To be honest, a friend of mine gave me this advice and it turned out to be pretty food IMO:
"Buy your second RV, first"
meaning, you will rapidly outgrow whatever you think is a good "starting RV". We went straight to a Hybrid and I loved it. Was a little daunting to tow at first, but we also bought a Nissan Armada at the time, which was plenty of truck for the HTT. Ended up moving to a bunk house (Jayco 32BHDS) when my wife and I had twins (children #5&6)and then when that TT was stolen moved into a bigger BH (our current TT).
I would really suggest a HTT or lightweight bunkhouse TT. But pick what you want to tow (or maybe even your "second" TT just to have room to grow) first and THEN by a TV that can tow it.
Just my .02.
2012 Jayco 32TSBH
2004 Ford Excursion
ProPride 3P Hitch
Tru Control brake controller
Roadmaster Active Suspension
As many others suggested, look at hybrids. They provide a lot of sleeping space without being too long or heavy.
Our first RV was a PUP that we used for 7 years. We've had our current one for 4 years and plan to have it for at least 10 (and see no reason that we won't be able to at this point, and yes, we plan to keep towing it with the Sienna for all 10 years - not because we have to financially, both the trailer and Sienna are paid for, but because that's what works for us). The trick is to think about your needs and desires and which of those are truly needs vs. desires that you can compromise on, balance options, and look at all of the offerings. Take your time. There are A LOT out there. We spent a year selecting the PUP, and 2 years selecting our current trailer.
Things to consider: A longer trailer provides more space inside, but can limit where you can stay. This may, or may not, be an issue depending on your preferences for camping locations. Weight and length will dictate your tow vehicle. Mine is pushing it, but works because we're a lightweight family of backpackers, so know how to pack light. Slides greatly improve the space inside, but also increase the potential for maintenance and repairs (and provide another spot where mice might be able to get in). Hybrids have tent ends for the beds, which I like because they provide sleeping space without increasing length and very little increase in weight, but they have a host of downsides too, such as being somewhat harder to heat/cool, and generally only support sleeping across the opening, making it harder for the person on the outside to get up in the middle of the night. For us that's not a problem (we're young) but for others it could be. You get the idea - there are A LOT of variables to consider, and no perfect choice. It's a balance between competing priorities.
Most trailers don't hold their value well, like cars, so you're better off keeping the same unit for a long time. That means taking into consideration changes that happen over time - kids grow, acquire friends, sometimes acquire siblings, pets, and so forth.
* This post was
edited 07/18/12 06:35pm by atreis *
A pop up is great for real camping. Our's sleeps 7 and with our family of 4 we can all have our own bed with the three dogs sleeping in the camper too. The problem we run in to is lack of storage for clothes. I can manage to pack all of our food and camping gear but have surrendered our couch to suitcases and duffel bags for clothes. If we can swing it our next camper may be a hybrid with a couple of bunk ends that we can open up and get ventilation. And be able to pack without having to set up the camper. But we probably will keep the pop up for may more years before that happens.
07 Coachmen Clipper Classic 1070ST
02 Explorer 4.6 V8 TV