In this article, we will explore our recommended best destination trailers, what they are, who they are for, and an overview of several available models.
What is a destination trailer?
A destination trailer is a recreational vehicle more like a home than a traditional camper. It is designed to be brought to your favorite location, such as a campground or vacation lake property, and parked there throughout the season.
The features in a destination trailer are typically much more home-like than you would find in your travel trailer; in some models, luxury is the main focus.
The living areas, on average, are much more open, and finishes and appliances are more residential style. Slide-outs add more room, and additional features such as patio doors and large bay windows make your destination trailer feel like a home.
You will often see a destination trailer used as a cabin, residential trailer, resort trailer, and most frequently, park models. Though park models and destination trailers share many of the same features, there are also some unique distinctions.
In 2012 the RVAA defined a park model rather vaguely. A park model cannot exceed 400 SF in size, and the hitch assembly must be removed and replaced with a skirt once it has reached its destination.
Like a standard trailer, a destination trailer is leveled and set up at its location, and the hitch remains attached.
You will need to hook up a park model to water and sewer. Blackwater, greywater, and freshwater holding tanks are not included in the standard park model package. A destination trailer like a bumper-pulled travel trailer has those features and can use the campground hookup or remain self-sufficient.
This is an RV you’ll want to consider for a full-time RV at a location where you’ll be most of the time. Lots of space for large families with kids and pets.
Destination Trailers Detailed Definition!
First-off destination travel trailers are heavy, on average about 10,000 lbs and in some cases even more. They are designed for long stays at your favorite location rather than for long drives like a typical travel trailer or fifth wheel.
Destination trailers are by no means aerodynamic, a feature you would want in a travel trailer or fifth wheel but not needed in a destination trailer.
Unlike a destination trailer, park models can have attached decks, carports, and patio covers. A destination trailer usually has a retractable awning.
They are not as wide as some parks model, which can have a width of up to 8-feet 6-inches.
A park model that width will require a trip permit in order to be transported to its destination, whereas a destination trailer can be towed by a properly equipped 1-2 ton truck.
Though travel and destination trailers have a lot of similarities on the outside, several key differences need to be recognized.
A destination trailer is going to have a bigger height since they are designed to offer more interior headroom. They also may include sliding doors to the outside, large bay windows, and even floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors.
It’s the Inside of a Destination Trailer That Counts!
The inside of a destination trailer is where you will find the major differences between it and a bumper-pulled travel trailer.
Besides the interior height, we mentioned you would find residential-grade, home-like quality materials, decor, and furnishings, such as sofas and beds.
You can expect to find the following in a destination trailer:
- Heat-generating fireplaces
- Central vacuum systems
- High-end luxurious furnishing
- Deep kitchen sink
- Residential size refrigerators (18-cubic feet or larger)
- Residential size stoves and pantries
- Large dining area
- Solid surface countertops
- Solid wood cabinetry
- Larger residential-style baths, including tubs
- Some floor plans have a second bedroom and a 1/2 bath
- Indoor and outdoor entertainment system
- Lots and lots of storage space
Pros and Cons
Like any other recreational vehicle, destination trailers have both positives and negatives. These are important to know if you decide what a destination trailer is in your future.
- Lots of living space. Rooms feel more like home.
- The addition of slide-outs increases living space even more
- Ceiling heights are generally higher than found in traditional travel trailers, which adds to the openness of the space
- Plenty go storage can be found on these recreational vehicles allowing for very long stays
- Manufactured to be parked at your destination
- Designed to be towed with a large truck. These heavy trailers require someone with experience to tow and set properly.
- They are not designed to be aerodynamic, so towing is more difficult
- Due to their height, they may require height clearances when being transported
- Usually more expensive than towable travel trailers
- Due to their large size, it may be difficult to find adequate storage for one of them when not in use
Destination Trailers Manufacturers
Want to explore destination trailers some more? Compared to the number of travel trailer manufacturers, there are only a handful of destination trailer builders.
You will find that most destination trailers have similar specs, and the difference between manufacturers is the features and options they offer on their various models and floor plan.
Here is our list of the best destination trailers we have found.
Keystone RV Destination Trailers
Keystone makes two models of destination trailers. The Residence model and the Retreat model. Let’s take a look at each one in a bit more detail.
Keystone Residence Destination Trailer
The Residence is a 40-foot destination trailer available with 14 floorplans. Their most popular floor plan is the 40LOFT; as the model number implies, it comes with a loft.
Most of the floorplans have similar specifications. The shipping weight of the Keystone Residence is anywhere from 10,000 lbs to just over 12,000 lbs. The height is also the same on all 14 floorplans and comes at 12-feet 7-inches.
The Keystone Residence is designed to sleep up to 4 people though there is plenty of floor space to add air mattresses for a few more quests.
When it comes to features, this destination trailer does not disappoint. It is loaded with many residential quality features that make living in this trailer quite enjoyable. Here is a partial list of features found on the Keystone Residence.
Appliances and Equipment
- Solid surface countertops
- Leather furniture
- Bistro style faucets
- 16-gallon gas or electric water heater
- A rigid heating duct system
- Cable TV hookup
- 40,000 BTU Forced Air Furnace with Thermostat
- 18 Cu. Ft. Residential Refrigerator
- Three Burner, High Output Range with 22” Oven
- Glass shower enclosure
- Prepped for washer/dryer on select models only
- Bathroom Skylight
- Linen storage
- Raised panel upper cabinets
- Upgraded faucets
- Extra-large pantry
- Water purification system
- Free-standing table with 4 chairs
- Swivel rocker on some models
- Extra-large picture window in the slide
- 60-in dual pane sliding glass door
- Fireplace on select models
- King bed with pillow-top
- Overhead cabinets in the bedroom slide
- Ceiling fan (option on select models
- 16-inch radial tires
- Tinted safety glass windows
- Patio Awning
- Outside speakers
- Outside shower
- 12″ powder-coated I-beam frame
- 2-inch by 3-inch floor joist 12-inch on center
- 2-inch by 2-inch sidewall studs
- 5/8-inch floor decking
- One-piece crowned rubber roof
Option Available on the Keystone Residence
- Stainless steel appliances
- Bedroom ceiling fans
- A second 13,500 BTU A/C is available as an option on some models only
- Four stabilizer jacks
- A choice of 3 different interior decors
You can view a more detailed description, photo gallery, and the complete list of features and options available on the Keystone Residence by clicking here.
Keystone Retreat Destination Trailer
Keystone’s second model of destination trailer is the Retreat destination trailer.
The Keystone Retreat is available in 7 different floor plans, including a floor plan with a loft. The Residence and the Retreat share many of the same specifications and options.
However, the Retreat has some additional features and options not available on the Residence model. For example, you can find the following features or options exclusive to just the Retreat.
- 8-foot tall ceilings
- 102-inch wide-body construction
- Detachable Hitch
- Central Vacuum System
- Heated and enclosed underbelly (optional)
Overall the Keystone Retreat appears to be an excellent destination trailer with many of the creature comforts of home.
You can view a complete description of the Retreat by clicking here.
Forest River Destination Trailers
Forest River manufactures six models of destination trailers. They include the Cedar Creek Cottage, Cherokee Destination, Salem Villa, Sandpiper Destination, Sierra Destination, and the Wildwood Lodge.
Below is a photo of the Wildwood Lodge Destination Trailer.
Cedar Creek Cottage Destination Trailer
This destination trailer is available in 3 different floor plans. They range in length from 40-feet 4-inches to the longest one being 41-feet 6-inches.
The GVWR ranges from 13,565 pounds for the lightest floor plan to 13,961 pounds for the heaviest.
The exterior width of all 3floor plans is the same at 102-inches as is the exterior height of 12-feet 10-inches.
The freshwater tank is 76 gallons, and the gray water tank is 120 gallons on all 3-floor plans. The awning size for all three is 18 feet.
Features and Options
When it comes to features and options, there are plenty in the Cedar Creek Cottage. Below is a partial list of features and options. To see all that is available on this destination trailer, click here.
- European Beech cabinets with hidden hinges
- One-piece fiberglass shower
- Jensen Home Theater System
- Residential pantry
- 19 cubic foot refrigerator
- 20-gallon electric water heater
- Stainless steel microwave
- Crown molding in the kitchen area
- Free-standing table with 4 chairs
- King mattress with full-size headboard
- Solid wood dresser, and much more
Cherokee Destination Trailer
The Forest River Cherokee destination trailer is available in 5 different floor plans. Like the other models, it is designed to be parked and lived in rather than extensive towing to various destinations.
The exterior length of the Cherokee goes from 40-feet 2-inches to 42-feet 6-inches. The width on all models is 97-inches, and the exterior height is 12-feet 10-inches.
The GVWR goes from 11,543 lbs to the heaviest model weighing in at 11,808 lb.
Features of the Cherokee Destination Trailer
Below is a partial list of features found in this trailer.
- Mini blinds on all windows
- Radius windows
- Nightstands on each side of the bed
- Double door refrigerator
- Upgraded backsplash behind the cooktop
- 40-inch dinette on selected models
- Mocha-stained shaker-style cabinets
- Glass shower enclosure
- High output cooktop
- 13, 500 BTU A/C unit
- Patio Awning
- One-Piece Rubber Roof
In addition to the standard package, the Cherokee has several packages available as an option that adds additional features or upgrade existing features. You can view all features and specifications of this destination trailer right here.
Salem Villa Destination Trailer
The Salem Villa series of destination trailers offer 13 different floor plans, each containing a host of features typically found in fine homes.
There are three individual styles of the Salem Villa. There is the Salem Villa Gran, Salem Villa Classic, and the Salem Villa Estate.
The exterior length of the Salem Villa goes from the shortest at 38-feet 6-inches to the longest at 41-feet 0-inches. The exterior width is 102-inches hover, but some models do not specify the width, so check with the dealer.
The GVWR is unavailable on the Forest River website; however, the UVW or unloaded vehicle weight rating is available. The lightest Salem Villa comes in at 8,679 lbs, while on the other end of the spectrum, the weight is 12,719 lbs.
Salem Villa Destination Trailer Features
The Salem Villa is a full-featured destination travel trailer with many excellent features. The list below is a partial list of features. You can see the entire list of features by following this link.
- 84-inch cathedral ceilings
- Powered slide rooms
- Modern roller shades with auto-stop
- 13,500 BTU A/C unit
- In-floor ducted heating
- Solid wood drawers
- 50-inch walk-in shower with seat
- Porcelain foot-flush toilet
- 16-cubic foot refrigerator (Villa Classic)
- 1.7 cubic foot microwave
There are plenty more features, many of which are available only on specific models. Overall, the Salem Villa might be for you if you are looking for a destination travel trailer with a touch of class but simplicity in design.
Sandpiper Destination Trailer
The Forest River Sandpiper destination trailer is available in 7-floor plans, including 1 with a loft. One of the heavier models of destination trailers we have seen from Forest River.
The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of the lightest is 13,180 lbs, and the heaviest is just over 13,600 lbs.
The exterior height on all models is 12-feet 7-inches, while the exterior width is 96-inches. The exterior length is where you will find some differences between the various floor plans of the Sandpiper.
The shortest is 40-feet 2-inches, and the longest exterior length on the Forest River Sandpiper destination trailer is 42-feet 3-inches.
Features of the Sandpiper Destination Trailer
This Sandpiper is another Forest River destination trailer loaded with features.
From the high-gloss gel-coated exterior fiberglass to the radius barreled interior ceiling, you will surely find a feature on this destination trailer not available on other models.
Below we will list some of the more prominent features. Click here to view the entire list of features and a photo gallery.
- High gloss gel coated color matched exterior fiberglass
- Large tinted windows with 80/20 UV prohibitor
- Dometic One-Touch electric awning with LED lights and adjustable arms
- 2 exterior speakers
- 60-inch patio door
- Residential stain-resistant carpeting
- Solid surface counter-tops (optional)
- Swivel glider recliners
- Dula zone thermostat for the living room and bedroom A/C
- 20-cubic-foot refrigerator
- 10-gallon DSI water heater
- Water filter system and much more…
The Forest River Sandpiper is a roomy destination trailer that offers plenty in terms of features and available options.
Sierra Destination Trailer
The Sierra Destination trailer is available in 7-floor plans, including a floor plan with a loft. On the Sierra, you are bound to find many windows to enjoy your panorama.
The Sierra destination trailer is available in 7-floor plans, including the one plan that has a loft.
The exterior width of the Sierra is consistent across all floor plans and measures 96-inches. The length varies from the shortest being 39 feet and the longest being 43 feet.
The interior height is 12-feet 7-inches on all floor plans. The GVWR is like the Sandpiper above over 13,000 lbs on all floor plans.
The Sierra is loaded with features that make it a very comfortable destination trailer. The features included are very similar to the Sandpiper above.
You can click here for a complete list of features and options available on the Forest River Sierra destination trailer.
Wildwood Lodge Destination Trailer
The Forest River Wildwood Lodge comes in three models, The Wildwood Lodge, The WildwoodDLX, and the Wildwood Grand Lodge.
The Wildwood Grande Lodge comes in only one floorplan referred to as the 42DL. This model comes with a loft containing three bunk mats, each measuring 62×74.
The Wildwood DLX is available in (6) floor plans, and the Wildwood Lodge is available in (7) floor plans. To view all the specifications and features of the Wildwood Lodge, you can visit the Forest River website.
Gulfstream Destination Trailers
Gulfstream Coach makes three models of destination travel trailers. There are the following:
- Conquest Lodge Series
- Innsbruck Lodge Series
- Kingsport Lodge Series
Below we will take a look at one of their models only.
**Unfortunately, the Gulfstream website is unclear as to the specs of the other models. The same photo and specs are used on the other two models. They need to do a better job on their website to avoid confusion on their destination trailers**
Gulfstream Coach Conquest Lodge Destination Trailer
The Conquest Lodge destination trailer is designed to be very much home-like. It maximizes floor space with the addition of multiple slide rooms. This series of destination trailers are available in 4 different floor plans.
Conquest Lodge Features and Options
Like many destination travel trailers, the Conquest Lodge comes with residential quality features.
Below is a partial list of what you can find on this model of destination trailer. You can visit their site to see the entire list of features and options and the floor plans.
- Maple Cabinetry w/Solid Wood Doors & Drawers
- Hi-Performance Wood Grain Vinyl Flooring
- Scald and Stain-Resistant Laminated Countertops
- Ducted 13,500 BTU Roof Air Conditioner
- 35,000 BTU Gas Furnace w/Insulated In-Floor Heat Ducts
- 35,000 BTU Gas Furnace w/Insulated In-Floor Heat Ducts
- Smoke Detector, Combo CO/LP Detector
- Residential 4-Burner Range with Oven
- Residential Double Door Refrigerator/Freezer
- Glass Door for Neo-Angle/Corner Shower
- Radius Safety Glass Windows
- Color-Coordinated Pull-Down Awning
- One-Piece Seamless Roof w/12 year Warranty
- Powder-coated Steel I-Beam Frame w/welded Outrigger
- (2) Recliners in place of Barrel Chairs (Optional)
- Sun Room w/Dinette Table & 4 Chairs (Optional)
Coachmen RV makes the Catalina destination trailers which feature six different floor plans designed for maximum room size, storage, and comfort.
Like all destination trailers, the floor plans were designed to offer home-like comforts for those that plan on an extended stay at their favorite destination.
The Coachmen Catalina destination trailer has an assortment of features that make it a very desirable trailer for extended stays.
Below is a partial list of features. For a complete list of the standard features available on the Catalina destination trailer, visit their website here.
- Cambered structural steel I-beam frame
- 3/8” Fully decked walk-on roof
- Residential in-floor ducted heat
- One-piece, seamless, rubber roof material with a 12-year warranty
- Wall studs on 16” centers
- R-7 fiberglass insulation in the sidewall, roof &floor
- 5/8” Tongue & groove plywood floor decking
- Grace Cherry interior wood
- La-Z-Boy® Recliners (per floorplan)
- Residential furniture
- Solid doors throughout all units
- Full-sized residential refrigerator
- 3-Burner Range w/ 9,000 BTU superburner™
- Under-bed storage, bed lifts easily on gas struts
- Washer/dryer prep (39MKTS, 39RLTS, 40FKDS)
- 35K BTU Auto-ignition furnace with wall thermostat
- Heated-enclosed underbelly (N/A non-self-contained option)
- Remote operated power electric awning w/ LED light (option)
Palomino Puma Destination Trailer
Puma, a division of Forest River, also has a destination trailer model. The Puma Destination is available in 7 different floor plans. Some floor plans include a 2-bedroom option, and/or a den option to easily accommodate your family’s needs. All come with residential-style furnishing and a large master bedroom with a queen or king-size bed.
The Puma Destination comes with many standard features and several options. Below is just a partial list of the features included in the Puma.
You can visit the Palomino Puma Destination website for a complete list of features, options, and floor plans.
- Radius Entry Doors
- Powder Coated Frames
- Tinted Safety Glass
- Colored Front Fiberglass Cap with Diamond Plate (FW)
- Rubber Roof – 12-Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
- Rain Gutters with Large Drop Spouts
- Automotive-Style Fender Skirts
- Darco Wrapped Underbelly
- One-piece, 24′ Sheet, 5/8″ Floor Decking (25 Year manufacturer’s limited warranty)
- Rack & Pinion Electric Slide System with Manual Override (Standard on all slide-out models)
- 80″ Interior Height
- Floor Ducted Heat
- 14″ Deep Overhead Cabinets in Super-Slide Models
- Push-back Recliner(s) (Available on Select Models)
- Solid Surface Countertops (Optional)
- Theater Seating (Available on Select Models) (Optional)
Best Destination Trailers Summary
It’s quite obvious that a destination trailer is not for everyone. If you enjoy going from one location to another frequently, or if the trip to your destination is a long distance, then a destination trailer is not for you.
However, if your favorite campsite or lake is within a reasonable distance from your home, and if you intend to stay at your destination for a week or months, a destination trailer is the type of RV you should consider.
The price tag will be much higher than a typical pull-behind travel trailer, but you get residential quality furnishing, multiple bedrooms, lofts, or bunk beds, and much more living space and storage.
If a destination trailer is not for you, check out our article on the Top 10 Best Pop Up Camping Trailers, which is on the other end of the spectrum regarding size.