What to look for when shopping for a trailer

What to look for when shopping for a trailer

By Steve Savage
Mobility RV Service
When shopping for a trailer, as with all RVs, start by considering how you intend to use it. As a general rule it’s easier to tow a smaller RV than a large one, and obviously it’s important to be aware how much weight your tow vehicle can tow. Naturally, if you plan on staying put for long periods of time or full-timing, lean in the direction of going larger in size.
I advise staying away from any RV that falls into the entry level, i.e., the cheap price range. The only way the manufacturers market entry-level products is by “decontenting”* the product or by pushing it down the line. I have seen some of these wherein appliances were not even wired before leaving the factory. I would also advise against buying from any manufacturer that has not been in business for at least five years. Everyone needs a track record.
Once you know what size and shape you’re going to tow, attend several RV shows and do some research on the Internet, until you have a sense of differences in construction. Examine every aspect carefully and don’t attempt to buy based simply on a manufacturer’s reputation. Don’t forget to make sure everything works. After you narrow the candidate list, be sure to complete a test tow before signing on the dotted line, and try not to get caught up in modifications and add-ons until you have used your RV for several months.
* Editor’s note: “Decontenting” is a term lifted from the auto industry. It is the practice of leaving out features for the sake of price-reduction. Car/truck shopping? A “decontented” pickup may have manual door locks, instead of switched electronic locks normally found on the same model.

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