Florida Outdoors - RV Dealer Blog

  • Published on Sep 25, 2019
    What Are The Differences Between A Travel Trailer And A Motorhome?

    The RV Lifestyle Comes In Many Forms


    When choosing an RV for the first time, you might wonder what the best option is for you. Perhaps you have a spouse and children, a dog, all three, or some combination in between! No matter your situation, an RV is certainly a great way to improve your road trips.

    In this blog post, we’ll compare and contrast RV travel trailers and motorhomes to help you make an informed decision between the two. If you’ve looked into RVs for any length of time, you probably know that the range of options is vast — from a luxury Class A RV to a lightweight teardrop. For simplicity’s sake, we will assume the motorhome falls into the Class C category, and the travel trailer is of comparable size. 

    When you’re ready to buy, sell/consign, or trade in an RV travel trailer or motorhome, you can trust Florida Outdoors RV to make the process quick and easy. If you already have an RV and need services or repairs, our service department and body shop are some of the best in the state.

    Motorhome And Travel Trailer Basics

    According to Wikipedia, a motorhome is a type of self-propelled recreational vehicle (RV) which offers living accommodation combined with a vehicle engine. In contrast, a travel trailer is towed behind a vehicle and does not have an engine of its own.

    Motorhomes are categorized into three classes: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A RVs are big and luxurious. Class B RVs are actually the smallest of the three types and are often referred to as camper vans (due to being shaped like a van). Class C RVs are built upon a chassis cab and can be thought of as a combination of the A and B Classes.

    Purchase Price

    A motorhome is typically going to cost more than a travel trailer, if the two units are in comparable condition. This makes sense when you consider that a motorhome is essentially both a vehicle and a trailer. However, compare the price of a motorhome to that of a travel trailer/tow vehicle combo, and you’ll get a similar number (though this can be skewed if the tow vehicle is more expensive). 

    Maneuverability And Parking

    The motorhome comes out ahead of the towed RV travel trailer when it comes to driving and parking. Because the motorhome is all one piece, it won’t present the same maneuverability difficulties as a travel trailer that articulates around a hitch.

    One caveat to this is that once you have made it to your campsite, you can unhitch your travel trailer and use your vehicle as you normally would. If you like to set up camp and then drive into town or take scenic routes by car, you’ll have an easier time in your vehicle than a motorhome.

    Fuel Use

    Fuel economy can get a bit complicated when comparing motorhomes and travel trailers. The fuel efficiency and towing capabilities of your vehicle will influence how many miles per gallon you get when transporting a travel trailer. On average, towing a travel trailer will be slightly more fuel-efficient than driving a motorhome. However, the two may meet in the middle depending on your setup.

    Another consideration is whether you plan to drive around after you reach your camping destination. A motorhome is a package deal, so you’re stuck using gas on the cab and the living quarters if you want to go anywhere. You can simply unhitch a travel trailer and be on your way in your regular vehicle, which will ultimately be more fuel efficient.


    A travel trailer will usually cost less to maintain than a motorhome due to its lack of any major vehicle components. However, your tow vehicle will potentially need more maintenance if it is frequently being used to transport the travel trailer. A motorhome can require engine work, filter and oil changes, headlight bulb replacement, brake maintenance, and more. It may also have more features than a travel trailer, and those features will also require maintenance.

    Whether you choose an RV travel trailer or a Class C motorhome, you can trust Florida Outdoors RV with all of your RV repairs, services, and body shop needs! Schedule an appointment with our service department or body shop today!

    Depreciation and Resale Value

    Do you remember someone warning you about buying a new car due to depreciation? Just driving it home takes a significant chunk out of its resale value. Motorhomes share a similar problem because they have an engine. If you already have a capable towing vehicle, an RV travel trailer is a pretty clear winner when it comes to resale value. 

    In some cases, you may even be able to sell a travel trailer for more than you purchased it. If you properly maintain the travel trailer and add upgrades over time, you just might end up with a unit that is worth more than it was originally. Florida Outdoors RV has trade-in and consignment options if you’re interested in selling your travel trailer, Class C motorhome, or RV of any kind!

    Convenience And Efficiency While Traveling

    How many times have you paused your road trip for bathroom breaks and snack stops? The more people you have in your party, the more often it happens and the more frustrating it can be. With a motorhome, your snacks and restroom are always with you on the drive.

    Of course, the safest option is to pull over for passengers to use the restroom while the motorhome is not in motion. You could also pull over and use a travel trailer restroom, but it is less convenient.

    Stay And Play Or Keep Moving?

    As we mentioned in the fuel use section, a benefit of a travel trailer is that you can leave it at your campsite and explore your surroundings by car. This is a great option if the place you’re going has scenic drives or must-see destinations not within walking or biking distance. With a motorhome, you’ll have to drive away from your site in a bulkier fashion.

    This isn’t all bad, because you’ll have all of your supplies and gear right there with you in a motorhome. If you’ve split your belongings between your travel trailer and tow vehicle, you might end up far away from camp before realize you left something in the trailer.

    Final Thoughts On RV Travel Trailers And Motorhomes

    As you might expect from an RV dealer, our team at Florida Outdoors RV believes any RV can be the right RV, depending on the situation. We hope you’ll see this post not as a battle between two RV types, but as a resource to help you decide which style will let you enjoy traveling the most. If you have any questions at all, we invite you to call us or visit one of our Florida locations to get the answers and advice you need.

    Contact us today!
    772-288-2221 in Stuart
    863-623-4689 in Okeechobe

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