When you think about buying an RV to explore new places and give your family an enjoyable way to take vacations, you probably think about the usual RV options – motorhome, trailer, fifth wheel, or camper. These four options make up the majority of RV’s on the market, and are what most people look for when they start RV shopping. Any of those four can be great choices depending on your needs and what kind of travel you wish to do. However, there is another option that can be great for those who are new to the RV world and want to make a smooth transition for as little upfront cost as possible.
What is a Tent Trailer?
In this case, the name pretty much says it all – it is a tent/trailer combination that is pulled behind a vehicle just like any other camping trailer. Most of the models on the market ‘pop-up’, meaning they are relatively low-profile while being towed, and then they are popped-up and setup the rest of the way once you arrive at the camp site. While most tent trailers don’t include as many amenities as other RV models, there are many advantages to this option that warrant a closer look.
Start with the Cost Savings
One of the top reasons to consider a tent trailer is the lower cost to get started in the RV world. Since tent trailers are usually smaller and less-equipped than other RV models, the purchase price is also significantly lower. In addition to a lower sticker price, the cost to own on a tent trailer should be lower as well. In many tent trailers the only electrical system is the wiring to run the brake and tail lights on the trailer, so there is very little that can go wrong and need to be repaired.
Another major cost savings that you might be able to experience is the fact that your current vehicle could be capable of towing the tent trailer – meaning you wouldn’t need to buy a truck to haul your new RV. Many tent trailer models are lightweight enough to be pulled by a small SUV – or even a large sedan in some cases. Check into the towing capability of your vehicle and the weight of the tent trailer you are considering before making a purchase.
Simplicity Can Be Beautiful
If you are transitioning from camping in a regular tent to using an RV, the tent trailer is a good middle ground. It will allow you to sleep up off the ground, give you a covered place to sit and relax, and provide more space than most traditional tents. At the same time, you still get to feel like you are out in nature and experiencing the outdoors. Over time, you may wish to move into a full-size RV with all of the amenities, but the tent trailer is a great way to get started.
Easier to Access More Locations
The small size that most tent trailers offer has another benefit – being able to go more places. Large RV’s are often restricted to where they can go by their length or height, but that won’t often be the case when you are pulling a small tent trailer. They are light weight and not particularly long, so the vast majority of roads should be able to be navigated while pulling this kind of rig. Some models make it possible to attach a small boat or kayak to the top of the trailer while in transit so you can bring along your favorite toys for the trip.
The best way to think of a tent trailer is that is occupies the space between tent camping and a traditional RV. Those who choose to own a tent trailer generally like the comfort and convenience of having a larger indoor space, but don’t want or need all of the other amenities (and costs) that come along with a full-size trailer or motorhome. For the person who is looking to get started owning their first RV, the tent trailer (also called camping trailer) makes a lot of sense. If you think you would enjoy this option, stop by a local RV dealer and ask to see their inventory of tent trailer models. You just might be impressed by what you find.