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Old 01-15-2020, 08:50 PM   #1
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Smile Should we upgrade/buy a bigger trailer?

I would love to hear your advice! Two years ago we bought an Apex Nano 93BHS. It was the biggest, nicest camper our TV would allow and had room for both of our kids in bunks. Now, two years later, we have a new TV that can tow almost 3000 lbs more and our oldest teen prefers to tent! Our 13yo daughter still comes along with us, sometimes with a friend, but we are looking to the future when more (if not most) of our camping trips are just the two of us.

We can now tow a heavier camper that would give us more storage, a bigger kitchen and bathroom (problems in our nano) and a bedroom with a door while still having a dinette/couch bed for our daughter. We are looking at the Rockwood 2512 or 2605 specifically. A new camper would be usable now, but better-suited for our retirement travels. Should we upgrade now to a bigger, more comfortable rig or wait a couple more years?

While we can afford a new trailer, we will lose money selling the old one as we owe more than it is worth.

What do you think? Thanks for sharing your experiences!
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:27 PM   #2
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Hi, we bought the Rockwood 2906WS and when our daughter comes with us the couch folds out for her and can sleep two if needed. We love the openness and it is perfect for just the wife and I when camping alone which is often.
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Old 01-16-2020, 10:17 AM   #3
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Jenny, you're somewhat where we were when we upgraded. We owed some money yet on our older, smaller model, but in our situation we had simply outgrown what we had. We have three teenage boys. Yes, they usually spent nights in a tent, but in very hot or rainy weather, our trailer got very crowded! We were fortunate to be able to pay out our old trailer, and sold it after purchasing our Silverback.

I think it comes down to if you're comfortable with the financial side of it. Personally we weren't out a whole lot of money, and our new trailer checked off a lot of boxes on what we needed and was a pretty good deal. If it can work that way for you, perhaps look at it closer?
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:15 AM   #4
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Children and grandkids reach that certain age where they don't want to camp with you anymore. If that age hasn't been reached yet in your case, I'd do the upgrade so that you can all enjoy more space and amenities now. Believe me, when it comes to the time when it is just the two of you, your needs will change significantly, so you'll be looking at still another configuration. Another thing to keep in mind are the specs for your new TV. Make sure you don't overdo it. Just because you can now pull more weight doesn't mean you necessarily should.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:57 AM   #5
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Boy, this is Deja vu! My wife and I went through this same discussion several years ago. Looking back I almost wish that we had kept our smaller bumper pull trailer. It was easy to put just about anywhere. Now we have a 13' tall 34' long behemoth that restricts where you can camp and has seriously complicated slide outs and electronics. It is nice to have the bigger bathroom and bedroom with a door but sometimes I wonder if it was really necessary for something that we use 6 to 8 times a year. I would decided what you really have to have and go as small as possible to achieve those goals.
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Old 01-16-2020, 12:25 PM   #6
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Depending on how long it is to you are near or at your retirement, I'd stay put, pay down the rig you have now with making extra payments or paying more on the principay every pay'mt, and enjoy the heck out of it.

My DW and I are on our third motor home. Our first rig was a 2000 Allegro which we traded in in 2012 for our Georgetown in my signature because the Allegro was showing wear and tear. When we bought the GT our plan was if all goes well we would make one more move up nearing my retirement. Last summer the GT was showing wear like needing new furnishings (hello Forest River) so we looked around and found our 2014 DP with only 15K miles on it and looking like it was never used. Planning a cross country trip to Napa in September.
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Old 01-16-2020, 01:31 PM   #7
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Too small will take the fun out of camping...if not for you; your loved ones. We tend to think in terms of our comfort and that's OK if you only want a party for two. If I didn't have a wife and family; would be happy in almost anything.
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Old 01-16-2020, 01:45 PM   #8
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we have been a similar boat as our children grew.. Our first trailer was a 12' popup, within 18 months we were in a 21' Hybrid and then 3 years later we purchased a 35' 5th wheel we have been in the 5th wheel for 7 years.. the extra space has been worth it , especially when it is cold , wet or Too HOT outside. not to mention the much easier pulling and comfort of a 5th wheel over a bumper pull.. If i was to do it again, I would have gone from the pop-up, straight to the 5th wheel
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Old 01-16-2020, 03:45 PM   #9
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If you are near retirement and going to travel a lot you want the smallest trailer you would be comfortable in. The reason being, fuel cost, gas station accessibility and RV park site limits. Been there in our 50 years of RVing.
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Old 01-16-2020, 04:41 PM   #10
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Just some advice to others looking to buy a RV. There's a saying in the RV community, buy your second RV, FIRST.
Think about what might be your future life RVing. If at all possible, buy one for the future, instead of now.
I've seen a lot of recent posts, from owners who've only owned their RV 1 or 2 years., that are now looking for a bigger RV. The depreciation is huge, especially for newly purchased RVs.
Sometimes it's because of a growing family or retiring soon or the cramped quarters are no longer acceptable.
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Old 01-16-2020, 04:54 PM   #11
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Been camping for over 50 years. Our latest is the Windjammer 3008 which is 34.5 ft. long. If your TV will tow a larger unit, I would say get it. You may find you use it for more than you think, like we did when we had to live in it for 6 months while we remodeled our house for retirement. Lots of things to consider, but, when taking the kids and grandkids along (and they like to go with us a lot) the extra space is a godsend and allows for privacy when you - and they - need it. We use our TT mainly to go to an area and basecamp for one to three weeks and then come home. For long trips with frequent stops, we use motels and leave the trailer at home, or fly. Traveling to Disney World from Michigan is an example. Much better for a 2 hr. plane trip and a resort unit in DW than fighting our way down I-75 through the mountains (we did do it once - only once!). The most we have traveled in a single camping trip is 7,000 miles and unless we would spend months on the road with long stops, we wouldn't take the trailer. The kids tried the tent thing and that lasted only one night (they liked warmth and a real bathroom in the middle of the night). We tried tenting when we first started camping and only made one trip - rain in a tent is a real pain! This is the 7th season for the Windjammer and the more we use it, the more we appreciate the room. Having towed everything from a pop-up to a 20 ft., to a 28ft. it really hasn't been much of an adjustment pulling the 34 footer. Just make sure your T.V. will pull it and you have proper sway/W.Dist. equipment. And, of course, watch the turns for clearance. We store our TT indoors, so, I take it easy backing it into its "house" around the "S" curve. So far it is still in one piece and we love it. Being "retired" we like all the "home comforts" we can get, including space for each other.
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Old 01-16-2020, 04:56 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by AdamKam View Post
If you are near retirement and going to travel a lot you want the smallest trailer you would be comfortable in. The reason being, fuel cost, gas station accessibility and RV park site limits. Been there in our 50 years of RVing.
WE started in 1976 in a 28' TT with no slides. 2 adults and 2 daughters. Now we travel 7 - 9 months annually and put on a lot of miles. TTS, Super C, class A and 5ers, we have tried them all. We find 5ers most comfortable and easiest on the road. We just downsized from 43' with 4 slideouts to 41' with 5 slideouts. Small is great for trips of short duration but feeling crowded takes the fun from everything. We don't boondock much and then only for 1 - 3 days at a time.
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:50 PM   #13
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[QUOTE=jennyzichterman;2252655 A new camper would be usable now, but better-suited for our retirement travels. Should we upgrade now to a bigger, more comfortable rig or wait a couple more years?
[/QUOTE]

Don't buy based on what you think will suit you in retirement. Unless you're going to retire in the next couple of years, your needs might change. In retirement, we've gone from a towable to a class C because health issues meant hooking and unhooking a trailer is too difficult.

That's not to say you shouldn't upgrade. Talk to your daughters and see if the bigger trailer will get your daughter out of a tent and back into the rig. She might just need the privacy or prefer tenting.

List pros and cons and then make a decision.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:56 PM   #14
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My wife and I are on the other end of this discussion. We want small because of where and how we CAMP. For us the TT is just a hard sided tent that is very comfortable.
You need to decide how YOU wanty to camp in the future. Are you a resort person or a boondocker? When our 4 daughters hit about 15, they did not want to travel with us because they had their own stuff to do. We own property in hill country and a large TT or FW would not be able to fit without hogging the space that other people us. We own 120 acres of woodland and there is a grand total of 1/2 acre that you can drive a vehicle on due to hills, creeks, and trees.
About 30 acres is inaccessible to even ATV's due to the steepness of the hills. We will not ride on them because the ATV would disturb the soil and result in erosion.
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Old 01-16-2020, 07:06 PM   #15
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Lots of good advice given already. When our son was still at home and camping with us he always took his tent despite what size rig we had. Sometimes we had him and 3 other teens along and we all had fun. It’s a very personal decision and I wish you luck in making it.
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:22 AM   #16
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I do agree with many of the posts that for most folks bigger is usually better. Our first rig was 32.5 ft., our GT was 34.5 and our DP now is 36.5. In the boating world they call this two-foot-ites. My DW thought our first rig was "way too big", our GT "we didn't need", and our DP, well, she loves it more than the first two put together and thinks its "just right"!

My point is we didn't know anything about any type of RV, whether Pop-Ups, TT's, 5'Er's, C's, A's, or DP's. Our only camping experience was tent camping. One washed out weekend ended that for us. We went to one small RV show in Buffalo, NY. That one show shaped my mind on wanting a class A, my DW wanted a C, I liked the openness of the A, she thought the C would be easier to drive. Now 14 years into it and on our third rig heading into retirement this summer we feel we have the perfect rig "for us". Many folks don't know what their perfect set-up will be unless they try-on different types or sizes and that is the hard part, especially for the pocket book.

My final piece of advice is always buy for "yourselves"! Don't look to buy for those who may want to come along for what, maybe one weekend get away a season or year, whether that be older children, or grand kids. We have had many extended weekend trips with friends, our kids and grand kids and we always find a way to make do with the space we have.
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Old 01-17-2020, 01:21 PM   #17
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I grin when I read posts from folks saying they need to upsize to accommodate kids and grandchildren. I'm pretty sure that the frequency children and grandchildren want to go camping is low. Grandpa to Grandma: "Sure would be nice if the grandkids would come with us when we travel". Grandma: "Well, they have their own lives, and their own friends..." Grandpa: "I can't believe we spent such a big chunk of our nest egg on this enormous RV thinking they would come with us..."
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:25 PM   #18
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Or the bunkhouse model bought for that "extra" sleeping capacity used as a laundry room and storage of the smoker.
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:34 PM   #19
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I grin when I read posts from folks saying they need to upsize to accommodate kids and grandchildren. I'm pretty sure that the frequency children and grandchildren want to go camping is low. Grandpa to Grandma: "Sure would be nice if the grandkids would come with us when we travel". Grandma: "Well, they have their own lives, and their own friends..." Grandpa: "I can't believe we spent such a big chunk of our nest egg on this enormous RV thinking they would come with us..."
Very true.

Owned sailboats and power boats for years. I eventually learned that the smallest possible boat that will do the type of boating we wanted to do was the boat to own. Cheaper to buy, far cheaper to own, considerably less time on maintenance meant much more time actually on the water. Walk around any marina and see which boats get used the most - almost always the smaller ones. Moved to Colorado, so gave up boats for living adjacent to the mountains.

In California, we went from tent camping to a 12ft box pop-up. We were ready to get off the ground, and a bear rummaging through our campsite convinced DW she was not going to sleep on the ground any more. Some friends did some group camping with us using 8ft box pop-ups. I was a little envious of how easy their pop-up was to trailer, set up, etc, and that it could be hand wheeled into tight but beautiful spots.

After a few years in Colorado, DW spotted an A-frame for sale on a used car lot. I figured out we could buy the same thing new for the same $$. We saw - and see - the A-frame as a deluxe hotel room on wheels. A very comfortable place to sleep, while we spend our days outside or touristing. We started with the smallest Rockwood A-frame because that was all that would fit in the garage. Could be fully packed with food and clothes and on the road within 2 hours of a "go" decision. Handled easily and comfortably towed by our minivan, and parked in the garage.

After 5 years, DW came down with lymphoma. One of the side effects of the chemo treatments is a non-consistent, non-reliable digestive track. We went to a HW A-frame to gain a cassette potty, a much roomier feel, and more storage space. The Flagstaff T21TBHW has worked really well in that regard - much more livable than the A122.

But....the bigger size is more noticeable when towing, takes up more space in a small site, and setting up/taking down requires more effort. The spare tire has to come on/off to store the bigger A-frame in the garage. The electric lift system (as virtually all HW A-frame owners have found out) is problematic. And costs increased about 20%.

The gains are worth the costs to us, but I'm not sure that will always be the case. When I camp by myself, I would be happier in the smaller model with the front storage trunk.

And when we have friends/grown kids/relatives join us, they get the choice of the dinette folded down, a tent, or bring their own. Usually, they pick the tent option; we all go touristing together in the minivan. And lounge, cook, eat, clean up outside. We use campground toilets and showers except in emergency.

just my thoughts, our camping style is not for everybody
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Old 01-17-2020, 02:42 PM   #20
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Our daughter stopped coming with us around age 15 even with having a bunk for both her and her friend. Now we use the bunks for storage and although I could find a smaller unit with enough livable space I would not be able to find enough storage for everything like I have now
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