The following story appears in the latest issue of Trailer Life offering a rundown of fifth-wheel toy haulers in the market. To access the full story click here

For most buyers, choosing a fifth-wheel toy hauler starts with the garage and the recreational toys. After all, the requirements for hauling a dirt bike in the back are very different from traveling with a side-by-side UTV. Once the toys roll down the ramp, the garage can double as a workshop, studio, bedroom or living room, depending on the design of the trailer and the needs of the owner.

When shopping for a new toy hauler, the foundation is the most important consideration. A good-quality frame, axles, suspension and tires are essential. Weight and carrying capacity are other critical factors.

Gross vehicle weight rating (gvwr) and hitch weight are key because the tow limits of the truck and hitch must match or exceed the toy hauler’s gvwr. For those who will be towing with a full freshwater tank, the gvwr minus the unloaded vehicle weight (uvw) must be more than the weight of the water (8.3 pounds per gallon), plus everything you’ll carry, from food, tools and appliances to RV upgrades and toys in the garage.

Size also matters. Long fifth-wheels can’t be accommodated at some campgrounds, and large truck-and-trailer combinations are difficult to maneuver in tight spaces, including many fuel stations.

Then there’s the style of the garage to consider. An open-box trailer, which combines garage and living space, allows for a shorter overall length or a longer garage, while an enclosed garage helps keep dirt and fumes from entering the living area. A reliable ramp door and strong tie-downs for securing the toys are crucial, and an onboard fueling station can also be a plus.

Before buying any toy hauler, it is essential to check the length, width and height of the garage with a tape measure to make sure your toys will fit. Many toy-hauler garages are not a simple rectangle but have narrower and shorter areas due to a half bathroom, side-patio wall recess or items placed against the walls. On some models the garage floor is angled for about a foot inside the ramp door. Power sofas raised to their highest position may make the ceiling height too short for loading some toys, and three-season patio doors and railings can shorten the length by as much as 16 inches. You’ll also want to confirm that there’s room to exit any drivable toy after parking it in the garage.

With these considerations in mind, we profiled four of the latest toy-hauling fifth-wheels, and spotlighted a dozen more, ranging from just over 31 feet and $30,000 to longer than 47 feet with a price tag north of $180,000.

To view the full story in Trailer Life click here.