What’s the Difference Between a Travel Trailer and a Toy Hauler?

Travel Trailer & Toy Hauler Similarities

What is the difference between a travel trailer and a toy hauler? There are a couple of different avenues one can go down when answering this question, but for simplicity purposes, we are going to focus on two high-level points of differentiation; usage and weight.

To understand the difference between a travel trailer and toy hauler, it’s pertinent to first get a clear understanding of what both recreational vehicles have in common. Luckily, in beginning to define these recreational trailers, we inherently come across a few similarities; both travel trailers and toy haulers are hauled via a trailer hitch that can be found near the rear bumper of an automobile. Moreover, both trailers can be lived in and come with interior features to accommodate overnight stays. Common interior features that one might find in both travel trailers and toy haulers are a kitchen, couches/beds, and a bathroom. Neither travel trailers nor toy haulers typically come standard with built-in generators, however, models for both trailers can accommodate one upon request. Lastly, both trailers typically range from 14’ to 40’ in length.

Travel Trailer Offerings

As we start to dive into the usage of these vehicles, we begin to see some differences arise. To start, travel trailers are predominantly meant to be lived in; an easy way to think of travel trailers is like an extremely nice and accommodating tent. Travel trailers are obviously incalculably more accommodating than tents, however, they conceptually function like a tent as they allow you to spend the night in nature at a campsite, RV park, parking lot, or pretty much anywhere you can legally park your trailer. Since a travel trailer’s primary use is to be lived in it can have intricate floor plans with multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. Higher-end finishes, slide-outs, awnings, and flat-screen TVs are typical to see in travel trailers. Travel trailers are also often built on a lighter frame making the overall trailer significantly lighter than a toy hauler. The lighter frame of a travel trailer has implications on the gas mileage you’ll receive, the towing capacity required of your tow vehicle, and the off-road capability of the rig overall. Owners of travel trailers tend to find a better MPG rating and will not need as powerful of a tow vehicle, but with a lighter frame, they will sacrifice some ability to navigate off-road terrain. 

View New Inventory

What Does a Toy Hauler Do Differently Than a Travel Trailer?

On the other hand, toy haulers have a multi-faceted value proposition and offer more than shelter from the storm. As you’ve probably figured out by now, the difference can be most obviously be found in the name, ‘toy hauler’ and their ability to carry a variety of motorsport ‘toys’. From quads and dirt bikes to dune buggies and even jet skis, toy haulers come equipped with a garage so that you can enjoy the comforts of sleeping indoors while getting to use your choice motorsport vehicle wherever your travels take you. However, the additional versatility that having a mobile garage offers comes at a price. Namely that you are storing your vehicles in the same area that you live, which can lead to gasoline and other fumes encroaching in your living area. Moreover, toy haulers often only have one bathroom, are more limited in their sleeping and hanging out accommodations and may not have as nice of finishes as the trailer is meant to double as a garage. That being said, newer toy haulers have made great strides in innovations and will often have finished floors in the garage area where one would store vehicles, full couches, beds and tables that stow away, and even garage ramps that can double as a deck or screened-in porch. Regarding trailer weight, in having the capability to carry vehicles toy haulers require a heavier trailer frame that will call for a more powerful tow vehicle and more than likely result in a not as efficient mile per gallon (MPG) rating. However, this heavier frame also makes toy haulers slightly more off-road-ready so that you can take your motorsports to new extremes.

Buy Recreational Vehicles in Salem, OR

Which is right for you? These are just a few factors that are meant to steer you in the right direction if you’re deciding between a travel trailer and a toy hauler. We recommend thinking about how you plan to use your future recreational vehicle, as well as consider the towing capacity of your current vehicle and if it can handle a heavier trailer. When you’re ready to take a tour, or you’d like to see the difference between a travel trailer and toy hauler in person, stop by Roberson RV in Salem, Oregon. Our RV sales professionals are standing by and ready to help answer any questions you might have.

Financing Information