Slide on truck campers
In my somewhat prejudiced opinion, slide-in motorhomes represent the best value in the RV world. Whenever you make a purchase of this size, there will be tradeoffs and compromises in your decision. However, for my family at least, and probably yours, the trade-offs are tilted in favor of the caravan.
The first trade-off with a slide in the truck trailer is space. The few RVs that have less floor space than a slide in a camper are at the smallest end of their class. Smaller motor homes, conversion vans, generally have more floor space than the average slide in truck motorhomes, and there are some small travel trailers that are narrower than a pickup truck. The caravan floor space can be increased by adding sliders, but these features add weight, complexity, and expense to the package.
This is an acceptable compensation for my family. When we go camping, we want to be outdoors as much as we can. My daughter scoffs that if you had all that space and comfort, you could also camp out on an RV lot and sit inside all day (I hope she maintains that attitude, at least through her teens). When we get to our camp, the first thing my wife and daughters do is pull out the folding chairs and find the most comfortable places to sit while I level the platform. After that, the only time we are in the caravan is to eat something, change clothes or sleep. If the weather is bad, we can spend the afternoon sitting in the dining room, eating popcorn and playing cards or watching movies (if it is REALLY bad, we are not very proud to pack our bags and go home).
For me, the biggest advantages of the camper van slide are its versatility and value. When it comes to versatility, it can go almost anywhere my truck can drive. We have camped in full service camps, but prefer more hidden locations. We are prepared for the docking of blessings, so that we can stay in a place without connections for several days. Not that we probably would. It’s so easy to get going that we would probably enjoy one place for two or three nights and then move on to another.
The slide in motorhomes and vans is one of the least expensive motorhomes to buy new. They hold that value better than other RVs, but there are still some good values on the used market. When looking at used RVs, keep in mind that there are fewer “moving parts” in a camper, so spotting the one that has been abused or has real value is easier than with other types of RVs.