Travel trailers or caravans are trailers towed behind a road vehicle to provide a place to sleep that is more comfortable, sheltered and protected compared to a tent (although there are fold-down tent trailers). They provide the means for people to have their own home on a journey or a vacation (holiday), without relying on a hotel, and let them to stay in places where none is available.
Travel trailers and caravans vary from small basic models that may be little more than a tent on wheels to those containing several rooms with all the furniture and furnishings and equipment of a home. They are used chiefly in North America and Europe and are rare elsewhere, thus this article deals mainly with those continents.
Please take note that for safety reasons in North America and Europe it is generally unlawful for people to ride in a travel trailer or caravan while it is being towed on a public road.
In the United States and Canada, caravans are called “travel trailers”. Their history can be traced back to the early 1920s, when those who enjoyed their use were sometimes referred to as Tin Can Tourists. As time progressed, trailers became more livable and earned a new name in the 1930s and 1940s which was the House Trailer. Today travel trailers are classified as a type of RV along with motorhomes, fifth wheel trailers, pop-up trailers, and truck campers.
Smaller travel trailers and pop-ups are still made with touring in mind. These normally are less than 18 ft (5.5 m) long and contain simple amenities. By design, they are lightweight and quick to set up or prepare for travel.
Mid-range travel trailers are 18 – 25 ft (5.5 – 7.6 m) long can weigh 5,000 lb (2,250 kg) or more, and are generally towed with compact V-8 powered pickup trucks and SUVs. They have most of the amenities of the larger travel trailers, but sleep fewer people.
Larger travel trailers are made with the seasonal or full-time user in mind. These in general range from 25 – 40 ft (7.5 m – 12 m) long and contain all the comforts of a luxury condominium. Because they need a purpose built tow vehicle, highway tractor or large truck or SUV, these amenity-laden homes can reach 12,000 lb (5,500 kg) or more.
A latest innovation in the Travel Trailer typology is the “toy box” or “toy hauler.” Half living area and half garage, these trailers allow ‘toys’ to be brought to the countryside.
Bio – Ruth Rogers enjoys traveling around the country in her own travel trailer. Seeing the world from the road is one of her biggest pleasures and recommends anyone that is in the position to do so, get on the road and enjoy the scenery.