What is a Travel Trailer?
Travel trailers are a type of recreational vehicle that connect to your tow vehicle with a ball hitch, and allow you to take the comforts of home on the road with you.
There are many different styles and sizes of travel trailers, from very small to huge 35+ feet trailers.
Advantages of a Travel Trailer:
1. Hooks to the Ball Hitch
Travel trailers hook directly to the ball hitch of your truck or tow vehicle. This means that you don’t need any additional hook up equipment like a fifth wheel camper requires.
Because the trailer can be disconnected from your vehicle, this allows your truck to be used independently of the RV. If you’re camping and need to run into town, you don’t need to take your camper with you for a quick stop at the grocery store.
2. Vast Variety in Size and Style
Travel trailers are the type of RV with the most variety. You can buy small 13-17 foot travel trailers all the way up the huge trailers that are 37+ feet in length.
This gives the buyer lots of variety and options.
The floor plans also vary greatly, offering you many different options, and increasing the chance of finding the perfect layout for you.
3. Modern Amenities
Travel trailers have all of the comforts of home from kitchens and bathrooms to living rooms and comfy bedrooms.
Depending on the size of RV, they can include full sized fridges, pull out couches for additional sleeping space for guests, electric fireplaces and other luxurious amenities.
4. Ample Storage
Travel trailers are designed to offer storage underneath the living space of the trailer, as well as in the many cabinets and storage cubbies inside.
Because these trailers do not have a motor in them, like the Class B and Class C RVs do, there is extra space devoted to storage, instead of being taken up by an engine.
Compared to the Class B, Class C and many fifth wheel options, travel trailers are often the least expensive option. For people who are looking for space and modern amenities but are budget conscious as well, travel trailers are a great small RV option.
Disadvantages of a Travel Trailer:
1. Require a more powerful tow vehicle
Towing power is an important consideration with travel trailers.
Depending on the size of the travel trailer, it might be still possible to tow a small travel trailer with an SUV, van or a very powerful car.
However, mid to large travel trailers require a truck as the tow vehicle.
Careful consideration should be given to the weight rating of the trailer and what your vehicle is rated to be able to tow.
2. Gas mileage
Compared to a pickup camper or a pop up camper which are lighter and smaller, a travel trailer being pulled by a truck is going to get less miles to the gallon. This makes travel more expensive.
However, compared to Class B and Class C campers, travel trailers get better gas mileage and are more efficient.
3. Swaying when driving
Because travel trailers connect to the back of your vehicle on a ball hitch, they are greatly affected by wind resistance and driving conditions. They require a slower driving speed, and sway back and forth on the road while driving.
For a more stable RV, fifth wheels are a great option because they hook into the bed of a truck, right behind the cab. This increases stability, decreases swaying and allows the rig to be pulled faster down the highway.
If you’re only using your RV for camping and travel relatively close to home, this might not be something you’re concerned with. But if you’re planning to travel extensively across the country, the swaying and stability might be a very important consideration.
Styles of Travel Trailers:
There are small travel trailer options like the Scamp and other short campers:
And many large travel trailer options like the Canyon Cat below:
Travel trailers are a broad category of RVs that include small RVs all the way to very large trailers.
Depending on your needs, you have many options to choose from in order to find the perfect travel trailer to suit your needs.