A Coleman is a high-quality travel trailer

Are Coleman Travel Trailers High Quality Campers?

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Coleman is a brand name known for quality camping gear, but what about their travel trailers?

If you’re curious about the Coleman travel trailer brand, or in the market for a new or used RV, take a few minutes to read this guide.

Inside, you’ll learn about the company’s history, get reviews of the latest travel trailer models, and find answers to common questions about the brand, including resale value, tow vehicle requirements, and overall quality.

So stay right here if you want to know if Coleman travel trailers deliver a quality product or if they miss the mark, so you make the right RV investment for your family!

Coleman Camper History

A Coleman travel trailer

The Coleman company history starts way back in 1900 with gas lanterns.

Over the subsequent decades, the company brought forth improvements on their lanterns and more products like cooking stoves, sleeping bags, and other camping or outdoor gear, making most people familiar with the brand name.

Coleman brought their first campers to market in 1967. All the campers were pop-up styles.

Foldable campers were a hot trend for families who wanted an upgrade from tent camping but like the pop-up’s convenient compact storage.

By 1979, Coleman became the most popular selling camper on the market and kept on top until their sell-out to Fleetwood in the late 1980s. Fleetwood eventually went bankrupt and sold off rights to the Coleman name to current owner Dutchman, part of Thor Industries, in 2010.

It was the transition to Dutchman when the Coleman brand began putting out travel trailers instead of the original pop-up styles of camper.

Part of Coleman’s latest popularity and reputation for quality rests on the fact that Thor also creates other top-of-the-line recreational vehicles such as:

  • Jayco
  • Airstream
  • Crossroads
  • Entegra
  • Keystone

As a brand, Coleman currently has no ties to it’s original owners and is merely a recognizable name that benefits sales, but it does deliver an impressive amount of features for what many consider to be an “entry-level” RV.

Which Coleman Travel Trailer Should You Buy?

A woman buying a Coleman travel trailer

The latest Coleman brand travel trailers models are the Coleman Light, Coleman Light LX, Coleman Lantern, and Coleman Lantern LT.

Next up is a quick overview of each model’s features along with the top pros and cons customers mention.

Coleman Light

The Coleman Light travel trailer series comes in a whopping 12 floorplans that allow customers a wide range of layouts to fit their needs perfectly.

Camper length ranges from 22 to 34 feet, with weights between 4,500 and 7,700 pounds. Model pricing starts at $16,000.00.

All models in the series offer one or two slideouts to increase interior living space.

The Light series also delivers on its name by being some of the lightest travel trailers on the market, with many SUVs having the towing capacity to pull them safely.

The adjustable steps are another plus that allows more stable and secure footing on any terrain you may encounter at campsites.

PROS:

  • Comes with power awning, tongue jack, and stabilizer jacks
  • Sleeps up to eight
  • Offers bunkhouse options
  • Ample interior and exterior storage
  • Pre-wired for optional extras

CONS:

  • Issues with digital thermostat
  • Not enough electrical outlets
  • Uncomfortable mattresses

Coleman Light LX

The Coleman Light LX series offers four models that range in length from around 20 to 26 feet. Camper weight ranges from 3,586 to 4,317 pounds with model pricing starting at $16,000.00.

These models feature many of the same amenities as the Light series, such as the push-button jacks and awning with LED lighting.

Two models come without slideouts, which is ideal for people who don’t want to deal with the hassles RV slides inevitably cause.

The LX series’s highlight is the lightweight build that allows small trucks, SUVs, and even some cars (with ample tow rating) to pull even the largest model with ease.

PROS:

  • Comes with power awning and tongue jack
  • Sleeps up to eight
  • 80″ ceiling height
  • Good storage
  • Diamond-plate rock guard

CONS:

  • Only sleeps 2-3 people
  • Materials that make camper lightweight are often flimsy
  • Queen mattress is 3″ shorter than standard

Coleman Lantern

The Coleman Lantern model is a big seller because it packs in many features camping families find valuable, yet doesn’t come with the high price tag found on similarly appointed brands.

Models come in lengths from 27 to 38 feet and weights ranging between 5,500 and 8,500 pounds. Model pricing starts at $23,848.00.

The 11 floorplans include three toy-hauler models with a pull-down backdoor/ramp that increases the ease of carrying bikes, kayaks, or other bulky camping gear on trips.

The Lantern series offers power equipment like the jacks and awning but adds on an upgraded kitchen package with residential-size appliances. Some Lantern models even include a hidden pantry for RVers who like to cook.

There are 50-amp models available in the Lantern line, which expands the power output of larger trailers so more appliances or a second air conditioner can run at once.

PROS:

  • Comes with residential-size kitchen appliances
  • Sleeps up to eight and includes bunkhouse plans
  • 82″ ceiling height
  • All models have slideouts
  • Layouts improve traffic flow
  • Outdoor shower
  • Pre-wired for optional extras like Wi-Fi, solar, cameras, etc.

CONS:

  • Furniture and trims show wear quickly
  • Shower causes problems for people over 6 foot
  • Issues with slideout leaks

Coleman Lantern LT

The Coleman Lantern LT series may be the brands value line, but it doesn’t skimp on amenities.

The seven travel trailer models’ lengths range from 21 to 30 feet with weights between 3,136 to 5,833 pounds. Model pricing starts at $18,848.00.

The lightweight travel trailer means you can pull many models with vehicles with less towing capacity yet still have ample space to camp in comfort.

The Lantern LT also includes power equipment found on all other models from Coleman but only offers two options that include slideouts if you are looking for more space.

PROS:

  • Lightweight for SUV towing (with suitable rating)
  • Sleeps up to eight
  • Galley is functional
  • Ample storage
  • Night shades in the bedroom and living room

CONS:

  • Shorter models have bed put in sideways which is awkward
  • Panels for tanks and water heater are hard to access
  • Black water tank valve location difficult to reach

Coleman Travel Trailer FAQs

Do Coleman Travel Trailers Hold Their Resale Value?

Coleman travel trailers do okay in the resale market and sell quickly when owners upkeep the camper with care.

Since Coleman travel trailers’ original pricing is lower than many other similar size camper brands, in the resale market, this RV is even more affordable for buyers on a budget.

Coleman offers excellent layouts that campers appreciate and enough storage and features to make them easy sellers.

The real downfall of maintaining Coleman camper resale value is staying on top of routine tasks.

Caulking seams to prevent leaks, tightening up trim work as it pops loose, and touching up scuffs on flooring or furniture will keep the trailer looking it’s best if you plan to resell.

The lower-grade materials used in the camper do show wear and tear much quicker than other brands.

Another resale issue is removing any extras that didn’t come with the initial camper purchase. Coleman keeps prices low because they don’t include televisions, backup cameras, and other amenities you may expect.

Once an owner buys the trailer, they most likely add these items to the camper and should consider leaving them in place when trying to gain the highest resale value.

What Customer Is Best for Coleman Travel Trailers?

The best Coleman travel trailer

Coleman travel trailers are best for families, RVers on a budget, and RVing newbies who want to test out the lifestyle.

Families benefit the most from the vast array of camper floorplans.

It’s rare to find affordable travel trailers that include bunkhouses, let alone Coleman offering double-bunkhouse designs to increase sleeping quarters for larger families.

The thoughtful layout increases living space and storage, which keeps everyone and their items under control, which can be difficult in most RVs.

Coleman’s pricing is another draw for entry-level RVers who want to gain experience before upgrading to a more luxurious camper.

Can an SUV Tow a Coleman Travel Trailer?

Many SUVs have a tow rating of 5,000 pounds or higher, which means many Coleman travel trailers are lightweight enough for safe towing.

The Coleman Light LX and Lantern LT versions are good options for RV shoppers looking for an SUV-towable camper or those with light-duty trucks that don’t have high towing power.

SUVs with high towing capacity include:

  • Chevrolet Suburban
  • Toyota Land Cruiser
  • Land Rover Range Rover Sport
  • GMC Yukon
  • Cadillac Escalade
  • Nissan Armada
  • Chevrolet Tahoe

The ability to tow so many of the Coleman campers with an SUV is another great feature that many shoppers initially overlook about the brand.

Not having to purchase a heavy-duty truck along with your travel trailer cuts costs dramatically and leaves more money in your pocket for fun camping adventures.

Are Coleman Travel Trailers Good for Full-Time Rvers?

Many full-timers are happy with their Coleman travel trailer, especially the smaller, more lightweight versions, as they are easy to tow and park.

Having a power tongue jack and stabilizers is glorious for full-timers who use these features often.

The push-button awning is another stress-reliever that makes quick work of awning retraction when the weather takes a sudden turn. Trust me, any RVer with a manual awning fumbling to close it up during a torrential rainstorm can appreciate this feature!

On the other hand, the rigors of full-time RVers who travel extensively, especially with pets, find the lesser-grade materials quickly create cosmetic issues that are troublesome.

Scratches in flooring, cabinet facings and wall coverings happen a bit too easily.

Coleman slideouts are another point of contention that needs constant monitoring to prevent leaks.

Many full-timers will go for the more extended Coleman travel trailer models and opt for the kitchen upgrade packages that increase the size of kitchen appliances for more “comforts of home.”

Are Coleman Travel Trailers High Quality?

Coleman travel trailers are not known as a high-quality brand for materials as much as they are for convenient features you may not expect in such an affordable camper.

The quality level is excellent in comparison to the price, especially when you place them against similar models of other brands.

Coleman travel trailers receive the same quality assurances Dutchman provides to all their camper models, including a 253-point inspection before delivery to ensure proper function and quality standard of the build.

Dutchman also offers the best warranty in the industry with a 3-year structural warranty.

But, does Coleman deliver on these promises?

As with all camper brands, many issues do present themselves once you take a camper off the sales lot and begin to travel.

Coleman isn’t any different, and most complaints stem from a lack of durable materials in the initial build, which owners are well aware of at purchase.

Many of the issues are a quick-fix that doesn’t require professional intervention, like renailing door trim or filling in missing caulk.

When it comes to large problems, such as a faulty water heater or furnace, there are few customer complaints. For those who do have such issues, customers find the Dutchman staff excellent for quickly answering calls.

On the downside, many Coleman owners find getting quality warranty work completed in a timely and correct fashion to be challenging as they must take the camper to third-party RV shops for repair. Again, this frustration is common with almost any brand of RV.

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Final Thoughts on Coleman Travel Trailers

After plenty of research about the Coleman product line and customer feedback, I believe a Coleman travel trailer is a good buy when you understand that it’s not going to be a luxury-line recreational vehicle.

For those looking for a towable RV for occasional weekend trips that are affordable, spacious, and functional for even large families, a Coleman travel trailer should be on your shopping list.

With so many floorplans and Coleman models to choose from, you’re sure to find a perfect fit!

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