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Old 10-16-2015, 11:00 PM   #1
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I've been lurking...

Hey all,

After lurking on here for quite a while, I decided to register and say hello. My wife and I are looking around for a travel trailer after seeing some nice ones at the Great American Outdoor Show this past February. We haven't been in a rush and since we have a little one, she has been our priority. As we were orginally set on a hybrid, I think we landed on a full hard shell travel trailer instead. A few of the hybrids that we looked at (viking and jayco mostly) didn't seem to have a great deal of storage and a few other amenities like bigger fridge/freezers, ovens, etc and we also had concerns when looking at used that the canvas was in rough shape. Also, maybe like many looking to buy their first trailer, it is quite the whirlwind and at some point it seemed like we were convinced we needed a 5 bed, 4 bath, mansion with wait staff (I exagerate for effect).

Anyway, while my wife and I have been used to spending 1-2 weeks in a tent at the beach or on the Appalachian Trail, we are wanting to start sharing our love of the outdoors with our little one(s). We feel that a camper might be a good way to give a few extra amenities in the outdoors. I camped with my parents in a pop-up when I was younger and they are some of my best memories. Time to pass it along.

Not sure if I am looking for advice or just a place to write down my thoughts, but we are stuck between a Summerland 1800BH and a Jayco SLX 264bhw. Not really sold on the 1800BH itself, but the floor plan as I still haven't been able to get my eyes on Jayco's 18' bunk house. My pros for the 1800bh floorplan is that it is small and will fit anywhere, easier to tow, and cheaper. Cons are that it doesn't give much room for growth (future family members) or asking some close friends or siblings to come along for the adventure. The 264bhw is a lot of trailer and I think it will certainly give us room to grow. It is heavier and more expensive, but has more room to relax and spread out if the weather is bad outside. This also leads to a bigger trailer and may not fit all sites. We feel that the shorter bunk house is probably a 3-5 year trailer and the larger is probably a 10+ year trailer. I love the idea of a smaller, more nimble trailer, but I also love the idea of paying just a few dollars more and being able to stay in the trailer for a long time. As of now, I don't envision us travelling more than a couple hundred miles to camp. A buddy at work has camped in almost all 40ish Virginia State Parks. I love this idea, but if the towing is easy, we may branch out a little more. I see this trailer getting used for a good 7-10 day trip once a year and probably a 3-day weekend almost every month.

My tow vehicle would be a '14 Ford F-150. It unfortunately didn't have the factory tow package, but I have subsequently added a break controller, 7-pin hookup, and class 4 hitch. Based on it's gear ratio, it puts me at 7800 lbs, but it doesn't have the oversized radiator like from the factory package. The advice given is to see how the truck is cooling and just add it later if needed. Originally the truck was purchased for hunting and hauling wood, and the idea of pulling a trailer came later. Upgrading to a larger tow vehicle is not in the cards.

Ok, maybe I am looking for advice. Thanks in advance and this has been a great forum to keep tabs on. I hope I get to give back in the near future.
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Old 10-17-2015, 06:42 AM   #2
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Welcome to JOF. I can't speak for the Models you are looking at but someone, perhaps on these boards, posted a comment one time that has stuck out in my mind as being great advice. Advice I wish I took originally.

When Buying a trailer, buy your second trailer first. :-)

many of us went PopUp ->> Hybrid ->> big assed rig.

I'm still on the Hybrid, since trading up from the PUP after 2 seasons with it :-)
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Old 10-17-2015, 08:22 AM   #3
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You are certainly not the first person to tell me that. I have a friend that is on his 5th trailer in 14 years. Perhaps my expectation of wanting to keep one for 10 years isn't realistic.
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Old 10-17-2015, 10:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gocarp View Post
Anyway, while my wife and I have been used to spending 1-2 weeks in a tent at the beach or on the Appalachian Trail, we are wanting to start sharing our love of the outdoors with our little one(s). We feel that a camper might be a good way to give a few extra amenities in the outdoors. I camped with my parents in a pop-up when I was younger and they are some of my best memories. Time to pass it along.
Also search this forum for good contributions about camping with little ones - I know that searching 'posts' with the word TODDLER will bring-up some of them.

BTW, 30 years with our first (and still own it) ... hope this one outlasts us!
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Old 10-17-2015, 11:05 AM   #5
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X2 on Dagwood's comment of buying your second trailer first. We just finished our 8th season in our unit and we seem to fall more in love with it as each year passes. Our kids are now 13 & 15 (that time passes extremely fast) and we are very appreciative that we have the room we have. I sometimes wish we had a shorter trailer to get into some of the camp sites in our National Parks, however you'll be amazed how competent your navigating skills develop. I can fit ours into very tight spaces I've seen others, with shorter TT's pass over. I'm excited for you and your family. Best money I've ever spent was on our Jayco. Have fun!
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