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Old 01-16-2019, 09:23 AM   #1
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Travel Trailer for Light Use

Hello everybody.

I'm a new member here looking to get a travel trailer sometime over the next year. The main purpose of the trailer would be our hotel room when we visit family. There may be a camping trip or 2 throughout the year but primarily our rolling hotel room. We are a family of 4; the wife and I, our 2 boys (currently 1 and 3) and would also have our 80 pound Black Mouth Curhound with us. Some of our family lives in very tight quarters and it just becomes a nightmare once you bring us and our kids and all the things that come along with kids into their house. Other family has very large homes but we still like our privacy at the end of the night. I figure getting a travel trailer will make visiting with family a whole lot less stressful. Total time in the trailer would be 2-3 weeks per year max and would cover somewhere around 5K miles over the course of the year.

So I'm looking for suggestions on what I should get. I'm set on buying new and I'm set on tandem axles in the 27-33 overall length range. I obviously don't want to buy junk however I also don't need the most extravagant trailer considering it will sit on the side of my house collecting dust 340-350 days per year.

Tow vehicle is a 2016 F-250 Crew Cab Short Bed 4WD Gas 6.2 with 3.73 gears on 275-65-20 Michelin's. I will also be using a weight distributing hitch with a trailer this size.

Any suggestions for something that is not going to be a piece of junk money pit yet affordable at the same time considering how much time it will not be used vs being used?

Thanks!
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:22 AM   #2
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Buy used.

You avoid the major depreciation hit that occurs as soon as you leave the dealership. Warranty related bugs are already fixed. And when you decide in a year that you want a different floorplan, you won't lose your shirt selling it.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:26 AM   #3
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For your situation of limited use and creature comforts I'd opt for this
https://www.granddesignrv.com/showro...oorplans/27bhs
It won't break the bank and will offer enough room for everyone. Big enough tanks that you can stay a few nights without hookups.
Great customer service and dealers all over if issues arise while on route.

Expect to get 20-30% off MSRP as well.
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Old 01-16-2019, 10:57 AM   #4
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Grand Design builds a better than average quality trailer. They build the Transcend at the entry level, then they build the Image as mid level then they build a few Reflection models as their top level trailer.

I agree, that the Transcend is a great choice. Not sure I would even look any further.

I too use a trailer as a hotel room when I visit family and friends. It really works out well for me. It should work out for you also.

Good luck.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:09 AM   #5
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I'd agree with the recommendation for Grand Design and would also suggest looking at the Winnebago Minnie line of trailers. Also, if you plan on visiting relatives in cold weather, then you may be looking for more of a 4 season trailer which means considering an Arctic Fox, Northwood or other trailer line designed for cold weather (better insulation, double pane windows, heated bays for water/waste tanks).

I would also suggest considering looking for a lightly used one and saving a few bucks that can better used towards purchasing higher quality trailer.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:28 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice guys. I will definitely check out the Grand Design. I will also check out used however it would have to be very lightly used.
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Old 01-16-2019, 02:43 PM   #7
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SCBWR asked an important question: are you going to be using this trailer in sub-freezing conditions? Pretty much any trailer would be good for a Christmas visit to Miami, but not all trailers would work CG for a Christmas visit to Fargo
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:06 PM   #8
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Not many trailers would be good for a Thanksgiving trip to Fargo. Brrr.

Good point - trailers are mostly 3 season.
As soon as temps drop below 50 degrees you will use a lot of propane or electric trying to stay warm. I have had 3 trailers, none of them very good in chilly weather.
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Old 01-16-2019, 03:35 PM   #9
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Seems like it would be a lot cheaper to stay in a motel room if you're only going to use it once or twice a year. Letting it sit outside your house for 10 months at a time without use is asking for trouble.
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Old 01-16-2019, 04:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Badlands Bob View Post
Seems like it would be a lot cheaper to stay in a motel room if you're only going to use it once or twice a year. Letting it sit outside your house for 10 months at a time without use is asking for trouble.
x2
OP seems set on a TT or that would be my advice also. $20-$25K buys a lot of motel or even resort stays at only 2 weeks a year. Plus the OP probably has a car or SUV that would get way way better mpgs than the F250 6.2 towing @8-8.5 mpg. You could also travel in theory twice as far each day.
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Old 01-16-2019, 05:54 PM   #11
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X3
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Old 01-16-2019, 09:29 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Rob89 View Post
Thanks for the advice guys. I will definitely check out the Grand Design. I will also check out used however it would have to be very lightly used.
There are a lot of lightly used TTs out there. People decide they hate the floorplan, or it's too small, or too big, or they don't like camping... lots of folks only camp 3-4 weekends a year. Find one that was stored inside... bingo.
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Old 01-16-2019, 11:10 PM   #13
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My mom is in Jacksonville FL and we go there for Thanksgiving. I live in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in NC so we stay close to home for Christmas. My dad is in South Florida where it is never below 80 degrees and my Brother in law is in Ohio and we go there in the summer months. So I don't anticipate using it in sub freezing conditions with any sort of regularity.

As far as it being cheaper to stay in a motel. I don't mean to come off as snotty but I don't care about the gas. Pulling a travel trailer at 6-8K pounds at 65-70mph will get me roughly 8.5-9ish on mpg's but I bought the truck for the capability, fully understanding how thirsty she is. My wife has the new body style Nissan Armada. 16 mpg's when she drives and 13 mpg's when I drive so not saving a whole lot of gas either way. Yes 20-25K rents a lot of motel rooms however I like having assets. 25K in motel rooms is but a 25K memory. 25K in travel trailer is a tangible asset. Of course it is a depreciating asset but still an asset nonetheless.

I will keep my eyes open for used understanding that's where my best value is however I just can't help having new when it comes to anything on wheels. Not the smartest decision in the wallet however peace of mind is worth more than money sometimes.
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:42 PM   #14
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Yes 20-25K rents a lot of motel rooms however I like having assets. 25K in motel rooms is but a 25K memory. 25K in travel trailer is a tangible asset. Of course it is a depreciating asset but still an asset nonetheless.
Actually, a $25,000 travel trailer will get you a $13,000 asset in about 3 years, whether you use it or not.
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