A whopping 40 million Americans go camping every year in the United States. But not everyone wants to spend the night under canvas! Some of us want the best of both worlds:
Easy access to the great outdoors with a dose of luxury thrown in for good measure.
That’s where expandable travel trailers come into play. A budget-friendly alternative to recreational vehicles, these clever contraptions provide a super versatile and comfortable way to camp out as a family. Want to learn all about them so you can decide whether or not they’d be right for you?
You’re in the right place! Check out this guide to the advantages and disadvantages of expandable travel trailers.
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What Are Expandable Travel Trailers?
Imagine an ordinary trailer that you pull behind your car/truck, except there’s a living room, kitchen area, and somewhere to sleep inside! Furthermore, there are special sections that pull out and/or push up, which increase the amount of usable space as a result. You park up, detach it from the tow bar, and voila, have somewhere warm and luxurious to spend the night!
That, right there, is the basic idea behind expandable travel trailers. You can think of them as a cross between a normal travel trailer and a pop-up camper. You can’t drive them like an RV, but they do provide plenty of room, creature comforts, and partitioned areas that you lack in a tent.
The result? They’re perfect travel companions for families and partners who:
- Love camping,
- Want extra space to go on prolonged camping trips, yet
- Don’t want to splash out on an RV.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Expandable Travel Trailers?
Expandable travel trailers might sound dreamy (and they are!). But they have definite downsides too! With that in mind, here are the main advantages and disadvantages of these camping solutions that all aspiring buyers should know about:
Modern RVs are the gold standard when it comes to hitting the road for an extended camping trip. Unfortunately, they’re also hugely expensive! Price tags vary, but you can expect to spend tens of thousands of dollars to buy a second-hand one.
Expandable travel trailers are much more affordable. Once again, there’s a wide range of price tags out there and you’ll always pay extra for larger, higher-tech, premium models with the latest features. In some cases, though, you can pick up a brand new one for as little as $10,000.
Pro: Size, Space, And Weight
Another disadvantage to traditional RVs is their sheer size! Sure, you enjoy a lovely spacious interior. But they’re tricky vehicles to maneuver as a result, awkward to drive around town and challenging to move into position on campsites.
Expandable travel trailers solve those problems without sacrificing space. They may not be as small as pop-up campers, yet they’re still compact and lightweight camping solutions to hit the road with! Then, when you park up and set camp, you can extend the trailer outward to create a large, airy place to hang out with family.
Pro: Variety and the Camping Experience
We love the sheer number of shapes and styles available with these travel trailers too. You can buy big ones and small ones; simple ones and lavish ones. There are trailers with external awnings and designated dining areas; entertainment systems and, as we noted above, price tags to suit every budget.
Ultimately, that variety on offer helps you pick a model that’s ideal for your requirements. Want to know the best part though? Whichever trailer you buy, you’ll enjoy a bona fide camping experience!
That’s because the expandable sections are a) usually where you sleep and b) made from tent-like waterproof fabric. You feel closer to nature as a result, with sunlight and nature sounds to keep you company.
Con: Temperature Control and Condensation
There are drawbacks to those fabric expandable sections we just celebrated though! First and foremost, they make it harder to regulate the temperature inside the trailer. With no insulation to protect you from the elements, you’re at the mercy of whatever’s happening outside.
Not only that, but you can expect condensation to occur in the process. Because of the temperature imbalance that arises between the inside and outside (especially overnight), moisture forms in the trailer that can lead to dampness. Fail to dry everything out and you risk developing mold on the interior too.
Expandable travel trailers are fast and easy to set up, break down, and transport when you compare them to large family tents. Yet it’s all relative! Compare them with mobile RVs or even standard travel trailers and they can seem far less convenient.
After all, everything from connecting/detaching them to your vehicle to extending the sleeping areas takes time and effort. It’s no big deal in good weather. But it can feel like a hassle when the heavens open and you’re getting wet!
Con: Movement and Maintenance
Then there are stability issues to consider. Remember, these trailers are much lighter than something like an RV. That means they tend to bounce around when you move, shake in high winds, and shudder as you roll over in bed.
Oh, and you can expect maintenance issues to arise over time too. For example, the canvas sections may start to deteriorate and the seams could begin to leak. The actual mechanisms required to expand these sections will require RV repair and attention from time to time as well.
Time to Buy an Expandable Travel Trailer
Tens of millions of Americans hit the road to have an adventure and spend some time in nature every year. More to the point, increasing numbers of them are using expandable travel trailers to make the most of their trips!
Have you been thinking of investing in one of these clever, compact camping solutions too? Well, we hope the insights in this article will help you make your decision. To learn more about these kinds of topics, search ‘road trip’ on the website now.