Woodalls Open Roads Forum: General RVing Issues: Should I get a different camper
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Open Roads Forum  >  General RVing Issues

 > Should I get a different camper

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bigtime_077

Vassar

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Posted: 03/05/14 08:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hopefully I don't get laughed at too much as I have to believe that some of you have had this same thing happen.

Last year my wife and I bought a beautiful used 2010 StarCraft Travel Star 197 RB. The camper is in great shape and was hardly used. We used it 6 or 7 times last year and it worked very well. We bought the hybrid because at the time we had a Chevy Trailblazer with a 5.3L engine but I didn't want to over due it with a small short wheel base vehicle. So flash forward a couple months and we trade the Trailblazer in for a 2013 Chevy Silverado Crew cab with the 5.3L and 6 speed transmission.

Now the wife thinks that we need a larger camper. She really wanted a 5th wheel but after talking to 3 different dealerships here they are steering me away from the 5ers because while it can be done the hitch system and the sidewinder needed to pull it would cost me around $2000 installed and the hitch I have now will work may only need to get heavier spring bars.

Here is the part where I am torn. We paid $12,225 for the camper last year. Blue book on it is down to $11,000 and I have been offered as much as $9500 in trade. We would be looking for a used travel trailer with a super slide as that is the reason for looking to change it up. Basically the wife doesn't care for the damp feeling in the morning from the hybrid and she wants more floor space as we have one child now that is 15 months and one on the way in October so she is looking for something that a pack and play will fit on the floor. I am stuck between a rock and a hard place because I don't want to take a $3000 hit on a camper we have used 6 times.

Any advice is it worth taking the hit and going to a travel trailer or do I suggest to her that we keep it for a few more years and get some more use out of it but then that also risks the camper value to continue to drop.

Only other thing I can really think of is to wait until the weather clears up here then put it up for sale myself to try and cut my losses to sell ours outright before I buy another.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I am pulling my hair out here.

Oasisbob

Portland Oregon 97266

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Posted: 03/05/14 08:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Is bigger really better? Our HTT is 19 feet and there is a USFS park near us that has a 22 foot max length. Might be a consideration. If this is a cash purchase and you can afford it go for it. If borrowing money I personally would not even consider it. IMHO Happy trails either way


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notruffinit

Minnesota

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Posted: 03/05/14 08:19am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am sitting here smiling. Not because of you dilemma, but because I was remembering when we had a little one and one on the way we made a decision to end out tent camping and get a Jayco popup to pull with our minivan. Golly, that was a big step up for us and it was so convenient because we were no longer sleeping on the ground! Good luck in your decision and keep camping. It helps keep the family together and gives you time away from distractions to concentrate on the important things in life ----- those little ones you are raising.


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GaryWT

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Posted: 03/05/14 08:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi, first off 5th wheel in a 1500 is too much payload for the truck even the 1/2 ton towables so a TT is a good choice. Second a happy wife...

Many change their minds and upgrade after a year or two. With a trade if possible, the dealer will add the trade difference into the new loan so it washes out somewhat. If you sell on your own, it might be closer on the numbers but will be more work on your end and will take longer so it is up to you as to what it is worth. Sometimes dealing with people and showing the trailer is not fun.

Good luck, hope it works out.


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rjxj

Florida

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Posted: 03/05/14 08:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would take the hit now. I always buy used so others can tell you more on the depreciation but the highest percentage is going to be in the first few years and slow as it ages.

Okie1

Oklahoma

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Posted: 03/05/14 08:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

You could not be more wrong, there are many combinations out there that work great with half ton trucks. Just because it is not your personal preference does not make it wrong...

GaryWT wrote:

Hi, first off 5th wheel in a 1500 is too much payload for the truck even the 1/2 ton towables so a TT is a good choice. Second a happy wife...




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wbwood

Lake Norman, NC area

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Posted: 03/05/14 08:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If it were me, I wouldn't be looking for too much more of a TT than the length of the one you already have. That 19' hybrid probably opens up to at least 23' or more. I wouldn't be looking over that or 25' in a TT. Not that your vehicle can't pull a larger one, but pulling a larger one brings on other things. Even with WDH and sway bar, you will still feel a bigger push while towing it. For the two of you and one child, the size you have is plenty. Especially if you are using it only a handful of times a year. You also want to consider the places you camp. If you go to resorts or koa's, then no problem. If you go to places like federal parks, then many of them have more smaller sites than they do the larger sites. With a smaller camper, you have more options of sites to choose from. Plus a smaller camper is more meanueverable than the larger ones.

If you sell it on your own, you may make more money. But you won't have the traffic like the dealership will and you won't have to deal with the paperwork/financing also. Will it be worth it to maybe make an extra couple grand?

Also, remember this. If your current campers functions as it should and there are no issues, then that is awesome. The next used camper (or even new) may not. The grass it not always greener. Especially when dealing with used campers. You never know what issues they have that are hidden. And also, when you upgrade up, you normally take on more features and things that can break or go wrong. Keeping it as simple as you can stand is often a good thing.


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richardwise

new philadelphia, ohio

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Posted: 03/05/14 08:52am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've heard you should buy your last camper first. And go bigger than you think you need at the moment. Campers do tend to "shrink" the more you use them. The more you use your current camper, the less you will both like it.

stetwood

Wisconsin

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Posted: 03/05/14 09:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Look at it this way, the cost of a new camper is going to be $3000 more because of the choice you made initially, which was the best choice you could make at that time. Is it possible that you could use a tent for the daytime for the pack and play? Also unless you have air or are using heat ANY camper will still have that "damp feeling". When growing up (centuries ago) I knew of families of 6-8 who lived in homes with less than 600 sq ft.

You also don't say what size pickup you have now. That will determine the size of 5th wheel you will be able to get. Also as those kids get bigger consider if you want bunkhouse, or are willing to convert the table and sofa to beds.

TxTiger

North Texas

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Posted: 03/05/14 09:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would do all the necessary due diligence on the towing and weight ability with your 1/2 ton first, then see what your options are.

If you find that you can handle more size/weight than you currently have and like the TT options that fit better than what you have, then I would take the hit and go for it.

I'm not sure how the trade-in works on a TT, but on a vehicle here in Texas you don't pay sales tax on the trade-in amount. If you have the same situation, you will save the amount of the sales tax on the value of your trade-in.

Good luck.


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