Camping with the Family – Towables Part 2

Camping with the family - Expandables vs. hard-shelled trailers |

We are getting back into camping! The first big decision to make is what we are going to camp in. First we narrowed our choices down to one of the three main ways to camp. See this post.

In this post, we looked at teardrop trailers and pop-up campers.

Today we are going to look at two more types of towables: a expandable (hybrid) trailer and a travel trailer (also referred to as hard-shelled).

Expandable Trailer – Pros and Cons

An expandable or hybrid trailer is a combination of a pop-up and travel trailer. The sides are hard-shelled, but the ends (and sometimes a side portion) flip down utilizing soft sides like a pop-up.

Camping with the family - Towables Part 2 |


Size. Because the sleeping sections of this trailer can be folded in, these trailers can be more spacious than similar length travel trailers.

Lightweight. These trailers tend to be a lighter weight than their hard shelled counterparts.

Outdoor feel. If you like the feel of the outdoors, this trailer offers that with the pop-out sides.

Storage. Because only a portion of the trailer is collapsed while towing, there is more room for storage inside.


Security. Like the pop-ups, these trailers may not be the best choice when staying in an area where you would have to worry about wildlife.

Cost. Hybrids are generally more expensive than pop-ups and, in some cases, just as expensive as a hard shelled trailer.

Temperature. Because the sleeping sections are pop-outs with soft sides, it is not as easy to control the temperature inside.

Travel Trailer

A travel trailer is a hard sided trailer typically in some rectangular form.

Camping with the family - Towables Part 2 |


Assembly. There is no assembly required for a travel trailer. You just park it in the camping space, level it, and you are all set.

Security. If you want to camp in the wild, you have more protection from the elements and wildlife.

Temperature. You have air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter.

Sleeping. Travel trailers sleep as little as two people or you can get one that sleeps a whole gang.

Choices. There are lots of choices within this category. You want inexpensive or expensive? You can get small or enormous. There are lots of different floor plans available.


Weight. These trailers have to be towed by a towing vehicle. Even some of the lightweight ones are too heavy for a car, crossover, or even some SUV’s.

Size. Most travel trailers are larger than a compact pop-up. Depending on where you want to camp, the size may limit you.

Cost. Travel trailer prices typically begin at a range just about pop-ups but can climb into pretty high amounts depending on the size and luxuries you get.

What do you think?

Would you choose an expandable trailer or a travel trailer to camp in?

What about these types vs the teardrops or pop-ups?








Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *