We’ve discussed the various types of motorhomes on this blog before. We’ve posted about Class A, B, and C motorhomes and about big rigs like our 43-foot diesel pusher. We’ve written lots of posts about motorhomes. But we’ve never written a post about a Toterhome. Until today!
These things are COOL, so let’s take a look!
- 1) What’s a Toterhome?
- 2) How Long Is a Toterhome?
- 3) So, What Makes a Toterhome a Toterhome?
- 4) What Are the Advantages of a Toterhome?
- 5) What Are the Disadvantages of a Toterhome?
- 6) Do You Need a CDL to Drive a Toterhome?
- 7) How Much Does a Toterhome Cost?
What’s a Toterhome?
A toterhome is actually a Class A motorhome built on a heavy-duty truck or on a semi-truck chassis like a Freightliner. Compared with a regular Class A rig, a Toterhome is a real beast.
Toterhomes are big, they have lots of living space, and they’re very powerful rigs with immense towing capacities.
So, are toterhomes longer than all other Class A RVs? Well, not necessarily!
How Long Is a Toterhome?
Toterhomes actually come in a variety of lengths. They range from 25’ long on the short end of the spectrum to 65’ (motorhome & trailer) on the longer end of the spectrum.
Without a hitch, most are between 36’ to 45’ long. With trailers, they can have a maximum length of 65’.
But the average Toterhome has a length of 36′.
So, What Makes a Toterhome a Toterhome?
The defining characteristic of a Toterhome is that it’s built on a heavy-duty truck or semi-truck chassis and has the ability to tow a large, heavy trailer, boat, vehicle, “garage”, etc.
Frequently, a Toterhome will have a large, spacious living area within the motorhome portion of the rig, and will be towing a large trailer that serves as a toy hauler trailer or a garage.
Again, these rigs have a massive amount of power giving them immense towing capacity. In fact, some have dual tag axles in the rear as well as a kingpin hitch for the purpose of pulling a semi-trailer. These rigs are often custom-built for racing teams to carry their cars while also giving their drivers a living and sleeping space.
What Are the Advantages of a Toterhome?
While a Toterhome isn’t for everyone, there are certainly a lot of advantages to them for certain types of travelers. Let’s take a look at why someone might want a Toterhome.
If your rig is built on a Freightliner, chances are good that you’re not gonna meet a mountain pass that slows you down! Toterhomes are incredibly powerful motorhomes, even when they’re hauling a significant amount of weight. This brings us to the next advantage…
The average GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of a Toterhome is between 26,000 lbs and 40,000 lbs. Not only can you tow pretty much anything you want to tow, but you also don’t have to be concerned with the weight of your gear, furniture, or big-screen TV! No weight worries here!
These rigs have an incredible amount of interior and exterior storage space, both on and inside the motorhome as well as inside the “stacker trailer” being towed. These trailers can serve as sleeping areas as well as immense storage areas for large items (like cars!).
There are many pre-built options available, but many Toterhomes are custom built and designed to handle whatever activity it is you want to do with your rig. They can be designed to comfortably accommodate anything from a race car team to a couple of families with separate living spaces. The sky is essentially the limit.
Larger Tank Capacities
With these rigs, there’s not only plenty of room for larger holding tanks, there’s no problem carrying the additional weight of the contents.
Boondocking with a 150-gallon fresh water tank sounds pretty good, right? And 70-gallon gray and black water tanks aren’t too shabby either.
As an aside, we should also mention that these heavy-duty rigs also tend to have larger generators.
What Are the Disadvantages of a Toterhome?
There are many advantages to having a Toterhome, but there are a couple of distinct disadvantages depending on your travel style.
The massive size and, in some cases, length of a rig like this is not well-suited to certain types of travel. For example, finding a campsite that can accommodate a rig like this isn’t necessarily easy. We’ve posted about big rig RVs before, but try finding a campsite for an extended-length Freightliner… towing a large car-hauler!
So, if you’re a national park visitor or you enjoy state parks and lakeside campgrounds, you probably wouldn’t want to buy a Toterhome.
Driving and Parking
Obviously, you can’t park a semi-truck just anywhere. Parking and even maneuvering in certain areas is more difficult with a massive rig built on a heavy-duty truck, carrying a trailer making you up to 65 feet long.
As for driving, well – in some states, a special license may be required, depending on the rig.
Do You Need a CDL to Drive a Toterhome?
Not necessarily, but it’s possible. Depending on your state of residency and the weight of your rig, you may be required to have a CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) to drive a Toterhome.
There are some states that consider a Toterhome to be an RV. In these cases, you’d be exempt from needing a CDL regardless of the size of the rig. However, other states view this differently, and it’s up to you to know your state’s regulations. Your best bet is to contact your state’s DMV for the information you need.
How Much Does a Toterhome Cost?
New Toterhomes can cost anywhere from $250,000 to $500,000. It’s a wide range, but there’s lots of customization to consider and there’s quite a variety of sizes and amenities as well.
There are also used Toterhomes on the market, and those prices will vary based on particulars as well.
Is a Toterhome Just Right for You?
Maybe a Toterhome is the rig for you.
But, if you’re looking for a high-end motorhome with a heavier-duty chassis, and a Toterhome is a bit of overkill, you may enjoy our post “What is a Super C RV?”
Better yet, how about a video tour of the Newmar Super Star?
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Monday 1st of August 2022
What's the difference between a Toter & a super-C?
Wednesday 3rd of August 2022
Hi Tom… good question! Typically, it’s that a Toterhome has an exposed area at the rear where a fifth-wheel hitch/kingpin is mounted for towing the accompanying trailer/fifth wheel. So it’s much more like a truck/tractor and trailer. With a Super C, you usually just have a typical hitch… though it’s often a higher weight limit than on a Class A. Make sense?
Monday 1st of August 2022
I am puzzled by your comments about the weight of Toterhomes. Your MA, according to the brochure has a GVWR of 44,200 lbs, my 41' has a GVWR of 34,200 lbs. Your NCC is ~11,000, mine is ~4,000. To me, the only advantage of the Toterhome is you start with a blank slate and build it exactly how you want it. The drawback is the front engine with its heat and noise.
Monday 1st of August 2022
A Toter Home is more "truck like" than a Class A motorhome. Things like Air Brake fittings for trailer air brakes are common on a Toter while rarely found on an "A" rig (as well as more "customization then a typical Class A would have available unless you go with a VERY high end "A"). That's a big deal if you're pulling a big trailer. As for "heat & noise" in a toter (or Super-C), I have a Super-C and maybe because there's NO "doghouse", I DON'T have problems with heat or noise (maybe because I have a true firewall, the heat and noise are deflected?). In a Class A, engine access and work often require that the bedroom be "taken apart" (and later, put back together at prevailing shop labor rates). I guess it really comes down to personal preference and the "mission" you expect your RV to perform. True TRUCK based RVs also tend to do better in crashes because they ARE trucks. If any "regular vehicle or RV swerves into me, I've got several feet AND a TON+ of metal they'd have to get through BEFORE they reach me. That can't be said for many (most?) Class A RVs.