Small Toy Hauler

5 Best Lightweight Toy Haulers

It isn’t surprising that many potential owners search for toy haulers that their current vehicles can tow.

The majority of manufacturers have responded to this demand, and there are many options available. Here are a few of the best lightweight toy hauler travel trailers on the market.

2020 Best Lightweight Toy Haulers

2020 Winnebago Spyder 23FS
2020 Jayco Octane 161 Travel Trailer
ATC Aluminum 8.5’ x 24’
Forest River 10.6 No Boundaries – A Cheaper and Lighter Option
2020 inTech Explorer Flyer

2020 Winnebago Spyder 23FS

Winnebago Spyder

In all honesty, I’m a fan of Winnebago products. I’ve come to trust the company through quite a bit of research. They have a clear commitment to high-quality standards. This can be seen in the manufacturing process and in the products that choose to install into their mobile homes. That commitment is why they constantly seem to make products that show up on my “Best of” lists.

Solid

The Spyder 23FS can best be described as solid. Most of the time, when a mobile home is described as lightweight, that means that the company shaved down the thickness of the materials or used low-quality products to achieve that lightweight. Here are a few places where Winnebago went in the opposite direction.

Steel Huck Bolt Frame – safe enough for semi-trucks and Boeings

While a steel frame will sound solid enough, the Spyder 23FS has what is called a huck bolt frame. In modern-day designs, there are two main types of frames that mobile homes tend to use. One type is welded and the other uses huck bolts.

On instinct, you might believe that welding would be superior. Surprisingly, it isn’t. The welding process weakens both of the metals at the place where they were joined. The huck bolt leaves a stronger product, and that is why huck bolts are chosen over welding in the construction of Boeing airplanes, semi-trucks, and school buses.

Cabinets

The cabinetry is very secure in the Winnebago mobile homes. In the Spyder, wood is inserted inside of the aluminum tubing that is located in the frame of the toy hauler. Then the cabinets are secured to the wood inside of that tubing. It is super solid. It can hold a lot of weight, and it won’t wobble while it is doing it.

Loading Ramp

This is a tough ramp that will likely exceed that weight of anything that you could ever consider loading into this toy hauler. It is rated to hold 3,000 pounds which is 500 pounds higher than the combined weight of everything that you might load into the vehicle. A toy hauler is meant for toys such as ATVs. Almost all ATVs weigh less than 1,000 pounds, and some of them are less than 500 pounds. As you might guess, this ramp will not have any issues with that. It’s a beast, and it is built way stronger than the standards of Winnebago’s competition.

Sleeping Quarters

One thing that I love about toy haulers is the abundance of beds. You can bring a large group with you and sleep them all comfortably. In total, you get a king-sized bed in the bedroom, two sofa beds in the lounge, and one queen bed that is located in the compartment above the dinette. Did you notice that I said, “king-sized bed?” That’s not a common feature for a toy hauler of this size, in case you didn’t know.

Counter Space

Unfortunately, there isn’t a ton of counter space unless you use the covers for the sink and stove. This is partially alleviated by the solid laminated tables within swivel distance of those counters. 

Basic Features

  • Water Tanks
    • Fresh: 100 Gallons
    • Grey: 50 Gallons
    • Black: 50 Gallons
  • Interior Height: 7 Feet, 10 Inches
  • Exterior Height: 12 Feet, 6 Inches
  • Exterior Length: 30 Feet
  • Dry Weight: 7,500 Pounds
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 12,995 Pounds
  • Powered Tongue Jack
  • Black Tank Flush
  • Outdoor Hot/Cold Shower
  • Backup Camera Ready
  • Large Shower
  • Laminated Fiberglass Exterior
  • Fast Powered Awning with LED lights
  • 40 Gallon Fuel Tank
  • Wardrobe Slide

 

Key Features

  • Related Floor Plans:
  • Average Price: $59,120
  • Sleeping Capacity: 6

 

2020 Jayco Octane 161 Travel Trailer

Jayco Octane

Tall and Wide

Jayco decided to go a different direction with this unusual trailer. Rather than building another long toy hauler, they decided to explore the other dimensions: height and width. Front-to-back the Octane 161 is only 20 feet, 8 inches long; the garage space takes up 11 feet, 7 inches of that space. Width-wise, you get 8 ½ feet of space which is good and comparable to a larger RV. The height of 10 feet, 8 inches, however, is where this trailer shines and has useful implications throughout the unit. I tell you exactly how as I describe each of the rooms.

The Bathroom

As you might guess, the bathroom isn’t what most would describe as spacious. There was just enough room for a bathtub/shower, a toilet, and a mirrored medicine cabinet, so you will need to use the kitchen sink to wash your hands. One major positive to the bathroom comes from the height of the trailer. Even if you are seven feet tall, there will be enough space for you to shower comfortably. 

The Beds

The queen sofa beds are electric convertibles. When you need the space, they can flatten into their bed forms and be raised to the ceiling to provide space for the toys. If you are transporting something a bit taller, you can store the bed along the walls for more height.

The Storage

Obviously, you get storage for large items. The small storage, however, definitely takes a hit. This is designed for a fun adventure, and not to be a full-time living situation. There are no hanging closets, cabinets are very limited, and the dinette doesn’t have the storage space that mobile homes typically offer. The kitchen cabinets are basically it, so you will want to pack your clothing into some luggage.

Little Touches of Quality

Okay, back to the positives. Some companies can be underhanded and sneaky. They’ll find an area where no-one is looking, lower the quality, and save a few bucks. Jayco has the opposite approach. They find those areas, and then they give you something extra. Here are a few of them that I would like you to see:

  • Tires and Wheels are best in class – Goodyears
  • Bar-Lock Latches with Keyed Ramp Door Locks
  • 8 cubic feet double door refrigerator
  • Warranty is double the average length
  • Large stainless steel sink

Basic Features

  • Water Tanks
    • Fresh: 53.2 Gallons
    • Grey: 28 Gallons
    • Black: 45.4 Gallons
  • Interior Height: 7 Feet, 5 Inches
  • Exterior Height: 10 Feet, 8 Inches
  • Exterior Length: 20 Feet, 8 Inches
  • Dry Weight: 4,724 Pounds
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 7,500 Pounds
  • Prepped for solar and backup camera

Key Features

  • Related Floor Plans: 9
  • Average Price: $31,538
  • Sleeping Capacity: 4

 

ATC Aluminum 8.5’ x 24’ 

ATC Toy Hauler

I’ve been pretty impressed with the ATC toy haulers. They are undoubtedly a superior manufacturer. This is reflected in the price, but it is also reflected in the depreciation. 

The Aluminum Body is Lightweight and Waterproof

The aluminum bodies of these toy haulers aren’t susceptible to water damage like the lower-priced units. If water somehow gets into the crevices, there will be no rust, mildew or delamination and warping. In one YouTube video, the ATC spokesman states that owners can take a hose to wash out the unit. That is quite a unique feature for this type of product. 

Azdel Panelling Is Waterproof, Insulative, and Lightweight

The walls are also covered in Azdel paneling. It is a composite material that is just as impervious to water damage as aluminum. Hanwa Azdel built this material to be an improvement over the wood that, to this point, has been the standard material for mobile homes. They succeeded. 

Its resistance is commonly demonstrated by placing a piece of this product into a jar of water and leaving it year after year. As the years go by, the product still looks almost brand new. It’s a game-changer within the industry, and it is a relief to the owners.

The Azdel paneling is also twice as insulative as wood and it is half the weight. Since you are here looking for a lightweight toy hauler, I’m guessing that is a nice incentive.

Configurable

This toy hauler is reconfigurable. Unlike most, the table and beds are not permanently attached to a specific point of the room. Each of those pieces locks onto a track system that extends through the length of that cabin. Whenever you like, you can remove or reposition those pieces to other points. It can change as your needs change.

Depreciation

The upfront costs of the ATC trailers are higher than other trailers of comparable length. 

It’s understandable if it is outside of the budget, but you should know that it is worth the investment. Most trailers rapidly lose their value. This one won’t. Because they age beautifully, the value will drop very slowly. One representative put it this way, typically you will determine the rate of depreciation of a coach in years and calculate the price accordingly. The ATC toy haulers hold up well enough that you start thinking of depreciation in terms of decades instead of years.

Large Bathroom

It surprised me how large the bathroom actually is. There’s plenty of counter space, cabinets, a full-length mirror, and a very tall shower, and a toilet with room to stretch. There is a price for such a spacious room, but I’ll get into that in just a moment.

Great Storage

When I say great storage, I am comparing that relative to other short toy haulers. The kitchen and the bathroom both have plenty of cabinets. There is also some nice sized exterior storage.

No Bedroom

You might wonder how they fit a large bathroom and lots of storage into such a small toy hauler. Well…There’s no bedroom. I understand how that can be a major downside to those that like their own space. That is a pretty big concession. However, depending on the needs of the owner, it might be worth it.

Lighter Option

If this 5,000-pound unit is still too heavy, there is one cheaper, lighter option. ATC has a 20’ toy hauler that is almost $3,000 cheaper and roughly 500 pounds lighter.

Basic Features

  • Water Tanks
    • Fresh: 100 Gallons
    • Grey: 45 Gallons
    • Black: 45 Gallons
  • Interior Height: 7 Feet, 6 Inches
  • Exterior Height: 11 Feet
  • Exterior Length: 30 Feet
  • Base Weight: 5,000 Pounds
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 11,440 Pounds 
  • Dimmable Lights
  • Two-burner stovetop

Key Features

  • Related Floor Plans: 9
  • Average Price: $41,530
  • Sleeping Capacity:

 

Forest River 10.6 No Boundaries – A Cheaper and Lighter Option

Forest River No Boundaries Toy Hauler

I prefer to stay away from Forest River because I’ve read too many stories of their RVs breaking down and Forest River not backing their warranties. I’ve also seen many owners standing up for the company and their products; claiming that they never had any issues. I believe this inconsistency is partially a factor of luck determined by who was working that day. If you look at the employee reviews for the company, you will notice a lot of employees state that the quality of the work varies greatly from one team to the next. According to these employees, the team leaders do not get a lot of training and they are not closely monitored.

 

Whether worth it or not, there is an uncontested difference between the standards, materials, and the overall price of a company such as Winnebago or Jayco and Forest River. However, that isn’t necessarily unexpected. The Forest River products are generally created for a lower price-point, so comparing them is like comparing apples to oranges.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         They are the bargain brand of the RV world. The materials that they use are often, but not always, cheaper. However, the money that they saved is reflected in a cheaper final price. You will pay less. If you need to keep the costs down, then they might just be the perfect starting point…just get it inspected before you purchase and prepare to be a handyman. 

Okay, I gave the warning, and now I can tell you about the things that make this unit a potentially fantastic option.

Two Story Layout

Rather than sleeping inside the hauler, Forest River has opted to add a huge tent to the top of it. I’ve seen this structure on a few other units, and I gotta say that I love it. It’s a clever use of space and allows you to devote most of the inside space of the 10.6NB to storing the toys.

On the Top Level

The Tent

The tent is large and holds a foam pad that stretches from end to end. Three people can sleep inside the tent, but their combined weight should not exceed 500 lbs. That is the maximum weight that the roof is rated to hold.

Roof

Speaking of the roof, it is made of a TPO membrane that is found on most trailers. It is not the best option out there, but it is an improvement to the EPDM rubber roof in one clear way. Many RVs can bake in the sun, and that is especially true for rubber roofs. The TPO membrane reflects more of the sun than its counterpart, so you won’t be as hot on those calm summer days. 

Rhino-Rack System

A Rhino-Rack is attached to the roof and holds up the tent. It’s a secure and sturdy piece of equipment, and that stability should help to ease the minds of travelers that don’t like heights. It’s also very customizable. Currently, there are over 250 additional attachments that you can purchase to modify the Rhino-Rack to fit your needs.

Azdel Composite Paneling

I already discussed this product earlier. If you skipped over it, here’s a quick recap. Azdel paneling is almost invulnerable to water damage. You can park a trailer at the bottom of a lake for years, and the Azdel paneling on the trailer will still look brand new. It is also lighter than wood and more insulative.

The Garage

In this floorplan, the garage/lounge space is 5’ x 6’10.” It’s not the largest space, but moving the sleeping quarters above the unit opens up a lot of room. 

The unit is so small, but that makes it easy to get some nice airflow between the two small windows, a large magnetically attached net at the ramp entrance, and the Fantastic Fan. The fantastic fan can force 900 cubic air per minute throughout the trailer.

You have the optional upgrade to add cubed cushions into the trailer. They can piece together to form additional bedding inside the trailer. 

There is a small amount of storage inside the trailer. As part of that storage, you do have a decent-sized hanging closet, some netted storage, and a short closed compartment inside the floor. If you choose to purchase the cushions, you can use this area as a hidden storage compartment. If you want a place a bit more secure for wallets and cash, this could be a decent spot to hide them.

A Large 280° Awning

A full awning extends over a large portion of the trailer. It covers the outdoor kitchen and the ramp. It is easy to set up and easy to take down. If it doesn’t suit your needs, there are other awnings available.

Dinette Package (Optional Upgrade)

On these smaller units, the kitchen becomes optional. However, I love my food. If I am going to make a habit of driving places for some weekend fun, I want a refrigerator and a stove. That makes the dinette option less of a choice. This Dometic refrigerator is essentially a top-of-the-line powered cooler. They’re fantastic and will eliminate your need for endless bags of ice. Not needing the ice means that your food won’t get soggy. You can set the temperature and reach temperatures that are far below freezing. You will also get a two-burner stove with an LP quick connect.

Basic Features

  • Water Tanks
    • Fresh: 30 Gallons
    • Grey: 0 Gallons
    • Black: 0 Gallons
  • Interior Height: Unknown
  • Exterior Height: 7 Feet, 5 Inches
  • Exterior Length: 13 Feet, 9 Inches
  • UVW Weight: 1,606 Pounds 
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 3,598 Pounds

Key Features

  • Related Floor Plans:
  • Average Price: $17,844
  • Sleeping Capacity: 2

 

2020 inTech Flyer Explore

InTech Flyer Explore Toy Hauler

No Bathroom and No Water

I got to say this upfront. The Flyer doesn’t have a bathroom or water. I know, I’ve probably lost most of you. This will only fit the needs of a specific segment of the audience. For those that are still reading, this is honestly a pretty cool hauler. It’s a lightweight little thing, but it holds a lot.

Sleeping Space vs Cargo Space

Depending on the configuration, you will be able to sleep 2 to 6 people. There are three potential places to sleep, but one of them is an optional upgrade. If you choose to upgrade and increase your sleeping capacity, you will also require the upgrade that swaps the ramp door for the double doors. That’s not going to be as convenient for running your toys into the hauler, but you can always buy a detached ramp from Amazon.

 

If you don’t bring any toys with you on the trip, the cargo area can be used as a third sleeping space. Its dimensions are 5’9” wide and 8’1” long. 

The Kitchenette (Optional Upgrade)

There is an optional slide-out kitchenette if you want a cooking space. I don’t want to mislead any of you; this isn’t like an RV room with a kitchen inside of it. This is an exterior kitchen area that slides out of a compartment of the Flyer. It contains a two-burner propane stove, a 120-volt refrigerator/cooler, and a small storage compartment.

If you have motorcycles this could still work out because the entrance is relatively low to the ground.

Basic Features

  • Water Tanks
    • Fresh: 0 Gallons
    • Grey: 0 Gallons
    • Black: 0 Gallons
  • Interior Height: 5 Feet, 6 Inches
  • Exterior Height: 7 Feet, 8 Inches
  • Exterior Length: 13 Feet, 9 Inches
  • Dry Weight: 1,450 to 2,020 Pounds
  • Gross Vehicle Weight: 2,990 Pounds
  • Ramp Rating: 2,200 Pounds

Key Features

  • Related Floor Plans: 3
  • Average Price: $17,787
  • Sleeping Capacity: 2 to 6

Conclusion On Lightweight Toy Haulers

While there are a variety of light toy hauler trailer options available, we think the ones we have included on our list are the best. 

Written by
Johnathan R. Smith

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