What is a Destination Trailer?
A destination trailer is similar to a travel trailer, but it is used for extended stays at one location. Destination trailers include many of the features found in standard RVs, making them perfect for glamping.
While destination trailers are not designed to be towed long distances, they usually have more amenities than other types of camping trailers or park models. Many destination trailers have queen-sized beds, full baths and even full kitchens with ovens and microwaves. Standard appliances found on most homes are also included with some units. Destination trailers can be purchased new or pre-owned, depending on the buyer's preference.
Of course, destination trailers aren't always stationary - owners can take their units on trips if they desire to do so. However, owners should be aware that destination trailers are not designed to be towed for extended periods of time. Destination trailers are usually towed by smaller trucks or SUVs with limited towing capacity such as the Jeep Wrangler, Ford Escape and Nissan Pathfinder.
The bottom line is this: if you'd like a recreational vehicle but don't want something that's going to take up too much room in your backyard, a destination trailer might be perfect for you.
How much do Destination Trailers Weigh?
Destination trailers come in many different sizes and styles, but the average weight is about 10,000 lbs. This is a lot lighter than the RV industry standard of around 33,000 lbs for a travel trailer.
During set up, a park model will be hooked to a residential water and sewer system; black water, grey water and fresh water holding tanks are not standard equipment on park models. Destination trailers are self-contained and can either use campground hookups or rely on their standard equipment holding tanks.
How Much Do Destination Trailers Cost?
The average price of a destination trailer starts at approximately $30,100 with some units costing as much as $50,000 or more depending on amenities included with the unit. If from a dealer it's important that you opt for the option to purchase a warranty that will cover the unit for one year or more, depending on who you buy it from.
Warranties are important because these trailers don't have parts like your vehicle does, so if something breaks there is no way to get it fixed conveniently. When purchasing a destination trailer its best to choose a dealer with in house service that offers factory authorized repairs and ensures that the warranty covers the work they need done.
Which amenities can you expect in a destination trailer?
A destination trailer is meant to be left in place for long periods of time. They will have amenities such as:
- Bedroom(s) and bathrooms (with showers and tubs) built into them for convenience and privacy.
- Cabinets and counter tops to offer a kitchenette for cooking.
- Ceiling Fan - A ceiling fan will help keep you cool during those hot summer nights.
- Microwave ovens, gas or electric stoves, refrigerator/freezers, numerous small appliances such as coffee makers, etc.
- Roof fans that draw out the hot air from the day and bring in cooler night time air.
- Large windows that let light into the trailer's living space.
- Comfortable furniture with slip covers included to protect them from outdoor elements should you take your destination trailer camping.
- Heat-generating fireplaces that will help to keep the interior of your destination trailer cozy and warm.
- Water Softener - A water softener will help rid your destination trailer of calcium, magnesium and other minerals that cause hard water build up which can eventually clog your sink and tubs as well as reduce the life of appliances such as a dishwasher.
The saying that "home is where the heart is" couldn't be more true about destination trailers! The interior should be as versatile as possible because you never know what will offer the most comfort and convenience for your situation. When buying furniture, think long term and avoid purchasing anything too fancy so it doesn't go out of style quickly and become unusable down the road. Also remember practicality when furnishing- no one wants to lug around 10 foot tables and bulky entertainment centers! Another thing to consider is storage space since you'll be living in a relatively small area. A lower bed height (20-22") makes it easier to access storage underneath the bed, and many models offer under bed drawers or pull out trunks. Don't forget about countertop space! Make sure there are sufficient counters for food prep, dining, etc.
And don't overlook windows! Being able to bring in some light is essential for enjoying your temporary home away from home. Doors should also open wide enough for any items you'll be hauling around with you.
Destination trailers are also used as additional living space for those who own a second home such as a cabin, chalet or beach house. This type of trailer is aimed toward those campers with an established RV site already, but want more living space than their standard recreational vehicle provides yet do not need all the amenities that come with owning a traditional travel trailer.
Some destinations will require an upgraded electrical service panel which can be installed outside away from the trailer or inside near a window to avoid being too close to rain and extreme temperatures which can damage equipment.
Which Destination Trailer is right for me?
You can find a destination trailer that can fit your needs and preferences. For example, the size of your destination trailer will depend on how much space you need. In general, a standard-sized bedroom in a destination trailer is 12 by 7 feet while higher end models have queen beds instead of full sized ones. You can also determine if you want cabinets or drawers built into your kitchen countertops as well as the number of showers and tubs built into it (if any). Destination trailers are prepped for RVs with water hookups so they do not need campground hookups to function properly nor do they come equipped with holding tanks. If camping near an RV park or at an established site near home is what you desire then consider a park model trailer instead.
Park models are just like destination trailers except that they are not built to be hooked up to RVs or water hookups for that matter. Park models can be towed behind a truck but their main function is stationary living, similar to a house on the ground, rather than being pulled along with an RV motorhome. Park models are made by placing all the comforts of home into a smaller package so you get more travel options. The floor plan will still remain open and airy while giving you plenty of storage areas throughout the unit depending on how much space you need.
Oftentimes dealerships will have deals where you can buy destination trailers at reduced prices while also striking deals on financing or even trade-ins.
Who Needs A Destination Trailer?
Now that you know what a destination trailer is, you might now be asking who would need one? Well, there are a lot of people that would greatly benefit from the features and amenities that a destination trailer offers. A perfect example is the snow bird. Someone who has property down south and plans to spend half of the year there while living the other half somewhere else. The destination trailer is a great option for these type of RVer’s since they are able to leave the trailer in place year round, but don’t have the hassle of a truly permanent residence.
Another group that would benefit from a destination trailer is individuals who enjoy RVing or camping on their own land. Land owners would be able to keep everything in one central location and be able to access it no matter where they were at on their property. This increases convenience and makes more time for fun activities rather than travelling back and forth with all your recreational equipment every time you want to go camping.
A third example of an ideal candidate for a destination trailer would be someone who likes to take frequent trips and campsites with their family or group of friends. This would allow them to enjoy the convenience of a travel trailer, but be able to leave it in place and return year after year without any hassle.
All three examples show various types of people that could benefit from having a destination trailer. However, as with all recreational vehicles, you need to make sure that the destination trailer is right for your needs by doing some research and finding out which features are most important to you. If the main reason you own an RV is so you can take your trailer with you when you travel, then a destination trailer might not be the best option. However, if ease of use and convenience are at the top of your list, then a destination trailer could be just what you need.
What's on the outside?
Destination trailers are left stationary throughout most of the year. This makes them perfect for adding extras to the exterior to make it more like home. You can add a small awning for shade or a large one to make a tent. You can add a front porch, which is perfect if you plan on hosting gatherings during your stay.
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If you are looking for a type of trailer that is not designed to be towed long distances, but instead used as an RV or space at home while on vacation or out camping, then destination trailers might be what you’ve been searching for. These units come with many features and amenities found in standard RVs and park models, such as queen-sized beds and full baths. With destinations like the Alps, Caribbean Islands and beyond available to explore from your own private suite on wheels--it’s hard to go wrong! Have questions? Contact me through email anytime. I am happy to answer any concerns about travel trailers (including destination ones) that may pop up along the way.