When you start learning about RVs, you might find yourself overwhelmed by the vast number of makes and models. You’ll hear names like Class A, camper van, Class C, fifth wheel, travel trailer, and toy hauler. It can be easy to get confused, but let’s try to simplify things by looking at a toy hauler RV in particular.
What Is a Toy Hauler RV?
A toy hauler RV offers garage space for hauling large items such as motorcycles, golf carts, and bikes. This garage area includes a ramp door for easy loading and unloading. Once on location, you can remove the toys and use the garage for extra living space.
Types of Toy Hauler RVs
Many of your favorite RVs come with a toy hauler RV model. Often, when someone thinks of a toy hauler RV, they think of a fifth wheel toy hauler with a separate room and ramp on the back. You aren’t limited to fifth wheels, though.
While travel trailer toy haulers are less common, many manufacturers do make them. Bumper-pull travel trailer toy haulers usually have a shared garage and living space instead of a separate garage area. Toys are loaded right in next to the couch and kitchen!
You might also be surprised to learn that there are even Class A toy hauler RVs, though they’re less common. The most common is probably the Outlaw motorhome, which stands out in the crowd for its raised rear end and funny look.
Benefits of Toy Hauler RVs
Why would someone want a toy hauler RV? Let’s take a look to see if one might be a good fit for you.
Can Bring “Toys”
Bringing along dirt bikes, kayaks, and golf carts can be tricky with a traditional RV. Even if you do have enough space inside the RV for these toys, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to get them through the door. That’s where a toy hauler’s large ramp and garage door come in handy. The large door gives you the ability to load up these large toys with ease.
Pro Tip: Pack a portable garage to store your toys in. Check out Our Review of the Harbor Freight Portable Garage.
Can Be Converted into an Extra Bedroom, Office, Etc.
For those who don’t travel with toys, a toy hauler RV can still be a great option. The garage area provides ample open space you can use in a myriad of ways. It is very common for owners to renovate their toy hauler garage interiors to be an extra living space rather than a toy garage.
Some RVers turn the room into a mobile office, which gives them plenty of space to work while on the road. Many families convert the area into an additional bedroom. This space is an excellent option for families with older kids who might enjoy more privacy.
Many toy haulers are designed to use the extra space as a bedroom with additional beds that retract out of the ceiling as they are usually very tall.
Pro Tip: Check out these amazing toy hauler interior renovation ideas to see what we mean!
Typically, heavy items go in the garage area of a toy hauler. Having a heavier chassis gives you a high load capacity, allowing you to bring more supplies along on your adventure. Additionally, the heavier chassis gives you a better ride and better handling due to the increased weight.
Disadvantages of Toy Hauler RVs
While there are many advantages to traveling in a toy hauler RV, there are a few reasons that it might not be the right choice for you. Here are some things you might consider before you purchase a toy hauler.
Toy haulers make it easy to load up everything you could need for a fun and active trip. Loading up tons of stuff means that toy haulers can get heavy fast. Having a truck equipped to handle the weight is essential and can be a pricey investment. A heavier load also comes with more fuel consumption, which can add up quickly.
It can also be a concern for the weight capacity of the toy hauler itself. ATVs and motorcycles are very heavy and can quickly eat up the weight ratings of an RV. This increases the chance of traveling overloaded and risking mechanical failure.
Smaller Living Space (More Garage)
Because the garage takes up a considerable amount of space, the living space may not feel like enough. Unless you turn the garage into a living area, you end up with the bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom squished into the front of the RV. This awkward layout may not be an issue for everyone, but it could cause others to second guess their choice.
Our first RV was a 41-foot toy hauler fifth wheel, and when we switched to a 35-foot traditional fifth wheel, the living space felt so much bigger. Personally, the larger living space was more advantageous to us than the garage.
If you don’t want to lose living space but still want to bring your toys along, you might consider investing in a golf cart carrier instead. Take a look at our recommendations: 5 Best RV Golf Cart Carriers.
Not as Luxurious as Other RVs
Typically, toy haulers are a bit more industrial, at least in the garage space. This industrial feel might make it a little less luxurious than some would prefer, and it could take a bit more work to get the RV to feel homey. It’s possible, but those who don’t want to put in the effort might find themselves choosing between a luxury RV or owning a toy hauler.
Are Toy Haulers Built Better Than Other RVs?
Quality and features vary significantly across brands and models. Campers will find that some manufacturers build toy haulers better than their non-toy hauler counterparts. It’s essential to do a thorough walk-through of any brand, make, and model you’re considering. Overall, toy haulers are not built any differently than other models a manufacturer makes.
Pro Tip: Ready to buy your first toy hauler? Use this ATC Toy Haulers Buying Guide for Beginners.
Can a Toy Hauler Carry a Car?
While toy haulers can haul toys, a car is much heavier than most toys. Some RVers have been able to accomplish the task, but it isn’t easy. Extremely compact vehicles such as a Smart car or the FIAT 500 can fit in a toy hauler RV garage.
Consider the weight capacity of the RV before putting a car in your toy hauler. Every item’s weight will be resting on the frame and suspension of the RV. Adding a vehicle to the garage could quickly eat up your weight allowance, leaving you little room for any of the other supplies you’ll need for your journey.
Are Toy Hauler RVs Worth It?
There are many benefits to choosing a toy hauler. If you want to bring along items such as motorcycles, kayaks, or off-road vehicles, a toy hauler might be what allows you to do that. It can be tough to bring those items along for the ride in the absence of a toy hauler RV. A toy hauler could also be worth it for travelers who could benefit from having a truly private space for an office or children’s area.
Toy haulers can be versatile travel assets for many campers. If you were traveling with a toy hauler RV, how would you utilize the garage space to your benefit? Drop a comment below.
Become A Mortons On The Move Insider
Join 10,000+ other adventurers to receive educating, entertaining, and inspiring articles about RV Travel Destinations, RV Gear, and Off-Grid Living to jump-start your adventures today!
Sunday 3rd of October 2021
That Grand Design 5th wheeler is HUGE ! When I purchased my toy hauler I didn't want to store it somewhere, as the cost for storage it pricey, plus the hassle of going and getting it, bringing it home to get ready for camping, etc. So instead I did a CAD drawing of my truck and the 5th wheeler I was looking to purchase. Also CAD my home driveway, and then did a motion to see if I could actually drive it out and back in to see if all fits. My 5th TH is about 36' long. That was the max I could do and still keep it at my house. I love mine because it is a Open Bed design (Carbon 349). I can get my 12' long SxS in it comfortably. If you get one with a garage you better plan on adding another 8' to the overall length, which in my case would not work. Mine is hard enough towing around, I can't see another 8'. You would also have to probably had a dually truck as well if you were pulling triple-tandems. Mine is just a dual tandem. Good show you have !