My husband got orders to AK and we'll be driving next Spring from TX. Because we have kids and cats and I just don't like flying or hotels, we've decided a travel trailer is the way to go. However, I am overwhelmed with all the choices. And it doesn't help that I know next to nothing about tts.
I guess first things, first- Is there a 'Travel Trailers for Dummies' guide? LOL. It would be super helpful to have some sort of book about travel trailer care, maintenance, and general use.
Second, I would appreciate some recommendations on travel trailers. We need a bumper pull. Bunk beds are a necessity as we have five kids. I want AT LEAST one slide out, but more would be better, like the 3 on the 2012 Palomino Puma 30DBTS. My wish list includes a washing machine- either a washer/dryer combo or stackable. I'm completely aware this is a "wish list" item, though.
I would prefer to stay below $20K to leave a nice financial cushion for the extra expenses associated with Alaskan life (snow boots, etc for 5 kids adds up when you're moving from a place where jackets and sweaters aren't needed).
I haven't been able to figure out how much we can tow but I'll assume it's alot. Obviously, mechanics are not my strong suit. haha. In all seriousness, I looked at the owners manual, the inside of the door, and I'm still baffled. I drive a 2002 E350 conversion van, 9 passenger, diesel with super springs on the back. My husband tells me it has a beefed up suspension for towing, but even he can't figure out the weight. We're guessing around 9K pounds. Any ideas?
So far, we've only looked at a 1998 40' Sandpiper and a 2006 32' Pioneer. Tonight, we're looking at a 2009 Heartland 31BHD. The Sandpiper had a washer/dryer, but no bunks. The Pioneer had the bunks and I liked the storage space, but no washer. The Heartland also lacks a washer, but I'm pretty excited about the floorplan. I just found a 2012 Palomino Puma 30DBTS with free power package (whatever that is) with 3 slides I'm going to call about. Out of those, which one is the best quality?
I read about someone who drove the ALCAN and the vibrations made their blinds fall off in the tt...I want quality, not something else to fix. I need it to tow well, and I need enough space for 5 little boys to do their school work and play cars when it's rainy.
Thanks for any advice you can give.