Our New Home: Why We Decided to Buy a Toy Hauler

Should you buy a Toy Hauler, Travel trailer, 5th Wheel, Class A, Class C? What RV is right for you? The RV family behind The Flying Hens blog shares how they found their perfect RV.

Renting First

Earlier this year, we rented a 25-foot Class C RV for a vacation to explore some national parks. It was so much fun, with just enough space for us (for a short trip, anyway). We did find that it wasn’t all that convenient to have to drive our home everywhere we went (pick up groceries or going to the parks). This helped us rule out purchasing a Class C RV. We would've also had to have a tow-behind car that would fit three car seats/booster seats across the backseat, and that sounded near impossible.

Doing Research

I can clearly remember looking at fifth wheels for the first time, up close, in real life. They looked SO MUCH BIGGER in person than online. Coming from a woman who had never previously stepped foot inside a fifth wheel before, I was quite impressed. These things were surprisingly gorgeous inside. After my initial awe, I quickly became overwhelmed with all the layouts and options, and the ACRONYMS! RB, BH, FL, SS, TS… are these new states?

After a few weeks of looking, I really had my heart set on a beautiful fifth wheel, with a huge rear bunk room and TWO FULL BATHS. I can’t remember for the life of me which RV model it was, but I loved it. And then Chris made a detour to another aisle in the RV lot.

The toy haulers.

There she was, the Heartland Cyclone 4007. I stepped inside with a mind full of doubt. The toy hauler garage was so industrial looking and not my style. We don’t even have TOYS to haul! Why would we even consider this?!

But then, Chris opened my mind to the possibilities of the space. We could remodel the back, paint the walls and lay down new floors. The Happi-Jac beds plus the loft bed would accommodate our three kids for sleeping AND give them a huge multi-functional room. Plus, he said, I could bring my Peloton bike.

Okay, okay, he had me at Peloton.

The Garage

Let’s talk about that garage space for a second, and why it works so well for a full-time RVing family. It’s a multi-purpose room: a bedroom, playroom, school room, workout space, and so much more!

It has a half bathroom back there. Sure, it’s not that big, but it's perfect for kids. It has its own black and grey water tanks too!

Extra Beds

There is a twin loft bed that faces the toy-hauler side. Heartland is the only maker that we saw that had models with this option–all other brands of toy haulers (and trailers in general) had the loft bed facing the living room side of the space. This was huge for us, because we wanted to have privacy after we put the kids to bed. Otherwise our son would be kept awake from TV noise from the living room.

A view of an RV loft space and door.

The Happi-Jac system is perfect! There are two levels for the Happi-Jac: one is a queen bed and the other level we use to store a few bins of clothes and shoes. It takes a full minute to move the bed up and down, but it’s a minor inconvenience for gaining a ton of space when the beds are raised.

Bonus space

The garage offers over 100 sq. feet of space! That’s one heck of a good sized room, am I right? We are able to fit a dresser, desk, and a cube storage shelf in there. Oh, AND of course, my Peloton bike.

The trailer ramp transforms into a patio deck, complete with an awning! This gives even more options for space: the deck can be used for a picnic, schoolwork, play space, workout space, sip-wine-while-you-watch-the-sunset-space–you name it!

Two young girls on an RV toy hauler patio with a beautiful landscape behind them.

Two adults watching the sun set from the back patio on a toy hauler RV.

Now, imagine with me that you can put all your children back there to bed for the night, and then shut the door. They get to sleep soundly and you get to have the rest of your RV to yourself for the night without tip-toeing around and trying to be quiet.

That’s just the GARAGE space, y’all. Have I convinced you, yet?

The Kitchen/Living Room

The Cyclone 4007 has pretty large kitchen with plenty of counter space. (I love cooking!) There is an 18 cubic foot fridge that will hold everything you could possibly need for a weeks worth of groceries. I also love the large kitchen sink and separate cabinet just for the trash can.

A view of the Heartland Cyclone kitchen space.

What was a priority to us was having a real RV kitchen table that could fit all of us. Family meals together have always been important to us and we didn’t want to lose that in an RV. The couch “seats 4” but definitely fits us and three kids. The center seat backs fold down to reveal cup-holders and a USB charging port, and all seats recline. I know some people don’t care for the style of these RV couches, but I’m in love, they are so comfortable! A detail overlooked in many RVs is that the couch actually faces the 55 inch TV! I can’t believe the number of RVs where the TV and couch positions are very awkward or seem to be an after-thought. The entire span of the couch plus fridge is a slide out in this room.

The Cyclone dining area with a table that seats four.

The kitchen, dining area and couch inside the Heartland Cyclone RV.

In between the kitchen and the bedroom is the control panel. This baby controls everything in the RV, conveniently from a screen! You can turn on/off all the main lights, turn on/off the generator, check the tank levels, everything!

Master Bedroom

Now, let’s move in to the master bedroom, which is up three stairs. (We call it “the upstairs.”) This is where you’ll really be impressed. The bed rests in a slide out, within a slide out–that’s right, TWO slide outs to really give maximum space in the bedroom. (Maybe one of the largest bedrooms in an RV). The bed tilts up revealing a storage area beneath, and there is a ton of storage available in this room! Looking across from the bed is a wall to wall dresser underneath a huge picture window and a fireplace. The closet is very large with hookups for a washer and dryer. I personally liked the option for the washer and dryer in this space because it’s not out in the open (like some other models) and I have my bed or dresser to fold clothes on! The bathroom can be accessed by the hallway and the master bedroom, which I find convenient. I also love having a real tub. Yes, it’s small but it is still possible to take a bath, which is great when you have kids.

Outdoor Perks

Moving on to outside the rig, we were pretty impressed by the outdoor kitchen set up. Cooktop, sink, mini-fridge AND a TV? That’s pretty sweet. I can imagine our future nights together hanging out outside, watching TV under the stars. The entire outdoor kitchen and front door is covered by a large awning. The second awning covers the toy-hauler entry door. Both awnings are next to each other, which provides cover for pretty much the entire side of the RV. The Cyclone also has a “basement,” which is really the storage area. There is a ton of RV storage space here, and it’s where we keep bins of tools, supplies, and outdoor things.

Big Tanks

One other key feature that sold us on this particular RV was the tank capacity. We have 2 black water tanks (80 gallons total), 3 grey water tanks (98 gallons total) and a 100 gallon fresh water tank. We plan to boondock or moochdock as much as we can during our travels, so being able to go longer periods of time without the need to dump or fill tanks is important to us.

The Cyclone offers so many more features than those I described, but these are the reasons we bought ours. The space and layout, tank capacity, the multi-use functionality of the garage room sold us on buying a toy-hauler. Please feel free to reach out to us about living in a toy hauler and ask specific questions you may have about this RV.

You can watch the full tour of our 2021 Cyclone 4007 Toy Hauler below. Be sure to head to our YouTube channel to like and subscribe to follow along on our adventures, as well as on Instagram @theflyinghens.

This story first appeared on The Flying Hens.