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Author Topic: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.  (Read 818 times)

Rana421

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Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« on: July 11, 2017, 01:13:48 AM »
I'm in a bit of an odd situation. My Fiancé and I plan to live in a travel trailer and park it in my parents' backyard and hook it up to their electricity, water and septic (we have already been given permission to do this, in fact it was my dad's idea). This will be the first trailer we have ever had and we are planning to buy a new trailer as opposed to a used one. But we have no clue what to look for when buying a trailer other than checking for signs of leaks (suggestions on good places to spot leaks would be great too).

Recommendations for trailers (travel trailers ONLY. No 5th wheels) would be awesome as well. I really would like a bunkhouse type trailer (25-35ft in length) with a slide or 2 to provide more space.

I have a few that I found online that are within my price range. Comments concerning quality would be appreciated!

one is a 2018 COLEMAN COLEMAN LANTERN 263BH.

One is a 2016 STARCRAFT AR-ONE 30BHU

One is a 2015 KEYSTONE HIDEOUT 27DBS

One is a 2018 JAYCO JAY FLIGHT SLX 267BHS

One is a 2018 COLEMAN COLEMAN LANTERN 296RK

And finally, a 2018 JAYCO JAY FLIGHT SLX 287BHS

The trailer is going to be parked and lived in full time for at least a year so wear and tear will mostly be a problem INSIDE the trailer. So what appliances/furniture will typically wear out First? And what is the best method for maintaining the roof and preventing leaks? Would protecting the tires from Sun damage also be a good idea?

Also, the trailer will be a fair distance (possibly more than 100ft) away from the septic tank (which is accessible above-ground and has a plastic lid that is easily opened and could likely be drilled through). Is there any way of possibly DIYing a PVC pipeline from the black water and grey water tank to the septic tank? I know we would not be able to use the pipeline in the winter because it will freeze but for the rest of the year it would be nice not to have to deal with hoses (and I'm also not sure if a long enough hose exists).

The electricity and water have already been figured out and we know how we are going to make that happen. And we are going to pour concrete for the stabilizers to rest on so that the trailer doesn't sink into the soil when it rains. It is just the septic/Black water disposal that we are worried about.

EDIT:

I guess I should have elaborated more. We wouldn't truly  be living there full time. We are welcome in the house to take showers, cook and do laundry as well as sleep inside when weather conditions are too harsh to stay in a trailer. I still have my room in the house where we would be able to keep some of our belongings if need-be. I also have quite a few laundry hampers with wheels that are tall and thin and would fit easily up against a wall. It would be easy to roll those out to the house when we need to do our laundry. Basically we would be sleeping in the trailer more than anything else.

I have just spent about an hour and a half reading through city ordinance zoning laws. And YES it IS legal for me to do this here.

No more than 2 people can live in the unit ✔

Residents must be related to the property owners by blood or marriage ✔

Must be using the same electrical, sewage, and water supply as the main residence ✔

Owner of the property shall live on the premises and maintain that that address as their primary place of residence ✔

No new driveway access should be created but a current driveway can be modified ✔

Should meet all the city setback requirements and should never be parked in front of the residence or in a street or area where view of the street would be obscured ✔

Must be no more than 25% of the total square footage of the primary residence ✔


Even if it weren't legal here, the likelihood of neighbors reporting us is very very unlikely. And the trailer will not ever be visible from the road (even so, the speed limit on my road is 50 miles per hour and the likelihood of someone driving by and seeing the RV parked in the yard and then reporting it- is basically slim to none) as there are quite a lot of pine trees and large maple trees blocking the view to the back yard (but there is enough room on one part of the property to maneuver a trailer into the back yard).


My dad said the electrical will definitely be at least 50amp. There will probably even be multiple 50amp circuits.

I think we might just go with the pump someone suggested a few posts above for pumping the black water to the septic tank.

« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 05:09:26 PM by Rana421 »

JudyJB

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2017, 01:49:12 AM »
Even if your parents have given you permission to park your trailer and live in it in their yard, the city, township, or county they live in may not approve this arrangement.  You need to check with the city, township, or county to find out if it is legal to live in a trailer in someone's yard.

A major issue is the 100' to the septic tank.  Running PVC pipe that distance could be a problem, as a break or crack could create a sanitary problem and would also be covered by local governmental rules.  And what will you do in the winter?  Running a long water hose is also a problem in winter because it will freeze.

You do not tell us where this yard is, which is important.  If it gets really cold in the winter, you will find it very hard to heat a travel trailer.  Mobile homes are meant for cold weather, but travel trailers are not.  They do not have as much insulation in the walls and ceiling or underneath where water and sewage tanks are located.  You say water and electric has already been worked out, but how? 

You need to work on the legality of this setup and how you will connect water, electric, and sewer before you start shopping for trailers.  It is not impossible to do all of this, but is may not be as easy as you think it is, and you do not want to make an expensive mistake of buying a trailer and not being able to use it the way you want to use it.
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Rana421

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2017, 03:10:12 AM »
Even if your parents have given you permission to park your trailer and live in it in their yard, the city, township, or county they live in may not approve this arrangement.  You need to check with the city, township, or county to find out if it is legal to live in a trailer in someone's yard.

A major issue is the 100' to the septic tank.  Running PVC pipe that distance could be a problem, as a break or crack could create a sanitary problem and would also be covered by local governmental rules.  And what will you do in the winter?  Running a long water hose is also a problem in winter because it will freeze.

You do not tell us where this yard is, which is important.  If it gets really cold in the winter, you will find it very hard to heat a travel trailer.  Mobile homes are meant for cold weather, but travel trailers are not.  They do not have as much insulation in the walls and ceiling or underneath where water and sewage tanks are located.  You say water and electric has already been worked out, but how? 

You need to work on the legality of this setup and how you will connect water, electric, and sewer before you start shopping for trailers.  It is not impossible to do all of this, but is may not be as easy as you think it is, and you do not want to make an expensive mistake of buying a trailer and not being able to use it the way you want to use it.

I am already a legal resident of the address so yes it is legal to live on their property. It is a 2 acre property that is private.

We were planning on living in the trailer for most of the winter as winters are fairly mild here and often we get hardly any snow and the temperature normally stays in the low 40s-50s or high 30s without wind chill. Snow doesn't normally stay on the ground for more than a day or two. Also there are many trailers that have furnaces and electric space heaters work wonders. On very cold nights we will probably just make sure that the water tanks are empty and stay in the house.

My father has already helped someone else set up his trailer in the same way and that man lives in his trailer year-round with no issue. My dad knows his way around electrical work and plumbing and he is very capable of adding a new, seperate electric meter with a 30-50 amp circuit which we will be able to plug our trailer into. He has already assured us that he can make sure that we have running water that won't freeze in the winter, though I did not ask HOW because I know that he knows what he is doing because he has done this type of work for many years.

Larry N.

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2017, 06:33:21 AM »
A lot of folks have been happy with Jayco trailers, and a neighbor has had good experience with a Keystone, but I know little about the Coleman and Starcraft brands. I'm sure others with more direct TT experience will chime in here.
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Gods Country

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2017, 07:05:14 AM »
IF it's only going to be one year then I suggest buying a lightly used 1-3 year old trailer.  You will save a bunch of $$$, and won't lose that much when you sell it.   For the time frame you will have it I wouldn't concern myself with brand.  They're all built pretty much the same (cheaply), and use all the same components from a few different manufacturers.  The comfort is going to be far more important since you will be living in it full time.  The only TT that may be better then most from a weather standpoint may be an Airstream.

sadixon49

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2017, 08:32:36 AM »
If you think buying new gets you a warranty, think again! On every model you just referenced, you will find a section of the warranty coverage which states that full time living constitutes abuse of the RV, and any and all warranty claims may be denied. Believe me when I say that these manufacturers are all looking for any excuse to deny your claims.
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kdbgoat

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2017, 08:48:14 AM »
For the septic, one of these may work for you.

http://www.campingworld.com/shopping/item/flojet-rv-waste-pump-kit/26125

As far as a trailer, considering you only need it for a year or so, I would look for an old $4000-$5000 trailer that's in decent shape. They can be found on Craigslist, etc. It would be different if you were planning to use it for RV'ing after you get done using it as planned, then I would want something better.
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Alfa38User

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2017, 09:02:27 AM »
To move the black tank contents 100 feet or more you will need a macerator pump at least, a 3 in. straight pipe would not allow that as the slope required is not likely available.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 09:05:39 AM by Alfa38User »
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2017, 09:07:26 AM »
I'll second the advice of Gods Country.  All the trailers you are looking at, and most all in that size/price range, are made cheaply. The cost skimping shows up in a lot of ways, low-grade cabinetry, poorer quality upholstery and flooring, and sloppy workmanship behind the walls and below the floor. But if for only a year, maybe not much of a concern. If the year turns into two or three, however... If I were living in a trailer, I would probably be looking toward the better brands, maybe the upper tier models from Forest River, a Jayco, etc. But again, maybe not so important for 12-18 months.

I would also look for a late model used trailer. There isn't much advantage to a new one, and the warranty is of value mostly for fixing the (sometimes numerous) problems the factory left behind. Once those are cleared up, as they would be in a used one, there is little to be concerned about in the first several years of ownership.

I strongly recommend getting a trailer with 50A shore power. Living full time within the constraints of 30A power soon gets annoying. Get one with two a/c units as well, unless perhaps the location is well-shaded and breezy. RVs heat up quickly in open sun, even if the outside temps remain pleasant.


The only real concern with the sewer line is maintaining a slight downhill over that much distance. It needs to be a constant 1/8" per foot (or more) grade and no bumps anywhere along the line. If the terrain doesn't permit that, you will need to pump the sewage instead of gravity flow.  Assuming the exit from the trailer is about 12" above ground, you have 96 1/8" height increments to work with, enough to run 96 ft over level ground and maintain the 1/8 per foot incline.

The legal concern has to do with living in a vehicle designated as an RV, i.e. does not meet residential building codes. Many towns and counties have strict regulations against that, at least outside of an RV park.  Your arrangement may not come to the attention of authorities, but if it does you should expect some hassles.
Gary
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SeilerBird

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2017, 09:39:42 AM »
I would also look for a late model used trailer. There isn't much advantage to a new one, and the warranty is of value mostly for fixing the (sometimes numerous) problems the factory left behind. Once those are cleared up, as they would be in a used one, there is little to be concerned about in the first several years of ownership.
If you buy new the warranty you are paying for is worthless. Dealers require you to bring the RV to them which would be hard to do if you have it set up for living in permanently. I agree a trailer a few years old would be a much better option for you.
Quote
I strongly recommend getting a trailer with 50A shore power. Living full time within the constraints of 30A power soon gets annoying. Get one with two a/c units as well, unless perhaps the location is well-shaded and breezy. RVs heat up quickly in open sun, even if the outside temps remain pleasant.
As a retired electrician I agree with this opinion. 30 amps is not very much power. Turn on the A/C and you can't use much else in the RV.
Quote
The legal concern has to do with living in a vehicle designated as an RV, i.e. does not meet residential building codes. Many towns and counties have strict regulations against that, at least outside of an RV park.  Your arrangement may not come to the attention of authorities, but if it does you should expect some hassles.
Do not assume you can live in this RV where you are located. You better check with the local building codes. It would really be a bummer to get this bought and set up and then have someone complain to the authorities.

You should also consider getting the largest trailer you can find. An RV is fine for a weekend trip but to live in one full time it gets small real quick, especially on rainy days when you are trapped indoors.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2017, 10:01:08 AM »
Appliance life should not be a concern, but you are probably going to want a 10 gallon water heater rather than the usual 6 gallon. That should give you a chance for a decent shower. And speaking of showers, pay close attention to the bath area and shower size.  Trailers tend to be skimpy on those (no problem for a weekend, right?) but few things are more annoying long-term than a cramped bath, tiny sink, and a shower too small for your body. Need place to for towels too. Living in an RV has some needs beyond weekend use. Some other live-in concerns include a place for dirty clothes and a trash can, closet space, enough lounge space for comfortable tv viewing or reading, a place to use the computer and charge phones, etc. etc. etc.   It's easy to overlook some of these basics when looking at Rvs and being amazed at how much they have managed to pack into a small space.
Gary
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Lowell

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2017, 12:23:34 PM »
What area of the country are you planning this?
Lowell

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ArdraF

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2017, 03:40:01 PM »
Lowell beat me to it.  The location you plan to do this is very important.  What state are we talking about?  We've talked about winter which will use a LOT of propane for heating.  Then, if you also have hot summers, that's another issue because you WILL need air conditioners so you WILL need more electricity.  That's why it's important to have 50-amp power.  Suppose you only have 30-amp and the air conditioner is running because it's really hot with the sun beating down on a minimally insulated trailer and it's time to fix dinner.  You'll probably have to turn the A/C off to run the microwave.  Same is true of things like hair dryers.  Managing electricity with 30 amps can be very stressful if it's really hot and you want to stay cool!

You haven't said why you've specified a travel trailer but a "mobile home" style trailer might be much more suitable for fulltime living.  They tend to be better insulated for one thing.  Our nephew and his cousin live in a mobile home in northern West Virginia and have been comfortable in harsh winters.  Or do you plan to use the trailer for traveling once this time at your parents' place is finished?

Another thing that was touched upon is space for living.  If you happen to have an animal or two they also need space to move around, especially if the weather is bad and it needs to be inside more.

Just so you know, we're not trying to be difficult here but many of us have been around RVs for a long time and understand their realities.  A lot of people think you just go out and buy something you like and hook it up and then live happily ever after.  Unfortunately it can be a lot more complex than that and we just want to make sure you're going into this with your eyes wide open.  Good luck and I hope it turns out for you.

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captaindomon

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2017, 04:11:41 PM »
If you are buying new, make sure you check the warranty. If I remember correctly, my warranty actually says the coverage is for "occasional seasonal use, not primary use as a residence" or something along those lines. You may void the warranty if you're moving into it full time.

Edit: Just realized sadixon49 already posted this. I agree :-)
« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 04:16:09 PM by captaindomon »

Rana421

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2017, 05:03:40 PM »
I guess I should have elaborated more. We wouldn't truly  be living there full time. We are welcome in the house to take showers, cook and do laundry as well as sleep inside when weather conditions are too harsh to stay in a trailer. I still have my room in the house where we would be able to keep some of our belongings if need-be. I also have quite a few laundry hampers with wheels that are tall and thin and would fit easily up against a wall. It would be easy to roll those out to the house when we need to do our laundry. Basically we would be sleeping in the trailer more than anything else.

I have just spent about an hour and a half reading through city ordinance zoning laws. And YES it IS legal for me to do this here.

No more than 2 people can live in the unit ✔

Residents must be related to the property owners by blood or marriage ✔

Must be using the same electrical, sewage, and water supply as the main residence ✔

Owner of the property shall live on the premises and maintain that that address as their primary place of residence ✔

No new driveway access should be created but a current driveway can be modified ✔

Should meet all the city setback requirements and should never be parked in front of the residence or in a street or area where view of the street would be obscured ✔

Must be no more than 25% of the total square footage of the primary residence ✔


Even if it weren't legal here, the likelihood of neighbors reporting us is very very unlikely. And the trailer will not ever be visible from the road (even so, the speed limit on my road is 50 miles per hour and the likelihood of someone driving by and seeing the RV parked in the yard and then reporting it- is basically slim to none) as there are quite a lot of pine trees and large maple trees blocking the view to the back yard (but there is enough room on one part of the property to maneuver a trailer into the back yard).


My dad said the electrical will definitely be at least 50amp. There will probably even be multiple 50amp circuits.

I think we might just go with the pump someone suggested a few posts above for pumping the black water to the septic tank.

« Last Edit: July 11, 2017, 05:08:24 PM by Rana421 »

Gizmo

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2017, 05:07:38 PM »
30 amps is not very much power. Turn on the A/C and you can't use much else in the RV.

Not sure this is accurate. We are now on our third rig, all with 30A service and have been able to, without any hiccups run the ac, along with the other electric appliances at the same time such as the micro wave and our Instant Pot.  I believe where 50A service is required is for those with more than one AC and washer/dryers.  If you can live without a second ac and washer/dryer you will likely be fine. 
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
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Lou Schneider

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2017, 12:26:02 AM »
Also, the trailer will be a fair distance (possibly more than 100ft) away from the septic tank (which is accessible above-ground and has a plastic lid that is easily opened and could likely be drilled through). Is there any way of possibly DIYing a PVC pipeline from the black water and grey water tank to the septic tank?

I think we might just go with the pump someone suggested a few posts above for pumping the black water to the septic tank.

Don't go into the tank through the top access cover.  A septic tank has 3 levels of stuff in it - an algae layer on top that breaks down the waste, a sludge layer on the bottom and clear water in between.

The inlet from the house and the outlet to the leach field have baffles so incoming water doesn't mess up these layers and only clear water flows out to the leach field.  If you run a hose in from the top you'll agitate the tank contents and you can wind up sending algae or sludge out to the leach field, causing problems down the line.

Run your trailer sewage line into the tank the same way the house effluent enters it.  Is the house uphill from the tank or is there a lift pump to get the waste into the septic tank?  If there's a lift pump you'll have to tap into the sewage line ahead of it.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 12:31:13 AM by Lou Schneider »

Rana421

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2017, 12:41:30 PM »
Don't go into the tank through the top access cover.  A septic tank has 3 levels of stuff in it - an algae layer on top that breaks down the waste, a sludge layer on the bottom and clear water in between.

The inlet from the house and the outlet to the leach field have baffles so incoming water doesn't mess up these layers and only clear water flows out to the leach field.  If you run a hose in from the top you'll agitate the tank contents and you can wind up sending algae or sludge out to the leach field, causing problems down the line.

Run your trailer sewage line into the tank the same way the house effluent enters it.  Is the house uphill from the tank or is there a lift pump to get the waste into the septic tank?  If there's a lift pump you'll have to tap into the sewage line ahead of it.

Here is a rough diagram of what we are planning to do. Basically we would be making a 2inch diameter pvc pipeline that would go down into the tank similar to the way I've drawn. And then we would insert and secure a 5/8 garden hose connecter to the top so I could just screw on the hose. The wider 2in PVC with the bends shown would slow down the pressure from the pump so that the sludge doesn't get disturbed too much. This is just a rough drawing though.

Edit: it won't let me post my diagram because the file is too large and I have no access to a computer to shrink it right now but trust me, we have thought of that.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2017, 12:58:23 PM by Rana421 »

rvannie23

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2017, 02:24:31 PM »
I have a Keystone Laredo and love it, I have had very few problems and I have been full timing for 2 and a half years. Since you have access to a bigger closet and a real shower when you want it you should be fine with a smaller bathroom. If you have long hair or thick hair, or if you want to shave your legs and wash your hair all in one shower...definitely find one with a 10 gallon water heater. 

Can I ask why you want a bunk house? They chop up living space and everything is way more cramped and dark in my opinion. An open and bright living space makes a difference in a camper. With that said, look for window placement. A lot of TTs (like mine) have them mostly all on one side, which is an issue if you are facing a fence or something. You will find yourself with the lights on in the camper at 4pm even though its bright out. Practice walking in the trailer with your fiance, have him walk from front to back and you the opposite direction. It will help you see how much or little movement there is for two people if you are both just milling around. Try and find a sofa that faces the television head on instead of sideways. These are the little things you will start to notice as you live there.

good luck
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ArdraF

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2017, 04:28:02 PM »
Thanks for posting the rules.  I found them quite interesting - and I'm glad you can comply!  That's a really big hurdle so you're on the way to getting it done!

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Gizmo

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2017, 04:49:08 PM »
The other consideration that comes to mind is according to your post you are planning on living in it for at least a year, which sounds to me like a temporary situation.  Given that I would think you are better off not buying new where you will take a big hit as soon as you leave the lot.  For short term ownership, the math does not add up.
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
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Gone But not forgotten:
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Rana421

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2017, 11:50:44 PM »
The other consideration that comes to mind is according to your post you are planning on living in it for at least a year, which sounds to me like a temporary situation.  Given that I would think you are better off not buying new where you will take a big hit as soon as you leave the lot.  For short term ownership, the math does not add up.

Yes the trailer is a temporary solution at this point. But we are planning on building a house in a year or so and it would be nice to have a place to live while that happens. And who knows, after the house is built, maybe we will want to take a vacation somewhere and go RV-ing. I figure if we buy it new and maintain it, it has a better chance of lasting that long.

As it is, I am also looking at well-maintained used trailers too. In fact I am going to go and see one tomorrow afternoon. It is a 2012 Starcraft Star Travel 299BHU that was stored under cover and is basically brand-new inside (but I will still be on the lookout for water damage and the like).

Can I ask why you want a bunk house? They chop up living space and everything is way more cramped and dark in my opinion. An open and bright living space makes a difference in a camper. With that said, look for window placement. A lot of TTs (like mine) have them mostly all on one side, which is an issue if you are facing a fence or something. You will find yourself with the lights on in the camper at 4pm even though its bright out. Practice walking in the trailer with your fiance, have him walk from front to back and you the opposite direction. It will help you see how much or little movement there is for two people if you are both just milling around. Try and find a sofa that faces the television head on instead of sideways. These are the little things you will start to notice as you live there.

good luck

I'd like to have a bunkhouse mostly because I am not the biggest fan of open floor plans. And my fiance gets night terrors (so do I sometimes too) and normally when that happens he gets up and stays awake. It would be nice for him to have some place to go in the trailer that is separate from everything else so that if he has a night terror and needs to stay awake, he can go there and be able to be on his phone or watch something on his laptop (with headphones) without keeping me awake.

Also, we plan on mounting our main/largest TV in the bedroom so whether or not the couch faces the TV shouldn't really be an issue. It may take some workmanship but we will get it mounted one way or another.

Also, we may plan on getting a cat or 2 to stay in the trailer with us (though this is just an idea at this point because obviously we don't know which trailer we are buying and how much room we will have). We would also be able to take them inside the house on days when the weather is bad or it's too hot or cold.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 12:15:04 AM by Rana421 »

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #22 on: July 13, 2017, 07:28:22 AM »
"Bunkhouse" is the wrong term for what you want - that refers to one or more bunk beds, either in addition to or in place of the usual queen bed. What you describe appears to be just need a separate (enclosed) bedroom, with a door that can be closed.
Gary
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Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Rana421

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #23 on: July 13, 2017, 08:53:08 AM »
"Bunkhouse" is the wrong term for what you want - that refers to one or more bunk beds, either in addition to or in place of the usual queen bed. What you describe appears to be just need a separate (enclosed) bedroom, with a door that can be closed.

No, I want a bunkhouse. I am aware of what bunkhouse trailers are lol. Most of them are basically a seperate enclosed bedroom. The likelihood if finding a trailer with 2 enclosed bedrooms with queen beds in my price range is- well, very unlikely. But there are bunkhouses with large bunks and privacy curtains and he would be fine with those.

scottydl

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #24 on: July 13, 2017, 09:30:23 AM »
New RV's depreciate like crazy, and will drop in value during the first few years... so for that reason, I echo the "buy used" sentiment.  I bought our 2008 bunkhouse trailer in 2015, and it is/was in great shape.  And I got a GREAT deal on it.  New RV warranties aren't worth a whole lot honestly, and if you DID need warranty service the trailer would be towed off to the dealership and you wouldn't be able to use it for days/weeks while parts were ordered.  That wouldn't work too well since it would be your primary living space.

Gary mentioned quality fit & finish issues with travel trailers... I love ours for weekend/vacation use, but not many of them are designed for full time living.  Many (if not most) fifth wheels will be more heavy duty in that regard.  Better insulation, cabinets, furniture, flooring, etc.  I know you said you don't want a 5'er (did you say why, since you'll rarely be moving it anyway?), but just something to consider.

Bunkhouse trailers are going to seem really cramped, really quick, unless you are in the 30+ size range.  You'll realize this once you start looking at rigs in person.  Imagine a rainy week, and being stuck in there for several days on end with each other.  ;)

Most important factors for buying a used RV are budget, floorplan, and condition.  You'll notice year/make/model aren't on that list!  Check out our "Library" link near the top of the page, for all kinds of articles on RV learning & living, including inspection checklists to print out and take along while shopping/buying.

The longer you take to make this decision, the better chance you'll make the RIGHT decision (for you and your circumstances).  Research, take your time, shop constantly (online and in-person when possible), and keep asking questions!
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Rana421

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #25 on: July 13, 2017, 10:18:01 PM »
New RV's depreciate like crazy, and will drop in value during the first few years... so for that reason, I echo the "buy used" sentiment.  I bought our 2008 bunkhouse trailer in 2015, and it is/was in great shape.  And I got a GREAT deal on it.  New RV warranties aren't worth a whole lot honestly, and if you DID need warranty service the trailer would be towed off to the dealership and you wouldn't be able to use it for days/weeks while parts were ordered.  That wouldn't work too well since it would be your primary living space.

Gary mentioned quality fit & finish issues with travel trailers... I love ours for weekend/vacation use, but not many of them are designed for full time living.  Many (if not most) fifth wheels will be more heavy duty in that regard.  Better insulation, cabinets, furniture, flooring, etc.  I know you said you don't want a 5'er (did you say why, since you'll rarely be moving it anyway?), but just something to consider.

Bunkhouse trailers are going to seem really cramped, really quick, unless you are in the 30+ size range.  You'll realize this once you start looking at rigs in person.  Imagine a rainy week, and being stuck in there for several days on end with each other.  ;)

Most important factors for buying a used RV are budget, floorplan, and condition.  You'll notice year/make/model aren't on that list!  Check out our "Library" link near the top of the page, for all kinds of articles on RV learning & living, including inspection checklists to print out and take along while shopping/buying.

The longer you take to make this decision, the better chance you'll make the RIGHT decision (for you and your circumstances).  Research, take your time, shop constantly (online and in-person when possible), and keep asking questions!

A 5th wheel is out of the question. We can't afford to pay $1,000+ for the hitch for a 5th wheel and the truck we will be using to pull it to the backyard does not belong to me so I am not going to ask my dad to permanently alter his truck just to tow a 5th wheel to the back yard.

We have (pretty much) decided upon a trailer. It is a used 2016 Starcraft AR-One M-30BHU, 36 feet long. Have already been to see it and it is in excellent condition. It was hardly used and all appliances are working and there are no water leaks or damage. They are asking less than $20,000 for it. Pretty amazing deal for a trailer that is only a little over a year old and was originally almost $40,000 with all the extras/options it has in it. It fits our needs pretty perfectly.

scottydl

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #26 on: July 14, 2017, 02:36:31 AM »
It sounds like you have your mind made up!  I'm certainly not trying to advocate for a 5th wheel in particular, as I've never owned one and probably won't... I just know from others here that they are often more suited for full timing.  You wouldn't need a full time tow rig if the trailer is going to stay parked.  For a small fee you could hire a company or individual to have the 5th wheel moved if/when needed.  This is pretty common for 5th wheel owners with permanent sites.

Double check the estimated value of any RV you might buy at www.NADAguides.com ... click the "RV" tab and follow the prompts to enter the year/make/model that you are considering.  Generally do NOT add in any "Options" in NADA when valuing used RV's.
Scott, wife, 3 boys... and the dog
- 2008 Forest River Wildwood 32BHDS
- 1995 Chevrolet Suburban C2500 tow vehicle
- 1994 Thor Residency motorhome... owned 2007-2012

Rene T

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Re: Buying a Travel Trailer to LIVE in.
« Reply #27 on: July 14, 2017, 07:41:14 AM »
They are asking less than $20,000 for it. Pretty amazing deal for a trailer that is only a little over a year old and was originally almost $40,000 with all the extras/options it has in it.
[/b]
If these numbers are truly accurate, this is a perfect example as to how much a new RV depreciates after just towing it off the Dealership lot.
As Scott said, "Generally do NOT add in any "Options" in NADA when valuing used RV's".
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 07:43:16 AM by Rene T »
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