We have compiled a list of the 10 Most Googled Travel Trailer Camping Questions. The travel trailer questions most searched on Google show that people are searching for everything from full time rv lifestyle questions to “How to” articles about camping with a travel trailer.
So if you are considering moving into an RV like a camping trailer, planning to hit the road and travel across the country, looking for an rv rental, or just looking for some travel trailer camping tips this article is for you!
1. How Do I Winterize a Travel Trailer?
Saying the word “winterize” makes many RVers a bit sad. If you aren’t a snowbird, then you immediately think of the winter project that lies ahead and realize you’ll be RV-less until spring comes knocking at your door.
Here are some basics you’ll need to accomplish winterizing your travel trailer.
- A non-toxic RV/Marine antifreeze. The amount depends on the layout and length of your plumbing lines. Generally, 2 to 3 gallons will do.
- A water heater bypass kit is needed unless one is already installed.
- If the RV does not have a built-in black tank cleaning system, purchase a black tank cleaning wand.
- A water pump converter kit or tubing. This will connect to the inlet side of the water pump.
- Hand tools to remove and install the drain plugs.
Step 1: Remove any inline water filters. There should be a bypass hose you can install when the filter is removed at a sink faucet. Drain the fresh water holding tank.
Find a dump station and drain the gray and black water tanks. While there, use the built-in black tank cleaning system or use the cleaning wand. Drain the water heater tank only when cool. Never drain it when it’s hot or under pressure.
Step 2: Open all the cold and hot water faucets. Flush the toilet to ensure water is drained from plumbing lines. Remember to drain the outside shower as well. Locate the low point drain lines for your cold and hot water and remove those drain plugs.
A 12-volt water pump can be used to force any remaining water out of the system. However, be sure to turn the pump off as soon as all water is removed. Not doing so can cause damage to the water pump. Recap all the RV drains and turn off all inside faucets.
Step 3: Bypass the water heater. Many RVs come with a water heater bypass kit. If yours did not, you can install one or have it done at an RV service center. Not bypassing the water heater, will cause the water heater tank to first fill with antifreeze before going through the water lines. You’ll then be unnecessarily using 6 to 10 gallons of antifreeze.
Step 4: To introduce the antifreeze into the water system, install a water pump converter kit. Your other option is to disconnect the line that comes from the fresh water holding tank and connect a section of tubing from the water pump inlet into a one-gallon jug of antifreeze.
Step 5: Turn on the 12-volt water pump. This will pressurize the system and begin to pump the antifreeze throughout the water system. Start at your water faucet that is closest to the 12-volt pump, slowly opening each valve until you notice the pinkish colored antifreeze appear.
Replace the antifreeze container as needed. Continue this process, from the closest to farthest faucet throughout the RV. Be sure to turn on the outside shower as well if equipped with one.
Step 6: Flush the toilet until you see the antifreeze appear. Pour one cup of antifreeze down each drain and into the toilet. Flush the toilet to ensure the antifreeze reaches the blank holding tank. This ensures any water remaining in the grey or blank tanks will not freeze. If the water heater’s heating element is electric, turn the switch off. Ensure all faucets are closed.
Step 7: Read the RV Owner’s Manual for specific winterizing guidelines for your particular make and model. Some RVs are equipped with built-in winterizing systems. If your RV is equipped with an ice maker or washing machine, consult the Owner’s Manual for instructions on winterizing or contact your RV dealer.
2. How Do You Level a Travel Trailer?
Ensuring your travel trailer is level is an important step. Your gas refrigerator will not function properly if the RV is not level. Leveling the RV also makes it more comfortable for sleeping and walking around inside.
It’s easily accomplished with some plastic leveling blocks or wood scraps. The first step is to park the RV in a spot that is as flat as possible. Bring along an inexpensive level, such as a bubble level. Keep the RV hooked up to your vehicle until you’ve leveled it from side to side. Lay the level from left to right on the RV’s doorway. If the bubble does not align in the middle of the level, the side of the level that is lower is the side of the RV you’ll need to raise.
Place leveling blocks near the tires, either in front of or behind. Plastic level blocks snap together to give whatever reasonable height you need to raise one side of the RV. The blocks form a ramp when snapped together, making it easy for you to drive forward or back up until your RV tires are sitting on top of these blocks. Pieces of wood can be used, but wood takes up storage space and adds weight to the RV. If using wood, the pieces should always be wider than the RV tires.
Ensure the tires are completely on the level blocks or wood. If they are not, it will weaken the tires over time. Readjust your travel trailer, so all tires sit securely on top.
Have a few wheel chocks on hand to place in front of or behind the RV tires. You may feel this is not necessary, but for everyone’s safety, it’s wise to use them. You may wish to place the chocks snuggly behind the tires on one side of the RV and in front of the tires on the other side. Wedge them in place by hand.
Place one or two pieces of wood (2″ X 10″) under the tongue jack (the front part of the trailer that connects to your vehicle). The wood will keep the trailer level during use. It is now safe to unhook and move your vehicle.
Set your level, this time front to back, once more in the RV’s doorway. If the bubble does not align in the middle, a front to back adjustment is needed. Adjust the tongue jack by cranking it up or down depending on which way the trailer needs to move in order for the bubble to align in the center of the level.
Now place a small piece of wood under each stabilizing jack. These are located at the four corners of the travel trailer but are not meant for leveling the RV. Lower the stabilizing jacks, planting each one firmly on the wood. This prevents the RV from rocking back and forth and keeps it stable while you are moving about inside.
3. What Is a Travel Trailer?
A travel trailer is also considered a recreational vehicle or RV. It is non-motorized, so also considered “towable.” Depending on the type of travel trailer, the size of the travel trailer and its weight, many can be towed by, or hitched to, an SUV or pick-up truck. Some small, lightweight models can even be pulled by a car.
They first became popular in the 1950s and were referred to as a “bumper-pull” because they were attached to the bumper of the tow car. The now modern travel trailers are much more stable, safe, and secure. A hitch is mounted at the rear of your vehicle and specialized hardware used to make towing safe and easy. And attaching a travel trailer to a tow vehicle with a weight distributing hitch and sway bars is more stable than ever.
Some advantages of travel trailer campers include:
- Models ranging from 13 feet to 40 feet can fit nearly every campsite and budget too
- Single-level living for those who don’t like the stairs of a fifth wheel
- Once you unhitch at the campground, you have your vehicle to get you around
- Lots of floor plans to choose from ranging from singles to couples to families
- Solid walls and locking doors for added safety and security
- Models are available with no slide outs to single or multiple slide outs.
4. What are the Best Small Travel Trailers?
You may ask, “What length travel trailer is considered small?” With the variety of travel trailers on the market, those 20′ or under are generally categorized as “small.” While you could be entertained for an immeasurable amount of time checking out small travel trailers, we’ve listed a few here that may pique your interest.
Some camper trailers have a bathroom while others are ultra-light and small and do not. But they all have their advantages and disadvantages.
Forest River R-Pod: This camper is just plain, fun! It’s given great reviews for workmanship and comfort. There are 11 different floor plans to choose from, but on average runs 20′ in length, has one small slide out, and a wet bath (shower, sink, toilet combined). You can keep camping enjoyable and easy in this cool trailer.
Escape: This travel trailer comes in four different floor plans ranging from 17′ to 21′ in length. The average weight is 2,200 lbs. which makes this very camper manageable and easy to tow. The reviews tout great quality, lots of amenities, and you can even customize your own.
Aliner: If you’ve ever owned a pop-up and liked it, you’re sure to fall in love with the Aliner. There are 11 different floor plans to choose from, two of which have a shower and toilet. Lengths range from 13′ to 18′. The Aliner can be folded down to store in your garage, but when set up, it will be the talk of the campground.
Mantis Camper: Inspired by NASA, this in one unique 18′ travel trailer. The roof pops up for added space, and it sports an integrated electrical and plumbing system. A wet bath, kitchen, study desk, full sized bed/couch, and a bunk bed round out the interior.
Winnebago Drop: The Winnie Drop comes in four unique floor plans, ranging from 18′ to 20.4′. The WD170S offers a full bath, while the others come with wet baths. All have full kitchens and plenty of sleeping and storage space. The WD170K has a small outdoor kitchen at the rear of the camper.
Most travel trailers are not cheap but if you have a dream of living in a camper to save money rv living can certainly be less expensive than living in a house. One of the best ways to save money is to buy a used camper rather than a new one because they are less expensive. But if you want a new travel trailer then check out our article below called 9 best Travel Trailers Under $10,000.
5. How Much Does a Travel Trailer Weigh?
The smallest of the small can weigh under 1,000 pounds, while larger travel trailers can weigh as much as 10,000 to 13,000 lbs. It’s a weighted question, for sure.
On average, travel trailers range from 5,000 to 6,000 lbs. dry. The dry weight just means that it is the weight of the trailer without any gear, gas water groceries or even the RV travelers themselves included. The weight varies depending on make, model, amenities, slide-outs, and construction materials. Naturally, more weight will be added to the RV with each slide-out it has.
Cabinetry, televisions, an outdoor kitchen, bunk beds, and the like continue to increase that dry weight figure. If you choose to travel and your fresh, gray, or black tanks have not been emptied, that too will increase the tow weight of your travel trailer.
Depending on your vehicle of choice, you’ll want to purchase a travel trailer that is within the appropriate weight limit for towing. Lifestyle, family size, living area, price range, and even destination choices all come into play when deciding what size travel trailer best suits your needs.
6. How Wide is a Travel Trailer?
Most travel trailers are 8′ wide. There are several manufacturers that make widths of 7′. Many people may find that a smaller width travel trailer is easier to tow given the fact that your side mirrors allow you more visibility of what’s behind you, and you feel more comfortable traveling within your lane of traffic. Of course, be it 7′ or 8′, many travel trailers come with one slide out or more, providing additional living space on the inside.
You’ll not find travel trailers more than 8.5′ wide. Most states in America require an oversized load permit on vehicles towing anything wider than 8.5′.
7. How Much is My Travel Trailer Worth?
Let’s face it, most motorized vehicles depreciate, be it an RV, a car or a boat. Knowing what your travel trailer is worth is as easy as checking prices on Nadaguides (www.nadaguides.com/rv) or Kelly Blue Book (www.rvbluebooks.com). This might be a good place to start to give you a general idea of your travel trailer’s market value.
Don’t stop there, however. RVTrader.com is an excellent way to note what travel trailers like yours are selling for, be it through a dealer or private owner. It’s a good website that will allow you to custom search for a particular year, make and model. This allows you to identify how many travel trailers like yours are on the market throughout the country, and each one’s asking price.
8. How Much is Travel Trailer Insurance?
On average, insurance for a travel trailer cost between $150 and $800 a year. A travel trailer will cost you less to insure than a motorhome simply because it is not a motorized vehicle.
Depending on your insurance deductible, and the make, model and year of your RV, insurance prices will vary. If you choose to include roadside assistance coverage, it will add some costs to the insurance.
If your auto insurance company provides roadside assistance and a comprehensive plan for RVs, it’s typically a good idea to get a quote from them. Multiple vehicle coverage could provide a discount on your annual insurance cost.
You may also want to check out insurance companies well-known for insuring RVs, such as Good Sam, RVInsurance, National General RV Insurance, or Progressive. It may prove worth your while to insure your RV with another company and package it with a roadside assistance plan. Roadside assistance plans cover from the basics to the ultimate when it comes to breakdowns during your travels.
9. What Size Generator Do I Need for a Travel Trailer?
This question brings us back to, what are your needs, and what size is your travel trailer? Many people wish to explore every national park or many of the public lands offered through recreation.gov.
That’s an awesome goal, but you’ll find, while not all, a majority of these RV campgrounds have no hookups so you will need a generator. Many allow generators to run but only during particular hours of the day.
You’ll want enough wattage to run your air conditioner plus an additional 600 to 1000 watts for a total of 3000W to 4000W. This ensures you some A/C during summer or the ability to run a small heater in colder months. You could run some lights, perhaps TV and/or kitchen appliances.
Most RV refrigerators run on propane, so in order to save wattages, switch your refrigerator to propane while dry camping. Generators are run by gas or propane. When it comes to making a choice, each power source has its pros and cons.
10. Do I Need a Battery for My Travel Trailer?
Absolutely and your travel trailer should come with a deep-cycle style battery. First and foremost, a battery gives power to your tail lights, brake lights, and electric wheel brakes, which enable you to travel and operate legally.
The electrical appliances and lights run on a 12-volt DC power. The battery in your travel trailer keeps the 12-volt running and functioning properly. Without a battery, your detector for carbon monoxide or propane leaks would not function. For the safety of you and others in the RV, these detectors should always be kept in good working order.
1. How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Travel Trailer?
Yes, you can rent an RV travel trailer for your camping trip. In fact, we recommend you rent a travel trailer before buying one so you can see if you like it or not before you buy one.
Susan and I rented a Class C RV before we bought ours and we learned everything we liked and didn’t like about Class C RVs so we were able to make a great buying decision – the first time.
Check out our article below where we discuss travel trailer rental prices and how you can find your best deal.