Of the four main types of trailers — motor homes, fifth wheels, toy haulers, and pull alongs — there are tons of manufacturers with a variety of takes on 20-40 ft. rigs. Trying to look through all of the options can be overwhelming, so we’ve listed the best RV features we’ve found. Some are more essential than others, but go ahead and peruse the list below to see what’s most important to you!
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This is something that’s primarily seen on toy haulers as they’re used the most in dry camping. But beyond just dry camping, it has helped us twice when power went out at our campsite in the winter.
A generator will replace up to 45 amps — enough to power two AC units and a large refrigerator, along with and everything else — when you don’t have a power supply. However, your battery really can’t power much past your ceiling lights, motorized awning, levelers, and starting the generator.
A few things to note here: most generators run on gas, propane, or diesel (not battery power) and most rigs can be outfitted with them, but it is more costly to do so after the fact. That’s why we looked for it ahead of time — and if we ever customize a rig, we’ll be sure to add it.
2) Winter package
This feature can be called different things by different manufacturers, but it just means that the trailer is outfitted for extreme temperatures — mainly by adding heated pipes / tanks.
Even if you’re never going to be in a cold enough environment, it’s a great option to have for resale. Where it may only cost an extra $1,000, it can be a major plus for potential buyers.
For reference, we’ve seen them in motor homes, fifth wheels, toy haulers, and pull alongs.
3) East-to-west bedroom on a slide
This feature is more common in fifth wheels and motor homes, but you can find it on toy haulers and pull alongs as well. There’s two reasons it makes a big difference: 1) it allows for more walking space around the bed and a bigger closet, and 2) you have more counter space in the bedroom. The latter can be important if you are living in the trailer residentially and / or you want a TV bigger than 32”.
The east-to-west bedroom is one of the best RV features to us even though it ultimately takes up an extra foot or two of trailer length. It hasn’t been as common in recent years which is a shame since it’s pretty awesome!
4) Washer and dryer hookup
Now that we have a trailer with a washer and dryer, we couldn’t imagine going without one. As one of our neighbors put it, It’s nice when you’re on vacation so you don’t have a ton of laundry to do when you get home. And it’s essential for full time living if you don’t want to use laundromats. It’s without a doubt one of the best RV features out there.
You don’t have to buy a washer and dryer right away, but you will want to have the hookup ready. It can be found in all types of RVs, but predominantly in larger rigs. You can usually find the hookup in the master closet, in a bathroom, or in the garage in the case of some toy haulers.
This can come in many forms, but let’s look at a few:
- Undercarriage space – This can be as simple as a pass through on fifth wheels and toy haulers, an open space under a room in some fifth wheels, or compartments at the bottom of a motor home.
- Garage – This is found mostly in toy haulers as a separate room or an extension of the living room. But some fifth wheels and pull alongs have a full-sized compartment at the back. The benefit here is that you can bring along ATVs and motorcycles — depending on the weight limitations of your trailer’s axles. But you can also use them for general storage or — if you have a garage with a door to the main area — a separate bedroom!
- Loft – This is normally used as an additional sleeping area above a room, but it’s been helpful for us to use it as a storage space. We just placed cubbies in it and can add games and extra snacks up there.
6) Outdoor entertainment
This can be anything from an outdoor TV, to an outdoor kitchen, to a patio. You’ll likely be spending some time outside — especially if you’re in a place with good weather — so these features are definitely a plus. Our personal favorite is a side patio and a back patio — usually found in toy hauler floorplans.
7) Accessible bathroom
Most trailers include a bathroom, but one nice feature when taking road trips that are longer than an hour or two is that we can use our own restroom. We have a toy hauler with a bathroom by the front door and one in the garage. In some fifth wheels, the only way to get to the front bathroom is to push the slide out. Not a must have, but definitely something to consider when looking at floor plans for fifth wheels, pull alongs, toy haulers, and motor homes.
8) Residential fridge
Up until recently, many RVs came with compact propane fridges and freezers. But more manufacturers are adding in 18 cubic feet residential electric refrigerators that get much colder than their propane-based predecessors. This has been a life saver for us as we can use something comparable to what we had in a house and can bring more food on our trips.
For reference, it can be available in any type of rig while it’s more common in bigger ones.
9) Oversized rooms
This feature is more common now and can come in many forms: a theater room, a large kitchen, a full sized bathroom, or a bunk room. Unfortunately, you can’t have all of them, so pick which one is most appealing to you!
There are a lot of options out there, but we focused our list of the best RV features on ones that have made the most difference for us. Good luck on finding the best rig for your situation!
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