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I'm in the market for a travel trailer. My kids are still very young (twin 3yr olds) and I want to get out on the road with them while they still like me!! The wife and I have decided to purchase a travel trailer but I am very new to this type of camping. I could really use some advice, suggestions, dos/don'ts etc. Any help that you guys and gals could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

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Your first travel trailer will not be your last. With us, we purchased one from Craigslist and it was a very nice one and well taken care of. We found that it was just too small and we liked to be able to upgrade. i had NO intentions of trading when my wife said "let's go to the RV show". 26,000 later! If you plan to camp in the cold, make sure the camper has the arctic package (but, that's only for temps above 25 or so). If you have the Diesel, you can appreciate the truck's capabilities. PM me and I can give you more info if you like.

PS: I have twin boys also (now grown).
 

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Find an RV show and spend a couple of days looking at different brands and packages. You will quickly start learning about features you want, need, and don’t care about. Every salesman will say their brand is better. Once you have narrowed down your choice to 2-3 trailers go home and research on the internet. Once you settle on the trailer you want go negotiate the price at the dealer at the end of the
Month on a weekday. You will get a better price this way than at the show. You should be able to save 30% off “msrp” at Least. This year I bought a brand new toy hauler that had been on the dealer lot for about a year. It was a 2017 and the 2018s were on the lot already. I saved nearly 50% off msrp. I agree about the previous post about size. Get something a little bigger than you think you need. I ended up with a trailer 6’ longer than I had been looking at and am really happy with it. Here are a couple of things we really wanted: private bedroom, bunks in the back, onboard generator. Again, shop around at a show and start making a list of everything you want and then find tHe right trailer. Time with family out in our trailer has been more valuable than every dollar we have used to pay for a truck, trailer, and ATVs. You won’t regret it. You can always make more money— time with your children is counting down...
 

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Find an RV show and spend a couple of days looking at different brands and packages. You will quickly start learning about features you want, need, and don’t care about. Every salesman will say their brand is better. Once you have narrowed down your choice to 2-3 trailers go home and research on the internet. Once you settle on the trailer you want go negotiate the price at the dealer at the end of the
Month on a weekday. You will get a better price this way than at the show. You should be able to save 30% off “msrp” at Least. This year I bought a brand new toy hauler that had been on the dealer lot for about a year. It was a 2017 and the 2018s were on the lot already. I saved nearly 50% off msrp. I agree about the previous post about size. Get something a little bigger than you think you need. I ended up with a trailer 6’ longer than I had been looking at and am really happy with it. Here are a couple of things we really wanted: private bedroom, bunks in the back, onboard generator. Again, shop around at a show and start making a list of everything you want and then find tHe right trailer. Time with family out in our trailer has been more valuable than every dollar we have used to pay for a truck, trailer, and ATVs. You won’t regret it. You can always make more money— time with your children is counting down...
RV shows are the best place to look at RV's but they can be a bit overwhelming. Start out with a basic idea of long long and how much room you want in the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen as well as comfort when watching TV (for those rainy or cold days). Bunks for the kids are necessary and possibly somewhere for them to have their own space. Also, keep in mind that there is PLENTY of profit margin in these guys so you will want to NEGOTIATE LOTS! Because you're pulling with the TITAN, you have the ability to go BIG (but NOT too big). 12000 pounds is the ceiling but that is a lot of RV.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Guys thank you for the quick responses so far! Is there a brand out there that I should ABSOLUTELY stay away from?
 

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Everyone has given you solid advise imo.
We looked at the show, then went to dealer, then bought the model we liked used of craigslist.

If your a handy guy I recommend going used. I have learned there is a good bit of small maintenance involved.

Go as big as you can afford/tow.

Our floorplan is below, what we would change 2 years into it. The island gets in the way when we have guests. Also all slides have to be open for access to load/unload belongings from front or rear room.
 

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I can't say that I know of any particular brands to avoid, but I can recommend Keystone, as I've been full-timing in a 2011 Springdale for over 2 years. In that time, I've had to replace both the inverter and the water heater, but I kind of expect those things to go bad when they're only designed for occasional use. On the topic of the water heater, I replaced my 6-gallon tank heater with an on-demand gas heater and couldn't be happier. Small tanks only give 10 or so minutes worth of hot water, so keep that in mind if you plan on showering in it instead of using a campground's facilities. My other recommendation is to look over the stack of manuals you'll get with your camper, and then go look at your furnace, air conditioner, water heater, and so on. It's good to have an idea of what it takes to access the rv's critical systems if and when something goes wrong, or you need to do maintenance.

Also, if you haven't come across it already, https://www.rvtrader.com/ is a good shopping tool, but by no means inclusive of everything in your area. Also-also, Camping World is a great place to get ideas for what you want to outfit your rv with, but Amazon and Ebay will be cheaper.
 

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I was in the same boat as you 2 years ago. Bought a Keystone Bullet 230BH, was great coming from small TT, though I wished we got something bigger now. What I'm looking for now, much larger gray tank and the super slide. If you do any dry camping, a large gray tank is almost a necessity as kids will probably need a bath almost every night, ours do. Also, I'd look into a super slide, it has the table and couch in one slide. Ours only has the table and it's nice, but we find were stepping on our toes a lot. As far as brands, most are built very quickly and the quality isn't there like a vehicle. Though, Lance is very pricey and I believe are built better.
 

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Guys thank you for the quick responses so far! Is there a brand out there that I should ABSOLUTELY stay away from?
I’m not sure about a particular brand (I have a Rockwood and like it) but if you want to have a happy life camping go into it with a diy handyman’s attitude and realize all the mfg put out a product that will need work and try not to use the warranty on small issues you can handle or you’ll not camp much waiting for repairs to be done.

Also there are only a few manufacturers from what I understand but all have like 10+ brands they sell, some are regional etc so you’ll see many brands with similar layouts and you’ll see cheap to high end.

But even the guys that spend $300k on a motorhome complain about the lack of quality construction. It is not built to code like a home and bounces all over the road, you’ll have issues. Also consider upgrades like tires, batteries etc based on how you’ll use it.

Join some travel trailer forums, tons of great info, I’m on the forest river forum since they own Rockwood.
 

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Words of Advice.

Figure out how big you want, then go one size larger or you will be trading in about 1-2 years for larger model....This applies to a new trailer to prevent losing so much in value after you drive it off lot. As others have said, get a used one, try it out, find out what you really want and then go buy it. You will change your desires alot after the first year. Also avoid camper shows. They get very expensive......lol
 

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Check the recalls

My wife and I bought our TT new a year ago and I don't know if I would go that route again. The way they put these things together these days they overlook a lot of basic stuff. We received 3 major recalls in the first year of ownership. One electrical issue with the AC that could start fires. One was with our side, seems the bolts they used were not correct and could lead to the slide opening on its own while the in motion. And the last one was an issue with our power jack, it had the potential to slide down by itself in motion. If you decided to by used, make sure you go to the manufacture and check for all the recalls and confirm they have been completed or use that to work out a better price. RV dealers are horrible about scheduling time to get warranty work done, sometimes you have to wait weeks for parts and then weeks for an appointment. And if you are tired of waiting and just want to do the work yourself that is impossible with most manufacturers, they will only ship the parts to certified repair locations. Next time I think we will buy used and just do a lot of homework on the rig before hand. Don't want to scare you away, we love our TT when we are using it, best decision ever, have already given our 6 year old daughter great memories. Good luck!
 

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I agree with going bigger than you think you need, I have owned three so far, my favourite is the Open Range Light model I have currently. I also like how the fifth wheel trailer tows compared to bumper pull trailers. Larger fresh, grey and black water tanks are a good thing as well if you camp without services. Good luck.
 

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I will contradict the "buy as large as you can" idea and instead suggest that you rent something large
(within limits) and see how you like the driving experience. Some people don't. You should also consider where you are likely to camp and what the length limits are in those places. Towing at 80 percent capacity or less is easier on the driver and truck compared to towing near, at or above the limit. We are at the size limit for some of the places we like to go to nearly every year. Our Toy Hauler is a Genesis Supreme 19 SS... 24'4" overall length. Good luck!
 

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I will contradict the "buy as large as you can" idea and instead suggest that you rent something large
(within limits) and see how you like the driving experience. Some people don't. You should also consider where you are likely to camp and what the length limits are in those places. Towing at 80 percent capacity or less is easier on the driver and truck compared to towing near, at or above the limit. We are at the size limit for some of the places we like to go to nearly every year. Our Toy Hauler is a Genesis Supreme 19 SS... 24'4" overall length. Good luck!
How does your Titan pulll your toy hauler? I suspect it is very similar in size and weight to mine that I haven’t pulled yet
 

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I'm in the market for a travel trailer. My kids are still very young (twin 3yr olds) and I want to get out on the road with them while they still like me!! The wife and I have decided to purchase a travel trailer but I am very new to this type of camping. I could really use some advice, suggestions, dos/don'ts etc. Any help that you guys and gals could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
I pull a 25' Jayco. It's just the two of us and find it's a pretty good size. With kids I suspect another few feet of length would be desirable. I don't know enough about brands to say what is good or bad, the Jayco seems good. Get a trailer with the kitchen over or in front of the wheels. Our trailer has the kitchen at the back, and by the time we get anywhere, stuff has been tossed all over the cupboards and fridge. We travel now with food in a cooler under the table (right over the wheels) and cookware and plates, glasses and cups in a storage box at the front of the unit.
Our trailer weighs about 6k lbs loaded, and seems nicely sized for the diesel. It's an easy tow without putting much strain on the truck. For my money, somewhere around 7k lbs would be the most you would want to tow with the diesel. The truck will still weigh more than the trailer, and that makes a huge difference. You won't get tossed around as much by crosswinds.
The Titan Diesel is an excellent tow vehicle.
 

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I don't go through travel trailers as much as I do trucks but I have owned a few most were lemons. At first we were all about the smooth sided fancy color look. But a few trailers later and lots of delaminating later. Our last purchase was old school alum sided. So glad I did. Too much flex in trailers especially when setting it up with jacks. The alum allows movement. Smooth wall fiberglass doesn't.
Outdoor kitchens are the best but make sure manufacturer put a good size drip edge above.
We also opted for a full size shower this time around.
Jayco fit us best and zero complaints after a few years. The quality over other brands is night and day.
They all have bugs to work out. If it doesn't effect operation don't panic make a list and drop off in off season when not using.

https://www.jayco.com/tools/archive/2017-jay-flight/29bhds/


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