SFR: tent trailer opinions?

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by Josh, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. For those who have had Coleman tent trailers, what's a reasonable year range for looking at a used one? Late 90's? 2000 and newer? Any date?
  2. I don't have a Coleman but I would mention that some of the later Colemans in the late 90's early 2000s had some serious issues with the one piece tops flexing out on the sides. I would stay away from slide outs if you can, too much to fail. I have found a lot of tent trailer or as they are called pop-ups' information on:

    Personally I have a mid 80s Jayco Dove 6 and love it. I would not recommend the fancy "off-road" versions as I feel they are way overpriced and typically smaller. Mine is a standard model on its 3rd set of axles and springs. Put in a heavy duty axle under new springs and add 15" wheels that will get you into alot of places you would have not thought possible.
  3. I would say anything from say 1997 forward....
  4. EasyE.
    That is one neat little trailer, My dad had one and we loved it, Wish we still had it.



  5. i have a 1992 coleman that has given a lot of good service. never, never leaked in some real downpours. now that we are older we have a bigger trailer but i still take the coleman when I'm going to someplace rough or narrow. it takes about as long to set up or take down as a tent but there is less stuff to pack, and it never leaks. towing is a non issue except when you forget its even back there. i could live in mine if it was just me. my advice would be to stay with a basic model. no showers or toilets or slide outs. get at least one end with a queen or king bed. we never cook in ours very much either but it's there if you need to. been through high winds, blizzards and downpours with not a problem. the furnaces are meant for campgounds with electrical service as the fan will drain a battery overnight. if you are rough camping take a little buddy heater along for heat and crack a window. i find a little battery powered fan hung at the ceiling to stirr the heat up works wonders in colder weather. the screen rooms are a pain but worth the trouble if you are staying a week. awnings on those trailers are too small to do much good, better to string a big tarp out front. it's kind of like a real nice tent on wheels. if you want more go to a real trailer.
  6. I have a a 2000 Jayco and love it !!! Going to the Black Hills this Summer and can't wait !!!!
  7. Very hard to beat Jayco products. I have one of their 5th wheels and love it. Rather difficult to find a used Jayco on the market. Usually, when they become available, friends or relatives snap them up.
  8. I WANT ONE! That is my opinion. When I can find one then I'll be able to comfortably take my almost 4 and 5 1/2 year old girls camping more often. Right now it is still a bit nippy at night to tent it, even in my four season tent. They are up to about 3 miles hiking (trying to train them early) but so far there has not been any camping at the end. We've rented a pop up a couple of times and they loved it. I WANT ONE, even a very small one, they are little now and will be for some time. I agree Josh, a rack for the bikes or pontoon atop it and you got a fully functional all systems go recreational activity trailer! Good luck finding one. Find two? Let me know. Ed
  9. I've owned an older Apache for over ten years. I love the tent trailor idea, towing and set-up are no problem. The many memories my kids and I have made with that trailor are priceless and today I am more than thankful we've had the travel/experiences. Between the hunting and fishing camps, family outings, and etc. it is without doubt the best money Ive ever spent. My son ( a junior in college ) says every summer, Hey Dad lets grab the trailor and head for the mountains! Many of his college buddies have never been camping with friends and famlies. It's true the trailor sits in the driveway most of the time, but when it's not, man that's livin'! Fish On.
  10. Thanks for all the information everyone. Please keep an eye out for any clean "for sale" tent trailers for me (and Mumbles as well). Particularly if you know the seller or the history of the trailer being sold.

    I'm pretty stoked about the whole idea. The photos people have posted of their campsites look like a ton of fun and make me want to get our there and camp/fish. Come on summer, hurry up and get here!
  11. Josh,

    I've gone the route from tent to VW camper van to Coleman tent trailer and back to a tent again. Here's what matters: what do you like and what will you endure? And far more importantly, what does your wife like and what will she endure? Did she grow up sleeping on the ground in her dad's canvas elk hunting camp tent? Or is her definition of roughing it mean staying at the Holiday Inn? Her answer sets up the side boards of your family camping solution.

    It sounds like the shortcoming of the VW camper is the mobility your fishing requires and has nothing to do with the VW as your camping shelter. I got the Coleman tent trailer for the reason you mentioned along with the notion of sleeping up off the ground - made it easier to find a suitable camp site. If your objective is to combine family camping with fishing, a tent trailer should serve your needs pretty well. You can do it as simple or as elaborate as you want. For me simpler has been better, but people's preferences vary all over the map.

    You'll know you made the right choice if everyone is having a good time.

  12. My wife doesn't mind a little roughing it. She's a low maintenance gal (in that regard) and a tent would be fine with her. But the issues with the VW are twofold. The first, as I mentioned, is the "pack up and leave" thing. She likes to go somewhere and then hang out in that spot. She doesn't like having to pack back up and move every time I want to head down the road for a fishing hole or to pick up beer and snacks at the country store. The second is just the idea that making life a little easier will yield big dividends as far as getting out and camping with kids successfully (and at a younger age). I'd rather "wuss out" a little bit with a tent trailer or a camper and have my kid(s) be excited about the great outdoors from an early age than to try and rough it too much and frustrate kids/wife/myself. There is plenty of time to hike in the backcountry with a 2 man tent in the future.

    If that makes any sense.
  13. We have had just about every camping option there is. The tent trailer worked for us for awhile it got us up off the ground in the tent. the problem with the tent trailer is that there is almost no storage. If it doesn't fit in the few drawers or under the dinette seat it needs to go in the tow vehicle. That for me was a big deal.
    Often our camping adventures are spur of the moment and getting all of the "stuff" together and loaded up was a pain. With a tent trailer you only have a lot of room when it is unfolded. Because the ends slide in and the counters hinge into the floor space when it is travel ready there is no room for the stuff.
    After the last trip in our starcraft to rock creek 4 years ago when it snowed, leaked on my bed, got our food wet then the cable broke and the last night we held up the top with an oar from my pontoon boat, a 2x4 three rocks and a full roll of duct tape that was it.
    I came home and bought a travel trailer. All of our camping and fishing supplies live in the trailer all we do is stock the fridge with the perishables and hit the road.
    One option is a hybrid they have storage room and the convenience of a travel trailer but some of them are way smaller and lighter. When you set up you just pull out one or both ends for the sleeping accomodations.
    Good luck.
  14. Get a TOWLITE trailer. They are hard-sided and have a hydraulic lift. They have far less wind resistance than a regular hard-sided trailer, giving you much better gas mileage, and they fit in a regular garage if it is deep enough, depending on the model you get. When you get to the lake or stream, hit the hydraulic lift button and 2 seconds later you have a full-size hard-sided trailer with all the comfort and safety that entails (shower,etc.). I have a 21 footer that has all the comforts we need, and have used it to fish lakes and streams in B.C. Washington, Idaho, etc. My Ford Expedition has no trouble pulling it over high mountain passes and over reasonably maintained logging roads. My wife loves it! Check out Towlite trailers! They obviously cost more than a tent trailer, but are well worth the extra cash in my opinion. One caution, check out the garage situation before you buy. My 21 footer needs a 26 foot deep garage to accommodate the 21 feet of trailer and the front extension that has the propane tanks and the part that attaches to the trailer hitch on my Expedition, with a little bit of cushion distance front and back. To easily get it into a garage, I had my Expedition modifed so I can put a trailer hitch on the front of the Expedition to push it into the garage. It is amazing how easy it is to put the trailer into my garage with 6 inches or so to spare on either side, whereas I personally would never be able to back it into my garage without wiping out the trailer against the side of the garage.
  15. Jesse does bring up a good point. One I hadn't thought about in years. We didn't have any room to store anything. The small icebox didn't hold much, so we always had a big cooler that sat outside. We did keep alot of our clothes in the trunk of our Comet and would get out what we'd change into the next day and put it into the tent with us. But I'm sure the new trailers must've made better storage by now.
  16. For several years, we rented tent trailers for an annual trip to Chopaka. The tent trailer is a lot more comfortable when it's cold and rainy, which is often the case in May. This was back in the 80's and 90's, and I'm sure the models have changed, but I remember that the Jayco's were really nice.

    Renting a rig like this makes sense economically if you only use it occasionally.

  17. Josh,

    We had a tent trailer for 10 years, before getting a hard sided trailer. Camping in Yellowstone during a snowstorm in a tent trailer was a memorable experience...:)

    I liked our tent trailer. It could be a pain to set up and take down when a person is tired, but, they have a lot of room in them for the size. We liked it because of that.

    Going back 10 years before we got one, we were camping at Lake Wenatchee. It gets pretty windy there. We're camping in our little REI dome tent one night, me, the wife and three kids, and a dog, when a branch came crashing down on us. No one was hurt, the tent survived. The next day we packed up went home, and ordered a tent trailer...:)

    A scamp was mentioned too. If it wasn't for the kids, I think I'd have one of those. But, you need room with kids.

  18. Depends on what model you have and how old the kids are. We have an 8 year old and he loves our 13 footer. It has a bunkbed at one end that he sleeps in and sometimes brings a freind. We sleep at the other end in the larger bed. Works well for us but some may find it tight. When we are camping, the amount of time we spend inside the trailer is quite limited anyhow. For those who want something a bit larger, they also make a 16 ft and a 19 ft.
  19. Oddly enough that was the last time that Jesse and I fished together.:rofl:

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