Skip to content

What To Look For When Buying A Travel Trailer

What To Look For When Buying A Travel Trailer

What RV or travel trailer is best for you?

There are many great features to be found in travel trailers and deciding what one is best for you has many factors to consider. So we have a list of what to look for when buying a travel trailer.

Let us take a closer look at what feature works best for just you and some questions to consider!


Monetary Considerations When Buying A Travel Trailer (Budget)

Jayco travel trailer

When considering buying a travel trailer, is it new or a well-loved previous travel home?

If new, how does the warranty cover the travel trailer, and for how long? Is it just for the chassis and main structure of the trailer, or does it cover some accessories as well?

If previously owned, what about extended warranty coverage? Does the family require additional space, does it need to have a pop-up for expanded living space? What is the condition of the pop top material? Could it leak and does the warranty cover this?

And do not forget to verify your vehicle is up to the task of pulling your new travel trailer.

Make sure and check the minimum towing requirements of the travel trailer. Is your vehicle adequate, or does another vehicle need to be budgeted? It is very important to have adequate towing capabilities, based upon the travel trailer tow weight specifications.

Can the vehicle survive towing the travel trailer around the highways, or towing it around the curves, rough roads and hills of the wilderness?

Another item to consider is travel trailer or RV insurance.

How much the premiums is going to cost will depend on the age of the van, make and model. Is it a new Jayco or Winnebago  you’re buying, or an old travel trailer that is well and truly loved, but has seen better times?

RV and travel trailer insurance costs, will also depend where you live, and where the van is going to be stored.

Ensure you know if the insurance policy covers, theft, damage, etc., not only for home and the road, but also if the policy covers being parked at a remote camp site in the boonies, or at busy RV park in Texas or stored away for several months.

Grab a pen and paper and do some figures.

While not the most exciting part of looking for or buying a new travel trailer, you do have to figure out if you can cover the cost of not only the new van, but also the cost of the RV insurance and vehicle costs.

Another thing to consider is road side assistance. Will they cover the cost of towing the travel trailer to the next town if your vehicle breaks down and can’t be fixed immediately?

Travel trailer parked side of road


Fuel Consumption

Maximizing fuel is affected by several factors. The size, weight and aerodynamics of a travel trailer will determine gas consumption.

The larger and heavier the travel trailer, the more fuel will be consumed. Long trips require the tow vehicle to be in top shape and powerful enough engine to tow the trailer.

Make sure the vehicle is serviced to get the best fuel consumption rate.

Do you plan on carrying additional gear on a rack on top? This can cause even more wind drag.

Consider getting a travel trailer with a pop-up to maximize living space and minimize towing requirements if it suits your style. If possible, do not strap any additional gear on top of the travel trailer.

Remember, any additional weight carried will adversely affect fuel consumption. Pack wisely.


Off-Road Capabilities

Every travel trailer has build specifications targeted to its intended usage. Will it primarily be towed across expansive highways? If so, consider the travel trailer with a smooth-riding suspension for the long haul and the best of roads.

So you like the open desert highways, or mountains, or rugged boonies camping?

Make sure and investigate the RV with the more rugged suspensions. It will not go well to take a travel trailer on extended trips into the wilderness on a suspension not designed for rough conditions.

You can get some fantastic off-road travel trailers that are built tough for corrugated roads and rough tracks designed for American conditions.


Mobility And Ease Of Use

Traveling to your favorite camping site in a RV makes a wonderful trip in the making. But what if your new travel trailer is too long to comfortably nestle into your favorite park? Size matters, and for some a more compact travel trailer better fits into more intimate camping choices.

However, for some families, the better choice may be a larger travel trailer with pop-ups and pop-outs. The extended family has more room and live-ability while the favorite campground is plenty large to park the larger travel trailers.

Another thing to think about when buying a travel trailer is, where will it be stored? At home, or at a storage unit facility. Can it fit and be stored securely?


Travel Trailer Set-Up And Pack Up

Now we have made it to the favorite camping site, we are ready to start exploring and the last thing we want to deal with is setting up the travel trailer.

Often overlooked, it is important to consider the ease, or difficulty, of setting the travel trailer up once parked in the desired pitch.

Items to consider include how easy is the travel trailer to level? Is access to gas and electricity convenient and easily accessible? Are the inlets/outlets for fresh water and the toilet conveniently accessible? It may be beneficial to run the “cup of coffee” test. If all connections are working in tandem, then you should be able to make a great cup of coffee! (Or tea.)

A well-designed travel trailer not only sets up easily but just importantly packs up. Make sure and determine if the RV of your dreams has adequate storage with multiple storage options.


Space and Comfort

Do you have a large family? Is comfort in all types of weather critical? Had you rather keep mosquitos and other pests at be? Is all your gear packed and handy?

If you answer yes to any of the questions, then the best choice is a travel trailer. But if you have a large family you might need an additional tent for more room. Or a bigger RV. Either with or without a pop-up, a travel trailer will give you the space for the family, even in the worst weather conditions. Besides being comfortable and dry, being up off the ground has its benefits.

If there is only you and a partner, a smaller travel trailer or camper trailer might be a better choice. You can buy some great compact trailers, which are light weight and have well designed interiors that make the most of the space.


Road Safety When Towing A Travel Trailer

RVs come in a variety of structural configurations. Travel trailers typically are either single axle or dual axle. There are considerations and some pros and cons to both.

Single axle travel trailer are often less expensive, easier to maneuver and park, and are less on maintenance including the tow vehicle. The single axle travel trailer usually is shorter, carries less weight, may not have brakes, and maybe harder on tires.

Dual axel caravans by design carry more weight, typically have brakes, are larger, and can carry more weight.

The extra tires provide some additional protection against blowout accidents and are more stable to tow. On the flip side, they may require additional vehicle towing capacity along with lower gas mileage.

One of the easiest items to check for towing a travel trailer safely is tire pressure. Make sure the tire pressure is at the recommended pressure before, during, and after the trip.

Also, many after-market add-ons can help ensure a safe road trip. Among the safety devices for towing safety are weight distribution hitches, load levelers, and equalizers.


Conclusion – What To Look For When Buying A Travel Trailer

RVs and travel trailers are becoming more popular than ever today due to a variety of reasons. Family time adventure, economical vacations, cherished time along the way and many great memories are a few reasons.

We hope these tips for choosing travel trailer helps you to prepare you for your journey of a lifetime.

There is nothing better than being with family and loved ones sitting around the campfire, laughing, and having fire-roasted marshmallows. And parked on a site at your favorite camp spot or RV park.

What should I look for when buying a travel trailer is a great question and hopefully our tips have made it a little easier for you.

The road is calling, the travel trailer is secure and packed, and all that is left is starting the engine. Get out there and enjoy the trip!