, park campers are ideal for people who are holidaying in resorts for a longer period. Park campers are not meant to be moved away regularly so if you go for a holiday once a year, then you can consider investing in them.

Pros

  • Most park campers are very spacious. They can measure up to 400 sq. feet. This feature is what makes park campers different from the standard RVs. They can be fitted with amenities that wouldn’t fit in a standard RV.
  • It is possible to rent park campers hustle free. Campers can choose between buying them and leasing. This depends on an individual’s traveling habits. It wouldn’t make economic sense to hire a camping RV if you camp frequently.

However, it makes sense to rent a park camp. This eliminates the need for you to maintain the camper when not in use. Someone else is responsible for maintaining and repairing the park camper.

Cons

  • Park campers are not very mobile. This is not your standard RV which you will use to go sightseeing. They are meant to act as temporal homes. This is because a park camper lacks the mobility of a standard RV.
  • Renting or buying a park camper can be quite on the higher side. This is because they are very spacious and are fitted with a number of luxurious facilities.

Park campers are ideal for campers who want to avoid harsh weather conditions or people who want to camp for longer. However, they are not a perfect choice for campers who prefer to be on the move constantly. Again, they are costly so before settling on one particular park camper, do thorough research. This will help you get value for your money and enjoy your camping experience.

Conclusion

Toy haulers come in many designs and types. There are a number of factors to consider before settling on any particular trailer. Individual camping goals and needs dictate what a camper should settle for. Campers can opt for a travel trailer, park campers or motorhomes depending on what they want to experience.

From affordability to space, all toy haulers have a number of pros and cons. The decision lies with individual campers. The weather and terrain in the camping site should also be considered before buying that toy hauler. How many people the trailer can accommodate is another important factor to consider since you don’t want to be all cramped in a little space.

Check Out These Posts –

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toy hauler

Happy Camping!

RV Groovin Life

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Bonnie

Fifth Wheel or Travel Trailer?

What to consider when deciding between a travel trailer or a fifth wheel…

The only experience we had was camping in a tent. It was a good tent. That’s it! We also had great sleeping bags and an old Coleman stove. Now we’re about to purchase a home on wheels to live in Full-time! Crazy, I know!

fifth wheel

We really learned a lot watching RVers youtube videos. What they liked, the mistakes they’ve made and what they would do differently.

Bill and BonnieGoing to RV shows was also helpful with pricing, size and just the overall feel of the different styles.

We spoke to many RVers that attended the shows. One couple in particular who had been RVing for years shared what they had learned.

He was a retired semi truck driver, and they have owned travel trailers, motorhome, and a fifth wheel.

They were there to purchase a new fifth wheel. In his opinion, they were easier to tow and back up. Travel trailers had to much sway. Something we hadn’t considered.

After much research, we decided on looking for a used Mobile Suite 5th wheel, about a 32ft. We also wanted 2 AC/units and a fireplace. 

If you plan on staying in warm climates then 2 AC/units is a must.

We learned that Mobile Suites fifth wheels hold their value and they are a 4 season RV. New Mobile Suites are expensive. A travel trailer is more affordable.

toy hauler rv

The Mobile Suite fifth wheels undercarriage is enclosed, which helps with heating and cooling. No staples are used and the walls are the thickest in the industry.

Its built on a steel frame. I don’t know about other brands of fifth wheels.

Bill didn’t feel comfortable pulling a vehicle behind a motorhome, even though I really like the convenience of a motorhome.

 You always have access to your kitchen and bedroom for an overnight stay at a Walmart, you don’t have that luxury with a fifth wheel. You do with a travel trailer.

A fifth wheel has less storage than a travel trailer. But the ceilings are higher in a fifth wheel.

fifth wheel

The gas mileage is better in a travel trailer, they don’t weigh as much.

You also have to take in consideration the size of your family, will you be full-time or just weekenders? Traveling cross country or just a few hours away? Many things to consider.

We finally found the RV we’ve been looking for, in Ocala Florida. We lived in Michigan.

Driving to Florida during the eclipse, big mistake!

But it was worth it, we purchased a 2008 Mobile Select Suite 36ft. fifth wheel. It was more difficult finding a used Mobile Suite than we had anticipated.travel trailer

Conclusion

Fifth Wheel or Travel Trailer?

truck and fifth wheel

I don’t believe there’s a right or wrong choice.

Just do your homework.

Never be rushed into making a decision. Never pay full price.

Make sure you check the age of the tires. I can’t tell you how many RVers told us they had old tires on brand new rigs!

Also, know if your RV has a spare tire. rv sign

You’ll know when you find the RV that fits your lifestyle. Enjoy the journey!

Please share and subscribe if you found this helpful!

RV Groovin Life

Bonnie

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