Motorhomes vs. Travel Trailers: The Basic Differences


Travel Trailers

  • Trailers are less expensive, generally, than motorhomes.  You can buy a new travel trailer for under $10,000.
  • Trailers are less expensive to maintain than motorhomes.
  • If you have a tow vehicle, you’re halfway there; you only need to buy a trailer.
  • Once you park and unhitch the trailer, you have the use of your vehicle.
  • If your vehicle is being serviced, you still can camp in the trailer.
  • The entire interior of a trailer is usable living space.
  • Passengers can’t ride in a moving trailer.
  • Trailers have to be hitched up and unhitched.
  • Trailers have to be hooked up to electricity to use the appliances and air conditioning. Or, you can carry a portable generator.
  • Toy hauler trailers have a ramp and storage room for bikes, motorcycles, etc.  The ramp can also make the trailer wheelchair accessible.
  • The tow vehicle for a large trailer or 5th wheel can be expensive and make the overall cost similar to that of a motorhome.

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  • Passengers have the use of the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, etc. while traveling, although it’s recommended that they be seated with seatbelts fastened.  Certain satellite TV dishes provide TV service while a motorhome is being driven.
  • Motorhomes have generators, so the appliances and air conditioning can be used without hooking up to electricity.
  • Motorhomes are more expensive than travel trailers.  New motorhomes can start at less than $50,000.
  • A motorhome can tow a car, motorcycle or boat.
  • If you’re camping in a motorhome and the weather is bad, you don’t have to go outside to access the living space.
  • If a motorhome has to be repaired, you may have to find other accomodations.
  • Motorhomes are more expensive to maintain than travel trailers.
  • Some people prefer driving a motorhome over towing a trailer.

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