How to choose the right Travel Trailer or Fifth Wheel.
By Jeremy Deloser
RV Information | RV Tips | RV's
How to choose the right Travel Trailer or Fifth Wheel.
When shopping for a travel trailer of fifth wheel, are you looking for a high end travel trailer or fifth wheel, like Cameo or Sandpiper, or are you looking for something economical like, Wildwood or Starcraft Travel Trailers. There are a wide range of floor plans and options to choose from and can become confusing or even overwhelming very quickly.
1. How many does it need to sleep?
A. For the family, how many children do you need to sleep? There are so many floor plans available to accommodate almost any sleeping needs. Like the Wildwood 29BH, which will sleep 3 children very comfortably without making down the sofa or dinette? Or the Wildwood 31QBSS, which will sleep 4 children in there own bedroom, while Mom and Dad stretch out in the living room which has a 14’ slide that’s nice and roomy.
B. For Mom and Dad that have finally booted all those pesky kids and get to relax on there own now. There are one bedroom Travel Trailers and Fifth Wheels, or for those of you that want to leave it down by the lake for those long weekends, there are Park Trailers like the Wildwood 362FKDS, which gives you amenities like a household refrigerator, the very large bath that you don’t have to be a contortionist to use, or the bedroom with a slide to make it feel like your relaxing at home. And for those weekends you want to spoil the grandkids and then send them all sugared up back to there parents, there is a hide a bed sofa in the living room you can use.
As you can see we are on the first step to picking out your new Travel Trailer or Fifth Wheel and there is already a ton of options.
2. To Slide or not to Slide? That is the question.
The idea of a slide out has been one of the greatest accomplishments in the RV industry. They can add up to an additional 200 sq. ft. of living space to your Travel Trailer or Fifth Wheel. There are Living Room slides, like the ones in the Starcraft 2600RKS or the 2800RBS. There are also master bedroom slides, like in the Sandpiper 322FKD or the Cameo 35SB2 with the king bed option. And for those of you with children, there are the bunk room slides, like in the Sandpiper 351BHT (which boast a double slide bunk room), or like the Wildwood 29BHBS. There are slides for every need.
Now hold on, where just beginning.
3. How will you be towing your new Travel Trailer or Fifth Wheel?
A. ½ Ton Truck – with the ever expanding tow weight rating you can pull more and more with this truck. With what was available in ’09 you could pull anything from a 21’ Starcraft 1800CK to a 33’ Cruiser 31QB. With all the different brands of trucks out there, there is no one set weight, so please check your owner’s manual for exact towing capability.
B. ¾ Ton Trucks – These trucks now a days, can almost tow anything. We had one gentlemen pull out of here with a 38’ Wyoming 362SIQS and it didn’t even squat his truck. Once again, these ratings vary, so check your owner’s manual.
C. 1 Ton Truck – The Mack daddy of all tow vehicles. Take your pick of virtually any Travel Trailer or Fifth Wheel out there. Now with that said, remember to check your tow rating. A 1995 Ford F-350 could only pull something like a 32’ Chapparal 322RLTS, where as a 2008 Ford F-350 can pull a 38’ Chapparal 340QBS. With tow ratings always increasing and Travel Trailers or Fifth Wheels getting lighter, check both before you tow.
4. How often are you going to use the Travel Trailer or Fifth Wheel?
The reason I ask this questions is because depending on how often you’re going to camp could effect on the overall price of the Travel Trailer or Fifth Wheel you purchase. Example: For a full time camper that spends $47,590.00 on a Cameo 34CK3 every day of the year, for the life of the loan, only averages about $50 week. Whereas, if your going to camp once a month for only the summer months, the cost can greatly increase. That is why something like the Starcraft 2700BH at $12,995.00 would be a lot more economical. So please take how much you’ll be using the coach as a factor.
5. How much of the year are you going to camp in the Travel Trailer or FW?
A. Summer Time- you can camp in just about anything. Most units are built with their storage tanks (Sewer, Fresh Water, and Used Water) exposed. These units, like the Wildwood 27RB, are only meant to be used 3-4 months per year.
B. Spring, Summer, and Fall. This takes a little bit different type of trailer. At a minimum the tanks need to be heated to keep those early morning and late evening chills to keep the tanks from freezing. Some Travel Trailers and Fifth Wheels come with tanks that have a heated pad that sits below the tanks, like the Cameo 33CKQ, which actually heat the tank and can withstand below freezing temperatures. Some others are heated by radiant heat, like the Surveyor 306BH. This is where warm air from the furnace passes by the tanks to keep them warm. This works nicely at freezing, but would not want to use it beyond that.
C. “Four Season” Camping – this is mostly for the full-timers that are not going to travel to warm climates during the winter. Four this time of camping you need four main components. 1. Heated Tanks 2. Thermo pane Windows 3. Upgraded insulation 4. Heated Enclosed Underbelly
Well that’s about it. Of course there are a lot more things to look at when purchasing, but if I keep typing them I’ll be here all week. If you have any questions on the Sandpiper Travel Trailers, Wildwood Travel Trailers or things you might need to know before purchasing, please feel free to call a sales consultant and they can walk you through the rest of the steps