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Old 07-14-2017, 07:25 PM   #1
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Hidden costs

What are some of the "hidden costs" I should expect when buying my first trailer?

I understand taxes, tags, dealer prep, etc. I mean stuff like getting (not sure of the exact terminology) the bars to keep the trailer from swaying, stuff like that.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:01 PM   #2
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You're referring to a weight distributing hitch. These are normally needed with trailers over about 5,000 pounds unless you have a really large tow vehicle like a dually. Some people also like to have an anti-sway device, sometimes these are built into the weight distributing hitch.
Your vehicle will also need an electric brake controller if it didn't come from the factory with one. Assuming, that is, you buy a trailer large enough to need brakes, which most do.
Then there are all kinds of accessories for a TT that aren't really optional. You'll probably need a water hose, sewer hose, both with various adapters. Some electrical adapters and possibly an extension cord, stabilizer jacks, treatment for the sewer tank, etc.
If your tow vehicle currently has P passenger tires on it I would look at upgrading to LT light truck tires. You may need extended towing mirrors for your vehicle if it doesn't have them already.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:33 PM   #3
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Propane, campground fees, insurance, trailer maintenance, fuel cost, storage fees, adult beverages, meat to throw on the grill
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Old 07-14-2017, 11:35 PM   #4
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Storage, HOA fines, tire pressure monitors and air compressor, beer, fishing license.
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:08 AM   #5
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Dealer prep? What are you buying for that expense? Just another add on fee to deplete your wallet, if the trailer isn't ready for use find one that is.
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:41 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. Actually got a chuckle on some.

Lynnmor, is dealer prep something that can be declined? They also want to put freight charges on the bill.
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:12 AM   #7
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Freight charge is usually one of the biggest factors with trailer pricing. Many (most?) are built in Indiana and you can search RV Trader and watch the price for a given model go up as you get further away from there.

Not much you can do about it other than drive to Indiana. I've never seen it specified in the "bill" at the dealer so maybe they are dinging you for something else.
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Old 07-15-2017, 11:25 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by BigCity View Post
Thanks for the replies. Actually got a chuckle on some.

Lynnmor, is dealer prep something that can be declined? They also want to put freight charges on the bill.

The bottom line is all that matters. Always get the "out the door" price, they can divide that number up any way they want. When you encounter a dealer with all kinds of fees, that should be a red flag and have you doing more shopping.
When you trade in a car or trailer, do they pay you for washing it?
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:44 PM   #9
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The hidden costs will soon become evident. the workmanship on most models is so poor that you will have continual repair costs. I have chronicled my brothers problems with an expensive 5th wheel. I have spent more time working on it than he has used it. On his last trip he only had two problems. The Whirlpool convection microwave quit because the latch mechanism broke. The toilet quit working because the foot lever broke off. On his new truck the passenger side view mirror decided to quit extending. He has yet to go on a trip without having to come back and have something replaced. He is going to follow me up to British Columbia in about a month and I hope his luck improves. No matter what I'm not turning around to follow him home.
Good luck with your purchase and be prepared to do the maintenance. If you like it like me you will be happy and will do a better job than the dealers.
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:52 PM   #10
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What ever you do, do not leave your awning out when you are not at with your trailer. Not exactly a "hidden" cost but definitely one you don't want to deal with.
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:44 PM   #11
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Dont forget stuff to eat with and stuff to wipe your hind end with ( if you do that kind of stuff).

And absolutely everything else that a camper would need that you also want to leavr at home.
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:53 PM   #12
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I'll suggest you consider an EMS system (power management from Progressive Industries) and a TPMS (tire pressure monitor for the trailer). So a search on this forum, lots of discussion on both of these.

Do a lot of research on what hitch you want. Understand the pro's and cons of each.

X2 on insisting on out the door pricing.

Safe Travels.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:35 AM   #13
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I just bought my first travel trailer. We spent about $1,500 in stuff for the trailer and I feel like we basically got the bare essentials. Here is a quick list:

Hitch (we paid $400 used for a hitch that was $600 new)
Mattress ($300 on amazon - very comfy)
TV (ours came with one - most don't)
Kitchen utensils (plasticware/cookware/etc. - probably around $50)
Fold-out chairs for the campfire ($50)
Septic hose
Drinking water hose
Black tank flush hose
Leveling kit
Drill bit for jacks
Tire covers
Wheel chocks
Battery disconnect switch
Toilet paper
Storage bins for kitchen/bathroom/etc
Scissors/lighters/basic tool kit/flashlights
Caulk/sealant for roof
Caulk/sealant for sides
UV protectant
Long-handled brush
Phone chargers
Tools/grease/etc. for hitch installation & maintenance
Eternabond roof tape, roof cleaner, and tape roller (over $100)
Tow mirrors (I got the clip-on style for $45 - very good investment)
RV cover ($85 - haven't used it yet since mine is at the shop getting fixed)
Bubble level
Water regulator
Toilet packs
Mat for outside & rug for inside

That's just my Amazon order history for the last 30 days, but I'm happy as a clam that we've been on 2 trips already and have a third planned for this weekend.
2019 Silverado 2500 HD 4x4 6.6L Duramax CC SB
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:57 AM   #14
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Shop around many companies for you insurance. I got quoted anywhere from 800 dollars per year to 108 dollars per year for the same coverage.
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