Motorhomes For Sale vs. Travel Trailers For Sale: Pros and Cons

Whether you’re shopping around for a new or a used RV for sale, you will probably end up considering the differences between motorhomes vs. travel trailers. Although both can provide a great experience, there are key differences between the two that cannot be ignored. This post helps identify the differences between motorhomes and travel trailers, in hopes it will help inform you to make the best decision for yourself when shopping for new or used RVs for sale. First, however, one must understand what a motorhome is and what a travel trailer is.

What Is A Motorhome?

The best way to describe a motorhome is to describe it as an all-in-one RV and vehicle, where the vehicle aspect of the RV is an integral part of the residential/recreational living area aspect of it. One can easily move from the driving area to the living area, without having to step outside of the RV at all.

What Is A Travel Trailer?

The best way to describe a travel trailer RV is to describe it as solely the residential/recreational part of the RV, withOUT any vehicle motor. Instead, the travel trailer must be attached to a separate vehicle, usually a truck or SUV, that can pull that size of tow. Those in the driving vehicle that is pulling the travel trailer are not able to freely move in/out of the residential/recreational part of the RV.

Cost Differences Between Motorhomes vs. Travel Trailers

There are many aspects between motor-homes and travel trailers (besides the main differences) that make them completely different purchases – starting with the differences in costs. See some of the main cost differences between motorhomes and travel trailers below.

Upfront Costs

Upfront costs will usually be higher for motorhomes because you are also purchasing the “vehicle” portion of the RV like engine, etc. If you include the vehicle needed to tow a travel trailer, though, the upfront costs are closer to the same. Assuming you already have a vehicle to tow your travel trailer, however, a travel trailer will usually cost less than a motorhome.

Ongoing Maintenance Costs

Ongoing maintenance costs will also generally be higher for motorhomes because of the same reason as why upfront costs are also higher; it costs more to maintain the engine aspect of motorhomes. If you include the costs to maintain a vehicle to tow travel trailers, though, ongoing maintenance costs can be comparable.

Fuel Costs

This is the one cost aspect that motorhomes can actually perform better at when compared to travel trailers, but the differences aren’t always large.

Depreciation Costs

Both motorhomes and travel trailers will depreciate in value over time, so this cost is quite comparable between the two.

Usage Differences Between Motorhomes vs. Travel Trailers

There are also differences in usability between motorhomes and travel trailers, see some of the main ones below.

Ease Of Driving

Although both a motorhome RV and pulling a travel trailer RV will be a bit more challenging to drive when compared to regular vehicles on their own, motorhomes tend to be a bit easier to maneuver compared to travel trailers. If you plan on getting into tight spaces, backing-out a lot, etc., then a motorhome may be a better fit for this type of driving.

Comfort While driving

Comfort while driving is quite different between motorhomes and travel trailers because of the ability to reach the “recreation” area of your RV is different between motorhomes and travel trailers. Where the ability to freely move between the driving area and the recreation area of the RV is very easy in motorhomes (people can move freely without having to stop the RV), this is not the case for travel trailers (where stopping is required in order to move in/out of the travel trailer to/from the driving vehicle).

Living & Storage Space

Some may be surprised to hear that travel trailers usually have more livable space than motorhomes. This is because the size of motorhomes also include space for driving (driver/passenger seats, engine, etc.), whereas the space within travel trailers are 100% designated for the living and recreation space.

Stay-and-Play vs. Go-Go-Go

A huge difference in usability between motorhomes and travel trailers is the setup steps. Both motorhomes and travel trailers require locking-in once you’ve found your spot, connecting to sewer pumps etc., but travel trailers will require the extra step of un-hatching to the tow vehicle. Although this is not a huge difference, it can certainly add-up over time if you are constantly changing camp locations. The other area this difference effects users is when you’ll require driving around the camp site or area lots, because travel trailers allow you to use your towing vehicle to get around while leaving your trailer locked-in on-site. However, motorhomes will require you to take your RV with you wherever you go if you need to drive somewhere.

READ: Your Complete RV Set-Up Steps Checklist for the Camping Season

Final Thoughts on Motorhomes vs. Travel Trailers For Sale

When it comes to deciding on whether a motorhome or travel trailer will be best for you and your camping adventures, there are a lot of factors to consider. Of course, cost is one of the major factors to consider (both upfront costs, as well as ongoing maintenance/fuel costs). However, besides costs, usability will be the next biggest factor. Differences in how easy the RV is to drive, how comfortable the driving experience can be, how freely one can move to/from the recreation area, amount of livable space, and accessibility are all factors to consider. Speak to one of our Galaxy RV experts today to get answers to any pending questions you may have. Our RV pros are always happy to help you with your motorhome or travel trailer needs!

Shop New Motorhomes & Travel Trailers

Back to top