Travel trailers are a great way to take the comforts of your home along with you when you are traveling on the road, camping, or heading to a tailgate before a football game. Travel trailers are a specific type of camper trailer and there are a number of advantages to owning a travel trailer instead of another sort of camper trailer. In this article we’ll take a look at exactly what a travel trailer is, what separates it from other sorts of camper trailers, and what you can expect if you want thinking about purchasing, renting or using one.
Like I said, travel trailers are a specific type of camper trailer. The first thing that you should know about travel trailers is that they are indeed trailers. This means that they must be towed by a vehicle of sufficient size and power to handle their weight. And while some camper trailers are small enough to be towed by a car, travel trailers are much to large to be towed safely by anything other than a good sized truck or van. If you don’t have a truck or van big enough to tow one of these guys, then you should think about getting a smaller camper trailer, or you might want to consider a motorhome, which will give you all the space of a travel trailer but doesn’t need a separate vehicle to tow it.
Travel trailers are at the high end of camper trailers in terms of space and size. As you can see in the picture, the travel trailer is quite large – at least twice as long as a mid-size car and probably 12 to 15 feet high – and this is one thing that sets travel trailers apart from other camper trailers. Other types of camper trailers, such as pop up campers or folding campers, are generally smaller than travel trailers even when they’re unfolded and at their full size.
Another thing that sets travel trailers apart from folding campers and pop up campers is that travel trailers are usually fixed in size, i.e., they do not have the ability to fold into a smaller size. You can occasionally find a travel trailer that does have one small fold – these sorts of campers usually shrink lengthwise for travel – but these are rare.
Choosing a Travel Trailer
The first thing to decide on when you’re looking at travel trailers for sale is what type of travel trailer you want. There are several varieties out there and each one has it’s own unique advantages. Let’s take a look at the different types.
The trailer to the right is more or less the standard travel trailer – large size, side entry, several rooms/areas inside, standard trailer hitch, etc. That’s pretty much what you can expect from a typical travel trailer. Going with a trailer like this gives you more room and better durability than other trailers such as folding campers and pop up campers. This size trailer would easily accommodate a family of four and you could probably fit as many as 8 people in there if you don’t mind being cozy.
This travel trailer is different from the standard travel trailers in a couple of ways. The first thing you’ll notice is the different trailer hitch. These trailers use a special hitch that is installed in the back of a pickup truck called a 5th wheel hitch or a gooseneck hitch, and the trailers are called called 5th wheel trailers or gooseneck trailers because of the different hitch they use. Using that special hitch allows these trailers to be larger and heavier because the gooseneck hitch is capable of supporting more weight than a standard hitch.
5th wheel trailers also have more room due to their shape, as the part of the trailer directly over the hitch is allowed to hang over the truck. This section of the trailer generally holds a bed or sleeping area.
The last type of travel trailer is the one pictured to the right and it is called a toy hauler. Toy haulers are named that because the back end of the trailer is a storage space for transporting “toys” such as ATVs, motorcycles and dirt bikes. The front half of the trailer is a regular travel trailer, with the usual features. Toy haulers are going to have less living space than regular travel trailers, due to the room taken up by the toy area.
The next couple of things to consider when choosing a travel trailer are amenities, brand and price. Available amenities include the basics that just about any trailer is going to have – things like electrical and gas supplies, stoves and cooking areas, and living space and storage space. If you want to go all out on your trailer though and don’t mind spending some money, you can get things like entertainment systems – TVs, stereos, DVD and video game players – heating and air conditioning, power generators, hot water heaters, and more.
As far as choosing a brand goes, most camper trailer manufactures are reputable and will build a quality product. That said, Jayco travel trailers and Aeroflight travel trailers are two of the best known brands out there. If you want to try and save some cash, looking at used travel trailers can be a good idea, but take care who you purchase from. Just like with used cars, it’s possible to get ripped off.
Lastly, price is obviously always going to be a consideration. New travel trailers can range anywhere from $15,000 to $100,000 depending on the various options you choose. Most travel trailers, however, will run you around $30,000 to $50,000. If you want to save money but don’t want to go for a used model, then looking at some of the small travel trailers available can help keep you from spending too much.