Travel Trailer Update

Small Bumper Pull Trailer

So, after all of the research I have done to come up with the best possible travel trailer with the cheapest outlay of cash, I am a little stumped.  We have a tow vehicle that can tow 5000 pounds max with 500 tongue weight.  The tongue weight is a problem.   Man is it a problem.

Part of my objective is to put a travel trailer together that could be lived in for a month at a time while we look around and enjoy the beautiful country we live in.  Unfortunately, with my current specs, we are looking at some of the smallest models and a max of 22 feet with some of the “ultra lites”.

I  have found a few Flagstaffs that can do it, but I want to be a lot closer to unloaded weight of about 3000 pounds.  I hate hybrids, so the choices are small.  For a family of three it will be tight.

Andrew has been excited about this project and we have gone to look at a few of them.  He wants them all, and price is not a consideration for him.  Just ask him!    Elizabeth is on board, but I do believe a few nice options will be best for both of us, as we want to be comfortable without spending too much.

I suspect over the next month I will find it.  After all, it is something new and a challenge we all want.   Living in a trailer, staying at great locations, sometimes with full hookups and sometimes boondocking, is exciting.

Living in an RV

An RV Versus a Brick and Mortar Home

rv at biltmoreTrying to live as cheaply as possible is a challenge.  A challenge that I’m willing to take on.  However, I have a family and it may not be done growing.  When I look into all of the possibilities of turning bills into a memory, the full time RV lifestyle catches my interest.

I had no idea anyone would live in a travel trailer.  How is that even possible?  Then I started looking into it and I wonder why I never thought of it before.  I have the type of skills that would allow me, in the future, to work the hours needed, but I still had to make a lot of money to live the life, we currently enjoy.  So, how do people do it?  It looks like we are stuck on the treadmill traps of life.  Make more, buy more.

We do not have a lavish life, but we do spend a lot of money.  Our home as rooms that we don’t really use and a yard that we spend more time mowing than playing in.  I started to think, maybe we are missing something.  Let’s face it, I work hard to have things that I don’t really have time to enjoy, including my family.

I have looked at the possible types of trailers and I think the smaller bunkhouses are all that is needed to have a good place to sleep and be safe.  With the travel trailer’s mobility, we would need to stay ahead of the weather to have the best time easing into a new life style.  But, the real problem is trying to live without all of the modern comforts that seem to be allow extremely lazy behavior get in the way of real life.Home vs RV

The challenge is on and I have enjoyed looking into the very basics of freedom from debt and I’m hooked.  But, hooked in a good way.  I want to have a better life for my family and I want to be a big part of it.  I want my time to be spent enjoying the people I’m here to enjoy life with and not spending my time getting “shiny things” I don’t really have time to stare at.

For now, I need more information and time to plot the right course.  After all, I know how to work hard to make money.  Now, my challenge is to work hard to have a better life.

A Truck on the Horizon

Truck Purchase: Ford, Dodge or Chevy?

I can’t seem to find a vehicle other than a truck that will be able to pull a travel trailer without constantly worrying about the weight of the rig.  Therefore, I am moving on and closing the possibility of even light weight or smaller trucks.  I just have to find a good 1/2 ton pickup truck and that is all there is to it.ford truck

I am now moving forward with either Dodge, Ford or Chevrolet.  I was able to eliminate Nissan and Toyota for different reasons.  I felt the Nissan trucks towing capacity were a little to close to my limit and the Toyotas are just expensive compared to Ford, Dodge and Chevrolet.  These trucks without any type of additional equipment appear to haul 7000 pounds and with some add on products can do much better.dodge truck

The challenge is now to get the truck for under $20,000 which means used.  It is not possible to get a new truck at all and so the used market will now hold my attention.  The other issue is whether I can get away with just an extended cab or do I need four door handles?  I’m not sure, but on with the research.  I think all of the trucks look great.  The gas mileage appears to be about the same and the quality is similar.chevrolet truck

Perhaps, I will have to solve the four door issue and then work on V8 vs. V6 vs. Diesel.  For now the journey continues and I will keep you ‘posted’

Best Reasonably Priced Tow Vehicle

Nissan Tow Vehicle-  The Armada

Am I going to get a travel trailer?  Probably.  Are we going to want to live in it and be happy?  I don’t know.  It doesn’t really matter unless we move towards finding out.  And that means we need a vehicle that can pull a travel trailer.  Right now, we have a Nissan Pathfinder with a CVT and V6 and it isn’t a bad tow vehicle.  According to Nissan, this vehicle can pull up to 5,000 pounds, but I have concerns about a CVT based on the manufacturer giving us an extended warranty.  Plus, 5000 pounds isn’t much weight and we need to be comfortable.

With all of the types of trailers, I think it is possible to get a fully loaded travel trailer and keep it around 5,000 pounds, but that is the Pathfinder limit.  When I look out there in the world of tow vehicles, the only non trucks that make some sense are the giant SUVs such as the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban.  Or Ford has the Expedition and a few other models of this type of caliber, but they are all crazy expensive.

Part of the travel trailer life style is to be frugal and these vehicles are anything but.  We can look at 5 Vehicles that make some economical sense and can still pull some weight.

Pathfinders should be considered.  As should Jeep Grand Cherokee, Dodge Durango, Nissan Armada and a Toyota Sequoia.  These are the vehicles I believe have the best bank for your buck, but it is difficult to choose when the 4 door trucks that pull more weight and have a bed to haul extra items are within reach.

For now, the hunt goes on…