Tent or Travel Trailer

cindy_k

Member
May 9, 2021
50
Florida
I am a new A-Frame owner (former tent camper), and I am scouting around Campground websites, to see what's available for camping with the trailer.

I was looking at a KOA campground and they asked for me to choose my Equipment type. They didn't list Pop-up, instead the closest choices were Travel Trailer or Tent Trailer.

Which would you choose? I am leaning towards Travel Trailer, because we don't have any canvas.

Thank you!
 

Jkoht

Active Member
Aug 10, 2020
127
In general travel trailer sites might be bigger, or available in pull through whereas tent trailer sites might be back in only and smaller sites as far as depth. In my experience tent trailer sites tend to be more along the outside edges and have better tree and shading available. All of this is subject to change from one campground to the next. For me personally, I wouldn't take a travel trailer site unless it's the only thing available because that would be depriving a site to someone with a bigger unit that needs the space.

Edit: you might also end up screwing yourself if you reserve a TT site and show up with a small A frame and the owner refuses to let you use that site and the tent trailer sites are full.
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
I would call them and ask about it. I’ve found here in AZ, to chose the Travel Trailer site than a tent site. Because the tent site/pad is in the dirt and the driveway is shorter. You can’t park the Aliner in the dirt area/tent pad at most designated campgrounds. By choosing the Trailer site, the driveway is longer and fits both the Aliner and truck. This guarantees enough room to camp comfortably.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

Tonya Harding

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 15, 2018
1,752
Virginia
State Parks here have no hook up sites, usually see tents, but sometimes see pop ups/teardrops/ a frames in 'em; they also have back in & pull thru (electric/h2o) sites, there you'll see everything from humongo rigs to pop ups/'drops/a frames, & the rare tenters...call & see wazz up if specs aren't listed...
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
@cindy_k…. Welcome to the Aframe Family. Can’t wait to hear about your mods, upgrades, Decorating and trips.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,544
Albuquerque, NM
When we had our popups, we usually chose tent trailer if that was among the choices, otherwise whatever was closest to what we have. I also learned to add a couple of feet to the opened length of the popup, and the total length on the small TT we have now. Otherwise, if it's somewhere, such as a KOA, where the sites are assigned, I found I often ended up with a site that was just barely long enough - in a couple of cases, I could hardly open the back gate of the 4Runner once the bunk end was extended.
In most KOAs, when you make a reservations you at least can choose from back-in and pull through options, often more. Most KOAs also are helpful if you call or email them for more details. At some, I have found that I can find out the site I've been assigned ahead of time. I made a reservation at the Flagstaff KOA a year ago for a now-canceled Sisters on the Fly event, and had a site given to me then. My husband and I scoped it out when we were there last fall, and determined I could just fit with the truck and trailer, with care in placement. I contacted them earlier this year, to see if I could upgrade my site to a larger one (& FHU). About a month ago, I emailed them again, and by that time, I could upgrade, so I don't have to be so careful in setting up camp, so I called and made that change, so I am pretty sure which site we'll have on Monday. (My friend and I decided to do the trip, event or not, since we had it on our calendars.)
For state and other public campgrounds, such as national parks, US Forest Service, I've pretty much depended on the info available digging through the reservation pages. Campsitephotos is also helpful.
Seldom can you use a camper of any sort in a site designated "tent only", often the site is set up so there's little parking space because the tent is in the interior of the site. We've been to campgrounds where the tent sites are "walk in", well separated from the parking or tent-only loops that do not allow even van campers.
 

cindy_k

Member
May 9, 2021
50
Florida
@cindy_k…. Welcome to the Aframe Family. Can’t wait to hear about your mods, upgrades, Decorating and trips.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]

:) thank you! We do have some plans.
The microwave has to go.
I want to change out the pigtail power cord for a marine plug. I don't like that hole being just open on the side of the camper.
The outdoor shower, change out the short hose connection for a quick connect, and get a longer hose.

and the last thing we are currently planning, is the biggest change, to see if we can rotate the bed 90 degrees and put in a trifold Queen mattress.
From the floor plan, we think there is room, if we shorten the microwave cabinet to bed height and create a sliding support in the middle, to put in a trifold queen mattress, so we have more sleep room and don't have to climb over each other. It also creates another storage spot along the wall.

I want to take lots of pictures and videos as we do the work. :) Everyone else's video have really helped me on this journey so far, I feel like I should help the next person by adding some more. :)
2587-12HMD.png
 

DiamondGirl

Adventures with KODI in AZ
Jul 2, 2016
1,335
AZ
@cindy_k… Sounds like great ideas…

We kept the microwave because it made warming up easy meals on the last morning quick. Breakfast sandwiches and or burritos. Plus we used the microwave when the outside weather was bad. It wasn’t always rain that kept us inside but very windy/dust storms. Makes eating your meal with dirt unappealing.

Definitely change out the electrical cord/plug. It’s a PITA to pull out or shove back inside. It gets stuck a lot. Having a detached electrical cord on my new TT makes it so much easier. We should of done that mod on the Aliner years ago.

And definitely replace the outdoor shower with the Dura Faucet Quik disconnect model. We did that upgrade on the Aliner and it worked VERY well. No shoving the plastic tubing in & out. We always used the outdoor shower for taking showers, washing dishes and hand washing.

Can’t wait to see your bed mod. It’s tough having to crawl over the other person. DH biggest wish was getting a new TT with a walk around bed and a indoor full size bathroom.

Happy Camping…[put&hy]
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
11,453
Nj
As for the sites, i will agree any would be doable. I find that the TT sites tend to have hook ups more so then pup sites. Just make sure that if you get a tent site thats its not a walk in for a tent. I tended to go with TT sites with sewer hook ups to dump the cassette tolet easier on longer trips. But , it depends on what you use, and want.
 

S4nsc

Active Member
Jan 30, 2021
101
St Augustine, FL
Florida State Parks list a maximum equipment size even for the tent sites. Especially during the hot months tent sites don’t get used down here. We have called several parks and as long as we are smaller than the max allowed size they will allow pop ups and A-frames in the tent only sites. We haven’t actually used a tent only site but it is an option.

I would always call to verify that it was allowed by the park.
 

Sotovoce

Active Member
Jun 27, 2015
295
Georgia
Given the choices between travel trailer and tent trailer I have chosen travel trailer. My thinking was that once I entered the length of my trailer (including spare tire and hitch) they knew how much space I needed.
 

Nanapoppypops

Active Member
Mar 30, 2019
306
Lake Placid, NY
I am a new A-Frame owner (former tent camper), and I am scouting around Campground websites, to see what's available for camping with the trailer.

I was looking at a KOA campground and they asked for me to choose my Equipment type. They didn't list Pop-up, instead the closest choices were Travel Trailer or Tent Trailer.

Which would you choose? I am leaning towards Travel Trailer, because we don't have any canvas.

Thank you!
Hi there. We are always asked what length our rig is, including tongue hitch. Adding a couple feet shouldn't matter. Good luck
 

Tait

Active Member
May 1, 2020
109
I agree that either tent trailer or travel trailer works depending on the circumstances. We almost always camp in NPS or California state facilities - I have not had a ranger or volunteer even ask about the category. I think I could make a good argument that it is effectively a tent trailer for purposes of fitting into a smaller space or a travel trailer for purposes of hookups/needing hard sides. We tend to think of it as a hard-sided tent trailer.

Will be interested in seeing your mods - please do post if you do them!
 

cindy_k

Member
May 9, 2021
50
Florida
I agree that either tent trailer or travel trailer works depending on the circumstances. We almost always camp in NPS or California state facilities - I have not had a ranger or volunteer even ask about the category. I think I could make a good argument that it is effectively a tent trailer for purposes of fitting into a smaller space or a travel trailer for purposes of hookups/needing hard sides. We tend to think of it as a hard-sided tent trailer.

Will be interested in seeing your mods - please do post if you do them!

I will as soon as we get it. I have been posting about my buying progress in the Intro board. We are still waiting for the dealer to finish fixing the camper (as they have promised). We thought we were just waiting for an A/C, but we stopped by yesterday and found the windows are leaking. At least its still with the dealer so they can fix it.
 

davido

Super Active Member
Jul 17, 2014
1,309
Campground reservation websites need to stop trying to enumerate the types of trailers, and instead, allow a checklist of features to be used. I know they do this a lot, but it's just not the right way to determine what features will be needed.

For your A-Frame, you have to think about:

  • Would selecting "Tent trailer" lead the campground to think you need a deeper site than you actually require? Tent trailers have a bed that slides out in back. A-Frames don't.
  • Would selecting "Tent trailer" exclude you from even using the campground? Some of the campgrounds in Yellowstone, for example, are available to hard-side trailers only due to wildlife problems. A-Frames are more like hard sides in this case.
  • Would selecting "Travel Trailer" get you excluded from a campsite because they assume it is too large for the site? An A-Frame is really compact.
  • Would selecting "Travel Trailer" result in you paying for hookups that you don't need, such as sewer?
  • Would selecting "Tent trailer" result in you NOT getting the hookups you need, such as electrical?
Who knows. Campgrounds draw conclusions about your needs based on arbitrary labels that don't quite match your trailer. Campgrounds SHOULD be asking:
  • How much depth do you need to back in fully and park your tow vehicle?
  • How much width do you need to accommodate your trailer, including slide-outs?
  • Do you need electrical?
  • Do you need water?
  • Do you need sewer?
  • Do you need to deploy your awning? (If so, adjacent trees may prevent that in some sites.)
  • Do you have tenting anywhere? (That is important at campgrounds that have bear problems.)
  • Do you need back-in or pull through?
  • How tall is your rig (in case of overhanging trees)
That's it. What else do they need to know?
 

Tait

Active Member
May 1, 2020
109
· Do you have tenting anywhere? (That is important at campgrounds that have bear problems.)

Good points - although I doubt they will be asking all of those questions and then applying the answers appropriately.

The tenting point is particularly important - there are several otherwise "hard sided" travel trailers - not pop-ups - that have canvas covered pop-out beds...
 

davido

Super Active Member
Jul 17, 2014
1,309
Good points - although I doubt they will be asking all of those questions and then applying the answers appropriately.

The tenting point is particularly important - there are several otherwise "hard sided" travel trailers - not pop-ups - that have canvas covered pop-out beds...

As an example of this in practice, Fishing Bridge Campground in Yellowstone posts this on the reservation website:
"Because grizzly bears frequent the area, no tents or tent campers are allowed."

So in this case, an A-Frame reserving as a travel trailer or hard-side trailer would be allowed. Registering as a popup tent trailer, it would not be allowed.
 




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