Remember the tiny home craze? Industrious craftspeople would start with a steel chassis and build a small home, typically from wood, then tow it to a permanent location, never to move again. The tiny home was designed with comfort in mind, as opposed to mobility. Many destination trailers weigh around 10,000 pounds, they do not require a commercial vehicle for towing. As with many fads, it seems tiny homes have gone the way of the Dodo bird. Tiny homes had one major downside, they are enormously heavy, which made them extremely difficult to relocate. This is because the building materials were typically wood, making them very heavy and unable to withstand the severe jostling of transport. The tiny home phenomenon essentially transitioned into what became known as a small destination trailer.
While destination trailers tend to have better quality amenities than lighter-weight RVs, they also aren't very mobile. Wide-load commercial carriers often transport them to their permanent destination. There's a heavy price for dishwashers, washers/dryers, bigger refrigerators, and other home-style appliances. Still, they were close to a traditional home without being constructed like a traditional home.
Today, a better recreational vehicle option offers a true destination trailer feel but with mobile functionality. Instead of being towed to several sites, they will be transported to one location. One and done.
A destination trailer is an excellent option for long-term campers. They have commonly been called villas, cabins, residential trailers, retreats, and resort trailers, and used as oil-field or remote mining accommodations and, oftentimes, called park models.
Certain features, including overall weight, length, and design, differentiate destination trailers from actual park models and travel trailers. Destination trailers often have double loft sleeping quarters like a US Navy ship's sleeping arrangement.
In 2012, the Recreational Vehicle Association of America announced that 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. And a destination trailer is leveled and set up as a standard travel trailer, and the hitch remains in place. Think mobile home park.
Today, there's a self-contained hybrid option, so it has holding tanks, fresh/grey/black water tanks, and can be hooked to city water, waste, and electrical services if needed. It's more of a traditional home on wheels that can be moved safely with home-like features. For example, the kitchen may have an island, a full-sized stove/range, and a residential refrigerator. The bathroom will have a full-sized shower, and various toilet options such as flush, composting, and bidets.
Who would need one?
- Snowbirds -- You may want to spend half a year or more at this location while feeling pampered, with the flexibility of mobility and all the comforts of home. Think of a traveling nurse, doctor, or retiree constantly searching for 75 degrees.
- Minimalist-Minded -- Maybe you have an equestrian or beachfront property and want to park a quick and affordable home for part-time or year-round use without pulling building permits or spending millions on construction.
- Digital Nomads -- You want to spend several weeks or months in a certain location and then relocate quickly without sacrificing comfort and luxurious amenities.
- Boondockers -- Anyone with a property that lacks city services.
If you're shopping various destination trailer brands, be sure to include the following:
Embrace the Great Outdoors with a cantilevered patio deck living space. The 6' x 8' deck is controlled by an automatic winch control that raises and lowers the 1500 lb. rated patio. Integrated dual-umbrella mounts are attached to the powder-coated folding railing system for a seamless setup. The 8' wide sliding glass door/bay window visually connects you with the outdoors from the main living area. One of the primary reasons we love panoramic windows is we can enjoy and appreciate the wide open spaces. Living Vehicle® offers an unparalleled level of indoor-outdoor connection.
Luxuriously pamper yourself with a large bathroom, spacious shower, a tall space of nearly 7' headroom, and a dramatic skylight above that lets natural light in. A hardwood-backed shower wall panel adds natural depth with a foldable teak and stainless shower seat on the wall. The electric bidet toilet features a full-China, elongated bowl with sleek, modern styling. The luxury and convenience of the bathroom extend to the exterior with the outdoor shower. All water appliances are supplied by a tankless water heater for an unlimited hot water supply. Also included is a 12-volt towel warmer and an adjustable timer that warms both towels and the ambient temperature of the bathroom for a cozy and wonderfully warm experience.
Park trailers excel at offering numerous additional features that enhance a full-time living space. While the best destination trailers bring amenities such as stainless steel appliances, a master bedroom, central vacuum, theater seating, and more living space, these features are seldom found in a traditional RV. Livability demands the highest quality, intuitive technology, and a home-like space. Recreational vehicles have been stuck in the Dark Ages for many years, maintaining the status quo. However, today's savvy consumer needs much more. Gone are the days of inefficient RV-style rooftop air conditioners. A better option is a European-style Mini Split system. Best of all, the promise of an all-electric ultra-efficient HVAC system that provides a comfortable and cozy space in less than -4° F temperatures. The Living Vehicle® offers all of these options, with additional features such as a king-size bed or queen size bed, solid surface countertops, luxury bathroom features, and a massive loft area.
When space efficiency is paramount, storage solutions must maximize every inch. Spaces that can handle multiple functions are key. For example, an office workspace that converts into a bed in seconds or a kitchen island that can be moved indoors or outside. Extra space is created by locating systems in a basement under the floor instead of sharing space inside cabinets. And speaking of cabinetry, the best way to go is lightweight, all-aluminum, ultra-durable, engineered doors and shelves intended for mobile applications. Another big space saver is a loft area that raises and lowers for an additional sleeping area and a free-standing table that can be removed and converted into another sleeping space.
Water Tank Capacity
All humans need water to survive. We can't go for more than three days without it. So, it's no wonder that fresh and waste water constraints are among the most limiting commodities in full-time or off-grid travel trailers. At a minimum, you should have 100 gallons of fresh water storage and another 100 gallons of black and grey water storage. It's typical for an RV to have less than 35 gallons of waste and freshwater storage, with tiny 9-gallon hot water tanks. A better option is to go with hot water on demand, UV water filtration systems, and water generation from the air. The 2024 Living Vehicle® creates its own water supply while traveling off-grid. Humidity is extracted out of the air to fill the freshwater tank. Coupled with never-before-seen resource capacity, time off-grid is significantly extended.
The hallmark of a sustainable space is how it sustains and contributes to a healthy indoor space, which begins with clean air. The Living Vehicle® was conceived and designed by a team of LEED Accredited Professionals who apply sustainable building practices found in traditional architecture. Living Vehicle® is tested to meet LEED standards for indoor air quality and architecturally designed down to the last detail; with minimal glues, solvents, and caulking, we limit engineered plastics wherever possible. The other sustainable question is what it's made of. Recyclable aluminum is the best sustainable RV construction product for lightweight and long life.
It's no secret that many recreational vehicles are going solar, but the small footprint of the solar panels on the roof severely limits their capacity to expose solar panels to the sun. To maximize electrical power, the Living Vehicle® has designed a retractable solar awning that automatically extends with opposing slides and provides a sturdy shade that withstands significant wind. Thanks to this ingenious design, the number of solar panels can be increased by 200%.
The standards by which American-made quality has been historically measured is time-tested, all-weather durability in adverse conditions. Another sustainable measure is a product's lifecycle. Construction methods and materials are the factors that will protect your investment in the long term. Did the manufacturer build with a quality-first standard at all levels of design and engineering? To fully appreciate the manufacturing standards and attention to architecturally designed details, one must see them in person and test them under real-world conditions.
Living Vehicle® thrives below freezing, down to an industry-first sub-zero condition. This is achieved using 100% rigid closed-cell foam insulation and a conditioned basement that keeps the electrical and water systems in a temperate environment, whether it's -4°F or up to +120°F environments. The Living Vehicle® PRO model utilizes all-electric energy resources for cooling and heat.
The development of solar energy has opened the way to limitless off-grid energy. The powerhouse behind Living Vehicle®, LVenergy, features ultra-safe and readily available lithium-ion batteries rated for 10+ years and made from readily available marine-grade components.
Most traditional destination trailers are not ideal for the mobile lifestyle user who wants to make several cross-country road trips a year due to awkward travel, complicated take-down/set-up, and expensive fuel costs due to height and weight.
Living Vehicle® produces the best luxury destination trailers and now offers a mobile option that includes an expanded living area while providing luxury and being easily towed. The answer for RV-type mobility with destination trailer space and features is now being produced by Living Vehicle®, which was started out of a dream to change the mobile lifestyle world.
Founded in 2017, Living Vehicle® has consistently led the charge as the undisputed innovator in the RV industry. Empowered by the vision to create something better, relentlessly innovate, and see the world differently, represent a massive leap forward in the evolution of relentless LV innovation.
Living Vehicle® received the 2021 Rethinking the Future Award for Architectural Innovation. In their announcement, the RTF jury wrote, “The sustainable travel trailer is a vision of that future. The vehicle allows users to live and work off-grid with enduring, sustainable power. Designed to connect people with nature, mobility empowers connection with the world around and embraces the natural environment’s healing powers. Above all, the mobile lifestyle encourages individuals to be true to themselves and through the freedom of choice – the choice to freely be your best self.”