Is A Toy Hauler RV Right For You?

Robin, Warren and their family play outside of their Keystone Fuzion toy hauler RV.

Toy haulers get their name due to the rear garage space that can house ATVs, dirt bikes, motorcycles, and other motorized toys. However, this space isn’t just used to transport toys, as many RVers are now finding ways to convert the garage into a guest bedroom, an office, a classroom, a playroom, even a gym.

In addition to the garage, toy haulers are known for their high ceilings, large tanks and exterior patios. However, some buyers are concerned about getting a toy hauler due to challenges with towing and layout limitations.

To help address some of these concerns and highlight just how customizable and versatile toy haulers really are, we asked four different owners to share why they ultimately decided to buy a toy hauler and how the RV they chose fits their unique lifestyle. They address some common toy hauler complaints, including challenges with sway control and weight distribution, quality of materials used, and lack of livable space, and share their advice for anyone interested in buying a toy hauler.

What You Should Know About Toy Haulers

  1. Why did you choose your specific toy hauler?

    If you live for rugged adventures using ATVs, dirt bikes or other motorized toys, then a toy hauler RV is the clear choice. However, my husband and I don’t own any toys and we still chose a toy hauler. When we stepped inside our Cruiser RV Stryker, we were instantly taken aback by the spacious interior, sleek design and impressive ceiling height. The nine-foot ceilings throughout, including in the shower stall, were the key to comfort for my husband who stands well over 6 feet tall. Even though we downsized from our previous fifth wheel, the toy hauler provided more comfort—a king-size bed, more room for guests to sleep, and an adjustable layout that provided options for our two dogs and two cats. Purchasing a great rig for boondocking was another top priority. The thirty-foot toy hauler we chose has a 100-gallon freshwater tank and a 57-gallon capacity for the gray and black tanks. These features, along with the fuel station, onboard generator and adequate ground clearance, have allowed us to stay off-grid for two consecutive weeks. One of the most exciting reasons for purchasing a toy hauler over a travel trailer or fifth wheel is the option to use the back door as a patio, which extends the living space. — Amy Rekart / Part-Time Couple / Cruiser RV Stryker

  2. Did you have any concerns about buying a toy hauler? If so, what were they and how did you address them?

    Weight is often a concern with such a big RV but our Ford F-350 truck handles the toy hauler like a dream, especially with sway bars. When we traveled in our toy hauler for an extended period, I was also concerned that we’d want more structured storage space. However, we found ways to maximize our storage by installing things like wall-mounted shoe racks and large bins that can double as extra seating. Our last concern was that the added length would limit where we could camp. We’ve become such big fans of slow travel and boondocking that size or length is never an issue. When we want to go further out, we simply set up camp, detach and go. — Nate & Chelsea Day / Part-Time Family / Highland Ridge Highlander

  3. What are some of your favorite hobbies and activities, and how does your toy hauler fit these?

    From accommodating our running stroller, bicycles, scooters, and fitness equipment, our toy hauler is ideal when it comes to storage space and quickly getting our gear outdoors. The fuel station and generator also ensure that we can take our journey to any location and remain self-sufficient. The toy hauler also has rubber flooring and anchor points in the back, so we can easily do messy projects or strap down equipment without worrying about damaging anything during a big move. —Samantha Baderschneider / Extended-Travel Family / Dutchmen Voltage

  4. How do you maximize living space in your toy hauler?

    Our toy hauler has 26 square feet of living space, so the garage acts as a multi-purpose area—the living room, dining room, office, and guest sleeping quarters. There are usually numerous different options for furniture set-ups in toy haulers to help accommodate space for toys. There are at least four furniture layout options with retractable benches and recliners. Changing the layout is simple, and when we felt cramped or needed a change, we appreciated the ability to rearrange so easily. Our needs are ever-evolving, especially now with our new baby, but the great thing about toy haulers is their ability to be customized to fit one’s needs. We will be brainstorming ways to add a crib soon! — Amy Rekart / Part-Time Couple / Cruiser RV Stryker

  5. What is your advice for towing a toy hauler RV?

    Establishing a process and taking your time is the best way to tow your toy hauler safely. Also, routine maintenance and inspections will ensure that everything is working correctly. Get very familiar with your height, weight and length, as this will not only help you plan driving routes but it will also ensure you have the right tow vehicle. Your vehicle should be able to tow your toy hauler when it is packed with all of your gear, fluids and gas (remember, water is really heavy!). You can use truck stop scales to weigh your RV, and we recommend checking that weight regularly if you are constantly adding or removing things from the RV. — Samantha Baderschneider / Extended-Travel Family / Dutchmen Voltage

  6. What advice would you give someone who is considering buying a toy hauler RV?

    Rent a toy hauler for the weekend and see if you can picture yourself traveling in a small space. Think about your individual family’s needs. How much space will you need? Will you be traveling with kids or pets? Are you going to be working from the RV? Remember that the garage in a toy hauler doesn’t need to strictly transport toys. We use ours as a second bedroom, classroom, playroom, and office. Look for models that offer sound-proof doors into the garage. This way, you can have a quiet private space that feels separate from the main living area. Another thing to look for is where the bathrooms are located compared to the slideouts. If you plan to travel a lot, being able to pull over and access the bathroom, without having to push the slides out, is a major benefit. — Desiree Fairchild / Extended-Travel Family / Keystone Raptor

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