Travel Trailer vs. RV

As the ongoing pandemic forces us to be mindful of social distancing, activities like camping have been gaining a lot of popularity and traction. But what if you want to enjoy the great outdoors without leaving behind the luxuries of home? Ever since the development of RVs and travel trailers, people have been able to experience the excitement of adventure while still having all the amenities of a hotel parked a few feet away. So, if you are craving adventure but don’t want to rough it out with Mother Nature, you may be thinking about investing in one of the above. 

Travel Trailer vs. RV: An Overview

The most apparent difference between the two is that an RV, otherwise known as a motorhome, can be driven by itself while a travel trailer must be towed. Both have become extremely popular amongst travelers and campers today. One of the most attractive features of both types is their versatility. Both RVs and travel trailers come in various sizes and will have different amenities depending on how much you are willing to spend. They can also be customized to the exact requirement of the owner. To help you decide which one is most suited for your needs, let us go in-depth and tackle the following topics:

  • Price
  • Mileage
  • Insurance Costs
  • Maintenance
  • Usage
  • Driveability
  • Depreciation


One of the most significant differences between the two is the price tag that comes along with them. Keep in mind that RVs and Motorhomes are self-propelled vehicles, and starting prices for a basic motorhome can be somewhere around $50,000. The main advantage is that you don’t require an additional vehicle to pull it around.

Travel trailers, on the other hand, are much cheaper. In fact, you can find decent-sized models listed between $20,000 and $30,000, which is a significant price difference. Travel trailers are an excellent option for those with more modest requirements. But if you want luxury, there are ultra-luxurious travel trailers available, so it’s all dependent upon your budget. 


As mentioned before, motorhomes and RVs are self-propelled vehicles and run on their own diesel-powered engines. The average Class C motorhome gets about 15 miles to the gallon depending on its specifications, which is low in comparison to the capabilities of modern passenger vehicles. However, it is the price you will have to pay to drive around in your mini living space.

But towing a travel trailer will also impact mileage, though it depends on the vehicle towing it. Another thing to consider is that if you use a travel trailer, you can detach it at your campsite and complete quick errands without your trailer in tow.

Insurance Costs

This one is pretty straightforward. The amount you will be paying to insure your rig will depend on its size and the features you may add. Simply put, the more features you have, the higher the insurance costs. In many cases, travel trailers cost much less than RVs to insure. Regardless, you will want to shop around with a couple of insurance companies until you find the best quote for each vehicle type.


Just like your home or your daily vehicle, your camper will need regular maintenance, so you must take this into account when determining your total costs. Again, most RVs cost much more in repair and maintenance than a travel trailer. The primary reason is that RVs come with the maintenance costs of an individual vehicle and those of an RV.

You could be looking at spending several thousand dollars a year to maintain an RV, depending on how often you use it. It can cost less than half of an RV’s maintenance expense to maintain a travel trailer. However, you must also still consider the maintenance cost of the tow vehicle when accounting for the total cost of upkeep.


The frequency in which you plan to use the vehicle is another essential factor to consider before making your purchase. Are you someone who spends a lot of time on the road or commits to a long, cross-country adventure every year and doesn’t like staying in hotels? If so, then maybe an RV makes the most sense.

However, if you are someone who is looking to purchase one of these just for your annual family reunion or the occasional camping trip with your buddies, you may be better off with a travel trailer.


For the ultimate “luxury on the go” experience, there is simply nothing quite like an RV. Be reminded, it is against the law for people to be onboard a travel trailer while it is being towed. Thus, any luxury experience you are expecting has to wait till you have reached your campsite. On the other hand, an RV allows its passengers to roam freely (and safely!) in the cabin while someone covers the miles behind the wheel.

RVs are also much more comfortable to drive and allow the driver to reach respectable speeds without the fear of a trailer swaying around in the back. For someone inexperienced with driving long vehicles - or those with a pivot point - a motorhome/RV may feel a bit more manageable.


Just like any other vehicle out there, an RV or travel trailer will depreciate over time, and neither option holds its value exceptionally well. Here is what you need to consider:

Travel trailers do not come with added mechanical parts that RVs do. Therefore, the wear and tear on a travel trailer will likely be much less than that of an RV. While this may lead one to believe travel trailers depreciate slower than motorhomes, uncontrollable factors like the release of new models will still reduce the value of your trailer over time.