Travel Trailer Requirements & Things to Look At

Here is a list of requirements that my family is working off of. This is the basis for my research. These items are must have’s on any TT (Travel Trailer) that we look at. If a TT doesn’t have one of these, we walk away.

  • Battery disconnect
    • My first trailer didn’t have one of these and it was a total pain in the behind to disconnect the battery after every trip. I feel this is required because there are so many things in the TT that draw off of the battery when it is sitting parked. Our current trailer’s battery went dead by itself after sitting idle in our driveway for a couple weeks. Started using the disconnect as soon as we got home from that point forward and never had any problem since.
  • Exterior shower
    • We have a dog (and now a baby) and we use this all the time to wash the dog’s feet as well as to do dishes outside and to take showers when we are boon-docking.
  • Bunks
    • A must with kids.
  • Big bathroom
    • We are big people and many RV bathrooms are just too small. Has to meet our size requirements.
  • CPAP machine night stands with outlets
    • Both my wife and I have CPAP machines that we bring everywhere. We need to have some sort of nightstand space on both sides of the bed to be able to put and plug in our machines.
  • Walk-On roof
    • Again, I’m a bigger guy (3-bills) and who is also terrified of heights. I don’t want to fall through the roof or off the roof for that matter.
  • 15k Ducted AC
    • Our Mini-Lite has a 13k btu ducted AC unit and it barely keeps up on a 90+ degree day. Cannot imagine what it would be like in a larger camper. Seems like most manufacturers still only put a 13k btu unit in standard.
  • Power tongue jack
    • Have this on my Mini-Lite and after having one, this is a must!
  • TV location that is easy to view throughout the TT
    • Want to make sure that if the TV is up front that it has a swivel arm so that the TV can be pulled out into the living space.
    • Don’t really care if there is a TV in the bedroom at this time. We can buy/add one later.
  • Dry Hitch Weight under 900# – Preferably under 700#
    • In my research about towing with my F150 Platinum truck, I found that I have a significantly smaller payload capacity than other F150’s. This realization really sucks as I was previously totally ignorant that there would be such a difference between trim packages. I assumed that an F150 is an F150 and that is not the case. I wouldn’t have purchased this truck if I had known that going in but now I’m dealing with the hand I was dealt.
  • Trailer GVWR under 9000#
    • This is the only figure that was clearly communicated by the Ford dealership in the form “Towing Capacity”. My truck has a 11k “Towing Capacity” which is amazing but they don’t tell you that you have to factor in payload which significantly reduces that overall number. So much so that it makes a person mad. Supposedly after I factor all things in, I should probably only tow something that is around 5k. 6k less than reported “Towing Capacity”.

These are things that I look at and at least be aware of on the TT’s we research and tour.

  • Where are the black/gray tank pulls?
    • Some TT’s have separate pulls like one in the front and one in the back for gray water.
    • Other TT’s have them piped to the same location.
  • What shape is the kitchen counter top in?
    • Some are L’s with the sink on the short part of the L. This is what we like best as there is so much more counter space. More than angled/triangle counters.
  • Where would we place the garbage can?
    • We use a larger/normal size kitchen trash can. Where can it go?
    • We like a garbage can in the bathroom and bedroom. Where can they go?
  • Where can we put our dog’s dishes?
  • Where is the water pump?
    • Important when winterizing or summerizing.
    • Need to know so that leaks can be checked for.
  • Where is the water filter?
    • Important when unpacking from trip so that it can be emptied.
    • Need to know so that leaks can be checked for. Had a problem with our Mini-Lite that the canister wasn’t fully tightened and it leaked a lot of water (two days) before we noticed.
  • Where are the valves for winterizing?
    • Important when winterizing or summerizing.
  • Where are the water heater bypass valves?
    • Important when winterizing or summerizing.

A lot of dealers (sales) don’t want to go into this much depth when “selling” you the RV because…

  1. They don’t want to take up too much time. Especially if you aren’t interested in buying that day and…
  2. If the pump, valves, etc are in an inconvenient spot, they want you to buy the RV before you find out these things. Then you’re stuck maintaining a beast for the rest of the time you own it.

We like working with Universal Marine and RV in Rochester, MN and they carry Rockwood TT’s. If we decide to go with another Rockwood, these are the things we need to make sure to order.

  • 15k btu AC
    • Rockwoods come standard with 1, 13k btu AC unit but Universal will order one with the upgraded 15k btu unit.
  • Non-glass door option?
    • Heidi doesn’t like the glass doors on the Rockwood Entertainment Centers and we noticed that some units we’ve toured don’t have them. We should be able to order one without.
  • Non-leather couch
    • We like the non-leather Rockwood couch option that Universal has ordered previously. Would like to make sure ours would have that.
  • Second max-air fan for bedroom
    • Rockwood has the option to add a second fan to the bedroom. We want that.
  • No carpet in bedroom
    • Rockwood has an option to add carpet to the bedroom. We don’t want that.
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