Skip to Content

The Case Against Travel Trailers

RVing is a trend that’s sweeping across the nation. New and used rigs are selling like hotcakes, and many purchases are by first-time owners.

Based on sales stats, most consider travel trailers when shopping for the perfect rig.

A travel trailer may be an appealing option at first, but they’re not all that great in the long run. Let’s look at why you might want to think twice when shopping for travel trailers. 

What Are Travel Trailers? 

Travel trailers are easily the most common RV you’ll see in campgrounds. They come in many lengths and weights, and you would often use a ball and receiver to hitch the trailer to the tow vehicle. 

Travel trailers are a popular option because they don’t always require a large tow vehicle and come with various layouts and floorplans.

You can find a travel trailer for practically any adventure.

Are Travel Trailers a Waste Of Money?

Travel trailers are only a waste of money if you don’t use them. RVs generally depreciate faster than vehicles. The only return on investment that many RVers expect is the number of memories they make.

Travel trailers make it possible for adventure seekers to get out and be active by themselves or with those they love.

No matter how much you pay for a travel trailer, it’s a waste not to use it. You should make sure you’ll have time to use an RV and that it’s not going to be more of a burden than it’s worth.

Why Do Travel Trailers Have So Many Problems?

You typically hear about travel trailers having many problems because all RVs have similar issues. RVs have sensitive systems that require routine maintenance. If you don’t stay up to date, there’s a high probability that you’ll experience a problem.

Many owners fail to keep up with the recommended maintenance on their RVs. Some may even misuse them. This increases wear and tear and shortens the life of some of the sensitive components on their new RV.

It’s also no secret in the RV community that manufacturers may not always use the highest quality of materials. Combine that with the fact that manufacturers often focus on producing RVs as quickly as possible, and you’re bound to have some issues that the factory may have overlooked. These may pop up the more you tow a travel trailer over roads with many bumps and potholes. 

Pro Tip: Unsure Why Are Travel Trailers Less Safe? We took a closer look to keep you safe and sound while on the road.

What Are the Most Common Problems With Travel Trailers? 

Some of the most common problems with travel trailers are plumbing, tires, and structural issues. An RV plumbing system is very different from residential plumbing. If you use the same amount of toilet paper in your RV plumbing that you do at home, there’s a good chance you’ll develop a clog.

The tires on your rig are essential, and many RVers can overlook them. Towing travel trailers with tires with too low or high pressure can be very dangerous. It can result in a tire failure, which can cause a severe amount of damage to a travel trailer. Keeping your travel trailer tires in good condition is crucial.

Lastly, structural problems can occur in travel trailers. Water can penetrate the rig if you fail to inspect seals and the roof. Leaks can exist for weeks or even months before the damage becomes apparent. These problems can cause massive harm to an RV, including dangerous types of mold.

Some RVers have even discovered that lackluster craftsmanship during construction caused issues as they towed their RV between campsites.

Aerial image of SUV towing travel trailer next to lake.
Enjoy traveling the world in your travel trailer for around ten years.

How Long Do Travel Trailers Last?

A typical travel trailer should last approximately ten years. However, RVs that are well taken care of and stored appropriately can last longer. If you fail to do maintenance, put off addressing issues, and abuse your RV, you may only get three to five years out of a brand new RV.

Pro Tip: We found The Best Travel Trailers for Holding Value to ensure you make a good investment!

What Is the Most Reliable Travel Trailer Brand?

There are many travel trailer brands, but a few stand out from the rest. Some brands with quality craftsmanship, customer service, and value include Grand Design, Airstream, Oliver Travel Trailers, Lance Campers, and Outdoors RV.

Some brands have been around for decades and take pride in their history of quality. However, some brands are new to the scene but produce some of the highest quality and most reliable travel trailers on the market.

Is Buying a Travel Trailer a Good Investment?

Purchasing a travel trailer and expecting a monetary return on your investment may end in disappointment. They may depreciate quickly and be worth half the original value several years down the road.

However, if you’re purchasing a travel trailer to invest in making memories and a fulfilling sense of adventure, you can have a return on your investment. Owning a travel trailer is a great way to get out and explore nature. You can disconnect from ordinary life and enjoy a change of pace.

What travel trailer are you considering for your next RV purchase? Drop a comment below!

Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA

To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).

You should give it a try!

As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.

Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site! 

We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Bruce Tench says:

    Quality issues in RVs has been a major concern for years. I shopped for years before deciding to buy a cargo trailer because the quality is just so much better. One big advantage is you can design the interior any way you want, it’s blank slate. Seems to be a trend going in this direction cuz people are refusing to pay ridiculous prices for subpar products.

  2. Mark Madden says:

    The case you make against travel trailers is true for ANY RV. The pros of buying a travel trailer you don’t mention: you can buy one for any where from 30% to 80% less than a motor home. With a motorhome you either two a second vehicle or take everything with you when you need a loaf of bread. Our 2year old travel trailer has over 15,000 miles and 75+ nights of use. The only negative I have found is towing on some windy days and sometimes the parking is slightly more challenging.

  3. Toxicbeowulf says:

    I hate to say it, but the RV industry needs oversight. They are the 21st century scammers. Sub par manufacturing and don’t look to the dealership for help.