Toy haulers are becoming more popular as demand for a place to put an RVer's or adventurer's "toys", or in other words, a dirt bike, ATV, motorcycle, etc. is rising. Whether an RVer is looking for a full-time toy hauling experience or simply a place to shack up while exploring the extreme sports, there are plenty of toy haulers available. The Buzz speaks with Brian Davis, owner of Premier Custom Trailers, on the concept and why these utility trailers are here to stay.
Grand Design, Nascar, Dune Sport, Jayco, Premier Custom Trailers
MobileRVing: The Buzz, Your Outdoor Lifestyle Insider, Written by Andrew Malo.
Versatility of The Toy Hauler
At Minimum, Toy Haulers Have The Ideal Mobile Storage For Vehicles Like Dirt Bikes, ATVs & Motorcycles, But They Also Offer Basic Sleeping Accommodations
With baby boomers retiring and embracing a mobile lifestyle, all areas of the RV lifestyle are expanding. Toy haulers have been around for a while. Professionally, people like Nascar drivers and dirt bike riders have used them for many years to bring their vehicles to wherever they are travelling. Within the past decade, toy haulers have significantly expanded into the consumer market. Ranging in size from 12' to over 40'. there is a wide variety of amenities available to all sorts of people.
In general, though, at the minimum a toy hauler would have a place to put a toy, so to speak, like a dirt bike, ATV, motorcycle, etc. and have basic accommodations for sleeping. One of the smallest utility trailers on the market, the 12-foot Firestorm from Dune Sport, a company based in Mesa, AZ, is a half-ton towable, has a ramp door on the back, kitchen, table that turns into a bed and appeals to the weekender. Other small toy haulers, such as the Jayco Octane Super Lite 161 incorporate similar features, a bed in the back, but add in a bathroom and other amenities.
Then there are luxury toy haulers. These monsters of the road have everything one could ask for in a trailer or even a house. Take, for example, the Grand Design Recreational Vehicles (RV) Momentum. These weigh around 15,000 lbs. dry and have a 13' garage separated from the living quarters, 2 bathrooms, a walk-in closet, and more. It’s basically towing around your home without having any distraction, as in Class A motorhomes, directly behind you while diving. They are meant for people who live on the road and cost comparable to a single family home.
There are many companies making toy haulers, some that make custom builds. One company is Premier Custom Trailers in Michigan. The company is owned by Brian Davis, who started it in 2010 due to personal experience trying to buy a trailer. "I lost my job in 2009 from a large corporation and was doing some buying and selling of vehicles and I needed an enclosed trailer. I found it to be one of the most difficult shopping experiences ever," Davis recalls. He says that he couldn't find a sales representative that knew the products, that specs were very hard to decipher and there were price games everywhere due to the high amount of competition. He wanted to fix all that so then was born Premier Custom Trailers.
Premier Custom Trailers make all different types of trailers for specific needs. "We can build anything including Race Haulers, Fiber Optic Splicing, Moblie Marketing, and more," Davis says. They have a customer base from people wanting adventure to large corporations needing a big trailer to haul equipment. Some trailers you have probably seen on the road available at Premier are the open car hauler that basically only uses straps to hold items down because there is no roof, as well as the aluminum or steel frame cargo trailer that's used for those busy workers hauling around precious antiques or machinery when duty calls (see image below to the left). One thing that sets Premier apart is their All Aluminum Toy Hauler. Aluminum has many benefits (think Airstream) like long-lasting, no rust, and lightweight.
Testament to the growth of the industry, Premier has steadily increased since its founding. “We have currently been on a steady 20% growth each year and rounding out 2017 with $4.9M in sales,” Davis says. Being versatile and giving clients the option to design their own toy hauler certainly helps. “We get many odd requests,” Davis laughs, “One of the most recent ones we are working on is a 40 ft. long by 12 ft. tall bumper pull to house a bladder of helium.” Check out all the various uses and designs of their haulers at their website.
Set aside carrying toys for now, and think large animals that need to be safely and humanely moved from one place to the next. Ever see those trailers carrying horses sticking their noses through the open windows on the highway? Yup, those are custom toy haulers used for equine transport to shows, competitions, the vet, or a new home. Some trailers can fit up to 4 horses. Take for example, the 2018 Lakota Trailers 4-Horse Slant Load w/ a 4 ft. Dressing Room, available to virtually tour and purchase on Trailers of the East Coast.
An interesting offshoot of the enclosed toy hauler is the popup campers that have utility deck or cross bars. The Rockwood Extreme Sports Package is one example from Forest River RV headquartered in Elkhart, IN, which has all the amenities of a new popup camper, as well as the ability to carry weight on top for bikes, kayaks, and other lightweight equipment. Popups like these generally have a higher ground clearance and all-terrain tires for off-roading.
Whether an RVer is looking for a full-time toy hauling experience or simply a place to shack up while exploring the extreme sports, there are plenty of toy haulers available. “As society finds more recreation hobbies, they will need utility trailers to haul their cargo. The RV concept of the Toy Hauler is really an amazing idea,” Davis says. And companies like Premier Custom Trailers are here to meet their exact needs.
Did we miss anything? If you use a toy hauler for anything else that we did not mention, drop a comment below. We'd love to hear.
A graduate of Northeastern Illinois University in Education, Andrew has taught for the past decade in Chicago, New Mexico, and Japan. He enjoys tinkering with trucks and motorcycles, woodworking, reading and computer programming.
Make Sure To Check Out:
Premier Custom Trailers, selling ATC's RV Trailer, an all-in-one to Toy Hauler and Living Quarters. The RV design is special for many reasons with choices and versatility that no other design offers. The quality is unquestionable!