Benefits of Travel Trailers
Introduction Into Travel Trailers
Travel trailers are the most popular class type of RVs in the U.S. Chances are you’ve seen one in your neighborhood or on the highway. So, if you are thinking of getting one for yourself, you are certainly not alone.
A travel trailer is a great way to enjoy the RV lifestyle without spending an arm and a leg. One of its biggest selling points is that you can get the comforts of a home while on the go. That, combined with the fact that travel trailers are generally more affordable than fifth wheels and motorhomes, accounts for their popularity.
Want to know about all other types of RV's? Check out our other article on Which RV is right for me.
But what are the benefits of travel trailers? We cover everything you need to know, including the various types, floorplans, weight and layout styles of travel trailers. But first…
What is a travel trailer?
A travel trailer is a towable recreational vehicle (RV) that offers sleeping, living, and storage. It’s a great option if you enjoy being on the road exploring the world or living in an RV full time.
Travel trailers are at times known as bumper-pull trailers because they are typically hooked to the bumper of car or truck. With this kind of setup, you can drive to a campsite, unhitch the trailer and use your vehicle to explore the area as your camper remains in the campsite.
You don’t need to book a hotel room and hire a transport vehicle (or use public transport). This level of convenience is what makes travel trailers popular. Plus, some are designed to be used all year round.
There are models that are fitted with AC, insulation and tank heaters to provide comfort in all four seasons. Others are designed for off-roading and overlanding. Whatever the case, you will want to choose a travel trailer that meets your most frequent needs.
Types of travel trailers
Travel trailers come in all shapes and sizes. Some are small and minimalist while others are large houses on wheels, complete with all the amenities of a typical home. Here are the most common types of travel trailers on the market today:
1. Classic travel trailers
These are basic travel trailers equipped with only the most essential features. As such, these camper trailers are ideal for small families that don’t mind the minimalist experience. They are designed to be towed by a SUV or truck.
- Typically made using hard materials
- Comes with the most basic features
- Easy to set up
- Living space is fully enclosed
- Often available in a variety of designs and sizes
2. Teardrop trailers
Teardrop trailers are easy to spot because of their distinct shape. They are often tapered on one end and round on the other (kind of like a teardrop). They are generally small and offer no more than a bed in an enclosed space. But you can find some slightly bigger models that have a separate kitchen and bathroom.
- Can accommodate up to four people (depending on the size you pick), but are generally ideal for couples
- Easy to tow with any vehicle because of the small size
- Economical on space because it can fit in a garage
- Most don’t have enough headroom for the average adult to stand up while inside
4. Pop-up travel trailers
Also known as folding campers, pop-up trailers are designed to collapse or fold-down to a small size. They are made with soft, flexible materials to allow for the collapsible design. But you can find some models with hard and weather-resistant sides. The typical pop-up trailer measures no more than four feet in height when folded. You can comfortably hook it to a sedan without any issue.
- Easy to tow because of the small, collapsible size
- You can get one for a few thousand dollars
- Depending on the size, some come with separate kitchen and toilet
- Require setup when you reach your destination and collapsing when you need to tow
5. Toy haulers
Toy haulers are called that way because they provide space for you to carry outdoor toys like bicycles, motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles on your adventures. Although they look like classic campers, they are more versatile. They are designed with a ramp for folding the trailer down to a smaller size.
- Often heavy because they are built with a sturdy frame
- Provide large storage area for toys, and this can eat into the interior space
- Come with many amenities, including kitchenette and shower area
- Fitted with fold-down beds
Floorplan styles of travel trailers
There are several travel trailer manufacturers and models, each with their own floorplan and layout designs. While the wide variety leaves you spoiled for choice, it can also leave you a bit overwhelmed when choosing a good layout style for your camper. To make your work that bit easier, here are the most common layout styles and their standout features:
- Bunkhouse travel trailer – this type of travel trailer has a dedicated space for bunk beds. For this reason, it can fit multiple beds within a small space. This feature makes bunkhouse RVs popular among larger families. While not always the case (because each manufacturer has their own design) you will often find a master bedroom either in the front or back of the trailer, and one or more additional bedroom in the other end. The mid-section is occupied by other facilities like a living area and kitchen.
- Rear bedroom travel trailer – as the name suggests, the sleeping area is located at the rear of the camper. The bed typically sits against the back wall of the trailer. In some cases, it may partially rest in a slide-out at the back of the trailer. This floorplan is great if you want an RV that offers more privacy in the bedroom.
- Front bedroom travel trailer – this is the most common layout style nowadays. Rather than having the bedroom in the back of the trailer, the manufacturer puts it in the front. The back area is fitted with other facilities like a kitchenette and dining space. Front bedroom RVs are ideal for campers who want a totally segmented trailer. Oftentimes the bedroom area is completely separated from the rest of the rooms.
- Rear kitchen travel trailer – while not the most common layout style, rear kitchen RVs do have their advantages. The kitchen sits at the back of the trailer, leaving the front area for bedrooms and entertainment spaces. This separates the kitchen from living spaces – which can be hygienic.
- Rear entertainment travel trailer – this type of RV has an open space at the back where entertainment equipment is installed. This may include a TV, sound system and aesthetic additions. It is a good pick if your priority is getting enough space for recreational activities like watching movies.
- Rear storage travel trailer – as you may have already guessed, this layout style puts storage spaces at the back of the trailer. These may be removable furniture or permanently installed closets, pantries and cabinets. Whatever the case, a rear storage RV generally offers more storage space, making it great for travelers who often have lots of luggage.
- Opposing slide-outs travel trailers – small-sized travel trailers usually adopt this floorplan to maximize on the available space. It typically features at least two slide-outs that are located opposite each other. The slide-outs can have furniture and/or appliances and storage spaces. While opposing slide-out RVs are compact in size, they are usually heavy because they pack lots of things within a small space. Therefore, you may need a bigger-than-average tow vehicle to move the trailer around.
Benefits of travel trailers
Having known what they are and the different types that are available, the next important question is: what are the benefits of travel trailers? Here are some reasons why this type of recreational vehicle is a god investment:
- Costs: travel trailers are more affordable than motorhomes and other forms of motorized trailers. They are also cheaper to insure and for RV service & maintenance.
- Variety: travel trailers come in a wide range of shapes, sizes and floor plans. You’ll also find models to fit almost any budget.
- Flexibility: since your travel trailer is entirely in your control, you can plan your travels however you want. You don’t need to consider check in and check out times as is the case with hotel rooms.
- Availability: there are multiple manufacturers of travel trailers across the U.S. Their competition means that these RVs are easily available for purchase as new or used models for decent prices.
- Exploration: apart from offering accommodation facilities, travel trailers allow occupants to explore places as they drive around. This can be invaluable if you love adventure.
- Customizable: a travel trailer can be fully tailored to fit your specific needs. Some manufacturers allow buyers to contact them and specify the customizations they need if available models don’t have the features they want.
- Pet-friendly – a travel trailer is just about the friendliest way to move around with your pet. It’s the closest means of transport to a home.
What is the ideal weight for a travel trailer?
The weight of a travel trailer is a big deal because it determines how hard or easy the trailer is to tow. Heavy trailers require vehicles that can handle the weight rating. Check your vehicle's tow rating prior to searching for an RV for sale.
Unless you have the budget for a new vehicle, you will want to choose a travel trailer that can be towed by your current vehicle. Thus, if you drive a mid-size sedan or SUV, then a teardrop or stand-up trailer makes sense. On the other hand, if you have a big truck, then you can opt for heavier trailers like a fifth-wheeler or toy hauler.
So, how much do travel trailers weigh? Most models range between 1000 and 8800 pounds. The exact weight depends on the materials used and its size.
Generally speaking, a 10- to 12-foot trailer has an average weight of 1250 to 1300 pounds. Bigger models that fall in the 32- to 38-foot range average between 7200 and 8500 pounds in weight. Here’s a summarized chart that you can use as a general guideline for the weight of a travel trailer:
Length (feet) Weight (pounds)
- 10 – 12 1250 to 1300
- 14 – 15 1500 to 1650
- 16 – 18 2200 to 2300
- 18 – 22 2500 to 2750
- 24 – 26 3600 to 4100
- 28– 30 4300 to 4900
- 32 – 38 7200 to 8500
Manufacturers will often specify the weight of a travel trailer. So, make sure to check (their website or on the trailer itself) when shopping around.
Best features of a travel trailer
As already mentioned, the various models of travel trailers come in different shapes, sizes and designs. As such, they also have varying features. However, some of the most common things you will find in a typical travel trailer include:
- Sleeping area – there may be one or more beds in the trailer
- Kitchenette – may come complete with kitchen appliances and a sink
- Seating area – this is where people sit
- Bathroom – while smaller travel trailers don’t have bathrooms, most of the mid- and large-sized ones have them.
- Storage – you will often get closets, pantries and cabinets for storing your luggage.
Some travel trailers have offroad capabilities to take you wherever you want to go. But such are just additional features that you won’t find in every camper trailer. Ultimately, the best model is one that has most of what you are looking for, including sufficient bed space for your family or group.
About Mastercrafts RV Center
Mastercraft's RV Center is a locally owned Kentucky RV dealer located in Hopkinsville. We have a great selection of new and used RVs for sale. So whether you are looking for a travel trailer for full time RVing or for traveling our beatiful state, view our inventory here.
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