Gone Outdoors

Pros & Cons of a Travel Trailer

by Trisha Dawe

A travel trailer offers the amenities of a home with the portability of a trailer. A travel trailer can be attached to your mid-to-large size vehicle with a Class 1 hitch or a ball-and-coupler hitch. Trailers between 8 and 35 feet are allowed in RV campgrounds. Types of travel trailers include toy haulers, expandables and teardrops.

Pros: Flexibility

A travel trailer can be unhitched and left at your campsite or it can be towed while sightseeing or running to the store for supplies. Many times, two parking spaces are all that is needed to park a travel trailer, as opposed to larger mobile homes that take up a lot of space. Some travel trailers also come with an expandable wall that provides extra sleeping space for larger families or guests.

Pros: Cost

A travel trailer is less expensive than a motor home or a five-wheel trailer. The hitch for a travel trailer also is less expensive and can be hauled by a mid-size car, van, truck or sport utility vehicle. Fifth wheels, by contrast, often require a special attachment to a truck. Hauling a travel trailer also often requires less fuel than a larger fifth wheeler or motor home.

Cons: Living and Storage Areas

Depending on the trailer and the length of stay, storage can be a problem. Many travel trailers have adequate storage for a week-long outing, but if you are traveling cross-country for much longer than that, storage can feel limited. Toy hauler trailers offer a ramp and garage-like areas for golf carts or ATVs, but hauling a car is out of the question with a travel trailer. Passengers can't ride in the travel trailer while it is moving and some trailers aren't big enough to include kitchen appliances or restrooms.

Con: Money

Compare the potential uses with the cost of repayment when financing a travel trailer. If you use the trailer once or twice a year, a monthly payment may not fit your budget. Registering your towing vehicle and travel trailer with the state, transportation costs, insurance and yearly inspections may prove prohibitive. In the long run, staying in a hotel room may be a more economical option than using a travel trailer for a long-distance trip.

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