Where The Road Forks

Motorhome Vs Travel Trailer: Pros and Cons

By: Author Zachary Friedman

Posted on Last updated: March 7, 2024

Categories Motorhomes and RVs

Home » Camping » Motorhomes and RVs » Motorhome Vs Travel Trailer: Pros and Cons

RVs come in a wide range of designs. In this guide, I’ll outline the differences and list the pros and cons of camping in a motorhome vs travel trailer. I’ll cover comfort, space, amenities, ease of driving, price, maintenance, fuel efficiency, and much more. I’ll also talk a bit about the different classes of motorhomes and types of travel trailers available.

Generally, motorhomes are easier to drive and easier to set up. They offer more luxurious amenities. Motorhomes also allow you to tow a trailer. Travel trailers are cheaper and lower maintenance.

Motorhomes are the better choice for luxury travelers, full-time RV living, those who need to tow a trailer, and frequent campers. Travel trailers are the better choice for those on a tight budget, those who already own a tow vehicle, off-road campers, and those who only camp occasionally.

Over the past 10 years, I have camped both types of RVs extensively. I prefer motorhomes because you can pass between the cab and living space. It’s convenient. In this guide, I’ll share my experience.

motorhome vs travel trailer

Motorhome Pros

  • Easier to drive
  • The amenities are accessible while you drive
  • Motorhomes are more luxurious
  • More storage space
  • Setting up and breaking down camp is faster and easier
  • You can tow a trailer
  • Passengers can ride in the living space
  • Motorhomes are better for camping with kids and pets
  • More comfortable in poor weather

Motorhome Cons

  • Motorhomes are more expensive
  • Motorhomes require more maintenance
  • Can be less spacious
  • It’s hard to drive around for sightseeing unless you bring a tow vehicle
  • Less fuel efficient
  • Motorhomes depreciate faster

Travel Trailer Pros

  • Travel trailers are cheaper
  • Less maintenance is required
  • Can be more spacious
  • You can unhook it and have a separate vehicle to drive around camp
  • More fuel efficient
  • Trailers don’t depreciate as fast
  • More versatile
  • Better for off-road camping

Travel Trailer Cons

  • Harder to drive
  • Less comfortable during travel days
  • Lower quality fittings and fixtures
  • Less storage space
  • Setting up and breaking down camp is more time-consuming
  • Harder to park
  • Passengers can’t ride in the trailer
  • Not less convenient for traveling with kids
  • You have to go outside to pass between the cab and living space

Motorhome Classes

A class A motorhome

A motorhome is an RV with both a living space and an engine. It offers both transportation and accommodation in the same vehicle. There is a steering wheel and gas pedal as well as a bed, kitchen, and bathroom built in. You can walk between the cab and the living space.

Motorhomes come in three classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C.

  • Class A motorhomes: Class As are the largest and most luxurious type of motorhome. They measure anywhere from 25 to 45 feet long. They are built on heavy-duty commercial truck chassis. They are basically a bus.
  • Class B motorhomes : Class B RVs are the smallest of the three motorhome classes. They usually measure between 18 to 24 feet long. These motorhomes are built into a van. They are sometimes called camper vans.
  • Class C motorhomes: Class C RVs are kind of a cross between class As and Bs. They range from 20 to 35 feet in length. These RVs are built on a cutaway van chassis with a fiberglass or aluminum box built on the back. Class C RVs are recognizable by their cab-over bed.

Motorhomes offer a wide range of amenities. Most motorhomes come with multiple sleeping spaces, a full kitchen, a full bathroom, an entertainment system, and some built-in storage space. Most motorhomes can accommodate 4-8 people.

Some popular motorhome manufacturers include Winnebago, Thor, Fleetwood, Tiffin, Newmar, Coachmen, and Four Winds.

For more in-depth info, check out my guide to Class B Vs Class C motorhomes and Class A Vs Class C motorhomes .

What is a Travel Trailer?

A travel trailer near the beach

A travel trailer is a towable RV. Travel trailers attach to a tow vehicle with a ball hitch. Travel trailers can measure anywhere from 10-40 feet in length. They weigh between 1,000 and 12,000 pounds, depending on the size.

Travel trailers come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and designs Different models offer different amenities and features. Some common types of trailers available include teardrop trailers, pop-up trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, toy haulers, and off-road trailers. Travel trailers are also known as caravans, campers, or towable RVs.

Unlike motorhomes, travel trailers need to be pulled by a tow vehicle. They don’t have their own motor. Larger trailers require a full-sized pickup truck, van, or SUV to tow them. Smaller trailers can be pulled with a compact truck, SUV, or even a sedan in some cases.

When you reach the campground or RV park, you can unhitch the trailer. This allows you to use the tow vehicle to go sightseeing or run errands without the RV.

Travel trailers come with a range of amenities. Smaller models may only come with a sleeping space. Mid size models may have a kitchenette and a wet bath. Larger models come with full-size beds, a fully equipped kitchen, a full bathroom, a living space, a dining space, an entertainment system, outdoor amenities, storage space, and more.

Small travel trailers trailer accommodate 2-4 people. Larger trailers can accommodate 6-10 people.

Motorhomes Vs Travel Trailer s

A small travel trailer in an RV park

Ease of Driving

Motorhomes are easier to drive than travel trailers. The driving experience is similar to driving a large truck or van. If you’ve driven a moving van, you can drive a motorhome.

Motorhomes are easier to drive for a few reasons. First, they are shorter than a travel trailer and tow vehicle combo. It’s easier to maneuver a shorter vehicle. Motorhomes also don’t require towing (unless you bring a boat or tow vehicle). This makes them easier to back up. You don’t have to worry about trailer sway. Turning is easier as well. If you don’t have experience with driving with a trailer, a motorhome is easier to drive.

Travel trailers can be a bit harder to drive because they require towing. There is a learning curve to towing. You have to learn how to turn correctly so you don’t cut a corner. You have to learn how to balance the trailer so it doesn’t sway. Wind can also cause sway. A sway bar can help. Backing is also more difficult with a trailer. It’s kind of counterintuitive.

An older class C motorhome

Some people find driving with a travel trailer to be easier. The reason is that the driving experience is more familiar. You’re driving a regular pickup or SUV. Motorhomes can have different control placements. Particularly class A motorhomes. Many people also find 5th wheels to be easier to maneuver than standard travel trailers. Personally, I find that driving a motorhome is easier.

Of course, the size of the motorhome or travel trailer also plays a big role in how difficult it is to drive. Driving a class B camper van is the same as driving a standard van or SUV. Driving a class A motorhome is like driving a bus. Towing a small teardrop trailer is much easier than towing a 40 foot fifth wheel.

One of the main reasons I prefer motorhomes is because they are easier to drive. I really don’t like driving with a trailer.

Winner: Motorhomes are often easier to drive than travel trailers.

Motorhomes parked at a campground

Travel Days

Travel days in a motorhome are much more comfortable and convenient. The reason is that motorhomes allow passengers to move freely in the living space and access the amenities while on the move. The bathroom, kitchen, beds, living area, dining area, and entertainment systems can all be used while the driver is driving.

This makes the journey much more enjoyable for everyone. If someone has to use the bathroom, they don’t have to wait until the driver pulls over. They can just get up and go. If someone wants to grab a drink or a snack, they can go to the fridge. The passengers can chat with the driver or bring them a snack. This makes motorhomes the best choice for long road trips.

A motorhome in the mountains

Travel days with a travel trailer are a bit less convenient. Everyone has to ride in the tow vehicle. In most jurisdictions, it’s illegal to ride in a trailer while it is being towed. Even if it is allowed, it’s best not to have passengers in the trailer while driving because it’s dangerous.

This means the amenities in the trailer are not accessible during travel days. If someone needs snacks, wants to rest, or needs to use the bathroom, you will have to pull over and find a place to park. This means you’ll have to stop more frequently, which makes travel times longer. It’s also a hassle to find a place to park a large trailer.

Winner: Travel days are more comfortable and convenient with a motorhome.

Interior Living Space

Both motorhomes and travel trailers come in a wide range of sizes. There are compact teardrop trailers and Class B motorhomes that can only fit 1-2 people. There are also 40 foot fifth-wheel trailers and Class A motorhomes that can accommodate 6-10 people.

Travel trailers are usually more spacious than comparably sized motorhomes. This is because they don’t have a cab and motor taking up space. The entire interior space can be used as a living space.

Large travel trailers offer the most spacious interiors of all RVs. They come with separate living, dining, and sleeping areas, as well as full-size kitchens and full bathrooms. These trailers feel like an apartment on wheels.

Fifth-wheel trailers have high ceilings and multi-level floor plans. There is a room over the truck bed. This is usually a private bedroom. Large trailers also offer slide-outs to increase the interior space. This makes trailers ideal for large families.

A dog sitting in a travel trailer looking out the window

Motorhomes are a bit smaller inside. Depending on the class and design, the cab and motor could take up around 5 feet of space. Motorhomes often feel a bit less spacious than travel trailers for this reason. They offer the same amenities but feel a bit more cramped.

Large class A motorhomes can be roomy. They often feature multiple slide-outs. This significantly increases the interior space. Class A motorhomes usually have a separate living area, kitchen, and bedroom.

There are also small teardrop trailers and pop-up trailers and class B motorhomes. These RVs usually only have a bed and kitchenette. Some have a bathroom while others don’t.

Winner: A large travel trailer is more spacious than a large motorhome. Both are available in a range of sizes.

Features and Amenities

Motorhomes and travel trailers offer similar amenities. The amenities vary based on the size and class of the RV.

Both types of RVs have come with kitchens that include a refrigerator, stove, sink, countertop space, and cabinetry. Larger models may include an oven, microwave, and dishwasher.

As for the sleeping space, motorhomes and travel trailers offer a queen or king sized bed. Smaller models may only have a convertible dinette or sofa. Larger RVs have a large permanent sleeping space in addition to convertible spaces.

Most RVs come with a bathroom with with a toilet, sink, and shower. Some smaller models, like Class B motorhomes or teardrop trailers, may not have a bathroom. Some just have a wet bath.

motorhome vs travel trailer

Many larger RVs come with outdoor amenities such as a retractable awning, an outdoor kitchen, and external storage compartments. Larger RVs also come with some type of entertainment system including TVs and surround sound. These features are common on both motorhomes and travel trailers.

Class A motorhomes often come with a built in generator. Large models may have a washer and dryer. These features are not common in travel trailers.

I enjoy all of the features and amenities of motorhomes. It’s nice having a home away from home. Having a full kitchen is really important for me.

Winner: Both a motorhome and a travel trailer offer the same amenities. The amenities offered will vary depending on the size of the RV.

Luxury and Comfort

Motorhomes are more luxurious than travel trailers. Class A motorhomes are the most luxurious type of RVs. They usually feature a higher-end fit and finish. They use premium materials like granite or quartz countertops, hardwood cabinetry, tile flooring, and leather upholstery. They are often equipped with top-of-the-line appliances, mattresses, and entertainment systems. They may also come with luxury features like heated floors, jetted bathtubs, and even on-board washer and dryers.

A row of Class A motorhomes

Travel trailers usually are usually built from more budget-friendly materials. The fit and finish may not feel quite as luxurious. The appliances and furnishings may be more basic. Cheaper materials may be used for the flooring, countertops, and upholstery. The light fixtures and faucets may be lower-end.

It’s important to note that there are exceptions. Fifth-wheels can be just as luxurious as class A motorhomes. Class C motorhomes often have a similar build quality to travel trailers.

Winner: In general, motorhomes are more luxurious than travel trailers.

Storage Space

Motorhomes offer a good amount of storage space. Class A motorhomes have a ‘basement’ storage area. This is a large compartment under the living area. This space is perfect for stowing bulky items like outdoor furniture, bicycles, firewood, a generator, etc. You access the basement storage through hatches in the sides of the RV. Class C motorhomes have smaller exterior compartments.

Inside a motorhome, you’ll find cabinets and closets for storing clothes, food, and other essentials. There may also be some hidden storage compartments, such as under the bed.

With a motorhome, you can also tow a trailer. This can add more storage capacity. You could tow a large cargo trailer and carry whatever you need.

Travel trailers often have less built-in storage space. There are cabinets and closets inside but there are usually fewer exterior compartments.

One advantage of travel trailers is that you can use the vehicle for storage space. If you’re towing with a pickup truck, the truck bed is free. You could also mount a roof rack on your vehicle for more space.

Smaller RVs, such as Class B motorhomes or teardrop trailers, don’t offer much storage space. You will have to be more selective about what you pack if you use a small RV. Some models are compatible with roof racks. These can expand the storage space.

Winner: Motorhomes usually offer more storage space than travel trailers.

Getting Around While Camping

One of the biggest advantages of travel trailers is that you have a separate vehicle to drive around. Once you’ve set up camp, you can unhitch your trailer from your vehicle. This leaves you with a regular pickup truck or SUV to drive around when you go sightseeing or run errands. This makes it much easier to explore.

With a motorhome, you’re stuck with a large vehicle. Finding a place to park a motorhome is a challenge due to its large size. It’s also more stressful to drive a large vehicle through cities or in tight spaces. You might not want to go out exploring as often.

To solve this problem, many motorhome owners tow a smaller vehicle behind the motorhome. This tow vehicle is often referred to as a “toad”. You can leave the motorhome parked at the campsite and use the smaller vehicle for sightseeing or running errands.

There are drawbacks to this. Towing a vehicle behind a motorhome makes the motorhome a bit harder to drive. Also, not all vehicles can be towed due to the design of their transmission. Towing can damage some vehicles.

This is one thing I don’t like about motorhomes. It’s a hassle to go sightseeing. I bring an e-bike with me for transportation.

Winner: It’s easier to get around camp with a travel trailer because you have a separate vehicle to drive around.

Motorhomes are more expensive than travel trailers. A small Class B or C motorhome may start at around $60,000. Mid-range models go for $80,000-$150,000. High-end Class A motorhomes cost $250,000 to $1 million or more.

Travel trailers are more affordable. Small travel trailers, such as pop-up campers and teardrop trailers, start at around $12,000. Mid-range models go for $40,000-$80,000. Larger, more luxurious models such as fifth wheels, can cost $100,000-$150,000 or more.

Motorhomes are more expensive because they are more complex. They have an engine and drivetrain. They are motor vehicles. This increases the manufacturing cost substantially.

A class C motorhome parked on the side of the highway

If you go with a travel trailer, it’s important to factor in the cost of a tow vehicle. A vehicle that is suitable for towing, such as a heavy-duty pickup truck or large SUV, can cost $40,000-$80,000 or more. There are smaller and more affordable vehicles that can tow smaller trailers. Of course, you can always buy used to save some money.

If you’re on a tight budget, a great way to save money on an RV is to buy used. RVs depreciate quickly.

Winner: Travel trailers are cheaper than motorhomes.

Maintenance

Both motorhomes and travel trailers require regular maintenance.

Motorhomes require more maintenance than travel trailers. This is because a motorhome has a motor and drivetrain components that require regular maintenance. They are vehicles. On a motorhome, you’ll have to regularly change the oil, air filters, belts, etc. If you tow a vehicle with your motorhome, you’ll have to maintain that vehicle as well.

An airstream travel trailer

Because they don’t have an engine, travel trailers are lower maintenance. There is still maintenance you’ll have to do. You’ll have to maintain the brakes, wheels, tires, and lights. You’ll have to regularly maintain the HVAC, plumbing, electrical systems, and appliances. You’ll have to inspect the roof and seals to prevent water damage and leaks. These are maintenance jobs that all RVs require.

Winner: Travel trailers require less maintenance than motorhomes.

Gas Mileage

Motorhomes get worse gas mileage than a truck towing a travel trailer. On average, Class A motorhomes get 6 to 10 miles per gallon. Smaller class B and C motorhomes can get around 10-12 mpg. Diesel motorhomes can get better gas mileage than gas models.

The weight and size of a travel trailer significantly reduces the gas mileage of the tow vehicle. A big truck towing a large travel trailer or 5th wheel may only get 8-10 mpg. A fuel-efficient tow vehicle with a lightweight travel trailer may get 12 to 15 mpg. You’ll get a bit better gas mileage if you tow with a diesel truck rather than a gas truck.

If you want better fuel efficiency, you’re best bet is to use a small, lightweight, and aerodynamic trailer such as a teardrop trailer or pop up trailer. Pull the trailer with a fuel-efficient vehicle, like a hybrid SUV. You could achieve over 25 mpg this way.

Fuel efficiency plays a major role in the cost of ownership of your RV. Imagine you’re taking a 1,000 mile trip. If you drive a motorhome that gets 10 mpg, you’d need 100 gallons of fuel. At $3.50 per gallon, that’s $350. If you use a travel trailer and your tow vehicle gets 15 mpg, you’d only need 67 gallons of fuel. This would cost you $235 at $3.50 per gallon. You would save $115 on this 1,000-mile trip alone. Over the life of the RV, you could save thousands of dollars in fuel.

Winner: It’s hard to pick a winner in this category because fuel efficiency varies so much. In most cases, you can get better fuel efficiency when towing a travel trailer.

Campsite Set-up and Breakdown With an RV or Travel Trailer

Setting up a motorhome when you reach your campsite is faster and easier than setting up a travel trailer. Most large motorhomes come with an automatic leveling system. If your motorhome doesn’t have automatic leveling, you’ll have to do it manually.

Once your motorhome is leveled, you’ll hook up to water, sewer, and electricity if the site has them. Next, you’ll open your slide-outs. If you’re traveling with a towed vehicle, you’ll also need to unhitch it and park it. The breakdown process is pretty much the same in reverse.

A motorhome parked under a tree next to a lake

Setting up a travel trailer is often a bit more time-consuming. First, you’ll have to park the trailer. This can be a challenge if you have a large trailer or if you’re an inexperienced driver. Backing a large trailer into a tight campsite is difficult.

Next, you need to unhitch the trailer from the tow vehicle and stabilize it with jacks. Most trailers require manual leveling. Finally, you can hook up the utilities and extend the slide outs.

Breaking down the campsite is pretty much the same in reverse. You’ll also have to hook the trailer back up to your tow vehicle. Unhooking and hooking the trailer is a step you don’t need to deal with when you drive a motorhome.

Setting up and taking down camp is my least favorite part of camping. I love being able to pull up to camp in my motorhome and just start cooking a meal.

Winner: Motorhomes make setting up and breaking down camp a bit easier.

Motorhomes are easier to park than travel trailers. This is mostly due to their shorter length. They require fewer parking spaces. A Class B or a small class C motorhome can fit in a standard parking space. Class As and larger class Cs take up multiple parking spaces. Motorhomes are also easier to back up because they don’t have a trailer.

A pop up trailer parked in a campground next to a Subaru

Travel trailers are harder to park. The combined length of a trailer and tow vehicle make it hard to find a spot that is large enough. You’ll need multiple parking spaces. The trailer also makes backing up more difficult. Backing into a tight parking space with a trailer requires some skill.

There are some major drawbacks to driving an RV that is hard to park. First, you’ll waste more time just looking for parking. Driving an RV that is difficult to park also makes it harder to be spontaneous. You need to plan stops more carefully. Having to find parking for a large RV can be anxiety-inducing. You can’t just pull over and grab a coffee. You have to consider where you’re going to park.

I prefer smaller motorhomes because they are easy to park. I spend some time in cities. It’s much less stressful parking a small rig.

Winner: Motorhomes are often easier to park than travel trailers.

Off-Road Driving With a Travel Trailer Vs Motorhome

Travel trailers can perform better off-road than motorhomes. There are trailers that are specifically designed for off-road use. These are usually called off-road trailers or overlanding trailers.

These off-road trailers feature a reinforced chassis, higher ground clearance, heavy-duty off-road tires, and sometimes even independent suspension. These features make off-road trailers capable of negotiating surprisingly rough terrain.

An off-road travel trailer being towed on a dirt road by a pickup.

You can tow these trailers with a 4×4 off-road capable tow vehicle, such as a Jeep, 4Runner or a 4×4 pickup. A capable off-road vehicle paired with an overlanding trailer can handle surprisingly rugged terrain.

Of course, not all travel trailers are suitable for off-road travel. A 40 foot fifth wheel or travel trailer won’t perform any better than a large motorhome off-road. These vehicles aren’t designed for off-road use. They can handle some dirt and gravel roads.

Motorhomes are less suited for off-road use. Their size makes navigating tight, uneven areas challenging. They can handle some smooth dirt and gravel roads but that’s about it.

There are some Class B camper vans that are designed for off-road use. These motorhomes might come with knobby tires, off-road suspension, a lift, and 4 wheel drive. There are also larger off-road RVs such as the EarthRoamer. These are extremely capable overlanding vehicles but they are expensive.

If you’re planning on using your RV for off-road travel, look for a model with large freshwater, greywater, and blackwater tanks. These allow you to stay out longer without having to refill or dump tanks.

Over the past year, I have gotten into off-road camping. I would like to upgrade to an off-road capable camper van.

Winner: An off-road travel trailer is the better choice if you plan to camp off-road. There are 4×4 off-road motorhomes available as well.

Riding in the RV

When you drive a motorhome, everyone rides in the RV. This is extremely convenient. Everyone has access to the bathroom, kitchen, living area, and sleeping areas.

When you use a travel trailer, everyone has to ride in the tow vehicle. In most jurisdictions, it’s illegal for passengers to ride in the trailer. These laws are in place for safety reasons. This is less convenient. You have to pull over anytime someone needs to use the bathroom.

There are some exceptions. In some states, it is legal for passengers to ride in a fifth-wheel trailer. Even when it’s legal for passengers to ride in the trailer, it’s best not to let them. It is very dangerous in the event of an accident.

Winner: With a motorhome, passengers can ride in the RV.

Motorhomes allow you to tow. For example, you could tow a car. You could tow a boat for fishing, sailing, or watersports. You could also tow a cargo trailer packed with outdoor gear like kayaks, surfboards, dirt bikes, ATVs, or a golf cart.

Motorhomes also have a heavy towing capacity. Smaller motorhomes usually have a towing capacity of 5,000-8,000 lbs. Large diesel class A and super C motorhomes can tow 10,000-20,000 lbs. There are heavy-duty super C class motorhomes that can tow up to 40,000 pounds. These are like semis.

A heavy-duty dually RAM pickup towing a travel trailer

When you use a travel trailer, you can’t tow anything else. You’re already towing the trailer. Towing a second trailer (known as triple towing) is possible but it is difficult and illegal in many places. This means you can’t bring a boat or other toys with you.

When towing a travel trailer, you can use the truck bed for hauling recreational gear like dirt bikes, smaller ATVs, kayaks, etc. You can also use a roof rack on your vehicle to haul large items.

Another option is to use a toy hauler trailer. These are trailers that have a garage built in. Toy hauler class A motorhomes are also available.

Winner: Motorhomes allow you to tow a trailer.

Camping With Kids

Motorhomes are more convenient for families with kids. This is because kids can use the bathroom, get up and stretch their legs, play games, or grab a snack without needing to pull over. This can make long drives much more pleasant for both parents and children. Kids don’t get as tired and restless while riding in a motorhome because they’re not all stowed up for the entire journey.

The downside is safety. Riding in a motorhome is not as safe as riding in a regular vehicle. Many motorhomes don’t have seat belts in the living space. Sometimes there are seatbelts built into a dinette or a couch. These aren’t as secure as the seatbelts you’d find in a car.

There also aren’t airbags in the living space of most motorhomes. Most class A motorhomes don’t even have airbags in the cab. Motorhomes also aren’t crash tested.

You may be able to use car seats to improve safety. If you’re planning to travel with small kids, make sure the motorhome is compatible with car seats.

In a moving motorhome, there’s also a risk of injury from falls or loose items. Particularly during unexpected stops or during an accident.

Travel trailers are safer when on the road. Everyone must ride in the tow vehicle. Everyone will wear a seatbelt. There are airbags. -The vehicle is crash tested. This makes it much safer.

Of course, all of the amenities of the travel trailer are inaccessible while driving. If your kids need to use the bathroom or grab a snack, you’ll need to pull over. This is a major inconvenience.

Winner: Motorhomes are more convenient for families with kids. Travel trailers are safer.

Camping With Pets

Motorhomes are more comfortable for pets during travel. Pets can either roam freely or stay in a crate inside the motorhome. This can make the trip less stressful for both you and your pets.

You can also easily care for your pets while you’re traveling. If your pets need food or water, you can bring them some or just leave food and water out for them. It’s also easy to keep the motorhome a comfortable temperature for your pets.

In addition, motorhomes have more space for pet supplies. You can store large bags of dog food or dog crates in the basement storage area. It’s easy to carry enough supplies for your whole trip. You’ll also have space for your pet’s favorite bed, toys, and treats.

motorhome vs travel trailer

When you use a travel trailer, pets should ride in the vehicle with the rest of the family. You can carry your pets in a crate or allow them to roam freely in the trailer if you choose. This can be convenient. It is legal in most states for pets to ride in a travel trailer.

It’s not recommended to let your pet ride in the trailer. The reason is that travel trailers can get ery hot or very cold depending on the weather. It’s hard to regulate the temperature in the trailer during a long travel day. Second, in the event of an accident or quick stop, pets in the trailer could be injured. Of course, they can also damage to the trailer. If your dog gets stressed, it could start chewing on the upholstery.

Winner: Motorhomes are more convenient for pet owners.

RV Depreciation

Motorhomes depreciate faster than travel trailers. This is because motorhomes have a motor and mechanical parts. These parts wear out over time. The general rule of thumb is that a new motorhome can depreciate anywhere from 20% to 30% the moment it’s driven off the lot. It will depreciate 6% to 10% each year.

Travel trailers depreciate more slowly because they don’t have an engine or mechanical parts that wear out with mileage. Of course, travel trailers do still depreciate. A new travel trailer depreciates 15% to 20% when you drive it off the lot. After this, the trailer will depreciate by around 5% per year.

The exact depreciation rate depends on the type of RV, how well you treat it, and where you live. Larger and more expensive RVs depreciate faster than smaller RVs. This is because there is less demand for large luxury motorhomes. After around 5-8 years, depreciation slows down.

Depreciation matters because it affects the resale value of your RV. A faster depreciation rate means that when you decide to sell your motorhome or travel trailer, you won’t get back as much of the initial purchase price. If you don’t plan to keep your RV very long, you’ll want to consider depreciation.

Depreciation can be a good thing if you plan to buy a used RV. The fast depreciation means you can often find great deals on used models.

Winner: Travel trailers depreciate faster than motorhomes.

RV Insurance

Both motorhomes and travel trailers require insurance. The cost of RV insurance depends on the size of the rig and its value.

Motorhomes are more expensive to insure than travel trailers. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, motorhomes are more expensive. Second, motorhomes are more complex. They have their own motor. This drives up insurance costs. If your motorhome gets totaled, it will cost more for the insurance company to replace it. Premiums are higher.

The average annual insurance cost for motorhomes ranges from around $1,000-$2,000 per year. , Insurance cost can vary widely based on the size of the motorhome, its age, how often it’s used, and its value. A million dollar class A motorhome will be much more expensive to insure than a $50,000 class C RV.

Travel trailers are less expensive to insure. This is because they are simpler and less valuable. In addition, they do not require their own motor vehicle liability insurance. The tow vehicle insurance covers that.

On average, travel trailer insurance costs $200-$1000 per year. This varies based on the trailer’s size, age, value, and use.

Winner: Travel trailers are cheaper to insure than motorhomes.

At some point, your RV will break down and need some repairs. You’ll also need to get some routine maintenance done from time to time.

With travel trailers, one of the key advantages is that they are separate from the tow vehicle. If your trailer breaks down, you can leave it at the repair shop and stay in a hotel or your vehicle. If your tow vehicle needs repairs, you can park your travel trailer at a campsite and stay in it until your vehicle is repaired. This makes repairs a bit more convenient.

motorhome vs travel trailer

The logistics of motorhome repairs are a bit more challenging. If your motorhome needs to be repaired, you will have to find alternative accommodation and transportation. Motorhomes can also be more expensive to repair. You need to go to a specialty shop that can accommodate large vehicles.

Winner : Repairs are a bit less of a hassle when you use a travel trailer.

Versatility and Flexibility

Travel trailers can be more versatile. The main reason is that you can disconnect the tow vehicle at camp and use the vehicle for excursions like sightseeing, buying groceries, or even off-roading. You can set up your campsite and still have the freedom to explore.

The tow vehicle can be used when you’re not camping. For example, you can use it for hauling cargo, commuting, or towing other trailers. You can use the tow vehicle as your daily driver.

Motorhomes aren’t quite as versatile. They are only useful for camping. If you want to explore the local area, you’ll need to tow a separate vehicle.

One area where a motorhome offers more flexibility is towing. You can bring a boat or recreational equipment. You could also live out of your motorhome.

Winner: A travel trailer and tow vehicle the more versatile.

Poor Weather

Motorhomes are more comfortable for camping in poor weather. This is because you can pass between the cab and the living area. You don’t have to go outside. For example, if you arrive at camp and it’s rainy and cold, you can walk from the cab to the living space, cook yourself a meal, bathe, and go to bed. You never have to set foot outside.

When you use a trailer, you have to go outside to move between the truck and the trailer. This is annoying if it’s cold and rainy.

Winner: Motorhomes are more comfortable for camping in poor weather.

Day Tripping

Trailers are better for day-tripping because you always have a regular vehicle with you. Once you park the travel trailer at the campsite, you have a normal vehicle to drive around.

Day tripping in a motorhome is a hassle. It’s a big vehicle to drive around and park. You would have to hook up and unhook every day.

If you want to day trip with a motorhome, you’ll want to tow a vehicle.

This is one thing I don’t like about motorhomes. Sometimes, it’s a hassle to drive it around sightseeing.

Winner: Day tripping is easier with a travel trailer.

A Class A motorhome parked in a garage

Who Should Choose a Motorhome?

  • Those who value comfort and luxury and lots of amenities
  • Those who value the convenience of being able to pass between the cab and living space
  • Frequent travelers
  • Those who need lots of storage space
  • Living full-time
  • Those who don’t already own a vehicle capable of towing or don’t have use for one
  • Those who value ease of driving
  • People traveling with pets or kids

Who Should Choose a Travel Trailer?

  • Those who are on a tight budget
  • Those who already own a truck capable of towing
  • Off-Road campers
  • Those who value the versatility of being ale to leave the trailer at camp
  • Those who only take the occasional camping trip

Travel trailers and 5th wheels parked in an RV park

What’s Better a Motorhome or a Travel Trailer?

Neither is really better. Motorhomes are better for full-time living. They offer more storage space. They also offer the convenience being able to pass between the cab and living space. They are also more luxurious. Motorhomes are more expensive.

Travel trailers offer flexibility and affordability. They’re separate from your vehicle. You can leave the trailer at camp and use your truck to explore. They do require a capable towing vehicle. Maneuvering them can also be challenging.

A pop up travel trailer

My Experience

Personally, I prefer the experience of motorhomes. Having the ability to pass between the driving and living areas and have passengers in the living area while traveling greatly increases comfort and convenience for everyone.

I have experienced being both the passenger and driver. As a passenger, it’s so nice being able to get up and stretch my legs or use the bathroom while traveling. This makes travel days much less tiring.

As a driver, I find motorhomes a little easier to drive and park. It’s also nice to have the ability to tow a boat with a motorhome.

There are cases where I would prefer to use a travel trailer. For example, I have recently started doing more off-road camping. Towing a small off-road travel trailer with a 4×4 vehicle would be a great way to explore more remote areas.

Final Thoughts

Both RV options offer benefits and drawbacks. Motorhomes offer a luxurious, all-in-one camping solution. They are comfortable and convenient but they are expensive vehicles.

Travel trailers offer flexibility and can often be a more affordable choice. Trailers can make driving and maneuvering a bit more difficult. You also can’t tow a boat.

Whichever type of RV you choose, I hope this guide has helped you in making your decision.

Do you camp in a motorhome or travel trailer? Share your experience in the comments below!

Pin it for later!

motorhome vs travel trailer

More Camping Guides from Where The Road Forks

  • Class B Vs Class C Motorhomes
  • Truck Campers Vs Camper Vans
  • Truck Campers Vs Travel Trailers
  • Pros and Cons of Van Life
  • 5th Wheel Vs Travel Trailer
  • Sleeping in a Car Vs Tent
  • Rooftop Tents Vs Ground Tents

Zachary Friedman

Zachary Friedman is an accomplished travel writer and professional blogger. Since 2011, he has traveled to 66 countries and 6 continents. He founded ‘Where The Road Forks’ in 2017 to provide readers with information and insights based on his travel and outdoor recreation experience and expertise. Zachary is also an avid cyclist and hiker. Living as a digital nomad, Zachary balances his professional life with his passions for hiking, camping, cycling, and worldwide exploration. For a deeper dive into his journey and background, visit the About page. For inquiries and collaborations, please reach out through the Contact page. You can also follow him on Facebook.

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Class C RV driver

Motorhome vs Travel Trailer: The Complete Comparison Guide for RV Owners

The winding mountain passes, and endless horizons call to you. Another sweeping vista leaves you awestruck. A steep trail tempts your sense of adventure. The freedom of the open road continues to beckon – but is your current RV holding you back?

As a travel trailer owner, do you sometimes feel limited by towing capacity, storage space, or lack of amenities? Naturally, no RV is perfect. But perhaps your needs have evolved over time and outgrown the trailer you once adored.

Upgrading to a motorhome opens up an exciting new world of possibilities. There’s no shame in seeking more from your RVing lifestyle.

This guide will help you weigh the pros and cons of sticking with a trailer versus leveling up to a motorhome. We’ll explore key differences, benefits, costs, and important factors to consider. Let’s hit the road!

Motorhomes Vs. Trailers: Key Differences to Understand

Before comparing the pros and cons, it’s essential to understand what distinguishes these two recreational vehicle types. Clarity on the core features and purposes of each will provide the knowledge needed to make an informed decision. After all, a motorhome and a trailer are two entirely different animals. You wouldn’t want to compare apples to oranges, would you?

What Exactly is a Motorhome?

Class C Motorhome

Motorhomes combine transportation and habitation into one self-contained vehicle. An integrated engine allows you to effortlessly drive your home on wheels wherever impulse takes you. There is no need for a tow vehicle or unhitching.

Motorhomes typically fall into three main classes:

Class A – The largest type, constructed on a heavy-duty bus chassis. Class A motorhomes feature spacious, luxury accommodations.

Class B – Also called camper vans. These nimble RVs have converted vans with raised roofs to allow standing. Tighter quarters but excellent maneuverability.

Class C – Built on a truck chassis with an attached cabover sleeping space. A happy medium offering good space and easier handling.

In addition to the living area, motorhomes contain a fully equipped kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, seating, and entertainment space. The all-in-one convenience provides freedom and flexibility unmatched by any other RV type.

Note that almost any larger vehicle can be converted into a motorhome , so there are plenty of options.

How Do Travel Trailers Differ?

Travel Trailer RV

Travel trailers offer a towable alternative to motorhomes. Lightweight construction and compact floor plans improve fuel efficiency when hitched to an SUV or pickup truck. Without a built-in engine, trailers must rely on your tow vehicle to reach their destinations.

However, no mechanical components means trailers provide a smaller, more affordable option. While motorhomes aim to inhabit the journey itself, travel trailers prioritize comfortability once parked at your vacation spot. Two different RVing styles and goals.

Still, travel trailers offer all your basic amenities. You’ll find sleeping quarters, kitchenettes, seating dinettes, and some basic amenities. Bathrooms may be compact wet baths. Storage space is more limited. But the focused purpose results in budget-friendly prices for RVing.

Comparing Interior Layouts

An important difference to consider is how the living space is configured in each type of RV. As you evaluate upgrades, pay attention to standard floorplan options and decide what works best for your needs. However, you can always build a custom floor plan that meets your needs.

Motorhome Floor Plan Considerations

Class A motorhomes offer the most spacious floorplans, some over 40 feet long. Multiple slide-outs and separated rooms provide a true residential feel. Choose from master suites, walk-in closets, full bathrooms with showers, and residential appliances.

Class B camper vans sacrifice square footage for maneuverability. Floorplans creatively convert seating to beds and integrate space-saving bathrooms. The intimate layouts limit occupancy to 2-4 people.

Hanging out in a Camper Van RV

Class C motorhomes balance livability and convenience. Floor Plans include cabover beds, sleeping areas, kitchens, and convertible dinettes. Bathrooms are compact. Overall, it is a happy medium suitable for families.

Travel Trailer Floorplans

Travel trailers range tremendously in size from small 10-foot trailers to expansive fifth-wheel suites. Bunkhouse models work well for families with kids, while couples may opt for just a master bedroom.

Kitchenettes include a fridge, stove, and sink with dinette seating nearby. Wet baths, which combine shower and toilet into one, are most common, but some floor plans have separate baths. The iconic Teardrop trailers (referring to their shape) allocate interior space efficiently with compact kitchens in the back and sleeping areas in front.

Evening Travel Trailer RV

Consider your needs and research different trailer floorplans. Whether you desire two beds or 4, a trailer offers options on a budget; you should choose the layout that best suits your needs.

The Benefits of a Motorhome

It’s only natural to feel hesitant about change. Your trusted trailer still holds wonderful memories. But reminiscing about the “good old days” can prevent us from moving forward. Weigh the motorhome benefits below to see if your needs could be better fulfilled:

More Possibilities for Spontaneous Travel

Many RVers crave more freedom but feel limited by towing capacity or the need to reserve campsites. That’s where our first advantage point for motorhomes comes in. Owners can stop on a whim when something catches their eye. No need to unhitch or even find a designated area. Just pull over and relax like you would in any other vehicle.

Class C RV driver

Traveling in a motorhome means your home’s facilities are always onboard. Hungry? Whip up a snack without unhitching the trailer. Tired? Pull into a rest stop and nap in the bedroom. Need a bathroom? Use your own anytime. Play cards or watch a movie together while on the road. It simplifies travel tremendously.

With a motorhome, you have the flexibility to chase adventure wherever the open road leads. No strings attached. Just drive to create your own journey.

Liberation from the Hassles of Towing

Ask many RVers, and they’ll tell you a properly weighted motorhome drives much more easily than towing a trailer. That’s because motorhomes drive more like a car, while towing requires a different set of skills (Ever see a semi-truck driver reverse?). Making tight turns, changing lanes, and backing into sites are all simpler without a hitch pivot point.

You can also breathe easy without sway concerns that accompany trailers, especially at higher speeds or in windy conditions. And you don’t need to slowly creep along highways while other traffic zips past. Motorhomes make comfortable cruising speeds attainable again. Just load up and drive safely to your destination.

No more stressful white-knuckle driving or damage risks from exceeding your tow capacity. Just you, the horizon, and the welcoming road ahead.

Opportunity to Explore More Boondocking Locations

Do you enjoy getting off the grid but find trailer limitations restrict your options? It’s true; when you want to stop somewhere with a trailer, you must consider clearance to unhitch and a trailer-friendly parking space.

Camper Van

A motorhome’s exceptional maneuverability allows you to wind through remote areas inaccessible before. Narrow forest service roads. Secluded beaches. Quaint towns with tricky parking. Wherever your heart desires! No more avoiding picturesque areas due to trailer length restrictions or backing challenges.

With sufficient ground clearance, you can camp at unimproved sites lacking hookups. Your motorhome contains everything needed for comfortable off-grid stays. It makes it easy to wander freely and boondock to reconnect with nature.

Avoid the Burden of Towing a Second Vehicle

We all know how much of a nuisance it is to tow a vehicle along with a trailer. Repeatedly hitching, unhitching, and reparking the car wastes valuable playtime. Plus, it adds potential for accidents or damage.

With a motorhome, simplify travels down to one powered vehicle. No need to haul extra weight and complications. Plus, adding a second vehicle might mean buying a new one outright if you don’t already own one.

More Comfort for Passengers and Pets

For family travelers, children, and elderly passengers stay safer and more comfortable in motorhome seats than constantly belted into a tow vehicle. Pets also benefit from room to move about instead of getting frequently crated.

A motorhome allows everyone to stretch out and relax. Play games together at the dinette. Take a nap on the sofa. Grab water from the fridge. Use the bathroom anytime. Your home’s amenities and comforts are always within reach on the road.

Motorhome Perks for Different RVing Lifestyles

The next step in our motorhome vs. trailer debate involves considering your lifestyle. Not everyone requires the same features from their recreational vehicle. Maybe you only plan to camp once yearly at your favorite spot. Or maybe you want to travel full-time and never look back.

After reflecting on your travel priorities, you may find a motorhome better fulfills the following:

Full-Time RV Living

Camper Van in Snow

A motorhome provides residential space and storage capacity for full-time occupancy. Slide-outs create expansive living areas, and larger models boast separate bedrooms and multiple bathrooms.

Enjoy home amenities like laundry, entertainment centers, and plenty of kitchen space. Set up your motorhome homestead anywhere for months on end and live comfortably without the need for hotels or reservations.

Extended Travel

Speaking of which, wandering for weeks across the country is simpler when you don’t need lodging each night. Skip the hefty hotel fees, lengthy research, and troublesome reservations. Just drive to a new location whenever desired with your comfortable home rolling right along with you!

No more packing, hauling luggage, or constantly breaking down camp either. Wake up, brew some coffee, and hit the road rejuvenated. A motorhome allows you to focus on people, not logistics, during extended stays anywhere.

Frequent Weekend Getaways

With a motorhome, last-minute trips are a breeze! You won’t need to constantly spend time hitching up or packing prep. Simply toss in some clothes and food and immediately zip off. Spontaneity is the best spice for mini vacations!

Even quick day trips become more feasible without repeatedly hooking up your trailer to come and go. The convenience removes obstacles to getting away more often.

Important Things to Consider Before Upgrading

Now that you’re well-informed let’s close out with a few things you can write down or ponder as you plan a motorhome upgrade. While the benefits sound enticing, change also warrants pragmatic consideration.

Upfront Costs and Ongoing Expenses

There’s no skirting around the fact motorhomes require a hefty upfront investment. Look realistically at new and used pricing in your desired class.

While motorhomes simplify travel logistics, the upgrade also impacts your finances long-term. Weigh the costs and value for your individual situation. Will splurging now on convenience limit future funds for adventures? Or does it offer benefits that align with your savings? Here are some costs to consider:

Upfront Costs – Motorhomes have higher base prices . But, travel trailers still require an adequate tow vehicle. Consider total costs when starting from scratch.

Fuel Efficiency – Low mileage for motorhomes. But trailers reduce capacity and gas mileage for your tow rig. Fuel costs depend on the total miles driven.

Insurance – Motorhomes cost more to insure than trailers. Yet, you need policies for both trailer and tow vehicles, so determine total insurance costs.

Maintenance – More mechanical systems mean pricier motorhome maintenance. Repairs for truck vs SUV tow vehicles vary greatly, so assess your total maintenance obligations. Make sure to find an expert RV maintenance service in your area!

Camping Costs – Both allow boondocking to reduce site fees. But more amenities and higher capacity in a motorhome may encourage pricier camping.

Make a thorough cost comparison when budgeting for an upgrade. While motorhomes require greater upfront investment, benefits like simplified travel logistics can pay off long-term.

Finding the Ideal Floorplan

Once you select a motorhome class, take plenty of time to carefully assess different floorplans. Weigh your needs versus wants. Ask yourself:

  • How many slide-outs are necessary?
  • Do you require separate bedroom suites?
  • What about laundry facilities?
  • How much living and storage space is truly needed?
  • What is the quality of construction materials and workmanship?

Comparison shop until your perfect new or used motorhome is found. Never settle out of impatience – this is your home! Wait for the right fit.

Where Will You Park and Store It?

Measure your garage, driveway, or storage space beforehand to ensure adequate room. If storing for months, evaluate winterizing logistics and security requirements. Storage facilities can usually accommodate motorhomes but always measure.

If downsizing due to limited space, consider a nimbler Class B camper van. While your new home is on wheels, practical factors like where to keep it still apply. Make sure parking and storage needs align.

Get Comfortable Handling a Larger Vehicle

Finally, test driving is a must before upgrading! Seek professional training on properly maneuvering and reversing your anticipated motorhome class. Take your time getting comfortable behind the wheel.

Consider starting with a compact Class C if you’re accustomed to a trailer. Ease into the transition before attempting a 40-foot Class A bus. Patience and practice are key. Soon, that initial fear will become confidence.

Let the Adventures Begin!

If your needs align better with a motorhome’s convenience after weighing options, then start getting excited! You are officially ready to trade limitations for liberation. There are countless floor plans and features to explore when you upgrade.

At Leisure Coachworks, we specialize in motorhome upgrades and remodeling. Our experienced team helps owners transform ordinary recreational vehicles into the motorhome of their dreams. From minor renovations to complete custom luxury conversions, we handle upgrades both big and small.

Contact us today for more information!

 Class C RV driver

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Motorhome vs Travel Trailer: Which is Best for You?

pin of travel trailers in a state park in the mountains and motorhome on the highway by the ocean

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travel trailer hooked up to truck and motorhome driving down a highway in the desert

When planning your road trip or camping adventure, one of the biggest decisions you must make is what type of RV you want to travel in.

When it comes to motorhomes vs travel trailers, both have their pros and cons and their own unique features and benefits. What type of RV you choose depends on your camping needs and preferences.

Motorhomes are self-contained vehicles that come with all the amenities you need for comfortable travel, while travel trailers are towed behind your vehicle and offer more flexibility in terms of size and layout. 

In this post, we’ll compare these different types of RVs and help you make an informed decision on a motorhome vs travel trailer.

What is an RV?

Before we get started, let’s clear up any questions you have about what an RV (recreational vehicle) is.

RV is a broad term used to describe a drivable or towable vehicle with a living area, kitchen, and/or other accommodations. This includes:

  • class A motorhome (largest type of motorhome built on a bus chassis)
  • class C motorhome (moderate-sized motorhome built on a cutaway van chassis)
  • class B motorhome (small motorhome built on a van chassis)
  • travel trailer or bumper pull RV (also includes teardrop trailers and popup campers)
  • fifth wheel (requires a hitch that attaches inside the bed of the tow truck, due to this setup, they are much taller than travel trailers)
  • toy hauler (these are usually fifth wheels, but travel trailer toy hauler models exist)
  • truck camper (sits on the bed of a truck)
  • camper van (converted van, whether professional build or DIY)

When we compare motorhomes and trailers below, we’ll also talk specifically about the types of RVs mentioned above. 

For example, class As differ from class Cs in many ways since they are usually bigger and more costly to maintain. Fifth wheels also have other pros and cons. Although they aren’t travel trailers, they are a similar towable RV, so we’ll include them and mention them specifically.

Now that you know the different RV types, let’s get started!

1. RV Travel Days and Driving

One of the big differences between motorhomes and travel trailers is the driving experience. We’ll cover a few ways these RVs differ when they’re on the road.

Motorhome driving down the road with bikes on the back

The length of your RV is one of the greatest impacts on your driving experience. The longer your rig, the more concentration it takes to drive, and the more challenging it will be to maneuver.

A travel trailer setup will almost always be longer than a motorhome comparatively. However, a class A motorhome pulling a toad (second vehicle) and a shorter fifth wheel towed by a short bed truck may be relatively the same length once it is hooked up and on the road.

RV Width and Height

Smaller motorhomes are typically easier to drive, although they can be wider than most travel trailers. Class A and C motorhomes are usually at least 8 feet wide and, more often than not, they push the maximum width of 8.5-feet at 8.45-feet wide (talk about cutting it close).

Width and height will both impact your travel day and route planning. Both can be more difficult in a larger RV if you run into a low bridge or drive through a narrow downtown area.

The bigger the RV, the more you’ll have to plan your route carefully. Here are the average height of RVs by type.

  • Fifth wheels have a much higher profile, as well as class A motorhomes (usually around 13 feet).
  • Class C motorhomes are typically around 11-feet (including the AC on top). 
  • Travel trailers can vary, but on the lower end you can find profiles around 10-11 feet, and even as low as 9.5 feet (say hello to the compact design of an Airstream).
  • Class B motorhomes are anywhere from 7-9 feet, with many of the high-end models bringing up the average.

One of the big benefits you’ll hear from motorhome owners is the access you have while driving your RV. Whether you need to go to the bathroom, make a sandwich, get a refill on your drink, or grab your phone charger – these tasks are barely a thought in a motorhome (unless you’re traveling solo).

Having access to almost everything while driving also takes some of the stress out of the departure on travel days. You don’t need to remember every little thing before you get on the road – just grab it when you need it!

Visibility While Driving

Class A motorhomes have the advantage of visibility in the front of the RV due to the flat design of the windshield and many of the diesel engines being located in the rear of the RV. 

However, these days there are many options for cameras in both motorhomes and trailers to see almost everything around you. Whether you’re backing your RV or driving it down the highway, you can keep an eye on all the angles.

Even if you have an older RV or vehicle for towing, you can add cameras for more visibility. For example, we tow our travel trailer with a 2003 F350. We added both a backup camera and a hitch camera to make driving the truck and hitching up a bit easier.

Backing Your RV

Overall, motorhomes are generally easy to back into a campsite since they are one vehicle and don’t have any pivot points like a trailer. Fifth wheels tend to be easier to maneuver due to the pivot point location in the bed of the truck as opposed to a bumper pull travel trailer . When turning a fifth-wheel trailer, this creates a longer and less dramatic response time.

Trailers are generally the hardest RVs to back. If you’re traveling with a partner, you’ll want to get your walkies out and practice before heading out on your first trip.

WINNER:  From the access you have while driving to backing into your camping spot – we have to give this category to motorhomes for making travel days a little more enjoyable and convenient. 

2. rv campsite setup and breakdown.

Another difference between these types of RVs to consider is the setup and breakdown of your campsite.

Motorhomes are typically much easier to set up than trailers. Sure, they both have the same hookups. Slideouts will also work very similarly in a motorhome as in a trailer. However,  unhooking and stabilizing a trailer requires more time and effort than a comparable motorhome. (See our travel trailer setup checklist for more details.)

RV parked at campsite

It’s also much easier to get going when you’re staying in the motorhome.

For example, when we had our class C, one of us could be driving the RV out of the campground while the other was still securing a few things, grabbing drinks, etc. In a towable RV, you need to have a checklist for everything you need in the tow vehicle and pack it all.

Also, suppose you forget to put something away, or a cabinet flies open. You’ll immediately be aware of this in a motorhome. In a towable, you have no idea what’s happening (or flying around) in the RV until you get to your next stop.

NOTE:  If you have pets, motorhomes tend to make easier travel days. You avoid moving the animals back and forth, and they can find a comfy spot in the motorhome where they like to ride. It’s completely doable in a trailer. It just requires more planning and time for your pets to adjust. (See more about pet RV travel in our RVing with Cats post.)

Winner:  many rvers say motorhomes are great for travel, and trailers are great for living. there’s definitely something to that, which is why motorhomes easily take this category, 3. boondocking and off-grid camping.

Boondocking or camping without hookups is usually more associated with travel trailers, but motorhomes can be outfitted for boondocking too. 

RV dispersed camping in the Colorado mountains

Most towable RVs (travel trailers, fifth wheels, etc.) will have a higher clearance needed to reach remote locations. In addition, the tow vehicle is more likely to have four-wheel drive.

Some class Bs are very well-suited for boondocking and unpaved roads, and even Class Cs can be modified to add higher clearance. Still, these are more the exception than the rule when looking at the majority of motorhomes on the market.

Suppose you tow your travel trailer with a truck. In that case, you’ll also have the truck bed for off-grid supplies like a water bladder (for additional freshwater) and a honey wagon (for pumping the black tank).

Still, there are boondocking locations with smooth roads that even class As can handle.

WINNER:  This category goes to towable RVs for being the most boondocking-ready. Although it’s worth noting that some class Bs are built with off-grid excursions in mind.

4. rv gas mileage.

Gas mileage on motorhomes versus trailers can vary greatly depending on the type of motorhome or the size of the trailer. 

diesel pump total price and gallons screen at pump

Class A motorhomes are almost always going to get low mileage (6-9 mpg). Class C models won’t do much better (10-12 mpg). Only class B models have better mileage due to their size.

With travel trailers and other RV towables, miles per gallon are determined by the size and weight of the trailer and the size and engine of your tow vehicle. This can vary greatly from under 10 mpg to around 14 mpg (although some owners report slightly better highway mileage). 

With most motorhomes or RV towables, your mileage will range from 9-14 mpg. The exceptions are class B motorhomes, where you can get relatively good mileage (some up to 25 mpg), and class A motorhomes, where you’ll get even less than the range mentioned above.

Learn more about how to save on fuel for your RV .

WINNER:  We couldn’t pick a clear winner for this category. There are just a few too many variables. However, the quick and dirty answer for getting the best gas mileage is to pack light and travel as tiny as possible!

5. getting around while rv camping.

One of the most significant advantages of travel trailers and RV towables is the benefit of having a separate vehicle. You unhook your truck or SUV and have a vehicle ready to transport you on adventures or errand runs.

If you have a smaller motorhome , you may be fine getting into parking areas. However, large motorhomes will be tough to drive around just anywhere. You will likely need a ‘toad’ (a vehicle you tow behind your motorhome) or, at the very least, bikes or e-bikes. 

class A motorhome towing a jeep

If you have pets, running errands in your motorhome might be more complicated with the furry ones in tow.

For example, we camped in Florida during the summer months in a class C without a toad, and it was challenging to go to the store. Someone had to stay in the motorhome with the cat to keep the AC running, or we had to make quick stops.

WINNER:  Although you can get around without a separate vehicle by planning ahead, travel trailers and other towable RVs take this category since the process is much easier!

6. living space in the rv.

Both motorhomes and travel trailers of similar size have comparable living spaces. Either RV type can also have slideouts which will increase the space. The differences come in with the height and layout of the RVs. 

Inside layout of a Class C Winnebago

As mentioned above, class C motorhomes average a slightly higher profile than travel trailers, while class Bs are shorter and class As taller.

Motorhomes have less layout flexibility since the cab must be at the front of the vehicle. Because the cab is in the front of the motorhome, the bed almost always goes at the back (with the exception of some class B and small C RVs opting for a Murphy bed). 

Travel trailer manufacturers typically place the bed in front of the trailer, leaving the rear open for kitchens, bunks, dinettes with wrap-around windows, and more appealing designs than you might get with a motorhome. 

Cab Space in Motorhomes

Although the cab area in a motorhome can have a negative impact on the layout, it can also double as living space. This area is made multi-functional with swivel captain chairs and even foldable or swivel tables that come off the wall to create dining or desk space.

NOTE: When also comparing fifth-wheel trailers, these RVs and toy haulers maximize living space with both flexible layouts (including the mini garage of a toy hauler) and height with an average of approximately 13-feet.

Winner:  although this is a close one, we have to give the living space category to travel trailers for the flexible layouts that allow rv owners to choose a living space that works for them., 7. storage space in the rv.

Storage is a big consideration when you’re choosing an RV. Although this will vary by RV brand as well as the type, here is a general overview of storage space in drivable vs towable RVs.

cat in exterior storage of travel trailer

Exterior Storage

Motorhomes are known for having a lot of ‘basement storage’ or compartments under the motorhome – especially class A motorhomes. Pass-through storage compartments that can hold large storage bins, folding bikes, and even larger travel toys are benefits of the class A. 

Class C motorhomes can have a good amount of basement storage as well – especially in the rear of the motorhome. Even if it’s not a true pass-through storage compartment, it might be accessible from one side of the vehicle in the rear.

Travel trailers generally have less exterior storage space (especially smaller trailers), although they have some exterior storage compartments. Some larger fifth-wheel exterior storage can rival that of a comparable class A motorhome.

Interior Storage

Class C motor homes can actually have a fair amount of interior storage space. They typically have an extra bunk over the cab (typically a queen size) that can be used as extra storage space. Class A motorhomes have ample storage space. Some even have cabinets that will fit a washer/dryer combo.

Don’t discount class Bs here. If you are looking for a smaller RV, class Bs are meticulously thought out to maximize storage in a tiny space. You’d be surprised what you can fit in these.

Travel trailers typically have less space than comparable size motorhomes. You’ll find more deep, narrow cabinets in travel trailers and ununiform cabinets that utilize every inch of available space.

For the most storage space in a trailer setup, check out a fifth-wheel RV that utilizes its tall ceilings to add more storage.

GVWR and Storage Space

When looking at storage space, consider the GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) of your RV. Even though many RVs have storage space, you might be unable to use the space to its full extent if it puts your RV overweight.  More times than not, weight becomes the issue before a lack of storage space.

NOTE:  Class A diesel pushers tend to have a higher GVWR because the diesel engine allows for more weight. This goes for class B diesel models as well.

Utilizing a truck bed for storage.

A trick that helps give travel trailers extra storage is using the truck bed to store things. Adding a bed cover or camper shell to your truck bed can create a ‘garage’ for your RV that can fit a ton of stuff and (depending on your truck) a lot more weight. This is the main reason, as full-time RVers, we pull our lightweight trailer with a dually truck.

dually truck with camper shell and bumper pull travel trailer in sand dunes state park

If you’re wondering about fifth-wheel owners, they aren’t out of luck either. Specific bed cover models can be rolled up or retracted and secured in the open position when the trailer is hooked up. Once at the campground and the trailer is unhooked, the bed cover can be closed. This adds additional space and security for storing outdoor gear at your campsite. 

Again,  be sure to check the GVWR of your truck before loading it down,  and remember to factor in the tongue weight.

WINNER:  Although you can add tow vehicle storage space when pulling a travel trailer,  motorhomes  have more storage right off the lot without modifications.

8. cost of the rv.

The price point for motorhomes is generally higher than comparable travel trailers since they have an engine. The benefit? You can live in a motorhome, AND it can take you anywhere.

However, a motorhome can be the cheaper RV option if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution and don’t already own a tow vehicle.

woman holding ball of 100 dollar bills

On the other hand, if you already have a vehicle capable of towing a trailer, a towable RV can be an affordable choice for your setup and will get you on the road quickly. This is why most RVers that aren’t full-time tend to have travel trailers or fifth wheels.

For more on RV living budgets and costs, check out our post on the real cost of RV living .

Motorhome vs Trailer Insurance Costs

RV insurance for motorhomes is typically more expensive than travel trailers since the cost of motorhomes is higher. However, with a trailer, you need to also insure your tow vehicle, which is something to consider.

You are only required to have insurance on a travel trailer if you are financing since the financer will require insurance. However, we do not recommend going with insurance since your auto insurance will only cover a specific amount of liability and only when the trailer is in motion. 

For full-time RVers, full-timers insurance on either a motorhome or travel trailer is relatively comparable. We’ve owned a similar size motorhome and travel trailer and paid almost the same insurance plan cost annually for both.

We’ll cover maintenance costs in the next section.

WINNER: Travel trailers squeak out the cost category since they are typically the most affordable RV option, especially if you have a vehicle capable of towing.

9. rv maintenance and repairs.

Motorhomes, like any vehicle, require regular maintenance and repairs. The larger the motorhome, the more expensive it will be to maintain. 

Travel trailers also require regular maintenance, but since they don’t have engine upkeep like drivable RVs, they can be less costly to maintain.

tire leak repair

Large class A motorhomes have extra features such as air bag suspension systems and oversized tires that can be even more costly to repair and replace.

However, it’s crucial to be aware that motorhomes and travel trailers require regular maintenance to ensure their safety and longevity. Also, the more systems you have in your RV, regardless of whether it’s a motorhome or towable RV, the more it will cost to maintain those systems.

When considering the maintenance and repair costs of each option, factor in your own skill level and comfort with DIY repairs since being able to troubleshoot and perform maintenance on your RV can save you a lot of money. 

NOTE:  It is becoming increasingly difficult to find reliable people to repair RVs, and even harder to have repair work done in a timely manner.

Winner:  ultimately, travel trailers come out on top for maintenance. just remember, you might have a large truck or tow vehicle to maintain as well., 10. rv depreciation.

Just like any vehicle, motorhomes and travel trailers depreciate. Although all types of RVs lose roughly 20% of their value when driven off the lot, some RVs depreciate quicker in the first five years than others.

minnie winnie winnebago motorhome parked on blue ridge parkway

Class A  motorhomes tend to depreciate quicker than class C motorhomes. These large RVs will also cost more upfront when buying a new motorhome. Class Bs don’t depreciate quite as fast as class As, and some brands will even hold their value well.

Class C  motorhomes have the least amount of depreciation for drivable RVs because of their affordable price point, making them more in demand in the RV market.

Buying new versus used.  It’s important to note that depreciation in the motorhome category is mostly dependent on the year rather than the mileage due to damage factors other than wear and tear on the engine.

On average,  travel trailers  typically depreciate about the same as class C motorhomes in the first five years (around 40%).

Fifth wheels depreciate a little quicker compared to travel trailers in the towable RV category, mostly due to their average size. The bigger the RV, the faster they depreciate.

Here are a few things to remember when it comes to depreciation:

  • Motorhome depreciation is affected by the year and the mileage, but not just high mileage. Low mileage is also bad since it may have sat unused for a long time.
  • Smaller quality RVs will depreciate less than larger ones. (This rule doesn’t apply to popup campers which depreciate rapidly.) 
  • Molded fiberglass travel trailers such as Oliver or Airstream will also hold their value, as well as quality truck campers.
  • All depreciation points can vary depending on the specific make and model, as well as the overall condition and maintenance of the RV.

To find more information on RV depreciation, check out this detailed RV depreciation guide .

WINNER: Travel trailers  claim the win for this last category since they have less depreciation after the first five years than motorhomes in general. However, this depends on the size and model in question, and it is about the same when compared to class Cs.

Which is better – a motorhome or travel trailer.

Even though travel trailers came out the winner in this comparison, you’ll still want to evaluate which RV is right for you.

We love our travel trailer, but because we like to move often we really miss the flexibility of our motorhome. Surprise – the best RV for you depends on your personal situation, needs, and preferences.

Whichever you choose, motorhome or travel trailer, make sure to do your research and ask lots of questions. You might also want to check out our article on the Best Motorhome Tips for Beginners .

By carefully weighing the pros and cons of each option and assessing your own needs, you can make an informed choice and enjoy the ultimate road trip or camping adventure!

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Morgan, the founder of The Home That Roams, has been living nomadically for over five years. She began her journey traveling across the U.S. in a motorhome and cruising on a liveaboard sailing catamaran. Currently, she lives full-time in a travel trailer, sharing resources on RV living and boat life to help others downsize their lives and thrive in an alternative lifestyle.

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Camping saw a huge spike in interest during the pandemic as travelers looked for fresh air and wide-open spaces.

Even as restrictions lifted, many people continued to look to the outdoors for vacations. Whether you’re planning a weekend excursion or are a digital nomad, camping remains a fulfilling and budget-friendly option for many travelers.

One of the most important considerations for campers is where to sleep, and if you’re not opting for a tent, that means sifting through other options, from recreational vehicles and motorhomes to campers, trailers, pop-ups and fifth wheels.

For those who are new to camping, you may be wondering whether you should choose an RV or a camper. Here’s what you need to know when deciding between the two, including the main differences.

What’s the difference between an RV and a camper?

A recreational vehicle (RV) is a catch-all term that applies to the family of vehicles that can be driven, towed or popped up as well as lived and slept in, says Paul Bandstra, national sales executive at campground booking site Campspot. He has visited 42 campgrounds in 11 months, logging about 20,000 miles in his camper.

Those less familiar with camping may hear the term RV and picture a motorhome — a large vehicle with living space and an engine. “Those are the units that have a steering wheel and a gas pedal and you drive it,” Bandstra explains.

So is a camper an RV? By most definitions, yes.

It’s generally understood that campers and trailers need to be towed by a separate vehicle — often a pickup truck or an SUV, Bandstra says. There’s a wide range of towable options, from fifth wheels to travel and pop-up trailers.

» Learn more: RV road trip routes in the United States

What are the pros and cons of a motorhome?

Having established that motorhomes are, in fact, RVs with a steering wheel, it’s worth asking: Is it right for your needs?

There are a few classifications within the motorhome family, Bandstra explains, from the extensive and luxurious Class A models to smaller Class C ones.

Generally, motorhomes have sleeping and living accommodations, and they tend to be larger. This gives them some definite pros and cons .

“The bigger unit has more room but limits your options of where you can go. It costs more to tow and to camp,” Bandstra says, noting that many campgrounds restrict motorhomes. These RVs may also have a limited — and sometimes pricier — set of sites where they're permitted.

And, he says, the costs of motorhomes themselves — particularly the larger, more luxurious ones — can be quite high. A new Class A motorhome can cost from $50,000 to $150,000 or more.

Some motorhome dwellers choose to tow a separate vehicle behind the RV to give them a more flexible form of transportation once they’re set up at a campground.

» Learn more: RV vs. hotel: Which is more economical?

Are campers worth the investment?

Because of the high price and large size of a motorhome, many camp enthusiasts instead opt for campers, which are pulled by a separate vehicle. There are many types of campers: travel trailers, fifth wheels and pop-ups, to name a few.

Travel trailers, Bandstra says, hitch onto an SUV or a pickup truck and are towed — similar to how you’d tow a boat. There are many types of trailers, ranging from 10 to 40 feet in length.

A fifth wheel, which is the type Bandstra’s family selected last year, latches onto the bed of a pickup truck. These campers are typically a bit longer, starting at 20 feet and reaching up to 40 feet long.

“It’s a lot easier to tow a fifth wheel,” he says. “There’s a lot more room for swinging if you have a bigger unit; the wind affects it more.”

Like motorhomes, plenty of travel trailers and fifth wheels have kitchens, bathrooms, sleeping areas and space for multiple people.

Bandstra likes the camper because he can unlatch it at a campground and drive his truck to the store, work assignments or wherever else he needs to go.

» Learn more: The best RV rental options and how to choose

Is it worth buying a pop-up camper?

Pop-up campers are a far smaller type of towable RV with a hard-shell base and wheels. They unfold into a tent-looking structure.

Part of the camper family, pop-ups are typically less than 20 feet long and are pulled by a vehicle. Most are fairly simple and don’t have amenities like a kitchen or bathroom, so it’s typically not a permanent living option for long-term travelers.

“[Pop-ups] are usually just going to be for a couple, maybe a couple smaller children,” Bandstra says. Pop-ups have benefits, though. “They’re definitely more affordable, and they’re easy to tow because they’re small,” he adds.

» Learn more: How safe is an RV road trip?

Camper vs. RV, recapped

Ultimately, Bandstra suggests travelers looking to buy or rent one of these options — whether a camper or an RV — consider their needs carefully.

“We spent hours with the kids narrowing it down to what floor plan or model is best going to suit us,” he says, adding that they looked at over 100 options before deciding.

“For us, it was full-time living and traveling and working remotely,” he says, adding that it’s a good idea to think about how frequently you’ll be using it.

And regardless of the model selected, Bandstra recommends buying a product with a warranty or purchasing an extended warranty to cover costs. He says not doing so can be a key mistake for first-time buyers.

After all, for many travelers, these vehicles become a home — or a home away from home, at least.

How to maximize your rewards

You want a travel credit card that prioritizes what’s important to you. Here are our picks for the best travel credit cards of 2024 , including those best for:

Flexibility, point transfers and a large bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

No annual fee: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card

Flat-rate travel rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Bonus travel rewards and high-end perks: Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Luxury perks: The Platinum Card® from American Express

Business travelers: Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card

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1x-5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3x on dining, select streaming services and online groceries, 2x on all other travel purchases, 1x on all other purchases.

60,000 Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

1.5%-6.5% Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

$300 Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

2x-5x Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options.

75,000 Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel.

motorhome vs travel trailer

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Camper Trailer Report

Travel Trailers and RVs

Motorhomes vs Travel Trailers: 12 Pros and Cons

By Mark on October 26, 2020

Motorhomes vs Travel Trailers. 12 Pros and Cons

Motorhome Pros

1. Packing is easier. This probably won’t be something you consider; however, on the off chance that you utilize your campervan for movement and are out on the town regularly, this can spare you so much time. Since the present RV are worked in light of room (particularly the more prominent models), there will be a lot of space to store nearly anything.

2. Simple, reasonable, and agreeable, the RV guarantees you serenity and versatility.as it has all the amenities that you would want.

3. The upside of going by RV is likewise getting a charge out of nature or find the nearby. It is additionally a method for meeting new individuals from various foundations, RV drivers or not, to share great occasions.

4. Travelers can move freely around the coach while in motion. as it is well fixed and can rotate in any direction with safety belts.

5. Longer lifetime use. At the point when you take a gander at tow campers versus motorhomes, you’ll see that motorhomes last longer in practically all cases on account of how they are built. Then again, when tow campers start getting up there in age, you’ll notice that they don’t look so great.

6. More capacity underneath. Thus any extra items will fit well without you being squeezed in the central area.

7. It usually comes with an inverter and generator.

> You may also like: 45 RV Accessory Must-Haves for Your Travel Trailer <<

1. It’s more expensive. Regardless of whether you get a gas or diesel motorhome, you are quite often going to turn out progressively costly when you go to the tow escapade versus motorhome.

2. The motorhome is a huge automobile, so it is here, and they’re hard to discover a spot to rest or to stop. Also, the motorhome cannot go anyplace, and you must be cautious.

3. Some motorhomes are amazingly tall. Most of them are class A motorhomes and are tall and can have issues in certain territories in case you need camp at littler RV outdoors spots. Before you take away, ensure you realize what’s coming down the road, so you don’t take the top off your RV.

4. Insurance costs are high thus you are supposed to plan your self

5. Some of them have less living space, especially Class B; therefore, on vacation, you will only need to carry essential items.

6. Its resale value is disappointing, and you might end up with a bad investment.

Video Overview: RVing with a Motorhome vs Travel Trailer

Travel Trailers

1. Less expensive. They cost less when contrasted with other large motorhomes like Class C or class A. On a normal, a movement trailer costs around $15000 to $30000. Travel trailers come in the middle of an essential popup camper and greater motorhomes. With tent trailers or spring up campers, you don’t generally get that sort of protection and comforts, yet travel trailers are hard-sided and give you better than common courtesies.

2. One significant bit of leeway to a travel trailer is that once you have arrived at your campground, you can unfasten it and utilize your towing vehicle to get things done or take in the sights.

3. Its insurance has been priced reasonably.

4. With a trailer, you can generally unfasten and have a (moderately) ordinary estimated vehicle to investigate with. It is also brisk to pack up, hitch up and go.

5. Access more areas with the capacity to go mud romping due to the size and weight. There’s usually some stockpiling where you can keep your outdoor gear.

6. Preferable fuel utilization over a band while towing. It very well may be significantly more straightforward to set up than an ordinary shelter of a similar size.

> You may also like: Worst 5th Wheel Brands to Avoid <<

1. There’s less extra room than bigger parades or RVs.

2. Not all variants have a restroom or shower, so make sure to check.

3. Less security as the dividers are canvas and simple to look/hear through. It’s additionally not very good in high wind or downpour as they can tear.

4. Outdoors spaces might be more costly and less welcoming than you arranged. Its beds don’t measure up to those in a pleasant inn with regards to solace and estimate.

Video Overview: RV vs. Travel Trailer – Which is Better?

You may also like: 25 Best National Parks in the USA   <<

Motorhome vs. Travel trailer Related Questions:

An RV is a home on wheels that allows you and your family to travel the world without worrying about expensive hotels and flights. Whether you are looking to buy a motorhome or travel trailer, find out everything you need to know to make an informed buying decision.

What is the difference between a motorhome and a travel trailer?

A motorhome is simply a big bus with inbuilt beds, kitchen, bathroom, and all your living accommodation requirements. It also comes with a cockpit for driving. On the other hand, travel trailers are a towable RV that comes with a living area and is used as accommodation.

Which is a better truck camper or travel trailer?

What you choose heavily depends on your preferred style and budget. A motorhome typically has everything you need in one unit. The comfort level, size, and other features also have to come into play, not forgetting insurance. Travel trailers also have their fair share of perks. If you are looking to use your tow vehicle for other tasks, a travel trailer can work for you, as you can park the trailer in a safe site and detach it from your towing vehicle.

Video Overview: TRUCK CAMPER vs. CAMPER TRAILER – Pro’s & Con’s from a FULL TIMER

Can you ride in a truck camper while driving?

Different states have different regulations when it comes to riding a truck camper. Many states do not allow and those that do, have a set of conditions to be followed such as safety equipment like audio or visual signaling devices.

Why are truck bed campers so expensive?

Truck bed campers are generally expensive due to the high cost of building and manufacturing the technical requirements.

> You may also like: How To Prepare Your Truck for Towing: 9 Important Tips <<

Which RV is easiest to drive?

The easiest RV to drive typically depends on your experience with regular vehicles. If you are used to driving normal passenger vehicles, a travel trailer can be the best and easiest option for you. Motorhome driving requires a higher level of driving, especially when it comes to taking turns, driving through windy conditions, and other problems.

What is the safest RV to drive?

Staying safe in an RV depends on good judgment, as well as the quality of the RV. While motorhomes are generally considered safe, bad driving skills can lead to collisions or crashes on the road. On the other hand, travel trailers are easy to drive and come with safety perks such as good visibility, forgiving suspension, and less fatigue.

Is a camper trailer a good investment?

Camper trailers are more budget-friendly compared to motorhomes. Pre-owned trailers are much cheaper and require less maintenance than motorhomes. They are also cost-effective when it comes to campsite fees, parking prices, and insurance. Thanks to their compact sizes, you don’t need a big space to store during the off-season.

> You may also like: Gas vs Diesel For Towing a Fifth Wheel? <<

Related Posts:

Toy Hauler vs Travel Trailer: Pros and Cons

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motorhome vs travel trailer

Motorhome vs. Travel Trailer? 19 Helpful Tips To Help You Choose

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Anyone who has ever considered buying a motorhome has probably thought about buying a travel trailer as well.

I’ve struggled with this decision many times and, as a result, have done a lot of research on the subject.

Here are the most important things to consider before you choose.

Table of Contents

1. Purchase Prices Varies A Lot

Motorhomes and travel trailers can both be expensive investments.

However, motorhomes are often dramatically more expensive when compared to travel trailers.  Expect to pay about three to four times more for a motorhome than you would for a travel trailer.

Here is a quick example to demonstrate this:

The Forest River Alpha Wolf 23RD-L – This travel trailer by Forest River has an exterior length of 29’4″.  Some of this length is at the hitch and bumper, but you’ll most likely get about 24 to 25 feet of interior living space with a travel trailer like this.

Inside, you get a queen bed, a large bathroom with a stand-alone sink shower, and a toilet.  You also get a kitchen, a dining table capable of seating four, and a sofa with two end tables on either side of it.

The freshwater tank is 49 gallons, and both the gray and black water tanks are 42 gallons.  A new model will cost you around $26,000.00.

The Forester LE 2251 – This Forest River motorhome has an exterior length of 24’4″.  Some of this is the driver’s area, and some of this is the front of the vehicle where the engine sits.  The seats can be used while camping, and there is a bunk over top of them, so we’ll count that as living space but will subtract another 4 feet off of the size because of the engine compartment.

Even still, you do get almost everything inside that you got from the Alpha except the living area is exchanged for a bunk area.  Buying this motorhome brand new will cost you about $56,000.00.

These RVs have the same amount of living space, but the motorhome costs $30,000.00 more than the travel trailer.  It ends up being more than twice as expensive.

2. Insurance Cost Varies A Lot

Technically, a travel trailer doesn’t actually have to be insured.

Buy a travel trailer with cash, and you can decide not to get any insurance on it at all.  Of course, if you decide to finance your travel trailer, the finance company will most likely make you insure the travel trailer for the full amount of the loan.

This helps protect both them and you in case the travel trailer is destroyed.

A motorhome, on the other hand, must always be insured.

Motorhomes are vehicles, and the government has mandated that all vehicles must have vehicle insurance.  Again, if you’ve financed your purchase, you’ll have to get full coverage.  Since the motorhome costs twice as much, you’ll end up having to pay even more money for your insurance versus what you’d end up paying for insurance on your travel trailer.

Here’s exactly what you need to have included in your RV insurance .

This being said, to tow your travel trailer, you’ll need an insured vehicle.  If you plan on having a vehicle anyway, then this doesn’t increase your costs, but if you end up having to buy a dedicated tow vehicle, it is something to consider.

3. Maintenance Also Varies A Lot

Guy doing an inspection of a tiny house on wheels

The maintenance on a motorhome is almost always more expensive than the maintenance on a travel trailer.

Maintenance on a motorhome must also be done much more frequently than on a travel trailer.

This is because you’re not just maintaining the living quarters on a motorhome. You’re also maintaining the engine and all the other vehicle components that come with the motorhome.

At a minimum, motorhomes will need:

  • Oil Changes
  • Tire Rotations
  • Brake Replacements

On top of this, you’ll occasionally find yourself doing major repairs like transmission rebuilds, shock and strut replacements, and even engine rebuilds.  This type of maintenance isn’t easy for the average DIYer, and you may end up having to go to a special mechanic to get your motorhome worked on.

Travel trailers, on the other hand, are relatively easy to maintain.

Some annual maintenance must be done on the tires, wheels, brakes, and axels but all of this is inexpensive compared to maintaining a vehicle.

The interior and exterior of a travel trailer also need to be maintained, but most DIYers will have the ability to do this.  Even if the owner doesn’t want to do this kind of maintenance himself, he can always hire any general contractor to do it for him.

Motorhomes:

Motorhomes require camper maintenance as well as vehicle maintenance.

Sure, you have to maintain your tow vehicle but the maintenance on a tow vehicle is usually easier and cheaper than the maintenance that will need to be done on a motorhome.

Also, some larger motorhomes may need to be taken to a specialized RV mechanic to be serviced.

Travel Trailers and Fifth Wheels:

Travel trailers and fifth wheels will need regular maintenance on their components and appliances.

This being said, the maintenance can often be done by DIYers and some types of campers rarely need maintenance at all.

This is especially true when you own a travel trailer or fifth wheel made from fiberglass.

Pop-up Campers:

Pop-up campers need to have their canvas waterproofed each year and extra care needs to be taken to protect the soft materials that make up the walls of a pop-up camper.

These side-walls often take damage within five years and it can be expensive to have them replaced.

The rest of the pop-up camper, however, is easy to maintain and you usually won’t have as many appliances to deal with when you own a pop-up camper.

4. Fuel Cost Calculations

Motorhomes rarely ever get good gas mileage.

The only exception to this might be a diesel class B motorhome.  Even so, class B motorhomes rarely get more than 20 miles per gallon, and it’s tough to compare them to travel trailers as travel trailers usually offer much more living space than a small class B motorhome.

Vehicles towing travel trailers rarely get good gas mileage either.  However, the upside to this is that once you arrive at your destination, you can drop the trailer off and go back to your normal gas mileage.

Here, you can see exactly how pulling a trailer affects mileage !

Motorhomes also have this advantage as well.  Large motorhomes can pull towable cars that get great gas mileage.  Once the motorhome gets to its destination, the motorhome can be parked, and the towable car can be used.

For more information on cars being towed by motorhomes, please see my post titled, “ Complete Guide to Tow Cars for RVers .”  There you’ll learn everything you need to know to tow a car behind your motorhome properly.

5. Room for Guests

Large motorhomes can often make great guesthouses.

These RVs are big enough to accommodate extra guests and can easily be driven to a dump station after your guests have left.

Also, since you probably have the motorhome at your house already, you won’t have to go pick it up at a storage facility before your guests arrive.

Travel trailers and fifth wheels can make good guest houses as well but you won’t always be able to use them in all neighborhoods.

For example, I have a brother that lives in a housing development that does not allow people to park their travel trailers in their driveway at all.

If he brought his travel trailer home from storage one night, he’d end up being fined or sued.

With a small motorhome, he might not have this problem.

Also, when your guests leave, you’ll have to hitch up the travel trailer and tow it to a dump station to be dumped.  After you’ve done this, you may have to drive it back to a storage unit.

Pop-up campers don’t make good guesthouses.

Asking someone to sleep in your pop-up is almost the same as asking them to sleep in a tent in your yard.

Also, pop-up campers are not very useful in cold or rainy weather so you won’t really be able to use them throughout the entire year.

6. Depreciation Is Important To Protect The Investment

If you’ve read my post on RV depreciation rates , you know that motorhomes tend to depreciation faster than travel trailers.

This is most likely because motorhomes have odometers, and with each passing mile, the motorhome value goes down.

Also, vehicle technology changes quickly while trailer technology does not.  Driving a motorhome that is just five years old can be much different than driving a brand new motorhome. 

Lane-change assist, brake assist, 360-degree cameras, and many other technologies have all been added to vehicles in a concise period of time.

Go back far enough to buy a used motorhome, and you may find you don’t even have power steering or power brakes.  People don’t want to drive motorhomes with dated technology or driving systems, and as a result, motorhomes can depreciate quickly.

A trailer, on the other hand,d hasn’t changed much over the years.  The only major change I can think of with trailers is electric brakes over hydraulic brakes.  Luckily, this is easy to update and doesn’t require any major structural changes to the trailer.

Update a travel trailer’s interior and appliances, and a 20-year-old trailer can look and function just like a brand new one can.

7. Living Space Vs. Sleeping Space

modern interior of RV with slide-out table top

Depending on the travel trailer’s design and the motorhome, you’ll most likely get more living space from a travel trailer.

Not only this, but it is easier to put slides on a travel trailer, and you’ll see them more on travel trailers than you will on smaller motorhomes.

Motorhomes do have one big advantage when it comes to living space, though. 

This advantage is that a motorhome’s living space can easily be accessed while on the road and parked in rest areas.  A person has to get out of their vehicle with a travel trailer and walk back to the travel trailer.  This is especially inconvenient in bad weather and while driving.

When a motorhome pulls over for a quick bite to eat, the home is already at the perfect temperature.  A travel trailer’s AC or heating unit will not be on during transit, and the travel trailer might be too hot actually to eat in right away.

Cooling it down before eating in it will add time to the trip and may even require a generator.  With a motorhome, you don’t have this problem.

8. Passenger Space Considerations

Motorhomes often do not have a lot of legal passenger space.  Sure, you can pile 12 people into the back of a large motorhome quite easily, but it isn’t legal.  It isn’t safe either.

You can choose a large tow vehicle with a travel trailer with seating for eight to even twelve people.  All of these people will have seat belts, and everyone will be as safe as they possibly can be in an accident.

An example of a tow vehicle with a lot of passenger room might be a Chevy Suburban or a full-size van with a long-wheel-base.  These vehicles can tow well over 5,000 pounds and can offer a lot of passenger and storage space.

9. Parking Considerations

Did you know that in many areas of the country, you can park a motorhome right on the street in front of your house?

With a travel trailer, you won’t have this option.

In fact, many towns won’t even let you park your travel trailer in your driveway , and you’ll have to get a special storage space to park your travel trailer in.

Motorhomes are also more convenient for parking during transit as well.  When you stop at a rest area on your way to your destination, you can often park smaller motorhomes in regular parking lots.  Even if you can’t, it’s still much easier to park a motorhome in a large parking area than to park a trailer.

In some areas, you may even have to completely unhook your trailer so that you can park the trailer and the vehicle in different parking spots.  This is not convenient.

10. Storing The Travel Trailer

You’re much more likely to have to store a travel trailer than you are to have to store a motorhome.

However, stored motorhomes still need regular maintenance, and they need to be driven from time to time.  This keeps the battery charged, the engine components lubricated, and the hoses from drying out.

What this means is that you’ll need to be prepared to drive to your storage area regularly to check on your motorhome and to take it for a drive.  Travel trailers don’t really have this issue.

You can store a travel trailer all winter long without ever going to check on it.

Storage costs are usually based on the size of your trailer or motorhome, so similarly sized RVs will generally cost about the same to store.

11. Drivability Varies A Lot

Driving a motorhome is more difficult than driving a standard vehicle, but it is generally much easier than driving a standard vehicle with a trailer attached to it.

Also, the speed limit for a vehicle that is towing a trailer is only 55 miles per hour in most states.  Motorhomes typically do not have these speed restrictions attached to them.

This means that you’ll probably get to your destination faster in a motorhome than you will with a travel trailer.

For example, a 300 mile trip at 55 miles per hour will take you 5 hours and 27 minutes to complete.  A 300 mile trip at 70 miles an hour will only take you 4 hours and 17 minutes to complete.

Round-trip, you’ll buy yourself an extra two hours and 20 minutes by driving a motorhome.  This gives you that much more time to enjoy your vacation.

Here are our VERY best 15 tips on how to drive a big RV .

12. Versatility Is Great With Motorhomes

A motorhome offers versatility in that you can use your motorhome as a vehicle when needed.

Did you walk out to your car today only to find that you have a flat tire?

No problem, take the motorhome to work!  You won’t even have to worry about packing a lunch because you can cook it up right there in the parking lot.

Unfortunately, motorhomes lose some of their versatility when they reach their vacation destination.  Imagine leveling your motorhome, hooking up the water hose, hooking up the sewer hose, hooking up the electricity and cable, and turning on your propane tanks, only to remember that you have to make a quick trip to the local pharmacy.

You now have to unhook all of this, drive to the pharmacy, and then start the entire process back up when you get back.  Now imagine you have to do this every time you leave your campsite.

When you have a travel trailer, you don’t have to worry about this as your vehicle is separate from your trailer.  Also, if some people want to stay home while others take a day trip, the option is there.

With the motorhome taken away, the people left behind will be homeless and without a vehicle for the day.

13. Tow Vehicles Is An Option!

Tow car pulled behind a Class A RV

The major drawback to a travel trailer is that you (probably) have to have a tow vehicle.

If you already have a tow vehicle, then this isn’t a big deal.  You may have to make some upgrades to your brakes, transmission, and suspension, but these won’t be nearly as expensive as buying a new vehicle.

Here’s our complete guide to getting the best tow car .

If you don’t have a tow vehicle for your travel trailer, then you’ll have to factor in the cost of buying one when you make your purchasing decision.  This new vehicle will have its own set of maintenance guidelines, and it will also need to be insured.

For example, a travel trailer might cost $30,000.00 less than a motorhome of equal size, but it might require you to buy a truck that costs $35,000.00.  Once you have this truck, you have to insure it and maintain it.

This means you’ll end up paying $5,000.00 more upfront and even more over the years.  You’ll also have a truck that is depreciating as well as a travel trailer that is depreciating.

This drawback can also be a positive aspect of owning a travel trailer as well.  Once you buy a tow vehicle for your travel trailer, you’ll be able to tow other things like boats and cargo trailers.

You may even be able to use larger tow vehicles to help you or your friends and family members move.

14. Convenience Is King

As we said earlier, a motorhome is much more convenient when it comes to driving and parking.

The downside is that it is a lot less convenient to use once you’ve reached your destination.  Small motorhomes can be parked almost anywhere, while small travel trailers still need a dedicated parking spot.

Motorhomes are also more convenient while you’re driving as passengers can retrieve items from the motorhome while in transit, and motorhomes already have their temperatures regulated when you reach your destination.

In some cases, you can even sleep in your motorhome while parked on a city or suburban street, which is something you won’t be able to do with a travel trailer.

Another time when you’ll find motorhomes to be more convenient is when you’re filling up your gas tank.  With a travel trailer, you may have to stop at a truck stop or unhook your travel trailer before pulling into the gas station.

On the flip side, large motorhomes don’t even have this option, and you might not be able to fill them up at all at a small gas station.

You’ll end up having to go to a truck stop to fill up, and the next one might not be very close.

15. Where Do You Intend To Go?

Some motorhomes are too large to get to certain destinations.

They also have drive-train restrictions, which make them impractical to use in many off-road situations.

This means that you may need to have your tow vehicle along with you when you visit these places.

If you had a travel trailer, this would be a simple process as you’d only need to drop your travel trailer off at your campsite and continue with your tow vehicle.

With a motorhome, you’ll need to make sure you have a towable car or SUV that can handle the rugged off-road situation, and not all motorhomes can be used to tow large vehicles behind them.

In other cases, you may find that a motorhome is the only way to enjoy a certain destination.  Some state and national parks have length restrictions at their campsites, and usually, these length restrictions are based on a combination of the vehicle’s length and the length of the trailer.

Here’s a MUST-READ article about RV length for State & National Parks .

Tow your 25-foot long trailer with a 19-foot tow vehicle, and you may end up going way over the length limit.  With a 25 foot long motorhome, you’ll be able to park at campsites that would otherwise be off-limits to you and your travel trailer.

16. Physical Limitations

Hooking up a trailer isn’t always easy.  This is especially true when you’re towing a larger travel trailer that requires weight distribution hitches and stabilizer bars.  Some people may be physically unable to hitch and unhitch a travel trailer to a vehicle.

Motorhome owners don’t have this problem.  With most newer motorhomes, you get in them and go.  Once you reach your destination, you park in a flat area, and you use automatic leveling systems to level out your motorhome.

Of course, some people may not be able to climb in and out of a motorhome physically.  Motorhomes can be as tall as 12 feet high, and getting into them isn’t just a matter of sitting down.  With a rig this size, you actually need to climb up into them.  Not everyone is capable of doing this.

In this case, it might be better for the person to buy a small travel trailer and a small tow vehicle to pull it with.  The small tow vehicle will be easy to get in and out of, and the small trailer will be easier to set up and take down.

17. Comfort While Driving

Motorhomes are often difficult to drive.

These vehicles are much larger than regular passenger vehicles and even their height needs to be taken into consideration when driving under bridges or through tunnels .

Some people may not feel comfortable driving large class A or class C motorhomes.

Towable Campers:

Towing a camper is usually easier than driving a motorhome but this really depends on the size of the camper as well as the size of the tow vehicle.

Also, setting up a camper so that it can be towed is harder than just jumping into a motorhome and driving off.

In many cases, you’ll have to add larger side-view mirrors and you’ll lose the functionality of your rear-view mirror as soon as you hook your camper up.

You’ll have to get used to driving with the larger

18. Length of Trips

Different types of trips are better for different types of RVs.

In most cases, you’ll find that short trips far away from home are better suited for motorhomes.  This is because motorhomes are better for road trips, and you probably won’t be traveling much once you reach your destination, so you won’t have to worry about constantly hooking and unhooking your motorhome to your campsite.

Motorhomes also excel in extended trips that take you to multiple destinations.  For example, people touring the lower 48 in just one year may want to get a motorhome because they’ll be doing a lot of driving, and again they won’t be hooking up at one place for any long lengths of time.

On the other hand, travel trailers are better for people who will be driving less and staying at locations for longer periods of time.  In fact, some people buy travel trailers just so that they can leave them someplace for an entire season.

These people might drop their travel trailers off a few hours away from home and commute to them each weekend.

Even people who are only staying at one location for a week or two might also want to take advantage of leaving their travel trailers at their camping locations.  An example of this might be people camping 15 to 20 minutes away from a beach for a week or two.

These people could drive to the beach each morning without having to worry about unhooking a motorhome every day.

19. Safety On The Road

RV break down with smoke

Motorhomes tend to do better in accidents than travel trailers.

A motorhome does have a lot of weight, but it also has a large vehicle surrounding all of this weight.  Motorhomes also sit higher than travel trailers, so the accident’s impact may not be as deadly as it might be in a vehicle that sits lower to the ground.

Travel trailers also have a lot of weight to them, and this weight can make it more difficult for a tow vehicle to stop.  Also, travel trailers can fall victim to trailer sway , which can cause instability. 

A trailer can even flip over during a turn which can cause the vehicle to crash as well.

There is more room for human mistakes when towing than with driving a motorhome.  A travel trailer owner can forget to put their weight distribution hitch on, they can forget to lock their anti-sway bars, and they can even forget to lock their hitch down in place.

These issues might not be apparent right away, and they can end up happening when out on the highway.

Mistakes like this can prove to be fatal.

With a motorhome, these issues aren’t even something that needs to be worried about.

Final Thoughts

Motorhomes and travel trailers are both great fun, and they both have their plusses and minuses.

Think deeply about what you want to do with your RV and decide what you’d like to do the most.  Once you know how you’ll be using your RV, you’ll be able to choose the one that best meets your needs.

Also, remember that just because you buy one or the other, it doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it forever.  You may decide to start with a motorhome so that you can tour the country, and a few years later, you might sell it to buy a travel trailer so that you have something to take to a local resort each summer.

If, after all of this, you’re still unsure as to whether you should buy a travel trailer or motorhome, consider renting each one of them.

Once you’ve had a chance to use both a motorhome and a travel trailer, you might find that you prefer one over the other, and your buying decision will be much easier to make.

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What’s the Difference Between a Motorhome, RV, Camper, and a Trailer?

NOTE*** The content on this page may contain affiliate links, we may make a commission. And, as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.   More information: disclosure page .

Are you having a hard time choosing which RV is perfect for you? When talking about RVs, motorhomes, and travel trailers, sorting out the different terms can be confusing. Deciding what to buy can have your head spinning, and someone who knows nothing about RVs may think they are all the same. 

What is the difference between a motorhome and an RV?

RV stands for Recreational Vehicle, which is a catch-all for campers, motorhomes, campervans and travel trailers. A motorhome is a drivable RV that is either class A, B, or C. Towable RVs are called travel trailers and fifth wheels. 

Motorhomes and travel trailers come in different sizes and capacities. When deciding what to buy or rent, consider how many people will generally be along on your adventures and how large of a rig you want to handle.

Most motorhomes are about 25 to 45 feet long, depending on their class, and can fit 4 to 12 adults. On the other hand, trailers can range from 10 to 40 feet – but you need to include the tow vehicle in the total length. Travel trailers can accommodate 2 to 12 adults depending on which type of trailer it is. 

Aside from sizes and capacities, we will discuss more information you may need to know about these two types of RV. This guide will teach you to distinguish between an RV, camper, motorhome and a travel trailer so you will know what is right for you.

What’s The Difference Between an RV and a Camper?

The terms “RV” and “camper” mean the same thing – a moveable unit that you can live out of.

Again, “RV” stands for Recreational Vehicle. It includes all classes of drivable RVs, or motorhomes (A, B, and C classes) as well as towable RVs, which are known as travel trailers and fifth wheels.

“Camper” is another umbrella term just like “RV”. Essentially, a camper is any recreational vehicle that you would take camping, or otherwise travel and sleep in. So a camper can be a travel trailer, fifth wheel, pop-up, motorhome, or any other make or model of RV.

Therefore, the terms “camper” and “RV” are interchangeable. A camper is an RV, and vice versa.

What are the Classes and Types of RVs?

A motorhome (or motorcoach) is a self-contained RV that serves as both a camper and a driving vehicle. Motorhomes are usually distinguished by the length of their rig and their class, of which there are three: Class A, B, and C.

Next we will provide more information about the differences between motorhome and RV classes.

Related Reading: See our article on Which Type Of RV is Right for You: 11 Types and Classes Explained.

Class A Motorhome

A gray and white Class A RV by a mountain side road with a few trees behind.

Class A motorhomes are the most luxurious type of drivable RV. These motorhomes resemble traditional busses with vertical windshields. These motorcoaches are expensive but very comfortable. You might see some celebrities buying these so they can have a comfortable place to relax when working away from home.

The major drawback for a Class A motorhome is that you are limited to flat campgrounds because you can’t take it off-road.

  • Sleeps:  4-12 people
  • Average length: 25-45 feet
  • Rental Cost Per Night: $200 – $500 
  • Rent this Class A Motorhome in Colorado Springs, Colorado: 2012 Coachmen Mirada at RVezy.

Class B Motorhome

A gray class B van-like with gray and black accent swoosh stickers RV being driven by the middle of the road. road.

Class B motorhomes are mid-sized camper vans on a van chassis. Camper vans are versatile and popular in both mountain states and urban areas, and throughout Europe.

Singles, couples, and small families tend to choose this kind of RV because they are easy to maneuver and drive. They can also be parked in normal parking spaces.

The major drawback of this kind of motorhome is the living space. Although some larger models are equipped with bathrooms, lounge areas, and bigger holding tanks, the most common size just includes the essentials like a bed and small kitchen.

  • Sleeps:  1-4 people
  • Average length: 16-21 feet
  • Average Cost Per Night to Rent: $85-$200
  • Rent this Class B Motorhome in Golden, Colorado: 2019 National Regency Traveler TVL from RVezy.

Class C Motorhome

A class C motorhome parked by the side of the road with a beautiful lake and aspen trees and ice capped mountain view.

Class C motorhomes are cheaper and smaller alternatives for Class A rigs. Class C motorhomes are built on a standard truck chassis with an extra space or compartment extended above the roof of the truck.

Many Class C motorhomes have slide-outs that can add extra interior space when parked and extended.

The drawback for this kind of motorhome is that you essentially have to take your whole camp everywhere when you decide to go out exploring. Travel trailers have the advantage there, in that you can leave them parked in the campground.

  • Sleeps:  2-8 people
  • Average length: 21-36 feet
  • Average Rental Cost Per Night: $150 – $300
  • Rent this Class C Motorhome in Longmont, Colorado. 2009 Coachman Freedom Express from RVezy.

Travel Trailer

Travel trailers – sometimes called bumper-pulls – are RVs that you pull with a separate vehicle. This type of RV is popular to own because of its cheaper entry point and versatility. In fact, we own a 35-foot trailer that we can pull with our SUV when we travel. We then set it up in a campground and go around town in our car.

When we’re not traveling, we rent it out on Outdoorsy or RVShare .

The drawback to this kind of trailer is the turning radius when towing it. Since you will be attaching this to your vehicle, you may need to adjust from driving the car itself and driving it while pulling your trailer.

The other problem is you may need to upgrade your tow vehicle if it doesn’t correctly match the size of your trailer.

  • Sleeps:  2-12 people
  • Average length: 19-40 feet
  • Average Rental Cost Per Night: $90- $250
  • Rent this Travel Trailer in Greeley, Colorado. 2021 Keystone Springdale 275BH from RVEzy.

So, there you have it. The main types of RVs include travel trailers and Class A, B, or C motorhomes.

If you are unsure which one to buy, we recommend first renting one out on Outdoorsy or RVezy . This way you can try them out yourself and see what you like or dislike.

What Type of RV Is More Comfortable to Drive?

When it comes to drivability, we would say that driving a campervan or Class B motorhome is much more comfortable than driving with a travel trailer. In a motorhome, you can drive for 6 to 8 hours without any discomfort as they are similar to driving a car or SUV, and are very easy to maneuver.

However, while towing a travel trailer, a 4-hour drive may completely drain and tire you because of the learning curve and focus required to tow a trailer.

However, we own a trailer. What sealed the deal for me is that my family, especially the kids, are safer if they are in the towing vehicle. They will be secured in a car seat and adults have shoulder belts.

What Are the Luxuries and Amenities Included in a Motorhome and a Trailer ?

Travel trailers usually have storage and a tiny kitchen inside. Some have an outdoor kitchen that you can use if you want to eat, drink, or grill outside. It also has an all-in-one bathroom with the toilet, shower, and sink area in the same small room.

Many travel trailers have at least one separate bedroom. These will have one – or sometimes several -beds for a couple or a family to sleep in.

Now with some motorhomes, you will get more luxuries and amenities. Depending on what Class and size the motorhome is, it may have a spacious bedroom, living room, kitchen with lots of storage, laundry area, a bathroom and possibly a separate shower room.

Some class A motorhomes even have an outdoor entertainment area. Aside from that, a motorhome’s interior will give you more of a feeling of home or a hotel.

In addition, motorhomes have some conveniences that trailer generally lack, especially for the passengers. With a motorhome, you can easily access the bathroom, bedroom, or kitchen anytime while on the road. Whereas, on a travel trailer, you have to pull over to access any of these.

In my trailer the inside is very cramped when the slides are in so the only thing we can use easily is the bathroom.

Should I Buy A Motorhome or a Trailer?

From here on, I will focus on helping you decide whether you should buy a motorhome or trailer if you are ready to buy your own RV.

If you feel that you need to rent first, the sections above may help you. You can also see our entire article “How to Rent an RV for an Epic Vacation”

How Much Does It Cost to Own a Motorhome or a Trailer?

Motorhome prices vary depending on their class since they all have different features and benefits. Generally, though, motorhomes are expensive as they are motorized and are designed as a home on wheels. 

On top of that, you also have to know the cost of maintaining this kind of RV. It has generators, engines, chassis, battery banks, and some other things that you have to maintain monthly or yearly on a motorized vehicle. Therefore, repair costs can add up quickly if you have trouble with any of these.

Conversely, trailers are more affordable and have less to maintain. Trailers have similar maintenance costs associated with the tires, roof, slides, and other mechanical parts, though.

One major cost you will have from a travel trailer is the fuel and maintenance for your towing vehicle – especially if you are going to tow a large trailer.

If your truck and trailer are a mismatched size or if you are too speedy you may need a new transmission sooner than expected.

Cost of Buying an RV Motorhome vs Trailer

Here are two price comparison tables to show what you should expect to pay for a new Motorhome and for a new Travel Trailer. Costs are reflective of April 2023 pricing.

Prices of new Motorhomes – 2023

Prices of new Travel Trailers – 2023

Questions to Ask When Choosing an RV: Motorhome or Camper Trailer?

Now that you know the main differences between a motorhome and a trailer, it’s time to start deciding which RV suits you best. Here are some questions you may want to consider :

  • What kind of camper are you?
  • How often would you like to travel?
  • Are you a seasonal traveler?
  • Would you like to do it for a living?
  • Who are you going to travel with?
  • What kind of places are you going to explore?
  • Would you like to drive on small roads, rough roads, or wide roads?
  • Do you own a truck or do you still have to buy one?
  • And how much is your budget? 

Before you buy an RV, you should ask yourself these questions to understand which type of RV would suit you best.

You may want to make a list of any other relevant questions and answers that you think will help you decide. 

Read More about 17 Undeniable Reasons NOT to buy an RV

A class b motor home towing a red jeep

Other Considerations When Choosing Between a Travel Trailer and Motorhome

If you are not going to use an RV often and you want to stick to a budget, we recommend getting a travel trailer instead of a motorhome. Leaving a motorized vehicle in your garage or your driveway for a long time is not good for the engine.

Speaking of being a budget, if you just want to dive in and see how you feel about RVing – and you already have a truck – you should buy a trailer first. However, already having a truck and knowing how to tow a trailer is key here.

Furthermore, if you want to have more freedom on your road trips and be able to visit many places, a trailer is better than a class A or C motorhome. You can park your trailer then go exploring with your tow vehicle. 

This does not necessarily apply to a Class B campervan that is easy to maneuver – as long as you keep a tidy camp.

If you are going to travel with your kids, a travel trailer is the safest option. Although couches in motorhomes have seat belts, based on our own experience it is still much safer for kids to sit in a truck with a car seat. 

a toddler eating a cracker in a camping chair with another toddler behind

When it comes to interior space and off-road driving, you have a lot of choices. There are many sizes of motorhomes and travel trailers that can accommodate you and are easy to drive and maneuver on any kind of road.

On the other hand, if you are someone who’s planning to travel across the country, have a bigger budget, and prefer to travel smoothly without any inconvenience, we recommend buying a motorhome. 

Motorhomes can be very comfortable to travel and live in. Class B campervans have the benefit of being easy to mauver and drive as well.

You can also rent an RV if you want to try first. Here are some resources for renting an RV:

  • How to Rent an RV for an Epic Road Trip
  • 17 Important Questions to Ask before Renting an RV
  • How to Rent an RV for Cheap

Other Questions About Differences Between RV, Motorhome, and Trailer

Is an rv the same as a motorhome.

RV is short for “Recreational Vehicle”. It is an umbrella term for different kinds of vehicles which includes motorhomes and travel trailers.

What is a drivable RV called?

Motor Coaches or Motorhomes are drivable, self-powered RVs that come with an engine and chassis. On the other hand, towable RVs must be pulled by a separate vehicle.

What is the difference between a 5th wheel and a travel trailer?

A fifth wheel attaches inside the bed of a truck and is secured by a “hitch,” while a travel trailer is pulled by the bumper hitch of the vehicle using a “ball and coupler.”

What is the difference between a mobile home and an RV?

An RV is a recreational vehicle, which is commonly moved from place to place for travel and leisure. A mobile home, on the other hand, is an outdated term for a “manufactured house” – these are designed to be permanent residences that get moved to one location and parked there.

Pinterest image of What's the Difference Between an RV, Camper, Motorhome and a Trailer featuring Class A motorhome, Class B motorhome, Class C motorhome, and a travel trailer pulled by an suv

Final Thoughts on the Difference between a Motorhome and a Trailer

Being able to go anywhere, anytime you want, is such a great feeling. Just thinking about seeing and exploring different places with your family or friends can make you really excited.

If you are still undecided after learning the difference between RV types, we recommend that you try renting for now. ( You can check out this article to see the RV Rental Type s ). The good thing about renting is you can experience all kinds of RVs, making it easier to decide once you’re ready to purchase one. 

Regardless of whether you travel via motorhome or trailer, the goal is the same: to bring you and your loved ones to amazing new places that you will treasure forever.

As a part of our RV series, we have compiled other resources that may be of help to you.

  • 25 Expert Tips for Renting an RV for the First Time
  • RV Rental Delivery and Setup at Your Campsite (Cost, FAQs, Examples)
  • How to Rent an RV for an Epic Road Trip: Helpful Beginner’s Guide

motorhome vs travel trailer

Anytime you’re planning to head out in your RV, there are a lot of things to plan ahead for. I recommend visiting my Etsy Store , where you’ll find lots of helpful printable planners and journals.

Get this 19-page Travel Planner that I personally use for our family trips

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Shauna Kocman founder Family Travel Fever

Hi, I’m Shauna – Welcome to Family Travel Fever.  We are a large family, that was bitten by the travel bug!  I take the kids by myself because I don’t mind flying or driving solo with my crew to discover the coolest places.

Sign up for our email list for my best travel tips plus get the family travel planner free. 

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NOTE*** The content on this page may contain affiliate links, we may make a commission. And, as an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.  More information: disclosure page. One of the best things I love about having a travel trailer is that we have our car with us. When we travel, we set up our trailer at…

Really appreciated your knowledge. I’m a newbie and considering a travel trailer now that I know the difference. I would like to find out the best quality for the money. I want a small one since I’m alone and may use it for a home.

Thanks! You can read here to help you think about the best length for travel trailer and questions to ask before renting a travel trailer Airstream, Jayco, Forest River, and Winnebago are generally dependable brands.

Why is it not a good idea to get a class B for seasonal use ? I’m single with no kids so that would be the best fit for me.

Yes, if you are single, a class B or campervan may be perfect for you. Many people love van life.

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RVs Vs. Motorhomes Vs. Travel Trailers: What’s the difference?

travel trailer in a lot for sale

All of this terminology around camper vans, motorhomes, and living on the go can be a bit confusing, and most people do not use the terms correctly. 

In this post, I will go over all the different ways you can travel in a tiny home on wheels, along with their different class names. Don’t worry about using incorrect words when talking to your new campground friends; I got you covered!

Here is a simple chart I put together so you can easily compare different RVs side-by-side.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read  full disclosure  for more information.

First, here are all of the items in a chart that we have decided to talk about in this post.

What is an RV?

different types of RVs

First of all, let’s talk about RVs because this is the first and most common misconception. RV is more of a blanket term for motorhomes, camper vans, campers, and other Recreational Vehicles. RVs include a drivable living space which means campers and camper vans are included under this blanket term.

All RVs have at least a sleeping area with a bed. Some RVs include luxuries such as a kitchen, bathroom, lounge area, and laundry room.

hands forming heart shape in front of a motorhome

Motorhomes are RVs that are commonly known for having a driveable cab attached to the “home” part of the RV. In other words, you don’t need to attach a trailer to a truck to tow it.

Motorhomes include classes A, B, and C. Each class comes in different shapes and sizes. 

What are Class A Motorhomes

Class A motorhome on a brown asphalt drive

Class A motorhomes are the largest RVs measuring 25-45 feet in length. The length doesn’t always define a class A motorhome; instead, the 22.5-inch wheels, the commercial bus or truck chassis, and two or three axles.

The most extravagant RVs at a dealership are considered class A. You will most likely find slide-outs to extend the living space, along with a large kitchen, several bedrooms, and several bathrooms. 

The class A motorhome typically sleeps 4 to 8 people and usually carries bunks, the main bedroom with a king or queen bed, and a slide-out couch or two. 

How big is a class A RV?

The average size of a class A RV is L25-45ft xW8ft(with slide outs pulled in) x H11-13 ft.

How much do Class A RVs cost?

$50,000-$150,000 are typical prices for a class-A motorhome. At $50,000, you may find the most basic packaging with the least amount of storage. 

At the higher end, you will find larger holding tanks, more beds, better countertops, and luxurious bathrooms. Some of the higher-end motorhomes will also include dishwashers, washers, and dryers.

Is a class A RV right for you?

As long as your class-A motorhome is less than 26,000 pounds and less than 40 feet long, you should be fine  driving with a regular license . For anything larger than that, you may need to get your CDLs or take an RV safety course. 

These weights and dimensions could also differ between states.

As long as you don’t mind driving a large commercial-like vehicle, class-A will provide you with the most amount of space and luxury. 

What is a Class-C Motorhome

class c RV, White RV with separate chassis.

Class-C is the most popular type of RV because they are the easiest to drive, can still fit up to 8 people, and are about 25ft- 35ft long.

Most class-C motorhomes are built with a truck or box truck chassis attached to the living quarters. However, the cab can look separate from the living quarters.

You will typically find an extra bed or storage above the front cab (this feature defines class C motorhomes), along with a curtain or closing doors to separate the driving quarters from the living quarters. 

How big is a class C RV?

These are the average dimensions of class C motorhomes

L25ft-35ft x W8ft x H10ft

How much do Class C RVs cost?

$35,000- $150,000+

Is a class C RV right for you?

Class C is perfect for those who want something bigger than a camper van and something smaller than class A. Most class Cs can carry just as many passengers as class-A; they just aren’t quite as spacious. 

If you have a large family but don’t want a bulky RV, then Class-C is the perfect option for your traveling needs.

What is a Super Class C Motorhome?

A super class C RV is similar to a regular class C with one major difference- the engine is the same as that of an 18-wheeler. With this type of engine, you can now tow a vehicle as big as a truck behind your motorhome, and you can easily drive across rough roads. 

These motorhomes are perfect for those wanting to park their RV at a campsite and travel around with a vehicle that doesn’t guzzle gas.

Super Class-Cs come with a heavy price tag of around $200,000, so it may not be worth the money. 

What is a Class B Motorhome

Camper van on a beach area in front of beautiful mountains.

Class B motorhomes are also known as camper vans. As you can see, there are many terms you can use for each type of RV. In this case,  we will refer to class Bs as camper vans .

What is a Camper Van?

A camper van is a van, typically a sprinter, that has been converted into a living space. 

Any van can be converted into a mobile home, as long as you can fit a bed in the back; in other words, you don’t need to spend a ton of money purchasing one and converting one- we spent less than  $500 converting our Ford Transit Connect . 

Sometimes larger vans have a back seat that doubles as a riding seat or rolls out into a bed. Camper vans can also have a kitchen,  different bed layouts , and bathrooms. 

How big is a camper van?

Camper vans come in all shapes and sizes, and you can convert just about any van into a camper van. 

Here are some of the typical measurements you will find with camper vans.

Small: L15ft X W7ft X H7ft

Medium: L18ft X W7.5ft X H8ft

Large: L21ft X W7.5ft X H9ft

If you would like more specs and details about specific camper vans, check out our post, where we compare  six different camper vans .

Camper vans are perfect for those wanting to travel or live on the road. These motorhomes make it easy to  free camp  and still live comfortably. 

How much does a camper van cost?

Used camper vans are the cheapest way to go- you can find these anywhere from $10,000- $100,000. If you would like a prebuilt high-end camper van (like from Mercedes), you are looking at paying between $200,000-$300,000

Is a Camper Van Right for You?

There   are many things you should ask yourself before you decide to purchase a camper van, such as:

  • How much space do I need?
  • How much money do I want to spend on one?
  • Is the limited space enough for what I am taking on my trips?
  • Do I want to do more free camping or campground camping?

If you aren’t sure what you want, try renting a camper van from a van rental company or going camping with a friend who already has one. You can also check out our  pros and cons list for owning a camper van .

What are Travel Trailers

travel trailer surrounded by woods

A travel trailer is an RV without a motor; in other words, you must have a separate vehicle to tow your living quarters. You will find many terms that are used instead of a travel trailer, and that includes:

  • Pop-up campers
  • Conventional trailer
  • 5th wheeler

Many travel trailers come with one or more bedrooms, bathrooms, and a kitchen. There are many floor plans to choose from. 

When compared to a motorhome, travel trailers are less luxurious. You are looking at prices between $10,000- $200,000 for a travel trailer- depending on size and floor plan. 

How big is a travel trailer?

Like motor homes, travel trailers come in all shapes and sizes, with a  Mypod  being the smallest and a 5th wheel or toy hauler being the largest. 

How much does a travel trailer cost?

$10,000- $200,000

Is a travel trailer right for you?

If you don’t mind backing a truck up to a hitch and hauling separate living quarters to a campsite, travel trailers are a more affordable option when comparing campers to motorhomes.

You are still able to accommodate the same amount of people within a travel trailer as you would a motorhome. However, most people believe these types of RVs to be more difficult to drive than a motorhome.

5th Wheel Travel Trailer

5th wheel RV in the middle of the desert

A 5th-wheel travel trailer is only for those who own a truck or plan to purchase a truck. These campers require an in-bed truck bed hitch. When the trailer is attached, the bedroom typically hangs over the hitch of the truck bed, allowing for more living space.

You may find it common that 5th wheelers have stairs leading up to the bedroom area. The rest of the floor plan is lower than the bedroom and truck bed. 

How big is a 5th-wheel travel trailer?

A 5th wheel camper can be anywhere between 25ft- 45ft. You will find that the most popular sizes are around 35 feet in length.

How much does a 5th-wheel camper cost?

$40,000- $150,000

Is a 5th-wheel camper right for you?

5th wheel campers provide open spaces and more areas to fit more people. These campers may be great for large groups traveling together, as long as you don’t mind getting a truck bed hitch installed.

Truck Bed Camper

truck bed camper old school

A Truck Bed camper is also considered a travel trailer; only there is no hitch involved. Instead, a shell that contains the living quarters sits inside a truck bed.

These unique travel trailers usually only consist of a bed. Sometimes the unit can include a small kitchen area with a mini fridge. A mini bathroom with a shower and toilet can also be included, depending on how large the truck bed is. 

How big is a truck bed camper?

A truck bed camper shell should be about the same size as your truck bed and will be about 7 to 8 feet tall.

How much does a truck bed camper cost?

$5,000-$80,000

Is a truck bed camper right for you?

Truck bed campers are only great for those who already own a truck. You can only fit one or two people; therefore, this camper option is not great for families.

What are Pop-up Campers?

pop up camper in a spot at a camp ground. has blue lining on the tent part.

A pop-up camper is yet another form of a travel trailer. Think of a pop-up as a cross between a tent and a camper. You can haul it like a trailer when the “tent” part folds into the trailer. When it’s time to camp, fold the “tent” part out to access the living quarters.

Typically you will find one or two areas that fold out past the base of the camper that serves as the sleeping quarters. Sometimes you can create separate bedrooms by zipping a curtain. 

How big is a pop-up?

Typical pop-up campers are 7 feet wide and 5 to 7 ft tall.

How much does a pop-up cost?

$10,000-$15,000

Is a pop-up right for you?

Pop-up campers are not ideal for those with larger families; however, some can hold up to eight people. Pop-ups are harder to keep cool or warm compared to other travel trailers because of the tent-like material it is made of. 

Which is Better, a Camper or a Motorhome?

camper on the left, motorhome on the right

The hardest decision is choosing between a camper and a motorhome. Consider a few things when choosing between the two:

  • How many people are vacationing with you
  • What is your budget
  • How much driving experience do you have
  • How much space do you need
  • Do you have a separate vehicle to tow a camper

Motorhomes are more expensive than campers because they have a motor and living quarters; however, the smaller class sizes are easier to drive than a camper because it’s all one unit. 

Motorhomes and campers can both house the same amount of people, but motorhomes seem to have more open space, especially if you go up a few class sizes.

Choosing between a motorhome and a camper depends on what lifestyle suits you best. If you are looking to house a ton of people, have easy driving, and don’t mind the expenses, then a motorhome is perfect for you. If you don’t mind backing a stubborn trailer, a camper will fit your budget better and house just as many people as a motorhome. 

In Conclusion

Now that you know some of the differences among RVs, you can start deciding which one would serve your purpose best and use proper terminology at campgrounds and so forth. 

2 thoughts on “RVs Vs. Motorhomes Vs. Travel Trailers: What’s the difference?”

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This is great information, I love how you have split it all up…I’d be a motorhome person over an travel trailer…thanks for the information

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Class A Motorhome vs. Travel Trailer: Which One’s Right For You?

  • April 27, 2020
  • Buying Guides

Today, we explore the key differences between class a motorhomes and travel trailers, and help you decide which one is right for you.

When deciding on what kind of RV lifestyle to pursue, it is important to understand the different classes and styles of recreational vehicle to purchase. One of the main choices to decide on is whether you want a travel trailer or a motorhome. There are advantages to both kinds of RV styles, but you should look into the advantages and disadvantages of both to see what unit will work best with you and your family.

motorhome vs travel trailer

Table of Contents

Pros and Cons of Class A Motorhomes

For a full soup to nuts review of the exact specifications of a Class A Motorhome in particular, check out our helpful guide: What, Exactly, Is A Class A Motorhome?

Motorhomes, in general, when compared to travel trailers, combine both the living space and the vehicle in a single unit.

The cab of a motorhome includes both the drivers and passengers seat and essentially provides a more comfortable, luxurious form of seating. 

The living space in a motorhome is accessible

In a class a motorhome, every part of the living space is accessible as soon as you pull over. If someone in your family tends to need rest stops more regularly, the motorhome has everything you could need right there in the vehicle — kitchen, bathroom, pantry, and the like. You don’t need to go searching for rest stops that can accommodate the travel trailer as well as have all the amenities you may require — all your personal facilities and amenities are right there in the vehicle.

Another advantage of having your living space accessible is there is much less risk of pulling up to a campsite with a complete disaster in your wake. If the fridge door opens during a turn someone in the motorhome will probably notice and remedy the situation before you have a mess of yoghurt and orange juice covering the floor.

Class a motorhomes also let you keep your pets right there in the RV with you. They are more comfortable as you may let them roam rather than keeping them in a crate for long periods of time, and your furry companions get to enjoy the ride with you.

You will need to stop for gas less often

The fuel tank in a class a motorhome was designed for driving your motorhome, so it is large enough to take you long distances.

If you’re driving a truck with a travel trailer, you’ll burn through gas a lot faster than just driving the truck, because trucks were not all built to be hauling cabin-sized trailers all day, everyday.

Class a motorhomes are easier to drive

Many people who have owned or used both motorhomes and travel trailers say that a motorhome is far easier to drive.

Towing something as large as a travel trailer is not an easy task and requires a lot of forethought when it comes to exiting, changing lanes, or turning in general.

Having your full travel experience, home and vehicle, makes for much easier driving.

Class a motorhomes are easier to set up

Setting up the water and electricity for a motorhome tends to be quicker and easier than a travel trailer. People who know their motorhome well can often set up within 20 minutes from parking. 

motorhome vs travel trailer

You may be limited in where you can visit

Because Class A Motorhomes are quite large and require particular setups for water and electricity, it’s usually most ideal to park motorhomes in some type of RV park.

On the other hand, travel trailers are a little more versatile and can be parked in most (if not all) campsites, while motorhomes are more particular and need specific accommodations.

It’s more difficult to leave your campsite

Motorhomes make driving from site to site much easier; however, once you get to the site it can often be difficult to go out for groceries or see the tourist destinations in your city of choice.

People don’t want to connect and disconnect the water and electricity and park the large vehicle multiple times a day, so the best way to still have easy travel within a city while using your motorhome is to tow a small car behind you.

On the other hand, this point is very much a matter of opinion as to whether it sits in the pros or cons list. Some motorhome enthusiasts say they prefer towing their small car behind them as then they don’t need to drive their big truck in the city, while travel trailer advocates have said they prefer having a larger vehicle with them so they can do more and carry more in their truck.

A class a motorhome costs more

Motorhomes, because they are an all-in-one unit and tend to have more amenities tend to be much more expensive than travel trailers — especially if you keep in mind also needing a small vehicle to tow behind it.

You pay for what you get, so since there tends to be more convenience and more things with ready access with a class a motorhome, they do come with a higher price tag.

Servicing requires a particular mechanic

When you choose a motorhome you need to be more diligent with your servicing schedule because not every mechanic will be able to provide repairs and tune-up services. On the flip side, travel trailers don’t tend to break down, trucks do, and the truck is often easier to find a suitable mechanic.

Pros and Cons of Travel Trailers

a travel trailer parked outside

It’s easier to travel outside of your site

Because all you need to do is unhitch your truck from your trailer to leave the site, travel trailers have the advantage of being able to leave your belongings behind at your camp destination as you head out to explore the sights and sounds of the area you find yourself in — even if it’s just to leave for a beer run.

Travel trailers offer safer transportation

Children are always safer in the backseat of a truck than they are in a motorhome. Motorhomes will have places for children to sit and sometimes buckle in, but the backseat of a truck keeps families safer than that of a motorhome.

Travel trailers are less expensive

Travel trailers are significantly cheaper than motorhomes because they are just that, trailers not vehicles.

You pay less because they often have less amenities and “perks,” but if you’re looking for a simple way to travel and go camping — and your tenting days are behind you — travel trailers are an incredibly economical option.

You do need to include the cost of a vehicle that can actually tow your trailer though, trucks and some SUVs can tow a trailer, but your Honda Civic isn’t going to cut it, so the added cost of a truck needs to be considered.

Travel trailers require less maintenance

Travel trailers do not break down as much as a motorhome would because there is not as much to maintain, if your hitch and wheels are in good shape, you’re usually good to go!

Travel trailers can be more difficult to drive

If you’re not used to towing large items, driving with a travel trailer is going to be quite the learning curve. Making turns, changing lanes, and the like are all trickier when you’re towing a trailer.

Travel trailers are more difficult to set up

Setting up camp with a trailer is not very quick, you have to unhitch your truck which is not an easy process as well as get everything ready. Setting up your trailer at a camp site can take anywhere from an hour, depending on how much experience you have.

Travel trailers are less spacious

If your trailer is meant for full time living, a travel trailer may be too small for you. You can get incredibly large trailers up to 40 ft, but when you do that the travelling and driving conundrum is increased. For a trailer that is easier to travel and drive with, you will have to sacrifice a large amount of living space.

Final Thoughts

As we’re sure you’ve come to notice, when it comes to choosing between a class a motorhome and a travel trailer, it isn’t really a question of which one is better, but, instead, a question of which one suits your needs and lifestyle best. 

The same features or challenges can be viewed as either a disadvantage or an advantage by different people. The important thing is to figure out what kind of camping experience you would like to have, what is important to you, and what isn’t as important.

Whether that ends up being travel trailer and truck because you like the versatility, or a class a motorhome towing a small car because you like the ease associated. Whatever matters to you, there is a recreational vehicle that will be right for you, and we’d love to help. 

motorhome vs travel trailer

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A Winnebago Sightseer motorhome is offered for sale at the Camp-Land RV dealership, which also sells travel trailers

Travel Trailers vs. Motorhomes: The More Practical Choice Is Obvious

Socially distant activities are still recommended for now, so RV sales are booming . Travel trailer and motorhome RV models are perfect for campers who don’t want to rough it too much in the great outdoors. The two are very similar, so how do you know which one best suits your needs? Camper Report has the answer.

Both motorhomes and travel trailers come in various sizes. A Class A RV is as long as a bus and features a large kitchen and living room area. For something more minimalist, a pop-up trailer is still fairly spacious. However, for one type of camper in particular, it’s clear which one is more practical.

The perks of owning a travel trailer or motorhome

The best thing about trailers and motorhomes is their versatility. Motorhomes come in Class A, Class B, and Class C variations . These RVs can accommodate up to four passengers comfortably for a week or more in uncharted territory. Travel trailers also come in different sizes, the smallest of which can be installed on the bed of a truck.

Either one is suitable for a weekend getaway, but it’s important to remember size limitations. Large RVs and trailers can be a nightmare to park in small spaces or campsites. This is especially true for travel trailers that need to be attached to another vehicle. On the other hand, a smaller RV is easier to maneuver.

A few notable differences

2023 Honda Pilot towing camper going uphill

The biggest difference between the two is that a motorhome can be driven by itself. Most are powered by a diesel engine that gets around 15 mpg. This may seem like a downside, but keep in mind that pulling a travel trailer also causes lower gas mileage .

Motorhomes and travel trailers also have a steep price difference. A large travel trailer may cost around $30,000, while a smaller motorhome starts at $50,000. If you make a few camping trips per year, it may make more sense to go with the travel trailer.

Motorhomes will also depreciate faster than travel trailers, according to NADAGuides . The only exception is a fifth-wheel travel trailer, which has a depreciation rate of 71 percent over 10 years. A Class C RV will lose around 50 percent of its value after five years of ownership. Most travel trailers will still be worth 60 percent of their original value after five years. 

How much does each cost to own?

After the initial sticker price is paid, then you have to consider maintenance costs. Since the motorhome comes outfitted with more standard amenities, it will cost more to repair over time. Since this type of RV is a car at heart, it still needs routine inspections and oil changes as well.

Despite the fact that it doesn’t have an engine, a travel trailer still needs insurance, just like a motorhome. Your rate will depend on the insurance company, but you can usually expect to pay more for the RV. A large travel trailer only costs $500 a year on average, while a Class A motorhome may cost up to $4,000, according to Classic Vans .

Is the travel trailer or the motorhome the more practical option?

For those who want to spend as little money as possible, the travel trailer is the better choice. A trailer is also more suited for the casual camper who only takes vacations during one season. However, if you don’t own your own car to pull the trailer, you might be better off with a motorhome.

While some minivans can tow a trailer, you’ll probably have to purchase a truck in most cases. The cost of a truck and trailer combined could end up costing more than the standard motorhome RV. If you plan to live in one for an extended period of time, go with the RV.

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Addison White is a contributing writer for MotorBiscuit.

motorhome vs travel trailer

Motorhomes vs. Travel Trailers: Understanding the Difference

By Interact RV Support

Choosing what kind of RV you want to begin your adventure in is a big decision. Motorhomes and travel trailers are two popular options that each have their own set of advantages. To ensure you pick the right model that suits you and your camping style, let’s go over the key distinctions between these two types of RVs.

Mobility and Convenience

Motorhomes offer unparalleled convenience in terms of mobility. Due to their integrated engine, you can hop in and drive to your desired destination without a separate towing vehicle, letting you hit the open road with ease.

Travel trailers provide a different kind of flexibility since they rely on a separate towing vehicle, meaning you’re able to leave the trailer at a campsite and explore the area with ease. This allows for a dual-purpose setup – your tow vehicle becomes your primary mode of transportation, giving you the freedom to venture out while still enjoying the comforts of your trailer at the campsite.

Size and Space

Known for their spacious interiors, motorhomes provide ample room for living, sleeping, and dining. Class A motorhomes, in particular, can offer a luxurious living space similar to a small apartment. This extra room allows for more amenities and comforts, making it an ideal choice for extended trips.

While travel trailers may be more compact, they still offer a comfortable living space. Although they may not have the same amount of space as motorhomes, they make up for it in versatility. Various lengths and floor plans are available so you can choose a layout that suits you.

Cost Considerations

Investing in a motorhome can initially be a larger financial commitment due to the integrated engine and additional features. However, it’s essential to consider the convenience and amenities that come

with a motorhome. It’s a self-contained unit that provides a complete living space, which can ultimately lead to savings on accommodation and dining expenses.

Travel trailers tend to be more budget-friendly upfront. Without an integrated engine, they come with a lower initial price tag. This can free up your budget for other travel-related expenses, such as campsite fees, outdoor gear, or additional amenities for your trailer.

Fuel Efficiency

While Class A motorhomes can use up a significant amount of fuel, especially on long journeys, class B and C models tend to be more fuel-efficient due to their smaller size and lighter weight. This may be a big factor to consider for budget-conscious travelers.

Since they rely on the towing vehicle’s engine for transportation, travel trailers are generally more fuel-efficient. With the lower fuel costs, they are a practical choice for those who prioritize cost savings.

Driving Experience

Driving a motorhome requires different skills compared to towing a travel trailer. It can be challenging to maneuver, especially when going through narrow or congested areas. However, with time and practice, many find the driving experience to be enjoyable.

Towing a travel trailer provides a more familiar driving experience for most people, as it requires less adjustment to your driving habits and can be a more comfortable option for those who may be apprehensive about driving a larger vehicle.

Setup and Campsite Arrangements

Setting up camp with a motorhome can take a bit more time due to leveling and stabilizing the vehicle. However, once you’ve established your campsite, you’ll have all your amenities readily available without the need for any additional setup.

Travel trailers excel in terms of quick and straightforward setup. Once you’ve parked and unhitched, you’re ready to explore your surroundings. This can be especially convenient for those who prefer a more streamlined camping experience.

Storage Capacity

Motorhomes often come equipped with ample built-in storage compartments, making it convenient to stow away your belongings. This reduces the need for additional storage solutions and allows for a clutter-free living space.

While travel trailers may have slightly less built-in storage, they offer various options for customization and additional storage solutions. This can include rooftop carriers, tow-behind storage units, or creative interior storage solutions tailored to your specific needs.

Customization Options

With the variety of features and floor plans available for motorhomes, you can customize your RV to your personal camping style. While there may be some limitations due to the interior structure, there are still plenty of ways to make yourself feel right at home.

Travel trailers also provide extensive customization opportunities. There are many different features, layouts, and sizes available so you can choose what best fits your lifestyle and camping needs.

Maintenance and Repairs

Maintaining a motorhome can be more complex and potentially costly due to the integrated engine and drivetrain. Regular maintenance is essential to ensure the vehicle operates smoothly. However, with proper care, a motorhome can provide years of reliable service.

Travel trailers have simpler maintenance requirements, as they are separate from the towing vehicle’s engine. Basic upkeep, such as checking seals and bearings, is crucial for ensuring a safe and enjoyable travel experience.

Resale Value

Despite the fact that motorhomes may lose value more quickly than travel trailers, other elements including brand, model, and general condition can have a significant impact on their resale value. Over time, well-kept motorhomes can continue to hold onto a sizable part of their value.

When properly maintained and cared for, travel trailers are known to retain their value well. For individuals intending to make a long-term investment in their RV, this may be crucial to take into account.

The decision between a motorhome and a travel trailer ultimately comes down to your personal tastes, financial situation, and travel style. Taking factors like mobility, space, and driving experience into account will help you make the right decision so that your RV adventures are as enjoyable as possible.

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Club Campers

Motorhomes vs. Travel Trailers: A Comprehensive Comparison

by Club Campers | Oct 8, 2023 | Club Camper Diary

motorhome vs travel trailer

Imagine the wind rustling through the trees, the scent of pine wafting through the air, and the boundless horizon of adventures that await on the open road. The allure of exploring the great outdoors, discovering hidden gems, and basking in the freedom of the wild is an unmatched experience. But the key to unlocking the true spirit of these adventures often lies in the vessel that takes you there – your travel companion on wheels.

In the realm of vehicular adventures, two contenders have long dominated the scene: the traditional Motorhomes and the increasingly popular Travel Trailers. Each offers a unique approach to exploring the wild, yet they present distinctly different experiences to adventurers. In this journey through words, we shall traverse the paths less traveled, exploring the pros and cons of these mobile abodes, and uncovering the secrets that may just redefine your next escapade.

While Motorhomes have long been synonymous with road trips, it’s the unsung hero – the Travel Trailer – that we believe holds the key to unbridled exploration. With the unique ability to stay put while you venture forth, travel trailers offer a level of freedom and flexibility that is often overshadowed by their motorized counterparts. Join us as we delve into the world of wheels, wanderlust, and the whispering wild, exploring why, for the true explorer, Travel Trailers may just be the gateway to unparalleled adventures.

Table of Contents:

  • The Allure of Outdoor Explorations
  • Diving into the World of Travel Trailers
  • Exploring the Realm of Motorhomes
  • Pitting Them Against Each Other
  • The Unseen Benefits of Travel Trailers

The Allure of Outdoor Explorations:

The call of the open road, the allure of uncharted territories, and the thrill of spontaneous adventures – these are the elements that have enticed explorers for generations. Outdoor explorations are not merely journeys; they are a tapestry of experiences, woven together by the threads of discovery, camaraderie, and the sheer joy of being immersed in nature’s embrace. Whether it’s the serenity of a secluded beach, the majesty of towering mountains, or the mystical allure of dense forests, every journey brings with it a unique story waiting to be lived and told.

Importance of the Right Vehicle:

Choosing the right vehicle to accompany you on these adventures is paramount. It becomes your home away from home, your shelter amidst the wild, and your companion through every twist and turn. The right vehicle doesn’t just transport you to destinations; it becomes a pivotal part of the experience itself, influencing how you interact with the environments you explore, how you adapt to the unexpected, and how you forge memories along the way.

Navigating through winding roads, setting up camp under the starlit sky, and having the liberty to linger wherever the heart desires – these quintessential experiences hinge significantly on the mobility and convenience offered by your chosen vehicle. It’s not merely about moving from point A to B; it’s about how you move, what you encounter along the way, and how you immerse yourself in each moment.

The Dichotomy of Choice:

In the modern era of vehicular adventures, the dichotomy of choice often lies between the robust, all-encompassing Motorhomes and the nimble, detachable Travel Trailers. Both present viable options for explorers, yet they cater to different needs, preferences, and styles of exploration. The motorhome, with its self-contained prowess, offers a certain autonomy, while the Travel Trailer provides a distinct versatility, especially in how one engages with the landscapes traversed.

Travel Trailers: The Unsung Heroes of Unbridled Adventure:

Key Advantages:

Enter the world of Travel Trailers, where every journey becomes an unbridled adventure, unshackled by the limitations of a constant, mobile abode. The unique charm of travel trailers lies in their unparalleled flexibility, offering adventurers the liberty to establish a base and explore the surroundings unfettered. Imagine parking your home amidst the serene woods, beside a tranquil lake, or within the cozy confines of a designated campground, and embarking on day trips, hikes, and explorations without the burden of taking your entire setup with you.

Flexibility in Travel:

The detachable nature of travel trailers allows you to create a stable, homely base while using your vehicle to explore nearby attractions, towns, and natural wonders. This means your living setup remains undisturbed, your spot secured, and your belongings safe, while you venture forth in your vehicle, exploring the local sights and experiences without the cumbersome task of packing up at every juncture. This flexibility is not just a convenience; it’s a gateway to more spontaneous, in-depth, and immersive explorations.

Picture this: Your travel trailer is cozily set up beside a serene lake, the campfire gently crackling under the starlit sky, and your favorite chair awaiting your return. With the trailer securely stationed, you take your vehicle through winding mountain paths, explore hidden trails, visit local markets, or dine at a quaint town bistro, all without the worry of finding a suitable spot to park your mobile home every time.

In another scenario , imagine the bustling energy of a vibrant festival, where parking spots are a rare commodity. With a travel trailer, you can secure your spot, set up your cozy nook, and use your vehicle for easy, hassle-free commutes to the festival grounds, nearby attractions, or scenic spots, ensuring you never miss out on the action while enjoying a peaceful retreat to return to.

motorhome vs travel trailer

Motorhomes: The Traditional Giants:

Motorhomes have long been celebrated as the epitomes of self-contained, all-inclusive travel. These traditional giants of the road offer a robust, comprehensive home on wheels, enabling adventurers to carry the comforts of home wherever the road may lead. With built-in amenities, spacious interiors, and the autonomy of having everything you need within arm’s reach, motorhomes have been the go-to choice for many who seek the open road, offering a semblance of stability and predictability amidst the unpredictable nature of travel.

Limitations:

However, every coin has two sides, and while the self-sufficiency of motorhomes is commendable, it brings with it a set of limitations that often go unnoticed amidst the glamour of an all-in-one travel solution. The very aspect of having everything consolidated into a single moving entity means that explorers are often tethered to their mobile abode. Every exploration, be it a short trip to a local market, a spontaneous detour, or an adventurous trail, necessitates taking your entire home along, often leading to challenges in navigation, parking, and spontaneous stays.

Imagine navigating through narrow mountain roads, bustling city streets, or secluded trails with your entire setup in tow. The spontaneity of exploration is often curtailed by the need to find suitable parking spots, the challenges of maneuvering through varied terrains, and the constant concern of securing your belongings and setup each time you decide to explore a bit further or stay a bit longer.

motorhome vs travel trailer

Side-by-Side Comparison:

Comparison Table:

Embarking on a journey through the lens of comparison, let’s delve into a side-by-side analysis of Travel Trailers and Motorhomes, exploring various facets that influence the quality, flexibility, and essence of your adventures.

In-depth Analysis:

  • Flexibility:  While motorhomes offer the comfort of having everything with you at all times, travel trailers provide the unparalleled advantage of establishing a base and exploring freely, unencumbered by your setup.
  • Cost:  Travel trailers often present a more economical option, both in initial investment and ongoing maintenance, making them accessible to a wider audience of adventurers.
  • Maneuverability:  The detachable nature of travel trailers allows for easier navigation through varied terrains and locales, ensuring explorations are not hindered by the size and scope of your mobile abode.
  • Maintenance:  With fewer integrated systems and mechanics, travel trailers typically demand less in terms of maintenance, ensuring your adventures are not stalled by unexpected hiccups.
  • Setup Stability:  The ability to create a stable, secure base with a travel trailer means your setup remains consistent and undisturbed, even as you venture forth into the unknown.
  • Spontaneity:  The essence of adventure often lies in the unexpected, and with travel trailers, the ability to embark on spontaneous detours, explorations, and stays is significantly enhanced.

Real-Life Stories/Experiences:

Travel Trailer Stories:

Embark on a journey with Maya and Arjun, a couple who found their slice of paradise with a travel trailer. Nestled amidst the lush greenery of a secluded forest, their trailer stood firm as their cozy retreat, while their vehicle became the chariot to numerous adventures. From exploring hidden waterfalls to indulging in local cuisines, their explorations knew no bounds, unshackled by the need to secure a new spot each night. Their trailer was not just a stay; it was a home that awaited their return, undisturbed and inviting, after each day of exploration.

motorhome vs travel trailer

Motorhome Stories:

Contrast this with the tale of Alex and Jordan, who, in their motorhome, found themselves often tethered to logistical constraints. Their journey through scenic coastal towns, while enriched with vibrant experiences, was often punctuated by the need to find suitable parking, navigate through bustling streets, and secure their belongings at every new locale. The motorhome, while a comfortable abode, became a constant companion in their explorations, sometimes limiting their spontaneity and choices in the face of unexpected adventures.

motorhome vs travel trailer

Why Travel Trailers Triumph for True Explorers:

As we journeyed through tales of adventures, navigated through the nuances of travel trailers and motorhomes, and explored the myriad of experiences they offer, a subtle yet profound revelation emerges: The essence of true exploration lies in unbridled freedom. Travel trailers, with their unique ability to provide a stable base, unshackle adventurers from the constraints of their mobile abode, opening up a world where every path can be explored, every detour can be taken, and every unexpected adventure can be embraced.

The travel trailer becomes more than a vehicle; it transforms into a home that stays with you, yet doesn’t bind you. It allows you to immerse yourself in local cultures, explore hidden trails, and venture into the unknown, all while knowing that a piece of home awaits you, undisturbed and welcoming. In contrast, while motorhomes have their own set of advantages, offering a comprehensive, all-in-one travel solution, they inadvertently tether you to your setup, often becoming a limiting factor in spontaneous and immersive explorations.

Highlighting the Unseen:

The unseen advantages of travel trailers often go unnoticed amidst the apparent convenience of motorhomes. The ability to explore without the constant concern for your setup, to venture into areas where larger vehicles might struggle, and to truly immerse yourself in the environment without worrying about returning to a designated spot each night – these are the gems that travel trailers offer to true explorers.

Join The Camper Revolution:     

We invite you to share your thoughts, experiences, and adventures with us. Have you explored the open roads with a travel trailer or a motorhome? What were your key takeaways, and how did it shape your adventures? Your stories are a treasure trove of insights and experiences, and we’d love to hear them!

Explore further with us and dive into a world where every road is an adventure waiting to be discovered. Check out our Travel Trailers for sale to embark on your own journey of exploration and discover the unseen gems that lie in wait. For more stories, insights, and tips on road travel, visit our  Blog  and become a part of our community of adventurers.

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motorhome vs travel trailer

Class A Motorhome vs. Travel Trailer: Which Should You Get?

motorhome vs travel trailer

Buying an RV is not a small purchase and something that, in most cases, is a significant financial investment. So, choosing whether to go for a motorhome or a travel trailer can start to get complicated. So let’s compare a Class A motorhome vs. travel trailer.

Here’s what I learned in making that choice:

A Class A motorhome is the best option for large families who travel frequently, while a travel trailer is a good budget option for smaller families that primarily do weekend getaways.

In this article, our goal is to help you understand the difference between the two and, ultimately, help you decide easier.

We will start off by looking at which is better, and then we will go into detail about everything you need to know regarding a motorhome and a travel trailer.

So, keep reading.

Motorhome vs. Travel Trailer– which is right for you? Read Jordan + Brittany’s tips for finding the perfect RV! https://t.co/XdHl74TE0p pic.twitter.com/y2a7EIFnEr — Winnebago (@WinnebagoRVs) May 21, 2017

Are travel trailers better than motorhomes?

In terms of the purchase price, gas mileage, and maintenance costs, a travel trailer is better than a motorhome. However, most travel trailers will be too small for a family larger than 3 or 4 people and they also require a vehicle to tow them.

There is a lot that we can say about this.

There are many different types of motorhomes. Each of them is built differently and offers different experiences. There are many variables and factors that you need to consider when thinking about which is better.

That is why we are going to make 2 different sections.

In these sections, we will discuss whether or not the class A motorhome is better than a travel trailer. Then we will discuss travel trailers vs. class B and C motorhomes in more detail.

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Are travel trailers better than class A motorhomes?

Purchase price aside, a class A motorhome is better than a travel trailer. It provides more bedding and living space options, has a full-sized kitchen and refrigerator, significantly more storage, and often has outdoor kitchen and entertainment options.

Class A motorhomes offer more space than almost any other RV.

That extra space can be increased with slideouts. Also, the class A motorhome has more features than a travel trailer. One of the biggest benefits of a class A motorhome is that your passengers can ride in the home section of the vehicle while you’re driving.

Everything is connected! This just adds a wealth of convenience that can’t be beaten by anything else.

Bring home with you on your next road trip – 5 Best RV Rental Companies https://t.co/sqWEc52Ff6 via @LilFamAdventure pic.twitter.com/RrFS22IWIH — Margarita Ibbott ~ @DownshiftingPRO (@DownshiftingPRO) March 18, 2021

Are travel trailers better than class B or C motorhomes?

A Class B motorhome is better than a travel trailer in terms of safety and the ease of driving it. A Class B motorhome will be better than a travel trailer for families of 4 or more people. The travel trailer’s biggest benefit is the low purchase price.

A travel trailer offers more space than a class B motorhome . It also offers a lot more features. A class B motorhome is relatively small. The RV will be entirely built into a van. This means that it is usually the smallest type of RV.

When it comes to travel trailers vs. class C motorhomes, things get slightly different.

The similarities between a class C motorhome and a travel trailer are quite stark.

The one major difference is that the travel trailer can have its trailer detached if you want to. On a class C motorhome, the trailer is attached to the body of the vehicle permanently.

In terms of space and features, they are similar.

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How long will a Class A motorhome last?

A Class A motorhome can drive up to 200,000 miles or last up to 20 years before needing major repairs or engine replacement if it has been consistently well-maintained and serviced.

But when it comes to almost any vehicle, you don’t generally use age as a factor when discussing how long it will last. Instead, you need to use the number of miles that it will drive.

Eventually, the vehicle’s mechanical components will start to give in.

And if you don’t conduct scheduled maintenance, damaged parts will often lead to more damage. It would be best to have a booklet that tells you when your scheduled maintenance is. It will state when you should do your maintenance for every few thousand miles that you drive.

But even then, driving it too infrequently can be just as bad as putting a lot of miles on it. RVs are meant to be driven, and just like people, a lack of movement can cause big problems down the line.

In terms of the living section of your motorhome, that will last for as long as you maintain it.

In the living section, you will start finding that your plumbing or the electricity and just about anything might start giving in. You will have to replace almost everything at some stage. However, if you replace broken components with quality ones, your living quarters should last longer than the vehicle.

You also need to consider that any wood will start to chip and give in, and as long as you just keep an eye on that and sort any problems out as soon as they start, the interior will last long.

The good thing about the inside of your class A motorhome is most of the time, this stuff is just DIY.

Yeah 4×4 is defeated by ice so helping where I can. Rv travel trailer helps the mind set of preparedness. Hopefully you can help this rv float some day. pic.twitter.com/6fAHMV690N — John Galt (@CitizensColumn) February 18, 2021

How long will a travel trailer last?

A Travel Trailer can go for 20 years or 200,000 miles or more since most of the mechanics of driving a travel trailer are handled by the truck towing it. The tires, axels, and electronics will need occasional replacing or servicing, but a travel trailer can last indefinitely if well maintained and properly stored.

But again, for this section, we are going to use miles more than years.

It is very easy to say that your travel trailer “will last x amount of years”, but that is a disingenuous answer. It is disingenuous because it depends on how much you drive and how well you take care of the vehicle.

You need to know what the recommended service intervals are for your vehicle. You can find this in the booklet that comes with the vehicle.

Another thing to consider is the way you drive and the terrain that you regularly drive on. This can increase or decrease the mileage that you can expect to get out of the vehicle.

In terms of the trailer itself, this can last for as long as you maintain it. You will have to replace a few parts, and you might have to get your plumbing, and your electricity fixed every now and then.

Also, you will have to replace some of the items inside of it, like the beds, the microwave, fridge, and stove .

The interesting thing about travel trailers is that it is easier to replace only the vehicle and simply hitch the trailer onto the new vehicle. This can increase, significantly, the lifespan of the travel trailer.

Wife and I just decided to buy an RV/Travel trailer and travel instead of settling down in one spot. So excited! pic.twitter.com/sgEgGlaLH9 — Nic (@nicsusername) October 5, 2020

Can passengers ride in a travel trailer while being towed?

It is illegal for people or animals to ride in any camper that is towed behind another vehicle. The primary reason is that, no matter how safe modern tow hitches are, there is a good chance of the trailer coming loose in the event of an accident.

When comparing motorhomes against travel trailers, this is one of the biggest cons of the travel trailer.

While the travel trailer still offers you the mobility of being able to travel across the country and, in some cases, across borders, you can’t do so in the same comfort.

Honestly, this is one of the reasons my wife and I decided against both travel trailers and fifth-wheels.

Our family of 5 and our 2 dogs would just be too crammed into a pickup, even if we got the largest pickup truck available. Remember, in many cases, campers drive 4-6 hours a day in between destinations on long camping trips.

That’s a lot of time spent in the close quarters of a truck.

This rv travel trailer and a fifth wheel #Camping #RV pic.twitter.com/bC2hZHsbzQ — Julian (@Julian24294407) October 25, 2020

Is it dangerous to ride in a travel trailer?

It is dangerous to ride in a travel trailer while it is being towed. Aside from not being legal, if the truck towing the trailer was in an accident, the tow hitch could fail and cause the trailer to flip. Unlike vehicles, travel trailers aren’t built with road safety features in place to protect occupants.

Most RV veterans will tell you that safety is a priority and that you need to consider it wherever you go. That is why in this section, I am going to give you a specific answer and a long answer.

You hear people say this all the time “well, I am a good driver” or “I am very aware while on the road”.

Maybe, as a driver, you could be one of the best out there; however, even though you can account for what you are going to do on the road, you can never predict what other people will do.

Let’s say that there is an accident that was out of your control and is caused by another driver. If this happens, the people in the trailer will not have the necessary safety features that a vehicle normally has.

You also have to consider that sometimes, something can happen that is not accident-related, and you will not know about it because you are not connected to the trailer. A passenger can be in trouble and might not be able to get to their phone to let you know that something is wrong in the back.

It is best that you avoid these types of situations.

2018 Newmar Essex 4531 | Luxury Class A Motorhome – RV Review: Camping World https://t.co/FZt2j8TNC0 pic.twitter.com/KuPcz5zI5y — Panamá Camping Park (@PanamaCampingPk) June 8, 2018

What is the price difference between a Class A RV and a travel trailer?

The price range for a new Class A motorhome is between $90,000 to $250,000 or more with the average price being $150,000. Travel trailers start at $10,000 with the average price being $35,000.

But this is a very broad question because you get your average mid-range motorhome, and you get your average mid-range travel trailer.

You also get the more premium versions of both but what we can say is that motorhomes are generally much more expensive than travel trailers.

So, you could say that the price difference is roughly $50,000 to $80,000. However, that is not taking into account premium and luxury class A motorhomes.

On the more premium side of things, a premium travel trailer will cost you around $70,000 to $80,000. A premium class A motorhome can cost a few hundred thousand dollars all the way out to a few million.

Therefore, it is difficult to know the exact price difference between the premium versions of both.

Picking up our first RV/Motorhome in a few days! pic.twitter.com/6moOA45MLZ — Steve Wozniak (@stevewoz) December 18, 2020

What are the pros and cons of owning an RV?

Because there are so many different types of RVs out there, it can be tricky to talk about the pros and cons because you would have to list almost every type of motorhome and every brand as well.

A quick example of this is to use the fact that you can unhitch a travel trailer and then have your normal vehicle to travel around with at your destination. This is a pro for travel trailers. For a class A and C motorhome , this is a con because you cannot do it.

In this section, we will talk about the pros and cons of owning an RV in general. Some of these might change for you depending on what RV you own.

Pros Of Owning An RV

Here is a shortlist of pros that come with owning an RV:

  • Comfort: Almost nothing quite beats being able to go on vacation and be comfortable while out on the road.
  • Flexibility: Owning an RV can eliminate the rush you might find yourself in when trying to meet deadlines for the airport and for booking into your hotel. If you want to stop over somewhere, you can. Are you running a bit late? No problem, owning an RV means you are flexible.
  • Experience the country: While out on the road, you can experience America in a way that you could never have before. You can take any turn that you want to. At any time, you can turn off somewhere and experience what life is like there. You can find different attractions that you have never heard of before.
  • Creates bonds and memories: RV trips are one of the best ways of spending time with your family and creating memories while doing so.
  • Make money : Most places that rent RVs don’t own the RVs they rent. They are owned by people just like you and me. They simply give that business the right to rent out their RV when they aren’t using it. They do take a cut of the rental, but they also handle maintenance and provide year-round parking for it.
10 of the best destinations for the RV in the US. It’s time to start planning! @RVLife @VisitTheUSA #VisitTheUSA #RVLife https://t.co/sFzr9pzsmJ via @GoAwesomePlaces pic.twitter.com/Q4mVIKtp9x — Diane Capri (@DianeCapri) March 16, 2021

Cons of owning an RV

Here is a list of cons that come with owning an RV:

  • Storing an RV can be complicated: When you are not using your RV, the ideal situation would be to keep it parked outside your home. However, this isn’t always possible, mostly due to homeowners associations not approving of this. So, you would have to find a storage facility where you can park your RV.
  • Maintenance can be expensive: When talking about maintenance, we are mostly referring to the vehicle part of the RV. Unfortunately, servicing an RV is more expensive and servicing a vehicle. It actually costs a lot more and can become rather expensive.
  • Gear and accessories: You can find yourself spending a lot of money on gear and accessories. For example, if you are going to RV in a very cold destination, you would need to buy gear to help keep you warm. That is just one example but trust me, after a while, the amount of money you spend on gear and accessories can be high.
  • Mobility at your destination: You may think that RVs make you more mobile than anything else. That is partly true; however, when you reach your destination, you might find yourself having to rent out a car if you want to get to some places. This is because driving your RV around everywhere can become cumbersome.
Traveling with those you care about makes the journey worth it! #rv #travel #family #friends #vacation #motorhome #campervan pic.twitter.com/crdvF94SWg — RVnGO (@RVnGOcom) February 25, 2021

Is a class A RV safer to drive than towing a travel trailer?

A Class A motorhome is safer than a travel trailer. RV safety is determined both by whether a vehicle is being towed or towing another vehicle, but also by the wheelbase. Towing adds a layer of risk while driving, but the wheelbase ratio on many Class A RVs will be better than that of a trailer and truck combined.

To determine the wheelbase-to-length ratio of a motor home, just divide the wheelbase by the length of the vehicle.

According to RV Consumer Group , a wheelbase ratio below 51% is extremely dangerous. They go on to note that :

  • 51% to 54% is not great for basic safety
  • 55% to 56% is OK
  • 57% and above is considered excellent

Generally speaking, the higher the wheelbase-to-length ratio the safer it gets.

With a travel trailer, it just gets more complicated since they just have 1 set of wheels. So you have measure the distance from the trailer’s wheels to the back truck wheels and then divide that by the total length of both vehicles.

While Class A RV’s aren’t usually great in terms of wheelbase safety compared to Class B or Class C RVs, they are often better than travel trailers and fifth-wheels.

The 45-foot luxury motorhome is the most expensive one at this year’s Calgary RV Show and Sale. It’s called the American Dream, made by American Coach. https://t.co/GWcBdQHpWV pic.twitter.com/NtVQ3ctFEd — Hemet Valley RV (@HemetValleyRVs) February 17, 2018

What is the safest RV to drive?

Class B motorhomes are the safest RV as they do not tow or require towing, and have a high wheelbase ratio, and overall smaller road footprint, making them much easier to handle, quicker to stop, and much safer to drive.

When you think of safety, you need to think of how the vehicle drives, and then you need to think of the features that the motorhome offers the passengers of the vehicle.

By looking at all of this, we can conclude which is the safest motorhome to drive.

  • Stability: Unlike travel trailers, Class B motorhomes are not divided into two. In fact, the entire living section of the RV is built into the body of the vehicle, which is, in most cases, a van. This offers more stability on the road.
  • Control: The biggest difference between a class A and a class B motorhome is their size, and due to the small size and the design of a class B motorhome, you have more control. A class B motorhome is easier to drive than a big class A RV which often resembles a big bus.
  • Passenger safety: In a class B motorhome, it is easier to fit with safety features for passengers. This often means that all passengers will be buckled safely with their seat belt and will be seated facing forward.

Also think about the fact that if you’re serious about camping, there may be times when you’re off-roading or driving on uneven surfaces that a large RV couldn’t handle.

The classic Airstream Travel Trailer gets a deluxe interior upgrade for those customers looking for luxury on the road – Via #lonelyplanet pic.twitter.com/O5NI0WsLzy — SpiralXXI ☣ 😷 (@SpiralXXI) January 31, 2020

Which Class A motorhome is rated best?

The American Dream Class A RV by American Coach is one of the highest-rated Class A RVs on the market, rating 4-stars on RV Trader with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau with 0 complaints registered.

As you can see by the price tag below, the American Dream is a high-end motorhome.

You can choose from three different floor plans, and when purchasing your RV, you can have a lot of it customized to your preference. However, with all of that being said, when purchasing it standard, you know that you are still buying a high-end RV.

The 45-foot version offers a 600 horsepower engine , so no matter what conditions you are driving in, you should always have the power to get to where you need to go.

In order to provide the maximum amount of space when you are parked at your destination, the American Dream has 3 slide-outs.

Interestingly, the company, which was started in the early 90s, was out of business from 2004-2015. But they came roaring back to life in 2016, and haven’t looked back!

Features of the American Dream 42Q

  • Base price: The American dream by American Coach starts at around $530,000.
  • Length: When it comes to the length of the RV, you have the option of choosing either the 42 ft or 45 ft RVs.
  • Engine: The size of the engine will almost always depend on whether or not to go for the 42 or 45 foot RV. However, the two engine sizes start at 450 to 600-hp.
  • RoadWatch Safety System: Safety is a huge priority for American Coach, and with their safety system, you will have adaptive cruise control, collision mitigation, electronic stability control, and traction control.
  • Keyless entry: Because why not? Keyless entry does add a lot of conveniences.
  • Generator: The RV comes equipped with a 12.5 KW quiet diesel generator.
  • Aqua-Hot heating system.
  • Air conditioner: The RV comes equipped with three 15k BTU air conditioner units.
  • Exterior entertainment: The RV has an exterior entertainment system that comes equipped with the latest 50 inch Samsung tv and a JBL soundbar.
Monday’s Motor Home: 2020 Newmar Bay Star Sport 3226! https://t.co/O55evsw8jw #mondaysmotorhome #buddygreggadventures pic.twitter.com/2eHHpzrpWa — Buddy Gregg RV’S & Motor Homes (@BuddyGreggRV) March 9, 2020

Which budget Class A motorhome is rated best?

The Bay Star Class A RV by Newmar is one of the highest-rated lower-priced Class A RVs on the market, rating 4.6-stars on RV Insider with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau with only 8 complaints in the prior 3 years.

It’s worth noting that I am biased here as I own a 2020 Newmar Bay Star; they’re great!

You can choose from 12 different floor plans, and when purchasing your RV, you can have a lot of it customized to your preference. However, with all of that being said, when purchasing it standard, you know that you are still buying a high-end RV.

Newmar is a luxury RV manufacturer. But the Bay Star is basically their budget line.

Slide-outs vary by model but vary between 2 and 4. All floorplans of the Bay Star are gas-powered, making maintenance less expensive. The company has been around for over 50 years. And like a few other RV manufacturers, features Amish craftsmanship in the interiors of its RVs.

Features of the Newmar Bay Star

  • Base price: The Bay Star by Newmar starts at around $158,000.
  • Length: When it comes to the length of the RV, you have the option of choosing 31′ up to 38′ with several steps in between.
  • Engine: A 7.8-liter V8 engine with 350 horsepower
  • Camera navigation: Comes with a rear camera and both left and right side cameras which activate automatically when in reverse or when the blinker is on.
  • Televator: The large flatscreen in the living room can lower down into the cabinet below it when not needed at the touch of a button.
  • Generator: 5.5 kW Cummins Onan® Generator with Remote Switch and Automatic Changeover
  • LED lighting throughout
  • Air conditioner: The RV comes equipped with Two 13.5 Penguin Heat Pump A/C units.
  • Exterior entertainment: The RV has an optional exterior entertainment system that comes equipped with a 32″ flatscreen TV.
Step into the Airstream Classic Travel Trailer offering every comfort of home you want – plus plenty of amenities you didn’t even know you needed! https://t.co/JRHF1BcVWD #Airstream #Adventure #WalkthroughWednesday pic.twitter.com/m1KpQG6vN2 — Great American RV SuperStores (@GARV_SuperStore) July 8, 2020

Which travel trailer is rated best?

The Airstream Classic is one of the highest-rated travel trailers on the market, rating 4.6-stars on RV Insider with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau with only 2 complaints registered in the prior 12 months.

It’s also worth pointing out that I look at a lot of business pages on the Better Business Bureau website.

Finding a business that only has 2 complaints a year is VERY hard to find. Even companies I know to be reputable often have dozens. So don’t think that 2 in 12 months is bad.

Of course, everyone knows Airstream; they’re iconic.

And you probably know they are pricey for an RV compared to other brands. But let’s take a look at the features behind the brand name. That way you can really see why they charge what they charge and have the reputation they have.

Features of the Airstream Classic

  • Base price: The Airstream Classic starts at around $161,900.
  • Length: Depending on what floor plan you choose, you can either go for the 30 ft or 33 ft options.
  • 4-floor plans to choose from: Speaking of floor plans, the Airstream allows you to choose between four of them. Each of these has its own pros and cons when compared to each other.
  • Sleep up to 5: The airstream classic can sleep up to 5 people. However, the most comfortable option would be to sleep up to four people.
  • Smart Control: This nifty little feature allows you to control just about anything in the trailer’s living space with your phone. You can control the lighting, the ambiance, temperature, and so on.
  • Luxurious bathroom: The bathroom in the trailer is so luxurious that it even has heated floors in the shower and heated towel racks.
  • Projector TV: When traveling in an RV, you spend a lot of nights inside the RV, especially in bad weather. Well, the 65-inch projector TV can keep you busy.

The airstream classic is one of the most luxurious travel trailers that you can get. With all of its features that we listed above, you can be sure that you will travel in comfort, style, and also with small to large conveniences that will make your trip an enjoyable one.

Beautiful weather, beautiful campground. Nothing better. #Winnebago #minnie #campingtime #Petoskey @Winnebago #towables pic.twitter.com/CUCzOULhKh — Caron Bergen 🇺🇸 (@CaronLBergen) July 10, 2018

Which budget travel trailer is rated best?

The Winnebago Minnie is one of the highest-rated lower-priced travel trailers on the market, rating 4.2-stars on RV Insider with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau with 22 complaints registered in the prior 12 months.

Now 22 complaints in 12 months aren’t low. It’s not super high either, as I’ve seen a lot worse. It’s also for the company as a whole and not specific to the Minnie. But it’s also worth pointing out that those complaints were from 2020 when the world was rocked by lockdowns. That hit all manufacturers hard with low supply and high demand and long delays on delivering new RVs.

Hence that equals complaints. And 22 was double their average annual number of complaints.

I love the Minnie, so let’s look at why.

Features of the Winnebago Minnie:

  • Base price: The Minnie starts at around $32,232.
  • Length: Depending on what floor plan you choose, you can get a camper that ranges from 25 ft up to 32 ft.
  • 15-floor plans to choose from: Plans range from 1 queen bed to 1 queen bed plus bunk beds, and all feature 1 slideout.
  • Sleep up to 8: The different floorplans allow sleeping accommodations from between 4 to 8 people.
  • Outdoor entertainment – External patio speakers and TV hookup
  • Massive outdoor storage – Features 44 cubic feet of exterior storage; more than any other travel trailers in this price range

So if a big-budget camper or motorhome just isn’t an option, the Minnie is the way to go. That’s even more true if you buy a late model one that’s 1 to 2 years old which you might find as low as $20,000.

RVing with a Motorhome vs Travel Trailer

Ultimately the biggest factor in deciding between a Travel Trailer or a Class A RV is your budget , the size of your family, and how often you plan to use it.

A Class A is generally going to be the way to go in most cases. But that’s especially true if you have a family of more than 3 people and plan to take long trips during summer and occasionally throughout the year. Trailers are great, but better suited for weekend warriors and small families.

But lastly, there’s a huge difference in price between them. A trailer could easily be $60,000 cheaper than a Class A RV (or more). That low barrier of entry makes the RV life totally possible for people who just can’t manage a 6-figure Class A.

But no matter which way you choose, life in an RV is grand! So start making memories and taking on new adventures.

Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell travels on and off with his 3 daughters in a Newmar Baystar Class A Motorhome. He writes extensively on both RVs, campgrounds, parenting on the road tips, remote learning & schooling, and much more! Click Here to learn more about me. Click Here to learn more about my site. Editorial Policies.

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Travel Trailer vs Class C Motorhome 17 Pros and Cons Comparison

Travel Trailer vs Class C Motorhome 17 Pros and Cons Comparison

  • BUYERS GUIDE

G. Yoganand

In this article, lets check out the differences between travel trailer vs class c RV.

Deciding between different rv’s can be confusing. Isnt it?

But, you can make it very much easy for you, If you compare the options in terms of all your priorities. Many people are stuck on a decision to make between a travel trailer or a class c rv or other motorhome.

Can it be simplified in terms of all the differences? Well, read on to understand the comparison between travel trailer and class c rv.

Here is a summary of all that you should know before choosing between the two.

1. Cost Comparison – travel trailer are less costly

Travel trailer or class c rv or any other motorhome generally comes at thousands of dollars. And, when you pay such a big amount, comparison between various peers is bound to happen.

Paying big amount upfront for your camper needs to be one of the main factor for you, unless you are a millionaire.

Travel trailer is seen to be cheaper, at least most of the travel trailer would normally come at a price that is lesser than class c rv. This is average price comparison as otherwise you would also find travel trailers that can be more costly also.

But, it totally depends on what kind of travel trailer you are buying.

A lot depends on the size of the trailer you are looking for, what kind of amenities you want, the layout and also the construction type.

If you start looking for travel trailers in market, you would see that mostly the prices start with as low as $7000 and go upto as high as $70000.

A travel trailer at $70000 would be a matter of much thought though. Anyways, overall average price of travel trailer is seen to be mostly between $15000 to $25000. By saying this, i mean the most popular travel trailers come at a price that lies in this range.

Class C RV upfront cost is on higher side and they normally start at $50,000, which is almost equivalent to the highest model travel trailer you would get in market.

Class c motorhomes are better in terms luxury, when you compare them with travel trailers and thus, obviously are priced higher. Also, you don’t pull them behind your car. On an average most popular class c rv prices remain in the range of $60,000 to $85,000.

These motorhomes are priced based on amenities, size, floor plans and also, the manufacturing brand  If you are looking to pack the recreation vehicle with things like dinner table, bed, refrigerator, sofa, bathroom then the prices would be higher and then, there is almost no comparison between the travel trailer and class c rv.

Thus, the price comparison between class c motorhome and travel trailer camper is clear and you should have a clear idea of what you are looking for.

With a budget of 20,000 or less will mean looking for a new class c rv is not a correct thing unless you are going for used one(that’s a completely different point).

2. Better Driving experience with Motorhome

Driving a camper or a motorhome is a experience that you wouldn’t get going around in car or big SUV. Going around in big rv definitely means you should be much more careful.

A big vehicle of a length of 30 feet not only demands for great care while driving, but also you should be comfortable driving it. Thus, it is a factor of lot of importance to not take into consideration.

Here are some top short Class C Motohormes .

Driving, when you have something towed behind using hitches can be tough in comparison to a big rv, but its totally subjective, some people find big rvs difficult to drive on road while some see a hitched travel trailer a total headache.

The best way to decide which one suits you will be taking a test ride, it could be a new one; if the dealer has such a facility or trying some one else’s travel trailer or class c rv.

If you have been driving any of these previously, then you yourself should be in a good position to understand your level of comfort driving them. Braking can be tough when you have travel trailer behind your car and will need learning as you continue to drive it.

There are quite a lot of factors to be vary of, when you have a hitched trailer behind the car. Backing a travel trailer also needs special attention, initially it may be the difficult part to deal with.

But, with practice you should be able to master it though. It would need proper use of mirrors, spotters to be able to do it like a pro. A class c rv backing may not be as difficult as travel trailer though. In comparison to a small car, it obviously will be fearful for new rvers. But, shouldn’t be an issue once you get good hands on.

A travel trailer can come good on narrow roads as compared to class c rv, which will be much wider.

Also, a class c motorhome can give you much better view , though windshields which may not be possible with travel trailer as you will be sitting in car; which will have lesser windshields.

You don’t get access to living area while you are driving in a travel trailer, where as class c motorhome makes it possible.

3. Towing efforts with travel trailer

Remember a buying travel trailer means you consider lots of factor associated with the towing which is not the case with class c rv or any other motorhome.

That’s the main difference between the two. Can this itself can be factor with greater significance to decide between the 2 and go for a motorhome? Getting a new travel trailer needs you to be sure that the car you already have is capable to pulling the trailer with ease. A matching need to be developed between the car and the trailer.

Getting hitches connected to car, making sure that the connection is perfect every time you head out for camping can be lot for someone with less patience.

With class c rv or any other motorhome for instance its just about taking the RV on road and driving. The set up with trailer can be time consuming and sometimes pretty much a headache.

Safety can also be a concern while you tow the trailer, your car or other vehicle may not always be the perfect fit for towing and that’s when the safety can be a concern.

Although you will get the list of cars good for towing a travel trailer also your car manufacturer stating the same in manual may not always mean you are good to go.

A travel trailer when bought will have certain weight but when you start packing things in it, its weight may go out of limitation for your car. Thus towing a travel trailer not only needs special consideration but also a safety check needed.

Using brakes on travel trailer towed car is also a thing of special practice and you need to be a well trained if not pro.

Thus a fact itself that you need to tow behind car is a greater factor for many to chose for class c rv or any other motorhome in the range. However if you are okay with towing or if you had experience of doing it previously tat you should be better off.

4. Travel trailer Needs less Maintenance

Maintaining a car itself can be a task that many people find tedious. If you are of that nature than owning a rv or travel trailer can get tough for you.

A travel trailer when compared to class c RV for maintenance does not vary much and both need similar kind of schedule to follow. A class RV maintenance will be more costly as compared to a travel trailer, it will also need good storage in garage with a bigger space.

A travel trailer since smaller in size needs a smaller space and a maintenance can be easy as compared to class c rv or any other motorhome.

In case of class C rv you need to be careful about the appliances in it during winters, a class c rv comes at a high cost you cant afford to take things for granted. A travel trailer with minimum amenities will need less attention in comparison to a motorhome.

Read : How to keep travel trailer warm in winter

Having said that a motorhome is generally built heavily with a quality that can be much better that travel trailer and this means the RV or motorhome could be better off handling harsh conditions.

A travel trailer for instance can be protected by a cover which may not really be the case with a big RV. You would need a better garage, that is high in length and bigger n size.

5. Class C RV Has More Space

A motorhome when you compare the overall space you get for driving, living etc is larger as compared to a average travel trailer.

With a motorhome or class c rv you have a cabin that’s much above the road, it gives a perfect view while traveling. Which is not the case with travel trailer when you are sitting in your car.

With a modest price tag a trailer can give you space that will be compact, utilized in a manner to put it stuff as compact as possible as minimum as it gets.

A class C rv will give you a living area that’s larger, a bathroom with a shower that will good enough depending on the length you chose.

Overall with class C rv you have the luxury of space that is not possible with tow-able trailer. Having a bigger space in your camper or RV can be of much more importance when you are camping with kids.

For a couple a travel trailer could be a good fit if you are ready to live with the shortcomings. It all depends from person to person and the priorities. A large travel trailer can also be good for space, but may come with a price tag that almost similar to a motorhome.

Storage space with motorhome is also more and that can e of much more priority for many, Camping is all about packing things for the stay, but imagine you had less space that could fit in all things.

If you are kind of person who just packs things without giving many thoughts or if you are big family that needs lots of packing then go for a storage that meets your requirements. its as simple as that.

6. Less Depreciation in Travel Trailer

Depreciation of RV is something that many people hate. A costly vehicle loosing its value over a period of time hurts a lot. The moment you buy a brand new motorhome it starts to loose its original value.

Depreciation comparison between travel trailer and class c rv or any other motorhome like class B or class A can be a significant factor that can make chose travel trailer. Specially if you are among those who believe in selling old stuff for a good return or renew your RV after certain usage.

A travel trailer find itself with a depreciation little lesser as compared to class c RV. Class A motorhome or class c RV depreciation is directly proportional to the year of manufacturing.

For example, a 2014 model class C rv will loose more on its value as compared to a 2016 model. A year of manufacturing makes a lot of difference and so does the miles on odometer. A travel trailer does not have a odometer and that can be an advantage for it. It solely depends on the year on manufacturing and its condition.

Read : Travel trailer essentials

Maintaining the RV is of great importance if you want to prevent the depreciation percentage to certain extend.

But, unfortunately even with best of best maintenance you cannot prevent the going down of worth of your RV.

If we were to compare solely based on numbers the depreciation of travel trailer and class c rv remains almost similar for 5-8 years (could be between 40-50%) but as you go beyond 10 years a class c rv losses its sheen more as compared to travel trailer.

Class C rv or even other motorhomes loose close to 85% of their value where as a good maintained travel trailer can still hold close to 30% of its value that is losses 10-15 % less than class C rv or class A RV.

Having a look at these average numbers it is upto you if you really care about these 10-20 % after 10 years.

I think most wouldn’t care and the decision on class C against travel trailer should be taken considering the resale value factor with minimum importance.

7. Class C RV has better longevity

When you pay thousands of dollars for a rv or a travel trailer you obviously expect it last for as long as possible. Average life of a rv depends on lots of factors and is not tied with it when you buy it.

You will get warranty for various parts, but to expect a definite life for the trailer or class c rv will be foolish.

A rv or a travel trailer needs scheduled maintenance a good care is needed to keep it going for you.

Imagine you very a very good care taker of your rv then you can expect a good built travel trailer to last as minimum as 12-15 years. The most important part of the travel that you need to be specially careful about is the trailer roof.

Travel trailer roofs are subjected to leakage if sufficient care is not taken. Motorhomes on the other hand can be live a little longer, they are built solid, more capable and thus can last for 20 years or more on an average. It also depends on how many miles the rv ran.

A class A or C may give you more than 200 thousands of miles which may take you around 20-22 years to do. Comparing life of a travel trailer and class c rv solely for the purpose of deciding between two could be a thought for future too ahead.

Also, the life of trailer or the class c rv is very much dependent of many factors which can be controlled by the owner. It depends on how you store the rv when not in use, scheduled maintenance, usage frequency and so on.

8. Travel trailer puts pressure on car mpg

Getting a rv for thousands of dollar is matter of significant investment. Once you get a rv its not only about paying for the upfront cost, with the rv comes other costs.

There are lots of other things you end up spending before you go on that first camping experience. One of the other costs that you have with a rv is the fuel cost.

In fact, it is one of the major spending that a rver has to do to goa around in it. Many a times full time rver complain about the money they have to put in fuel costs. Considering this its important to do sufficient study on how many miles you can get with your class c rv or a trailer.

Getting best fuel economy for rv can be a significant cost saving factor. GA mileage is a parameter that can depend on lots of factors like the age of motorhome, the condition of you rv or trailer, the weight you carry on with in also on where you are driving the rv.

It also depends on the speed with which you drive the rv. On an average a class c RV can give you a gas mileage of around 10-12 miles per gallon (mpg).

It also depends on the wind conditions like a windy day will reduce the mileage may be by 1-2 miles depending on how the construction of the rv is to facilitate the wind resistance.

The wind condition is in fact more of a factor that affects the mileage that the weight of the RV. Pulling a travel trailer on an average also should give a mpg of around 10 miles per gallon.

Read : Truck Camper Or Travel Trailer

Here again, it depends on the frontal area of the trailer being towed. A good wind resistance handling by trailer will increase the mileage by 2-3 miles per gallon.

Also, the speed with which the trailer is being pulled matters. Imagine a speed of around 60 miles per hour, a weight of around 9000 pounds, length of travel trailer around 25 feet gives a mileage of around 8-9 miles per Jagiellon.

9. Travel trailers are available in abundance

Travel trailer are available in plenty in market as compared to class c RV or other motorhomes and thus there is a great chance that you will find a one that best suits your needs.

It is not that you wont get a class c rv as per your needs but you may have to hunt longer to get the one that best suits your needs. Buying second hand is also a option and when you compare the second hand selling market of travel trailer with class c motorhomes you will have lots of options with travel trailers.

In the year 2017 more than 5 lac RV’s were sold in united states which was less than 3 lacs in 2013, that means a growth of more that 100%.

With so many RV’s selling each year the availability of second hand has also increased and because there is so much growth the manufacturers have also spun into action.

Most of the RV’s sold include travel trailers and this number is also greater than the class c rv types. Travel trailer being less in cost are more popular and thus their selling is also larger.

Some of the travel trailer brands that sell most include keystone rv, jayco, rockwood, dutchmen, Airstream . Class C RV manufacturing brands that sell highest includes Winnebago, coachmen, tioga, four winds, jayco , gulf stream, itasca and many more.

10. Class C RV is much bigger

Rv’ or motorhomes have lengths that can intimidating. A length of more that 15 feet itself can be a tough one for a new driver who haven’t had the opportunity to drive such vehicles previously.

When you compare travel trailer length with a class c motorhome both have big lengths but class c motorhome are on an average about 50% more in lengths as compare to travel trailers.

Travel trailers are seen to be having average Lengths of around 20 feet where as class c motorhomes are seen having a average length of 28 feet. You will find variety of lengths but the most popular are seen with these lengths. A class c rv have lengths that start from anywhere from 22-25 feet.

Their counterparts class B rv are seen having average lengths of around 20 feet. Where as class A motorhome are among the lengthiest and they can be as lengthy as 45 feet or even more sometimes.

Understanding the length of RV or a travel trailer is important because you should be comfortable with their length, also you will have to think about the garage for storage at home.

Also, campsites or national parks have length restriction and you may want to have a length that fits in your favorite or close-by nation park of campsite.

Having a lengthy travel trailer can be a hard one to tow and you should check on the length so as to make sure you are not buying a one that will be too much to tow. Also a large length for a travel trailer would also mean more weight which should be within limits for your car to handle during towing.

11. Class C RV are heavier than travel trailers

Rvs of any kind are heaviest that run on roads. They weigh thousands of pounds. A more weight obviously means a reduced mileage.

With advances in manufacturing technology there has been reduction in with over the years. Yet the pounds haven’t come down to that level. Thus its important for you to compare the weight of rv that you intend to buy.

A class C rv is among the heaviest ones only to lag behind class A motrhomes that are heaviest of them all.

A class C RVs weight on an average is seen in between 10000 to 15000 pounds. Travel trailer on the other hand have weight that is much less in comparison to class c rv’s, a 18-20 feet travel trailer can be around 2000 pounds heavy.

It is important that your trailer is as light as possible, since you will be towing it with your car or SUV. And a car or mini truck will have its own capacity to pull and thus checking on the weight of trailer should be your first priority.

Its not only trailer weight but also the overall weight that you should check. A packing for camping can quickly get heavy exceed the limits of your towing vehicle.

Its also necessary that you are aware of overall weight with full gas tank. Having long trailer can give you good space but the pulling vehicle will be under pressure. There are also laws that prevent from pulling certain weight (you need to check that with the states towing laws).

12. Better Construction in Class C RV

Class C rv or any other motorhome are generally better made as compared to towable travel trailers. Their Construction quality is good and is more durable.

Saying these it does not mean all the class C rv construction will be of better quality. It depends on the brand, manufacturing year model. Obviously when you pay 2 to 3 times more you are bound to get it for a better quality.

Inexpensive travel trailer are made up of corrugated aluminium where as class C rv are costly made up of fiberglass or smooth aluminium.

Many a times understating the construction material of rv becomes a tough because all of them almost similar. But it is essential to understand the material type and their pros and cons.

13. More Set up at campground needed for travel trailers

With class C rv or any other sophisticated motorhome you get automatic leveling and thus the manual setup at campground efforts are reduced. This however may not be true with all models though.

Old models may not have automatic leveling. Travel trailer need little more efforts when it comes to doing the basic setup at campgrounds.

On-boarding the generator and doing other stabilization, disconnecting the travel trailer from the towing car are needed in travel trailer where as with class c motorhomes you may sit within without doing much of setup and start the camping. That’s the difference. No matter what RV you own but do not make these setup mistakes at the campground .

14. With travel trailer you get less Amenities

With class C motorhome you get amenities that are just the kind of luxury you would expect in a hotel.

Many thins fitted in so well and compact that may not be the case with travel trailer. A motorhome gives you the luxury of dinning within. Cooking inside, having air conditioner may not be possible with all travel trailers.

Most of the class C rv will have shower, toilet within. Where as travel trailer mostly may or may not have shower and toilet.

15. Additional Cost is more with travel trailers

A travel trailer need to hitched behind a car and for that you will have to spent anything from around $50-$800 also a regular maintenance may be needed for the hitched connection and even replacement of equipment.

This additional cost is not involved in case of motorhomes. Both the travel trailer and class c rv incur almost similar overnight parking costs which could be around $10-$50 per night.

Indoor or outdoor storage costs are also similar for both. An indoor storage costs around $50-$500 where as outdoor storage cost of renting could be anything between $40-$100 on an average.

16. Need of Car at camping

A big class C rv can be a good thing to have but imagine you need a car at the campsite may to go to a near by place where taking the big RV is difficult.

Read : Read Before towing behind a class C RV

When you go with travel trailer you already have car that come very handy. With big rv you then end up renting a car or tow a car behind your motorhome (which again will be differentiating factor), that’s the difference and advantage you have with travel trailer.

17. Insurance Cost

The bigger your RV larger is the amount you pay for the insurance. A travel trailer costs much less for insurance as compared to a class C or class A motorhome.

Insuring a travel trailer can be confusing as there are lots of factor that come into picture. A trailer can be insured right from $200 that can be as high as 8000.

Where as class C rv insurance can cost you anything between $800 to 10000. The more luxury you have the more you pay per year for the insurance.

Want to try before you finalize on travel trailer or class c? You can rent a RV on outdoorsy or rvshare and then decide.

In Conclusion

Travel trailer is less expensive but you also need a car or truck to tow them. You will have to deal with all the things related to towing but you get a separate car to drive, if needed.

Class C motorhome on the other hand is costly but it will give you better living space and facilities to enjoy. Choosing between the two comes down to your budget, weather you are comfortable in towing and also, the style of life you desire in an RV.

motorhome vs travel trailer

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IMAGES

  1. Unique Differences When Deciding Motorhome VS Travel Trailer

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  2. RVing with a Motorhome vs Travel Trailer

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  3. Travel Trailer Vs RV: 7 Differences to Help You Choose

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  4. Motorhome vs Travel Trailers, Which is Better? (Full Comparison

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  5. Motorhome vs Travel Trailer: Which is Best for You?

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  6. Travel Freedom Unleashed: Motorhome vs. Travel Trailer

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COMMENTS

  1. Motorhomes vs Travel Trailers: 10 Pros and Cons

    Compare the advantages and disadvantages of motorhomes and travel trailers based on price, gas, insurance, depreciation, maintenance, and amount of use. Learn how to choose the best RV for your needs and budget from a personal perspective.

  2. Motorhome Vs Travel Trailer: Pros and Cons

    Compare the advantages and disadvantages of camping in a motorhome vs travel trailer. Learn about the different classes of motorhomes, types of travel trailers, and factors to consider when choosing an RV.

  3. Motorhome vs Travel Trailer: The Complete Comparison Guide for RV

    Fuel Efficiency - Low mileage for motorhomes. But trailers reduce capacity and gas mileage for your tow rig. Fuel costs depend on the total miles driven. Insurance - Motorhomes cost more to insure than trailers. Yet, you need policies for both trailer and tow vehicles, so determine total insurance costs.

  4. Motorhome vs Travel Trailer: Which is Best for You?

    Fifth wheels have a much higher profile, as well as class A motorhomes (usually around 13 feet).; Class C motorhomes are typically around 11-feet (including the AC on top).; Travel trailers can vary, but on the lower end you can find profiles around 10-11 feet, and even as low as 9.5 feet (say hello to the compact design of an Airstream).; Class B motorhomes are anywhere from 7-9 feet, with ...

  5. Motorhome vs Travel Trailer: Which One Should You Rent or Buy?

    A comprehensive guide to the pros and cons of motorhomes and travel trailers, based on different types of RVs and camping experiences. Learn how to compare the ease of use, living space, towing capacity, and cost of renting or buying a motorhome or a travel trailer.

  6. RV vs. Camper: Which Is Right for You?

    A camper is a type of RV that can be towed by a separate vehicle, while an RV is a catch-all term for vehicles that can be driven, towed or popped up. Learn the pros and cons of each option, the differences between travel trailers, fifth wheels and pop-ups, and how to choose the best one for your needs.

  7. Motorhomes vs Travel Trailers (Pros and Cons)

    Expect a Class C motorhome to lose 50% value after five years, while a travel trailer loses 40% on average. This normal depreciation of an RV means that buying used is the best way to afford a larger motorhome or travel trailer on a smaller budget. Verdict: Travel trailers maintain a better resale value overall.

  8. Motorhome vs. Trailer: Which RV Type Is Right for You?

    WI, Milwaukee. The biggest difference between a motorhome vs. a trailer is that a motorhome has a motor and moves under its own power, while a trailer needs to be towed behind another vehicle. Often, a trailer will also be smaller than a motorhome, but this isn't always the case; there are three different classes of motorhomes, all different ...

  9. Unique Differences When Deciding Motorhome VS Travel Trailer

    Difference Between a Motorhome VS a Travel Trailer. A motorhome is a recreational vehicle that has everything enclosed in one space. That means the same space contains the area for living and driving. These vehicles are typically much larger than a travel trailer. Motorhomes come in different classes.

  10. Everything You Need to Know About Choosing a Motorhome vs. Travel Trailer

    New RV prices can range anywhere from $5,000 to north of $300,000. Bear in mind that you also have ongoing maintenance expenses too, whether you get a motorhome or travel trailer. They can add up over time. Second, you have to consider your ROI or return on investment. If you camp frequently, you can justify paying more.

  11. Motorhomes vs Travel Trailers: 12 Pros and Cons

    Pros. 1. Less expensive. They cost less when contrasted with other large motorhomes like Class C or class A. On a normal, a movement trailer costs around $15000 to $30000. Travel trailers come in the middle of an essential popup camper and greater motorhomes. With tent trailers or spring up campers, you don't generally get that sort of ...

  12. Motorhome vs. Travel Trailer? 19 Helpful Tips To Help You Choose

    1. Purchase Prices Varies A Lot. Motorhomes and travel trailers can both be expensive investments. However, motorhomes are often dramatically more expensive when compared to travel trailers. Expect to pay about three to four times more for a motorhome than you would for a travel trailer.

  13. What's the Difference Between a Motorhome, RV, Camper, and a Trailer?

    The terms "RV" and "camper" mean the same thing - a moveable unit that you can live out of. Again, "RV" stands for Recreational Vehicle. It includes all classes of drivable RVs, or motorhomes (A, B, and C classes) as well as towable RVs, which are known as travel trailers and fifth wheels. "Camper" is another umbrella term ...

  14. RVs Vs. Motorhomes Vs. Travel Trailers: What's the difference?

    When compared to a motorhome, travel trailers are less luxurious. You are looking at prices between $10,000- $200,000 for a travel trailer- depending on size and floor plan. How big is a travel trailer? Like motor homes, travel trailers come in all shapes and sizes, with a Mypod being the smallest and a 5th wheel or toy hauler being the largest.

  15. Class A Motorhome vs. Travel Trailer: Which One's Right For You?

    A class a motorhome costs more. Servicing requires a particular mechanic. Pros and Cons of Travel Trailers. Pros. It's easier to travel outside of your site. Travel trailers offer safer transportation. Travel trailers are less expensive. Travel trailers require less maintenance. Cons.

  16. Travel Trailers vs. Motorhomes: The More Practical Choice Is Obvious

    Motorhomes and travel trailers also have a steep price difference. A large travel trailer may cost around $30,000, while a smaller motorhome starts at $50,000. If you make a few camping trips per year, it may make more sense to go with the travel trailer. Motorhomes will also depreciate faster than travel trailers, according to NADAGuides.

  17. Motorhomes vs. Travel Trailers: Understanding the Difference

    Class A motorhomes, in particular, can offer a luxurious living space similar to a small apartment. This extra room allows for more amenities and comforts, making it an ideal choice for extended trips. While travel trailers may be more compact, they still offer a comfortable living space. Although they may not have the same amount of space as ...

  18. Motorhomes vs. Travel Trailers: A Comprehensive Comparison

    Travel Trailers vs Motorhomes: We Break it Down! In-depth Analysis: Flexibility: While motorhomes offer the comfort of having everything with you at all times, travel trailers provide the unparalleled advantage of establishing a base and exploring freely, unencumbered by your setup. Cost: Travel trailers often present a more economical option, both in initial investment and ongoing maintenance ...

  19. Class A Motorhome vs. Travel Trailer: Which Should You Get?

    The price range for a new Class A motorhome is between $90,000 to $250,000 or more with the average price being $150,000. Travel trailers start at $10,000 with the average price being $35,000. But this is a very broad question because you get your average mid-range motorhome, and you get your average mid-range travel trailer.

  20. Travel Trailer VS Motorhome -- Which One Should YOU Choose?

    Hi everyone and welcome back to another video. In this video, we compare two of the most common RV types. Trailer Vs Motorhome. We talk about the advantag...

  21. Motorhomes vs Travel Trailers

    Travel trailers are also have a broad spectrum, with many choices to choose from, including pop-up trailers, toy haulers, mid-sized travel trailers, pods or even your extremely large fifth wheels. Travelling in a motorhome or trailer. Finally, no matter what kind of RV you are looking to buy or rent, the RV experience is sure to be a memorable one.

  22. Motorhome vs Travel Trailer Comparison

    Motorhomes are way more expensive than these travel trailers. Motorhomes normally start from $15,000 as basic small models and all the way up to $100,000 and even more depending upon the luxury and features that are included with it. Motorhome vs Travel Trailer - Which one to Choose?

  23. Travel Trailer vs Class C Motorhome 17 Pros and Cons Comparison

    Both the travel trailer and class c rv incur almost similar overnight parking costs which could be around $10-$50 per night. Indoor or outdoor storage costs are also similar for both. An indoor storage costs around $50-$500 where as outdoor storage cost of renting could be anything between $40-$100 on an average. 16.

  24. Motorhomes vs. Travel Trailers

    How to choose between a travel trailer vs. motorhome Will you be towing your RV or trailer? If you already have a truck or SUV powerful enough to tow the size of RV you want, a travel trailer is a great choice if you are deciding between a motorhome vs. travel trailer. It's much more expensive to buy a motorhome of the same size, so you can save with a trailer if you already have a good towing ...