Travel Trailers vs. Motor Homes

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Plan a road trip across the country.

Travel trailers and motor homes are available in many different models. If you are planning a long road trip, purchasing a travel trailer or motor home can offer many conveniences. There are many different points to take into consideration before purchasing your new motor home. If cost is a factor, consider buying a used vehicle. If you plan on traveling long distances or for long periods of time, it may be more efficient to select a motor home that runs on diesel. You will also want to consider the number of people who will be traveling with you; sleeping space and the floor layout are important factors to consider. Some models offer more storage space.

  1. What is a Travel Trailer

    • The travel trailer is a type of recreational vehicle, or an RV. This type of trailer is also frequently referred to as a tag-along trailer or a bumper trailer. The main defining feature of the travel trailer, in contrast with other types of RV vehicles, is that the travel trailer is that it is an addition that that is towed uses a ball-mounted hitch. Within the category of travel trailer, there are several different subtypes.

    Common Travel Trailer Types

    • The toy hauler travel trailer is a style of travel trailer designed more for towing small cars, motorcycles, bikes and other "toys," than for using as living space while traveling. This type of trailer features a large door in the back, which opens up to a ramp, making it ideal for loading and unloading large, heavy items. Another style of travel trailer is the expandable trailer. As is implied in the name, this type of trailer is designed to expand and collapse in either horizontal or vertical units. These are also sometimes called fold-out trailers, and are a convenient way to create extra sleeping space when needed. The teardrop is one of the smallest travel trailers. This type of trailer is generally intended for only a single person; it usually consists of the basic travel necessities, such as a single bed, minimal cooking and a small amount of storage space.

    Pros and Cons of the Travel Trailer

    • Depending on your specific needs and desires, a travel trailer may be a more appropriate option for you than a motor home. In general, the travel trailer offers more floor room and interior space, because it does not contain the driving and engine components connected with a motor home. The travel trailer generally allows for more top clearance than the motor home, which means that you can also store larger items, sucks as skis, on top of your trailer. The travel trailer is complicated to maneuver and tow, in particular to back up. Also, the trailer section is not accessible to you while you are driving.

    What is a Motor Home

    • The motor home is another kind of recreational vehicle. There are three different general classes of motor homes: Class A, B and C. With motor homes, there is no additional unit being towed, everything is encompassed in a single unit. The Class A motor homes are the large bus-like vehicles. Class B motor homes, also called camper vans, are less cumbersome and bulky. The Class C motor home is similar to the Class A motor home in its truck-like appearance. One of the distinguishing features of the Class C motor home is the sleeping space, which extends over the cab section of the vehicle.

    Pros and Cons of the Motor Home

    • The Class A motor home has the obvious benefit of a large area for living space. This type of motor home is simple to drive on the highway, but due to its large size, driving on smaller roads or through towns requires cautious driving. The Class A motor home is also generally the most expensive of all the motor homes, costing on average $140,000.

      The Class B motor home is the least expensive of the motor homes, with the average retail price for a new Class B motor home at approximately $90,000. This is also the easiest of the motor homes to drive. This may be an ideal option for shorter trips where you only need to accommodate a small number of travelers.

      The Class C motor home is not as cumbersome to drive as the Class A, but it is still akin to driving a truck and requires caution surrounding top space clearance and driving through tight spaces. It is slightly more expensive than the Class B motor home, averaging around $95,000.

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