The popularity of toy-hauler travel trailers, the units with sleeping/living quarters in the front and room in the back for hauling ATVs or other recreational equipment for use at a destination, was the subject of a recent feature in the Statesman Journal of Salem, Ore.
“They’ve come on like gangbusters and they’ve taken a huge percentage of the market the last two years,” according to Greg Nelson, sales manager at Al’s Trailer Sales, with locations in Salem and Tangent, Ore., who was quoted in the article.
Another Salem-area dealer, Sandy Jackson of Fred’s RV World, told the newspaper that until manufacturers such as Weekend Warrior Trailers Inc. of Perris, Calif., began building toy haulers in significant numbers a few years ago, many customers asked if they could buy “a hollowed-out RV” to make into their own toy hauler.
Now, Jackson estimates that one of out every four units sold by Fred’s RV is a toy hauler.
The most popular toy haulers range in length from 26 to 27 feet and retail for $18,000 to $23,000. Most are travel trailers. although bigger toy haulers – those in the 36- to 37-foot range– are more likely to be fifth-wheels.
The most expensive toy haulers are priced around $60,000, according to the article.
Toy-hauler buyers are younger than the typical RV buyer, Jackson said. They are in their 30s and early 40s “and they have kids who are out riding with them,” he said.
Jackson, 40, added, “People my age, all we care is if we can afford the monthly payment. We don’t care if we ever get it paid off because we never pay anything off anyway.”
There are differing opinions about whether toy haulers should have a wall separating the living quarters from the “garage” area, where ATVs, motorcycles and other equipment are stored, according to the article. But the toy hauler owners interviewed by the Statesman Journal favor a wall to separate the two segments, because they don’t want to smell gasoline from the motorized toys when they’re cooking or trying to sleep.
Jackson, the Salem area dealer, said most of her toy hauler customers haul ATVs in the back of their rigs. Hauling motorcycles is the second most-popular use, followed by hauling hot rods, collectible cars or dune buggies, she said.