Camper Trailer Buying Guide

Camper Trailer Buying Guide
Choosing the right camper trailer can seem like a daunting task. There are many styles and models available to suit a variety of camping needs. Whether you are looking for a basic pop-up camper or a trailer for year round living, it can be easy to get lost in the myriad of choices and options. Camper salesmen are often like car salesmen and will try to talk you into more camper than you may need, so it is important to do your research before visiting the lot, and go into your purchase knowing exactly what you need.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Decide on the style of camper trailer you need. Pop-up trailers are designed for warm weather camping. They are easy to tow but basic in features; they are much like large tents with mattresses and a small kitchen. Travel trailers can be designed for year-round living, and with hard sides, provide better protection from the elements. They also tend to have more features such as full kitchens, bathrooms and electronics such as TV and radio. Many of these are also "self contained," meaning they have water and sewage holding tanks so you can camp away from RV hookups but still use all the features of your trailer. Fifth-wheel trailers are similar to travel trailers but must be pulled by a pickup truck with a special fifth-wheel hitch. If you have the capability to pull one, towing a fifth-wheel camper is easier than towing a similarly sized pull-behind trailer.
Step 2
Choose the trailer size you need. If you have a large family, you may want a trailer with multiple bedrooms and sleeping options such as pull-out or fold-down beds. Take into consideration the maximum number of people you think will be regularly staying in the trailer on your camping excursions, and choose a trailer that will sleep that many or a couple extra.
Step 3
Check the towing capacity of your vehicle and hitch. After the style and size decisions are made, your options may be further narrowed by a weight limitation. Half ton trucks and vans can often only pull pop-ups or small travel trailers, while three-quarter ton heavy duty trucks can pull even the largest fifth wheels.
Step 4
Compile a list of features you want in your trailer. You may want slide outs for more interior space. You may want external features like an outdoor grill or shower if you like spending more time outdoors. This list is completely a matter of personal choice but will help to narrow down the field of options when you visit the sales lot, as well as keep you from getting talked into features you don't really need.
Step 5
Visit several RV sales lots in your area. Just like car dealers, many RV dealers specialize in only one or two manufacturers of RVs. Armed with your list of needs, visit many dealers in your area, and keep a list of which trailers they have fit your needs. Afterward, you can make a confident purchase decision knowing you are getting the best trailer, and the best deal, for you.

Article Written By Christopher Williams

Christopher Williams has spent over 11 years working in the information technology, health care and outdoor recreation fields. He has over seven years of technical and educational writing experience, and has brought strong skills and passion to the Demand Studios team in articles for eHow and Trails in 2009.

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