I’m a fan of camping.
I started my camping adventure with a $30 tent from a discount store. Once I upgraded myself with a partner and a few kids, I went for a full-sized tent. Then it became a family-sized dome tent and as much camping gear as our family wagon could hold.
Things were going really great until that trip, that one trip where a mate showed up in a camper trailer. Ouch.
Did you know that a camper trailer actually gives you the comfort of a home in the wild outdoors?
A great away-from-home experience with a lot of storage, open sleeping and cooking spaces, all without the heavy price tag of a caravan – this is what a camper trailer is.
There are a large number of camper trailer manufacturers on the market today, and buying one for the first time could turn out to be a tedious experience. Here we’re going to unfurl the different aspects of buying a camper trailer for the first time that suits your needs and dollars.
Types of Camper Trailers
While planning to buy a new camper or a used one, you might need to think about what type of camper trailer you’d prefer. Let’s look at the different types.
Soft Floor Camper Trailer
These trailers fold out like a large cabin tent. They are lighter, have more internal storage and usually have more living space. On the flip side, they take a longer time to set up, insides are a little harder to clean and typically have fewer internal amenities.
This type of trailer is ideal for families and large groups of people who have the resources and physical capabilities of setting up and packing down their trailer whenever they are needed to.
Hard Floor Camper Trailer
You might have seen a pop-top caravan where the roof rises and sides expand out to form a living space. A hard floor camper trailer functions similar to this. It’s simple and takes only a few minutes to fully set up. Since it has a well-built structure, it can handle inclement weather better. Though these are heavier, they have lesser internal storage and smaller sleeping capacity.
It is ideal for use by couples or small families who would want to spend less time setting it up and without much exertion.
Hybrid Camper Trailer
As the name suggests, it has all the advantages of both soft floor and hard floor camper trailers. It offers flexibility by providing the hard shell and most of the amenities you will find in a caravan. The set up is not intensive with open floor plans and larger beds. However, they are expensive and weigh more than standard camper trailers.
New vs. Second Hand
It’s a no-brainer to say that the decision to buy a new camper trailer or a second-hand one depends on the budget you have. But if you have a flexible budget, it might be worth considering the benefits of each of them before arriving at a purchase decision.
Buy a New Camper
A new vehicle comes with an assurance of being in the perfect mechanical condition along with longer warranties and after-sales support. You may take a look at the various models at a caravan and camping expo, compare them, speak to different sales reps and know about special deals and offers.
Buy a Second Hand Camper
Though there’s a certain amount of risk involved in buying a second-hand camper trailer, you have loads of money. There’s a higher chance that the accessories you plan to have are already there upgraded by the previous owner. Similar to buying a used caravan, you would need a thorough check and inspection of the trailer before buying it.
Camper trailers are usually designed with a light body and that makes it possible for a lot of vehicles to tow them. Some of them can be towed even by popular SUVs. If you have no intention of changing your tow vehicle, the best place to start is to find your maximum towing capacity. You might need to know about the maximum tow ball weight, GVM and GCM. Online towing guides can help you here.
You need to find the camper trailer that matches the towing capacity of your tow vehicle. A few other things you need to check are stability of the trailer, brake response and braking distance, reversing ability, sight behind the trailer and suspension of both the trailer and the tow vehicle.
Also Read: Setting Up Your Caravan for the First Time
An Authentic Travelling Experience
The camper trailer life offers the best of both worlds – camping and caravanning. Good accommodation and creature comforts with a natural camping experience are what attract people toward camper trailers. However, don’t get caught up with the fancy gadgets, alloy rims, shiny panels and monster tyres. They sure look good but are lesser important features of your camper trailer. What you need the most is a functional one that is going to do what you want of it.
While you are in the process of owning a camper trailer, take your time to do things slowly. When you eventually settle on one, enjoy the ride and have fun.
The adventure awaits you!