Full-time RV life isn’t just for retired couples. Younger folks are discovering the benefits of moving into an RV full-time, like downsizing their belongings and scaling up their outdoor adventures.
But it begs the question: are toy haulers the best RV for outdoor lovers?
Whether you’re into hunting, fishing, riding UTVs, or any other type of outdoor recreation, toy haulers give you the ability to carry all of your toys to your next outdoor adventure destination.
Why Are Toy Haulers Great for Full-Time RVers?
You don’t have to be retired to enjoy living in a toy hauler full-time. In fact, toy haulers are one of the best options for young remote workers because their garages can easily convert into home offices.
So instead of working at the dining room table while your partner is preparing breakfast, you can create a dedicated workspace in the back of your rig. And there are more advantages to a convertible space in your RV.
Most travel trailers don’t offer a ton of extra capacity for hosting guests. Though some can sleep up to eight people, bunk beds and tri-fold sofas aren’t necessarily the most comfortable digs.
Many toy haulers, on the other hand, have the ability to convert the garage into a guest bedroom. If you find a toy hauler with a murphy bed, you can set up plush guest quarters, while retaining plenty of storage space when you’re not hosting.
Here are a few additional benefits of having a toy hauler if you’re a full-time RVer:
- Extra seating for hosting dinner parties
- A cool space to set up for family movie nights
- A party deck for tailgating or stargazing (not all toy haulers have these)
- Indoor play/lounge space for rainy days
- The ability to disconnect your living space from your commute vehicle and easily get around
- Convertible bunk beds for extra sleeping space
- A roving classroom for road schooling kids
- A remote office that can go anywhere
The Benefits of Toy Haulers for Outdoor Lovers
Even if you’re not planning on living in an RV full-time, there are major advantages to choosing a toy hauler for outdoor adventures. The most obvious is the additional space for all of your toys.
But toy haulers also give you the ability to keep all of those toys fueled up until their next use. Some are equipped with integrated fueling stations for refueling gas-powered toys and they also feature vents that allow you to store gasoline or propane onboard safely.
You can also store a portable generator in the garage so you can stay out longer without needing campground hookups. This also allows you to set up your outdoor adventure basecamp in more remote locations and enjoy better access to wilderness areas.
Here are a few more benefits of having a toy hauler for outdoor adventures:
- Dedicated storage for outdoor gear and motorized toys
- Flexibility to set up an RV basecamp
- Larger holding tank capacities for longer stays
- Safe storage for gasoline and other flammable fuels
- Space for wet gear to dry overnight
- Customizable storage solutions that meet your recreation demands
- Year-round storage for ATVs, dirt bikes, etc.
What Can You Pack In a Toyhauler?
The better question might be what can’t you pack– is the beauty of towing a camper that has its very own garage. These spaces can fit equipment like ATVs, golf carts, e-bikes, and even 2-person kayaks.
The open designs of most toy hauler garages, however, require some creative organization and storage solutions. Here are a few tips to help you pack your toy hauler.
Organize with Bins
You can decide the kinds of storage boxes that are best for you, but stackable bins with lids are always a great choice. They allow you to stack two or three bins high as long as you secure them properly using the D-rings and latches built into the garage’s floor and sidewalls.
Take the time to organize your gear by activity, so you don’t give yourself a headache trying to find something later. Put riding gear with riding gear, hunting gear with hunting gear…you get the idea.
Then, label your bins so you can easily locate what you need when the time comes. Also, stack your bins from heavy to light to minimize fall risk and from least-used to most-used so that commonly used items are easy to reach.
Larger items should be loaded in and secured first. Smaller gear can more easily pack around your dirt bikes or electric scooters. Plus, you’ll need the space around larger items to make sure they are properly tied-down
Still, it makes sense to leave a little room around your bigger recreation equipment when you pack. This will allow you to roll them out or refuel without moving too much of your other gear.
Tie-Down and Secure Everything
Loose items are bound to cause problems while you’re towing. If you have bins stacked on a wall of your toy hauler’s garage, you certainly don’t want them falling over and damaging your expensive toys.
Assume that everything that can fall, will fall unless you tie it down or otherwise secure it properly. This goes for your pass-through compartment and overhead cabinets as well. The more you can secure your items and cushion movement using soft things like pillows and towels, the better.
What To Look For in The Top Toy Haulers
Choosing an RV for vacations is much different than selecting one for full-time living. Consider these factors as you’re comparing toy haulers for full-time RVing.
If you’re going to live in a toy hauler year-round, you’ll need a rig that can handle colder temperatures. The same can be said if your favorite activities require some snow?
Snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, downhill skiing…your toy hauler should have space for all this gear. But even if you don’t love winter camping, four-season capability is a must for a full-time adventure RV.
Space Versus Maneuverability
The thing about towable campers is that you typically want as much interior living space as possible when you’re parked. But when you’re in transit, the opposite is true. Larger rigs are harder to maneuver and they often can’t handle rugged roads as well as smaller units.
You’ll have to balance the need for interior living space with your towing comfort level of a large trailer. If you don’t have much towing experience, opt for a slightly smaller unit so you feel comfortable behind the wheel.
This also comes into play when deciding where to camp. Some RV parks and campgrounds have maximum length restrictions. This can limit you if you decide on an especially lengthy rig.
Towing Capacity and Fuel Economy
You also need to consider how much your truck can tow safely and easily. Larger, heavier RVs will not be as fuel-efficient as smaller, lighter, more nimble RVs. Use Camping World’s tow calculator to quickly find out how much weight your current vehicle can safely tow.
And you have to factor in the weight you are going to load into your toy hauler. Go-karts, mini bikes, and other motorized toys can be heavy.
Add up the combined weights of the heaviest equipment you’ll load into your travel trailer. Then add 500 to 1,000 pounds for smaller gear, kitchen appliances, and more.
Use this weight when you’re shopping for a toy hauler for full-time living. Add it to a rig’s dry weight to make sure your tow vehicle will be able to handle towing it without too much strain.
An Outdoor Shower
Keeping your toy hauler clean can be quite a chore. Fortunately, an outdoor shower makes things easier by reducing the amount of dirt and debris that gets tracked in the first place.
This feature comes standard on most toy haulers these days, but it’s an important one. When you come home with muddy boots or sandy gear, you need an easy place to rinse things down before bringing them inside.
The right toy hauler will help you Travel Different and even live differently. All RVs are home on the road, but few allow you to bring all your outdoor gear too.
If you’re having trouble downsizing your recreation gear to fit in a traditional trailer, toy haulers are a great option for gear-based adventure. Shop Camping World’s selection of toy haulers., If you’re not quite ready to buy, try renting a toy hauler to try out the lifestyle of full-time adventure.
Tucker Ballister is a Technical Content Writer for Camping World and a lover of the open road. You can check out more of his adventures and outdoor advice at thebackpackguide.com.