Camper Trailers and Travel Trailers

 

Camper trailers, or travel trailers, are probably, by far, the most popular way to camp.

It seems there are more of them on the road throughout the year than any other type of camper. 

In the campgrounds they are also the most prevalent.

There are usually some tents and a fold down or two and usually a couple of RV’s, but the trailers are without a doubt the most used.

Here in the Midwest, they are being pulled down the road at all times of the year. Yes, even in the cold weather. 

There must be some sort of romantic essence to being in a warm camper on those long winter nights. 



RV winter camping
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OK, this is not a camper trailer but it is a Blizzard!

I have to admit it does sound like fun.

Perhaps, before we get ready for a camping trip in a trailer, we should consider a few things.

When considering the purchase of a tow behind camper it might be a good idea to evaluate the kind of camping a person or family will be doing.

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Will it be used for short trips to a local campground or will it be pulled through the mountains on a multi-state journey?


It seems most people who use them for shorter trips tend to buy larger ones with more room for the family.

This works great for short trips. On a weekend camp outing there will be room for bicycles, games, grills, and more.

The larger family will find them roomy and most of them have all the amenities of a house or home.

It is great fun to visit RV dealers and look at all the different camper options available today.

There are models with built in TV’s, microwaves, stereos, full size showers and most even have queen size beds.  Of course, they all have a furnace and air conditioning anymore. 

There are some unique options available too. Our team has run across a few campers with outdoor kitchens complete with a mini refrigerator, stove and microwave. All accessible from the outside.

Our team has run across a few campers with outdoor kitchens complete with a mini refrigerator, stove and microwave. All accessible from the outside.

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One common mistake people make when purchasing a travel trailer is to get one larger or heavier than their tow vehicle can handle.

Always be sure the trailer is within the tow capabilities of your tow vehicle. It is a great idea to actually pull it down the road to be sure before you lay down any cash.

The painful lesson has been learned by the author of this page, nearly burning up a transmission after the dealer told them their vehicle could pull the camper without issue. 

Has anyone out there ever smelled burned tranny fluid? 

YUCK! and OUCH $$.

Another very important item to consider is a hitch assembly. One should always use a hitch with load levlers and anti-sway bar connections. Safety chains and emergency brake lock cable are also very important.

If a person is planning on traveling longer distances or over steep hills a smaller model might be the ticket.

 Many of the smaller campers come with all of the bells and whistles. They do not carry as much ’sailboat fuel’ (air) as they are smaller in both size and weight.

They will be shorter and easier to pull also.  However, it is usually easier to pull one with tandem axles. They seem to have less sway when going down the highway.

Our team uses a 19’ camper with tandem axles. It weighs in at around 2800 pounds and has plenty of room inside for us. It is used for both a weekend camper and travel trailer.

It is pretty easy to spot the different types of camping people are doing at the campgrounds.

Many of the weekenders with make their campsite very homey by adding patio lights to their awning and they most always have a floor mat just outside their camper. 

Whereas the traveler will usually travel lighter and not spend as much time decking out the site.

Family campers always seem to have yard games and bicycles around their campers. In some cases people bring their golf carts camping to have something to buzz around the grounds in.

They will tend to have smaller more mobile grills and camp stoves.

Both types seem to have bike racks on their campers somewhere, in an ingenious way usually.


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ot dog on a stick, campfire cooking
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