First off, let me apologize for the long absence here on our blog! We bought a ‘new’ travel trailer in early May and things have been a bit crazy ever since.
We went with a Northwood Nash 19B travel trailer (downsizing from a 33’ Class A motorhome) and specifically chose it for several reasons:
- Length: It’s 21’ long including the tongue so we will have no issue fitting into almost any campsite or campground
- Storage: We’ve got lots of cabinet space, a good sized closet, kitchen storage, and a large bunk over the bed where most of our clothing is. We’ve also got the entire space under our bed as storage.
- Holding Tanks: This trailer has a 44gal grey water and 40gal black water tank (dang near what we had in our motorhome) so our boondocking and water usage habits won’t need to change too much
- Fresh Water Tank: We’ve got 46gal of fresh water (including 6gal of hot water) which is quite a bit smaller than the motorhome, however, this is fairly easy to replenish when boondocking with the use of portable 5 gallon jugs
- Fridge: We wanted a two door fridge/freezer combo – often in small trailers you find the dorm-sized fridge with tiny freezer inside it. The trailer fridge is slightly smaller than what we had in the motorhome but the freezer seems a little bigger!
- Bathroom: We really wanted a ‘dry’ bath if possible and we got that with this trailer. We have a decent sized shower but we now also have a bath tub! It’s great for bathing our small dogs or if we’re in an RV park we could take a little soak!
- Kitchen: We still have a double kitchen sink (although not as deep at the motorhome), decent counter space and we still have a 3 burner stove and oven
- Bed: It was crucial to me that we still be able to have a Queen-sized mattress in our new trailer and even though it came with a full size pull-out couch, we measured and found we could fit our Queen mattress in here. We also wanted a permanent bed – not something we would have to break down every day like you find in a lot of vans or smaller trailers so we planned to build out the bed frame a little longer to accomodate the bigger mattress
- Capability: We chose the Nash trailer because Northwood Manufacturing uses an off-road chasis on all their trailers! We love to boondock and being able to take it on rugged roads was a must. One of the first things we did was upgrade the trailer tires to chunky off-road tires
- Roof Space: It was critical that we have roof space to be able to install solar panels and this one fit the bill
We also had to buy a truck to pull this fancy new trailer of ours and it was really important to us to improve our fuel economy. We decided on a Ram 1500 Ecodiesel. It’s the smallest diesel truck available (that we know of…in our price range) but with more than enough power for the size of our trailer. We’ve learned that you really only want to pull a trailer that weighs at most 80% of your towing capacity – especially when you’re doing a lot of mountain passes, which we do. You don’t want to be maxed out and always straining your truck’s capacity. Our truck can tow up 7700 pounds and our maximum trailer weight (GVWR) is 5600 pounds.
Since we’ve all ready covered over 1000 miles towing with our new set-up, we’re happy to report an average of 14mpg fuel economy (including through several mountain passes) compared to the 7mpg we got in the motorhome! And we’ve had plenty of engine power to get up those steep inclines. We’ve been averaging 20mpg when we aren’t towing, which is also an improvement over our Nissan Xterra. Overall we’ve been really happy with the truck and trailer.
That being said though, after we moved aboard the trailer in May I started to notice signs that we might have some water damage in the trailer. There were some thin black lines along the ceiling where it met the wall in a couple places and a hidden spot in our overbed bunk where there was a crack in the wall which felt ‘punky’ when pushed… We decided that if we needed to do some repairs on the trailer, it would best be done in Brad’s dad’s shop in Logan, Utah so we packed up the rig and started our way East….
Read all about our trailer’s water damage in Part Two