What makes an RV a toy hauler? Looking through most RV classifieds, you will notice that there are several types of RVs: travel trailers, pop-up trailers, 5th wheels, and then the toy haulers. To help readers understand everything about toy haulers, I have researched everything there is to know about these special kinds of trailers. And I have also included several examples of all different kinds of toy haulers to demonstrate just what I am talking about.
In simple terms, a toy hauler is an RV that combines a living area with an area designated for transporting "toys." Before toy haulers, taking your RV and your toys meant pulling an extra trailer behind your RV. Toy haulers allow your toys to ride on the RV, making for a safer and more secure RV experience.
In this case, "toys" usually refers to ATVs or outdoor sporting equipment. Whether you are bringing some 4-wheelers, side-by-sides, or some mountain bikes and kayaks, toy haulers give you the space you need to bring it all along. Any type of trailer - travel trailer, pop-up, or 5th wheel, can be a toy hauler. Once the toys are outside, that garage space usually converts into a living- or bedroom.
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So there you have it. Toy haulers are just your regular camping trailers with a little something extra. Now, let's get started examining these useful trailers in-depth, including taking a look at some of today's most popular and feature-laden models.
All About Toy Haulers
The first toy haulers evolved from normal travel trailers. Manufacturers began integrating large drop-down doors into their existing trailers, allowing for owners to drive their ATVs into the trailer. Of course, this meant the trailer had to have a big open space inside to allow for the ATVs to reside while driving.
The convenience offered by these types of trailers was obvious. An additional trailer was no longer required to tote around your outdoor gear. Newer models began to be made as toy haulers from the ground up, integrated many handy features like gas tanks, hoses for spraying off dirty machines, and fold-out sofas and beds that swing into place when the garage space is open. These types of trailers quickly began to attract a large following. Motorhomes even began to enter the toy hauler space, thanks to the popularity of the trailers and 5th wheels.
Toy haulers do not appeal to everyone, however. For one thing, toys can bring all sorts of unpleasant things into the trailer - mud, grease, and even nasty smells. To combat this, some toy haulers offer a separating wall between the garage and the living space. Many still do not offer this feature, however.
Toy Haulers, Big to Small
If you want the closest thing to a mansion on wheels, look no further than this Thor toy hauler. Costing as much as some midwest homes, this motorhome offers plenty of space and amenities for any adventure. The 8' x 10' garage opens up to make not one but two patio decks. After your toys are unloaded, a fold-out sofa with a chaise lounge can fit in their place. Talk about luxury! This being a motorhome, you don't have to worry about pulling anything behind it, although it can tow up to 8,000 lbs if the need arises. A Ford Triton v10 powers the whole shebang. While this engine offers decent power, many A-Class shoppers would prefer a diesel engine for its torque and efficiency.
GVWR: 26,000 lbs
This KZ trailer offers a similar level of decadence as the Thor motorhome. With a king size bed standard, as well as over 13 feet of garage space, the Venom ensures you will never be wanting for space. It can haul the equivalent of a Ford Explorer (4,600 lbs), good enough for just about any off-road goodies you want to bring along. It even offers a 70-gallon fuel tank so your adventures aren't cut short for trips to the gas station. And, for your convenience, the cargo door swings open to create an 88-inch-long exterior patio. And, when your toys are outside, the garage area becomes two sofas and a bed.
UVW: 14,400 lbs
Hitch Weight: 3,130 lbs
Winnebago is known for their great, high-quality designs, and their toy haulers are no different. A private bedroom featuring a king-size bed will help owners feel right at home, no matter where the trailer is parked. The garage space converts to a queen bed situated above two sofas when not in use. It also features an onboard generator and a 40-gallon fuel tank. All of this luxury comes at a fairly hefty price, however, so if you are searching for a relatively cheap trailer, keep looking.
UVW: 8,800 lbs
Hitch Weight: 1,440 lbs
Keystone's Impact range of toy haulers offers many great features for those looking for a great mid-range trailer. They include a 40" LED TV, 30-gallon fuel station, and an optional patio system. A residential queen-size bed connects to the bathroom, which fits a tub. The garage area, meanwhile, converts into a couch/bed combo that uses an electric motor to fold out.
UVW: 6,312 lbs
Hitch Weight: 860 lbs
Moving down another notch, we have a great trailer that many modern half-tons can handle. There are many sizes in the Jayco Octane Super Lite range, with the 26 coming in somewhere in the middle. On the lighter end, the Octane SL can weigh as little as 4,700 lbs. In this trailer, the garage converts into a fold-out sofa on one side, with a two-chair dinette on the other side. Jayco is known for their superior Amish build quality, so you can expect to pay a little more for a very well-built trailer.
UVW: 6,260 lbs
Hitch Weight: 785 lbs
On the smaller end of the scale resides Forest River's off-road-oriented tent trailer. Dry, this trailer weighs just 3,377 lbs, but once it is all folded out, it can sleep up to 5 adults. Now you can see why these pop-up trailers are so "pop"-ular. As the "ESP" model, this trailer comes with extra ground clearance and knobby tires to help you venture farther offroad. If those who would prefer less space for more security, Forest River makes a hard-sided variant. Unlike the other trailers on this list, however, the "garage" is simply an outdoor rack where you can park your toys. This may be convenient for many shoppers, but others will not like the prospect of having their expensive ATVs, mountain bikes, or kayaks outside during the drive.
UVW: 3,377 lbs
Hitch Weight: 221 lbs
How Much Does a Toy Hauler Cost?
Y0u might have noticed that none of our toy hauler examples included a price. That was on purpose because trailer manufacturers can modify their pricing at any time. Follow the links to find out the pricing for these specific models. However, here we can answer the broader question of how much you can expect to spend on a toy hauler.
Of course, as with most anything these days, there is a huge price range for toy haulers. You can spend anywhere from around $13,000 for a small pop-up toy hauler to over $150,000 for the most decadently luxurious 5th wheel you've ever seen. Most trailers fall somewhere in between, with most mid-range models coming in at between $25,000 and $55,000.
Now that we have discussed toy haulers in depth, you know how to take your RV and all of your toys in comfort and safety. So you can see why toy haulers have gotten so popular recently. Pretty much every type of RV now comes in a toy hauler configuration, meaning we have more options than ever when it comes to bringing along your outdoor toys. Hopefully, this post will help you decide the best way for you and your family to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors!