With so many different uses for a travel trailer, there are more sizes, designs, and floor plans than you can imagine. If you are a simple recreation buff who likes to go camping 1-2 times a year, there are basic models to keep you safe from the elements. If you are looking to live off the grid and travel the open road, there are styles to move you around while giving you many of the comforts of a residential home. If you are an avid outdoorsman travelling from state parks to waterfalls to raging rapids, there are designs catering to your storage and sleeping needs.
Maybe you like to travel alone. Maybe you enjoy the company of multiple passengers. Maybe you like to meet up with family and friends at every stop. Whether you sleep alone or with your friends and family, there are travel trailers to cater to your sleeping needs.
Types of Travel Trailers
- Hybrid Travel Trailer
- Bunkhouse Travel Trailer
- Toy Hauler
- Slide-in Camper
Hybrid Travel Trailer
A hybrid travel trailer is a pop-up camper or also known as a collapsible travel trailer. Giving you the ease of towing with the expandable space to live at an affordable price, they are a great choice for the recreational vehicle novice. Not a hybrid in the gas to electric way, but in the original definition as the offspring of the tent and travel trailer. Hybrid travel trailers are between 19-29 feet in length and cost between $12,000 and $35,000. You can find hybrids that sleep up to eight people and most are generally lightweight to tow behind your car, truck, or van. There are hybrids with hard or soft expandable rooms.
Some hybrids are equipped with amenities of any home. You can find models with hot water heaters, air conditioning, 2-4 burner rangetops, ovens, stereo, microwaves, dinette, refrigerators, full bathrooms, and kitchen sinks. Some styles have outdoor showers and patio awnings. Sleeping up to eight people, hybrids can be outfitted with twin, queen, and king sized beds as well as bunk beds.
Bunkhouse Travel Trailer
A bunkhouse travel trailer has all of the amenities of campers or RVs—kitchen, dinette, living space, and bathroom—with two separate spaces for sleeping areas. The separation is not always a wall with a door, but can be a simple curtain. One of the sleeping spaces is usually equipped with double bunk beds. Geared toward families with children, the bunkhouse is the space in the front or rear of the trailer where you put the kids to sleep (or send them when you need some alone time). This design will also have another area with a double, queen, or king bed—or even a master bedroom presumably for the adults. Like a mini apartment on wheels in which your family can travel, you can find fifth wheels or camper versions.
A toy hauler is a type of travel trailer that is somewhat like a cross between a travel trailer and a cargo trailer. A large opening with a ramp door separates the toy hauler from the basic travel trailer. If you are not looking to add any additional towing to your vehicle to carry your jet skis, ATVs, or race cars, the toy hauler gives you the space to load it right into your trailer. And if you don’t have any toys to load, but want a big open space inside your trailer, you might also opt for this design.
A Slide-in camper is a trailer that can be carried in the bed of a pickup truck. Any camper that can be offloaded from its carrying vehicle is generally considered a slide-in camper. Held to your pickup or other truck with chains and spring-loaded tie downs, this camper requires the durability to handle the abuse of off-roading or rough roads. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) determines what camper you can attach to your truck.
Containing many of the amenities found in larger RVs, you get the added benefit of your carrying vehicle’s off-road capabilities. These campers can have stoves, furnaces, showers, bathrooms, and refrigerators just like bigger units. The sleeping space is usually above the driving cabin of the truck. Outfitted with an RV mattress, some styles can sleep up to 4 people.
If you can’t find an RV with the sleeping needs you require, one way to put that empty vertical space to use is with the HappiJac Power Bed Lift. An adjustable lift that is easy to install and can hold loads up to a static 600 pounds. It quietly operates with the flick of a switch and only draws between 8 and 12 amps. With a nickel-plated chain drive, the HappiJac is a safe and secure way to put extra seating or sleeping in your vehicle. It supports up to two queen size mattresses in a double bunk bed configuration. When used in your toy hauler, you can raise the beds to make room for your motorcycle or other toys. A versatile unit, another option is to use it for reversible sofa or a sofa-single bunk combination.
Travel Trailer Brands
Keystone RV is a midwestern manufacturer located in Indiana. Also offering you a wide selection of styles to fit every one of your needs, Keystone has a great website that gives you the option of 360-degree views of their products. You can find crossover styles that are more fuel efficient as well as custom build your travel trailer with the options you want. Keystone even has an easy to use buyer’s guide that let’s you plug in your price point, desired vehicle size, and target weight to help you select your perfect travel trailer.
Palomino RV, which is based in Colon, Michigan, is a division of Forest River. Offering virtually every style of RV, including truck campers, expandable trailers, fifth wheels, and travel trailers, most Palomino owners are highly satisfied with their vehicle. Vern Landey was a tent trailer distributor who, in 1968, started designing affordable, lightweight pop-up tent trailers. In 1998, Palomino began to produce the ultra lightweight line of travel trailers, followed by towable fifth wheels and travel trailers. Growing their line to what it is today with quality and craftsmanship, you get quality vehicles made of quality materials at a fraction of its competitors’ costs.
Heartland RVs are another quality choice that is committed to preserving the environment. Located in Elkhart, Indiana, Heartland has one of the highest RV resell values in its class. Heartland manufactures all styles of RV in multiple floor plans with serious attention to details. An innovator in the industry, they invented the 880 turning radius and the Universal Docking Center. With attention to detail and luxury, Heartland was the first to introduce the “mega-bath” and “mini-meg bath” as well as full 8′ walk-in closets in price point fifth wheels.
Where to Buy a Travel Trailer
Lakeshore RV Center is a Michigan wholesale retailer of every brand and style of recreational vehicle of which you can think. Carrying the top manufacturers like Forest River, Keystone, and Heartland, Lakeshore also offers a variety of brands and styles like the extra large park or destination trailer. You can find a large inventory of towable RVs—folding pop-ups, toy haulers, fifth wheels, and travel trailers. Not only offering new and used options, Lakeshore gives its customers the opportunity to custom build their dream RV.
Berryland Campers in Louisiana has an enormous selection of manufacturers like Four Winds and Coachmen. With everything from fifth wheels to motorhomes, they also have boats, RV parts, and offer storage. You can search for new or used vehicles. Their website even gives you a handy payment calculator with which to work.
Leisuretime RV Oklahoma is another large dealership with plenty of options for your RV needs. With an inventory that includes every name manufacturer like Airstream and Newmar Corp, they even have trailer options like those from Interstate.