Finding Our Perfect Fit – RV Comparison Shopping

Like so many other families right now, the RV lifestyle has become very appealing to us. Several primary factors led us down this path: 

  1. We wanted to spend more time outdoors as a family.
  2. We wanted to take trips as a family, but remain on a tight budget.
  3. As a family of 5, we knew we needed some flexibility in travel. 

So as we began searching for an RV, we knew that we had to find something small enough to tow with our existing family vehicles—a Honda Odyssey and a Hyundai Santa Fe. Purchasing a new car with a higher towing capacity was just not an option for us. 

In our hunt, a few possible travel trailer options stuck out to us as a good potential fit for our family:

Forest River R-Pod. A few reasons we liked this model: the designated sleeping area with a queen bed, bathroom, the two-burner stove inside, outdoor cooking area, and the slide-out booth dinette. However, the reasons against the R-pod for us were: 

  1. Our kids could have their own bed, but the twin mattresses felt pretty narrow. Ideally our kids would have their own bed, and to be honest, most nights they still need some middle of the night snuggles from a parent to fall back asleep, but it didn’t feel like an option in these beds. We realized this was a tall order considering all of the other boxes we were trying to tick. 
  2. The dry weight is 2,950, which would be really pushing our capacity. Both of our vehicles have a tow capacity of 3,500 lbs. So we knew with all of our stuff and the tanks full we would likely exceed our towing weight, which means that hopes of boondocking or camping without a hookup would not work.
  3. The price tag. Being on a budget, we had really wanted to get the most bang for our buck. The price was quite a bit out of our range of what we had hoped to spend. 

MSRP: $28,824

Jayco Humming Bird. While looking at this, it appeared small enough with some of the features we liked: the slide-out kitchen with two-burner stove, the queen bed and dinette sleeping areas, good storage and a 2 year warranty. However, reasons we decided against the Hummingbird were:

  1. With this option, our kids would always share a bed. We were really holding out hoping that we could find an option where Lucy and Karl could have their own beds. 
  2. The large bathroom. I know, it seems silly that this would be a deterrent, however, the bathroom took up more space than the other models we looked at. We really didn’t plan on showering in it often. We really just were looking for a toilet for convenience. So a small bathroom area was just fine with us and the larger bathroom was wasted space for our needs. 
  3. The dry weight is 2,890, which again, would really be pushing our limit of 3,500 lbs when full. So we were nervous about pushing our cars too hard trying to tow the Jayco Hummingbird.
  4. The price tag. This model was more expensive than we wanted and not worth it knowing that we would have a hard time towing anyway. The 2-year warranty gave us a little peace of mind, knowing that we could forgo some of those costs that happen with ownership, however, it was still too high for our intended budget.

MSRP: $30,601

Travel Lite Falcon F-Lite. Finally, we found some bunk beds! Finding a bed for both Lucy and Karl was a huge plus for us. We also liked the two burner stove, the tow weight (2,066 dry weight) and the dinette. However, we still had a few qualms with this model:

  1. The top bunk was more narrow than the bottom bunk, apparently to allow for a very small storage cabinet. It was just a little odd. Not a deal breaker, but just odd and seemingly wasted space.
  2. The price tag. While the MSRP of $20,495 was a lot closer to what we were wanting to spend, we were still hoping to find more room in our budget.
  3. No warranty. As far as we could find, there was no warranty for a new travel trailer outside of the tires. With spending this amount on a family RV, we wanted the assurance of a warranty for this big investment. 

MSRP: $20,495

Travel Lite Falcon F-Lite 2020
Photo credit: https://www.travelliterv.com/come-and-see-our-models-of–F-lite

Braxton Creek Bushwhacker Plus…THIS is the model we chose! This awesome little teardrop trailer ticked all of our boxes and then some. Here were the primary reasons we were sold on the Bushwhacker Plus.

  1. The tow weight. With a dry weight of 2,300 pounds, we knew we would be able tow with either of our family vehicles.
  2. Bunk beds! We found the bunk beds that we had desired for our kids. They were really excited to get their own beds. And while we may shift the sleeping arrangements, with this we have flexibility in the wide bunks, where an adult could easily sleep as well.
  3. The aesthetic. We really really loved the look and feel of a teardrop trailer. Plus, there is a big community behind teardrop trailers and it was fun learning more about their support and lifestyle in our research.
  4. Two year warranty. This matches the longest warranty in the RV industry, which obviously is a big appeal. With a long warranty, we will have peace of mind for any little hiccups that could happen along the way.
  5. The price tag. Now this is probably our favorite part. It was by far the lowest MSRP of any travel trailer we could find, at least, one that could sleep our whole family AND had a toilet. The MSRP for this model is $13,609! At this price, it obviously fit into our priority of being budget friendly.
  6. Amenities packed in. At the price and all that was included, we definitely found this to be the most bang-for-your-buck travel trailer we could find. We are very pleased with our little camper and are looking forward to the many adventures we will have as a family.

MSRP: $13,609

Braxton Creek Bushwhacker Plus
Photo credit: https://www.braxtoncreek.com/model/bushwhacker-plus-teardrop

So after all of our research, we are so happy with our new trailer and of course, our first priority was to name it. So everyone, meet Skitch! More on why we chose that name later 😉 Stay tuned for more adventures with our crew!

Outdoor Family