RV BUYING FOR BEGINNERS
When the RV buyer decides to purchase their first trailer, the first question is always: "What will be the best unit for me to purchase'', Here is, what we hope, is an unbiased overview of the information needed to make an intelligent buying decision.
FIRST THING: WHICH TRAILER IS THE RIGHT TRAILER?
The different types of trailers are, fifth wheels, travel trailers, toy boxes, and fifth wheel toy boxes, the best way to decide what type of trailer to buy is to decide what you can tow. If you have a 10 ton Peterbilt then you can tow just about anything that you want, but if you have a 1/2 ton truck then you will have to consult the owners manual that came with the vehicle, or call the dealer that sell the vehicles of that type. If all else fails the RV sales people have a book that will give the tow rating of most vehicles. If you want to stay with your tow vehicle then the size of the trailer will be dependent on your towing capacity. (For some great tow vehicle values, we recommend our sister company Winner Chevrolet in Colfax) Let's take a fictitious tow rating of 8000 lbs on your truck, the trailer that you are going to tow should weigh about 1500 lbs less than that, this will be the dry weight. Dry weight is the weight of the trailer with nothing in it and with no options, we allow 1500 lbs for cargo, liquids, etc. If the tow vehicle is not an issue then choose the trailer that you want and buy the vehicle to match the trailer.
FIFTH WHEELS: Are a very stable trailer to tow because the pivot point is over the rear axle of the tow vehicle. They can be more difficult to backup into those camp sites because the wheels of the trailer are relatively closer to the pivot point A bumper pull trailer has the wheels set back, thus a fifth wheel reacts much quicker. Most campgrounds offer pull-through spaces that makes all trailers very easy to park. A fifth wheel requires a pickup truck bed or similar for the mounting of the hitch. A fifth wheel generally has large storage space under the overshot (thats the part that extends over the tow vehicle) but it also almost always has a step up into the bed room up front, also the truck bed storage space is going to be limited by the hitching mechanism.
TRAVEL TRAILERS: Are towed behind the tow vehicle usually with a special hitching system that takes the tongue weight off of the rear of the tow vehicle. There is also some special devices to reduce trailer sway. With travel trailers or bumper pulls hitching and unhitching is a little more time consuming compared to a fifth wheel, but the bed of a truck is still all usable, and the floors in a travel trailer are generally flat.
TOY HAULERS or WAGONS are basically a trailer or a fifth wheel with a large ramp door in the rear for loading toys such as quads or motorcycles. The furniture in the rear garage area folds out of the way for hauling, then comes down for living in. They can be as basic or as luxurious as wanted and some even come with garages. Toy haulers usually have larger axles to carry the extra weight. When sizing a toy hauler the carrying capacity is the most important issue, take the dry weight then add 1000 lbs for cargo then add the weight of the toys, then check the gross vehicle weight rating (this is the weight that the axles will carry), make sure that you are still under this weight, and make sure that you are under the towing capacity of the tow vehicle.
After deciding what type of RV you desire, you must then decide what level of quality and what floorplan would work best for you.
The best way to check out the Quality and Floorplans is to stop by our lot in Colfax. It's right on the freeway in Colfax.
There are some web site links on the front page of this web site for your comvenience. If you have any questions, give us a call at 1-800-239-7195.
Trailers have changed alot over the years.
"The Long Long Trailer"
For a light hearted look at the "First Time RVer", you can not do better than Lucy and Desi's Classic!