The towable RV provides an inexpensive
way to enjoy the comforts of RVing
What About Towable RVs?
Spending money wisely is applies to RVing the same way it applies to other aspects of personal finance. If you have
enjoyed hiking and tent camping, the next step is to consider RVing. The towable RV provides an inexpensive way to enjoy
the comforts of RVing, especially if you already have a vehicle equipped with a tow hitch. They are ideal for working families
and anyone else that has limited time to use their RV or wants to keep RVing costs as low as possible
As RVers and RV manufacturers address the escalating costs of fuel and other increases in the cost of living, RVers are
showing increased interest in towable RVers as a possible alternative to solve both problems
The towable RV, whether pop-up, travel trailer or fifth-wheel, provides an excellent way for those with limited vacation time to
enjoy the RV lifestyle for weekends and vacations. Aficionados of the RV lifestyle considering extended RVing or full-timing
may want to check out the larger fifth-wheels that offer a full array of features, space, and creature comforts that can include
dishwashers and fireplaces.
The cardinal rule of towable RVing is to understand that the size and weight of the RV is affected and limited by the towing
capacity of the tow vehicle. Exceeding the towing capacity of your tow vehicle can result in poor and dangerous handling;
present braking and overheating difficulties, and lead to expensive engine and transmission repairs.
Also, exceeding the towing capacity of your tow vehicle may result in additional liability issues and problems if an accident
occurs while towing.
Note 1: If at all possible, select the towable RV that meets your needs before purchasing the tow vehicle.
Note 2: If you already have a tow vehicle, be sure to limit your review of towable RVs to those that can safely be towed with
your existing tow vehicle
RVers will find that the RV industry has been continually upgrading their manufacturing processes to provide a better and
more reliable RV, upgrading the interiors and accessories, and providing models and accessories that maximize your
Towables are popular because of price range and excellent selection of models that can meet just about anyone’s
requirements. Other factors attracting RVers to towables are the decreased maintenance costs and lower insurance costs
compared to motorhomes also make them desirable.
Towables are available in a wide range of prices with a good selection of new 24’ – 26’ travel trailers in the $15K - $25K
range and 24’ – 28’ fifth-wheels that can be towed by many pickup trucks starting at $30K.
Fulltimers and extended RVers find the feature-packed 36’ – 40’ fifth-wheels with multiple slides and more space than a
motorhome costing $50 - $100K and up ideal for trips of any duration on the road. The previously-owned towable RV is
used buy many entering the RV lifestyle or upgrading their present RV able to stretch the RVing dollars.
Taking several steps will help narrow down the search to get the RV that best meets your needs and wants. First, RVers
who already have a tow vehicle should contact the manufacturer to confirm the towing capacity, maximum hitch weight, and
transmission and braking system cooling features.
Next, determine the price range, and any down payment and monthly payments that fit your budget. And finally, discuss how
the RV will be used, how many adults and children will be using it, and the features and amenities you would like in your
RVers have seen several new types of towable RVs introduced in the last few years, including the hybrid travel trailer RV to
maximize available space, the Sports Utility RV (SURV), or toy hauler, and the ultra-light towable RV that maximizes fuel
Families with children like the hybrid towables, such as the Jayco Featherweight, that provide canvas covered sleeping
platform extensions at the rear and/or front of the RV. The moderately-priced hybrid RVs range from 17 – 26’ and longer and
provide lots of sleeping capacity and also providing lots of usable space inside the RV.
The SURVs are popular with those enjoying ATVs, motorcycles, snow-mobiles, kayaks, and more who need the ability to
carry them along to various destinations while still having the creature comforts of an RV.
Ultra light travel trailers are popular with RVers driving light duty crossover vehicles, mini-vans, SUVs and pickup trucks that
want to enjoy RVing and also enjoy the fuel economy of their present fuel efficient tow vehicles. Ultra lights can weigh in
under 2500 lbs. and as short as 13’. Check http://www.lightweight-rv-news.com/ more info about ultra lights and
While the manufacturing and assembly process, level of finishing, and RV features are affected by the price, RVers should
do as much research as they can to select towable RVs that meet their needs. You will find useful information visiting
manufacturer websites on the Internet, talking to other RVers, reading the reviews and technical comments about towables
in RV magazines and RV club websites, and comparison shopping for different models and RV dealers to ensure getting
the RV you want.
It’s important to consider both exterior and interior considerations in evaluating the different models and features.
Exterior Considerations include selecting a model from manufacturers that conduct high-pressure testing for leaks on every
unit, uses windows installed in frames to reduce leaks rather than attaching windows directly to the RV, and provides
improved fiberglass exteriors with built-in UV protection and Vacubond panel construction, similar to that used in
Other factors might include the use of aluminum frames, air ride hitches using air bags for fifth-wheels, and air ride or
MOR/ryde suspension in larger fifth-wheel RVs. Also popular are the use of upgraded exterior panels with gel coat finish or
DuPont ® finishes and clearcoat and the use of custom exterior colors and decals to match the tow vehicle.
Interior Considerations include selecting floor plans and cabinetry. Many entry level towables come with an oak or maple
cabinetry finish with cabinets constructed of particle board. Consider upgrading to a model with solid wood doors on all
cabinetry, solid surface counter tops such as Corian ®, and look for improved interior walls manufactured without the use of
It is important to use the correct wiring harnesses and mounting brackets for flat-screen LCD-HDTVs for the best picture
and audio quality for flat-screen HD-TVs and entertainment systems. Check the user manuals for the appropriate HDMI or
component cabling requirements. You may also want to look for upgraded interior furnishings, furniture and fixtures.
|All original content Copyright © 2009 by Alan and Barbara Lidstone. All Rights Reserved.
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|Caspersen Beach, Venice, FL