Are all travel trailers junk? (7+ mistakes to avoid)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Are all travel trailers junk? We will discuss seven mistakes that buyers make when purchasing a travel trailer, and how to avoid them in order to get the best deal possible.

Are all travel trailers junk?

No, not all travel trailers are junk. In fact, a travel trailer holds its value longer than a caravan or RV, it is easier to tow and cheaper to maintain. 

Travel trailers have gained a bad reputation due to certain models, but keep in mind that there are other factors that outline the quality of a vehicle, such as:  

  • how often you drive it; 
  • if you live full-time in the trailer or not;
  • if you do regular annual maintenance; 
  • if you take precautions when parking it long-term
  • and how well you are behaving on the road.

This being said, here is a list of the best travel trailer brands currently on the market. If you choose one from the list below, we guarantee you it will be a good investment!

The best travel trailers brands

2021 travel trailers brands ranking 
1 BÜRSTNER8 KNAUS
2 FENDT9 LMC
3 HOBBY10 WEINSBERG
4 TABBERT11 TRIGANO
5 DETHLEFFS12 CARAVELAIR
6 ADRIA13 WM MEYER
7 ERIBA14 KABE

Buying a travel trailer: What mistakes to avoid 

Buying a first travel trailer is never easy. We need to take a step back and keep a cool head in the face of the avalanche of trade proposals.

  1. Believing in the ideal travel trailer

The mistake: We would like to believe it, but the ideal travel trailer does not exist, except in dreams … Difficult to meet diametrically opposed requirements – small outside and big inside – as some advertising slogans sometimes suggest.

The advice: Be prepared for compromises! As part of the first purchase, some professionals recommend focusing on layout and interior traffic. 

Buying a travel trailer longer than 7 meters is never a major handicap; on the other hand, choosing an unsuitable room, badly designed, not allowing free movement around the bed, can turn out to be a problem in the medium term and lead to the premature renewal of the motorhome ”.

  1. Evaluate future use

The mistake: At a time of choice, many buyers chose a model that is sometimes unsuited to their lifestyle. For example, they claim the maximum number of beds, while they go exclusively as a couple; or opt for a double floor without ever travelling in the low season. 

The advice: The hardest part is to properly estimate your needs. There is no other way to do this than to answer a series of essential questions:

  • What is the purpose of the purchase?
  • How often will you use it?
  • How many people will use it?

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  1. Buying too far away from home

The mistake: Trade shows are very popular with visitors who can compare a wide range of models and put brands in competition. Be careful not to give in to the melodious songs of the first siren!

The advice: Play the proximity card. At trade fairs, contract with a dealer near your home, under penalty of unnecessary and incessant comings and goings in the event of a problem with the motorhome. Even if your request would be legitimate, the travel costs would remain your responsibility!

  1. Do not worry about the payload!

The mistake: Payload is a bit of the Achilles heel of modern motorhomes, because of their over-equipment and overweight. It should be considered as an essential criterion of differentiation.

To put it simply, the payload is the mass reserve that the manufacturer leaves for transporting passengers, with the exception of the driver (75 kg), which is already factored into the mass in running order. 

The lower it is, the more your loading and transport capacities will be limited. The threshold should not exceed the MAM! The payload is calculated by subtracting the unladen mass in running order from the technically maximum allowed mass (MAM).

Tip: When checking the box for certain options when purchasing (hitch, superior engine, cabin air conditioning), take into account the impact they will have on the payload and the number of vehicle registration spaces.

  1. Neglecting the manufacturing technique

The mistake: Contrary to all expectations, customers are rarely interested in the manufacturing technique of the trailer and the nature of the components used, while there are real differences from one brand to another. How would you like to buy a house without taking a look at the roof?

Advice. Without necessarily studying all the details, focus on the quality of the insulation, the thickness of the panels, the presence of a polyester roof with overlap, the installation of frame extensions that support the floor beyond the rear axle, furniture anchor points, etc. 

  1. Consider the parking space as a secondary issue

The mistake: Sometimes customers return the trailer because they haven’t thought beforehand where to park their trailer.

The advice: Choose a vehicle adapted to the dimensions of your garage! If you do not have one, be aware that some companies make shelters especially designed for motorhomes and trailers.

  1. Not taking into consideration the motorization

The mistake: Under the pretext that the motorhome would be a vehicle intended for the ride, the motorization should remain an accessory element.

The advice: Adapt the engine to the size and mass of the motorhome. The Fiat 2.0l 115 hp. associated with a box with five reports – against six beyond (130, 148 and 177 ch) – should be privileged only on the small units (less than 6 m). 

In addition, this is a bad calculation, because the small motorization depreciates the trailer and generates overconsumption: an older generation engine that must be restarted from the first steep hills.

  1. Opting for too long financing

The mistake: To lower monthly payments, many first-time buyers are tempted to take out long-term credit, sometimes even beyond reason.

The advice: Financing specialists are categorical: avoid loans over 144 months (12 years) or more, which require you to repay only the loan interest during the first years, even though the value of the vehicle purchased depreciates sharply.

 In the event of early resale of the motorhome, the sum received will never cover the borrowed capital. This is the reason why it is recommended to arrive with a minimum contribution of 20% of the total amount.

The bottom line

Travel trailers are a great alternative to RVs, as they are lighter, cheaper and easier to maintain. Owning a travel trailer, however, is not easy and time-consuming.  But, this vehicle allows you to live pleasant moments in the company of those who are dear to you, whether in your hometown or abroad. It is reasonable for you to take care of it!

If you have any questions or comments about the content, please let us know.

FAQ on Are all travel trailers junk?

What are the worst travel trailers to buy?

The following are considered the worst travel trailers to buy:

  • Hurricane.
  • Coachmen.
  • Jayco.
  • Coleman.
  • Keystone.
  • Winnebago.
  • Fleetwood.

What is the most reliable travel trailer brand?

The most reliable travel trailer brands are:

  • Airstream.
  • Winnebago.
  • Forest River.
  • Jayco.
  • Keystone.
  • Oliver.
  • Happier Camper.

Do travel trailers hold their value?

Travel trailers do hold their value longer than RVs or caravans. A travel trailer can hold its value between five and 15 years, more or less regularly. 

References

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