6 Essential Features to Look for While Finding Just the Right Travel Trailer
If you’ve planned to buy a new travel trailer or camper, you have to carefully check whether the trailer you are buying is just as per your expectations. All travel trailers are not created equal and may contain various features. But if you spend your big money on features you never wanted, the whole experience may be frustrating. Hence it’s worth considering what you need and then head on for the shopping.
1. Aluminum Construction
Aluminum construction is a relatively new way of building travel trailers. The aluminum frame is meant to support a fiberglass outer construction. The aluminum frame makes the trailer and thus the towing vehicle has to make less effort and it uses less fuel. Being lightweight, aluminum framed travel trailers are easier to delink from the tow vehicle at the campground and then the tow vehicle can be used for sightseeing or other purposes, while the travel trailer holds all your belongings.
Getting in and out of a travel trailer can be a cumbersome task. Especially if you have brought your doggy with you, it’s pretty difficult for him. Even your small children can face difficulties while getting in or out of the trailer. While many travel trailers come with a set of stairs, these stairs may be small and may not work well.
Hence you should check if the stairs of the trailer you are planning to buy are good. They should be functional, sturdy and should eliminate the risk of injury. Also the stairs should be easily and conveniently storable in the basement of the trailer so that you can take them out once you reach the campground and install them, and dismantle them to store them again while leaving the campground. If you don’t find a trailer with properly working stairs, you’ll have to buy such a staircase separately.
3. Stabilizer Jacks
It’s common for travel trailers to shake and rock as you and your family move about inside. Therefore stabilizer jacks are essential for your travel trailer. Most travel trailers feature at least four stabilizer jacks and some have even more. They are just what their name suggests, i.e. for stability and not for trying to level the rig. So, you will have to make sure you’ve leveled your rig neatly already before deploying the stabilizers.
Scissor style jacks have their strength rated only after being stretched out to a particular point. Thus, if the jack is below that height, it should not be applied more than the recommended load on to it.
Another type is stacker jacks which are portable and use a screw-like tool for helping with stabilizing. Here you should place the jack straight under the trailer frame and not under an axle.
You should ensure that your trailer has the stabilizer jacks and should follow the instructions of their manufacturer exactly to avoid damage. This will make your camping trip very much comfortable.
4. Outside Shower
Outside showers are of a lot of use. If you don’t want to make your bathroom inside the trailer dirty, with the dust and dirt, that you and your kids and pets collect at the campground, outside shower is a fantastic solution. It allows you to wash your dirty shoes, pets, children, clothes, and even wash your dishes and rinse sand and salt water (if you are camping on a beach) and dirt and make everything clean before getting inside the trailer.
If you want to buy a small trailer, fitting an inside shower often takes up quite a space. In such a condition, an outside shower is a great solution. You just have to make sure if it’s properly functioning so as to get clean at the end of a hectic day.
If you are concerned about privacy, you can build a surround made of a shower curtain and a little washable mud mat as the floor.
And of course, it’s great to wash hands while sitting outside the trailer while sipping tea and if you get a whim of snacking and want to wash hands, as you don’t have to get inside the trailer for that.
5. Size of Refrigerator
Traveling in a travel trailer means having all the comforts of your home in the travel. However, you also have to keep in mind the size and weight constraints of your rig and so, have to give up some of the aspects of your home-life. This is particularly true when it’s about your refrigerator and size of the fridge is an important matter you should check.
Residential and RV fridges work differently. Fridges made especially for RVs chill food with a process named “absorption refrigeration” which doesn’t need any mechanical moving components to make the cooling. Rather than a compressor motor, absorption fridge units depend on a gravity-fed chemical cycle of ammonia, water, sodium chromate and hydrogen gas. The mixture moves through the pipes in the body of the refrigerator, thereby keeping the inside of the fridge cool.
Gas absorption refrigerators are best for travel trailers because they are lightweight, work well with multiple power sources and are simple to operate under various conditions.
Sleep is an important part of your home life as well as RV life. Therefore beds in your travel trailer are an important point to consider while choosing your vehicle.
Travel trailers and motorhomes normally include minimum one traditional-style bed. Here traditional means a bed that doesn’t convert into another kind of furniture or fnew away and remains static.
Traditional RV mattresses are available in a range of sizes and shapes. But they hardly match the regular mattress size that we have in our homes. For example they may not be as long or wide as a home mattress so as to compensate the lack of walking space. You usually need to measure your bed to buy the right size of sheets.
Also, keep in mind that all RV stock mattresses are many inches thinner than home mattresses. While this is best for lessening the overall weight of the trailer, it makes the sleeping space less comfortable. You may want to get a topper to make the RV mattress softer.
Another option is fnew-away sofa beds which are quite common in travel trailers and motorhomes. These are often “jackknife” sofas, i.e. they fnew out quite like a futon. Or they may be like a traditional hide-a-bed i.e. they have a mattress tucked away in the couch.
Still another option is convertible dinettes which are fantastic for saving space but are challenging to set up and not very comfortable. They are set up by collapsing a table down and using it in combination with the seat bottoms to make a platform for the “mattress” which is formed of four dinette seat cushions.
Many of the bigger RVs may feature a bunk room or a space with 2-4 small bunks to be used by kids and smaller individuals. They have RV mattresses and are pretty narrow, only around 28-34 inches in width. They don’t require a setup or teardown every day and so, families with kids find them very convenient.
Found only in popup and hybrid trailers, bed ends are protrusions covered in canvas consisting of sleeping spaces. For a lightweight trailer, they are great since the canvas-clad beds require no additional floor space, which means that the fnewed-down trailer is much smaller than a traditional travel trailer.
However, you should also remember that these beds are not very comfortable like other RV bed types and replacing the mattress is almost impossible because of the fact that the beds should fnew away.
Overhead bunks occur almost in all truck-bed and Class-C campers and even other kinds of motorhomes. These offer sleeping space without using floor space.
These occur in some newer RVs and fnew into a wall-bedding and a couch on the underside. It can be easily and quickly pulled when required. These are ideal for saving space in shorter RVs.
Plus, you can add other types of beds to create more sleeping space.
Consider all these points to get just the right type of features in your travel trailer so that your camping trips can become ultimate fun.