I have learned so much from this site - thanks to all for being willing to share your wealth of knowledge on this forum, it is so appreciated! I realized that I had still not even introduced myself in the Welcome Mat, so here goes!
My wonderful wife and I live in southern Iowa (about 50 miles south of Des Moines) and last year we took the TT plunge and bought a new 2015 26BHS. We have 9 children from ages 21 down to 2 1/2 and we can all fit comfortably in the new trailer and couldn't be happier!
Our camping started with two big tents and a 5x8 enclosed trailer to haul our gear. Took that setup to Branson in the fall of 2011 and had to move into a cabin after day 5 when it poured all night, was 35 degrees, and both tents had 2 inches of water standing in the bottom. We'd had enough. Tenting is "real" camping, and we discovered that with a family of 11, we weren't cut out for roughing it quite like this.
In 2012 we upgraded to a nice used 2009 Jayco 1206 popup. We loved it, but with 9 children (many of them small and able to triple up on beds), we were still VERY cramped and very short on storage. We got a lot of great use and awesome family memories from it in the three years we owned it!
Last year, we realized that we needed something bigger and traded the PUP for the TT. I got a bit too excited and didn't negotiate the best deal, but that is water under the bridge now. We LOVE that camper. It is at the very top end of what we can pull with our Ford e350 van (5.4L, sure wish I had the diesel), but with an SCT tuner and a K&N cold air intake, we can comfortably tool along at 60-65 mph and get ~10-11 mpg. We have reasonable power, but will not be setting any land-speed records. All-in-all, it's not too shabby considering the weight of the entire rig.
Looking forward to learning a lot about keeping and maintaining a travel trailer from all the wonderful people on this forum!!