Purchasing a Travel Trailer 101 or…

How to figure out what exactly you need.

You can’t always get want you want – or maybe you can if you are willing shell out enough money. We, however, had a set budget in mind and a wish list of features that filled a full page.

Primary on our list was a bedroom with a door, not a curtain. To get this, you have to look at the larger models, or find something creative like the Gulfstream Vintage 19ERD or 23RSS. These adorable trailers use the bathroom door to also block the bedroom from the rest of the camper. While we loved the kitschy feel, we decided early on that for a family of three people and two dogs, we were going to need more room. Plus, we weren’t sure we were ready for bystander campground attention such a cute camper was going to cause.

Want the kitsch without all the attention? Check out Gulfstream’s Cabin Cruiser line. Serious travel trailer on the outside, your own wood paneled cabin on the inside.

Next on our list was bunkbeds. With a young son just about to enter his tweens and his own set of autistic challenges, a place of his own was going to be very important. Every kid needs a special spot for down time (and parents need it too.)

The next two items we considered important, but not critical. In hindsight, we now realize both were so important we wouldn’t have be happy with a trailer without these features: an outdoor camp kitchen and a couch.

Brad, a fond lover of frying bacon, took to heart the advice of a friend about cooking in your travel trailer. They recommended that any smelly or greasy foods should always be cooked outside to avoid the mess – and your trailer smelling like that particular food for the rest of forever. I recalled from my previous camping life that trailer dinettes are uncomfortable and having an additional seating area comes in handy. Bonus points if it has cup holders and is slightly comfortable.

Other criteria on our list included an awning that extends over the camping kitchen, automatic jack for the hitch and weight redistribution bars, shoe storage, usable closets, room for our pets,

After three months of research and shopping, what did we end up purchasing? Tune in to our next blog to find out. In the meantime, what are your must-haves for a travel trailer?

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