If you love nature and adventure, you may be curious about RVing and asking, “What is a travel trailer?”
Travel trailers are the most popular type of RV. For the right person, a travel trailer is a rolling home full of adventure and freedom at a more affordable price than other RVs. But a travel trailer is still an expensive purchase, so you need to really understand what it is and if it’s right for you before you decide to buy one.
Bish’s RV has been guiding new and experienced RVers for decades. We want to share what we’ve learned about travel trailers to make sure you have the information you need to decide whether a travel trailer is right for you and your future adventures!
What you’ll find ahead:
What is a Travel Trailer?
A travel trailer is a towable recreational vehicle (RV). You hitch it to a car or truck to take with you on road trips, vacations, or even use as a temporary or permanent home.
But a travel trailer isn’t just about having a bed and a kitchen on wheels, oh no. It’s about experiencing life differently, connecting with nature, spending time with your family, and creating memories.
Picture this: You’re on the open road, your favorite tunes are playing, and you’ve got all the conveniences of home right behind you. That’s a travel trailer! A magical blend of comfort and mobility.
You’re not restricted to hotels or flight schedules in your travel trailer. You are the captain of your own journey, exploring at your own pace and parking for the night along the way.
Travel trailers are almost as old as vehicles themselves. As long as humans have been using an engine to get around, we’ve been looking for ways to bring the conveniences of home on our adventures.
In the early 1900s, adventure seekers called “tin can tourists” created their own travel trailers by building tents or small structures to the backs of their vehicles.
Travel trailers became more popular in the 1930s when the first mass produced campers became available. During The Great Depression many even used their small travel trailers as housing to get them through hard times.
Travel trailers have come a long way in the last hundred years. Now you’ll often find a bathroom, full indoor and/or outdoor kitchens, slide outs for extra room, queen or king beds and bunk beds, etc.
The innards of a travel trailer have changed and the technology used to build them has improved, but travel trailers continue to provide you with an affordable way to get out and explore with loved ones.
You can check out our travel trailers to see if one of them is right for your adventures.
How Much Does a Travel Trailer Cost?
A new travel trailer costs between $12,000 and $100,000+.
A used travel trailer may cost between $2,000 and $80,000 depending on its age and condition.
How Big is a Travel Trailer?
Travel trailers, as you can see, come in a wide range of sizes. They may have bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, living spaces, and could have slide-outs for extra space.
How Much Does a Travel Trailer Weigh?
A travel trailer can weigh between 1,200 lbs and 10,000 lbs. Larger trailers with more features generally weigh more. The heavier your camper is the bigger the tow vehicle you’ll need for it.
What are the Most Popular Travel Trailers?
These are the 5 most popular travel trailer brands according to DMV registration data from Statistical Survey:
Learn more about the top 10 most popular travel trailers.
Should I Buy a Travel Trailer?
It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before you buy a travel trailer.
The best way to know whether a travel trailer is right for you is to consider your lifestyle, travel habits, and personal preferences. If freedom, flexibility, and adventure appeal to you, a travel trailer might be a great fit!
- Flexibility and Freedom: With a travel trailer, you can explore different places at your own pace. You’re not tied to hotel check-in/check-out times, and you can go wherever the road takes you.
- Comfort and Convenience: Travel trailers can offer all the conveniences of home, including comfortable sleeping areas, fully equipped kitchens, and private bathrooms. This can make travel more enjoyable, especially for long trips or for those who prefer their own space.
- Cost: Although there is an upfront cost, travel trailers can save money over time if you travel frequently. You’ll save on hotel costs, and you can cook your own meals to save on eating out.
- Outdoor Connection: If you enjoy camping but still want some home comforts, a travel trailer is a great compromise. You can enjoy nature and outdoor activities during the day and return to a cozy bed at night.
- Quality Time: Travel trailers offer an opportunity to connect with loved ones in nature. Whether you’re traveling as a couple, a family, or with friends, the shared adventure can create lasting memories.
Why Shouldn’t I Buy a Travel Trailer?
Travel trailers are great for the right person, but they are not the right choice for everyone. You may want to reconsider buying a travel trailer for these reasons:
- Cost to Buy and Maintain: Travel trailers can be expensive to buy and maintain. You’ll need to consider insurance, maintenance, potential repair costs, and storage.
Read more about the costs of owning an RV.
- Tow Vehicle Required: You will need a tow vehicle to transport your travel trailer. Some very small campers can be towed by a large SUV or minivan. Most travel trailers require a larger, more powerful vehicle to tow it.
If you don’t already have a tow vehicle you will want to consider this cost in your decision. Learn more about what you’ll need to tow in this video from Josh the RV Nerd:
Looking for a lightweight camper? Consider the Bushwhacker 10HD.
- Towing Learning Curve: Towing a trailer requires skill and can be challenging, especially if you are new to towing or purchase a larger travel trailer. Maneuvering, parking, and backing up can be difficult, and you may need to invest time in learning how to do these things safely.
You may want to consider a 5th wheel trailer for easier towing. Learn about the differences between a fifth wheel and travel trailer to see which is better for you. If you don’t want to tow at all you may want to consider a Class A, B or C motorhome.
- May Require Planning Ahead: While travel trailers allow you to travel freely, they also require planning. Not all roads and campgrounds are built for travel trailers. Also, some cities have restrictions on where trailers can be parked.
- Decreased Fuel Efficiency: Travel trailers can decrease your vehicle’s fuel efficiency while towing your RV, due to the additional weight they add. This can make traveling long distances more expensive.
- Small Living Space: Modern travel trailers are designed to maximize space, but they are still small compared to a traditional home or even a hotel room. If you’re uncomfortable in tight quarters, a travel trailer might not be right for you.
- Storage: You’ll need a place to store your travel trailer when you’re not using it. If you don’t have ample space at home, you may need to pay for storage.
Next Steps to Find Your RV
You needed to know what a travel trailer is before you could decide if a travel trailer is the right RV for you.
Now that you know a travel trailer combines comfort and adventure you can decide whether purchasing a travel trailer will provide you with the lifestyle you’re looking for.
We have RVs of every type and price range at Bish’s RV. You can check out our inventory to see if we have the right match for you.
Not sure a travel trailer is what you’re looking for or need help picking the right one? We love matching RVers – and future RVers – with their ideal RV at Bish’s. If you have more questions about the benefits and problems of owning a travel trailer – reach out! The RV outfitters at Bish’s RV would love to answer any of your questions to help you find the right RV for you!
Buying your first RV? Check out these tips for first time RV buyers first.
Bish’s RV Content Writer & Editor
Thinks nature is great. Thinks it’s greater with a comfortable bed and working bathroom.