What Is a Toy Hauler?
A toy hauler is a towable RV that has both a living area and a dedicated garage space for carrying outdoor recreation “toys”. The “toys” can be land or watercraft such as small cars, golf-carts, ATVs, motorbikes, mountain bikes, canoes, kayaks, small boats or other equipment.
Toy haulers have living quarters (bedroom, kitchenette, and bathroom) located in the front of the unit and the garage space to house the “toys” located at the back. The rear wall of the Toy Hauler garage lowers down, creating a smooth ramp to allow access to toys and other equipment.
KEY TAKEAWAYS TOY HAULER
- Towed fifth wheel or trailer that hauls large outdoor recreation “toys”
- Great for outdoor enthusiasts, tailgaters or remote workers
- Size and heavy-duty build makes them more expensive than standard trailers
- Not easy to maneuver or park due to large size
- Too large for some campsites
Understanding Toy Haulers
Any RV with a lowering garage is considered a Toy Hauler. Toy Haulers typically are large 5th wheels or travel trailers models, however you can find Class A Toy Haulers and Class C Toy Haulers on the market.
Bridging residential living with heavy-duty storage capabilities, Toy Haulers typically include residential amenities such as full kitchens and bathrooms as well as a living room area and multiple sleeping spaces. They may also feature “slide-outs”, where portions of the trailer slide-out when the vehicle is parked to camp to make for additional space.
In order to bear the extra weight of the “toys”, Toy Haulers are made with sturdy construction that adds to the weight and cost of this model of RV. Due to their large size – often over 40 feet long, they can be cumbersome to tow and will struggle to fit in many campgrounds.
The “garage” portion of the Toy Hauler is often made from liquid-resistant materials to accommodate toys that have become wet or muddy. Toy Haulers typically offer some sort of solid wall between the “garage” and the living portion of the trailer. This wall helps to keep fuel smells from entering the living space of the RV.
Toy Haulers: Who Are They For?
Toy Haulers appeal to a wide range of RVers who love the versatility of a large residential living area with ample storage to haul recreational “toys”. Toy Haulers will most appeal to:
Outdoor Enthusiasts: If you are someone who loves participating in both land and water-based activities, Toy Haulers can help you get the most out of your trip. The ability to bring along your larger “toys” means you can fish, ATV, bike or participate in your other favorite activities right at your campsite. The best part about the Toy Hauler is that you won’t have to worry about expensive rentals or wait in line for sub-par equipment that is found at many campsites.
Tailgaters: The Toy Hauler has been a favorite of football fanatics all across the country for their ability to bring a mobile party to the stadium. The Toy Hauler garage provides plenty of space to carry along all your tailgating essentials such as: full size BBQ, smoker, coverage tents, large televisions, chairs and whatever other supplies you need to throw a kick-butt party. Some Toy Hauler models utilize the fold-down ramp as an extra patio which can a further double as a staging area for a party.
Remote Workers: For those looking for a large, mobile workspace, the Toy Hauler garage can double as an office. As more people take to working from the road, the separate space can make remote work easier and distraction-free. Toy Haulers can be outfitted with desks, chairs and all the other trimmings of a typical office – so you can work from just about anywhere in the world.
Who Should Stay Away from the Toy Hauler
While toy haulers are a great way to travel with your adult “toys”, they are not for every type of RVer. Toy Haulers can be significantly larger than other types of RVs, making maneuverability and parking very difficult. Here are the people who should stay away from the Toy Hauler:
Those uncomfortable with towing large vehicle: The large size and weight of the Toy Hauler means that towing this model of RV can be cumbersome and flat out difficult for those who don’t have experience. It is not easy to get practice towing these models of RVs – most dealerships won’t let you “test drive” prior to purchasing. If you are uncomfortable at the thought of towing a large trailer, the Toy Hauler may not be for you.
Those who value speed and flexibility: With the size, weight and loading/unloading necessary to get the most out of the Toy Hauler, this model of RV presents challenges you will not experience in a smaller model of RV. While it is convenient to bring along your “toys”, the loading and unloading process is not as straightforward as simply rolling them on and off the garage. The toys will need to be safely secured, fueled and maintained during storage. If you are someone who would just rather park and get straight out into nature, the Toy Hauler likely isn’t your cup of tea.
Those on a budget: The Toy Hauler is one of the more expensive types of trailer. Some models can run $20,000-$30,000 more than a similarly-situated trailer without the garage storage space. Not only is Toy Hauler expensive in its own right, but the “toys” themselves are an additional expense many campers can’t afford. If you are looking for a more economical camping experience, the campervan or standard travel trailer would be the way to go.
Pros of the Toy Hauler
- Perfectly blends comfortable road living with storage
- Great for adventurous travelers who own their own equipment
- Garage space can double as office or additional sleeping area
- Easy to access toys from main cabin (via a door)
- Possible to keep toys fueled-up with integrated fuel station
Cons of a Toy Hauler
- Due to heaviness of “toys”, toy haulers require strong trailers to tow
- Large size makes maneuvering and parking more difficult
- Size can make them difficult to get into campgrounds
- Less livable space compared to typical fifth wheel or trailer
- Heavy-duty construction makes them expensive
Related RV Terms
For related RV terminology, please reference the RV definitions below:
- Campervan: a small truck or van-like vehicle that offers both transport and sleeping capabilities.
- Diesel Pusher: A Class A motorhome powered by a diesel engine mounted in the rear of the RV.
- Pop-Up Camper: A class of recreational vehicle (RV) with collapsible roof and walls.