Trailer Tent Buying and Owners Guide
What is a Trailer Tent?
Trailer Tents provide a middle ground between tent camping, and caravanning. These units are towed like a caravan, however are much more economical on the road, easier to store and resemble a canvas tent when fully unfolded. In fact a fully pitched trailer tent can look so much like a regular canvas tent that the only giveaway is often the trailer hitch.
Trailer Tents, when folded up; appear to be small trailers with a canvas cover, ready to be towed. However when you begin to unfold the unit, the sides are brought down to provide elevated sleeping areas, providing the user with a much more comfortable sleeping experience, compared to sleeping on the rough ground. Depending on the unit, trailer tents can come simply as a comfier alternative to a regular tent, or come kitted out with a variety of utilities, including kitchen appliances.
Where some trailer tents will unfold themselves into a comfortable place to sleep, others may have awnings, which can transform the unit into a very spacious tent. This gives the option of creating a much grander communal area in which families can relax and spend time in.
Advantages of buying trailer tents over traditional canvas tents or caravans are many, such as; they can provide extensive living areas with elevated beds, they are easier and more economical to tow or store than caravans and can often be used on camping sites where caravans can’t, as well as easier to pitch than most equivalent sized tents.
Buying a Trailer Tent
Although compared to your standard canvas tent, trailer tents come with a much higher price tag; you have to consider that it’s outstanding value for money in comparison to buying a caravan, especially when you look at units with plenty of facilities.
When shopping for trailer tents it is important to know what you want from the unit. Trailer tents from brand new can cost as little as £2000 up to £8000+ and vary in terms of size, utilities and berth. Make sure that when looking at trailer tents, you check them unfolded so you can judge whether the unit can sleep everybody comfortably when being used. Even a 4 berth can become cramped when there is luggage to account for, especially if you all need room to get changed after a trek across the countryside!
It is definitely worth asking to get a demonstration of the unit being unfolded, not only so you can get an idea of how easy or difficult it is, but also so you are well prepared when you take it out for it’s first adventure.
When buying from a retailer whether it is brand-new or second hand, do take into consideration the level of service that you receive. Do you think this company will be helpful if you ever needed to have the unit serviced or if there are any problems? If it is second hand make sure you get the chance to check the trailer tent inside and out, folded and unfolded, so you know it is in good condition, checking the canvas for any rips or holes and the underside for any signs of rust. Second hand trailer tents bought privately must be checked doubly, as there won’t be any form of warranty or guarantee.
Storage and Maintenance of your Trailer Tent
Perhaps the largest benefit a trailer tent has over a caravan, other than the price of course, is the size. As trailer tents are much smaller than a caravan, they can be easily stored at home without too much effort, whether it’s in the garage, on the driveway or even in the garden. Some trailer tents also have the option to be stored on their sides or on one end so that they don’t take up so much room.
There are plenty of options when it comes to storing your unit, whether you keep it at a private home or stored on a site, but whereveryou keep your trailer tent stored, make sure it is secure. There are plenty of security products out there, including hitch locks, wheel clamps and wheel locks that prevent the trailer tent from being wheeled or towed away.
There are also storage compounds you can use which will offer extra security for your unit, especially if you use a CaSSOA (Caravan Storage Site Owners Association) registered site.
When keeping your trailer tent stored for longer periods of time, especially throughout the winter, you not only want it to be secure from theft, but also from adverse weather and vermin. Trailer tents left outside or in outbuildings can be subject to water ingress or damp if water ends up getting through the canvas. Be aware that it’s quite common for insurance companies not to cover against gradual damage, such as water ingress, or damage caused by vermin or infestation, so steps should be taken to protect your trailer tent. Make sure your trailer tent is closed up properly and that there’s no water already inside the unit before you leave it for long periods of time. This is especially important if your trailer tent has a kitchen unit included, as it is possible for any left over water in the system to freeze and cause damage.