Nelson 1865 Traveling Sprinkler

Traveling Sprinkler Reviews: Nelson 1865 Rain Train Traveling Sprinkler

“The Poor Man’s Sprinkler System”

A Traveling Sprinkler (also sometimes called a Walking Sprinkler or a Tractor Lawn Sprinkler (due to its shape)) is probably one of the most inventive and practical lawn sprinklers ever designed.  Not only can it serve as a stationary lawn sprinkler (just place the sprinkler where you want to water, put the sprinkler’s switch in the neutral position, and then turn on the hose) but it can also slowly move across your yard, watering your yard as it moves on its own, without your having to go out and move the hose and reposition the sprinkler several times.  Sometimes called, and not in a derogatory way either but rather in a practical way, “the Poor Man’s Sprinkler System”, the traveling sprinkler provides you with just that – – – a lawn sprinkler system.   Just lay out your garden hose wherever you want your lawn to be watered, set the traveling sprinkler’s front wheels over your garden hose, choose what speed you want the sprinkler to move at (high or low), and then go turn on the hose faucet.  That’s just how easy a traveling sprinkler is to operate.  I have personally owned and used a Nelson Rain Train (probably the most renowned of the traveling sprinklers) for many years and cannot say enough nice things about it.  If you decide that you also want a traveling sprinkler, I strongly recommend that you purchase the Nelson 1865 Rain Train Traveling Sprinkler.  Once you begin using this sprinkler, you will be surprised and delighted at the amount of work and time it will save you.

Features of the Nelson 1865 Rain Train Traveling Lawn Sprinkler

1.  Durability:  The Nelson Rain Train is made to last.  It has a cast-iron body with chip resistant paint.  I have had my own Nelson Rain Train Traveling Sprinkler for over 15 years now, and it is still going strong.

2.  Speed Control:  The Nelson 1865 has a speed control with 3 settings.  To use it as a stationary lawn sprinkler, set the speed control in the “NEUTRAL” position.  The sprinkler will stay where it is and spray water in that area until you turn off the water hose.  To have the traveling sprinkler move across your lawn at a slow speed, just set the sprinkler’s front wheels on top of a laid out garden hose and set the speed control in the “LOW” position, and to have the sprinkler move fast along the hose, set the speed control in the “HIGH” position.  At the LOW speed the sprinkler moves approximately 21 feet an hour, and at the HIGH speed, the sprinkler moves at approximately 37 feet an hour.  Setting the sprinkler’s speed control in the “LOW” position allows the sprinkler to deposit more water in an area.  The Assembly and Operating Instructions for the Nelson traveling sprinkler provide you with a chart that shows the amount of water (in inches) that will be deposited by the sprinkler depending on the width of the spray path and the speed of the sprinkler.

3.  Area Coverage:  By adjusting the sprinkler’s adjustable aluminum spray arms, you can determine the area of water coverage provided by the sprinkler.  Using a regular 5/8″ garden hose (which is the recommended hose size to use with the Nelson 1865) and a maximum travel length of 200 feet (the sprinkler pulls the hose along as it moves and eventually the water filled hose becomes too heavy for the sprinkler to pull), the sprinkler at the HIGH speed can provide a maximum width of area coverage of 55 feet and a maximum square footage of coverage of 13,550 square feet.  At the LOW speed, the sprinkler can provide a maximum width of area coverage of 54 feet and a maximum square footage of coverage of 11,900 square feet.  Depending on the size of the stationary lawn speaker that you might use, that means the Nelson Traveling Sprinkler will save you having to get up and move your stationary sprinkler at least 4 times.

4.  Automatic Shut-Off:  The Nelson 1865 comes with a “shut-off” ramp which you can snap your garden hose onto at the location on your lawn where you want the sprinkler to stop.  The ramp comes with a anchor spike that you push into the lawn to secure the ramp in place.  (NOTE: There needs to be a minimum of 5 feet of straight hose on both sides of the ramp wherever you position the ramp.)  There is a stopper on the underside of the traveling sprinkler’s body.  As the sprinkler rides up on the shut-off ramp, the stopper is pushed up and automatically turns off the sprinkler.

4.  Very Easy Assembly:  The assembly of the Nelson 1865 traveling sprinkler is extremely easy.  There are only three steps: (1) insert the black tee in the hole at the top of the sprinkler and tighten it in place; (2) insert both of the aluminum spray arms in the tee (one on each side) as far as they will go and then tighten the arm retainer nuts until the spray arms feel secure in place; and (3) point the spray arms in the correct direction both to make the traveling sprinkler move in the right direction and also to provide the water lawn coverage that you want.  Adjusting the direction of the arms can provide a watered path of from 15 feet to 55 feet wide.   (Note: If you point the spray arms in the wrong direction, the traveling sprinkler will not move.)

5.  Warranty:  The Nelson 1865 comes with a 2 year limited warranty.

Word of Caution: All Traveling Sprinklers are designed to be used on fairly flat established lawns.  Trying to use a traveling sprinkler on a newly seeded lawn or in a recently tilled garden may result in the traveling sprinkler becoming stuck in the mud.  Similarly, trying to use a traveling sprinkler on steeply sloped ground may cause the sprinkler to topple over.

Customer Feedback Rating

The Nelson 1865 Rain Train Traveling Sprinkler was rated 4.2 out of 5 stars on the Amazon website by customers who had purchased and used this traveling sprinkler.  This is a good rating!  (For example: The John Deere 1010J Traveling Sprinkler only received a rating of 2.8 stars.)   Several lower rating customers mentioned the very good customer comments on the Rittenhouse Walking Sprinkler.  However, I have personally also previously had and used a Rittenhouse Walking Sprinkler and ended up selling it at a garage sale because I felt the Nelson Rain Train was the better sprinkler.  I might add that the Rittenhouse sells for about $200, too.

Here are just a few of the many comments about the Nelson Traveling Sprinkler:

  • “After hearing so much about this unit, and seeing a couple of them in my neighborhood, I decided to give it a try, even though the price was higher than I ever expected to pay for a lawn sprinkler.  I now know why so many people like it. It is very effective in watering the lawn, without spraying water high up in the air (less chance for evaporation, and not affected by wind as much), and it has hands-off operation once you set it up.  Adjusting the spray diameter is easy, and using the hose as a way to set the travel path for the sprinkler to follow is a great idea. The adjustable speed allows you to decide how much water to apply and how much ground you want to cover in a period of time.  Inspecting the yard afterwards shows that the ground is nicely saturated, and not needing to go out and move hoses is a welcomed change. This sprinkler is worth the purchase price!
  • “What I like best about it is that the water comes out in big droplets that all reach the ground, not a fine spray that is blown away by the wind.”
  • “I live on just over a half acre and hated dragging my hose and sprinklers around the yard, it was an all day deal. I love the Raintrain, you set up the hose and let it run. I don’t have to go out and change the sprinklers every 10 minutes, and with the auto shut off I can leave the house and not worry about getting back in time to shut off the hose. This is a great product and I am thinking about getting another one…”
  • “I purchased this sprinkler a few weeks ago after getting tired of moving my previous sprinkler around my yard. My lot is 1/3 acre and it was very time consuming to water it effectively. This product works great and is extremely efficient and easy to use. I have some gradual hills in my backyard and this product has no problem going up or coming down them even while pulling the hose behind it. Even my wife, who was not thrilled that I spent this much on a sprinkler, loves it. Worth every penny.”
  • “This product is terrific!! I really don’t get some of the reviews I’ve read recently. Some say it’s heavy. Well, by design, it has to be. Some say it’s difficult to use. Well, if you consider laying a hose across your yard difficult, then I guess it is. Look- this thing does EXACTLY what it says it does. You can adjust the spray pattern by adjusting the spray arms. You can control the speed. If you have enough hose, you can wrap it around your lawn and water every inch of grass. And the automatic stop-ramp works like a charm. I’m thrilled with mine! It’s a lot cheaper than an in-ground sprinkler system, and just as effective. OK, it’s a little more work, agreed, but it’s worth it. Don’t hesitate to buy this product. You won’t regret it!”

Where Can I Purchase the Nelson 1865 Rain Train Traveling Sprinkler?

You can purchase the Nelson 1865 Traveling Sprinkler on Amazon. Presently, Amazon is selling this Traveling Sprinkler for around $60 with free shipping included to shipping  addresses in the lower 48 states.   Click here to view the Nelson 1865 Rain Train Traveling Sprinkler on Amazon.

Where Can I Read More Customer Feedback Reviews for the Nelson 1865 Traveling Sprinkler?

Amazon is a very good place to read additional customer feedback reviews on the Nelson 1865.  Click here to read more reviews from people who have purchased and used this traveling sprinkler.