The term travel trailer can be used to describe many types of pull behind RVs with one commonality among them, the use of a hitch. Travel trailers can include pop-up campers, lightweight RVs, fifth wheels, and toy haulers.
The average length, weight, and height of travel trailers can vary. Although they typically fall somewhere around twenty feet in length and eight feet of width. It is important to know the specifications of your exact travel trailer.
Before you decide to buy a travel trailer, you should consider what type of trailer would best suit your needs. A travel trailer can be considered anything from a small pop-up camper, to an iconic AirStream, and even a luxury fifth-wheel.
Ok, so what is the average weight, height, length and widths of camping travel trailers.
The overall average dry weights for travel trailers are between 1,000 to 13,000 pounds, 8 feet tall, 10 to 28 feet long and 6- 7 feet wide.
- The average pop-up travel trailer weighs 1,000 to 3,000 pounds, is 8 feet high when open, 10 feet long and 6 feet wide.
- The average light-weight travel trailer weighs 3,000 to 6,000 pouds, is 8 feet high, 20 feet long and 7-8 feet wide.
- The average standard travel trailer weighs 7,000 to 11,000 pounds, is 8 feet high, 24 feet long and 7-8 feet wide.
- The average fifth-wheel travel trailer weighs 12,000 to 13,000 pounds, is 8 feet tall, 28 to 30 feet long and 8 feet wide.
These are just average weights, heights, lengths and widths. Travel trailers come in a large selection of models and sizes. All weights listed are dry weights. Dry weight is the weight of a travel trailer without any gear, water or propane.
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Types of Travel Trailers
Travel trailers are identifiable by their reliance on a truck (or in rare cases a car) to tow them. Unlike RVs or campers, they do not have a method of moving on their own and have a hitch for towing purposes.
Travel trailers can be relatively small or quite large. One of the longest travel trailers, the Dutchmen Aspen Trail travel trailer, is 39 feet in length. It can sleep up to ten people. Pop-up campers or expanding camping trailers are usually some of the smallest.
Travel trailers typically range anywhere from ten feet to forty feet and from 1,100 pounds to 12,000 pounds. The smallest pop-up campers can be pulled by a car outfitted with the proper hitch attachment, the largest fifth-wheels require an open bed or flatbed truck with a massive amount of towing capability.
Pop-up campers Average Lengths, Heights And Weights
Pop-up campers, also known as expanding or folding travel trailers, are typically the smallest in weight, height, and length. These travel trailers fold down and become compact for easy transportation and hauling.
The weight range is 700 to 4000 pounds and the height from eight feet to sixteen feet. They can be as slim as four feet in height when folded down for towing.
The upper portion and roof of the camper are what collapse. They can either be built from sturdy tent-like materials or hard composite walls. The sides typically expand upwards and outwards and may have various different compartments.
Some people enjoy pop-up campers because of the tent-like sides. It can provide the feeling of sleeping in a tent or in the great outdoors without having to sleep on the ground.
As pop-up campers are so maneuverable and weigh considerably less than other travel trailers, they can sometimes be pulled by a crossover or car instead of a truck or SUV. No matter the type of vehicle towing the camper, it must be equipped with a ball hitch receiver.
Pop-up campers are best for those who enjoy camping but do so infrequently. They function as an upgrade from a traditional tent but do not have much room for storage or luxury accommodations and amenities.
They may not even include a bathroom or a kitchen. Additionally, you will have to haul this rest of your supplies in your vehicle as it will not fit in the pop-up camper. After numerous trips and lengthy exposure to the elements, the canvas material and joints may begin to show signs of wear.
Overall, pop-up campers are small and light travel trailers that don’t need a large vehicle to be hauled. They are perfect for those who like to get into the great outdoors occasionally and don’t want to rough it in a tent.
The Jayco Series Sport Camping trailer is a pop-up camper, but it offers some great amenities. It has a sink with faucet, an indoor/outdoor stainless steel stove, and a curtained bath and an outside shower with a plumbed water heater. It offers a taste of home in a compact size.
Be sure to check out this article if you are interested in pop-up campers. How Much Does A Pop-Up Camper Cost? ( New and Used Prices )
Lightweight Travel Trailers Average Lengths, Heights And Weights
Lightweight RVs are a step up from pop-up campers and are usually what people are referring to when they use the term travel trailer. They are essentially portable homes in a container built on top of a traditional trailer frame.
The average weight of these trailers is 1,000 – 2,000 pounds, height 8 feet and width 7 feet.
Lightweight RVs come in many different sizes and styles with a wide range of amenities. They can be teardrop-shaped trailers, fiberglass trailers that resemble standard campers or RVs, and even the classic AirStream.
Typically, they have an area for sleeping, a kitchen, and a bathroom. They may have their own water supplies, a living room/lounge area, and extendable or pop-up sections for extra room.
Like pop-up campers, lightweight RVs use a ball hitch to attach to the towing vehicle. Though some RVs may be small and light, most require a larger vehicle to tow them, such as a truck, SUV or van.
They do not collapse and their height and length can make them difficult to maneuver. It is important to keep the trailer level and properly weighted when driving and setting up at your campsite. Driving in reverse may be nearly impossible.
Nevertheless, lightweight RVs are an affordable option for those who do not travel enough to justify purchasing a full-size RV, but enjoy a home-on-wheels for regular excursions. They can be equipped with many different amenities to keep you comfortable when on the road.
The Forest River R-Pod Travel Trailer is truly a lightweight trailer, weighing under 3000 pounds. However, it has the ability to sleep four and can be tailored to suit your needs with nine different floor plans. This is a small but durable trailer with great amenities.
Fifth Wheels Average Lengths, Heights And Weights
Fifth wheel travel trailers are typically some of the largest coming in at twenty-two to forty feet and seven thousand to twenty thousand pounds. They have plenty of living space and storage, but it comes at a cost.
Fifth-wheel trailers have a gooseneck attachment to connect to the vehicle doing the towing. The vehicle which you are hitching the trailer to must have a coupling attachment.
This type of connector does have advantages. It more evenly distributes the weight of the trailer, placing most of it between the cab and the rear axle of the vehicle instead of on the rear suspension. This offers an optimal distribution of weight, better dynamics, and an increased turning radius.
However, to haul a fifth wheel you do need an open or flatbed truck. And one with enough weight and power to haul a sizeable load. Therefore, fifth wheels work best for those who already have a truck or feel comfortable investing in one as they plan to frequently haul their travel trailer.
The gooseneck attachment has benefits in terms of trailer cabin space as well. The fifth wheel typically extends over the bed of the truck, usually to make room for an additional or roomier sleeping compartment.
Fifth wheels can include a greater amount of accommodations and amenities including bathrooms, kitchens, small refrigerators, dining tables, and multiple sleeping units.
If you are a frequent camper and expect your home away from home to include all of your day to day luxuries, then a fifth wheel may be the ideal travel trailer for you.
The Mobile Suites 44 Santa Fe is a luxury fifth wheel complete with a kitchen featuring an island and a large pantry, a living room with an L-shaped sofa and dual recliners, a bathroom with dual-sink vanity, and space to sleep four in private bedrooms replete with king-size beds.
Toy Haulers Average Lengths, Heights And Weights
Toy haulers are very similar to fifth wheels with the addition of extra storage space for hauling gear and equipment. In most cases, they are divided into two spaces, the forward compartment for living and the rear compartment for storing toys and gear.
They may have a ball hitch attachment or a gooseneck connector. These trailers are often eighteen to forty feet in length and three thousand to ten thousand pounds. Many also come with retractable awnings, increasing the size of the campers footprint when fully extended.
In many cases, toy haulers can accommodate snowmobiles, ATV’s, and dirt bikes as well as other belongings and sports items such as kayaks. Foldable (but heavy duty) doors can be used as a ramp to load your belongings. Toy haulers are a home and garage all in one.
Having your garage space attached to your living space does have one main drawback, your living space becomes much less spacious. Although the trailer will be the size of a traditional fifth wheel your living accommodations may be limited.
For some, the benefits outweigh the costs. If you are an outdoor enthusiast and adrenaline junkie then there is nothing better than being able to haul all of your toys and have a space to turn in for the night in one complete unit.
The LANCE CAMPER Lance TH 2612 is a great example of a toy hauler. It has twelve feet of cargo space in addition to its living space complete with kitchen, bathroom, A/C, a microwave, and designer interiors. Furthermore, it has its own water tank, generator, fuel tank, central vacuum, side and rear awnings, and a roof rack. This toy hauler is the best of both worlds for those who enjoy being active.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Type of Travel Trailer Due To Size
Pop Up Trailer
- Lightweight and maneuverable
- Can be hauled by a vehicle other than a truck
- Easy to set up
- Closely resembles a tent and the atmosphere of sleeping outside
- Lack of certain accommodations (kitchen, bathroom, etc)
- Little protection from elements, not much insulation or climate control
- Overtime fabric paneling and joints may need replacing
Lightweight Travel Trailer
- Better climate control than a popup
- Can be equipped with a bathroom, kitchen, and more
- Come in many sizes, weights, and shapes
- Little to no setup required
- Will likely need a truck or SUV to haul
- Can be difficult to maneuver and may not fit into all campsites or spaces
- Takes practice and skill to tow and maneuver
Fifth Wheel Trailer
- Gooseneck connector is often better for the trailer and tow vehicle
- Provide ample space, accommodations, and amenities
- Has storage space
- Requires a large truck with an open bed or flatbed
- Large in weight, length, and height
- Takes practice and skill to tow and maneuver
- Living space and garage space all in one
- Has ramp for loading toys (dirtbikes, ATV’s, etc)
- Lots of storage
- The living area is limited due to shared space with garage/storage
- Living space is in close proximity to toy storage which can lead to fumes or leaks
- Loading the back with numerous vehicles and toys may throw off trailer balance and towing capabilities
Each type of travel trailer has its positives and negatives. The type you choose really depends on what accommodations you prefer, how frequently you plan on using the trailer, and how comfortable you are towing a trailer specifically in regards to its weight, length, and height.
Why You Must Know Your Size Specs
When you are hauling a travel trailer, those bridge weight limits and overhead height signs suddenly apply to you. You must know the specifications of your rig in order to keep you and others safe.
Until you know your trailer height like the back of your hand, you should write it down and keep it visible in your vehicle whenever you are hauling. Knowing the height of your trailer is a necessity for bridges, signs, and even the drive-through at fast-food restaurants.
Your travel trailers weight is important as well. Certain bridges and overpasses have weight limits. Additionally, you will need to double-check your vehicles and tires towing capacity.
The length of your travel trailer is another beneficial number to know. You will want to know the length when it comes to fitting into spaces and lots. Keep in mind, the length given in the owner’s manual does not include any attachments or bikes that you may add to the trailer.
The final number to know is the axle length or the distance between your tires. This will help with turning radius and fitting into marked spaces. Additionally, if it changes it could help identify issues such as a bent axle.
Why Choose a Travel Trailer Over an Motorhome?
There are many different types of travel trailers with different hauling requirements, sizes, and accommodations. This makes them suitable for nearly every type of person. No matter what specifications you are looking for or what type of camper you are, thanks to the variety you will likely be able to find a suitable travel trailer.
The costs of a travel trailer is often less than that of a motorhome or camper. This makes travel trailers great for those who are making their first foray in RV life. The cost of service will be drastically less than the fees associated with maintaining an RV or camper thanks to the lack of a motor.
Travel trailers offer enhanced mobility. Due to the fact that they are attached to your vehicle by a hitch, once you get to your destination you can detach them and have the freedom to use your vehicle for excursions.
The size of travel trailers often makes them more conducive to narrow roadways or areas with height and weight restrictions. They can be easier to maneuver and haul than a large RV.
Overall, travel trailers make a great choice for those who are new to RVing or who do not plan on using them frequently. They are simple to haul and maneuver, offer freedom to unhitch and leave them, are less costly in terms of price and service fees than motorhomes, and are available in a wide variety of sizes and types.
Still, there are a few drawbacks that must be mentioned. Some may find it easier to drive and maneuver an RV or camper because the living space trailer is attached to the motor. Meaning, it takes practice and skill to learn how to tow and park your trailer as it is separate from your vehicle and connected only by a hitch.
In addition, by being a separate unit you will not have control over the temperature of your trailer until you arrive and set up. You could find yourself in a very hot and humid or very chilly climate once you arrive at your destination until your trailer has a chance to regulate the temperature.
Finally, you must take care to protect your trailer from theft. It is important to take steps so that no one can drive off with your trailer when you are away from the campsite.
A Travel Trailer Available for Every Type of Camper
Travel trailers are a great way to get out and explore the great outdoors without having to leave all of your belongings, amenities, and even luxuries at home. The cost of ownership and maintenance won’t put too big of a dent in your budget. It shouldn’t be hard to find the perfect travel trailer for your family as they come in many sizes and shapes to suit various needs.
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