Airstream Cougar Finding the Perfect RV preparation RV equipment

Heart or Head – Searching for the Best Family Travel Trailer – Newschool Nomads

Discovering a new RV

We began our search for a new RV the moment we determined to sell our previous one. My heart bleeds gypsy blood and to not have an RV would make the subsequent few years really feel much more like a prison than it already does. Okay, so I’m being slightly dramatic but we love having an RV for many reasons. It makes touring reasonably priced. RVing allows us to be distant or as urban as we need to be. It’s one in every of the methods our family connects and creates eternally reminiscences. RVing allows for extra snug and prolonged visits with household. I really like my household but I also love my area.

Once we first started RVing many years in the past we had a pop-up trailer that we liked. We might park it underneath the shade of the Sequoia timber in the Sierra Nevada Mountains or along the California Coast. It was good for that time of our lives. Since then we’ve found we love winter RVing so a pop-up isn’t going to work. We’ve additionally grown a bit and have been spoiled by our 41’ Gateway fifth wheel.

cedar-creek silverback 5th wheel camper

In between the pop-up and Gateway, we had a 35’ Cedar Creek fifth wheel. It was actually nice however the massive boys actually needed more room if we have been going to keep full timing and I used to be kinda uninterested in the small kitchen counter. The one factor we beloved about the Cedar Creek was the shorter size opened up more camping choices. Many parks have 35’ length restrictions and we slot in numerous driveways. The Gateway at 41’ not fit in my or Brent’s mother and father driveway and infrequently we couldn’t stay in some parks because it was too massive. We don’t remorse buying the Gateway and would purchase it over again if we have been full time RVing however now that we aren’t, we’re wanting for one thing shorter so we have now more options.

Last but definitely not least, we not have the diesel 3500 Chevy dually to tug the RV. After some dialogue we determined that we didn’t need to proceed paying those costly truck funds for a truck that our complete household couldn’t slot in. In hindsight, we should always have bought a inexpensive truck that seated six. Or perhaps not. Six of us in a truck would have been tight particularly with two automotive seats. So after numerous analysis we determined to purchase a diesel Ford Tour. I’ll do another publish on shopping for the new SUV because plenty of  research went into it however the in need of it’s that it will possibly seat six individuals comfortably and it may well haul a heavy load giving us more options for journey trailers, the level of this publish.

So without any more rambling let’s speak journey trailers. It seems to us there aren’t as many bunkhouse floorplan variations for journey trailers as there are for fifth wheels. Also there aren’t as many slideouts presumably to keep the weight down since slideouts are heavy. So we’ve been making an attempt to prioritize and work out our wants for RVing. While we aren’t full time RVing we do plan on taking a 2 month journey every year and need to be snug. So here is what we’re considering up to now.

Weight – A trailer that weighs lower than 10,000 pounds unloaded (UVW). The lighter the higher but we will go up to 10,000 so long as we make some modifications to the Excursion. Again another publish.

New or Used – Our first two trailers have been used they usually held up nice. Usually, we purchase the whole lot used so it was an enormous deal for us to buy a new trailer once we bought the Gateway. We had checked out in all probability over a hundred floorpans and it was the only one we liked every part about and it was new that yr. In fact. We decided it was value it to purchase the Gateway although we not often purchase new. We are facing the similar drawback again, a couple of of the flooring plans we love are new this yr. Obviously, we would like to keep value down and buy used. Nevertheless, we don’t remorse our purchasing the Gateway new at all. Surprisingly, it held its worth very properly and we bought it shortly. Since we had such an amazing experience with a brand new rig (the warranty is good) we are contemplating new.

Slide outs – Are slide outs a must? In that case what number of and the place? Two slide out bunkhouse trailers are likely to put one in the back bedroom and another one in the middle dwelling space. Three slide out trailers have a couple of extra choices. Some have one in the back bed room and two in the middle. Others have two in the again bunkroom and one in the center. A couple of have one in each room. Regardless, if we determine we “need” slide outs, we try to determine if we would like more room in the front room or bedrooms. We are leaning in the direction of additional front room area but making an attempt to determine how essential double front room slide outs are to us.

Bedroom Format – At first it looks like the solely journey trailer flooring plan choice was a again bunkhouse and a front queen bed with the head of the mattress located at the front of the trailer. But then I discovered the entrance bunkhouse fashions. These sometimes have more room round the grasp mattress and since the littles sleep in our room with us (they do in our home too) this might be rather more snug and give Brent a great area to work for prolonged journeys. The tradeoff is a smaller bunk room but the youngsters they don’t want as much area as they as soon as did since we aren’t full time. Even in our Gateway they spend a variety of time lounging in their beds so we are leaning in the direction of a larger main bedroom.

“Character” – Earlier than we went on the street we looked at a classic bus and I liked it. It had a lot character and character. Nevertheless virtually outweighed character for full time RVing. Since this one is for part time only, we are considering something more “fun” like a classic camper. We love transforming/renovation tasks and assume it might be enjoyable to renovate and older trailer and make it something that “fits us”. Nevertheless, vintage trailers sacrifice trendy comforts and we simply aren’t positive we need to sacrifice trendy comforts.

It’s arduous to say what “best family travel trailers” actually are because every family has totally different needs. After months of research these are the journey trailers that we expect can be greatest for our household.

Cougar X-Lite 32FBS


The Cougar X-Lite 32 FBS was the first journey trailer flooring plan we came across with a rear main bedroom. Once we went to Indiana over spring break, we saw it in individual and liked it. There’s a ton of area in the again bedroom and there’s extra floorspace in the Cougar entrance bunkhouse than some other journey trailers as a result of the slide out closet and two versus three or 4 bunks.


The downsides to the Cougar are: it’s only obtainable new and it solely has one slide in the most important space. Nevertheless, since there isn’t an island the the flooring area is about the similar. It’s really simply sacrificing counter area.

Highland Ridge Open Range Mild LT308 BHS or Roamer RT310BHS

While at the dealership taking a look at the Cougar, we noticed the Highland Ridge Open Vary Mild LT308BHS. I used to be impressed with all the area the second we walked in. Though the grasp is in the entrance, there’s nonetheless extra room in the master than different travel trailers of the similar format as a result of Highland Ridge adds four inches in width over the normal width of most journey trailers. If you end up talking area in RVs a number of inches could make a HUGE distinction. Highland Ridge additionally comes with a 2 yr guarantee and is understood for its quality build.


The Roamer RT310BHS is principally the similar floorpan but with an extra slide out closet in the entrance bed room for a complete of FOUR slides!


We completely LOVE these Highland Ridge flooring plans and if they have been in our finances we might buy one in every of these in a heartbeat.

Puma 32FBIS


We haven’t seen the Puma 32FBIS in individual but while I used to be looking for entrance bunkhouse journey trailer floorpans I came across this one. I really like the format with the main bedroom in the again and the double slides in the dwelling space.


We’re involved about how this one would do in colder climates though so we can be performing some extra analysis. Additionally the entrance bunkhouse is just a little tight if there’s an outside kitchen nevertheless it’s wonderful with out the outside kitchen. A number of extra with this nice flooring plan are the Prime Time Lacrosse 336BHT and the Prime Time Avenger 32 FBI. We aren’t conversant in the Prime Time brand but we love the layouts.

Grand Design Reflection 308BHTS


Grand Design is a more moderen model. We toured a Grand Design fifth wheel once we filmed the reality show, Going RV, last yr. They appear to be of very top quality. Then we went via considered one of their travel trailers at the RV show in Denver a couple of months in the past.


We actually appreciated the finishes. Although the trailer has a entrance main bedroom, it felt a bit of more spacious that some of the others we’ve toured.

Cross Roads Zinger ZT29DB



Because of my OCD, I’ve been checking Craigslist multiple occasions day and got here throughout the Crossroads Zinger 29DB. We really like the again bedroom and the way the bunks lie horizontally in the front slicing down on the size and weight of the trailer. Whereas we don’t LOVE this RV, it’s reasonably priced and can be snug for our household without adding debt. Because it’s used I wouldn’t have emotional hold ups about portray brand new cabinets and walls. It will be a lot fun to do another RV makeover!

Vintage Airstream

For years, Brent and I’ve talked about shopping for a vintage trailer or bus.  In a submit I wrote in March 2011, I mentioned my dream of rolling down a dusty highway in an Airstream, a shiny piece of Americana. We love bringing previous issues again to life. Though, we don’t have expertise renovating a trailer, we did renovate two 1950s homes in California. A trailer can’t be that much more durable to revive than a home, right? Years ago, once we bought our pop-up trailer, our tow car was a Honda Odyssey so we have been very limited by weight and finances. At this time, we’ve a much bigger finances and tow car so perhaps now’s the time to pursue our dream of restoring and transforming a vintage Airstream! We have now an ideal area to park it whereas we work on it.

We’ve been researching and really love the 1980’s Excella models, notably the 34 footer with the double beds in the back. We’ve all types ideas to customise it to fit our family and character. The draw back, in addition to the lack of slide outs, are the costs of older Airstreams are throughout the map and good offers sell actually quick. Critically, we noticed the actual trailer we needed for $7200 however it bought the night time earlier than we referred to as. The same fashions are ranging from 9K t0 20Okay and upwards! The upside is Airstreams are properly constructed and maintain their value.

There are such a lot of decisions and every one has their execs and cons. Do you have got experience with any of these manufacturers or models? Ought to we go together with our heart and purchase a vintage Airstream or use our head and buy a more moderen RV? What would you do? We want to decide soon!

Love and Laughter,
Jenn and Brent

Should you loved this submit think about connecting with us! 1. Signal up to have posts emailed to your inbox. 2. Subscribe to the RSS Feed or three. “like” Newschool Nomads on Facebook  Simple dimple!

Like food and health? Comply with alongside as I film a workout in each state and discover finding a healthy stability on the street at Woman Heroes!

Publish Views:

About the author