Our Little Used Trailer: A Few Potholes Starting Out.

Our_Little_TrailerAn Article By Matthew O’Keefe

What do you need to travel to the country and be comfortable? The thought of traveling and seeing all the wonderful sites and landmarks, and doing some digital photography, is very tempting. It is much more achievable for people these days. When my wife and I are out on the highway very few drives pass without seeing at least one traveler in their RV, Motor Home, or pulling their 5th Wheel, or trailer.

We have a used travel trailer ourselves. Before finally deciding and acting on getting our 1995 16ft, Bonair Travel Trailer, we searched and considered many options. We do not have children, but we do have two beagles, and now two cats. We chose a trail for several reasons; cost and size were definite considerations.

We had known that we would need to get a used RV or travel trailer because of our limited budget. If someone takes pride in their property these units can have a tremendous life span and retain their value well.

We were needing to travel to help the family several times a week; the distance was more than an hour away. In addition, it was late hours and I still needed to travel to my regular job at the time. Being away from our pets for long stretches of the day was not a good feeling. The solution we came up with was to find a small Motor Home or Trailer. It needed to fit in a town-sized driveway and let us have a little privacy when we were away from home.

Our Small Trailer

Catherine had found us the 16ft used travel trailer at a reasonable price. We rushed to the seller’s home, as we were informed that another person was interested and it was a first come first serve scenario. We won! The problem, we did not have a hitch installed on the van yet. We had put the “cart before the horse” as the saying goes. For a few hundred dollars extra the seller delivered the trailer the following weekend. By that time I had got the hitch installed and we would be ready to go on our first trip in a few days. That is another story worthy of its own posting.

The trailer was seventeen years old at the time. The seller identified how they had taken care of the trailer and the tips they had for maintaining it. Catherine took the lead in cleaning the inside and we started making it our own. We found the corners showed signs of moisture leaking in. It made sense of being stress points of the structure. I went at the outside with a caulking compound meant for interior and exterior windows and doors. I made quite the mess of the process. My advice now! Take a little time to research and get a specialty weather seal meant for RV’s.

Customzing Our Little Trailer

We made little customizations for our pet needs. A baby gate prevents our dogs from rushing out when the screen door is opened. We had one cat when we purchase the trailer, we now have two. They have an overhead single sized bunk for their safe space. Unfortunately our one beagle Rocky has never accepted the cats.

We have learned many things, and I can assure you we will continue to learn as we travel on longer trips and continue our process of maintaining our trailer. I will close by giving this advice. Do not let your pride get in the way of doing things the right way. Read the manual, read it again and never throw it out. You may know plumbing or how electrical systems work in your home or work. An RV or trailer has many, many components in very small spaces. You do not want to damage any part of your set up for lack of reading the instructions.

Enjoy the trip, the travel and the adventure. Where will you be going next? Our top of the list includes Niagara Falls and New York City.



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