If I was ordering new I would as Donna suggests buy every extra cabinet option they have - including the cutlery drawers. A Fantastic Fan, the louver windows
(so they can be opened in the rain), screen door & pre wired for solar
(if you plan to camp without power). I would get all interior LED lights
(if thats an option) and only a 2 burner stove - as I don't think in 6 years and several hundred days of camping I have every used the 3 burners all at once.
I am 50/50 on camping with power so a fridge
that will run on propane
is a must. When on power having an outside electrical
plug is a handy item and I added one myself but managed to get by for a number of years without it.
I removed the TV antenna when I purchased the trailer as I wanted to fit the trailer into my garage but do have an outside cable jack for those rare (maybe once a year) occasions when I stay at an RV park with cable, so could easily live without it. I use a flat MOHU Leaf Antenna
that stores flat in an overhead bin and weighs nothing. I use it if I am camping close to an urban area that has TV signal coverage & I have power. More often than not though I use the TV mostly to watch movies at night if I have power.
I really like having a built on awning
. Its not very big on a 13' but its better than nothing in rainy weather. You can get a portable EZ up type shelter but if weight is your issue then keep in mind most of the portable shelters are heavy as well & you need to carry them with you and the total weight of what you carry in the car also counts against your total weight capacity. I can put out the trailers awning
on my own - something I find almost impossible to do with my portable shelter.
As far as propane
tanks go - one is enough. I have gone for a number of weeks of camping without power & without needing a refill. Thats with running the fridge
on propane, as well as using the hot water tank for showers and running the furnace
occasionally. I have a small solar panel
to keep the battery topped off.
As far as the need for holding tanks goes there are a number of places that I have camped that will not let you use portable type holding tanks (often National parks if they have issues with animals in the campgrounds) as well as some full service RV parks who want everything to be fully contained. As far as the black tank dumping vs the porta potty debate goes - I have over the years used both systems and personally find the porta potty to be more of a hassle than a built in black tank. I find dumping the tank to be pretty simple. Cleaning it even easier - just dump a bag of ice into it after you have dumped the tank. At the Bandon meet a very funny story was told about what can go wrong when dumping a portable tank such as a porta potty into a toilet
not something I have ever experienced using a built in black water tank thankfully. I also like the fact I can pack up and go out of a camping spot at any time and not need to worry about finding a place to dump the porta potty first or worry about anything sloshing around if I don't. As far as maintenance goes I guess I have been fortunate but on my 21 year old Scamp & in the 6 years I have had it I have only had one issue with the built in toilet and it happened last week - clogged valve filter, so no water going to the tank - $2 part and 10 min to fix.
Its a personal thing and only you know what you cant live without and a lot of what you need or dont need will depend on your style of camping. I personally like having a trailer that's equipped to camp anywhere I choose. I often travel without reservations so I can stop at any place that looks nice or I meet up with friends along the way on trips who want to camp at such and such a place - I dont want to be the one that says sorry cant do that as the trailer isnt set up to camp there.
Edit: Yup get the brakes! You will not be sorry you did!