Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Trailer or Motorhome...For a Boater/Fisherman-Which Rig?

Travel Trailer or Motorhome?

For those of you that love to fish and boat……what RV did you choose?

Whichever we decide on it will be 30’ or less.

Motorhome would be used; Trailer could be new or used.

Budget: $40K

We’ve owned a Class A, Class C, Travel Trailer, and a 5er. We have been RVing for 20 years.

We are at a crossroads in our next selection of a camping rig. I’m retiring at the end of this June (58yo). Wife and I would like to spend travel and adventure time with our 16yo son who has Autism. He is a great kid, well-behaved, and enjoys traveling and camping! Our 22yo son just graduated from college and is enrolled in grad school; he will travel with us when off from school. So we will be traveling/sleeping three and occasionally four. A couple of small fur pets will join us when we travel with 4.

Over the next few years, we want to travel the Southwest/PNW (CA, NV, AZ, NM, ID, OR, WA, CO). Our trips will be between 2-3 weeks, 3-4 times per year. There will be trips when I travel alone for some fly fishing; these are in addition to family trips. No boat would be towed on these trips.

I own a small Arima 15’ Sea Sprinter boat and would love to take it with me, as we love places that have water….rivers, lakes, ocean/harbors. I use my boat regularly near my home so I get plenty of water and fish time!!!

I own a 2003 Ford F-350 V10 so towing a trailer is not an issue. I use a camper shell so no 5er for me.


Pros: Currently own a low mileage tow vehicle in great condition; cost is less to purchase and maintain. Tow vehicle is used to explore surrounding areas. If truck were to break down, trailer can be used while waiting for repairs. I could purchase a 12' raft and small outboard for use as needed. I can also fish rivers, lakes, surf without a boat.

Cons: Unable to tow my boat; long rig between trailer and truck; a little more work to set up


Pros: Passengers have access to restroom; passengers able sleep on longer trips; can tow boat; small length when not towing boat; a vehicle can be towed in lieu of boat; if no vehicle to tow…a car can be rented locally

Cons: More expensive to maintain; no vehicle for visiting surround areas; smaller interior/living space vs trailer


I really enjoy my boat and would love to take it along, but we also love to explore the areas we visit. Not sure a motorhome is conducive to using as a vehicle for sightseeing? I could purchase a 12’ raft and small outboard to use if I went the trailer route…it would allow me to access the water with 3-4 people.

What am I missing in my thoughts?
Other considerations?

Thoughts from those of you have been or are currently in this situation....RVer, boater, fisherman,....what did you do?
2023 GMC, 3500HD, Crew Cab, 6.6L Gas/6 Speed Auto, 4X4, Standard Bed; SRW
2011 Outback 250RS - Anniversary Edition
Equal-i-zer 10K

Explorer III
Explorer III
I have 2 friends that tow their 16’ boat with outboard and trailer ON TOP of their toad pickup. 2 ramps for the wheels: On one the wheels rested on the truck rails and the other used a narrow axle and the wheels rested on the truck bed. A third center rail extended the trailer tongue above the cab. Boat and trailer were lower than the MH height. An electric wench behind the bed extended up to a pulley on the center rail, forward to a pulley and back down to attach to the trailer. Easy to raise/lower the boat/trailer, stow the removable ramp sections, add a few tiedowns and away they would go. Consider the extra weight involved for your MH.

Or a avid fisherman could haul 2 boat/trailer combinations with his pickup!


2009 Holiday Rambler 42' Scepter with ISL 400 Cummins
750 Watts Solar Morningstar MPPT 60 Controller
2014 Grand Cherokee Overland


re the boat. a 5hp motor will probably not get that boat on a plane if that is an issue. you will need a 10-20hp motor for that option. Hopefully it has an inflatable keel also. That will allow it to track better vs a non v'd bottom rig.
if you can get and haul a true rib design, heavier, but are in some ways better per say. What you are looking at design wise is a decent bang for the buck.

92 Navistar dump truck, 7.3L 7 sp, 4.33 gears with a Detroit no spin
2014 Chevy 1500 Dual cab 4x4
92 Red-e-haul 12K equipment trailer

Explorer III
Explorer III
My solution would be this---I don't need 2 bottomless pits to throw money in and I like to travel and explore more than fish. SO I have a DP and a Smart car toad which takes me all over the country. When I am home my 24ft Wellcraft goes fine behind the F-350 or the DP if I want to spend the night ashore or I can sleep in the boat. Just figure out what works best for you. My stuff is all old and paid for which makes it easier to throw money at LOL.

Explorer II
Explorer II
You could carry an aluminum boat on a rack over your pick up. I've seen this done, with right winch system, you can lower the boat right into the water. All of this right from your pick up.

Cabover camper is the only way to be happy as a fisherman with a boat. Speaking from experience.
Truck: 2006 Dodge 3500 Dually
Rig: 2018 Big Country 3155 RLK
Boat: 21' North River Seahawk

Thanks to all for your insights and thoughts.

After much thought, we decided on a travel trailer (see sig). Wife prefers the comfort of a TT over the TH we recently had. To her, TH felt more industrial and not as homey. The TH was very also heavy (GVWR of 12K) and long (32').

I will be purchasing a Saturn inflatable boat (model FB365) and a 5hp outboard motor. I'll have to fabricate something to trailer it to/from (campsite to the launch ramp/waters edge)....typically less than one mile from campsites to water. Launch wheels and some sort of pintle/gudgeon at bow should work.

The raft set up is somewhat physically challenging with alum floor, but it will be used when we are at a site 3 days or more so it will only be set up/taken down once.

2023 GMC, 3500HD, Crew Cab, 6.6L Gas/6 Speed Auto, 4X4, Standard Bed; SRW
2011 Outback 250RS - Anniversary Edition
Equal-i-zer 10K

Explorer II
Explorer II
Have you thought about a Toy Hauler? I saw one at Newport Dunes a few years ago,pulled up,dropped ramp and unloaded boat and trailer using a winch,left and returned with truck and launched the boat.

Great fun to watch the launch ramp while having a bite at the Back Bay Bistro

There were a few old posts here on the Net about that but the pictures have all gone away. I think there are YouTube videos too.

You might ask over in the Toy Hauler sub forum,they are a pretty tight group and very helpful.

I was thinking the same thing. You could tow it with the vehicle you already have ! You could un-hook the vehicle to go see the sights ! And yet you could have a boat inside of the trailer.

Sounds like a winner to me.

Though I know your choice of boat would be somewhat limited. But, at least you would have a fishing boat along with you !

Explorer II
Explorer II
dodge guy wrote:
either a 5th wheel and tow the trailer behind that. Or a toy hauler 5th wheel with room for a big zodiac type boat in the back.

The poster is in California, where recreational double towing is not permitted. A trailer behind a fifth wheel would legally require a CDL with a double towing endorsement (and all that goes with it, such as medicals).

Generally speaking, recreational double towing is not permitted in states along the west coast and in states along the east coast, but permitted in some form or another in most of the interior states. Note also that reciprocity doesn't apply here; while one's license is accepted anywhere for any vehicle it applies to, that doesn't magically make the operation of a vehicle that is not permitted at all to be legal for you to operate.

Explorer II
Explorer II
either a 5th wheel and tow the trailer behind that. Or a toy hauler 5th wheel with room for a big zodiac type boat in the back.
Wife Kim
Son Brandon 17yrs
Daughter Marissa 16yrs
Dog Bailey

12 Forest River Georgetown 350TS Hellwig sway bars, BlueOx TrueCenter stabilizer

13 Ford Explorer Roadmaster Stowmaster 5000, VIP Tow>
A bad day camping is
better than a good day at work!

There is no perfect RV!
Only compromises.

A truck camper might be too small for 3 unless u get a giant one that requires a dually, but is perfect for towing a trailer.

If you like your boat along, then really IMO the motorhome is what you need. Get the smallest one you can stand to live in. Considering 2-3 weeks at a time you can maybe manage tight quarters as opposed to people who go months on end in one. A short one will have less coach behind the rear axle and make towing a little easier (backing up and sharp turns at least).
Driving around sight seeing in a shorty motorhome (Im imagining a short class-c) is not a big deal. You can get to a lot of places, though a little slower and with a bit more gas used.
IF you want your boat along, then get a motorhome. I would not want to deal with an inflatable where half the time it is not worth bothering with, but thats me...

Explorer III
Explorer III
I bought an inflatable reinforced rubber raft when I retired and used it to fish across the US into Canada and up to Alaska. It was easy to set up, in 5 mins it was inflated, much easier to set up than a Zodiac with wood floors. I also have a 19 ft boat that I trailer but never felt comfortable backing it down a boat ramp with no backup camera. With an inflatable you are not limited to finding a boat ramp. Most places I fished had no ramp. However to answer your question directly if I was going to buy a MH to tow a boat I would get a 24 ft Class C with a backup camera. Some ramps are steep then flatten out some, make sure the hitch has enough GC so it does not scrape the ramp. Do you plan to tow the boat cross country or just local trips?

It sounds like the family also fishes ? I for years now have used an inflatable one man pontoon boat when I fish the lakes or want to float a river. Electric motor ,and battery . Up until this year I have just transported the boat taken apart ,and stowed in trailer or truck . This year I went to a little bigger boat ,still one man inflatable ,but decided I wanted a small light weight trailer to transport ,which I will tow behind my fifth wheel, but this trailer could easily be towed behind a travel trailer.

We spend a good portion of the summer in Montana, this trailer will enable me to transport the boat to fish much easier then in the back of the truck. It will always be loaded ,and ready to go.

Back when I RV'd, we tried out MH, Class C, TT, etc. We found that we liked a truck and trailer combo best since it allowed us to separate the truck and see whatever we wanted, whether city streets, scenic day trips away from the CG, tourist attractions, side roads, etc.

I think some of that might apply to the OP's situation...but the OP is quite interested in fishing. I'd have to agree with Grit....the two most versatile choices are a truck camper towing a boat or a Class C towing a boat.

FWIW, Alaska doesn't have as many "real" boat launches as most of the SW / PNW, so I have limited data points, but I'd certainly recommend nothing bigger than a class C if you intend to use the MH to launch your boat. Aside from the general enjoyment of watching other people struggle at the boat launch, it's really entertaining to watch the 30' or larger Class A's try to launch at many of the popular spots here in the Los Anchorage general area....almost always good for my boat-launching ego. 🙂
My RV is a 1946 PA-12
Back in the GWN

I saw this pic on FB this morning. It looks kind of top heavy to me, but what do I know?

2014 RAM 3500 Diesel 4x4 Dually long bed. B&W RVK3600 hitch • 2015 Crossroads Elevation Homestead Toy Hauler ("The Taj Mahauler") • <\br >Toys:

  • 18 Can Am Maverick x3
  • 05 Yamaha WR450
  • 07 Honda CRF250X
  • 05 Honda CRF230
  • 06 Honda CRF230