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Old 02-19-2013, 07:37 PM   #16
Gumbo4x4
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As previously mentioned, you're really maxing out the abilities of your van. I know you said you want a bathroom, so I'd suggest at most a small hybrid. I would not get one of the single axle models. Rather, look at the smallest ones they make with twin axles - say around 18 feet or so. If you can find one with a dry weight around 2,500 that would be good, and it'd give you a little leeway for cargo/water weight.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:15 PM   #17
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My parents had a travel trailer and a fifth wheel as I was growing up and it was a lot of fun.

A couple things to consider:
-campgrounds generally have different levels of hookups. Some just have electricity. Some electricity and water. Some electricity, water, and sewer. Some really fancy ones even have cable. The price varies, so make sure you know what you are getting when you price out a site.
-campers depreciate quickly, even more quickly than cars. Don't get one thinking you can trade it for something else in a few years, using it for a big down payment. You probably won't get what you think it is worth. That leads to..
-the insides are fragile. They use particleboard and plastic to keep the weight down. So things break easily (things like shower heads, clips, handles). If you have kids, impress upon them that the camper is not like a house. They can't be rough and tumble in it. The more time and energy you invest in keeping it clean and in pristine condition, the more it will be worth when you are ready to get rid of it. A 2 year old camper can look 10 years old when all of the plastic pieces are yellowed and cracked.
-if your van hauls 3500 lbs, don't get a camper that weighs 3500 lbs by itself. You won't be able to put anything in it. Your dishes, clothes, food, bikes, etc all add to the weight. You need to get a camper that your van can haul fully loaded. But...
-remember, this it isn't supposed to replace your house. The point of a camper is to have a place to eat, sleep, and shower. You don't need that video game system, printer, extra TV, (name your added convenience here). The point of camping is to be outside enjoying the area, not holed up in the camper doing the same things you would be doing at home.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:20 PM   #18
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Oh, and one person taking a leisurely shower can easily fill the grey water tank. Not a problem if you have a full hook-up. A big problem when it is your first day and the dump station is at the other end of the campground. You could let the grey water trickle out on the ground, but don't the campground catch you...
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:23 PM   #19
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We have had two campers. The first we bought the most our small Dodge Dakota would pull, it was a 19 ft pull behind. There are only 3 of us. Yes it's nice to have heat and ac, plus your own bathroom. But really it gets crowded and messy quick! Plus when one person is awake or asleep so is everyone else.

Where will you park it? We couldn't park ours in the yard at the rental house the last two years. That meant EVERY trip we had to completely load and unload the fridge, couldn't leave it plugged in and full between trips. Honestly a cooler is probably easier! LOL

Then we bought a new truck. Last year we upgraded to a 32 ft 5the wheel. I cannot wait until it's here parked next to our new house next summer! I'm so excited! Loading and unloading everything while it was briefly parked in the street in front of our house was NO fun!
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:54 AM   #20
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My ugly was supposed to read maintenance. It was not maintain fence lol.

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Old 02-20-2013, 08:24 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by 4HppyCamprs View Post
My ugly was supposed to read maintenance. It was not maintain fence lol.

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Lol, love autocorrect! I was thinking you were eluding to needing to hide it behind a fence ...lol DH once typed that someone needed to "meet our denise", a lady in our office, it autocorrected to they needed to "meet your demise"
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Old 02-20-2013, 08:27 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by pocomom

Lol, love autocorrect! I was thinking you were eluding to needing to hide it behind a fence ...lol DH once typed that someone needed to "meet our denise", a lady in our office, it autocorrected to they needed to "meet your demise"
Lol I swear auto correct just makes up random sentences for its own pleasure sometimes

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Old 02-20-2013, 09:51 AM   #23
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We just bought a hybrid travel trailer. Woohoo! We have a LOT to learn but looking forward to it.

Some things to take into consideration over and above the price of the trailer if you buy new from a dealer. Our dealer is about 5 miles from our house so we didn't have travel costs to pick up the trailer and I liked that if we have any issues, we are close. We priced around and are comfortable with the price we paid. We did not get a killer deal but it was definitely in the range of prices we were quoted and we got all of the options we wanted and then some!

1. tax on the purchase of the trailer (6% where we live)

2. registration and plates - this is a one time fee for us, plates are permanent

3. weight distribution hitch and sway bar

4. extra cost of rv insurance- went with our homeowners/automobile

5. we needed a place to store so we called ahead to get prices so we knew what we were getting into

6. make sure you budget for miscellaneous items.. we tent camped before so we have camping stuff but we need to purchase camper extras!!

Good luck! We looked for a long time before we actually bought!
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:45 AM   #24
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We have owned a camper for the last 10 years - absolutely love the family time it creates for us.

I would suggest you rent a camper a couple of times to see what you like and don't like about it. If you don't plan on camping very much - renting might be a cheaper alternative. Just remember when owning a camper - you have the unexpected expenses just like anything else. We have spent $100s on repairs - such as a broken pipe, blown hot water tank, water damage from tank, etc. If you are camping in a place that has steep hills you will need the extra brake for the camper.
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:27 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4HppyCamprs View Post
My ugly was supposed to read maintenance. It was not maintain fence lol.

anyway... I have always wanted to tow a camper, my DH has always steadfastly refused. His reasoning is that the expense of buying/keeping/pulling one is far more than a discounted hotel room,and a hotel is a lot less work. (he's thinking over the course of 10 years or so) So....when we camp,we use our tent. Otherwise we book a hotel room ,or in certain cases,a tent cabin. Plus he thinks about the extra cost of a bigger vehicle for safe towing,gasoline,etc etc. he's probably correct.( I hate it when he's right)
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:42 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsmamato2


anyway... I have always wanted to tow a camper, my DH has always steadfastly refused. His reasoning is that the expense of buying/keeping/pulling one is far more than a discounted hotel room,and a hotel is a lot less work. (he's thinking over the course of 10 years or so) So....when we camp,we use our tent. Otherwise we book a hotel room ,or in certain cases,a tent cabin. Plus he thinks about the extra cost of a bigger vehicle for safe towing,gasoline,etc etc. he's probably correct.( I hate it when he's right)
on the other plus side you will have your own bathroom and own bed (no shady maids or bedbugs, well unless they are somehow brought by your family ) and in our case because our trailer is self contained their are tax benefits

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Old 02-20-2013, 04:34 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hsmamato2 View Post

anyway... I have always wanted to tow a camper, my DH has always steadfastly refused. His reasoning is that the expense of buying/keeping/pulling one is far more than a discounted hotel room,and a hotel is a lot less work. (he's thinking over the course of 10 years or so) So....when we camp,we use our tent. Otherwise we book a hotel room ,or in certain cases,a tent cabin. Plus he thinks about the extra cost of a bigger vehicle for safe towing,gasoline,etc etc. he's probably correct.( I hate it when he's right)
He is correct. Don't go into it thinking you will save money. Go into it if you like it. Think about what the right size will be for you. When you sell it you will take a beating.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:31 PM   #28
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Is it better for those who own in your opinion to buy new or used. We were looking for used and I know they go down in value but the used prices I've seen dont seem that great. How far from NADA value is reasonable? And where is the best place to look for used if we go that route?
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Old 02-20-2013, 07:20 PM   #29
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Is it better for those who own in your opinion to buy new or used. We were looking for used and I know they go down in value but the used prices I've seen dont seem that great. How far from NADA value is reasonable? And where is the best place to look for used if we go that route?
We bought ours from a dealer used. 1 year old. The couple used it for one trip decided it was too small and traded it in. We for a great deal. The previous couple took the major depreciation hit

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Old 02-20-2013, 07:23 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teacup princess
Is it better for those who own in your opinion to buy new or used. We were looking for used and I know they go down in value but the used prices I've seen dont seem that great. How far from NADA value is reasonable? And where is the best place to look for used if we go that route?
A dealer will probably fix some of the wear and tear damage before you buy it. If you buy from an owner you will probably have to do that yourself.
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