Motorhome vs Towable?

When you decide you want to become an RVer, you immediately face a choice; should you buy a towable, or a motorhome? There are deeper variations of these two choices, such as a truck campers, tent trailers, and 5th wheels, but the first narrowing down will be, picking between a towable (trailer, 5th wheel) and a motorhome9 Class A, B, and C). You will want to consider your choice carefully before making the purchase.

Do You Already Own a Truck or an SUV?

One thing to consider in this decision is whether or not you already own a truck that would be capable of towing a trailer. If so, you could save a lot of money with a trailer or 5th Wheel, as they are less expensive than a motorhome.

Typically, a 1/2 ton truck (or SUV) with a tow package is required for a trailer, but a 1/4 ton truck or SUV with a tow package can pull a smaller trailer, such as an R-Pod. Make sure your truck or SUV is equipped with a tow package.

If you desire to go deep off road to do a lot of off grid boondocking, and you already have a 4×4 1/2 ton truck with a long bed, you might consider a truck camper, or, a small, towable trailer with a high ground clearance.

If your truck is getting old, it may not be up to the task of pulling a trailer for very long, so take into consideration that you may have to replace the truck, to keep using your trailer.

Another thing to consider, a travel trailer can be harder to hitch than a 5th Wheel, as the hitch sway bars can be quite heavy for an older person, or a smaller woman to handle. Many women traveling alone choose the micro-trailers, such as the R-Pods or Casitas, since they have a simpler hitch than a larger travel trailer. Many women also choose to drive a motorhome for the same reason.

Driving a truck and trailer is very different than traveling in a motorhome; with a motorhome, those in your party can comfortably spread out through the rig while you are driving, though they need to be strapped in to a seat belt. With a truck and trailer, everyone will be seated in the truck, while the trailer gets towed behind. So if you have a large family, with pets, a motorhome may be more comfortable.

Do You Have a Car?

One of the advantages to truck and trailer combo is the ability to unhitch the truck, once you find your campsite. With the trailer set up, the truck is free to use for running errands, sight seeing and side trips.

Of course, it’s very common to tow a car behind a motorhome for errands and sight seeing, however, most cars are not suitable for “flat towing”, and you may have to buy a tow dolly or trailer to tow the car you already have. If you want to “flat tow”, you may need to buy a car that can be “flat towed”, which usually means a 4×4 (such as a Jeep) with a manual transmission. Please consult your owner’s manual, or contact the manufacturer, to see how to tow the car you already own.

A third very popular option, especially with singles and women, is the Class B van style motorhome, which can be very maneuverable, and parkable. Of course, the van style motorhomes are very small, have very small refrigerators and storage, and are only suitable for a single person, or a very close couple. Also, you would have to break camp anytime you need to go to the store, or want to go see the sights.

To choose between a towable and a motorhome, you will need to think carefully about where you want to travel, what you want to do when you get there, and how many people and pets will be traveling with you. Even though this can be a confusing choice, you will find that your decision becomes clearer after considering the realities of each option. No matter what you choose, owning an RV opens up many possibilities for you and your family.


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