Tent trailers?

#1
My better half is usually pretty sharp, but for some unknown reason she's got it in her head that we should downsize from our terrific 20' fifth wheel to a pop-up tent trailer. I'm "agin it" but like the song says, "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets". (sorta)
Soooo......if'n you was to buy one no more than 8yrs old with all the "bells and whistles" (slide-out, etc, etc.) excluding brand new (too friggin' $$$) what would you buy and why?
 

greenwater

Active Member
#2
Any idea why? Did the tent trailer thing before and while there are definite advantages to it and good reasons at the time, don't think I would do it again. I miss it some days, but not enough. Of course I notice you are in SoCal so might be a little different because of weather, etc, but still...
 

Jaydub

Active Member
#4
If it were me, I'd consider a Jayco Baja with higher ground clearance and front deck. If your going to go with a tent trailer, you might as well have something that will go places the 5th wheel won't easily go.
 

greenwater

Active Member
#5
Ok, I get sentimentality :) . On the upside they are lighter weight, definitely give more of a "camping" feel since they're just fabric and usually you can open all windows and easier to find spots to fit them in. The downsides to me were that you have to pop it up to pack it and then if you forget anything, need anything (like from the fridge), etc. you're popping it back up, pulling the beds out. Set up can take longer too due to having to put it up, pack stuff from the back of the truck in, etc. You typically can't do that while attached to the vehicle either since the beds will run into it when you pull them out, but maybe not in all situations. If you're on an extended trip and make rest stops and stuff, you can't just hop in and have lunch in it. You are more limited in space so stuff like tools, chairs, etc. go in the back of the truck and take up room there. Make sure you have a good covered place to dry it out in the event it gets wet as the tenting can mildew so you don't want to pack it away wet. I would recommend not cooking in it ever as the tenting can trap in the scent of a good bacon breakfast for an extended period of time but starts to not smell so good over time. For myself, didn't mind cooking outside (like it a lot actually) and always got lucky on the getting it wet part.

As for recommendations, don't know how much help I can be. Ours was a small box (8') Coleman and loved everything about the trailer itself. It was a very simple one, so no issues with it.

EDIT:I should add, this was with a family of 6 so we had a lot of packing to do and just wanted to have as much stuff in there all the time to save space and save time.
 

IveofIone

Active Member
#6
Mark, unless you and your wife are somehow getting younger instead of older buying the tent trailer is a bad idea. The novelty and nostalgia will wear off soon and there will be a craving for the old 5th wheel with all it's comforts and convenience. If you must downsize then look into some of the new small lightweights that are so easy to tow. Greenwater pointed out some of the tent trailer's biggest disadvantages and they are considerable.

To me being able to stop anywhere and go in for a snack, a nap or to pee is reason enough to own a hard sided trailer. Dealing with a soggy erector set on a rainy day is not my idea of time well spent.

Ive
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
#7
I've got a Coleman evolution tent trailer & i love it. The only upgrade I needed was a set of boat racks to carry my pontoon boats on, with its 16 inch tires I can take it every where & it goes up in 15 minutes and down just as fast...
 

cmann886

Active Member
#8
Rent or borrow one for a week and get it out of your/her system and then go in comfort. That or start camping in areas that require hard sided campers and tell your wife bear stories every time you get on the topic of camping...
 
#9
Mark, unless you and your wife are somehow getting younger instead of older buying the tent trailer is a bad idea. The novelty and nostalgia will wear off soon and there will be a craving for the old 5th wheel with all it's comforts and convenience. If you must downsize then look into some of the new small lightweights that are so easy to tow. Greenwater pointed out some of the tent trailer's biggest disadvantages and they are considerable.

To me being able to stop anywhere and go in for a snack, a nap or to pee is reason enough to own a hard sided trailer. Dealing with a soggy erector set on a rainy day is not my idea of time well spent.

Ive
Well stated, Ive. My sentiments as well.

Greenwater, all good points. Very doubtful there will ever be more than just the 2 of us.

I like most of the features about this one, except the price.............
http://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/rvs/4138965324.html :eek::eek::eek:
 

Alex MacDonald

that's His Lordship, to you.....
#10
Having had one for a number of years, I now wouldn't be caught dead in one! We have a Forest River Rockwood A-frame now, the 122-BH I think. Takes about a minute to set up the top, is completely hard-sided, comes with a heater, 6gal water heater, 20gal fresh water tank, A/C, am/fm stereo/cd changer, heat pump-yes, I said heat pump, BBQ, outside hot& cold shower, and we went for the tent that attaches to the front (actually the side) of the trailer, which gives us an additional 12X8 bug-free room. The tent's waterproof, too. We also opted for the forward-facing cargo deck directly behind the trailer hitch. There's two sizes, and we got the smaller one. Didn't think I'd really like that, but after having used it to haul the ice chests, watermasters, firewood, etc, I LOVE IT! Oh, and I forgot to mention the heated mattress on the queen size bed, or that the BBQ has a quick connect gas attachment so setup is easy. It doesn't have a freezer, but that's not really an issue for us. Comes with a porta-potti as well. Tows great behind my Tacoma.
 

Rob Ast

Active Member
#11
I've seen Alex's a-frame trailer and think its a great compromise. Lighter and lower profile than a fifth wheel, but more security than a tent trailer. Also pretty quick to put up and down
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
#14
As with all thing you have to ask yourself what do you want to do with it? Tent trailers like my coleman evolution excell if you intend to use the for remote camping where the is no electricity or water & you are driving on narrow dirt roads to get there. The big 5th wheel trailers are nice for full amenity rv parks. but that said when I go camping thats exacxtly what I'm doing, I'm camping,I'm not interested in driveing somewhere to sit in an air condition trailer watching tv and listening to the endless varity of incoming call ring tones on cell phones. For that type of trip we rent a condo or hotel room at places like westport or disneyland..