What kind of RV is best for you? All of the different styles have their pros and cons, including travel trailer campers. But it’s important to consider what your travel style is, how many people will be traveling with you, and where do you want to go.
Many RVers opt for the travel trailer due to its versatility, access to smaller sites, and they are lighter to tow than a fifth wheel. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons the travel trailer is so popular.
What Is a Travel Trailer?
There are several different kinds of RVs, but we can break them into two categories: drivable and towable. When talking about Class A, Class B, and Class C motorhomes, these are drivable RVs and have an engine. Toy haulers, fifth wheels, and travel trailers are towable RVs and do not have an engine.
The most common type of towable RV is the travel trailer. As stated above, they are towed behind a vehicle, usually a truck or SUV, and connect with a conventional ball hitch.
Travel trailers usually have a kitchen/dining area and a full bath and sleep two to four people. Many of the bigger ones have slide-outs that increase the living space, sometimes substantially.
How Big are Travel Trailers?
The different travel trailers include teardrops, stands-ups, pop-ups, classic travel trailers, and toy haulers. This extensive range of styles means lots of various sizes, too. Measured from the hitch to the rear bumper, they vary from around 10 feet up to about 40 feet. They can weigh as little as 1,000 lbs on the low end and up to 8,000 pounds or more.
Keep in mind that these are dry weights. Sometimes called unladen weight, this is how much it weighs before you add supplies and equipment, and extra furnishings. Extra pounds add up quickly, too. For instance, the size of your water and wastewater tanks makes a huge difference. This is because water weighs a little over 8 lbs a gallon. For another example, a typical generator weighs around 100 lbs or maybe a little less.
How Much Do Travel Trailers Cost?
How much you can expect to pay for this kind of camper depends on the size, of course. Expect to pay more for exceptional construction quality, too. Another factor that significantly affects the price is whether the RV is previously owned or straight off the showroom floor.
Starting with the most affordable options, those small teardrop trailers can be had for a little as $5,000 brand new. There are more extravagant versions that cost much more, however. Pop-up-style campers, also called tent campers, start at around $10,000. They have soft, lightweight sides and fold down into a compact shape. Classic travel trailers, which have firm exteriors, can cost up to around $35,000.
You can save thousands of dollars by going with a used travel trailer, even if it’s just a few years old. We’ve heard of some fantastic deals, but often they end up needing repairs or renovations that cost thousands more.
5 Benefits of Travel Trailers
There’s a lot to love about travel trailers. Below are just five of the many reasons that so many people choose them.
Lower Cost to Buy
They aren’t dirt cheap, but the amount you pay for a travel trailer is a fraction of motorhome costs. Many fifth wheels are much more expensive, too. So on top of all of its other benefits, a travel trailer is simply a more affordable option for many. They tend to hold their value longer, too, because there’s a substantial market for used ones.
Can Be Towed By Many Types of Vehicles
You don’t need a huge truck to tow them. Many travel trailers fall within the safe towing limits of compact trucks, SUVs, and even compact SUVs. If your daily driver is one of these, you’re all set.
You won’t have the added expense of having to purchase a separate tow vehicle. A smaller vehicle also means savings on fuel because you can get more miles to a gallon.
All The Amenities of Bigger RVs
Just because they’re smaller doesn’t mean they lack the basic comforts you want. They aren’t luxurious like Class A or Class C coaches, but you have everything you need in a smaller space. A travel trailer still provides you with a bedroom, kitchen, dining area, and bathroom, as well as an entertainment center. The only thing that may be lacking is some elbow room.
Wide Variety of Floorplans and Sizes
Travel trailers aren’t all the same, and different layouts offer different experiences. The slide-outs we mentioned earlier can significantly expand the size of some of them. Other floorplan options can create areas of privacy, too.
Usually, the master bedroom is in the front, but sometimes it’s in the rear. There are also bunkhouse models, which have additional bunk beds so you can accommodate more people. Some RVs have more significant areas for entertaining, with large-screen TVs, sofas, and theater seats.
Great for Families
Travel trailers are cost-effective for families because you’re not spending money on hotel rooms. They also give you a lot of freedom – you can pick up and move quickly to explore new places. Traveling together can be an excellent way for family members to spend some proper quality time together and find new interests.
Another plus is it encourages kids (and adults) to “unplug” from modern life, at least for a little while. For a more traditional vacation experience, certain kinds of campgrounds have hotel-style amenities, including swimming pools.
Is a Travel Trailer Right For You?
Travel trailers aren’t one-size-fits-all. There are many different sizes and styles, so there is pretty much something for everyone. These are just some of the benefits of owning a travel trailer.
If you’re in the market to buy a new 2022-model-year small travel trailer, check out our blog post the 10 Best Lightweight Travel Trailers Of 2022. Or if you’re looking for a newer-model lightweight travel trailer, you’ll want to read our post the 10 Best Lightweight Travel Trailers For 2023.