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Motorhome Vs Travel Trailer: Pros and Cons

RVs come in a wide range of designs. In this guide, I’ll outline the differences and list the pros and cons of camping in a motorhome vs travel trailer. I’ll cover comfort, space, amenities, ease of driving, price, maintenance, fuel efficiency, and much more. I’ll also talk a bit about the different classes of motorhomes and types of travel trailers available.

Generally, motorhomes are easier to drive and easier to set up. They offer more luxurious amenities. Motorhomes also allow you to tow a trailer. Travel trailers are cheaper and lower maintenance.

Motorhomes are the better choice for luxury travelers, full-time RV living, those who need to tow a trailer, and frequent campers. Travel trailers are the better choice for those on a tight budget, those who already own a tow vehicle, off-road campers, and those who only camp occasionally.

Over the past 10 years, I have camped both types of RVs extensively. I prefer motorhomes because you can pass between the cab and living space. It’s convenient. In this guide, I’ll share my experience.

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Motorhome Pros

  • Easier to drive
  • The amenities are accessible while you drive
  • Motorhomes are more luxurious
  • More storage space
  • Setting up and breaking down camp is faster and easier
  • You can tow a trailer
  • Passengers can ride in the living space
  • Motorhomes are better for camping with kids and pets
  • More comfortable in poor weather

Motorhome Cons

  • Motorhomes are more expensive
  • Motorhomes require more maintenance
  • Can be less spacious
  • It’s hard to drive around for sightseeing unless you bring a tow vehicle
  • Less fuel efficient
  • Motorhomes depreciate faster

Travel Trailer Pros

  • Travel trailers are cheaper
  • Less maintenance is required
  • Can be more spacious
  • You can unhook it and have a separate vehicle to drive around camp
  • More fuel efficient
  • Trailers don’t depreciate as fast
  • More versatile
  • Better for off-road camping

Travel Trailer Cons

  • Harder to drive
  • Less comfortable during travel days
  • Lower quality fittings and fixtures
  • Less storage space
  • Setting up and breaking down camp is more time-consuming
  • Harder to park
  • Passengers can’t ride in the trailer
  • Not less convenient for traveling with kids
  • You have to go outside to pass between the cab and living space

Motorhome Classes

A class A motorhome
A Class A Motorhome

A motorhome is an RV with both a living space and an engine. It offers both transportation and accommodation in the same vehicle. There is a steering wheel and gas pedal as well as a bed, kitchen, and bathroom built in. You can walk between the cab and the living space.

Motorhomes come in three classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C.

  • Class A motorhomes: Class As are the largest and most luxurious type of motorhome. They measure anywhere from 25 to 45 feet long. They are built on heavy-duty commercial truck chassis. They are basically a bus.
  • Class B motorhomes: Class B RVs are the smallest of the three motorhome classes. They usually measure between 18 to 24 feet long. These motorhomes are built into a van. They are sometimes called camper vans.
  • Class C motorhomes: Class C RVs are kind of a cross between class As and Bs. They range from 20 to 35 feet in length. These RVs are built on a cutaway van chassis with a fiberglass or aluminum box built on the back. Class C RVs are recognizable by their cab-over bed.

Motorhomes offer a wide range of amenities. Most motorhomes come with multiple sleeping spaces, a full kitchen, a full bathroom, an entertainment system, and some built-in storage space. Most motorhomes can accommodate 4-8 people.

Some popular motorhome manufacturers include Winnebago, Thor, Fleetwood, Tiffin, Newmar, Coachmen, and Four Winds.

For more in-depth info, check out my guide to Class B Vs Class C motorhomes and Class A Vs Class C motorhomes.

What is a Travel Trailer?

A travel trailer near the beach

A travel trailer is a towable RV. Travel trailers attach to a tow vehicle with a ball hitch. Travel trailers can measure anywhere from 10-40 feet in length. They weigh between 1,000 and 12,000 pounds, depending on the size.

Travel trailers come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and designs Different models offer different amenities and features. Some common types of trailers available include teardrop trailers, pop-up trailers, fifth-wheel trailers, toy haulers, and off-road trailers. Travel trailers are also known as caravans, campers, or towable RVs.

Unlike motorhomes, travel trailers need to be pulled by a tow vehicle. They don’t have their own motor. Larger trailers require a full-sized pickup truck, van, or SUV to tow them. Smaller trailers can be pulled with a compact truck, SUV, or even a sedan in some cases.

When you reach the campground or RV park, you can unhitch the trailer. This allows you to use the tow vehicle to go sightseeing or run errands without the RV.

Travel trailers come with a range of amenities. Smaller models may only come with a sleeping space. Mid size models may have a kitchenette and a wet bath. Larger models come with full-size beds, a fully equipped kitchen, a full bathroom, a living space, a dining space, an entertainment system, outdoor amenities, storage space, and more.

Small travel trailers trailer accommodate 2-4 people. Larger trailers can accommodate 6-10 people.

Motorhomes Vs Travel Trailers

A small travel trailer in an RV park

Ease of Driving

Motorhomes are easier to drive than travel trailers. The driving experience is similar to driving a large truck or van. If you’ve driven a moving van, you can drive a motorhome.

Motorhomes are easier to drive for a few reasons. First, they are shorter than a travel trailer and tow vehicle combo. It’s easier to maneuver a shorter vehicle. Motorhomes also don’t require towing (unless you bring a boat or tow vehicle). This makes them easier to back up. You don’t have to worry about trailer sway. Turning is easier as well. If you don’t have experience with driving with a trailer, a motorhome is easier to drive.

Travel trailers can be a bit harder to drive because they require towing. There is a learning curve to towing. You have to learn how to turn correctly so you don’t cut a corner. You have to learn how to balance the trailer so it doesn’t sway. Wind can also cause sway. A sway bar can help. Backing is also more difficult with a trailer. It’s kind of counterintuitive.

An older class C motorhome

Some people find driving with a travel trailer to be easier. The reason is that the driving experience is more familiar. You’re driving a regular pickup or SUV. Motorhomes can have different control placements. Particularly class A motorhomes. Many people also find 5th wheels to be easier to maneuver than standard travel trailers. Personally, I find that driving a motorhome is easier.

Of course, the size of the motorhome or travel trailer also plays a big role in how difficult it is to drive. Driving a class B camper van is the same as driving a standard van or SUV. Driving a class A motorhome is like driving a bus. Towing a small teardrop trailer is much easier than towing a 40 foot fifth wheel.

One of the main reasons I prefer motorhomes is because they are easier to drive. I really don’t like driving with a trailer.

Winner: Motorhomes are often easier to drive than travel trailers.

Motorhomes parked at a campground
Motorhomes are generally easier to drive

Travel Days

Travel days in a motorhome are much more comfortable and convenient. The reason is that motorhomes allow passengers to move freely in the living space and access the amenities while on the move. The bathroom, kitchen, beds, living area, dining area, and entertainment systems can all be used while the driver is driving.

This makes the journey much more enjoyable for everyone. If someone has to use the bathroom, they don’t have to wait until the driver pulls over. They can just get up and go. If someone wants to grab a drink or a snack, they can go to the fridge. The passengers can chat with the driver or bring them a snack. This makes motorhomes the best choice for long road trips.

A motorhome in the mountains

Travel days with a travel trailer are a bit less convenient. Everyone has to ride in the tow vehicle. In most jurisdictions, it’s illegal to ride in a trailer while it is being towed. Even if it is allowed, it’s best not to have passengers in the trailer while driving because it’s dangerous.

This means the amenities in the trailer are not accessible during travel days. If someone needs snacks, wants to rest, or needs to use the bathroom, you will have to pull over and find a place to park. This means you’ll have to stop more frequently, which makes travel times longer. It’s also a hassle to find a place to park a large trailer.

Winner: Travel days are more comfortable and convenient with a motorhome.

Interior Living Space

Both motorhomes and travel trailers come in a wide range of sizes. There are compact teardrop trailers and Class B motorhomes that can only fit 1-2 people. There are also 40 foot fifth-wheel trailers and Class A motorhomes that can accommodate 6-10 people.

Travel trailers are usually more spacious than comparably sized motorhomes. This is because they don’t have a cab and motor taking up space. The entire interior space can be used as a living space.

Large travel trailers offer the most spacious interiors of all RVs. They come with separate living, dining, and sleeping areas, as well as full-size kitchens and full bathrooms. These trailers feel like an apartment on wheels.

Fifth-wheel trailers have high ceilings and multi-level floor plans. There is a room over the truck bed. This is usually a private bedroom. Large trailers also offer slide-outs to increase the interior space. This makes trailers ideal for large families.

A dog sitting in a travel trailer looking out the window

Motorhomes are a bit smaller inside. Depending on the class and design, the cab and motor could take up around 5 feet of space. Motorhomes often feel a bit less spacious than travel trailers for this reason. They offer the same amenities but feel a bit more cramped.

Large class A motorhomes can be roomy. They often feature multiple slide-outs. This significantly increases the interior space. Class A motorhomes usually have a separate living area, kitchen, and bedroom.

There are also small teardrop trailers and pop-up trailers and class B motorhomes. These RVs usually only have a bed and kitchenette. Some have a bathroom while others don’t.

Winner: A large travel trailer is more spacious than a large motorhome. Both are available in a range of sizes.

Features and Amenities

Motorhomes and travel trailers offer similar amenities. The amenities vary based on the size and class of the RV.

Both types of RVs have come with kitchens that include a refrigerator, stove, sink, countertop space, and cabinetry. Larger models may include an oven, microwave, and dishwasher.

As for the sleeping space, motorhomes and travel trailers offer a queen or king sized bed. Smaller models may only have a convertible dinette or sofa. Larger RVs have a large permanent sleeping space in addition to convertible spaces.

Most RVs come with a bathroom with with a toilet, sink, and shower. Some smaller models, like Class B motorhomes or teardrop trailers, may not have a bathroom. Some just have a wet bath.

Teardrop trailers don’t offer much space and amenities are limited

Many larger RVs come with outdoor amenities such as a retractable awning, an outdoor kitchen, and external storage compartments. Larger RVs also come with some type of entertainment system including TVs and surround sound. These features are common on both motorhomes and travel trailers.

Class A motorhomes often come with a built in generator. Large models may have a washer and dryer. These features are not common in travel trailers.

I enjoy all of the features and amenities of motorhomes. It’s nice having a home away from home. Having a full kitchen is really important for me.

Winner: Both a motorhome and a travel trailer offer the same amenities. The amenities offered will vary depending on the size of the RV.

Luxury and Comfort

Motorhomes are more luxurious than travel trailers. Class A motorhomes are the most luxurious type of RVs. They usually feature a higher-end fit and finish. They use premium materials like granite or quartz countertops, hardwood cabinetry, tile flooring, and leather upholstery. They are often equipped with top-of-the-line appliances, mattresses, and entertainment systems. They may also come with luxury features like heated floors, jetted bathtubs, and even on-board washer and dryers.

A row of Class A motorhomes
Class A motorhomes are generally the most luxurious type of RVs

Travel trailers usually are usually built from more budget-friendly materials. The fit and finish may not feel quite as luxurious. The appliances and furnishings may be more basic. Cheaper materials may be used for the flooring, countertops, and upholstery. The light fixtures and faucets may be lower-end.

It’s important to note that there are exceptions. Fifth-wheels can be just as luxurious as class A motorhomes. Class C motorhomes often have a similar build quality to travel trailers.

Winner: In general, motorhomes are more luxurious than travel trailers.

Storage Space

Motorhomes offer a good amount of storage space. Class A motorhomes have a ‘basement’ storage area. This is a large compartment under the living area. This space is perfect for stowing bulky items like outdoor furniture, bicycles, firewood, a generator, etc. You access the basement storage through hatches in the sides of the RV. Class C motorhomes have smaller exterior compartments.

Inside a motorhome, you’ll find cabinets and closets for storing clothes, food, and other essentials. There may also be some hidden storage compartments, such as under the bed.

With a motorhome, you can also tow a trailer. This can add more storage capacity. You could tow a large cargo trailer and carry whatever you need.

Travel trailers often have less built-in storage space. There are cabinets and closets inside but there are usually fewer exterior compartments.

One advantage of travel trailers is that you can use the vehicle for storage space. If you’re towing with a pickup truck, the truck bed is free. You could also mount a roof rack on your vehicle for more space.

Smaller RVs, such as Class B motorhomes or teardrop trailers, don’t offer much storage space. You will have to be more selective about what you pack if you use a small RV. Some models are compatible with roof racks. These can expand the storage space.

Winner: Motorhomes usually offer more storage space than travel trailers.

Getting Around While Camping

One of the biggest advantages of travel trailers is that you have a separate vehicle to drive around. Once you’ve set up camp, you can unhitch your trailer from your vehicle. This leaves you with a regular pickup truck or SUV to drive around when you go sightseeing or run errands. This makes it much easier to explore.

With a motorhome, you’re stuck with a large vehicle. Finding a place to park a motorhome is a challenge due to its large size. It’s also more stressful to drive a large vehicle through cities or in tight spaces. You might not want to go out exploring as often.

To solve this problem, many motorhome owners tow a smaller vehicle behind the motorhome. This tow vehicle is often referred to as a “toad”. You can leave the motorhome parked at the campsite and use the smaller vehicle for sightseeing or running errands.

There are drawbacks to this. Towing a vehicle behind a motorhome makes the motorhome a bit harder to drive. Also, not all vehicles can be towed due to the design of their transmission. Towing can damage some vehicles.

This is one thing I don’t like about motorhomes. It’s a hassle to go sightseeing. I bring an e-bike with me for transportation.

Winner: It’s easier to get around camp with a travel trailer because you have a separate vehicle to drive around.


Motorhomes are more expensive than travel trailers. A small Class B or C motorhome may start at around $60,000. Mid-range models go for $80,000-$150,000. High-end Class A motorhomes cost $250,000 to $1 million or more.

Travel trailers are more affordable. Small travel trailers, such as pop-up campers and teardrop trailers, start at around $12,000. Mid-range models go for $40,000-$80,000. Larger, more luxurious models such as fifth wheels, can cost $100,000-$150,000 or more.

Motorhomes are more expensive because they are more complex. They have an engine and drivetrain. They are motor vehicles. This increases the manufacturing cost substantially.

A class C motorhome parked on the side of the highway
Motorhomes are more expensive than travel trailers

If you go with a travel trailer, it’s important to factor in the cost of a tow vehicle. A vehicle that is suitable for towing, such as a heavy-duty pickup truck or large SUV, can cost $40,000-$80,000 or more. There are smaller and more affordable vehicles that can tow smaller trailers. Of course, you can always buy used to save some money.

If you’re on a tight budget, a great way to save money on an RV is to buy used. RVs depreciate quickly.

Winner: Travel trailers are cheaper than motorhomes.


Both motorhomes and travel trailers require regular maintenance.

Motorhomes require more maintenance than travel trailers. This is because a motorhome has a motor and drivetrain components that require regular maintenance. They are vehicles. On a motorhome, you’ll have to regularly change the oil, air filters, belts, etc. If you tow a vehicle with your motorhome, you’ll have to maintain that vehicle as well.

An airstream travel trailer
Travel trailers are easier to maintain because they don’t have motors

Because they don’t have an engine, travel trailers are lower maintenance. There is still maintenance you’ll have to do. You’ll have to maintain the brakes, wheels, tires, and lights. You’ll have to regularly maintain the HVAC, plumbing, electrical systems, and appliances. You’ll have to inspect the roof and seals to prevent water damage and leaks. These are maintenance jobs that all RVs require.

Winner: Travel trailers require less maintenance than motorhomes.

Gas Mileage

Motorhomes get worse gas mileage than a truck towing a travel trailer. On average, Class A motorhomes get 6 to 10 miles per gallon. Smaller class B and C motorhomes can get around 10-12 mpg. Diesel motorhomes can get better gas mileage than gas models.

The weight and size of a travel trailer significantly reduces the gas mileage of the tow vehicle. A big truck towing a large travel trailer or 5th wheel may only get 8-10 mpg. A fuel-efficient tow vehicle with a lightweight travel trailer may get 12 to 15 mpg. You’ll get a bit better gas mileage if you tow with a diesel truck rather than a gas truck.

If you want better fuel efficiency, you’re best bet is to use a small, lightweight, and aerodynamic trailer such as a teardrop trailer or pop up trailer. Pull the trailer with a fuel-efficient vehicle, like a hybrid SUV. You could achieve over 25 mpg this way.

Fuel efficiency plays a major role in the cost of ownership of your RV. Imagine you’re taking a 1,000 mile trip. If you drive a motorhome that gets 10 mpg, you’d need 100 gallons of fuel. At $3.50 per gallon, that’s $350. If you use a travel trailer and your tow vehicle gets 15 mpg, you’d only need 67 gallons of fuel. This would cost you $235 at $3.50 per gallon. You would save $115 on this 1,000-mile trip alone. Over the life of the RV, you could save thousands of dollars in fuel.

Winner: It’s hard to pick a winner in this category because fuel efficiency varies so much. In most cases, you can get better fuel efficiency when towing a travel trailer.

Campsite Set-up and Breakdown With an RV or Travel Trailer

Setting up a motorhome when you reach your campsite is faster and easier than setting up a travel trailer. Most large motorhomes come with an automatic leveling system. If your motorhome doesn’t have automatic leveling, you’ll have to do it manually.

Once your motorhome is leveled, you’ll hook up to water, sewer, and electricity if the site has them. Next, you’ll open your slide-outs. If you’re traveling with a towed vehicle, you’ll also need to unhitch it and park it. The breakdown process is pretty much the same in reverse.

A motorhome parked under a tree next to a lake
It’s easier to set up camp with a motorhome

Setting up a travel trailer is often a bit more time-consuming. First, you’ll have to park the trailer. This can be a challenge if you have a large trailer or if you’re an inexperienced driver. Backing a large trailer into a tight campsite is difficult.

Next, you need to unhitch the trailer from the tow vehicle and stabilize it with jacks. Most trailers require manual leveling. Finally, you can hook up the utilities and extend the slide outs.

Breaking down the campsite is pretty much the same in reverse. You’ll also have to hook the trailer back up to your tow vehicle. Unhooking and hooking the trailer is a step you don’t need to deal with when you drive a motorhome.

Setting up and taking down camp is my least favorite part of camping. I love being able to pull up to camp in my motorhome and just start cooking a meal.

Winner: Motorhomes make setting up and breaking down camp a bit easier.


Motorhomes are easier to park than travel trailers. This is mostly due to their shorter length. They require fewer parking spaces. A Class B or a small class C motorhome can fit in a standard parking space. Class As and larger class Cs take up multiple parking spaces. Motorhomes are also easier to back up because they don’t have a trailer.

A pop up trailer parked in a campground next to a Subaru
Small travel trailers, like this pop up trailer, are easy to park

Travel trailers are harder to park. The combined length of a trailer and tow vehicle make it hard to find a spot that is large enough. You’ll need multiple parking spaces. The trailer also makes backing up more difficult. Backing into a tight parking space with a trailer requires some skill.

There are some major drawbacks to driving an RV that is hard to park. First, you’ll waste more time just looking for parking. Driving an RV that is difficult to park also makes it harder to be spontaneous. You need to plan stops more carefully. Having to find parking for a large RV can be anxiety-inducing. You can’t just pull over and grab a coffee. You have to consider where you’re going to park.

I prefer smaller motorhomes because they are easy to park. I spend some time in cities. It’s much less stressful parking a small rig.

Winner: Motorhomes are often easier to park than travel trailers.

Off-Road Driving With a Travel Trailer Vs Motorhome

Travel trailers can perform better off-road than motorhomes. There are trailers that are specifically designed for off-road use. These are usually called off-road trailers or overlanding trailers.

These off-road trailers feature a reinforced chassis, higher ground clearance, heavy-duty off-road tires, and sometimes even independent suspension. These features make off-road trailers capable of negotiating surprisingly rough terrain.

An off-road travel trailer being towed on a dirt road by a pickup.
An off-road travel trailer. Notice the knobby tires and high ground clearance.

You can tow these trailers with a 4×4 off-road capable tow vehicle, such as a Jeep, 4Runner or a 4×4 pickup. A capable off-road vehicle paired with an overlanding trailer can handle surprisingly rugged terrain.

Of course, not all travel trailers are suitable for off-road travel. A 40 foot fifth wheel or travel trailer won’t perform any better than a large motorhome off-road. These vehicles aren’t designed for off-road use. They can handle some dirt and gravel roads.

Motorhomes are less suited for off-road use. Their size makes navigating tight, uneven areas challenging. They can handle some smooth dirt and gravel roads but that’s about it.

There are some Class B camper vans that are designed for off-road use. These motorhomes might come with knobby tires, off-road suspension, a lift, and 4 wheel drive. There are also larger off-road RVs such as the EarthRoamer. These are extremely capable overlanding vehicles but they are expensive.

If you’re planning on using your RV for off-road travel, look for a model with large freshwater, greywater, and blackwater tanks. These allow you to stay out longer without having to refill or dump tanks.

Over the past year, I have gotten into off-road camping. I would like to upgrade to an off-road capable camper van.

Winner: An off-road travel trailer is the better choice if you plan to camp off-road. There are 4×4 off-road motorhomes available as well.

Riding in the RV

When you drive a motorhome, everyone rides in the RV. This is extremely convenient. Everyone has access to the bathroom, kitchen, living area, and sleeping areas.

When you use a travel trailer, everyone has to ride in the tow vehicle. In most jurisdictions, it’s illegal for passengers to ride in the trailer. These laws are in place for safety reasons. This is less convenient. You have to pull over anytime someone needs to use the bathroom.

There are some exceptions. In some states, it is legal for passengers to ride in a fifth-wheel trailer. Even when it’s legal for passengers to ride in the trailer, it’s best not to let them. It is very dangerous in the event of an accident.

Winner: With a motorhome, passengers can ride in the RV.


Motorhomes allow you to tow. For example, you could tow a car. You could tow a boat for fishing, sailing, or watersports. You could also tow a cargo trailer packed with outdoor gear like kayaks, surfboards, dirt bikes, ATVs, or a golf cart.

Motorhomes also have a heavy towing capacity. Smaller motorhomes usually have a towing capacity of 5,000-8,000 lbs. Large diesel class A and super C motorhomes can tow 10,000-20,000 lbs. There are heavy-duty super C class motorhomes that can tow up to 40,000 pounds. These are like semis.

A heavy-duty dually RAM pickup towing a travel trailer

When you use a travel trailer, you can’t tow anything else. You’re already towing the trailer. Towing a second trailer (known as triple towing) is possible but it is difficult and illegal in many places. This means you can’t bring a boat or other toys with you.

When towing a travel trailer, you can use the truck bed for hauling recreational gear like dirt bikes, smaller ATVs, kayaks, etc. You can also use a roof rack on your vehicle to haul large items.

Another option is to use a toy hauler trailer. These are trailers that have a garage built in. Toy hauler class A motorhomes are also available.

Winner: Motorhomes allow you to tow a trailer.

Camping With Kids

Motorhomes are more convenient for families with kids. This is because kids can use the bathroom, get up and stretch their legs, play games, or grab a snack without needing to pull over. This can make long drives much more pleasant for both parents and children. Kids don’t get as tired and restless while riding in a motorhome because they’re not all stowed up for the entire journey.

The downside is safety. Riding in a motorhome is not as safe as riding in a regular vehicle. Many motorhomes don’t have seat belts in the living space. Sometimes there are seatbelts built into a dinette or a couch. These aren’t as secure as the seatbelts you’d find in a car.

There also aren’t airbags in the living space of most motorhomes. Most class A motorhomes don’t even have airbags in the cab. Motorhomes also aren’t crash tested.

You may be able to use car seats to improve safety. If you’re planning to travel with small kids, make sure the motorhome is compatible with car seats.

In a moving motorhome, there’s also a risk of injury from falls or loose items. Particularly during unexpected stops or during an accident.

Travel trailers are safer when on the road. Everyone must ride in the tow vehicle. Everyone will wear a seatbelt. There are airbags. -The vehicle is crash tested. This makes it much safer.

Of course, all of the amenities of the travel trailer are inaccessible while driving. If your kids need to use the bathroom or grab a snack, you’ll need to pull over. This is a major inconvenience.

Winner: Motorhomes are more convenient for families with kids. Travel trailers are safer.

Camping With Pets

Motorhomes are more comfortable for pets during travel. Pets can either roam freely or stay in a crate inside the motorhome. This can make the trip less stressful for both you and your pets.

You can also easily care for your pets while you’re traveling. If your pets need food or water, you can bring them some or just leave food and water out for them. It’s also easy to keep the motorhome a comfortable temperature for your pets.

In addition, motorhomes have more space for pet supplies. You can store large bags of dog food or dog crates in the basement storage area. It’s easy to carry enough supplies for your whole trip. You’ll also have space for your pet’s favorite bed, toys, and treats.

When you use a travel trailer, pets should ride in the vehicle with the rest of the family. You can carry your pets in a crate or allow them to roam freely in the trailer if you choose. This can be convenient. It is legal in most states for pets to ride in a travel trailer.

It’s not recommended to let your pet ride in the trailer. The reason is that travel trailers can get ery hot or very cold depending on the weather. It’s hard to regulate the temperature in the trailer during a long travel day. Second, in the event of an accident or quick stop, pets in the trailer could be injured. Of course, they can also damage to the trailer. If your dog gets stressed, it could start chewing on the upholstery.

Winner: Motorhomes are more convenient for pet owners.

RV Depreciation

Motorhomes depreciate faster than travel trailers. This is because motorhomes have a motor and mechanical parts. These parts wear out over time. The general rule of thumb is that a new motorhome can depreciate anywhere from 20% to 30% the moment it’s driven off the lot. It will depreciate 6% to 10% each year.

Travel trailers depreciate more slowly because they don’t have an engine or mechanical parts that wear out with mileage. Of course, travel trailers do still depreciate. A new travel trailer depreciates 15% to 20% when you drive it off the lot. After this, the trailer will depreciate by around 5% per year.

The exact depreciation rate depends on the type of RV, how well you treat it, and where you live. Larger and more expensive RVs depreciate faster than smaller RVs. This is because there is less demand for large luxury motorhomes. After around 5-8 years, depreciation slows down.

Depreciation matters because it affects the resale value of your RV. A faster depreciation rate means that when you decide to sell your motorhome or travel trailer, you won’t get back as much of the initial purchase price. If you don’t plan to keep your RV very long, you’ll want to consider depreciation.

Depreciation can be a good thing if you plan to buy a used RV. The fast depreciation means you can often find great deals on used models.

Winner: Travel trailers depreciate faster than motorhomes.

RV Insurance

Both motorhomes and travel trailers require insurance. The cost of RV insurance depends on the size of the rig and its value.

Motorhomes are more expensive to insure than travel trailers. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, motorhomes are more expensive. Second, motorhomes are more complex. They have their own motor. This drives up insurance costs. If your motorhome gets totaled, it will cost more for the insurance company to replace it. Premiums are higher.

The average annual insurance cost for motorhomes ranges from around $1,000-$2,000 per year. , Insurance cost can vary widely based on the size of the motorhome, its age, how often it’s used, and its value. A million dollar class A motorhome will be much more expensive to insure than a $50,000 class C RV.

Travel trailers are less expensive to insure. This is because they are simpler and less valuable. In addition, they do not require their own motor vehicle liability insurance. The tow vehicle insurance covers that.

On average, travel trailer insurance costs $200-$1000 per year. This varies based on the trailer’s size, age, value, and use.

Winner: Travel trailers are cheaper to insure than motorhomes.


At some point, your RV will break down and need some repairs. You’ll also need to get some routine maintenance done from time to time.

With travel trailers, one of the key advantages is that they are separate from the tow vehicle. If your trailer breaks down, you can leave it at the repair shop and stay in a hotel or your vehicle. If your tow vehicle needs repairs, you can park your travel trailer at a campsite and stay in it until your vehicle is repaired. This makes repairs a bit more convenient.

Motorhomes require more maintenance than travel trailers.

The logistics of motorhome repairs are a bit more challenging. If your motorhome needs to be repaired, you will have to find alternative accommodation and transportation. Motorhomes can also be more expensive to repair. You need to go to a specialty shop that can accommodate large vehicles.

Winner: Repairs are a bit less of a hassle when you use a travel trailer.

Versatility and Flexibility

Travel trailers can be more versatile. The main reason is that you can disconnect the tow vehicle at camp and use the vehicle for excursions like sightseeing, buying groceries, or even off-roading. You can set up your campsite and still have the freedom to explore.

The tow vehicle can be used when you’re not camping. For example, you can use it for hauling cargo, commuting, or towing other trailers. You can use the tow vehicle as your daily driver.

Motorhomes aren’t quite as versatile. They are only useful for camping. If you want to explore the local area, you’ll need to tow a separate vehicle.

One area where a motorhome offers more flexibility is towing. You can bring a boat or recreational equipment. You could also live out of your motorhome.

Winner: A travel trailer and tow vehicle the more versatile.

Poor Weather

Motorhomes are more comfortable for camping in poor weather. This is because you can pass between the cab and the living area. You don’t have to go outside. For example, if you arrive at camp and it’s rainy and cold, you can walk from the cab to the living space, cook yourself a meal, bathe, and go to bed. You never have to set foot outside.

When you use a trailer, you have to go outside to move between the truck and the trailer. This is annoying if it’s cold and rainy.

Winner: Motorhomes are more comfortable for camping in poor weather.

Day Tripping

Trailers are better for day-tripping because you always have a regular vehicle with you. Once you park the travel trailer at the campsite, you have a normal vehicle to drive around.

Day tripping in a motorhome is a hassle. It’s a big vehicle to drive around and park. You would have to hook up and unhook every day.

If you want to day trip with a motorhome, you’ll want to tow a vehicle.

This is one thing I don’t like about motorhomes. Sometimes, it’s a hassle to drive it around sightseeing.

Winner: Day tripping is easier with a travel trailer.

A Class A motorhome parked in a garage

Who Should Choose a Motorhome?

  • Those who value comfort and luxury and lots of amenities
  • Those who value the convenience of being able to pass between the cab and living space
  • Frequent travelers
  • Those who need lots of storage space
  • Living full-time
  • Those who don’t already own a vehicle capable of towing or don’t have use for one
  • Those who value ease of driving
  • People traveling with pets or kids

Who Should Choose a Travel Trailer?

  • Those who are on a tight budget
  • Those who already own a truck capable of towing
  • Off-Road campers
  • Those who value the versatility of being ale to leave the trailer at camp
  • Those who only take the occasional camping trip
Travel trailers and 5th wheels parked in an RV park

What’s Better a Motorhome or a Travel Trailer?

Neither is really better. Motorhomes are better for full-time living. They offer more storage space. They also offer the convenience being able to pass between the cab and living space. They are also more luxurious. Motorhomes are more expensive.

Travel trailers offer flexibility and affordability. They’re separate from your vehicle. You can leave the trailer at camp and use your truck to explore. They do require a capable towing vehicle. Maneuvering them can also be challenging.

A pop up travel trailer

My Experience

Personally, I prefer the experience of motorhomes. Having the ability to pass between the driving and living areas and have passengers in the living area while traveling greatly increases comfort and convenience for everyone.

I have experienced being both the passenger and driver. As a passenger, it’s so nice being able to get up and stretch my legs or use the bathroom while traveling. This makes travel days much less tiring.

As a driver, I find motorhomes a little easier to drive and park. It’s also nice to have the ability to tow a boat with a motorhome.

There are cases where I would prefer to use a travel trailer. For example, I have recently started doing more off-road camping. Towing a small off-road travel trailer with a 4×4 vehicle would be a great way to explore more remote areas.

Final Thoughts

Both RV options offer benefits and drawbacks. Motorhomes offer a luxurious, all-in-one camping solution. They are comfortable and convenient but they are expensive vehicles.

Travel trailers offer flexibility and can often be a more affordable choice. Trailers can make driving and maneuvering a bit more difficult. You also can’t tow a boat.

Whichever type of RV you choose, I hope this guide has helped you in making your decision.

Do you camp in a motorhome or travel trailer? Share your experience in the comments below!

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