Last Updated on 05/08/2024 by Glynn Willard

What’s The Main Difference Between A Toy Hauler RV And A Travel Trailer?

The biggest difference is the gross vehicle weight rating to manage a heavy load.

A toy hauler is engineered to carry the additional weight of larger toys such as dirt bikes, golf carts, OHV’s, and even small cars.

A travel trailer is limited in its cargo-carrying capacity and will not fit the large items mentioned previously.

There are other key differences as well as a few different types of toy haulers such as:

  • Fifth wheel toy hauler

  • Toy hauler trailer

  • Toy hauler motorhomes

Let’s go through a “crash course” in toy haulers vs travel trailers.

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Weight Capacities Of Toy Hauler Vs Travel Trailer


This is simple. Toy haulers are engineered to carry a lot more weight above and beyond their dry weight.

Even if you don’t plan on transporting large toys, the additional carrying capacity could be the right choice if you carry too much weight for a standard camping trailer.

This is especially true if you’re a full-time RVer.

Most regular travel trailers (bumper pull) or fifth wheels have a surprisingly low carrying capacity for your gear.

A note of caution.

Because toy haulers can carry so much weight, they will have a heavy tongue weight placed on your tow vehicle.

This might limit what you can store in the bed of your truck.

Or worse, exceed the tow limits of your tow vehicle.

However, that statement is negated by a fifth wheel hitch taking up all the space in the bed of a truck.

The bottom line: make sure your tow vehicle can handle a fully loaded toy hauler if that’s what you’re leaning toward.

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Are The Only Toy Hauler Trailers Fifth Wheels?


No, fifth wheels are not the only type of trailer that is a toy hauler.

There is also such a thing as a travel trailer toy hauler that is bumper pull.

Our favorite is made by ATC. The quality construction out of all aluminum makes a strong, lightweight toy hauler.

This is a huge benefit to your tow vehicle.

Are All Toy Haulers A Towable RV?

There are a few manufacturers that produce motorhome toy haulers.

One can also find a few low-to-mid-level companies that produce a Class A toy hauler.

But the really impressive motorhome toy haulers are the Super C’s made by ShowHauler and Renegade RV.

Those particular brands are reserved for those who have a lot of coin to devote to an RV.

Money not being a concern, this type of class C toy hauler would be my first choice.

Living Space In A Toy Hauler


You can use the garage as a porch in some toy haulers (circled in red).

Something that many find appealing in a 5th wheel toy hauler is the flexible use of the garage space.

Many toy haulers can incorporate a HappiJac bed system that lowers from the ceiling creating an additional bedroom.

This means you can transport your heavy toys, park them outside, drop the bed and the kids have a designated place to sleep.

Otherwise, the living space in a toy hauler is similar to any other type of RV.

There’s generally a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, dining area, and living room space.

What Can You Use The Garage Area For In A Toy Hauler?


Yes, some toy haulers can even carry small cars.

The beauty of a garage in your RV is the flexibility of the space.

We’ve encountered individuals who use the garage as:

  • Designated bedroom for the kids

  • Tool storage for on-site construction jobs

  • Wrokout equipment/area

  • Transport a small car to get around town

  • Designated office

  • Television/entertainment space

There are a lot of advantages to a toy hauler.

If your priority is to have a space in your RV that’s listed above, then a toy hauler might be your perfect solution.

Toy hauler garage space is great for on-the-job tool storage.


Advantages Of A Toy Hauler


Even if you don’t plan on carrying larger toys, I believe toy haulers are a great option for families for the following reasons:

  • Extra space that has multiple uses.

  • A wide open living area.

  • A large cargo-carrying capacity to carry extra weight.

  • Large fresh water tanks make it easier to boondock for longer periods.

  • The garage door can also be used as an outdoor patio.

  • Many have built-in generators or the cargo-carrying capacity to safely incorporate a large solar and battery system.

  • Some have an additional fuel tank specifically for your toys. It’s better than carrying fuel cans in the truck bed.

    Fuel at the ready for your toys.

    If all of these advantages sound suitable for your family or your style of camping and travel, then any style of toy hauler might be your better option.

    Advantages Of A Standard Travel Trailer


    If you prefer floor plans that incorporate the comforts of home in the interior space, a travel trailer or standard fifth-wheel trailer may be an excellent option.

    They tend to have a “homier” feel bringing all the comforts of home on your camping trips.

    In most cases, a travel trailer also has better maneuverability based on its size and weight.

    If you don’t need the garage storage space and prefer a more “home-like” feeling, a travel trailer might be your ideal choice.

    Features Found In Both Travel Trailers and Toy Haulers

    As with many types of RV’s, some features are standard or options in both types of RV’s.

    You’ll find the following in both types:

    • Most have slide outs for more living space.

    • Some have an outdoor kitchen.

    • Designated sleeping areas for multiple people.

    • A bathroom.

    • A standard kitchen.

    • Multi-use dining area.



    What’s The Best Choice For You?


    Taking everything into consideration above and combining it with the following will help you make an informed decision.

    • What type of camping do you plan on doing?

    • Is your towing vehicle a half-ton, three-quarter-ton, or a full-ton truck. Remember, toy haulers are heavy.

    • Do you need a large water capacity?

    • How many people will be traveling with you?

    • Of course, do you have motorcycles, an OHV or similar toy to transport?

    • Do you have tools or other gear that needs a large cargo area?

    • Does the expense of a toy hauler fit into your price range?

    • Is this RV for full-time living or just weekend trips?

    What’s better for your needs? A travel trailer or a toy hauler?
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