SFR: tent trailer opinions?


dead in the water
I can see the issue with the rain for sure. The drying out part. Though, to be fair, if we get caught in a real rain, we have to dry out the pop up on the VW as well. Sometimes we are smart enough to close the top if we think rain is coming, but you know how that goes. I do like how a pontoon or a couple of bikes can fit on top of the folded tent trailers. The "can't lock anything up" issue is something to think about though.

Those Hard sided pop-ups that Itchy Dog linked to are pretty cool looking for the weight-size ratio. But man, they don't give those things away. I'd be interested to see what the used market looks like.

Those Skamp or Burro "pod" looking trailers are an interesting option. A buddy of mine has a burro and sleeps in it up at baker all winter. But I've always felt like they were kind of tight on space. Then again, I've never done more than sit and enjoy a beer in the baker parking lot in one. So I defer to anyone who has camped in one. I do like how on some models the couch turns into a bunk bed for kids.

I wish it had occurred to me that I might want to camp in a trailer when I was buying my truck. I would have at least considered getting something bigger. I love my ranger, it's a great truck for almost everything I do. But it's a bit small for towing a travel trailer as far as I know. Even the 16-18' ones seem to run 3000-4500 lbs.
It, as always, will depend on what you want. I have a 15 year old, 15' coleman that I pulled behind a Toyota 4 cylinder, mileage dropped to 15 mpg from 21 mpg, a little slow going up hill, 3rd gear, but okay. Now pull with F150 5.4 and same mileage but do not even slow down on hills.
If the canvas has been put away dry stays like new. I removed the sink and stove as I do all cooking outside except for coffee on cold mornings, not much dish washing going on either. No security, no locks, no reason for a broken door or window, and I leave on the river for a month, set up ready to go. Fits my wife and I perfectly. May be a little longer to set up than the regular trailer depending on how long to crank up. What ever the temperature is out side, it is the same inside. Craig


dead in the water
Your Ranger should be fine for towing a tent trailer. I had a 4.0 litre v6 FX4 and it towed our 22' Cdory (3,500lbs) without any problems.
Not having anything to do with tent trailers, but man I love me a 22' C-dory. My old man used to have one of those boats. Well designed/built little tubs those are. Lots of good memories in his boat.

Kim Hampton

Not Politically Correct
Oh yeah I forgot to mention. Coleman has/had an option called a bug room. Not sure if the still have it. It's a pain in the ass to set up but it really gives you a lot more weather protected room. Basically it's sides that hang down from the awning. I'd end up tying flies under a Coleman lantern at night in the bug room as it protected me from having my materials flying all over the place from the wind. Or if the weather was bad you could hang your waders to dry.


dead in the water
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?
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?
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.

Bill Dodd

Bill's in a time out.
That is one neat little trailer, My dad had one and we loved it, Wish we still had it.



We were searching for a tent trailer a couple years ago and after looking at several and talking to friends that had them decided they were too much of a pain. We ended up going with this small trailer instead. It is relatively light weight (1,200 lbs) and pulls easily with my wifes Escape or my Tacoma that replaced the ford in the picture. Despite how small it looks it has plenty of room for me, my wife and son and sometimes one of my sons buddies. It has a fridge, sink and stove. We love it and use it all the time. When we get to our destination it is ready to go ... no set up to speak of.
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.
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.

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
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
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.


dead in the water
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!