best travel trailer tires

Best Travel Trailer Tires

best travel trailer tires - Kumho RADIAL 857

Using the best tires for your travel trailer is extremely important for your safety. Keeping them in optimal condition should also be a priority. In this article, we’ll cover both: an overview of the 6 best travel trailer tires, and how to keep them in tip-top shape.

We get it: deciding which tires to purchase can be overwhelming! There are many things to consider, and there’s a ton of technical information floating around on the Internet that can make the decision even more complicated.

It’s important to always read your RV or travel trailer manual thoroughly, fully understand the recommendations mentioned, and follow the instructions! Seems like an easy thing to do, but people often get excited about special technologies and purchase a specific type of tire without considering the needs and requirements of their travel trailer.

There are actually quite a few factors to consider when starting the search for the perfect tire for your travel trailer.

best travel trailer tires

Before diving into the technical stuff, ask yourself these questions. They’ll help you narrow down your list of options.

  • Budget: What’s my budget? How often am I looking to replace my tires?
  • Made in: Do I care where my tires are made (for example China, USA only, etc.)?
  • Usage: How much use am I expecting to get out of my tires? Will I be using my trailer year-round or seasonally?
  • Warranty: Are there any specific things I want covered in the tire warranty?
  • Required specs: What types of tires/sizes are recommended in my trailer manual? Is my local garage familiar with the type of tires I am about to buy? Have there been any major recalls that I need to be aware of?

Below, we’ve created a list of the best travel trailer tires according to user reviews. Then we’ll break them down by trailer weight, showing you which tires are the best for each weight class of travel trailers. Finally, we’ll have some tips on how to keep your tires in shape for best safety and performance.

One last thing before we get straight to the list! Let me clarify some RV lingo for the folks who are new to the RVing world.

  • ST – Special trailer
  • LT – Light Truck

Best Travel Trailer Tires: The List

Best Budget Tire

best travel trailer tires - Freestar M-108 8 Ply D Load Radial Trailer Tire

Freestar M-108 8 Ply D Load Radical Trailer Tire

  • Brand – Freestar
  • Model – M-108
  • Item Weight – 24 Pounds
  • Product Dimensions – 27.1 x 27.1 x 8 inches
  • Item model number – 29865009
  • Rim Diameter – 15 inches
  • Speed Rating – J

 

Best Chinese-Made Trailer Tire

best travel trailer tires - Trailer King ST Radial Trailer TireTrailer King ST Radial Trailer Tire

  • Brand – Trailer King
  • Model – ST Radial
  • Item Weight – 28 pounds
  • Product Dimensions – 28.3 x 28.3 x 8.8 inches
  • Item model number TKS53
  • Rim Diameter – 15 Inches
  • Speed Rating – L

 

Best-Rated Tire For Longevity

best travel trailer tires - Maxxis M8008 ST Radial Trailer TireMaxxis M8008 ST Radial Trailer Tire

  • Brand – Maxxis
  • Model – M8008 ST Radial
  • Item weight – 34.2 pounds
  • Product Dimensions – 28.3 x 28.3 x 8.9 inches
  • Item model number – 46119
  • Rim Diameter – 15 Inches
  • Speed Rating – R
  • Special Features – Low Rolling Resistance

 

Best Tire For Tread Technology

best travel trailer tires - Carlisle Radial Trail RH Trailer Tire

Carlisle Radial Trail

  • Brand – Carlisle
  • Model – Radial Trail
  • Item weight – 12.5 pounds
  • Product Dimensions – 27.1 x 27.1 x 8.1 inches
  • Item model number 5151381
  • Rim Diameter 15 inches
  • Speed Rating – R
  • Special Features – Tread wear indicator

 

Most Popular Travel Trailer Tire

best travel trailer tires - Goodyear Marathon Radial TireGoodyear Marathon Radial

  • Brand – Goodyear
  • Model – Marathon Radial
  • Item weight – 28.3 pounds
  • Product Dimensions – 29.3 x 28.3 x 8.9 inches
  • Item model number – 762173406
  • Rim Diameter – 15 inches
  • Speed Rating – R

 

Best Luxury Trailer Tire

best travel trailer tires - Kumho RADIAL 857Kumho Radial 857

  • Brand – Kumho
  • Model – Radial 857
  • Speed Rating – R
  • Special Features – Deep zig-zag grooves for increased mileage

 

Top Rated Travel Trailer Tires Based on Trailer Weight

Out of the tires listed above, here are the highest-rated options based on the weight of your specific trailer.

For Trailers Under 12,000 lbs

The two most highly rated tires for this category are the Goodyear Marathons and the Maxxis m8008 tires.

For Trailers Up to 14,000 lbs

Maxxis m8008 – try to increase a load range if possible.

For Trailers over 15,000 lbs

Trailers over 15,000 lbs. kick you outside of the ST tire range. For trailers over 15,000 lbs., we recommend the Goodyear G614 or Saliun S637.

Tips for Keeping Your Travel Trailer Tires in Optimal Shape

Remember: taking good care of your tires is just as important (if not more important) than the brand you choose to buy!

In this case, basic tire care principles apply:

  1. Proper inflation: make sure your tires are always properly inflated.
  2. Check them often: regularly look over your tires to make sure they’re in good condition.
  3. Avoid overheating rubber.
  4. Give them regular use – leaving your tires unused for long periods of time will not allow for the proper rubber chemicals to circulate to keep the tires flexible and to prevent dry rot.
  5. Avoid exceeding the listed speed rating for your tires.

If properly taken care of, most people can expect about 7-8 years of use for RV tires on average. Remember to keep the requirements of your RV or travel trailer in mind first when buying tires.

Another tip: make sure that the tire’s load rating is at least as high as the tire you are replacing.

Tires are like the shoes of your travel trailer: you want to make sure that they fit properly and are best suited for your trailer.

I hope this list of best travel trailer tires has been helpful, and that this article gave you some insight on what type of tires to purchase for your travel trailer or RV. Let us know if you have any questions. Safe travel guys!


Written by Margaret Robbins

travel trailer loan rates

Travel Trailer Loan Rates

As you consider getting a new or used travel trailer, you may want to know some typical travel trailer loan rates. In this article, we share some insights you should definitely be aware of as you consider getting your travel trailer.

Purchasing a new travel trailer is more than just buying a vehicle; it’s about creating a new hobby and passion in your life. It opens the door to new experiences and new friends you would never have had otherwise.

travel trailer loan rates

Before it comes time to purchase your travel trailer, you’ll have to decide whether to pay in cash or to finance it. We recommend paying directly for as much as you can, but if you decide to finance all or part of the cost, you’ll definitely want to do some research on how to go about financing. Loans for travel trailers function much the same way as for a home or regular car: you get your principal and pay that back with your interest.

Financing Your Travel Trailer

Securing a loan on a travel trailer can be a complicated process, so that’s why it’s best to plan ahead. Even if you have good credit, since RVs are considered a luxury vehicle, you will still need to be well-prepared to get a great rate on your potential loan.

travel trailer loan rates

So, before you head out and get your loan, consult the info below to get as much of an advantage as possible!

Where to Finance

When you initiate the loan process for your travel trailer, the creditor is going to look for a few things:

  • Good credit score
  • Proof of income
  • A down payment
  • A history of meeting financial obligations

If you feel you meet all of these qualifications, great! There are various outlets to secure a loan on a travel trailer, and they function similarly to auto loans. Below we will explore a few of the options you have.

USAA

USAA looks to appeal to a more senior crowd, noting on their website that customers are “retired and ready to roll”. However, even if you don’t meet this target demographic, USAA offers competitive loan options either way.

travel trailer loan rates

You can get 100% financing and refinancing on loans of less than $100,000 and 80% financing and refinancing on loans of more than $100,000.

USAA claims to be able to get you a loan quickly and in three easy steps. You just have to 1) fill out their application, 2) wait for a loan decision, and then 3) give them a call.

Interest rates at USAA start from as low as 5.49% APR for motorhomes, fifth wheels, travel trailers, pop-up campers, and truck campers. Of course, this is for people with excellent credit that meet certain other obligations as well. If you don’t meet these requirements, rates can be a bit higher.

If you are interested in learning more, click here to check out USAA’s website.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank offers loans of up to $150,000 and as little as $5000 for motorhomes or other recreation vehicles. Included in the loan options are fifth wheels, pop-up campers, and truck campers.

U.S. Bank advertises flexible financing options as well as competitive interest rates. To get a better idea of how much you would have to pay and at what interest rate, they offer a loan calculator.

If you’re interested in a loan from U.S. Bank, you can find more info here.

Good Sam

Good Sam is a well-known name in the RV loan industry. They offer financing and refinancing for motorhomes, fifth wheels, and various other classes of travel trailers. Another benefit is that they offer financing for full-time RVers, which can be hard to come by.

Good Sam highlights competitive fixed interest rates and long-term loan periods of 20 years for loans over $75,000. Interest rates at Good Sam range from 6.59% on $10,000 loans to 3.99% on a $75,000 or greater loan.

Exact interest rates can vary based on your own financial situation, of course. If you are interested in a Good Sam loan, you can get more info here.

Interest Rates

When it comes to your travel trailer loan, the interest rate is a fundamental aspect. Travel trailer loan rates can vary based on your credit history, principal amount, and loan term. Fortunately, most companies will provide a loan calculator to help estimate your rate.

class c rv loan rates

Good Sam provides a helpful table that offers a general outlook of how interest rates vary loan by loan for a new or used travel trailer.

After consulting many different travel trailer loan providers, typical travel trailer loan rates range from 4% up to 7%, with some variation. Most loans will fall in between these two numbers.

What NOT to do

When looking for a loan, there a few common mistakes that buyers make. We want to help you avoid these costly mistakes, and get the best trailer you can for the lowest price.

The first BIG mistake: paying the sticker price. In our rush to hit the road, we leave our negotiation skills at the door. But, if you want to avoid paying that inflated price, you are going to need to negotiate a little bit.

It won’t take all that much work to bargain down thousands of dollars off the sticker price, but you’ll save a ton.

The second BIG mistake: not knowing your credit score. If you have a good score, above 650, you will be much more likely to qualify for a loan and be eligible for lower travel trailer loan rates. This is beneficial because you will pay lower interest rates than people with lower credit scores.

If you are below this number (650), you may only be able to get a personal loan, which has a much higher rate. If that’s the case, you might consider waiting to make your purchase, or paying in cash if you are able.

The last BIG mistake: not including the additional costs of ownership in the purchase equation. Making this mistake leaves buyers overextended and with a travel trailer that they simply can’t afford.

When you are determining your budget, you need to take into account the initial cost of the trailer plus maintenance and upkeep. Insurance fees, gas, and additional equipment are expenses that can’t be forgotten!

travel trailer loan rates

Summary: Travel Trailer Loan Rates & Financing

The loan you can get on your travel trailer will have an effect on your finances for years to come. Before you walk into the dealer’s office, you should do your research on what your loan options are, and make sure this effect will be a positive one!

It’s essential to keep in mind your budget before looking for a loan. Don’t let the availability of financing trick you into purchasing a trailer you can’t afford. Once you decide on your budget, you need to gather your credit score, a down payment, and your negotiation skills to get your trailer at the best possible price.

Getting a travel trailer loan can be a bit complicated, but we hope this information makes the process a little easier. Best of luck, and let us know if we can help any further!


Written by George Wright

Ultra Light Travel Trailers - Lance

Ultra Light Travel Trailers: Pros, Cons, & 5 Great Brands

If you’ve been researching travel trailers, you know one thing by now: there are a TON of options out there! Before you go any further in your search, one option you might want to look into is ultra light travel trailers.

Ultra Light Travel Trailers - Lance

There are plenty of reasons you might want to consider ultra light travel trailers. You may have a vehicle that can’t tow a 10,000-pound trailer; thus, an ultra light might work well for you. Also, you may not need a ton of space in your trailer and are looking to save some money.

Advantages of Ultra Light Travel Trailers

As we mentioned above, an ultra light trailer is great for a vehicle that doesn’t have a huge towing capacity. Depending on the weight of the individual trailer, you should be able to tow an ultra light trailer with a much smaller tow vehicle than is normally required. This can eliminate the need to invest in a huge pickup truck.

Price is another benefit of an ultra light trailer. Many trailers of this class are built out of cheaper materials so you won’t have to pay nearly as much. They are also typically smaller in size, which also means a smaller price tag.

A lightweight trailer is also going to help out with gas mileage on your tow vehicle. You are going to save a bit on gas pulling a 4,000-pound ultra light trailer versus an 8,000-pound rig.

In summary, the advantages of ultra light trailers include:

  • Lower pricetag
  • Towable with smaller vehicles
  • Often smaller in size
  • Better gas mileage

Disadvantages of Ultra Light Travel Trailers

Ultra light trailers are so light because they are built with thinner materials than other trailers. This has a weight benefit, but it comes with some disadvantages.

The main disadvantage is that you will have more trouble in very hot or very cold weather. The thinner wall panels will make it more difficult to keep your trailer climate controlled. So, if you frequently travel to very warm or very cold locations you may not want an ultra light trailer.

Another important disadvantage is that your trailer is going to be more susceptible to external conditions when towing. Heavier trailers are less vulnerable to cross winds but an ultra light trailer is going to get pushed around more.

These are important factors to keep in mind before getting an ultra light travel trailer, and you’ll need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages in your particular situation.

Best Ultra Light Travel Trailer Brands

There are a few different brands and models in the ultra light travel trailer segment. We will outline a few of the most popular here to help you start your search!

Viking Ultra-Lite

The Viking Ultra-Lite was created as an affordable alternative for families who want a travel trailer. It weighs around 3500 pounds and will be towable by most vehicles.

Ultra Light Travel Trailers - Viking

It is a Certified Green vehicle by TRA Certifications, meaning it is resource efficient and has minimal impact on the environment.

The Viking Ultra-Lite comes in three models, ranging from 3634 pounds GVWR to 3719 GVWR. The smallest size has two bunks while the largest size has a full sized bed plus the two bunks.

You can find more info on the Viking Ultra-Lite here.

Rockwood Ultra-Lite

The Rockwood Ultra-Lite is manufactured by Forest River. It’s created from lightweight materials but does not sacrifice design or amenities.

Ultra Light Travel Trailers - Rockwood

Rockwood offers quite a few different ultra light options, both for fifth wheels and travel trailers. There are 17 different models between the two categories to choose from.

All models offer a kitchenette, dining area, and sleeping area. The ultra light models range in weight from 5536 pounds UVW to 6437 pounds UVW.

Click here for more info on the Rockwood Ultra-Lite.

Livin’ Lite CampLite

Ultra Light Travel Trailers - CampLite

The CampLite ultra light travel trailer is designed around livability and function, but made with efficient materials. It is made completely from aluminum, even the chassis, which creates a super lightweight trailer.

The CampLite is offered in six different paint colors and the interior is customizable as well. There are four different design schemes for the interior.

Aside from the aesthetic customization, you can choose from eight different models with unique floor plans. The smallest model weighs in at 2872 pounds GVWR, while the largest model weighs 5468 pounds GVWR.

All models include a living room and kitchen area, bathroom, and bedroom. If you are looking for additional amenities, Livin’ Lite offers an “XL Living Package” you can look into!

You can find more info on the Livin’ Lite CampLite here.

SolAire by Palomino

SolAire offers a range of ultra light trailer options. The trailers are made from lightweight aluminum and have a barreled roof for additional interior space.

The ultra light trailers come in 14 different models, ranging in weight from 5196 pounds GVWR all the way up to 11089 pounds GVWR. All of their models include a kitchen and dining area, queen bed, and bathroom.

In any model you have the option of adding in some upgrades. These include a TV, air conditioning modifications, and additional bedding.

Click here to find more info on the SolAires.

Lance Ultra Light Travel Trailers

Lance claims to have the highest quality and most innovative ultra light travel trailers on the market. All their trailers are made from lightweight but durable materials to reduce tow weight and increase longevity.

Ultra Light Travel Trailers - Lance

Lance offers trailers from 14 feet up to 23 feet long, varying in weight from 3500 pounds to 6500 pounds GVWR.

The larger models offer more dining and sleeping space, accommodating up to 7 people. The smaller models don’t have quite as much space and usually sleep 2-4 people.

All models offer a sleeping and dining area, kitchen, and bathroom.

For more information on Lance’s ultra light trailers, click here.

Summary

Whether you are buying an ultra light travel trailer for its low price or easy towability, there are some great options out there. Above we have listed just a few of the popular names in this category, but there are plenty more options to choose from.

When deciding whether or not an ultra light trailer is right for you, it’s important to keep in mind both the advantages and disadvantages of this kind of trailer.

If you do end up deciding on an ultra light trailer, we hope our guide has given you a good starting point. Your next step could be to read some ultra light trailer reviews.

Let us know if we can help any further in your search for the perfect ultra light travel trailer!


Written by George Wright

RV consumer reviews

Travel Trailer Consumer Reviews: 5 Places You Can Find Them

Before you buy an RV or travel trailer, you definitely want to check out some RV and travel trailer consumer reviews to see what owning it is really like. There are plenty of good resources out there to connect with other RV owners, but as you probably know, they can be hard to find!Travel Trailer Buying Tips

We’ve combed through the various forums, websites, and consumer resources, and we’ve tracked down a few reliable places you can find RV and travel trailer customer reviews. There is a wide range of information available, from classic consumer reviews to more technical lists of vehicle specifications.

Below, we will include some resources for both types.

RVT.com

This seems to be one of the most comprehensive resources out there. RVT.com provides RV and travel trailer consumer reviews on just about any trailer you might think to purchase. They have a database of dozens of popular RV manufacturers, and you can even find reviews on individual RV brands.

If you click on either the manufacturer or the brand links, it will bring you to a list of 10-20 different models made by that company. You can always expect to find at least one review, sometimes even 20, for any specific model. In terms of sheer quantity, this should be your first stop to find a review.

Best Travel Trailer Brands: Heartland

Aside from just compiling reviews from various customers, this site also offers some unique features. You can search for RV accessories, buy or sell an RV, or find a nearby dealership. If you are looking to buy or sell an RV, you can use the site’s price checker and NADA guide functions too!

They also provide a substantial amount of additional resources. You can get a bit more information on RV financing and insurance, or fraud prevention when buying. RVT also has an online community and blog for you to check out!

AxleGeeks

This website caters more towards RV specifications. They do have an option to review many types of RVs, but it is not quite as popular as RVT. When searching for information, you can choose from 30 to 40 different manufacturers and from there you will find any brand they may produce.

This is a great site if you are interested in the more technical side of RV buying, and it is very comprehensive. AxleGeeks provides info such as length, height, weight, floor plan designs, and more.

RV consumer reviews

If you are looking for more than just information on a particular model of RV, you can browse some additional resources in their Research Guide. Here you can learn about different types of RVs, horsepower, torque, and MSRP. This is a useful guide for anyone new to the world of RVing!

Consumers Digest

Consumers Digest is a trusted name when it comes to making decisions on buying a product. They have been around the block a time or two and are an unbiased starting point when it comes to getting more information about an RV.

They wrote up an article for 2016 about motorhomes, fifth wheels, and travel trailers. They provide some interesting information on recent innovations and expert reviews on certain models.

Consumers Digest has compiled some interesting data, which they have used to create a list of best buys in the RV industry. You have to be a member to view these, but it could end up being a great resource!

RVguide.com

RVguide.com is a high quality resource comparable to RVT. It has a large selection of travel trailer consumer reviews on all of the top brands. The site offers reviews on brands like Airstream, Coachmen, Jayco, and Gulf Stream, just to name a few.

RVguide - travel trailer consumer reviews

Aside from giving you a chance to pick any RV or trailer brand, it includes the most recent reviews that have been written to give you an idea of what people are talking about these days. This is a great feature because it will get you up to speed on all of the 2017 releases you may not have heard about!

RVguide also includes areas to buy and sell RVs, RV insurance information, and an RV blog to connect with.

RV.org

RV.org provides a list of reviews for both motorhomes and towables. The great thing about this website is that it includes models all the way to 2008. They are a non-profit and independent company, but you do need to pay a fee to use their information. However, if you do end up paying, you will get your money’s worth. They easily include over a hundred different brands from various manufacturers. If you’re seriously considering one of these RVs or travel trailers, it’s a small investment to make.

Before you purchase, the website provides you with some more information on how they rate RVs, what types are rated, and an example report so you can know what to expect if you do end up buying.

Summary: Where to Find Travel Trailer Consumer Reviews

Although our list by no means contains all the resources you can find for consumer reviews, it is a great place to start. These websites will provide you with at least one review for just about any RV you could think about buying.

If you are looking for more than just travel trailer consumer reviews, you will be able to find vehicle specifications and links to travel trailer and RV forums to help you get informed. The best thing to do before making a purchase is to get an idea of what it’s like to really own the RV or trailer you will potentially buy, so make sure you consult these sites first!

Once you’ve read some honest reviews and done some extensive research on the trailer or RV you’re thinking of buying, what’s the next step? A great thing to do next is to rent the trailer for a few days. Live in it for a weekend in your driveway. This will give you an idea of what it’s really like to own the trailer, more than you can get from reading consumer reviews. Good luck!


Written by George Wright

rving and the environment

Going Green in Your RV: Solar Panels, Recycling, & Your Vehicle

In today’s world, going green is an important consideration. We are all aware of the tenuous state of the Earth’s climate, and sustainability is at the forefront of many people’s minds.

Thinking about some of the beautiful natural gems in the United States, like Yellowstone National Park or the Grand Canyon, we want to conserve these picturesque places for our children and grandchildren.

So how can we do this on the road in an RV or travel trailer? Below we will outline a few ways we can do our part in making our travel practices more sustainable for Mother Earth, so we can visit the natural wonders of the world, guilt-free.

Recycling

Of course recycling sounds like a no brainer, but is it more than just throwing paper into a different colored trashcan than the rest of your trash? Or was it glass? Or cans?

Recycling means a lot of things, and we will provide you with some tips to improve your recycling knowledge, whether you’re on the road or parked at a campsite.

If you’re at a campsite, give the park’s brochure a quick look and see if they have any recycling programs. At this point in time, most places will have separate containers for your regular garbage, glass, aluminum cans and occasionally organic wastes.

Some easy things to recycle would be your glass bottles, soda or beer cans, and your food waste. If you’re a very proactive camper, you can bring different colored trash bags to separate out all of your different waste products.
rving and the environment

Also, if you’re extra proactive, you can bring products made from pre-recycled items to reduce your carbon footprint.

If you’re having trouble finding places to recycle your waste at your campsite, check out PitchUp, an awesome website which will help you locate recycling bins.

Of course, all of these tips can be used when you’re not on the road as well. Being conscious of how much you consume, driving fuel-efficient vehicles, and not leaving your lights and water running unnecessarily are all beneficial practices! These are all things that will help preserve Earth’s environment, and do your wallet a favor at the same time.

Solar Panels and Generators

solar panels

As a traveller, it’s fun to get off the beaten path. The best, most popular tourist attractions have gained their reputations for a reason, but sometimes it’s nice to get away from all of the hustle and bustle.

When you’re away from electrical hook-ups for an extended period of time, you need to generate power. However, using a gas generator isn’t a sustainable solution. But how do you decide if moving to solar panels is a good option for your style of travel?

Solar panels have advantages and disadvantages compared to generators.rv solar panels

RV Solar Panels vs. Generators

Generators are great at putting out large amounts of power, quickly. If you want to charge your phone, watch TV, and make toast in a climate controlled RV, you’re going to need the many thousands of watts from your generator.

But, if you don’t need all of that, you can still get a good amount of power out of most solar panels.

Generators are great for quick, high-powered bursts of energy. Your panels, on the other hand, are good for sustained but lower output energy generation. They require a good supply of sunlight, but can provide a steady amount of output. Your solar battery will store the energy to supply power during night times and cloudy days when sun exposure is low.

Fortunately, advances in solar technology means panels can pack a punch in 2017. Your solar panels will be able to comfortably charge your phone, laptops, and stand-alone batteries.

Another benefit is that solar panels are low-maintenance, don’t generate noise, and will not require you to carry along combustible fuels.

In summary, you might not be able to take a whole trip just with your solar panels, but if you’re looking for a way to extend your time away from the shackles of an electrical hookup, they are absolutely a viable option.

RV Solar Panel Information & Resources

Check out Talco Electronics’ website for some ideas on products to purchase. They include a more technical look at how solar panels work, which we don’t cover in this article, if you’d like more information.

If you’re interested in more long-term, sustainable solar power, Will Prowse has a great guide on Vehicle Dwelling that covers everything you need.

Your Vehicle

For a lot of us, unfortunately, running out and buying a new RV isn’t feasible. But for those that are in the market for a new RV, there are some great new options for efficient RVs.

RV & trailer makers are creating vehicles from lighter materials, which will help you save on gas and time. Newer RVs are also incorporating more efficient diesel engines that are getting the most out of their fuel. While many older engines struggle to get more than 8 miles per gallon, an more modern, efficient diesel engine comfortably go beyond that.

And if you’re towing a trailer, fuel economy is dependent on your tow vehicle, your hitch, and the size and weight of your trailer.

If you aren’t going to be buying a new RV anytime soon, there are still some fuel-smart decisions you can consider. If you have a vehicle that is compatible with E-85 fuel and are pulling a small trailer, you can decrease your carbon footprint by making the switch from gasoline. You might sacrifice a little bit of mileage and pay a bit extra, but the decision will have a positive impact on the environment.

rv gasoline options

If you have a diesel engine, biodiesel fuels are a potential option. Your diesel engine won’t need any modification and it will reduce your environmental impact.

Many things have to be considered in deciding which RV fits you best, but fuel efficiency should be part of the equation. And it will help you save some cash in the long run!

Summary: Going Green in Your RV

To wrap up, going green has never been more relevant than it is now. Driving your RV is going to have an environmental impact, and there’s no way around that, but by being mindful you can drastically reduce that impact.

How much energy you consume and how you generate it are very important to your carbon footprint. Switching to solar panels is a great decision for the environment, and you can compliment that with a move to sustainable fuels. Being conscientious of what you do with your trash and what products you purchase can help as well.

We hope that you got some new ideas from our article today, and if we left out one of your tried and true tips to go green, contact us and let us know! Happy travels and good luck going green!


Written by Margaret Robbins

best time to buy a travel trailer - research

Best Time to Buy A Travel Trailer

What’s the best time to buy a travel trailer?

Buying a trailer or RV is a hefty investment, and you should do your due diligence before making a purchase. Similar to buying a car, information is everything.

best time to buy a travel trailer - research

It can be confusing when you set out to buy a travel trailer, whether it’s your first or your fourth. Regardless of how much experience you have purchasing recreational vehicles, we hope the information below will help you navigate the process!

Step 1: Establish Your Price Range

If you’re just looking to buy a small pop up camper that is pre-owned, there isn’t much use in checking out brand new rigs with a price tag in the six figures. Window-shopping can be fun, but it’s important to know what you’re looking for.

Like any type of salesmen, RV salesmen will want to sell their most expensive model. You may have to stand firm in your price range, but it will save you and the salesman quite a bit of time.

Step 2: Explore Your Options

The easiest way to get sucked into a bad deal is to buy the first thing you see. When you walk into a dealership and say you’re “just looking,” you probably won’t make friends with the dealer. But, it’s essential in the buying process.

You may end up buying the first trailer you look at, but it’s better to know for certain it’s the best possible option.

best time to buy a travel trailer

Once you have established your price range, you will have a much better idea what model of trailer is going to work best for you. From there, you can browse online or check out brick and mortar stores.

Step 3: Do Your Research

Once you have a better idea of what brand and model you would like, it’s smart to get a better idea of what it’s really like to own that trailer.

Watch a few videos on YouTube, read some customer reviews or ask a friend who has owned it. This will give you some valuable insight into the product before you make the purchase!

Step 4: Seal the Deal

After you have established your budget, browsed models, and decided on which trailer you want, it’s time to make a purchase. You aren’t going to want to pay the sticker price, so you are going to have to break out your negotiation skills here.

Some people will tell you “get at least 20% off the MSRP” or 15% or 25%. The truth is, there is no set amount that you should get discounted. It’s all about how you approach the deal, and when you buy.

Best Time to Buy

So when is the best time to buy a travel trailer? Here, again, you are going to get some conflicting information. Intuitively, you would like to make a purchase when sales are slow so companies will be desperate to make some cash. But, that’s not always the best case.

You will also be told that it’s best to buy right before a new model is coming out, so dealers are going to want to get rid of all the old models. There is no perfect formula, but you will still be able to get a good deal with a little patience.

Our Recommendation

After a thorough investigation of other RV buyers’ experiences, it seems that the best way to buy is by combining everything we have mentioned above. No matter what time of year it is, you will almost always be able to find a good deal if you have followed the right steps before purchase.

Knowing what you want and doing some price shopping will save you thousands. Always make sure the dealer provides you with the MSRP from the manufacturer, and then work from there.

If you have done all of your research but still want to pick the optimal time to make your purchase, winter is probably going to be your best bet. October or November are prime months to make a purchase because old models will start to pile up and clog dealers’ inventory.

People will be selling their old campers in hope of buying new campers when the weather warms up. If you are in the market for a used RV, you will be in luck. But, if you are searching for a new trailer, you should be well off too.

Aside from the increased inventory, dealers will make you a good deal during new model clearance events. The new models will be coming out as the snow starts to melt, just reinforcing winter as the ideal time to buy.

Knowledge is Power

Best Travel Trailer Brands: Dutchmen

This old adage holds especially true for purchasing a travel trailer. No salesman will be able to catch you off guard if you have done your research before making a purchase. Knowing your price range, then going from there, is the best way to start. You can start narrowing down brands and models, and eventually find the perfect fit for your needs.

You should be able to get a good deal anytime of year if you do this! But, all things considered, in terms of the best time to buy a travel trailer, you are better off making a purchase in the winter months. Dealers will be desperate to move inventory and free up some space for new models.

Summary: Best Time to Buy a Travel Trailer

If we left out any tips that have saved you a fortune on a travel trailer purchase, contact us and let us know. We hope you can apply your knowledge and get a great deal on your next RV! Good luck!


Written by George Wright

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

RV Book Recommendations: 5 Essential Books for Your Next Road Trip

Anyone who has taken a road trip knows that after a few hours in the car or RV, there simply isn’t enough music in the known universe to keep you entertained for more than a few hours. Fortunately for you travelers out there, you won’t be forced to stare out the window and wonder how much longer?

Technology has given us the ability to bring the world with us to just about anywhere we go, but sometimes a screen gets old. If you’ve heard the entire top 40, browsed through six months of your Facebook timeline, or exhausted every possible topic of conversation with your traveler partners (you’ve got to save something for the rest of the trip, you know), then keep reading this post, and bring one or all of our road trip book recommendations with you!

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Including Jon Krakauer on this list wasn’t a tough decision, deciding which book to include was. If you’re a fan of reading and adventure, chances are you’ve either read or seen Into the Wild, so we decided to highlight another one of Krakauer’s masterpieces (if you aren’t familiar with Into the Wild, add it to your list as well!).

Into Thin Air is a retelling of a disaster that Jon was involved in while attempting to summit Mount Everest. A freak storm caught everyone scaling Mount Everest off-guard in May of 1996 and some of the most skilled individuals in mountaineering lost their lives. The book gives a chilling account of what it’s like to hike the tallest mountain in the world, during the worst weather imaginable.

A unique aspect of Into Thin Air is that it starts long before they are near the summit, and gives an in-depth account of the journey through Nepal to Mount Everest, grim details and all.

The book also includes photos from the expedition that put faces to the names and concrete images to the places described in the book, creating a truly complete adventure. Although the book recounts a tragedy, it is an inspiring affront to what the human body can overcome in the face of hardship and a tribute to those that lost their lives.

Click here to view it on Amazon.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

For those who have read this story, it is considered one of the great adventure novels of the 19th century. Originally written in the 1840’s by a French author, it has since been translated into English and deemed a literary classic.

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

Edmond Dantes is a sailor who is falsely accused of treason against the French government after meeting with the then-excommunicated Napoleon Bonaparte on the Isle of Elba. Edmond is then exiled to the harshest prison in 19th century France, the Chateau d’If. Back in Marseille, where Edmond lived, he left behind his fiancé, ailing father, and the three men who conspired against him. What follows is an unforgettable tale of redemption, and revenge.

Dantes escapes the prison in miraculous fashion with the help of a priest who has been labeled insane, and goes on to acquire an unthinkable fortune of hidden gold and jewels. After he uncovers the treasures on the Isle of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantes sets out for vengeance against those who created his misery and showers those who have been faithful to him with amazing wealth.

There are many versions, but if you are looking for the abridged book (the original is over a thousand pages) we recommend the Bantam Classics edition.

Click here to view The Count of Monte Cristo on Amazon.

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway’s books are fantastic for a road trip because they are easy to read, but tell magnificent stories.

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

In a famous feud between William Faulkner and Hemingway, Faulkner said that “[Hemingway] has never been known to use a word that might cause the reader to check with a dictionary”. But, Hemingway was talented enough to create a great story in The Old Man and the Sea without the complexities of other writers.

This book relays the tale of an old Cuban fisherman who has hit a dry spell on the water, and one day decides to go as far out from shore as possible to reel in a monster. With the help of a boy on the island, he manages to get all the necessary equipment for his endeavor and sets off early one morning. There, in the open ocean, he hooks what certainly will be a catch for the ages. The battle rages for days between man and beast, and a fantastic story is the outcome.

Click here to view The Old Man and the Sea on Amazon.

The Endurance by Caroline Alexander

Another book that’s in the same vein as Into Thin Air, Caroline Alexander delivers a fantastic tale of disaster and human resilience. In an age of exploration, this book recounts how Ernest Shackleton wound up in the middle of a fight for survival in his quest to reach the South Pole and cross Antarctica.

The expedition took place in the South Atlantic right before the outbreak of the First World War and culminates in Ernest and his 27 crew members becoming trapped in ice floes for nearly two years. From first-hand sources we are able to get a look into what it’s like to be trapped 85 miles from the South Pole with dwindling resources and little to do but wait until the ice thaws enough to make an attempt at rescue.

Photos have been salvaged from the expedition, which add another layer of intrigue to this fateful journey.

Click here to view The Endurance on Amazon.

How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein

how the states got their shapes

A quick Google search will pull up a mass of books to take on a road trip, but unfortunately, the same ten books are on all of them. As a bonus, we decided on a book that may not be getting the attention it deserves.

This is a fascinating book that gives the history of the borders we see squiggled across the map of the United States, and was later adapted into a popular TV show on the History Channel.

If you’re roadtripping across the lower 48, you can share some interesting facts with your travel partners about each of the borders you’re passing over. From the Mason-Dixon line (that sounds familiar, right?) to the acquisition of Hawai’i, this book will leave you a little more knowledgeable about how the 50 states became the states we see today.

Click here to view How the States Got Their Shapes on Amazon.

Summary: Books to Read on an RV Trip

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of new books published everyday. It would be impossible to read even a fraction of the great books that have been written, but here we hope to give you some direction. The hardest part of reading is finding your next book, but these five books are sure to grip you from beginning to end. Whether you’re looking for action and adventure, a classic, or deeper knowledge of the ground you’re RV is driving over, this list has something for you. If we missed a book that you absolutely love, share it with us and our fellow readers. Happy reading!


Written by Margaret Robbins

RV Campgrounds

RV Campgrounds: How to Find the Best Ones for You

If you’re taking a camping trip, deciding which RV campgrounds you stay at is a big decision. The types of campgrounds that will suit you best depends largely on what kind of trip you’re taking.

RV Campgrounds

Today we will explore the different camping styles out there, and which campsite is the best fit for each of those styles. From California to the Florida Keys, this guide to RV campgrounds is an essential read for anyone planning on camping in their RV or trailer anytime soon!

Your Camping Style

Like we mentioned, your preferred camping style and the length of your trip will be the two deciding factors when it comes to deciding which campsite is right for you.

Short-term stays

If you’re taking a cross-country road trip and only staying in each place for a night or two, you want ease of entry and exit so that you don’t waste half of your trip. You may not necessarily need access to all the amenities that a long-term camper will be interested in. For a camper of this style, quick and easy checkouts are a must.

The availability of late night or early morning checkouts could be an important perk as well.

Best RV Campgrounds: Finding your favorite place to stay

Long-term stays

If you are a camper with one destination in mind, you are most likely looking for more advanced RV campgrounds than the short-term camper. Trips of this style usually focus on one area and the attractions that go with it, so location will be an important characteristic. Since you’re going to be staying for a medium to long period of time, access to things like showers, grocery stores, and markets is an important consideration.

If you’re travelling with your family or in a group you may be interested in searching for RV campgrounds that offer additional recreational facilities, like outdoor games or a pool.

Glampers

If you read this and thought it was a typo, you’re not alone. Glamping is the newest trend in outdoor lifestyle, and is a combination of “glamorous” and “camping.”

This is the category of camper who is looking for some of the comforts home while on the road. There’s nothing wrong with being a glamper, but you need to know what to look for in a campground if that’s the case.

These campgrounds usually have high-end cabins that are equipped with everything you’re used to, a comfortable bed, air conditioning, and a big TV. Glamping is becoming more and more popular nationwide so this style of campground is popping up everyday.

Campsite Resources

So now that you have a better idea of what type of camper you are, it’s important to expand that knowledge using all of the available resources. The Internet is a great tool and should be able to provide you with all the necessary information.

If you have friends who camp, they can be great sources of information too!

Public Campgrounds

Fortunately, the United States government is the proud owner of thousands of campgrounds across the country. These campgrounds fit a wide range of interests, and can be great options for long- or short-term visitors. There are various places to look for these, and it depends on which level you’re interested in. The databases are separated by Federal, State Park, and City/County campgrounds

If you know you’re visiting a specific State Park, the park’s website will generally have some information about campgrounds that you can browse through. Federal State Parks will be similarly listed, and you can find these listings here. As a side note, some of the federal parks will allow for reservations and some will only be for walk-ins.

Another site that is worth checking out is RVParkReviews.com to help decide which campground is for you. If you want more information from actual campers, this is the place to go.

Private Campgrounds

Travel Trailer CampgroundsIf you just can’t find any public campgrounds in your area, there are some private clubs that have campgrounds you can check out.

There are plenty of discount clubs out there that offer some cheap camping alternatives. Some of these clubs you can pay to join, and they will frequently have promotions listing campgrounds that you can stay at for half price for a limited number of nights during the off-season. Three sites worth checking out are Passport America, Happy Camper Club, and Camping World.

Glampgrounds

Since glamping is a new trend, the information out there isn’t quite as developed as for the rest of the camping world. However, one valuable site you can browse is glamping.com.

This is a great resource for glamping because it provides destinations not only in America, but worldwide so you can take your travels to every corner of the globe! It will also provide you with some additional information on styles of glamping if you are considering it for the first time.

Summary: Finding Your Favorite RV Campgrounds

After reading through our article, we hope that you have learned a little bit about yourself as a camper or found a new style of camping you never considered.

You don’t need to limit yourself to one of the styles of camping we mentioned above, you can mix and match different styles during your trip. Maybe one day you’ll be roughing it out in the Rockies and the next you’ll be glamping in Southern California. That’s the great part about RV camping: it’s flexible and customizable.

All the resources mentioned above will help give you some guidance while planning your trip, but if we missed out on any essential pieces of information, contact us and let us know! We read every email and try to respond as best we can.

Have a great trip!

Best Travel Trailer Brands: Jayco

Travel Trailer Brands: 2017 Complete List of Manufacturers

If you are looking for a new travel trailer, you might be overwhelmed by all the different brands out there. Today, there are more companies than you can keep track of to make a purchase from. Today’s list of best travel trailer brands should help give you some direction.

Note: this is a list of travel trailer manufacturers, but many of these companies also make fifth wheels, toy haulers, truck campers, and more. If you’re interested in companies who make smaller travel trailers, you can find plenty here.

Best Travel Trailer Brands List

Listed below are some of the largest travel trailer brands in the industry, and will be a good place to start searching for your next recreational vehicle!

Jayco

Best Travel Trailer Brands: Jayco

Founded in 1968, Jayco has since established themselves as the “nation’s largest family-owned and operated RV manufacturer today.” With their humble mission to produce quality products, Jayco’s travel trailers are crafted to suit your RV needs. Jayco offers fifth wheels, travel trailers, toy haulers, and class A and C motorhomes.

Lance

Best Travel Trailer Brands: Lance

Lance has been awarded the DSI Award (Dealer Satisfaction Index) for quality almost every year. Some important patented ideas were sparked by their focus on dedication to produce eco-friendly products. Some examples of their patented inventions include, LanceLock™, the use of Azdel™, Lite-Ply™ and the removal of all Mercury making a completely eco-friendly, toxin-free RV.

Learning from their dealers and getting feedback from their customers has become the main focuses of the company. Lance offers truck campers, travel trailers, and toy haulers.

Coachmen

Best Travel Trailer Brands: Coachmen

Coachmen’s website makes purchasing a travel trailer simple. They offer dealer locators, a 2 step RV finder, how to videos, information about insurance and roadside assistance and, most importantly, a price estimation calculator.

Coachmen has been around since 1964 and is one of the most trusted brands you can find. They pride themselves on high quality construction and durability. Coachmen offers motorhomes, toy haulers, fifth wheels, travels trailers, and camping trailers. They also offer one model of destination trailer.

Dutchmen

Best Travel Trailer Brands: DutchmenSome of Dutchmen’s most popular brands include, Aerolite, Aspen Trail, Coleman, Denali, Kodiak, Razorback, Rubicon and Voltage. Dutchmen travel trailers are highly sought-after for their stylish décor and homelike feel. In addition, they have large storage areas and versatile floorplans.

Dutchmen highlights their ability to innovate and their strong value as two major selling points. The company offers toy haulers, fifth wheels, expand-ables, and travel trailers.

Airstream

Best Travel Trailer Brands: AirstreamAirstream is one of the most highly regarded travel trailer brands. For cool vintage style travel trailers, Airstream’s Land Yacht Series doesn’t disappoint. It’s pure luxury and even incorporates some of the sophisticated qualities of the world’s most extravagant watercraft.

Airstream also came out with a Tommy Bahama Special Edition Travel Trailer for those who want to spice up their RVing and give it a “beach vibe”. Airstream calls this model a “beach house on the go”. Along with the Tommy Bahama, Airstream offers travel trailers and touring coaches.

Airstream has been around since 1931, and you can see many of their classic trailers from the mid-20th century still on the road today. Airstream trailers are built to last a lifetime.

Keystone

Best Travel Trailer Brands: Gulf Stream

Durability is the perfect word to describe a Keystone Travel Trailer. Keystone Travel Trailers all feature “unprecedented towability, excellent fuel economy, spacious living interior and contemporary décor”. Keystone specializes in travel trailers, but also offers toy haulers, fifth wheels, and destination trailers.

Heartland

Best Travel Trailer Brands: Heartland

Heartland is one of the newer brands around, but is still known for making high quality products. They offer quite a large variety of options, ranging from luxury RVs to smaller travel trailers. Based in Elkhart, Indiana, Heartland is a solid option for your next travel trailer.

CrossRoads

Best Travel Trailer Brands: Crossroads

Founded in 1993, CrossRoads is located in Topeka, Indiana. They pride themselves on creating high quality products that consumers can appreciate. On their website, they highlight their efficient use of space in vehicles and good customer service after purchase. CrossRoad offers travel trailers, fifth wells, and toy haulers.

Gulf Stream

Best Travel Trailer Brands: Gulf Stream

Gulf Stream was founded in 1971, in the small town of Nappanee, Indiana. It has the benefit of being a family business, and is still controlled by the Shea family today. Gulf Stream offers 22 different brands and 140 unique models. This company offers motor homes, travel trailers, and fifth wheels.

Forest River

Best Travel Trailer Brands: Forest River

Forest River was founded in 1996 by a man named Peter Liegl. The company’s vision was to help people enjoy the great outdoors through the production of high quality recreational vehicles. Forest River prides itself on building top quality and highly dependable vehicles. They offer quite a few options to choose from, like motorhomes, fifth wheels, toy haulers, and travel trailers.

KZ-RV

Best Travel Trailer Brands: KZ-RV

KZ-RV is located in Shipshewana, Indiana and offers a wide range of products. They offer travel trailers, fifth wheels, and toy haulers. KZ offers lightweight trailers all the way up to luxury fifth wheels. One great thing about this brand is that if you’d like, they will help you plan your next vacation!

Grand Design

Best Travel Trailer Brands: Grand Design

Grand Design Recreational Vehicles is a relatively new competitor compared to other travel trailer brands. They were founded in 2011 and are currently based in Middlebury, Indiana. But don’t let that fool you – Grand Design prides itself on long-term quality of its products and a focus on customer service. They also highlight their three-year warranty as an industry leader and important selling point. Grand Design offers travel trailers, fifth wheelers, and toy haulers.

Oliver Travel Trailers

Best Travel Trailer Brands: Oliver

Oliver Travel Trailers is located in Hohenwald, Tennessee and focuses on a wide array of products. Oliver prides themselves on their manufacturing experience and industry certifications.

The company is RVIA certified and NATM certified, lending them credibility in the recreational vehicle market. They offer many different models of travel trailers for customers to pick from.

One great thing about Oliver is that they have built a community for their customers. You can browse the recreational vehicle lifestyle on their website, and interact with other customers.

Eclipse Recreational Vehicles

Best Travel Trailer Brands: Eclipse

Eclipse Recreational Vehicles was founded in 2003 and has since developed into one of the biggest manufacturers of toy haulers and travel trailers in the United States today. The company is located in Riverside, California and offers up 50 types of travel trailers, fifth wheels, and toy haulers.


Written By Margaret Robbins

living in a travel trailer on your own land

Living in a Travel Trailer on Your Own Land

If you love getting off the beaten path in your travels, you may bring that tendency back home with you. If you are considering living in a travel trailer on your own land, consult this article before you make that decision.

We are fortunate enough to live in one of the freest countries in the world. But, unfortunately, even those freedoms have a limit. In early 2016, the United States government made an important decision regarding the classification of RVs as permanent places of residence.living in a travel trailer on your own land

Our government has ruled that it is not legal to live in your RV year round. If you would like to read the full mandate, you can find it here. You can also find plenty of videos on this subject on YouTube.

However, no need to worry! There are plenty of ways you can still do this (legally!) for a majority of the year.

Let’s take a look at a few things to consider in preparation for living in a travel trailer on your own land.

Preparation

The first step in this process is finding a plot of livable land. To cut down on the hassle, finding a home outside of your city limits will make this decision simpler. You will be able to avoid the regulations and zoning laws that apply within the city.

living in a travel trailer on your own land

The next step is to figure out how to get access to the basic utilities you’re going to need. You will need to plan the logistics for getting connection to water and electric lines, Internet and phone service, and a septic system.

If it will be impossible to get access to these in the plot of land you’re thinking of buying, you may want to reconsider.

Building off of that, you will inevitably need to make some trips into the nearest town for supplies. So, keep in mind where some key establishments are located, like hospitals, grocery stores, and gas stations.

Moving In

Once you find a good plot of land, you need to prepare it to move in. You may want to rent some equipment to clear out trees or other natural obstacles. You should plan out a way to get the plot of land to a minimum level of habitability and budget accordingly.

living in a travel trailer on your own land

If you are looking for more than just an open space to park your RV, you can consider sprucing up your new land. Some ideas would be laying a concrete foundation for parking, adding a patio, or planting a garden. These additions are up to personal taste, but can make your new living arrangement feel like a home.

Important Considerations

Living off the grid has its perks, but it comes with an increase of responsibility. There are certain benefits that you have while living in the city that you will now need to provide for yourself.

You will need to keep in mind how you will protect your property in a sparsely populated area. If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, like tornado alley, you will need to formulate a plan to prepare for a potential incident. Lastly, how you will get access to the essentials listed above, like food and gasoline, need to be thought of.

We don’t think anything bad is going to happen if you make the choice to go off the grid, but it’s important to be prepared for everything.

Summary: Living in a Travel Trailer on Your Own Land

Making your more out into the country is an exciting decision. It gives you the freedom to live how you want, but it comes with some important considerations. Planning ahead is an essential aspect of living in a travel trailer on your own land.

Like we said, it is unfortunately not legal to live on your own land full time in an RV. However, it is still possible to live there for the majority of the year. Although enforcement varies greatly by county, we don’t encourage you to break the law.

Each area has different restrictions, so it’s a good idea to do some independent research to see how your county handles this law. Some places allow you to live in your RV for three months, then spend a few days off the property before returning.

If you are a little bit creative, you can easily make it work. If you think there is any essential information we missed out on, drop us a comment below. Good luck!


Written By George Wright