We gave good news for anyone interested in purchasing a travel trailer for RV travel: there are about nine-million different brands to choose from, so you won’t suffer from a shortage of options.

And we have some bad news for anyone interested in purchasing a travel trailer as they begin their own personal RV lifestyle: there are about nine-million different brands to choose from, making your final choice a difficult one.

We know because we just finished the agonizing task (90% facetious and exaggerated) of choosing from among the nine-million.  But more on that later.  First, let’s talk about your options in RVing.

A quick definition of travel trailer

A travel trailer is a trailer which is meant to be pulled behind a vehicle on an RV trip, generally an SUV of pickup truck, for the purposes of recreation, camping, and lodging while traveling.  The length of travel trailers ranges from eight feet to over thirty feet, and the width is in the 6-8 feet range.

What they are towed with depends upon the towing capacity of the towing vehicle and the hitch weight.  There are small trailers which can be towed by passenger cars, but generally speaking, most travel trailers are towed by vehicles which have a towing capacity of over three-thousand pounds; thus, the reference to SUVs and pickup trucks.

Types of travel trailers

We can break down the different types of trailers into five classifications:

  • Toy haulers
  • Pop-up trailers
  • Regular travel trailers (stand-up)
  • Hybrids
  • 5th-wheelers

The vast majority of travel trailers sold for RV travel are hard-sided, stand-up trailers, either made from fiberglass or aluminum.

Multiple manufacturers of travel trailers

There are probably twenty major manufacturers of travel trailers in the United States which sell, perhaps, 75% of the trailers in this country. The other 25% if divided between an equally long list of small, independent trailer manufacturers like Snoopy 2 and Elusive Trailers.

And, to further complicate your choice, each of those manufacturers produce various lengths of their name brand.

Like we said, there’s good news and there’s bad news.

How to choose from among so many

The approach we took, and please note there are various approaches to this dilemma, is we took a look at the towing capacity of our ancient, 2000 Ford Ranger V6 pickup truck.  Turned out it had a maximum towing capacity of seven-thousand pounds; however, having never towed a trailer, and not having complete faith in our truck, we narrowed our search down to trailers weighing three-thousand pounds or less.  That quickly narrowed our options down considerably, but still we were left with too many options.

We literally spent a year trying to decide. We talked to other trailer owners. We watched hundreds of YouTube trailer videos. We read countless articles and reviews, and of course we went to trailer dealerships to see them “in the flesh.”

Still no decision!

We finally said (my wife and I) that we would know it when we saw it, and that’s exactly what happened.  While out running other errands, on a whim we pulled into a dealership about thirty miles from home, and on their lot was an Elusive Lo Pro trailer, sixteen-feet in length, 3,000 pounds, solar and propane for power, and made by a two-man team in a small company in Oregon.

We fell in love with it immediately, and one week later we were the proud owners.

The only advice we have for you, as you contemplate the RV life, is this: don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff.  The travel trailer you are purchasing is meant to provide fun and enjoyment for you. Don’t let the process ruin that enjoyment.  Approach it with an open mind and a willing heart. Consider what you have and what will work with what you have. Consider your budget, obviously.

And, when the time is right, you will find the travel trailer which was meant for you.

Happy travels to you all!