Purchasing a Travel Trailer: Which One is Right for You?

Travel trailers are, by far, the most popular category of towable in the world of RVs. If you’ve been thinking about buying an RV, and you’ve already got the truck or other large vehicle with towing capacity, a travel trailer might be your best option. They come in all different sizes, from the simplest four-walls-and-a-roof models to something with slide-outs, bunkhouses and infinite amenities. Travel trailers can hitch up to any tow vehicle with a suitable tow rating for the weight of the trailer; some can even be towed by an SUV or minivan. But there are hundreds of brands and models to choose from, so your dream trailer is out there, it just might be a challenge to find it. Read on for reviews of some of our favorite travel trailers.

All Around Good Trailer — A Little Bit of Everything

If you have an appropriately sized tow vehicle, and what you need is a basic trailer that will serve your family on summer camping vacations or hunting and fishing trips, look at brands that can ensure both durability and comfort over the lifetime of the trailer. These models should also provide plenty of storage space and good amenities. Jayco is an excellent brand to consider in this category. Started as a family business in 1968, today Jayco trailers blend old world Amish craftsmanship with innovative technology, and they’ve become America’s largest family-owned and operated RV manufacturer.

The Jayco Jay Flight model is built with families in mind. You can choose from a variety of floor plans including ones that offer kid-friendly bunk rooms, sleek exterior kitchens, and SuperSlides for extra interior space. A well cared for, pre-owned model like a 2012 Jayco Jay Flight 22FB give you all the amenities you could ask for at a budget-friendly price— including a lovely interior, a highly functional kitchen, a shower/tub combination in the bathroom, a queen size bed in the master bedroom so you can have a little privacy from the kids, an outdoor awning, and more.

You also might consider Jayco’s Eagle line. These models offer multiple slideouts for more space, and upgrades like a residential-style kitchen. A 2014 Jayco Eagle Bunkhouse edition is perfect for a family adventure. In addition to the queen size bed for you, upper and lower full-size bunks for the kids, these models can accommodate more guests because both the dinette and sofa fold down into beds. Again you’ll have that extremely efficient kitchen, the full bath bathtub/shower combination, an outdoor awning, and you can expect beautiful cabinetry and other amenities like a pantry, a midship entertainment center with HDTV, an outside shower and central air conditioning, among a long list of Jayco features.

Lightweight Trailers — Tow it With an SUV

One of the fastest-growing types of RVs is the lightweight travel trailer, primarily because it can easily be towed by an SUV, minivan, or smaller pickup. As fuel prices rise, the lightweight travel trailer is also a solution for the challenges many families face when planning their family camping trips. “Lightweight” adds up to fuel efficiency and towing ease. Generally the lightweight category tops out at 6,000 pounds (GVWR) of combined trailer weight and cargo carrying capacity, but the most basic family-friendly models can be as low as 2,500 pounds.

Again, Jayco is a great brand to consider. Their Jay Flight models, like a [1]2014 Jayco Jay Flight 184BH Swift, weigh in at under 3,000 pounds. There aren’t a lot of bells and whistles on a trailer like this one, which is one of the ways that Jayco can keep that towing weight so low. It will provide you with a good bed, a roof over your head, a bathroom and a kitchen to make vacations easy while you’re making memories with the family. And you’ll know this trailer will last, because it’s a Jayco.

R-Vision is another model to consider in the lightweight category. They tend to be more expensive than the Jayco Jay Flight, but they come with significantly more features and amenities. This is a great option for families that want a little more space, and a model like the 2014 R-Vision Trail-Lite Crossover 210RB also makes a great trailer for entertaining with its large awning, outdoor speakers and an exterior kitchen, complete with an outside refrigerator, small sink, a two-burner stovetop and storage. Weighing in at 4,400 pounds, a model like this one can be towed by a half-ton tow vehicle.

RV Lifestyle and Luxury Trailers — For Life on the Road

If you’re considering an RV lifestyle, or you’re ready to upgrade to a more luxurious travel trailer, you can’t go wrong with a Coachmen model. Coachmen’s aerodynamic front end design and dual axles give their trailers excellent weight distribution and greater towability, so you can get more size in a trailer without losing maneuverability on the road. A 35’ model like a gorgeous 2014 Coachmen Freedom Express 322 RLDS Liberty Edition, which has been updated with Coachmen’s 50th Anniversary Package, gives you some of the most luxurious amenities available in a travel trailer, as well as features that make it a solid home away from home, like a heated, enclosed underbelly and ducted heat and air conditioning. In a model like this one, you can expect features such as a stonecast sink, congoleum flooring, an electric fireplace with a rich walnut finish and walnut coffered ceilings lit by LED accent lighting. Coachmen knows how to add just the right touches of class to their luxury trailers.

And, of course, you should also look at Jayco’s line of luxury travel trailers, like this 2015 Jayco Eagle 338RETS. At 39’, with two deep slide-outs, you’ll have plenty of room for a true RV lifestyle. Jayco’s premier package adds upgrades to this model, like a walk-around king-size bed and a beautiful Ledge Stone entertainment center that includes a 40” TV, a stereo system and an electric fireplace. The 18-gallon quick recovery water heater gives you plenty of hot water for cooking gourmet dinners and enjoying the enclosed shower in the full bathroom. And because this is a Jayco, you can trust that it was manufactured with low emission wood products certified by the California Air Resources Board—better for the environment and better for your family. If you’re ready to upgrade to a luxury travel trailer, be sure and look at what Jayco has to offer.

The travel trailers that we’ve discussed here are just a few of the options available at Guaranty RV. We have hundreds of trailers for every budget. If you think a travel trailer is the right RV for your family, but you aren’t sure what brands or models to look at, don’t hesitate to call us; our RV professionals are always happy to help. Come see us here in Junction City; we’ve got your dream trailer.

Photo: Mike

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