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#74877 - 03/20/02 12:54 AM Pros and Cons of a tent trailer.
HBP Offline

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 941
Loc: Everett,Wa
I'm tired of sleeping on the ground and am looking at different types of trailers for the family. I think campers are out because I drive a 1/2 ton with a 6' bed. I'm leaning towards a tent trailer so I can haul my 15' aluminum boat on top,I also like the idea of more options as far as campsites go. Does anybody have any experiences, good or bad with tent trailers. Any advice will be appreciated, Thanks.
- the sun and the sand and a drink in my hand,with no shoes,no shirts,no problems.

- no boss, no clock, no stress, no dress shoes,no shirts, no problems. - Kenny Chesney -

#74878 - 03/20/02 06:17 PM Re: Pros and Cons of a tent trailer.
TRAUT Offline
Juvenille at Sea

Registered: 05/03/01
Posts: 216
The April issue of OUTDOOR LIFE has an article detailing the pros and cons of tent trailers vs. campers, motor homes, etc. Basically the major pro is cost as compared to other options. They are lightweight and easy to tow. Tent trailers are way COLD when the weather is the same, and not very secure - i.e, easy to break into. Even with modern fabrics, they all wear out eventually. Given the choice, I'd rather sleep in the back of my pick-up w/ a canopy on it, and have done so forever. Trying to get turned around at the end of a logging road and just general off pavement driving w/ a trailer is a major pain. If you're like me, the last thing you need is one more vehichle around to license, insure, maintain, and store. Check out the OUTDOOR LIFE article, maybe a mini motor home or van conversion would work, but again it is an extra rig if you intend to keep your pick-up. GOOD LUCK.

#74879 - 03/21/02 08:03 PM Re: Pros and Cons of a tent trailer.
Little Fish Offline

Registered: 09/28/01
Posts: 970
Loc: Seattle, Washington
I have a friend who owns one. We've slept 4 guys in it comfortably and I actually think 5 would work just fine. The biggest problem I see is you need a place to dry the thing out if you are camping in rainy weather. As with any trailer setup you can only tow one thing behind your truck at a time so a boat and trailer wouldn't work.

We've done a winter camping trip the last several years and the little propane heater in that trailer cranks. Never been cold even at below freezing temps (of course the heater was running non-stop).

Oh ya, last thing. Nice to fall asleep in when its raining.


#74880 - 03/21/02 08:33 PM Re: Pros and Cons of a tent trailer.
QwikSticks Offline
Juvenile at Sea

Registered: 04/13/00
Posts: 152
Loc: Brier, WA
We picked up an older pop-up made by palomino with hard sides last year. It has really worked out well for us. Its always dry, has heater, water etc. being able to cook and move around and dry your gear out in November when its pouring makes it all worth it. not to mention we can have it closed up and moving to another spot in about 30 min should we not like where we are staying. Its hasn't been a pain to tow around so far. Whenever we decide to go fishing we can make the decision to head wherever and be on the road in 15 minutes since we pretty much keep all the gear in the camper year round. just have to grab the fishing bag and go.

Its worked well as a base camp. you can put a boat on top, but make sure you can haul your boat around in the back of your truck after camp is set up or moor your boat at a dock or keep it on the beach. kinda sucks when you have to break everything down to go fishing at 5 AM. If your drift boating well then your gonna need another vehicle anyway so have a buddy tow the boat.

#74881 - 03/25/02 12:28 PM Re: Pros and Cons of a tent trailer.
Dalmar Offline

Registered: 11/14/01
Posts: 99
Loc: Western Wa.
I've used a Tent trailer since '95. I love it! I'v had two campers and a motorhome. For me there are less drawbacks with the tt than the other two methods. Anyone who says they are cold has never been in one. My wife is one of those people who is always cold and she will go along elk hunting and is totally comfortable with the furnace it has. Below freezing we go through 5gal of propane in two days and nights. When away from trailer I turn furnace off and leave one stove burner on low to keep chill off is all. They heat up in 10 minutes. I do have a shop to put it up inside to dry it out before storing away. Rent one for a weekend, I think you'll like it.

#74882 - 03/25/02 06:59 PM Re: Pros and Cons of a tent trailer.
Pintail Offline
Eyed Egg

Registered: 03/19/02
Posts: 9
Loc: Snohomish
I have a 19' travel trailer that I pull with a 1/2 ton. GET A TRANNY COOLER!! $50 will save you a new transmission!

But this works great - easy to pull. They are bomb proof. safe comfortable, warm or cool when you want.

You can find these for pretty cheap. I bought a Nash for a bit more, but worth every penny!!

Good camping cool

#74883 - 03/26/02 11:06 AM Re: Pros and Cons of a tent trailer.
HBP Offline

Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 941
Loc: Everett,Wa
Hey Pintail, that's good advice for anyone towing a trailer. That is the first upgrade I did when I bought my truck.
- the sun and the sand and a drink in my hand,with no shoes,no shirts,no problems.

- no boss, no clock, no stress, no dress shoes,no shirts, no problems. - Kenny Chesney -

#74884 - 03/26/02 09:29 PM Re: Pros and Cons of a tent trailer.
Big Woody Offline

Registered: 02/21/02
Posts: 52
Loc: Gold Bar Wa
To HBP : I bought a used Starcraft tent trailer about 4 years ago. It goes up in about 15 minutes and the same for the takedown.

I've used it a lot during the spring and summer and last year in November when I went deer hunting.

I have a little buddy portable propane heater that heats it up real nice, and it stayed dry even though it rained like h--l for the entire week.

It towes nice behind my explorer. I built a rack to put my boat on top too. I think they work good. The only thing might be the security issue. Though if people want , they can get into anything.

#74885 - 03/26/02 09:45 PM Re: Pros and Cons of a tent trailer.
MJ1 Offline

Registered: 11/27/01
Posts: 20
Loc: issaquah,wa
I have rented one for a week in each of the past 7 years for the annual elk hunt. Easy to tow, put up take down etc. etc. and very comfortable. They come with almost as many options as campers. If I was more into camping on a regular basis I would not hesitate to buy one.

#74886 - 03/27/02 09:11 PM Re: Pros and Cons of a tent trailer.
kingfisherman Offline
Juvenille at Sea

Registered: 02/22/02
Posts: 105
Loc: Renton Wa
I have a 5th wheel and everyone says I pull my house around with me. For your questions on a pop up I have two friends with them and they enjoy them alot. They have know problem with the heat in them, they warm up well and if you get the new fabric you will have no water problems. The only thing they both have said in lines of draw backs is that you can not just pull into a sit late at night when its raining and jump into the camper you have to set it up while everyone sets in the tow car. I told them the kids should do that after all you brought them along. "lucky kids"


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