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  7. Are Toy Haulers the True Outdoor Lover’s Rig

Are Toy Haulers the True Outdoor Lover’s Rig

Find Out Everything That Makes A Toy Hauler Great (And What Doesn't)

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As someone who has lived in several RVs, I can definitely say that certain types are better suited for different lifestyles. But, I’ve been hearing this question a lot lately: Are toy haulers the true outdoor lover’s rig?

So, I thought I’d use this opportunity to highlight some of the advantages and disadvantages of toy haulers. And I know that ‘outdoor lovers’ come in many varieties, so I’ll provide a few more specifics on the kind of lifestyle that toy haulers are best suited for. Here we go!

What Is A Toy Hauler?

Forest River Ozark Toy Hauler

Forest River Ozark Toy Hauler (Image from Camping World)

Before we dive into pros and cons, it’s important that you have a clear definition of what a toy hauler is. Toy haulers are trailers (or 5th wheels) that are towed behind a large truck. They have a garage space at the back of the rig for storing your toys and outdoor recreation equipment.

These garages usually have a large, fold-down door that acts as a ramp for easily pulling ATVs or other motorized toys in and out of the garage. And when you pull your toys out, the garage space in most toy haulers can be converted to an additional living or sleeping space.

Advantages of Toy Haulers

For many types of outdoorsy folks, there are some very clear benefits to choosing a toy hauler over any other type of RV, fifth wheel, or travel trailer. Let’s discuss some of those advantages.

Customized Storage Space

No other type of RV provides a garage space for storing large off-road vehicles and/or recreation equipment. And, many toy haulers feature mounting brackets that allow you to customize your garage space according to your specific needs.

Full-Time Comfort

Toy haulers are a popular choice for full-time RV living because their floor plans feature living and sleeping spaces, fully functional kitchens, bathrooms with wet showers, and a garage (plus underneath compartments) for storage.

In essence, they feature everything that you’ll find in most residential homes. But it’s simply in a more compact package. And you’ll have the freedom to change the scenery in your backyard whenever you need a change of pace.

Perfect for Base Camping

Toy haulers are the perfect rigs for setting up at a destination where there’s a lot to explore. Because you’ll be able to unhook your towing vehicle, you’ll have the perfect basecamp from which to explore nearby hikes, Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) trails, waterways for paddling, or anything else that your outdoor-loving family wants to explore.

ATVs Off-Roading

Toy Haulers are great for, obviously, hauling toys. (Image from Getty)


Toy haulers are also versatile because the garage space can be converted to different setups. While gear and toy storage may be its primary function, most of these rigs have designed the garage space to become a comfortable indoor-outdoor lounge and/or additional sleeping space when your toys are unloaded.

In addition, the ramps on the back of many toy haulers can become enclosed decks or patio areas when they are folded down. This makes toy haulers one of the few types of RVs that allow you to truly enjoy the feel of having a back deck like you would at home!

Disadvantages of Toy Haulers

There are always two sides to every story, and toy haulers are no different. So, it would be negligent if I didn’t also take a few seconds here to highlight some of the disadvantages of toy haulers.


You’ll need quite a large truck to safely tow most toy haulers. And because the garage area is in the rear of these rigs, loading them so that the weight is evenly distributed for safe towing can sometimes be a challenge.

Off-Road Capability

Toy haulers might not be the best choice for outdoor lovers that like getting as far off-the-grid as possible. These rigs are meant for towing them down long, unmaintained dirt roads so that you can set up a base camp where few others would ever dare to go.

Insulated Living Space

This can depend on the exact model that you purchase, but some toy haulers don’t come with well-insulated garage areas. This means that, for example, you’ll have less usable living space inside a 40-foot toy hauler than with a 40-foot travel trailer, especially when the weather gets cooler.


Toy haulers are generally more expensive than Class B and Class C RVs for full-time living. Plus, you’ll have to factor in the cost of upgrading to a truck that’s rated to tow the weight of your toy hauler if you don’t already have one.

Creative Ways to Use Garage Space in a Toy Hauler

Some people who live in their toy haulers full-time get quite creative when it comes to the ways in which they utilize their garage space. Instead of always just using it for gear or toy storage, here are a few other ideas for how you might use your garage space to suit your lifestyle.

  • Office space
  • Workshop
  • Arts and crafts space
  • Extra bedroom
  • Exercise studio
  • Kids playroom
  • Party and/or gathering space
  • Patio/porch

There’s really no limit to how you might customize your toy hauler’s garage to suit your specific needs. For example, take a look at how this couple completely transformed their garage into a beautiful master bedroom so that their growing family could live more comfortably!

Who Are Toy Haulers Best For?

Many people think toy haulers are only for folks who love spending their outdoor recreation time off-roading with their dune buggies, ATVs, dirt bikes, or tricked-out rock scramblers. While this is who many toy hauler manufacturers have in mind when they design their floor plans, many others can find great value in toy haulers.

Toy haulers are really best for outdoor lovers who need to haul along a lot of gear. If you have a lot of different types of outdoor recreation gear and toys, no other type of RV or travel trailer offers as much storage space as you’ll find in a toy hauler. And toy haulers give you the added ability to personally customize that storage space better than any other rig.

As you can tell, toy haulers certainly are a great choice for outdoor lovers…of a certain persuasion. At the end of the day, only you can decide which type of recreational vehicle is best suited to your unique outdoor (and indoor) lifestyle choices.

Tucker Ballister
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