Toy Hauler vs. Travel Trailer

Toy Hauler vs. Travel Trailer

The debate over whether to buy a toy hauler or a travel trailer continues to rage among motorsport enthusiasts. Each has their benefits and drawbacks, so how can you know which is the better option for you? 

Since the floor designs for travel trailers and toy haulers today provide so many conveniences, picking one has become even more challenging.

To make your life easier, we have compiled a list of several differences between both types of vehicle to help you make a better decision. 

How is a Travel Trailer Different From a Toy Hauler?

Back in the old days, the primary difference between toy haulers and travel trailers was their interior space and weight. Since the toy haulers are designed on a sturdy frame, they possess a heavier weight than travel trailers. 

The hauler’s garage space eats up the interior living room. As a result, living inside them with a large family can be pretty inconvenient. In contrast, new toy haulers have become relatively lighter since they are made with aluminum. Not only that, but their foldable couches and dinettes can offer ample space for living in the garage area. 

Travel trailers offer a more luxurious traveling experience since they have many premium features. These include a bunkhouse, large LCD TVs, a fireplace, refrigerators, etc. 

Therefore, it can be pretty tricky for you to make up your mind about either of the vehicles. However, you can weigh your options wisely by having a careful look at the differences between a toy hauler and a travel trailer. 

Garage Space

A toy hauler tends to have a general garage space ranging from 8 – 13 feet. In addition, they also have a side or rear ramp. 

Garages have developed a lot recently, and the manufacturers put immense effort into making their toy haulers more functional. As a result, the toy hauler garages can convert into a screened-in deck, sleeping area, dining room, or living space. 

So, living in a toy hauler due to the multiple way expansion makes it easy for families to hang out inside. However, it can be a nuisance to tolerate the strong smell of oil and gas in the garage area. 

Of course, the motorsports equipment may spill a few oil leaks where they’re parked. So, you need to counter the smell and keep it from spreading throughout the hauler. For this, you can close the garage and use the patio or deck instead.


The garages have an option to convert into a covered deck underneath the roof. In addition, the garage’s ramp can also open to create an outdoor deck that’s complete with rails. You can also benefit from the screening option to keep pests and bugs outside. 

Water Tanks

Many users claim that the toy hauler water tanks are larger than travel trailers. However, this might not be true as several manufacturers install water tanks with varying sizes on different models. 

So, you may find the water tank size similar in travel trailers and toy haulers. However, if you’re getting a 5th wheel hauler, the case may be entirely different as they have greater-sized tanks for holding water. 

Off-Road Handling

Generally, your haulers are manufactured with a heavier and stronger frame to resist the weight of motorsports vehicles. So, they can be an excellent choice for off-roading due to their excellent stability. 

Toy haulers also have stronger suspensions and axles, but you must be mindful of the hauler’s weight to tow with your truck. If your SUV or truck can not handle the heavy weight, you may have difficulty driving on rugged terrains. 


Often, toy haulers can weigh more than travel trailers due to their expansion abilities. That’s because the interior upgrades and slideouts add to the weight of the already bulky haulers. This makes towing these vehicles quite a challenge. 

Therefore, you must ensure that your towing vehicle is compatible with the weight of your toy hauler when fully loaded. 


While toy haulers tend to be heavier than most travel trailers, their hitch weight and hauling capacity are also important considerations. Toy Haulers are built to handle a lot more weight, and their hitch weight is usually higher. 

However, some modern types, like ATC Toy Haulers, have an all-aluminum frame and body, making them exceptionally light and sturdy.


Travel trailers have more interior storage capacity than toy haulers since their floor layouts incorporate more closets per foot. On the other hand, toy haulers have garage storage rooms for bicycles, coolers, kayaks, chairs, motorized vehicles, and anything else that fits.

ATVs/Dirt Bikes

Of course, toy haulers are an optimal choice for storing and carrying ATVs, dirt bikes, and snowmobiles. But what if you need to store these vehicles with a travel trailer? 

Well, you can carry your sports toys in your pickup truck bed if it’s large enough and can handle the weight efficiently. Of course, this might not be a perfect solution. However, it may work for you as you can haul all the vehicles while enjoying plenty of left space.


Most toy haulers only have one bathroom. However, larger travel trailers with more interior space can contain many bathrooms. So, if you’re traveling with a big family or the ladies need a separate bathroom, getting a travel trailer is your best choice. 


Most toy haulers do not have a bunkhouse, but they do have foldable beds on the garage wall. However, that doesn’t substitute an actual bunkhouse unless you lay your hand on a spacious 5th wheel toy hauler. 


There are numerous floor plans available for travel trailers and toy haulers.

A travel trailer has the advantage of having additional internal living space for bathrooms, bedrooms, and a family room. On the other hand, toy haulers have made a lot of progress in maximizing living space by utilizing all space available in the garage area, living area, and ramp.


Toy haulers and toy haulers have different braking systems installed in them. These brakes depend on the entire weight of your vehicle. Therefore, you will need to consider consulting a professional to get electric brakes for the vehicles for hauling extra heavy loads. 

Which Option to Choose?

The decision to select a travel trailer or a toy hauler rests in your hand. However, we can help you make the best decision possible. Have a look at these key highlights for each towable RV.

You should get a travel trailer if you:

  • Have a tight budget
  • Travel with larger groups and need extra space
  • Travel frequently and want to use the luxury amenities
  • Have a low-capacity vehicle for towing the trailer

You should get a travel trailer if you:

  • Are a motorsports enthusiast who wants to transport their vehicles safely
  • Purchase large antiques and furniture frequently to tour the region and attend different antique shows
  • Work remotely and need an office on the go

Final Thoughts

Toy haulers and travel trailers are indeed great for traveling and camping. However, you must consider several factors before you make up your mind to purchase one. Since these campers are expensive, you should research well and try to land a great deal. 

Hopefully, this article has made it easier for you to choose the right type of vehicle according to your needs. 

Warwick Braith

Warwick Braith is a thrill seeker at heart. He loves getting outdoors and testing his limits in the wild. As a blogger for YapQ, Warwick provides readers with insights and tips on how to get the most out of their outdoor experiences. Whether it's hiking, camping, or simply exploring nature, Warwick knows how to make the most of it.

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