What Is a Travel Trailer? Everything You Need to Know

what is a travel trailer

Do you dream of hitting the open road and exploring new destinations? If so, a travel trailer may be just what you need to make your adventure a reality.

But what exactly is a travel trailer?

A travel trailer is a type of recreational vehicle (RV) that can be towed behind a vehicle. It provides all the comforts of home, including sleeping quarters, kitchen facilities, and bathroom amenities.

Travel trailers come in various sizes and styles to suit different needs and preferences. Whether you’re planning a quick weekend getaway or an extended cross-country trip, there’s a travel trailer out there for you.

What Is a Travel Trailer?

So, you’re curious about travel trailers? Well, let’s start with the basics.

A travel trailer is a type of RV that you can tow behind your vehicle. You may have also heard them referred to as caravans or camper trailers.

These versatile vehicles come in all shapes and sizes and are perfect for those who want to hit the open road while still having all the comforts of home.

In terms of RV size range and costs, travel trailers are the cheapest types of RVs and they also can be the smallest type of RV… But the large ones can range up to 40′ in length or more!

Other Names for Travel Trailers

Travel trailers are a type of RV camper that connects to the tow vehicle by the hitch on the bumper.

In the US, travel trailers are sometimes called:

  • Bumper pulls/ bumper pull campers
  • Camping trailer
  • TT

In other countries, travel trailers are called things like:

  • Caravans
  • Touring campers

A fifth wheel is another type of towable RV, but 5th wheels are not travel trailers.

The Different Types of Travel Trailers

When it comes to choosing a travel trailer, there are several types to consider.

Regular travel trailers are the most common and come in various sizes and layouts.

Pop up campers offer a more affordable option with a collapsible canvas roof, while hybrid campers combine the features of a travel trailer and pop up camper.

Toy hauler travel trailers provide extra space for carrying ATVs or motorcycles, and teardrop travel trailers are compact options perfect for solo travelers or couples.

Regular Travel Trailers

You’re going to love how spacious and comfortable regular travel trailers can be for your next adventure. These trailers are the most common type of travel trailer, typically ranging from 12-40 feet in length.

They come with all the amenities you need for a comfortable trip, including a kitchenette, bathroom, and sleeping area. The interior design can vary greatly depending on the model and brand, but many feature slide-outs that expand the living space when parked.

Regular travel trailers are perfect for solo travelers or families looking to hit the road without sacrificing comfort or convenience. With so many different options available on the market today, you’re sure to find one that fits your style and budget perfectly.

Pop Up Campers

As an adventurer, you’ll appreciate the convenience and versatility of pop-up campers. These lightweight trailers are perfect for those who want to experience the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort.

Pop-up campers come in tent varieties with canvas sides, a-frame varieties, and even hard-wall crank-up varieties.

These small yet versatile campers are great for beginners or weekend campers. Here are some benefits of pop-up campers.

  1. They’re easy to tow and maneuver, making them ideal for first-time RVers or those with smaller vehicles.
  2. The collapsible design makes them easy to store when not in use, saving space in your driveway or garage.
  3. Pop-up campers offer plenty of sleeping space and some have amenities like kitchens and bathrooms, so you can live comfortably while on the road.
  4. They provide a unique camping experience that allows you to be closer to nature while still enjoying the comforts of home.

So if you’re looking for a way to explore the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort, consider a pop-up camper for your next adventure.

Hybrid Campers

Hybrid campers combine the best of both worlds. They’re a cross between a pop-up camper and a regular travel trailer. These innovative trailers are perfect for those who want to enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort and convenience.

With their unique design, hybrid campers offer a spacious living area that includes all the amenities you need, such as a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping quarters. The best part is that they also provide an open-air feel by featuring canvas or mesh material on one or more sides of the trailer.

This allows you to enjoy nature from inside your cozy home away from home while still feeling connected to the outside world. Hybrid campers are perfect for families or groups of friends who want to explore new destinations and create unforgettable memories together.

Toy Hauler Travel Trailers

If you’re looking to bring your favorite toys on your next adventure, consider a toy hauler camper that allows you to easily transport everything from dirt bikes to kayaks without sacrificing living space or comfort.

These travel trailers come equipped with a ramp door at the back that doubles as a patio for outdoor activities and provides easy access to load and unload your gear.

The garage area is usually separated from the living quarters by a wall or curtain, giving you privacy while still allowing you to keep an eye on your equipment.

You can choose from various sizes and layouts, some featuring fold-down beds or lofts for extra sleeping space.

With amenities such as kitchens, bathrooms, entertainment systems, and air conditioning, toy hauler travel trailers offer the perfect combination of utility and comfort for adventurous families or groups who want to make the most out of their outdoor experiences.

Teardrop Travel Trailers

You’ll love the cozy, compact design of teardrop campers for your next adventure. These tiny trailers are perfect for those who want to travel light and be able to explore off the beaten path.

They’re great for solo campers and couples who prefer a small camper that allows you to be close to nature.

Here are 4 reasons why teardrop travel trailers are a great choice:

  1. Easy towing: With their small size and lightweight construction, teardrops can be easily towed by most vehicles, making them a convenient option for road trips.
  2. Comfortable sleeping arrangements: Despite their small size, many teardrop trailers offer comfortable sleeping quarters that can accommodate up to two people. Some also include amenities like air conditioning and heating.
  3. Efficient use of space: Teardrops are designed with efficiency in mind, offering ample storage space for gear and equipment without sacrificing living space.
  4. Affordability: Compared to larger RVs or motorhomes, teardrop trailers are a more affordable option for those looking to hit the road without breaking the bank.

So if you’re looking for a cozy and practical way to explore the outdoors, consider a teardrop travel trailer for your next adventure!

Some teardrop campers are even large enough to stand in and feature interior bathroom space, like the Little Guy Mini Max.

Destination Trailers

A destination trailer is a combination of a travel trailer and a vacation home or tiny home. These trailers are more like an actual house and they are meant to be parked at one location for long periods of time. Destination trailers are great for leased RV lots at RV resorts near you to leave parked all year long for summer vacations, getaways, or as a source or rental income. They’re sometimes called park models because they’re meant to be permanently parked at a park or resort.

These types of trailers are big – some even have split levels. They have a lot more windows than a regular travel trailer and are extremely heavy. They’re not ideal for full-time travel because they were built to be stationary, yet portable.

What Class is a Travel Trailer?

If you’re familiar with hearing “class A, B, or C” campers, you might be wondering what class of camper a travel trailer falls under. The answer is simple: travel trailers don’t have a “class” assigned to them. They’re just called travel trailers.

The RV classes refer only to drivable RVs or motorhomes and are used to differentiate the types.

For towable campers, there are fifth wheels and travel trailers, and each type of camper has different subtypes within it.

If you want to learn about other RV classes and types, read our RV Types article here.

Fifth Wheels vs Travel Trailers

The main difference between a fifth wheel and travel trailer is that a fifth wheel attaches to a tow vehicle by a kingpin hitch in the bed of a truck.

Travel trailers mount to the hitch on a bumper.

Although both types of camper are towed behind a vehicle, they’re very different.

Fifth wheels are typically much larger, heavier, and are more expensive than travel trailers. However, they’re also more comfortable to tow.

Common Features of Travel Trailers

If you’re looking for a versatile and compact option for your next adventure, it’s worth considering the common features found in these mobile homes.

Travel trailers come with a range of amenities to make your journey comfortable, including full kitchens with refrigerators, stoves, and microwaves. They also have bathrooms complete with showers and toilets, making it easy to freshen up on the go. Additionally, travel trailers typically feature sleeping areas that can accommodate multiple people, allowing you to bring friends or family along for the ride.

Overall, these features provide all the comforts of home while still being able to explore new destinations and create lasting memories.

Travel Trailer Floor Plans

Travel trailers come in a wide variety of floorplans and types. Some travel trailers are like a studio apartment, and others come with multiple bedrooms!

Some have a front kitchen, some have bunk beds, and some even come with office space for working from the road.

(Check out the best Front Kitchen Travel Trailers here)

When it comes to floorplans, there is a ton of variety with travel trailers. There’s a floor plan that will fit every family and your needs!

Pros and Cons of Travel Trailers

If you’re considering purchasing a travel trailer, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

On the positive side, travel trailers offer flexibility and freedom to explore new destinations on your own terms.

However, there are also potential downsides such as maintenance costs and limited storage space that should be taken into account.

Pros of Travel Trailers

One of the biggest advantages of travel trailers is that they offer all the comforts of home in a compact and portable package. This means you can take your home with you wherever you go, without sacrificing any amenities.

Here are some specific pros of travel trailers:

  • Versatility: Travel trailers can be towed by a variety of vehicles, from SUVs to trucks, making them more versatile than other types of RVs.
  • Affordability: Compared to buying or renting a vacation home, travel trailers are much more affordable and provide an excellent alternative for those who want to explore different locations without breaking the bank.
  • Customization: With so many brands and models available on the market, there’s sure to be a travel trailer that meets all your needs and preferences. Plus, they can be customized with any accessory you can dream of.
  • Flexibility: Since travel trailers aren’t permanently attached to a vehicle, you have the flexibility to leave them at your campsite while exploring nearby attractions or taking day trips. You also have the freedom to change destinations at any time.
  • Multiple Sizes: Travel trailers come in the widest range of lengths compared to any other camper type. They’re great for weekending with your partner or solo… And they can also be great for full-time living with your entire family.

Overall, owning a travel trailer provides endless opportunities for adventure and exploration while enjoying all the comforts of home on the go.

Cons of Travel Trailers

There are a few cons associated with travel trailers, let’s take a quick look at them now.

  • Learning Curve: there is a definite learning curve associated with towing any kind of trailer behind you… and a travel trailer is no exception. The added weight and length of the trailer can affect your acceleration, braking distance, and turning radius. Maneuvering through tight spaces or backing up may require more patience and skill as well.
  • Wear and Tear Easily: Travel trailers are prone to the effects of wear and tear quite quickly. Budget-priced and lightweight travel trailers are made with very cheap materials to keep them low-cost and lightweight, which means they seem to fall apart quickly. But with care and maintenance, your travel trailer can last a long time.

How Much Do Travel Trailers Weigh?

You’ll be surprised to know that travel trailers can weigh anywhere from 900 pounds to over 10,000 pounds depending on their size and features. The weight of a travel trailer is an important consideration when towing it with your vehicle.

A lightweight travel trailer is ideal for smaller vehicles and easier to maneuver, but a heavier one may offer more amenities and space. It’s important to check the weight capacity of your vehicle before purchasing a travel trailer and make sure you have the appropriate hitch and towing equipment.

Additionally, some states have laws regarding weight limits for towing, so be sure to research those before hitting the road. Overall, knowing how much a travel trailer weighs is crucial information for any potential owner or renter.

How Big Are Travel Trailers?

Now that you know how much travel trailers weigh, it’s time to take a look at their size. Travel trailers come in various sizes, from small and compact to large and spacious. When it comes to selecting the perfect travel trailer for your needs, it’s essential to consider the size of the trailer carefully.

Here are four things you should know about the size of travel trailers:

  • Travel trailers can range from 10 feet to over 35 feet in length.
  • The width of travel trailers typically falls between 6 and 8 feet.
  • The height of travel trailers typically ranges from 9 to 13 feet tall.
  • Some larger travel trailers may have slide-out rooms that extend when parked, providing additional living space.

Knowing these dimensions will help you determine if a particular model is suitable for your camping style and group size. Keep in mind that larger models offer more amenities and space but require a more substantial towing vehicle. On the other hand, smaller models are easier to tow and maneuver but may lack some features or interior space. Regardless of your choice, there’s sure to be a travel trailer out there that fits your needs perfectly!

What Kind of Vehicle Do You Need to Tow a Travel Trailer?

If you’re considering towing a travel trailer, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is capable of handling the weight. The kind of vehicle you need to tow a travel trailer depends on the size and weight of the trailer.

Generally, a mid-size SUV or truck with a tow package can handle smaller trailers weighing up to 5,000 pounds. For larger trailers, you’ll need a full-size SUV or truck with higher towing capacity.

It’s also important to consider factors like braking power and stability control when choosing a vehicle for towing. Make sure to consult your vehicle manual and do some research before hitting the road with your travel trailer in tow.


Never play the “guessing game” when it comes to towing travel trailers. If you already have a vehicle that you plan on towing with, find out your maximum towing capacity before purchasing a trailer.

If you exceed your maximum towing capacity, you will increase wear and tear on your vehicle and run the risk of ruining your engine.

If you buy the camper before you buy the tow vehicle, you have more flexibility. Just make sure you’re aware of what type of vehicle you’ll need!

How Much Travel Trailers Cost

Travel trailers come in a wide range of prices, depending on their size, features, and brand. You can find small trailers for as little as $10,000 or less, while larger models with luxurious amenities can run upwards of $100,000. On average, however, most travel trailers fall within the $20,000 to $40,000 range.

Keep in mind that the initial cost of the trailer is just one part of the equation – you’ll also need to factor in ongoing expenses such as maintenance and fuel costs.

But if you’re looking for a way to see new places and create lasting memories with your loved ones, investing in a travel trailer may be well worth it!

Used Travel Trailer Prices

If you want to get a used travel trailer on a budget, you’ll have a lot of options. You can often find used travel trailers for as low as $5,000, sometimes even less!

To find cheap used travel trailers for sale, check your local Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and newspaper classifieds listings. Also check RVTrader.com to search your local area.

Keep in mind that the cheaper the travel trailer is, the more likely it is to have significant damage or wear and tear. If you can handle a fixer-upper, check out your local listings!

Are Travel Trailers Worth It?

Investing in a travel trailer can provide you and your family with endless opportunities to explore the open road and create cherished memories. But you may be wondering, are travel trailers worth it?

Here are some reasons why they might be:

  • Flexibility: With a travel trailer, you have the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. You can plan your own itinerary and take detours along the way.
  • Cost-effective: While buying a travel trailer is an investment upfront, it can save you money on accommodations in the long run. You won’t need to pay for hotels or eat out as much since you’ll have your own kitchen and bed on wheels.
  • Family bonding: Traveling together in a tight space can bring families closer together. Plus, exploring new places and trying new things as a unit can create lasting memories that everyone will cherish.
  • Affordability: If you want to get into the RV life on a budget, a travel trailer is the best way to go. They come with all the amenities of larger RVs and trailers at a fraction of the cost.

Overall, if you have a love for adventure and crave more quality time with your loved ones, investing in a travel trailer may just be worth it for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What appliances come standard in a travel trailer?

You’ll find several standard appliances in a travel trailer, including a refrigerator, stove, oven, and microwave. Many also come equipped with A/C and heating systems, as well as TV and sound systems for comfortable living on the road.

Can a travel trailer be used for full-time living?

Yes, you can use a travel trailer for full-time living. They come equipped with all the necessary amenities like a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping area. Many people find it to be a cost-effective and adventurous lifestyle that offers the freedom to travel wherever your heart desires.

What is the average lifespan of a travel trailer?

The average lifespan of a travel trailer is around 10-15 years, but with proper maintenance and care, it can last up to 20 years or more. Regular inspections and upkeep can extend its longevity and ensure a comfortable living experience.

How often should a travel trailer be serviced?

You should service your travel trailer every year, regardless of how often you use it. This will help prevent major issues and keep the trailer in good condition for years to come. Regular maintenance is key to ensuring a safe and enjoyable trip. The good news is you can do most preventative maintenance yourself!

What are some common maintenance issues with travel trailers?

Some common maintenance issues with travel trailers include checking the tires for wear and proper inflation, inspecting the roof for leaks, servicing the brakes and wheel bearings annually, and cleaning and maintaining the plumbing system regularly.

How wide are travel trailers?

Travel trailers range in width from around 6 to 8 feet wide.

How tall are travel trailers?

Travel trailers come in a wide range of heights, most are around 9 to 13 feet tall. Pop-up campers are much shorter when closed up with an average height of 4.5 feet tall when closed. Small teardrop campers can be even shorter – as short as 4 feet in height for the really small ones!


If you love the idea of being able to take your home with you wherever you go and enjoy outdoor adventures in comfort, then a travel trailer might be right up your alley. Just keep in mind that there are many different types of travel trailers available, ranging from small and simple to large and luxurious.

Your budget, towing capacity, and desired features will all play a role in determining which one is best for you. But no matter what type of travel trailer you choose, it’s sure to provide endless opportunities for exploration and adventure on the open road.

RVing Headquarters Team

RVing Headquarters is operated by long-time RV enthusiasts with over 8 years of RV industry expertise and full-time and part-time RV ownership experience. From motorhomes to trailers and campervans, we've done it all. Our Mission: to inspire, educate, and entertain anyone who is interested in the RV lifestyle.

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