Factors to Consider When Buying a Camper Trailer
Camper trailers can be your ticket to the great outdoors, but not all camper trailers are made equal. They come in a ton of varieties depending on your needs, with everything from kitchen sinks to speaker systems. Shopping for a camper trailer can quickly become overwhelming when it should be an exciting experience; after all, this could be your home away from home for years to come, so buying the right camper trailer is a pretty important decision. If you’re not sure where to start, or need a little guidance so the salesperson doesn’t overwhelm you, keep reading; we’ve got you as covered as a canvas roof over your head.
1. Towing Capacity
Before you get your heart set on a specific camper trailer, it’s important you figure out what your vehicle’s towing capacity is to help you narrow down the options. If you’re not sure, you can easily find it in your vehicle manual (and don’t worry if you’ve never cracked it, most of us haven’t). Dust it off and look up the towing capacity and make sure the weight of camper trailer is safely within its limits but keep a couple hundred pounds of buffer just in case). Soft-floor trailers are generally lighter than hard-floor trailers, but keep in mind you’ll also be packing the trailer with camping equipment, so you don’t want the trailer to be too heavy or you’ll lose precious gas mileage.
2. New or Used
Your next step is to figure out if you want to buy a new or used camper trailer. This usually comes down to budget, but it doesn’t have to be the only factor. Sometimes, you can score a practically new camper trailer for a huge discount simply because the owners decided they actually don’t enjoy camping (your win, their major loss!). However, you do have to be super careful when buying used (just like you would be with a used car) and be able to perform your own in-person inspection. You want to be able to see the entire trailer, and don’t let the seller rush you. If they don’t let you take your time (which is a reasonable request considering the investment), there’s something they don’t want you to find. When buying new, the price is often about the amenities included with the trailer; the more features, the higher the price. Make sure you decide which features are must haves, so you don’t spend a fortune on a tricked-out trailer that you’ll barely use.
3. Spare Parts
Another often forgotten factor is how old or rare the model is. You might be able to find a fabulous deal on a used trailer, but it’ll end up costing you a lot more if something breaks and the replacement parts are tough to find or have to be special ordered. Going with a well-known, Australian-made brand like Cub Campers has its perks, like knowledgeable dealers, an after sales support team, and readily available replacement parts.
4. Set Up and Tear Down
You’ll also want to consider how easy a camper trailer is to set up and tear down, based on your needs. If you’re a regular solo camper, you’ll need to make sure you can set it up easily on your own—or this could deter you from making good use of your camper trailer. Most sellers and stores should let you demo the set up, so you’ll be able to tell whether a particular trailer is worth your time and investment. Setting up camper trailers definitely gets easier and quicker over time, but the next time you’re stuck in the pouring rain at night trying to figure out which step you missed, seconds will start to matter.