Tent trailers?

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by Mark Walker, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

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    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?
     
  2. greenwater

    greenwater Member

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    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...
     
  3. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

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    Not a clue other than she had one 30yrs ago and liked it.:rolleyes:
    Most of our travel will be spring thru fall maybe as far north as Canada.
     
  4. Jaydub

    Jaydub Member

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    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.
     
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  5. greenwater

    greenwater Member

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    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.
     
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  6. IveofIone

    IveofIone Active Member

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    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
     
  7. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

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    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...
     
  8. cmann886

    cmann886 Active Member

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    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...
     
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  9. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

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    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:
     
  10. Alex MacDonald

    Alex MacDonald Dr. of Doomology

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    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.
     
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  11. Rob Ast

    Rob Ast Active Member

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    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
     
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  12. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Love my Coleman Bayliner, serves us well. Agree with Ive, set up and take down is not a joy.
     
  13. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Love my Coleman Bayliner, serves us well. Agree with Ive, set up and take down is not a joy.
     
  14. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

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    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..
     
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  15. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

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    set ups a breeze, After getting the gang to the location I enjoy a cold beverage as the camp set up is being done.
    Its all about teamwork & being a good coach.
     
  16. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    My girls are 8 and 10. Not much help.
     
  17. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

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    A few valid points here, too, however the fifth wheel is quite capable of "dry" camping" in places other than just being restricted to "full amenity" rv parks. Other than narrow roads presenting some difficulties, they may be better, having larger food/water storage capacities that offer an extended stay in the woods over the tent trailer. We rarely stay at the "park".
    If you take into consideration that a 20' fifth wheel has about 4/5' of its length in the bed of the truck, you've only got 15/16' behind your vehicle. Some of the tent trailers we've seen are actually longer. They (pop-us) are definitely lighter, better for gas mileage and you can jockey them around by hand.
    Remember, I'm not a proponent of the downgrade.
    FWIW, when fishing, I leave my cell in the truck and respectfully request you do also. The last thing I want to hear in serenity is someone's ring tone.:D
     
  18. jessejames

    jessejames Flyslinger

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    If you make the switch let me know I am looking for a nice small 5th wheel.
    jesse
     
  19. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

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    Sent you a pm.
     
  20. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

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