Why in the world would anyone consider small travel trailers as a purchase option ? There are several good reasons many consumers prefer a small 20-foot or less travel trailer than one of the many longer models that are sold today. The three main reason that come to mind are budget, tow-ability, convenience and pure preference. In this article we’ll take a brief look at these reason and then dive into our top 10 picks for small camping trailers.
Why Consumers Buy Small Travel Trailers
Budget – Money is oftentimes a factor and influences our decision to buy a small camper rather than the larger more spacious models available. The price range for small travel trailers is typically 10k-20k for a new model and if you are buying used you can usually pick one up for under 10K. For those on a tight budget a small travel trailer makes sense.
Towing Capacity – Not all of us have 2-ton pickup that can tow 10,000 lbs. For those of us who have either small pick-up, SUV or a car we are limited to choosing a small camper simply because they are lighter and can be towed with a smaller vehicle. Small pick-up and SUVs can tow 4-6 thousand pounds and many small trailers have GVWR around that number. Cars however have even less towing capacity so your choices for a small camper are very limited but not impossible. The best advice we can give is to know you numbers. Your trailers GVWR, the towing capabilities of your vehicle, the weight capacity of your hitch etc. Seek the advice and guidance of a sales professional where you buy your travel trailer.
Convenience – Some consumers choose to purchase a small camper trailer because for them it easier to tow, easier to store and easier to maintain. This convenience factor at least for them far outweighs the advantage you might get from buying a larger travel trailer.
Pure Preference – There are those buyer and I include myself as one of them that just prefer a small travel trailer. Personally I like the intimacy of a small unit and prefer it on certain types of trips over their bigger counterparts. Weekend getaways are a perfect example of when I prefer to use a small travel trailer. I can be packed in under an hours and be on my way with my wife to son.
Ten Favorite Small Travel Trailers
Now that you have a little bit of insight into why consumers buy small travel trailers and pop up campers I am going to go over my favorite 10 small campers. This is not a review by any means but rather a list of the ten that are my favorite for one reason or another. Where available I will list the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating and sleeping capacity as well as any other information I think will be beneficial to you in deciding which one to purchase.
The Happier Camper
We have taken a closer look at the Happier Camper before and was chosen as one of best lightweight travel trailers. We still feel the same way about this little unit. It is both functional and extremely flexible due to its adaptiv modular design. We love the cool retro look and the shape. We also like the bay window. Even though it has a retro look it is not your grandpa’s small retro travel trailer. The Happier Camper has lots of modern features such as solar panel, usb charger etc. And yes it can be towed with a car. Now how cool is that for a small travel trailer.
American Dream Trailer
The American Dream Trailer is truly a dream. This small trailer sleeps two and also includes a cooking and storage galley in the rear of the trailer. It has an all fiberglass 4×8 foot frame. It weighs a very light 680 pounds.
Yes the top part of this small camper comes off and it a two person row boat. How freaking awesome is that? In addition this somewhat teardrop trailer can be customized in several different ways. For example you can choose your own color scheme either a one color exterior or two color exterior. To get more information in this trailer visit their website.
Winnebago Winnie Drop
The Winnebago Winnie Drop is a classic looking teardrop trailer that offers some very nice amenities for a small travel trailer. For started the price is attractive at around $17-$18K. The retro-style looks very nice and for a travel trailer that can sleep 4 it is surprisingly light at just about 2,780 pounds. To make it even more attractive is has a slide in the kitchen area, a queen size bed in the rear and a u-shape dinette that converts to a bed. Some additional features of the Winnie Drop include convection oven, outside shower, 19 inch LCD tv, 13.5 BTU low-profile AC. Give this one a look if you are interested in small travel trailers.
The Forest River R-Pod
The Forest River R-Pod looks a lot like the Winnie Drop above. This small travel trailer is perfect example of form following function. Like many small travel trailers it has a unique design and according to users it is well-built. It comes in a whopping 10 floorplans with many features including a powder-coated steel frame, self-adjusting brakes, wt-bath with integrated toilet and sink and much more. Though the manufactures website does not list the GVWR we think it will be under 4,000 pounds. (Check with dealer before you purchase to make sure). Overall this is a nice looking small travel camper that we would definitely enjoy having.
KZ Spree Escape
We really like the KZ Spree Escape. First off they have over a dozen different floorplans that offer just about any layout you may need. They come with many standard features including a 2 burner cooktop, 3-5 cubic foot fridge depending on the model, 6 gallon water heater, 5-inch thick dinette seats, Alum-A-Tough roofing that comes with a 12-year limited warranty, and awning and much more. You can get the KZ Spree Escape with either a tent or without. All models have a GVWR of less than 4,000 pounds.
Riverside RV Retro
There is something magical and nostalgic when we see retro travel trailers such as this Riverside RV retro. First off the colors are awesome and give it that retro/vintage look. The Retro model comes in several different sizes from a 14 foot 9 inch 155XL model to the 25 foot 6 inch 199FKS. and floor plans. These Riverside RV Retros come with many standard features including 16,000 BTU furnace on the single axle models and a 20,000 BTU furnace on the double axle units. They have outside service lights and pass through storage on the models that can accommodate that. A powder coated chassis and an aluminium cage construction add to the strength and durability of the retro while maintaining a reasonable light weight.
The interior is very nice looking and comes in Aqua, Red and Gray. The exterior of this small travel trailer comes in 10 different color combinations. There are several option packages available for the models which add many excellent features. Customer testimonials lead us to believe they are very well made and the company cares about customer service.
Safari Condo Alto Travel Trailer
Safari Condo makes one of the nicest looking and innovative tear-drop trailer we have ever seen It is lightweight which is what we want in a small trailer, it’s also very aerodynamic and durable. When it comes to towing stability the Alto excels due to it’s Flexride suspension and low center of gravity. To keep things light yest strong the floor and frame of this small travel trailer is made of aluminium. Electric brakes are standard on this Safari Condo trailer which is a feature not always found as standard equipment on many small travel trailers.
The retractable roof on the R-series Alto allows for additional interior head clearance. The roof is constructed out of a one-piece curved Alufiber/aluminum sandwich panel. Electric actuators open and close the retractable roof. Wind tunnel test show the Alto to create 75% less aerodynamic drag than a typical trailer. This along with the lightweight makes it easy for the Alto to be towed by most compact cars and SUVs. Visit their site right here.
Want to see a video walk-through of the Safari Condo Alto? Check out the video below we think you’ll be impressed by this small travel trailer. It is expensive though and there is a long waiting list to get one. Those who them love them to death.
Scamp travel trailers are designed to be very light and can easily be towed by small cars or SUVs. The are constructed of a hard shell fiberglass body which makes then light, durable and aerodynamic. Scamp trailers makes three type of trailers. A 13-foot travel trailer, a 16-foot small travel trailer with a side dinette and a 19-foot 5th wheel travel trailer with a loft bed. The Scamp family of small travel trailers come with many standard features including 30 amp converter, 12 gallon fresh water tank, two-burner propane stove, porch lights, The Scamp trailers are built in Minnesota and you can visit their website to get additional information and even download a brochure.
So-Cal Teardops makes a line of on-road and off-road small travel trailers that start at just around $6,300 with the Buzz model up to just over $17,000 for the XS model. They range in length from 96 inches to 120 inches and weight from 670 pounds dry weight for the Buzz to 1,400 pounds dry weight for the XS. There are dozens of accessories you can buy for these nice looking teardrop trailers and customization is a breeze as the company can create just about any teardrop trailer you can envision. Over at the So-Cal Teardrops website they have a very informative article on the history of teardrops trailers.
Deseo by Knaus
In Europe travel trailers are known as caravans. The Deseo is a caravan built by the German company Knaus. The Deseo is a modular built travel trailer that can sleep up to 4 people, has a large rear lid for easy access and made to be sturdy and easy to clean. The Deseo caravan comes in 4 flavors: the Deseo, Deso Plus, Transport and Transport Plus. These travel trailer have a modern sleek design and use of space is optimal. Want to take along you moto-bike? Well with the Deseo’s large rear door you can easily load a bike in your travel trailer. Inside you’ll find ant-allergic, breathable fabric that is both durable and easy to clean.
10 Small Travel Trailers We Love
So there you have it 10 small travel trailer that we here like and we think you’ll like them also. If you have any questions about any of these small campers or any questions about travel trailers in general visit our Ask A Question section. Thanks for visiting and happy travel trailing.