June 2019, it finally happened. After 5+ years of talking about it, after renting a Jayco through outdoorsy… we did it. We bought our own trailer.
I’ll admit, I hated taking vacations. Going to hotels, sleeping in someone else’s bed, being in rooms where god-knows-what happened before we got there. I hated it.
Then there was the problem of what to do with our dogs. We have two medium sized dogs and I hate the idea of putting them in a kennel or having a house sitter to watch them while we take a break from the reality of life.
My simple solution was to buy a travel trailer; but which one!? There are dozens of manufacturers, floorplans and options. I was brought up with the mantra “buy once, cry once.” I again took to reading every forum, website, blog. Watching dozens of youtube videos showing walk throughs of trailers, problems with trailers, etc.
My internet travels lead me to the opinion that there were 3 trailer manufacturers that would meet my needs. Northwood Manufacturing, Lance, and Outdoors RV (whom is related to Northwood).
Lance makes a great trailer, however we just couldn’t find a floorplan that worked for our family (2 adults, 1 child and 2 dogs). Outdoors RV produces an amazing product, however they are designed for long term Boondocking and subsequently have rather significant holding tank capacity along with what appears to be a VERY stout build process. The end result are trailers that are too heavy for my tow vehicle (2014 F150). If I ever need another trailer and have a 1 ton truck by then, I’ll definitely be giving their products a look.
That lead us to Northwood’s Nash line. For the longest time we were looking at bunkbed trailers. They seemed like the obvious choice for our family, but the nagging question became what do we do with the beds when our son is older and either doesn’t fit comfortably in them anymore or he’s at a point in life where he doesn’t travel with us anymore? Then I found the 26N floorplan on Northwood’s website. I liked what I saw; rear sofa, a solid door between the master bedroom and the living area, a shower I can stand up in (a common problem in a lot of trailers. I’m 6’2″). The only dealer in our area was about 150 miles away, so one weekend we went up with the intention of just looking at the trailer to see if it would fit our needs. The build quality felt significantly better than any of the other brands we had looked at. The floors were solid, the door seals were great, the fit & finish on the cabinets and all the little details were simply amazing. Then it happened, I asked a question the salesman couldn’t answer. Rather than BS me, he called the Northwood service rep for our area. On holiday weekend. Much to my surprise the rep answered and talked to me happily for about an hour. He answered questions that I didn’t even realize I had until the conversation was flowing. We talked about the warranty, what the trailer is rated for, common issues, things to know for first time owners, etc. By the time the phone call was over I KNEW this was the brand of trailer that I had to have. The rep TOLD the salesman that if we bought the trailer, to ensure that we got the rep’s phone number so that we could call him “anytime” with questions or issues.
I’ve worked in customer support for a long time in my life. I’ve been the victim of “customer support” for even longer. I have NEVER seen a business operate like this. It made me feel really good about their product.
A few hours later, my wife and I were shaking hands with the staff at the dealership and made arrangements to pick the trailer up the following weekend. I couldn’t believe it happened; we really didn’t have any intention of buying that day. The service and attitude demonstrated from the vendor sold me 100% on their product. Frankly, while I may look at other manufacturers in the future, this first contact will be in the back of my mind for a very, very long time.