The choice to live in a travel trailer led to a whole bunch of other choices, both big and small. We were considering things like price, value, if our truck could pull it, and how much space we would need to live and work in. An initial fascination with “tiny house living,” and searching Pinterest for “trailer remodels,” led to an education in being motivated more out of practicality and necessity, with form following function. It just had to be functional. “Cute” wasn’t going to cut it.
WHAT WE TOW AND WHAT’S PULLING IT
2016 PACIFIC COACHWORKS NORTHLAND 24IKS TRAVEL TRAILER
- Travel Trailer
- Floor Plan: Rear Bath
- Sleeps 4
- 5,830 lbs
- 29 ft 0 in
- 2 slides
TOYOTA TUNDRA LIMITED
When we purchased our trailer at Camping World, they outfitted our truck with a weight-distribution hitch, electronic braking system, and a sway control bar. We were not sure what the Tundra could haul at first. David did research through the Toyota dealership, and through Camping World, and in the end, we were pleased to find that the weight-distribution hitch could easily meet our needs.
WHY THE SIZE AND LAYOUT WE CHOSE
As we started researching and shopping, we soon learned that fiberglass trailers were the most durable, had the greatest resale value, and were the lightest in weight. This meant we could store more inside the trailer. As we began to look at floor plans online, we learned what was important to us to live in full-time:
- A coat closet
- A shower that was easy to stand up in, with glass doors
- A dinette/couch/bed for our living area
- An entertainment center to watch our favorite shows
- Ample cooking space
- To be able to use our own foam queen-sized mattress
- Access on both sides of the bed
The model we chose was a 24IKS travel trailer from Pacific Coachworks Northland. Trailer model numbers can be the same, no matter which company you are purchasing your trailer from, but this one was in our price range, with the layout we wanted. This length would allow us the space we needed for two of us to live, work, exercise, cook, eat, and relax the way we wanted to. The island divides the kitchen and makes the living space feel more utilized. The two slide-outs give us the width we need to move around. The space between the island and the entertainment center allow for an exercise area by day, or a dance floor by night.
There is storage underneath the bed, the couch/dinette area, and also outside. We have been learning how to best utilize the space as we live in, and have even gotten rid of more things we didn’t need along the way.
WHY WE BOUGHT NEW
When we started out in our research, we had idealized notions of getting a vintage trailer and revamping it. This seemed the most affordable and sustainable option. David is a carpenter, and this could be a labor of love to custom craft the space as we desired. What we came to realize, however, was that with vintage trailers come vintage problems – rust, leaks, mold, and the need to rebuild foundations and systems from the ground up. We were not willing to go this route.
We also learned that new trailers were easier to finance and insure. We wanted something solid and roadworthy, and buying new gave us the option of purchasing an extended warranty that gave us peace of mind for living in it full-time. If something breaks, it’s covered for 7 years.