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Unread 03-13-2013, 12:56 AM   #1
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Default Camper or Tent Trailer?

It's a possibility that I'll be working out of town this summer, so I've been taking a quick look at cheap campers/trailers I could possibly get.

They each seem to have their pros and cons.

Camper Pros: sturdy, seem to be cheaper on average, cool looking, can use whenever truck is parked

Camper Cons: raises the center of gravity, worse aerodynamics, small on the inside, loss of bed space

Tent Trailer Pros: more inside space, still have the entire bed to fill with stuff

Tent Trailer Cons: flimsier, less maneuverable, more expensive on average, have to get the trailer insured.

For a camper my max weight is 1260 lbs, and for a trailer my max weight is 2000 lbs. I'd also have to wire my truck for trailer lights but that's easy and I'm planning on doing it anyway. As you can see I had a hard time coming up with pros for either of them, so it's really a lesser of two evils sort of thing.

Of course, If I really wanted to be cheap I could put my canopy on, throw a tarp over than and have a mattress in there. But that would be far less comfortable that the other options.

Thoughts?
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Unread 03-13-2013, 01:14 AM   #2
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Are you only going to drive on the street, or plan to go wheeling?

If you are going wilderness camping a trailer only goes so far, but then again, how far are you going with a top heavy truck off-road. Neither is great off road. Both can be dropped off to go wheeling. The trailer is quick and easy to drop off, the camper not so much. You need a pretty level area with hard ground to set a camper on.

If you are just going to the camp ground a trailer works well. If you are OK with backing up a trailer I'd go that route. I really don't like driving a top heavy truck! I drove a 3/4 ton GMC to Tofino and I hated it, swaying and cornering scared the crap out of me and it was not a pleasant drive. Our family bought a camping trailer and I towed that with our old GMC van, I could really make time with that, much easier to tow than pack a camper.

Most trailers have more room than most campers. Most trailers have better bathrooms than campers, wifey would appreciate that.

Campers get "old" quickly, all that swaying twists the shell and leaks and loose doors are common.

Trailers are cheap to insure, under a $100 for the year.

We had a camping trailer for about 10 years while the kids were growing up. loved it.
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Unread 03-13-2013, 01:45 AM   #3
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Nah, this would be street only (gravel road at most probably), If I want to do serious backwoods camping I'd just use a tent

Room isn't a huge issue as it would just be me inside it. The only thing that concerns me about trailers is that my bumper/tow ball is rated at only 2000 lbs, and that my engine/transmission/rear end combo is "not recommended for towing" as per my ford owner's manual. I've never driven with a trailer before, but I'm good at reversing, how hard could it be?

Here's some examples:

http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/va...667890713.html (camper) pushing it for the size and weight, looks very nice and roomy but also very top heavy, would have to drive very carefully.
http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/bn...643412982.html (camper) very cheap, small enough to not adversely affect handling, but also very cramped and the roof needs fixing (nothing a tarp can't do though)
http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/rd...675071961.html (tent trailer) this was the best I could for cheap, only problem is that it's a 2" ball hitch (I have a 1 7/8")

Good point about setting the camper down, I didn't really think of that.
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Unread 03-13-2013, 02:11 AM   #4
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The first one looks not bad for the price, sure looks big for a small truck.

I'd really rather tow than carry the weight. Have you driven with a camper on a small truck, it's not fun at all, very tiring and you need to watch far ahead so that you don't have to make any sudden switches side to side. A camper is very susceptible to cross winds!! Scarey even.

That tent trailer will tow nicely behind a small truck, you will hardly know it.

With a trailer once you reach your destination you can drop it off in a few minutes and take off to town or go wheeling.

Old campers are not known to take well to frequent on & off, and the structure takes a beating with twisting and the wood joints will be loose and the attached jacks will be wobbly. I hate jacking a camper way up on those wobbly jacks and seeing how unsteady the whole procedure is.
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Unread 03-13-2013, 10:37 AM   #5
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Tent trailer. No question.
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Unread 03-13-2013, 12:00 PM   #6
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Definitely a trailer, 2 inch balls are on pretty much everything now days(from my experience). They are cheap to switch out. My CRV isnt really made to tow but it pulls 2 600 pound atv's no problem haha
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Unread 03-13-2013, 04:41 PM   #7
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Trailer. Campers look silly and they'll wear out the bushings that hold the bed on in no time. Plus they're a bear to remove when you actually need the bed for something.
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Unread 04-10-2013, 02:14 AM   #8
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Thanks for reminding me of this thread

But actually, I just found what looks like a really good deal on a tent trailer

REDUCED FOR QUICK SALE! 1982Tent trailer

I'm gonna contact him about it now, thanks for the advice guys!
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Unread 04-19-2013, 10:46 PM   #9
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It turns out that it was one of my buddies selling that trailer, so he held on to it for me and let me have it for $500!


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Unread 04-19-2013, 10:53 PM   #10
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repack the bearings before you start using it.
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