Are Coleman travel trailers good? This is the same question I asked myself when I was in the market three years ago for a new camper. To be honest with you, I never even knew Coleman made travel trailers. I used to see the old pop-up’s driving down the freeway with the Coleman name, but never a travel trailer.
Well, after a visit to our local camper show, I saw the Camping World RV dealer with a few Coleman travel trailers on display. I figured it wouldn’t take a hurt to look. After 30 minutes of exploring and inspecting, my wife and I made the decision to buy.
This post is my three-year verdict on my Coleman travel trailer. I waited three years for this post because to me, that is a good time to evaluate the quality and function of any trailer (or any product for that matter). You will read about the good and the not-so-good about this trailer.
Table of Contents
What is a Coleman Camper?
You may be surprised that Coleman doesn’t make this travel trailer. Coleman is a licensed name with the campers made by Dutchmen, owned by Thor Industries.
This doesn’t bother me as I am more interested in quality and function versus just a company name.
On top of that, the Coleman brand is sold at Camping World. And to this date, my experience with this RV dealer has been top-notch! When my wife and I were at the camper show, the sales team was great with no pressure and answered all our questions. Some other RV dealers (I won’t mention any names) that we visited were much more forceful in trying to sell us a camper.
The Coleman travel trailer that I purchased was the Lantern LT Edition. These are typically constructed of a wood frame with aluminum siding. It also has bunk beds and a slide-out for extra interior room.
What I like about this edition are the power features it came with. It has power leveling jacks as well as a power tongue jack. Most travel trailers come with a power tongue jack, but power leveling jacks can still be hit or miss on a new camper.
With the simple push of a button, I could lower and raise the leveling jacks. It was a new luxury for me not to bend down with a drill under a camper. I don’t think I could even go back to manual jacks.
The next thing I like about this camper is the floor plan and the modern finishes. Although you can only do so much with a camper layout, this floor plan fits our family very well. It has the largest dinette we have ever seen. And the corner farmer’s sink let the space flow well.
On top of that, the ceiling height is much higher than we saw from other camper trailers. My family is tall, with some over 6 feet, and this higher ceiling height made us feel less like we were in a metal box.
I am a believer in buying the smallest camper you can live in. The reason for that is it opens up your camping options so much more. My family and I love to dry camp (no electricity) in less congested lake sites and go in the mountains. The larger the camper, the harder it will be for you to make those camping trips.
Coleman makes floor plan options, including bunkhouses and toy haulers. I would check with your RV dealer on the options they have.
Cargo Carry Capacity
There is some good and not-so-good news regarding cargo with my Coleman travel trailer.
First, let’s start with the good; and that is overall cargo carry capacity. I can carry almost 2,000lbs of additional cargo weight in the camper. For a smaller, 24′ camper, that is pretty amazing! Chatting with fellow travelers who have different travel trailer brands, they were all shy of this cargo number. We can all agree that the more weight capacity, the better!
Now, let’s talk about the not-so-good. And I think this may be limited to my Lantern model, but there are no large openings for my cargo. The hatch doors are very small and only allow small items such as toolboxes and camping chairs.
I do have an outdoor kitchen with a larger door. So if you can find a model with storage instead of an outdoor kitchen, you will get more cargo-carrying options.
Overall, the quality seems excellent, and after three years and dozens of camping trips, the list of issues is short.
Annually, I do a once-over of all exterior joints and exterior caulk, and there are no gaps or openings where water can get in. Water infiltration is a huge concern and a key factor in the life of a camper.
To me, the issues encountered over the years are expected of any travel trailer brand. Below is a list of the issues:
- LP Bottle – leak at the regulator. I smelled propane and had to reseal the hose. Click here if you ever smell propane outside your RV.
- Loose Wire at Brakes – discovered that the ground wire disconnected and the brakes were not working. This to me is more of the axle manufacturer and not Coleman.
- Blister in countertop – the undermount sink caulk was pulling away, and some water got into the wood of the countertop. Recaulking the sink fixed this, but the blister is still noticeable.
The verdict is in and 3 years of ownership tells me that Coleman travel trailers are good. The floor plan options seem to meet the needs of many campers. The cargo-carrying capacity is impressive when compared to other brands. And the build quality is there by the short list of issues encountered over the years.
Tony is an avid camper and RV traveler. He fell in love with camping on his first RV trip with his wife over 25 years ago. Tony loves sharing lessons learned and tips about RV maintenance and safe traveling.