destinationtrailer1When the destination, not the journey is your dream vacation, consider an RV designed with you in mind, a destination trailer. Destination trailers are the ideal choice when you’ve found your special place at the end of your RVing road and you’re ready to settle in for a season, several months or most of the year.

Taller, heavier and more homelike than most travel trailers, destination trailers are for recreational vehicle owners who plan to make a drive to their special place by the lakeside, in the mountains, or at the beach – and stay awhile.

Defining Destination Trailers

Weighing in at about 10,000 lbs, destination trailers, unlike travel trailers and fifth wheels, are designed with long stays – not long drives — in mind and do not have the lighter, more aerodynamic features RV enthusiasts seek in standard bumper-towed or fifth-wheeled travel trailers. However, unlike many other RVs, a destination trailer does not need to be towed by a commercial vehicle and is not “tied down” at a campground or park.

destinationtrailer6Destination trailers are advertised under many names: villas, cabins, residential trailers, retreats and resort trailers, even oil-field housing, and frequently, park models. While the names may vary by manufacturer, some features distinguish destination trailers from true park models and travel trailers.

Weight, length and design distinguish destination travel trailers from standard bumper-towed travel trailers. Set-up, size and hookup are among the features that separate destination trailers from park models.

Narrowly defined by the Recreational Vehicle Association of America in 2012, a park model cannot exceed 400 sq. feet and generally has the hitch assembly and wheels removed and a skirt installed once it reaches its site. A destination trailer is leveled and set up like a standard travel trailer and the hitch remains in place.

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.

Additionally, park models may have permanent, attached decks, patio covers or carports, while a destination trailer usually has an RV-style retractable awning. As transportation is not an issue, many park models are over 8 feet-6 inches wide and require a trip permit and commercial transit. Though heavy, destination trailers can be towed by most properly equipped one-ton trucks.

Appearances don’t deceive when it comes to destination trailers. Though the differences between a standard travel trailer and a destination travel trailer are subtle, they add up to more home-like comfort for long stays. A destination trailer will be taller than a standard bumper-towed trailer and many models include home-like sliding glass doors or even French doors as well as large bay, or floor-to-ceiling windows in the front.

Inside a Destination Trailer

Ceiling heights of 82 inches give destination trailers a spacious, home-like quality. Many destination trailers will include multiple slide outs with heights of 7 feet, adding to the open, home-like feel of a destination trailer.

Expect to find other residential features, including heat-generating fireplaces and central vacuum systems. destinationtrailer5Freed from many of the weight restraints needed for more nimble travel trailers and fifth wheels, destination trailers can load up on the luxury. Look for furnishings constructed for permanent residences, instead of lighter-weight RV construction.

In the kitchen, look for deeper sinks and an 18-foot or larger freestanding residential refrigerator, large enough to hold a week’s worth of groceries. Solid surface counter tops and solid wood construction cabinetry add weight, but also luxury to destination trailers.

destinationtrailer2Look for residential-sized shower enclosures and tubs inside destination trailers. Many plans will include a second bedroom with a second half bath, a nod to long-term camping with friends and family.


A destination trailer is the perfect choice for RVers who love long-term stays and short drives. Consider the capabilities of your towing vehicle and your travel plans when shopping for a destination trailer.

With more flexibility than a park model and more comfort than a standard travel trailer, this relatively new entrant in the RV market may be the right choice for your next RV.

Shop for all types and sizes of RVs at Crossroads Trailer Sales, the #1 Selling 5th Wheel Dealer in NJ, 9 Years in a Row! If you have any questions about Destination Trailers, Fifth Wheels, Travel Trailers, or any of our other units, give us a call at (856) 697-4497 or send us a message on our Contact Page.