The first, a 21 foot single axle unit with an open floor plan. We both fell in love with it. Although it didn’t have the tandem axles I was hoping for, it was a great layout for a young couple with 3 little kids. And it fit in the budget.
The second was a 24 foot model. Although I didn’t really like the floor plan, Kris really seemed to like it. And it had the tandem axles I was hoping for. We ended up buying this one.
As we found out several months later, Kris went along with this trailer because she thought I really wanted the tandem axles. I went along with it because I thought she really liked the floor plan. As it turned out, the only thing it had on our list was tandem axles, and we really didn’t need them.
The Snowball Of Our Biggest RV Mistakes.
Starting with that first mistake, the cause and effect of more mistakes down the line ended up costing us thousands. Here is the chain of RV mistakes, in order.
Not Finding Out What Our Vehicle Could Tow
We owned an Oldsmobile Cutlass wagon when we bought this trailer. With a V8 and rear wheel drive, this thing should pull anything. Right?
Wrong. The rear end wasn’t geared for towing. On our first trip to the beach, about a 100 mile journey, it rarely made it out of second gear. Had I done my homework, I would have known ahead of time and either made the appropriate upgrades on the wagon or we would have picked a trailer that was about 1,000 pounds lighter.
As it turned out, that little 21 footer we both were really happy with would have been fine.
Buying The Wrong Hitch
As a money-saving step, I found a used hitch. It was a weight distributing hitch, rated up to 15,000 pounds. Knowing the trailer was less than a third of that weight, and was a great price, I jumped on it.
Along with being the slowest RV on the road, cruising along in 2nd gear, the ride was hideous. It wasn’t bouncy. It was Violently bumpy. If you know anything about weight distributing hitches, you know that those load leveling bars flex. Not!! a 3,600 pound trailer doesn’t flex the bars on a 15,000 pound hitch system. It just shakes your teeth out.
Had I done my homework, I would have known to look for a hitch that maxed out at 5,000 pounds. It’s also important to point out how lucky I was that nothing was damaged. I could have easily bent the frame on the trailer.
Adding a Few Needed Accessories
We call this putting makeup on a pig. In an effort to make the trailer a better camping experience all around, we refinanced the RV at a better interest rate. We also added a new weight distributing hitch with the proper rating, an air conditioning unit and an awning with a screen room and add-a-room feature.
Buying A New Vehicle
Being a muscle car enthusiast, I wish I had that Cutlass now. It would be a real eye catcher. But we decided to trade it in and buy something that fit our family and would tow the trailer. The replacement was a conversion van. Now we had a trailer that we thought would work, and a really cool van to tow with. We also had bigger payments on both.
I’m not sure how we might have seen this one coming, but that van had one serious flaw. If you are prone to motion sickness, a short ride in the back of one of these vans will have you tossing cookies in no time. That was the case with one of our daughters. We couldn’t get out of the neighborhood without the poor kid getting sick.
Assessing The Situation
Remember, we started this out with a cute little tent trailer. The payments were low. You could pull it behind a 4 cylinder car and it was a blast. It just wasn’t going to work until our twin girls were a year or two old.
Now we found ourselves with a trailer we were never happy with, a tow vehicle we couldn’t use, and a couple of big payments.
Needless to say, we ended up trading it all in on a practical family car. Camping would have to wait a year or two and we would regroup, starting with a tent.
Glamping In A Treehouse
Kris found a great glamping destination for this week. In fact, we may give this one a try. The Mohicans Tree Houses, Cabins and Event Center in Glenmont, Ohio is this week’s pick. Follow the link to Themohicans.net for details.
All this, a Classic or Griswold, and a phone call about camping coffee in this episode of Tom and Kris Camping.Share This: