Winter road trips can bring beautiful sights to see and camping adventures to try. If you’re looking to escape to the mountains and see some snow, you’ll need a dependable vehicle to get you there. Both travel trailers and motorhomes are viable options for winter road trips, but there are some differences to consider before making a purchase.
Adventures await in the cold weather before springtime comes around. If you haven’t already purchased or rented an RV for road trips, you may be considering some different options. Winter travels require a vehicle equipped for the weather, which travel trailers and motorhomes alike have to offer.
Motorhome Pros & Cons
A motorhome will be larger than a travel trailer, and the interior is more carefully designed to resemble a miniature home. Their slightly more comfortable design makes them better suited to long-term camping trips or frequent vacations. If you prefer the additional comfort and square footage, or if you go on a lot of vacations, a motorhome may be your preferred choice.
Overall, a motorhome is more expensive than a travel trailer. It will cost more upfront than a trailer, whether new or used, and any insurance you purchase will charge a higher rate for motorhomes simply because of their larger size. And of course, motorhomes will require more maintenance.
A class C motorhome powered by a diesel engine can get about 15 miles per gallon. While this isn’t an incredible rate, it’s made slightly simpler by the fact that refueling a motorhome is virtually identical to refueling a typical car. No special equipment or additional steps are required.
Travel Trailer Pros & Cons
Travel trailers cost significantly less than motorhomes do because of their smaller size and slightly less fancy interiors. Additionally, you’ll pay less for insurance and maintenance. While you do get a smaller vehicle in this case, anyone who takes less frequent vacations or simply wants something easier to handle will enjoy a travel trailer.
Of course, you’ll need a strong vehicle to haul a trailer and you can expect only about 10 mpg while hauling, but there’s a key trade-off that you won’t get from a motorhome. If you tow your trailer, you can park the trailer, unhook your vehicle, and drive more freely during your vacation. This allows you far more freedom to sightsee instead of having to functionally pack up your entire “home” every time you need groceries.
Pro Tip: If you’re buying a travel trailer, you have the option to rent it out for a passive income while you aren’t using it.
Features to Consider
Each travel trailer or motorhome is different, but several key features will stand out between the two. For instance, since a motorhome is designed to be a home-away-from-home, you’re essentially driving your entire house around on your vacation. Motorhomes also generally come equipped with generators or septic tanks (or they can be easily added) so you don’t have to hook up in a campsite every night. However, their size can make driving slightly more challenging and unless you bring a second vehicle, you have to drive the motorhome everywhere you go on your trip.
The relative simplicity and lower costs of a travel trailer make it a slightly better choice for first-time RV owners or less frequent vacationers. If fewer fancy features and a significantly lower price point make the tradeoff worth it to you, you may be better off starting with a travel trailer.
Choosing a Winter Travel Investment
Depending on your budget, your preferences, and how frequently you travel, you can probably determine whether a motorhome or travel trailer better suits your needs. Find the vehicle that works best for you and your family and start planning your next cross-country adventure!
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