Your Guide to Expandable Travel Trailers

Breaking down the pros and cons of expandable travel trailers

Expandable travel trailers
••• Expandable travel trailers give you everything you could want in a travel trailer with more room to spare when parked. Jayco

When you think you know all about the distinct types of styles and types of RVs, a modern style pops up that you weren’t even aware existed. Let’s think of this scenario, you have a family of four and are considering your RV options. You like the simplicity, cost, and compactness provided by a pop-up camper, but the available room won’t cut it for you. You want the practicality and space offered by a travel trailer, but they are too cumbersome on the road.

How can you get the compactness of a pop-up with the space and amenities of a nice travel trailer? You can consider expandable travel trailers. Let's look at expandable travel trailers including their pros and cons. From here, you can decide if this type of trailer is right for you.

Everything You Need to Know About Expandable Travel Trailers

The expandable travel trailer is a hybrid between a pop-up camper and a traditional travel trailer. The trailer looks like a travel trailer on the road, but when you arrive at the campsite, you expand areas to provide more room. Often, this extra room comes in expanded sleeping quarters found at the front and back portions of the trailer. In more customized models, you get extra space in places such as the living room and dining room.

You can think of this room like slide outs found in some motorhomes and coaches. The expandable travel trailer stays compact on the road but expands to accommodate more once you arrive at your site. This makes it much easier to tow but gets all the space you need once you reach your destination.

Pro Tip: Expandable travel trailers were initially designed as a type of mobile home that could be more easily transportable. It’s possible you’ve seen these before even if you aren’t familiar with the trailer type.

Pros of Expandable Travel Trailers

The advantages of the expandable travel trailer are the same found in traditional travel trailers and motorhomes. Here are some pros of investing in an expandable travel trailer:

  • Compactness: Pop-up campers are popular due to their compact size and low weight. While most expandable travel trailers cannot collapse to the size of a pop-up, they save space by collapsing and expanding. This gives you a much smaller footprint on the road while on your travels.
  • Customization: Expandable travel trailer can be customized more than many types of RVs on the market because of the increase in space. This allows for a bigger kitchen, bigger bathroom, and more area for sleeping.
  • Amenities: Many people may hesitate at pop-up campers because they are not feature rich. This is a result of the collapsibility of the pop-up if it can’t compact then it can’t go into a pop-up camper. Most expandable travel trailers are travel trailer bodies that have expandable sleeping quarters. The main living areas of the trailer can still be decked out with lavish amenities and features.

    Cons of Expandable Travel Trailers

    Like anything else, the expandable travel trailers do have its cons, too. Let's look at some of those cons:

    • Comfort: Some of the significant benefits of expandable travel trailers do have their drawbacks when it comes to the sleeping quarters. Like a pop-up camper bed, luxurious comfort is usually not the name of the game. The expandable sleeping quarters can be cramped. Your walls are made of vinyl and the sleeping quarters don’t offer much protection from the outside elements.
    • Longevity: The expandable portions will also face the same enemies as the pop-up campers such as leaks, tears, mold, and mildew. This means the expandable travel trailer will need more maintenance than a travel trailer.
    • Maintenance: Speaking of maintenance, expandable travel trailers need more maintenance than most RV types on the market because of the size and customization options available. They said have bi-annual inspections to ensure everything is in working condition.
    • Price: Expandable travel trailers can be more expensive than other types of trailers on the market, such as fifth wheel RVs or traditional travel trailers. Due to the unique nature of this trailer type, building, customizing, and transporting them can up the cost of long-term maintenance and storage.

      Expandable travel trailers are an excellent option for those who can’t make up their mind between a pop-up and a travel trailer. The hybridization of these two RV types makes the expandable travel trailer a great option. While most don’t travel on the road with this type of RV, it’s perfect for those itching to find a destination to call home.