Why Have 2 Doors on A Travel Trailer? [What To Consider]

Summer is here, and you want to buy a travel trailer to travel the great outdoors.  Not only are there so many choices, but it seems like each model has its options.  Doors, for example–why do some travel trailers have one and others have two?     

Why do some travel trailers have two doors?  Most travel trailers have two doors for convenience and safety.  In return for the convenience, you will sacrifice some space.

A major purchase like a travel trailer requires that you be able to weigh all the pros and cons.  We are going to look at the benefits and negatives of having two doors in a travel trailer.  We also plan to compare floor plans of several models to help you make a well-informed decision.

When did two doors start?

RV historians say that the travel trailer industry was started in 1910 with the first mass-produced “camping trailers.”  We would call them tents on the back of a car because that’s what they look like (check out this video below for a brief history of travel trailers.) 

Most early travel trailers had one door at the back.  Most people claim the first two-door travel trailer was a 1955 Henon Caravan Trailer.  It took a while before most manufacturers started building travel trailers that had an option for one or two doors, but not many models come with both options.   

Henon Caravan Trailer
Henon Caravan Trailer

Benefits of A Two Door Travel Trailer

There are many benefits of having two doors on your travel trailer.  Below is a list of common ones:

Easier When Traveling with Kids.   Two entrances are a plus with kids because it provides an entrance and exit.  Kids can enter the back door and exit the front door and not congregate around one door.

Helpful on An Uneven Campsite.  Sometimes campsites are not flat.  Two doors can help alleviate this by providing easier access to the ground.

Different Bed and Wake Times. Two doors are beneficial when several people use the trailer, and the occupants have different wake up times and bedtimes. With some layouts, you would need to walk through sleeping areas to find a restroom or other sleeping areas.  With two doors, you can still enter and exit without disturbing other occupants.

Fire safety.  All travel trailers are built to follow the fire code regulations.  They have the necessary emergency exits.  However, having a second door can be another exit in time of emergency.

Outside Door Access to The Bathroom.  Having a second door open to the bathroom can be beneficial in various ways: 

  • The second door can help keep your trailer cleaner. People can enter the restroom and wipe their feet and clean up before coming into the rest of the trailer. 
  • It provides easier access to the bathroom when people are sleeping. 
  • Great for quick roadside pit stops.
  • A second door into the bathroom usually means that the bathroom is bigger.  One-door trailers have small bathrooms where the counter runs right up to the toilet, making it difficult to move around.  Trailers with a second entrance into the bathroom do not have this issue. For larger campers, this is a major benefit.
  • If your trailer has slides, you may not have access to the restroom when the slides are not open.  Having a second entrance into the bathroom allows for guaranteed access. 
  • It is beneficial when you are home from your trip and unpacking.  Many times the dirty clothes are stored in the bathroom, so the extra door allows for quicker access to the clothes. 
  • Seventh, the bathroom door has a window that lets light in.

Pets.  A second door can be helpful if you have pets that love to escape.  If the second door enters the bathroom, you can close the door the bathroom door which leads to the living space and enter and exit through the outside bathroom door.  This will put one more barricade between your pets and escaping to the outside.

Related reading: Dogs in Travel Trailers: Here is What You Need to Know

Disadvantages of a Two Door Travel Trailer

People who have owned two-door travel trailers often mention these disadvantages:

Wasted space.  The second door can take up much-needed storage and other space in the trailer.  When every inch counts, you may not want a second door taking up space, especially if it is not used.

Extra weight. Second doors, in most cases, add length to the trailer.  The length adds more weight to the trailer, and therefore the car pulling the trailer needs to be prepped to pull a more considerable weight. 

No Awning. The second door usually does not have a covering. So if it is raining outside, you will have not protection when stepping outside.

Safety with kids. Two doors can be a disadvantage with kids because it can allow them to come and go when they please without being seen. 

Second door entering the bathroom. If the bathroom is occupied, then the second entrance is not accessible.  This then removes the benefit of a second door.

Best Location for A Second Door?

There are three locations for a second door: bathroom, bedroom, or living space.

  • Bathroom.  This location has the most benefit for a second door.  As mentioned above, the second door in the bathroom allows for a larger bathroom, cleaner trailer, and easier ability to avoid or enter sleeping accommodations. But there is also the negative of if the bathroom is occupied, you cannot enter the trailer.
  • Bedroom.  This location has the least benefit for a second door.  Bedroom entrance means that anyone needing to use the entrance will be entering a bedroom, and the room loses all its privacy.
  • Living area.  This location has good benefits.  If the first door is the living room, the second door might be the kitchen.  This will help parents keep track of all the doors.  But it loses the benefit of the second door, helping to avoid sleeping areas.

Popular Travel Trailers With 2 Doors

Many companies that manufacture travel trailers have one and two-door trailers. The chart compares a few of the models to see if there is a large difference in size, weight, and cost of 1 door versus 2 door travel trailers.

Here are some travel trailer manufacturers that have two-doors access:

  • Forest River
  • Jayco
  • Heartland
  • Dutchmen

Among those are Forest River, Jayco, Heartland, and Dutchmen

 Forest River R-PodForest River Grey WolfJayco JayflightJay Flight 2Heartland MallardHeartland Mallard 2Dutchmen Coleman Light 2435 RKDutchmen Coleman 2715 RL
Entrance/exits122  (1 is in the bathroom)1122 (2nd door entrances vary in location)1
Hitch Weight315lb934lbs660lbs660lbs660lbs640lbs623lbs613lbs
Average Cost$20,000n/a$34,000$30,584$23,500n/a$34,454$34,368

Overall, when comparing one and two-door travel trailers, the width is the same.  The cost is slightly higher with a two-door versus a one door travel trailer. Length varies by make and style, but looking at these models, you can find both long and short trailers with two doors.  Two doors does not automatically mean a long trailer.

How Wide Is A Camper Trailer Door?

How wide is a camper trailer door? On average the width of a modern RV access door is between 14 inches to 70 inches depending on the model and the make.

How Thick Is A Camper Door?

How thick is a camper door? The thickness of the camper trailer door can vary but on average you can expect a range from 3/4 ” to 3/8″ (outer overlap edge)

Are All Camper Doors The Same Size?

Are all camper doors the same size? No, the size of the camper are not the same abd can vary from model to model. The door thickness most of the time ranges from 14 inches to 70 inches

How do you measure a camper door to replace?

How do you measure a camper door to replace? >> It is easy to measure the camper door, Check out the video below:

Final Thoughts

There are many positives and negatives for having a two-door travel trailer.  In most cases, the cost is similar for a one and two-door travel trailer.  The important thing to do is to determine what is more important to you–convenience or space.

Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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