Mobile Living: Making Sense of It All

  • Posted on Jul 17, 2017

With summer in full gear and the heat ticking up, there’s probably a pretty good chance that you are looking to get away from it all. Maybe you are thinking about going up one of the beautiful canyons that cut into and across and through the Wasatch front. Maybe there is a nice quiet lake that is just waiting for your fishing line in the cool early morning. Or maybe your annual trip to the Southwest is coming up and an air-conditioned expedition trailer seems like something to consider with these record-breaking highs.


Regardless of the course, the call to finally look into getting your own expedition trailer or to replace that RV you got from the classified ads in 1973 will likely lead to a convoluted and often complicated process of research and decision making. It can all be a bit overwhelming, but we here at TImberline Range Camps Blog have been in the industry of mobile living for a very long time and we are here to help.

Know Your Jargon

Let’s begin by briefly taking a look at all the different jargon that you may come across in your search for the perfect expedition trailer and mobile living space.


Mobile living spaces can be called any number of things and you will likely find regional variations depending on where you live. Generic terms like caravan or travel trailer are very common and broadly communicate what you are probably looking for: something to hook up to your vehicle that will provide the conveniences and accommodations of home while on the road. You will find a host of information and options on how to get set up by looking through the Timberline catalogue and our blog archive, but you may also find some new terms not broadly used across the mobile living market. So, as you begin your expedition in search of the perfect trailer, take a step back and take a look at all the options.


Timberline expedition trailers come in a large number of shapes and sizes with a staggering number of customizable options to fit your specific expedition needs. Stemming from our long history in the transportation and agriculture industries, our expedition camps are based on what we have seen on the job. While the terms Sheep Camp, Range Camp, or Sheep Wagon may be new to you, these expedition trailers are at the cutting edge of the modern mobile living movement.


Expedition trailers such as our lines of range camps and sheep camps are among several other types of trailers, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a quick tour of these different types.


Tear Drop Trailer


Tear drop trailers are small and versatile trailers that accommodate up to 2 people and have room for cooking and storage spaces. While teardrop trailers can be outfitted to be off-road tough and expedition ready, they are generally meant to be the the best option for people who want to get up and out of the door on a whim. The Timberline iteration of the teardrop is our popular  Recon expedition trailer that takes the best of the tear-drop key characteristics and builds upon them to make it a tough-as-nails standard for any expedition.


Trailer Homes and Pop-ups


If you are like many of us, you will likely have fond memories of family campouts in your pop-up trailer. These are collapsable living spaces that allow for low-profile towing without sacrificing space. The cloth and canvas walls are often  made from tough material to withstand many years of being folded and unfolded. While may of these have attractive names that evoke the spirit of expedition trailers, they more often than not are meant to be pulled on the road and set up in family campgrounds. Not bad for a weekend away, but also probably not what you are looking for if you intend to go very far off the beaten path.


Camping Trailers are very similar to pop-ups in that they are a bit less expensive than full on mobile homes and offer many nice accomodations. Expedition trailers take the idea of mobility to the next level, though. A true expedition trailer like those offered in the TImberline catalogue are built tough so that their life spans decades rather than years.

Mobile Homes and Fifth Wheels


When you get to the more expensive and larger side of the RV spectrum you will find the full range of motorhomes, converted buses, and fifth wheel trailers. The main difference here from pop-up trailers and expedition trailers is that motorhomes are self-powered, often resembling decked out buses. If driving a bus seems intimidating, you are probably right. In many states, these types of RVs require a special license to drive on public roads.


The term “Fifth Wheel” refers to heavy-duty trailer hitches most often seen on eighteen-wheelers. In the RV industry, these refer to mobile living trailers that use this same technology to connect to large trucks. Often the truck will have the fifth-wheel installed in their truck bed. While these arrangements offer some of the most spacious and luxurious options, due to their size and weight, these are restricted to paved roads and commercial camp sites.


Take Aways


So, how do you choose what option will best suit your needs? The fact is that most people’s expedition trailer needs are going to fall somewhere in the middle of the spectrum between tiny teardrop and massive fifth wheel.


What is actually the best in class option when you consider your need to be versatile, tough, fully customizable and long-lasting? In all honesty, we love this question because Timberline expedition trailers and range camps fit the bill perfectly. Whether you need big or small, electric or off-grid, teardrop or full length, our expedition trailers allow for full customization, can be designed with your current equipment and needs in mind, and with its industry leading fabrication and manufacturing process, you will be enjoying your expedition trailer for decades.

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“First, thanks for all of the help and patience in preparing to order our camp. You made sure that we really got what we wanted. From the time we picked up our camp we have really enjoyed it. It pulls great, and is easy to park and set up. This camp is so comfortable. Cooking and cleaning is easy, and everything is easy to get to. You can have people in and not feel crowded. We have camped in camp grounds, by lakes, and in the hills hunting with no problems. We like camping in it best when it is cold so we can use the wood stove. There is nothing cozier than that stove. Summer is nice to; the windows are placed so there is good ventilation. The door coming in from the front is more secure feeling. The kids are fighting over who will inherit it, but we are determined to wear it out before that happens.”

- Pat and Ernie , Sparks Nevada

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