You are retiring in a few months and you and your spouse have decided to take that long awaited second honeymoon traveling cross country, but are not sure if you will go the “hotel” route or purchase a travel trailer, RV, or 5th wheel for your trip. If choosing the recreational vehicle route, which brand is the best one for the money?
RV? 5th Wheel? What Are These Travel Trailers Anyway?
If this is your first experience with camping, knowing exactly what each one is could make the decision regarding which one to purchase, a little easier. A travel trailer is a trailer that is pulled behind your car, van, pickup truck, or SUV. It could even be one that folds down and then opens up to look like a tent on a metal frame with a pull out on each end. People often say a RV is a motor home in which you usually drive and will normally include a bathroom, kitchen, and sleeping area. However, RV stands for recreational vehicle and can include any number of campers, trailers and more. If you do not want to have to drive it everywhere after you get to a camping area, you can attach your car to the back of the motorhome.
There are some RV’s that are towed by your vehicle. A 5th wheel is a large recreational travel trailer that is attached to a hitch in back of a heavy-duty truck or large pickup truck. With this type of recreational vehicle, it is uncoupled at the camping area and braces are used at the front to make it stable enough to use, without being attached to your vehicle. Now that you have an idea of what each type is, let us look at the most popular brands of RV’s.
What Are The Most Popular Brands Of RV?
- Keystone—this brand leads the field in consumer popularity. It opened its doors in 2001 with the business model “customers first.” Their success is reflected by their 5th wheel trailer the Cougar. This 5th wheel has been number one for the past five years in its weight, class, and price.
- Coachman—in 2008 they were ranked number one among American RV manufactures. What makes them so popular is their RV’s offered full queen-size beds and cavernous exterior storage. They also offered mold, rot, and moisture repelling composite construction.
- Dutchman—they have been in business since 1988 and their goal has always been “delivering more bang for the buck.” They offer a Dutchman’s Lite trailer that is not stripped down along with their large slide-out trailers that comes with ducted air conditioning, hardwood cabinets, and standard kitchen skylights. They offer many different floor plans from the smallest units that are perfect for couples to the bunkhouse floor plans that are perfect for a large family. They offer an oversized “U-Dinette” that offers extra sleeping space and seating. Within seconds you can convert this area in an extra large sleeping area that measures eighty-three inches by forty-eight inches.
- Airstream—this company is a travel trailer pioneer that survived the stock market crash of 1929. In 1936 the Airstream Clipper made its debut and it became an instant hit. It had a stainless steel shell that was streamlined with a water supply that was self-contained and a galley that was enclosed along with a dinette that converted to a bed, electric lighting, and an advanced ventilation system. Airsteam closed its doors after Pearl Harbor and reopened its doors in 1948. The owner took the lessons he had learned from the aircraft industry he had worked in while the war was going on. Since that time Airstream has continued to refine its product.
- Winnebago—this manufacturer sold its first motor homes in 1966 with their motorhomes overall value and quality as above average.
- Infinity Fifth Wheel—this company is a market leader in luxury 5th wheels and what makes it a leader are the floor plans with front kitchen and front lounge. In this 5th wheel you will find residential kitchens, spacious living quarters, storage solutions, and great master bedrooms.
- Kodiak—this manufacturer is the leader in ultralite technology. They offer floor plans that are light enough to be towed by most light trucks, SUV’s, and minivans. Inside they offer a solid surface countertop with a stainless steel sink, drawers that provide you with extra deep storage, spacious living and sleeping areas.
- Komfort—this manufacturer of 5th wheels and travel trailers are legendary for their innovative floor plans that include a front lounge with residential features along with contemporary interior design elements that are eye-catching. The doors and drawers are made with maple hardwood along with bedroom suites that are stunning.
- Gulfstream—this manufacturer offers 5th wheels, light-weight, and travel trailers since 1983. Their 5th wheels and travel trailers are designed to be user-friendly for any range of RVing experiences from little things like light switches that are easy to reach, secure towing, abundant storage, and accessible hook-ups. Choosing Gulf Stream travel trailers or 5th wheels for your family’s camping experience will make the vacation comfortable for the entire family.
These are just some of the many different manufacturers of travel trailers, RV’s and 5th wheels but this list has the most popular brands today. Make a list of everything you and your spouse would like to have in your recreational vehicle and check the manufacturers listed to see which one offers what you want. If you are still not sure you want to make your way cross country in a recreational vehicle, rent one for a weekend to see how you and your spouse like it.
One thing that you need to do is decide if you will be towing or driving your recreational vehicle. If you are towing it, will your vehicle be able to pull it? Visit a dealership and look at what they offer in travel trailers, RV’s and 5th wheels and to get an idea of the room each offers. Do not make a rash decision but take the time to find the right one as this will be a big investment.