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Garages on the Go

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

Whether you’re a serious power-sports fan or out for casual weekends, transporting your toys doesn’t mean giving up comfort and convenience

The joy of RVing is hitting the road and leaving the cares of daily life in your rearview mirror. But that could mean leaving behind your favorite toys — like mountain bikes, street motorcycles, dirt bikes and ATVs, or even a snowmobile. With a toy hauler, you don’t have to leave your smaller recreational vehicles at home; they can simply be stowed in the “garage” without sacrificing the benefits of fully equipped and comfortable living quarters.

Towable toy haulers are available as travel trailers and fifth-wheels. Fifth-wheels typically tow with more stability, especially in windy conditions, and due to the trailer’s hitch and tow-vehicle geometry, they call for a totally different approach to maneuvering and backing into a campsite. Which one a user finds easier to maneuver is a matter of practice and personal preference. Hitching and unhitching a fifth-wheel is a different process than the same task with a travel trailer, and the hitch design takes up space in the pickup’s bed that you could use to carry other cargo, although there are newer fifth-wheel hitches that are completely removable and leave an empty bed when needed.

Travel-trailer toy haulers, especially the lower-priced models, tend to be lighter than fifth-wheels, and when it comes to roads with low-hanging tree branches, the lower travel-trailer profile provides better roof clearance from obstructions. Travel trailers have somewhat more hitch-to-trailer angular movement and clearance, and are generally well suited to off-pavement travel. They’re often the winner in the bang-for-the-buck contest, too.

Toys on Board

Be sure to carefully calculate the weight of the toys you plan to haul to make sure the toy hauler you choose will have enough cargo-carrying capacity (ccc). Two dirt bikes, tools, riding gear and gas can easily top 700 pounds, but a full-size UTV or side-by-side can tip the scales at 1,500 pounds all by itself. The weight of the RV and all your toys has to be matched to your tow vehicle’s tow and cargo ratings.

The toy hauler’s ramp, deployment angle and how much weight it can support are also important. A ramp that hits the ground at a steep angle makes it more likely to high-center your wheeled cargo while loading or unloading, although there are aftermarket products and do-it-yourself solutions that can help reduce this steep-ramp situation.

Count the tie-down hooks in the back to make sure there are enough to fit your needs, and the sturdier the better. Be sure they’re attached to the frame or some other solid structural member. The movement of a toy hauler in motion can loosen ropes or cheap straps, so invest in top-quality tie-downs with positive-locking ratchets. With heavier toys, consider adding E-track rails if the space and trailer design allow.

Whether you’re looking at new or used toy haulers, take time to check the tires’ maximum load rating and date of manufacture; both are listed on the sidewall. If the load rating is marginal for your expected load, or the tires will need replacing soon because of age or wear, factor that into the deal. A new toy hauler typically is fitted with tires rated to handle the trailer’s gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr), including its intended cargo, but it never hurts to check.

Weight and balance go hand in hand, and the trailer will likely have a maximum load rating for the garage space, which must be adhered to. Failure to have a properly loaded trailer can lead to severe handling problems.

Human Cargo

With the toys’ welfare seen to, it’s time to consider yours. As with any RV, slideouts add interior space to a toy hauler’s living quarters. After years of slideout use and design, the manufacturers are pretty clever about making the most of the extra space a slideout provides while minimizing the impact on a toy hauler’s function.

Depending on the size of the toy hauler, seating room, sleeping space and storage are arranged somewhat differently. Once the toys are unloaded, most toy haulers feature fold-down sofa beds or complete queen- or full-size beds that lower from a ceiling- level storage and transport spot. This means, as long as you don’t need to park the toys inside overnight, you have use of the garage area as living space. Some trailers have higher-level storage cabinets, typically higher than the toys being hauled, while others have open-netting racks designed to handle duffel bags and the like.

The level of comfort you require for the human cargo will account for a chunk of the total cost. Toy haulers are not the rough-and-tumble, just-the-basics RVs they were at the beginning. Today they’re equipped and available with the same comfort and convenience features as any conventional camping trailer.

Consider, too, how much comfort you really need. If you’re a professional who buys a toy hauler for the shop space so you can take your business with you, by all means go wild on the living space because you’ll be spending a lot of time there. But if you and your family are weekend trail riders, you probably don’t need a washer and dryer, and a simple cooktop will do for meals. The same option and equipment selections that apply for a non-toy-hauler RV apply here.

Talon-405T toy haulerJayco Talon 405T

A dual-entry fifth-wheel with a garage loft and a bath and a half, the Jayco Talon 405T features high-end interior touches that include handcrafted and glazed doors, drawers and trim, and tongue-and-groove plywood main-floor decking. The SuperSofa theater seating has heat and massage functions, and sits in a slide opposite the entertainment center and electric fireplace. Upstairs in the roomy master suite, the queen-size bed extends in a slide, and there’s a large walk-in closet with washer-dryer prep.

The 405T features wide-body structural steel I-beam construction and aluminum- framed and vacuum-bond laminated gel-coat fiberglass exterior walls. The Magnum Truss Roof System, with one-piece seamless DiFlex II material, a non-fleece-backed TPO membrane, is the strongest tested roof in the industry, according to the manufacturer.

The ramp door has a 2,500-pound capacity, nonskid flooring and flush-mounted LED ramp lights for when the outdoor fun lasts long after dark. D-rings are mounted
to the steel frame, and there are steel backers in the floor for wheel chocks.

Exterior Length 41′ 6″
Exterior Width 8′ 6″
Interior Height 8′ 3″
Exterior Height 13′ 5″ with A/C
Garage Length 11′
Freshwater Cap. 106 gal.
Gray Cap. (Front/Rear) 50/37 gal.
Black Cap. (Front/Rear). 50/37 gal.
LP-Gas Cap. 14 gal.
UVW 13,070 lbs.
Hitch Weight 2,805 lbs.
GVWR 16,999 lbs.
MSRP, Base $83,956


Heartland-CycloneHeartland Cyclone 4214

The living room of the Cyclone 4214 is up front, while the master bedroom, with a king-size bed, is at the rear. With this fifth-wheel’s telescoping technology, the bedroom floor raises up for travel to allow motorized toys to fit underneath. The garage is wide enough to park a Polaris RZR side-by-side and is furnished with folding bunk beds.

Creature comforts start with high-quality overstuffed residential furniture and extend to an electric fireplace. The kitchen’s island has an underlit solid-surface countertop and designer cabinets with spring-loaded hidden hinges.

The midship bathroom offers a one-piece fiberglass tub, a porcelain toilet, large vanity drawers, a glass-door shower and washer-dryer prep.

The frame is made of 12-inch I-beam steel, and the walls and floor are laminated with welded tubular aluminum framing. A six-point automatic hydraulic leveling system is standard, as are 16-inch G-rated tires on aluminum wheels, a heated and enclosed underbelly with fully wrapped skirting and a one-piece walk-on roof. The triple axles are rated for 7,000 pounds each.

The 4214 comes with an 80-amp power converter and a high-flow water pump. An exterior hot/cold shower with a high-pressure nozzle keeps you and your toys from tracking mud inside. The plywood garage flooring includes TPO diamond plate, steel D-ring tie-downs are screwed into the frame, and the ultralight ramp door is rated to hold 3,000 pounds.

Exterior Length 44′ ½”
Exterior Width 8′ 5″
Interior Height 7′ 2″
Exterior Height 13′ 3″
Garage Length 14′
Freshwater Cap. 100 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap. 80/40 gal.
LP-Gas Cap. 30 gal.
UVW 16,720 lbs.
Hitch Weight 4,037 lbs.
GVWR 20,000 lbs.
MSRP, Base $114,428


Grand-Design-Momentum-ExteriorGrand Design Momentum 397TH

A triple-axle toy hauler suitable for extended stays, the Momentum 397TH fifth-wheel offers a full residential kitchen with an 18-cubic-foot Norcold four-door refrigerator and a convection microwave in a streetside slide. Two barstools scoot up to the kitchen island, with a double-basin sink.

Up front, the master suite features a queen-size bed in a slide (king bed optional) with underbed storage, a residential-style headboard, individually switched reading lights and bedside 120-volt AC and USB outlets. The neighboring bathroom has a porcelain toilet and a one-piece fiberglass shower with a glass door and a skylight. A second full bathroom is located between the kitchen and garage. Folding sofas and an optional overhead bed in the garage provide more sleeping space.

Audiovisual features include an exterior entertainment center with LED TV and DVD functions, a no-crank digital TV antenna with a booster, TV prep in the garage and a satellite/solar roof-access channel.

Outside, the 397TH has high-gloss gel-coat exterior walls, a six-point automatic leveling system and an exterior spray port by the garage entry. Two power patio awnings have LED lights; a third radial-arm awning cantilevers over the rear door.

Exterior Length 43′ 1″
Exterior Width 8′ 6″
Interior Height 8′ 4″
Exterior Height 13′ 5″
Garage Length 12′ 6″
Freshwater Cap. 155 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap. 104 gal./104 gal.
LP-Gas Cap. 14 gal.
UVW 15,600 lbs.
Hitch Weight 3,375 lbs.
GVWR 20,000 lbs.
MSRP, Base $101,184


Desert-Fox-27FSNorthwood Desert Fox 27FS

The Desert Fox 27FS travel trailer is built on an off-road-capable chassis with a fully welded, thick-wall aluminum frame. Shocks are on all four wheels, and the E-Z Lube axles have self-adjusting brakes. The 16-inch wheels are mounted on aluminum rims.

The kitchen has solid-surface countertops, stainless-steel appliances, a residential built-in microwave, an 8-cubic-foot fridge and a high-output three-burner range. The bedroom is furnished with glazed, raised-panel cabinet doors and drawers. In the bath is a porcelain toilet and a full tub for soaking away the sore muscles of the day. Other features include a premium sound system with an amplifier, outside speakers and a 32-inch LED smart TV in the living room. A custom key rack with the DFox signature is located by the entry.

The cargo area has a reinforced ramp door, rollover sofas, an electric bed with a ladder, a roll-up carpet kit and rubber cargo-area decking for sure footing. The layout of the galley is longer on the curb side to allow for larger toys. The Desert Fox is satellite- and solar-ready, with a 20-watt trickle-charge solar panel. Also included is a 40-gallon onboard fuel station.

Exterior Length 32′ 7″
Exterior Width 8′ 6″
Interior Height 8′
Exterior Height 13′
Garage Length 11′ 6″/street side, 16′ 1″/curb side
Freshwater Cap. 90 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap. 47 gal./50 gal.
LP-Gas Cap. 14 gal.
UVW 8,942 lbs.
Hitch Weight 1,494 lbs.
GVWR 12,800 lbs.
MSRP, Base $58,764


KZ-RV-Venom-V-Series-V3815TK-Fifth-Wheel-Toy-Hauler-Living-RoomKZ Venom V-Series V3815TK

The V-Series V3815TK from KZ RV is an 8-foot, 5-inch-wide fifth-wheel toy hauler that’s a home away from home for you and your dirt bikes, ATV or UTV. The KZ Engage control system monitors tank and battery levels, and extends and retracts slide rooms, the leveling system and awnings on its 5-inch screen or via a smartphone app.

The kitchen has maple-glazed solid-wood cabinetry and includes a large pantry, a hutch, solid-surface countertops and a deep stainless-steel under-mount sink with a pull-down sprayer. A two-piece stainless-steel LP-gas cooktop with a built-in oven and a 30-inch convection microwave are standard, as is the large 12-cubic-foot LP-gas/electric refrigerator.

The bedroom comes with generous cabinets, mirrored sliding closet doors, underbed storage, designer valances and an optional 32-inch HDTV. The 70-by-80-inch walk-around electric-tilt bed is the perfect place to rest up for your next adventure.

The garage has an E-Track universal track system so you can easily snap in strap fasteners and secure your toy load. Insulating foil is in the roof from front to rear; the side walls are R-11, and the roof and floor are R-38. The garage quickly transforms into a lounge area and roomy bedroom with an optional 60-by-84-inch sit-and-sleep power bed.

Outside, a standard flip-up entry step and grab handle provide solid footing. The zero-gravity loading ramp can be raised or lowered with the lift of a finger. Onboard is a 30-gallon fuel tank.

Exterior Length 42′ 10″
Exterior Width 8′ 5″
Interior Height 8′ 6″
Exterior Height 13′ 4″ with A/C
Garage Length 15′
Freshwater Cap. 112 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap. 53 gal./93 gal.
LP-Gas Cap. 14 gal.
UVW 13,470 lbs.
Hitch Weight 2,690 lbs.
GVWR 18,000 lbs.
MSRP, Base $74,900


Winnebago-SPY5W-Ext34Winnebago Spyder S29SFW

At just under 35 feet, the S29SFW is the smallest of Winnebago’s three Spyder fifth-wheel toy haulers. One of its two streetside slideouts houses a sofa and the U-shaped galley’s 30-inch convection microwave, 8-cubic-foot LP-gas/electric refrigerator and recessed three-burner cooktop with a glass cover. The expansive counter holds a stainless-steel sink with a residential-style faucet.

The front bedroom has a wardrobe slide and a 60-by-80-inch residential queen bed.
A king bed is available, as is a 32-inch LED TV. The adjacent bath features a large shower with a skylight and a porcelain foot-flush toilet.

The S29SFW has an aluminum-framed rear ramp door, an aerodynamic front cap with integrated LED lighting and aluminum-framed laminated side walls. Tires are mounted on aluminum rims, and a spare is included. Exterior speakers and lights are standard, as is a power awning with LED lights. The suspension uses leaf springs and has heavy-duty axles and brakes. Optional features include a ramp patio system with folding rails, a rear-ramp patio screen and a power HappiJac bed with a convertible sofa.

The S29SFW is made with a cold-crack-resistant floor, and comes with night shades, an LED TV, a power-vent fan, a TV antenna with Wi-Fi prep and 2,500-pound-rated tie-downs. A 15,000-Btu ducted air-conditioning system keeps things cool inside, and a 30,000-Btu furnace warms them back up through wall heat ducts. The Spyder’s underbelly is heated and enclosed and has Thermo Foil insulation, and the front cap is insulated, too. Electric 6-Point Level Up, a 55-amp/12-volt converter, solar panels and an Onan 5500 generator are options.


Exterior Length 34′ 10″
Exterior Width 8′ 6″
Interior Height 8′ 6″
Exterior Height 13′ 5″
Garage Length 14′ 11″
Freshwater Cap. 100 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap. 50 gal./50 gal.
LP-Gas Cap. 14 gal.
UVW 11,420 lbs.
Hitch Weight 3,000 lbs.
GVWR 16,000 lbs.
MSRP, Base $58,237


NINE More Garages on the Go

ATC Aluminum Toy Hauler 8.5’x40′

ATC-Toy-Hauler-5th-WheelThe Aluminum Toy Hauler 8.5’x40′ fifth-wheel uses an extruded all-aluminum body and chassis frame that, according to the manufacturer, is stronger than steel but extremely lightweight compared to conventional RV construction. The interior has an 18-cubic-foot double-door 120-volt AC/LP-gas refrigerator, a convection microwave, solid countertops and Euro-style all-aluminum cabinetry. The garage includes a configurable rack system for easy furniture rearrangement, along with the claimed strongest and widest ramp door in the industry. In the bathroom are a fiberglass shower and porcelain toilet, and the bedroom has a queen-size bed.

Exterior Length 41′ 3″
Garage Length 23′ 4″
GVWR 21,000 lbs.
MSRP, Base $95,580

Coachmen Adrenaline 21LT

Adrenaline-Front ExteriorThe dual-axle Adrenaline 21LT toy hauler/sport-utility trailer uses Alumicage construction and has a crowned, walkable roof, a heated and enclosed underbelly, 15,000-Btu air conditioner, an 18-foot awning and rain gutters with extended drip spouts. Rubberized flooring is in the cargo area. The kitchen resides along one wall with cabinetry over the two-basin sink and a microwave over the three-burner cooktop. The single slide houses a 60-by-80-inch queen bed and a dresser with four drawers and four cabinets. Options include a 265-watt Jaboni Power Products solar panel with MPPT smart controller and a 6-gallon DSI water heater.

Exterior Length 26′ 11″
Garage Length 13′ 8″
Hitch Weight 935 lbs.
GVWR 9,735 lbs.
MSRP, Base $32,117

Dutchmen Voltage 3915

Voltage Toy HaulerA king bed up front, twin beds in the over-garage loft and a power-deployed bunk out back highlight the sleeping features for the Voltage 3915 fifth-wheel. Three slideout rooms, a full bath in the front and a half-bath off the garage are standards for the floorplan that includes a forward master bedroom abutting the master bath, mid-trailer living room and galley, and aft-end 15-foot garage. Aluminum-framed construction is standard throughout.

Exterior Length 42′ 11″
Garage Length 15′
Hitch Weight 3,091 lbs.
GVWR 20,000 lbs.
MSRP, Base $126,864

Keystone Outback 335CG

Keystone-Outback-335CG-exteriorThe Outback 335CG travel trailer comes with an upgraded furniture package, a two-door 8-cubic-foot refrigerator, a three-burner range with an oven and microwave, a built-in kennel under the queen bed for furry family members and a 6-gallon LP-gas/electric water heater. The powder-coated frame has a leaf-spring equalizing suspension system and 15-inch radials on aluminum wheels.

Exterior length 37′
Garage Length 8′ 4″
Hitch Weight 1,155 lbs.
GVWR 10,500 lbs.
MSRP, Base $48,297


Palomino Puma Unleashed 383DSS

PUMA_Toy-Hauler-ExteriorThe Puma Unleashed 383DSS fifth-wheel, with a slideout on each side of the living area, features a kitchen with a 21-inch oven, a three-burner stove, a microwave and an 11-cubic-foot 12-volt DC refrigerator. Two front power jacks and two electric stabilizer jacks are standard, as is a 12-gallon water heater, 13,500-Btu ducted air conditioner and a 40-inch LED TV. Outside, a 21-foot electric awning with an LED light strip keeps the sun off.

Exterior Length 39′ 2″
Garage Length 13′ ¼
Hitch Weight 1,895 lbs.
GVWR 13,895 lbs.
MSRP, Base $34,994

The RV Factory Luxe 48FB

RV-Factory-Luxe_toy_haulerThe Luxe 48FB fifth-wheel has a 16-foot, 9-inch-long garage, electric bunks and a loft. The floor is a 3-inch welded cage with radiant-barrier
insulation and a tongue-and-groove plywood deck. The cabinetry, trim and passage doors are made of hardwood. An iN-Command system controls the lights, the three slides, and the heating and cooling via a smartphone app. There’s a 40-gallon fuel tank for the toys and
a 20-gallon generator tank. A 10-by-6.4-foot side patio is optional.

Exterior Length 48′ 2″
Garage Length 16′ 9″
Hitch Weight 4,700 lbs.
GVWR 25,999 lbs.
MSRP, Base $136,379

Vengeance Rogue Armored 351

Vengeance-Rogue-Armored351A13_ExteriorForest River’s Vengeance Rogue Armored 351 has a DuraPoxy cargo floor for durability and 5,000-pound tie-downs, a 150-gallon freshwater tank and a king-size bed. The kitchen’s three-burner cooktop and oven, 30-inch microwave and 14-cubic-foot four-door residential refrigerator are housed in a slideout. The sofa, opposite, offers seating and reclining for four with a view of the entertainment center and fireplace. Multiple USB charging ports are located throughout the fifth-wheel.

Exterior Length 43′ 8″
Garage Length 13′
Hitch Weight 3,035 lbs.
GVWR 17,035 lbs.
MSRP, Base $87,467

Work and Play 29SS

Forest-River_WorkandPlay-Front-ExteriorHandling both aspects of its name, the single-slide Work and Play 29SS travel trailer from Forest River has an 8½-foot-wide body with a frame made with Alumicage construction. It features a heated and enclosed underbelly, four-point manual stabilizer jacks and a fuel station. The front bedroom is outfitted with a king-size walk-around bed, and the bathroom has two entrances. The garage area has rubberized mats and a patio-ready ramp door.

Exterior Length 36′ 2″
Garage Length 15′ 7″
Hitch Weight 1,312 lbs.
GVWR 12,500 lbs
MSRP, Base $45,095

XLR Nitro 321

Forest-River-XLR-NitroThe Forest River XLR Nitro 321 fifth-wheel comes with a standard tire-pressure monitoring system that includes pressure and temperature readouts for all tires, even the spare. Custom garage furniture is by Roadwire, a manufacturer of restoration interiors for classic cars. The garage is separate from the living area and includes a half-bath. The spacious kitchen counter’s L-shaped design houses the sink, and the refrigerator, oven and microwave are set across from it.

Exterior Length 36′ 10″
Garage Length 11′
Hitch Weight 2,585 lbs.
GVWR 16,585 lbs.
MSRP, Base $63,728

freedom-hauler behind Arctic Fox fifth-wheelFreedom to Haul 

A dedicated toy hauler might not be in the cards for you, but that’s no reason not to take your toys with you. The Freedom Hauler is essentially an extension of your trailer or fifth-wheel, thanks to its patented pressure-sensing system and engineering. The long list of accessories — including side rails, deck extensions, toolboxes and an aluminum diamond-plate deck topper — lets you customize it to carry side-by-sides, ATVs, motorcycles, snowmobiles and even Smart cars. The Freedom Hauler is available in six lengths, from 4 to 12 feet, and is covered by a three-year warranty. MSRP starts at $5,400. www.freedomhauler.com


Fifth-Wheel TrailersToy HaulerToy HaulersTravel Trailers

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