Trailer-based RV’s generally have to be built lightweight to be towed by most personal vehicles. These limitations tend to limit the luxuries that can be installed in them. Tile floors, dual pane windows, and residential plumbing all while still hauling all your gear, have been limited to the largest, heaviest diesel motorhomes. A 40,000lbs luxury trailer might sound like a distant dream for some, but Spacecraft RV turns this vision into a reality. Whether you want a 5th wheel, semi-trailer, or travel trailer, Spacecraft RV specializes in custom-making your home-on-wheels. They claim to combine personal space and full-time travel, offering luxury and mobility.
Below, we dive into the history of Spacecraft RV, their custom options, and whether they’re worth the price. Keep reading to learn more.
The History of Spacecraft RV
Mother and son Marsha and Wyatt Trautman founded Spacecraft RV in 1962. They wanted to combine the comforts of home with the freedom of travel. It didn’t take long for the company to settle into its niche, which may be why they’ve stayed in business for so long. In 1970, the owners of Spacecraft recognized a gap in service for spacious mobile living units in the carnival and circus industry. Since then, they’ve specialized in custom-made fifth wheel, travel trailers, and semi-trailer RVs for travelers with personal space and comfort in mind.
Is Spacecraft RV Still in Business?
You might wonder why you never hear about Spacecraft RVs. Part of the reason is that they don’t often advertise. Between wealthy retirees in search of luxury homes-on-wheels and performers who spend months on the road, Spacecraft has no lack in business.
In 2018, Greg Wallman bought the company. Since then, its claim to fame has been its 57-foot semi-trailer. If you want to purchase one of these magnificent RVs, you’ll need patience–every Spacecraft RV now has a full-year wait.
Pro Tip: Hit the road in style in one of these 8 Top Luxury Fifth Wheel Campers You Won’t Believe.
Are Spacecraft RVs Custom Made?
The short answer is: yes. According to their website, they will make RV within the limits of “regulations, imagination, budget, and physics.” The Spacecraft manufacturers will work with you from start to finish to create a completely custom-made floorplan, from the location of the windows to the type of stairs. They can start with a blank sheet and draw out your dream RV to the smallest details.
So, how do you start? We recommend checking out their floorplans to get an idea of the typical size and layouts. While each RV is custom-made, looking at examples will give you a starting point and some fun inspiration. When you’re ready to reach out to Spacecraft to start the process, fill out their Ready to Launch form. You can also use this for basic questions if you aren’t sure if a Spacecraft RV is for you.
Pro Tip: If you are looking for larger custom fifth wheels, we also recommend you check out New Horizon. Both companies have unique features of their designs and both can be customized to your needs.
How Much Do Spacecraft RVs Weigh?
A Spacecraft RV is typically much heavier than other RVs because of the custom build. All Spacecraft RVs have a welded chassis, molded fiberglass ceiling and roof, and quality materials throughout the trailer. Because all Spacecraft RVs are made for the owner, the weight of each rig varies significantly. The weight relies on factors like the battery system, appliances, countertops, and other configurations.
So, how can you estimate the weight of your future RV? Spacecraft has provided a general weight guide for each type of RV they make. For travel trailers, they estimate 450 lbs per foot, while Spacecraft 5th wheels are approximately 500 lbs per foot and semi-trailers weigh in at about 650 lbs per foot. Spacecraft manufacturing adds about 4,000 lbs of cargo, depending on your needs. For example, a 40-foot Spacecraft fifth wheel will weigh about 20,000 lbs dry weight with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 24,000 lbs. However, If you have a big enough truck, they can build trailers as heavy as loaded semis!
Which Spacecraft RV Is Right for You?
Like traditional RVs, Spacecraft RVs come with different platforms to suit various preferences and needs. Here are the three primary types:
Have you ever thought, “wow a semi-trailer is big enough I could live in it!” Ok most of us haven’t, but when it comes to comes to RVs, building one on a semi-trailer frame can provide the largest, most luxurious mobile home possible, and Starcraft builds them!
Semi-trailers are the ultimate home-away-from-home. Ranging from 40 feet to 57 feet, they offer a spacious interior for residential living and commercial offices. Semi-trailers are for those seeking a comfortable living area with ample space and storage options. They’re also well-suited for extended journeys, providing all the comforts one would expect from a luxury RV.
Their storage sets them apart from the other Spacecraft platforms. Semi-trailers provide a “possum belly” basement, which provides 60% more storage capacity than other trailers at the same length. They also come with a standard commercial air ride suspension system, air brakes, and larger holding tanks for extended stays. Their 88-inch rear ceilings are roomy for a toy hauler option. You could even customize your rig to include a garage for your car.
To tow a semi-trailer RV you of course, need a semi-truck to pull it. This may be intimidating to some, and you most likely will need a CDL. However, it is possible to own and operate your own heavy-duty truck!
Spacecraft fifth wheels combine the convenience of towing with increased space. Their design distributes weight more evenly, making them relatively easier to maneuver compared to other options. With multiple slide-outs, they expand to reveal generous living areas, making them a trendy choice among families and full-time travelers. Many of their fifth wheels can be towed by a one ton dually, eliminating the requirement for a medium or heavy-duty truck. Many still opt for medium-duty trucks to pull these as they tend to be on the heavy side, even for 1 tons. They may be a preferable option for those who don’t want to drive a tractor-trailer.
All Spacecraft fifth wheels have a custom welded chassis, a molded fiberglass ceiling, a fiberglass roof, an insulated four-season basement, and suspended holding tanks for pass-through storage. Many of Spacecraft’s fifth wheels are on the road 30 years later, which speaks to their quality and durability.
Spacecraft travel trailers strike a balance between functionality and luxury. They are suitable for adventurers who value mobility and flexibility. Spacecraft RV “hybrid” travel trailers are essentially fifth wheels with a bumper hitch, allowing you to tow them from a hitch at the rear of a vehicle.
However, while many travel trailers are much lighter in weight than their fifth-wheel counterparts, Spacecraft travel trailers require a one-ton vehicle for towing because of their heavy build. They have a custom-welded chassis, one-piece welded aluminum side walls, a molded fiberglass ceiling and roof, and custom-designed hardwood cabinetry.
How Much Do Spacecraft RVs Cost?
The price of a Spacecraft RV is influenced by many factors, including size, customization, features, and brand reputation. On average, these extraordinary rigs can range from $150,000 to $1 million or more. The base models of Spacecraft RVs offer luxurious living space, advanced technology, and impressive durability. However, as you dive into customization and high-end features, the cost rises.
You may save a few bucks if you find a used Spacecraft RV, but the key word is if. Because they are custom-made for the buyer, most Spacecraft RV owners hold onto their home on wheels for years, if not decades. Since they tend to retain their value, you’ll probably still have to pay a pretty penny for a used Spacecraft. For example, this 2021 Spacecraft 5th wheel is for sale at $199,900.
Pro Tip: If you’re looking for a unique rig like no other, you’ll want to check out our article on Custom RVs: How Much Are They and Who Builds Them?
Are Spacecraft RVs Worth It?
So, are Spacecraft RVs worth the money? The answer to this question is subjective and depends on your perspective, priorities, and resources. However, Spacecraft RVs provide an opportunity to traverse the open road while carrying the comforts of a modern home. However, getting into a Spacecraft RV is not s something you will go to the nearest dealer and pick up either. Usually, you will need a special tow vehicle, license, and understanding of RV’s before diving in.
With its steep price tag, it’s crucial to view a Spacecraft RV as an investment. In our opinion, they’re ideal for full-time travelers looking to replace their spacious sticks-and-bricks home with an equally comfortable living space. If you’re willing to throw down a large chunk of money for a high-quality RV that will last you decades, then we think Spacecraft RVs are worth it.
Would you invest in a Spacecraft RV? Let us know in the comments below!
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