Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Travel Trailers: Buying a Used Travel Trailer
Open Roads Forum Already a member? Login here.   If not, Register Today!  |  Help

Newest  |  Active  |  Popular  |  RVing FAQ Forum Rules  |  Forum Posting Help and Support  |  Contact  

Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Buying a Used Travel Trailer

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 5  
Prev  |  Next


Senior Member

Joined: 08/20/2012

View Profile

Posted: 01/12/18 01:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hjcihak46 wrote:

I'm really not interested in a pop-up camper. I'm a serious landscape photographer who's partial to wilderness areas of the mountains and deserts of the American West. I also anticipate doing some traveling in colder weather. I just can't see myself ever being happy making do with a semi-tent on wheels.
Trailmanor is not a popup tent camper. It's a hard sided hi-lo camper. It's a good alternative for your TV.


Experience without good judgment is worthless; good judgment without experience is still good judgment!


Flat Rock

Senior Member

Joined: 06/18/2013

View Profile

Posted: 01/12/18 01:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Also look at Hi-Lo. Same concept as Trailmanor.

2015 Skyline Dart 214RB
2008 Nissan Frontier CC 4WD
Andersen Hitch


No paticular place.

Senior Member

Joined: 08/19/2009

View Profile

Posted: 01/13/18 01:51am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

hjcihak46 wrote:

I'm a serious landscape photographer who's partial to wilderness areas of the mountains and deserts of the American West. I also anticipate doing some traveling in colder weather.

If you are going to spend a lot of time in the mountains, don't cheap out on the tow vehicle.

If it was a 50 mile drive on flat ground a few times a year, a marginal tow vehicle might get you what you need.

If you will regularly be pulling grades at high altitude, the little SUV will struggle if you push it to the limits. There are multiple aspects to this:
- Simply the HP to pull up a steep grade.
- You lose HP at altitude (usually assumed to be around 4% per thousand feet up), so you need some reserve power unless you have a turbo engine which compensates for altitude.
- You need to be able to stop the rig coming down the hill.

Tammy & Mike
Ford F250 V10
2008 Copper Canyon 5er
Catalac Catamaran 34'
Full Time spliting time between boat and 5er



Senior Member

Joined: 07/16/2011

View Profile

Posted: 01/13/18 02:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you stay with the Nissan as a tow vehicle you are limited to low profile, single axle trailers. If the trailer you are considering has 4 wheels walk away.

On the other hand, if you are considering replacing your Nissan for a more capable tow vehicle look at all trailers. Find the one that works for you and then match it to an appropriate tow vehicle.

Also keep in mind that a small, lifted low profile trailer is easier to get into those hard to get to, out of the way wilderness locations. Plus you will have remaining payload for extra water, equipment, generator, fuel, etc. You have a 4WD Nissan so a small teardrop will get you where you want to go. I know I keep pushing Casita's but those things are bullet proof relatively speaking.

Don't give up. Your trailer is out there but it may take some time to find that ideal match for both your needs and vehicle.

2011 Ford F-150 EcoBoost SuperCab Max Tow, 2084# Payload, 11,300# Tow,
Timbrens, PullRite SuperGlide 2700 15K
2013 KZ Durango 2857


upstate south carolina

Senior Member

Joined: 06/01/2012

View Profile

Posted: 01/13/18 04:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Best of luck in your search. I do support that the tow vehicle discussion is the most important for your benefit. Been there, done that. You can make it work for a bit, but will eventually become frustrated and make a change. I encourage you to accept that now.

We limited our trailer options to our tow vehicle, discovered we didn't limit them enough and ended up with a new tow vehicle and then sold the trailer and bought the one we really wanted in the first place! You can avoid all of that by considering both parts of the equation the first time.

* This post was edited 01/14/18 02:54am by an administrator/moderator *



Senior Member

Joined: 12/29/2006

View Profile

Good Sam RV Club Member

Posted: 01/13/18 08:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We've bought several used trailers, here's what we've learned.
1. The TT will never be as nice as they look in the photos in the ad.
2. You have to be willing to walk away even if you've driven 1400 miles to see it, yes, we've done that.
3. Take a ladder with you to look at the roof, take old clothes and a creeper to look under it.
4. Plug it in and try all the applicances, lights, pump, etc. Then try it with battery only.
5. Back your TV up to the hitch, plug into the TT umbilical cord and try the lights and brakes (The cords from the truck and trailer usually are grounded). You can hear the brake magnets buzzing if they are working. Or pull the emergency brake pin.
6. Wander around looking at every wall, roof and floor looking for water damage. Push on the walls, floor and roof looking for soft areas. Open all the cabinet doors.

I can go on and on, but you need to take the time to look it over and over and over.

I did get bit on an '85 Wilderness that looked pristine, but under the carpet in the bathroom (carpet in the bathroom??) there had been a real slow leak and had rotted out the whole floor mostly under the sink and tub, couldn't get under those. So I ended up rebuilding the floor. However, I love to repair TT's so I didn't mind. Every used TT has taken a lot of maintenance and several small repairs which, again, I love doing. I can never wait to get it home and start working on it.

Oh yeah, the 1400 mile trip was because we had been looking for a certain floor plan of the Trail Lite and Trail Cruiser brand. We have a weak motor in our '94 Suburban and since we had a 30' Trail Lite once and knew they were actually "Lite", we had to look for months to find one. We live in Blaine WA, (north of Seattle, up against the Canadian border) and found that there were two listed for sale near Spokane and one near Coeur d' Alene Idaho. So we packed up everything we would need to provision the TT we would buy into the Suburban (it carried everything that was in our TT). Drove about 700 miles to Spokane and found that both of the them were complete junk, unvelievealbly bad. Drove 700 miles back, decided to hook up existing Tahoe and go camping for the rest of our vacation. While at Grandy Creek 1000 trails near Concrete. We, found an '05 Trail Cruiser with our floor plan about 25 miles away from the campground in Mt. Vernon, about 40 miles from our home. Bought it, then had to deal with two trailers. Sold the Tahoe for what we paid for it within 2 weeks, because we keep our TT's really clean.

1994 GMC Suburban K1500
2005 Trail Cruiser TC26QBC
1965 CHEVY VAN, 292 "Big Block 6" (will still tow)
2008 HHR



Senior Member

Joined: 01/05/2007

View Profile

Posted: 01/13/18 01:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I looked at the on link given that has the 2008 towing guide for your vehicle.

While it states 5,000 lbs, it also states MAX OF 500 lbs hitch weight which gives me pause. That 500 lbs hitch weight can easily be reached at 3,400 lbs of trailer weight at 15% hitch weight without WD..

Additionally in extremely small print it does state that the 5,000 lbs is for a BASE MODEL of your vehicle.

What that means typically is 2WD, no options (other than the towing option) and absolute bottom, lowest trim package.

Adding 4WD, higher trim levels and any other options WILL reduce the max towing capacity.

So, depending on the exact configuration of your vehicle you might find yourself considerably lower towing capacity.

Something else which is often overlooked is trailer manufacturers tend to rate the dry weight A LOT LOWER than they actually weigh.

Often weights of battery, propane tanks (and propane) along with other optional items in the trailer ARE NOT INCLUDED in the published dry weights.. Battery and propane can add an extra 150 lbs easily to the hitch dry weight..

I will really suggest you consider a smaller than 22 ft trailer and you WILL need to be looking at the LITEWEIGHT MODELS.

* This post was edited 01/14/18 02:55am by an administrator/moderator *


S Ontario

Senior Member

Joined: 02/11/2015

View Profile

Posted: 01/13/18 01:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To continue ...

I've been using my own customized version of this Towing Capacity Worksheet (in .xls format) for years now to accurately determine just what the various vehicles I've owned over the years can safely tow within their rated limits. This worksheet does exactly the same thing one can do manually with a calculator and the results are the same either way.



Shocking as it may seem this clearly shows that my 1/2 ton Silverado which has a real world payload capacity (as equipped) of 1400 lbs uses pretty well all of that capacity to tow a trailer weighing less than 5000 lbs. [emoticon] Shocking, I know, but yes this is sadly correct - payload capacity is and always will be the mitigating factor when determining just what any given vehicle can safely tow within it's rated limits. Back on Page 2 the OP said - "My tow vehicle is a 2008 Nissan Xterra 4WD. It has a 6cyl. 4 liter engine", in which case the situation will be even worse if for no other reason than lack of sufficient payload capacity. [emoticon] It's easy for keyboard pundits to claim otherwise but the numbers don't lie - if as you said earlier "First, I'm looking for something in the 22-24 foot range, & under 3500 lbs dry weight" I can absolutely guarantee you'll be sorely disappointed with the results, particularly if what you find in the used market also has a slide which will only add even more weight and worsen the situation even further.

Good luck with whatever you do choose. [emoticon]

* This post was edited 01/14/18 02:57am by an administrator/moderator *



Senior Member

Joined: 01/05/2007

View Profile

Posted: 01/13/18 03:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator


Not many folks would go to this extreme effort to determine what they can tow.

I suspect after looking at the towing guide for the OPs vehicle that they MAY have enough cargo capacity for 5K loaded trailer PROVIDED they do not exceed 500 lb (IE 10%) hitch weight..

I do not recommend this since it really has the potential for an unstable tow putting the OP, their vehicle, their trailer AND other motorists at risk.

Granted, they did say 3,500 lbs empty, the problem I see with that is published dry weights are often LOW and don't include battery or propane and as I mentioned they can easily reach 500 lbs of tongue weight at 3,400 lbs at 15% tongue weight..

In effect putting them way over the max tongue weight for the vehicle once they start loading personal gear, water, and food into the trailer.

It IS entirely possible that the limiting factor might actually be the OEM hitch and hence the reason the towing guide specifically states a max of 500 lbs tongue weight.

We will never know, sadly since the OP does not wish to disclose any of the vehicles numbers like GVWR, Curb weight and or the cargo weight from the yellow sticker..

I wish the OP all the good luck they can get..



Full Member

Joined: 08/30/2017

View Profile

Posted: 01/13/18 03:12pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

just used that worksheet and some round about guesses for my van and a trailer i'm looking at. I don't have the exact numbers available to me right now but this is a good tool for when I do. Thanks!

* This post was edited 01/13/18 03:20pm by 6door74 *

Reply to Topic  |  Subscribe  |  Print Topic  |  Post New Topic  | 
Page of 5  
Prev  |  Next

Open Roads Forum  >  Travel Trailers  >  General Q&A

 > Buying a Used Travel Trailer
Search:   Advanced Search

Search only in Travel Trailers

New posts No new posts
Closed, new posts Closed, no new posts
Moved, new posts Moved, no new posts

Adjust text size:

© 2018 CWI, Inc. © 2018 Good Sam Enterprises, LLC. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Use | PRIVACY POLICY | YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS