Types of Towable RVs

A while back we talked about the benefits of the different motorized RVs that are available, but there are also options for towable RVs that could also be the best fit for your particular travel needs. Trailers have lower upfront purchase prices and ongoing costs since there is no drivetrain to maintain. A trailer will also have more interior space as a similar-sized motorhome due to not having a driving cab. You might also prefer the driving experience of your family vehicle over piloting an RV.

Towable Travel Trailer

These are the most common type of towable RV and have the largest variety of sizes and shapes. They are towed using a typical ball hitch mounted around the rear bumper, which can be done on almost any decently-sized vehicle. Due to the flexibility of all sizes that are available, it’s often possible to find one that can be towed by a family SUV so that you don’t need to purchase a large pickup.

The Upsides:

  • Wide variety of sizes and amenities available to fit your needs and budget
  • Only needs trailer hitch for towing
  • Cheaper to maintain than motorhome


The Jefferson family wants to spend as much quality time together as they can before their three children grow up and eventually move away. Their trailer allows them to get away for short weekend trips on a regular basis and do the occasional summer road trip while the kids are home from school. They already had a large SUV as the family car, so it was easy to find a trailer that they could tow and that was much more affordable on their budget than a large motorhome. The freedom of being able to unhitch at the campground and already have their family car available for getting around while traveling is also a great benefit.

Fifth Wheel Trailers

Fifth wheel trailers differ from conventional ones by having a different connection to their tow vehicle. These models have a “gooseneck” that sticks out in front and connects to a special type of hitch that sits in the bed of a pickup truck. This overhang creates extra interior space and allows for better weight distribution within the trailer. A fifth wheel hitch also provides a better driving experience because the weight on the vehicle is not at the very end of the frame like on a traditional ball hitch. It does require a pickup truck as a tow vehicle since the hitch is mounted in the bed, so passenger space can be limited compared to a large SUV.

The Upsides:

  • Less limited by weight compared to regular travel trailer
  • Tow vehicle will have better handling characteristics due to weight distribution
  • Different pivot point makes reversing while towing easier


Wayne and Sue are enjoying their retirement years, but haven’t let age slow them down. They always knew they wanted to travel more once their working years were done, but didn’t want to suffer for any lack of luxury either. The options and amenities they added to their trailer really brought up the weight of it, but the fifth wheel is nothing that Wayne’s truck can’t handle. They get to see all the sights they talked about for years and still have all the comforts of home wherever they stop.

Toy Hauler

These trailers have a “garage” area in the back that’s designed to carry powersports vehicles. Toy haulers are perfect if you like to bring along items like motorcycles or ATVs. Some of these are open between the living and garage sections, but it’s also possible to get ones where there are dividers between them in case you want to work on your toys without having gas fumes or mud get into the living space.

The Upsides:

  • Space for extra toy vehicles to bring along for your outdoor adventures
  • Easier to create “dirty” and “clean” space so you don’t bring too much of the outdoors inside


Sam and Lisa love living in the Southwest and exploring the forgotten roads and trails of the desert. Their toy hauler trailer allows them to set up a boondock campsite and bring along their dual-sport motorcycles to take day trips down old dirt roads to see what they can find. The separate garage space means all the dust from the trails stays away from the rest of their living space, and there’s even room for bike maintenance to keep their gear in perfect working order without having to worry about changing the oil out in the rain.

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