Small travel trailers are becoming increasingly popular these days. People looking for off-road adventures, living sustainably, or getting back to nature find smaller recreational vehicles more nimble and convenient than larger RVs with their giant leather loungers and widescreen TVs.
Recently, manufacturers are scrambling to provide fun and hip trailers for people wanting the comfort of traveling in an RV without the hassle of owning a giant. Small travel trailers make for a wise investment for people looking to buy their first camper or the tenth. This list offers a roundup of the best small travel trailers with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) between 1,800 and 3,500 pounds. These RVs can be easily towed if you have a properly equipped crossover or SUV.
Before that, take a look at all the benefits of owning a small sized trailer!
Why Should You Purchase Small Travel Trailers?
1. Weight factor
Small campers are lightweight and can be easily towed using an SUV, minivan, or crossover. Most teardrop trailers or pop-up campers weigh around 2,500 pounds. This means you don’t need to get a truck specifically for the heavy towing. You don’t want a truck when you are thinking of taking big adventures. There are several ultralight options for people with smaller vehicles.
2. Easy to park and tow
Small campers are lightweight, which makes them easy to move. You don’t have to worry even if you have never used your car to tow anything before. As long as you have the right towing equipment, it is easy to tow a small travel trailer. Small campers are easier to maneuver because of their compact design. This means you can snag those prime camping sites easily with the shorter lengths.
3. Go glamping wherever you want
Camping is difficult when you have to sleep on the ground. It is easy to wake up sore all over after sleeping on the hard ground, even when you have a tent. Or, maybe you just wish you could make a quick meal using a microwave instead of having to build a fire. Glamping is all the rage now, with many people looking for unique ways to make the most of their camping trip.
Small travel trailers offer all the amenities you could expect on a trip. You can easily fit a bed inside with a wet bath, TV, kitchen, air conditioner, and more. Pop-up campers offer more room and can easily house sleeping space for up to 6 adults. You can have your camper set up with WiFi for the complete experience.
4. Make the outdoors more accessible
Many people choose small travel trailers because it allows them to spend more time in the outdoors. You can make camping more accessible with comforts, like an air conditioner and generator. You could camp for several weeks to months at a time during the camping season. Your family is more likely to be excited as well if they know they have options other than campfire meals and sleeping in a tent.
Small trailers require less time to set up as compared to larger ones. You will get more time to relax and explore once you reach the camping destination. The best part is that you don’t need to worry about storing your camper in an offsite garage once the season gets over. Most of the models mentioned in this list will fit easily in your garage.
5. Small travel trailers are affordable
The most important benefit of smaller RVs is their affordability. Many people choose lightweight trailers and pop-up campers because there are a lot of used and new options. Further, these options are usually available at a deal price. Ownership and maintenance costs are reduced as well in small trailers since they have fewer components and no engine.
6. Go further
Small campers are the best way to off-road. Larger trailers cannot be taken off the road so easily. You will be able to set up camp closer to your small trailer. This means you won’t have to carry a lot of things for a long distance. Besides, you can keep a close eye on your camper at all times. Imagine going to a secluded spot with your small RV in tow where you hike, sit, and generally enjoy the view.
7. Experience minimalism
Minimalism is all the rage these days, with more and more people wanting to own less and less. You don’t need many things to enjoy your camping trip, so why do you need a large trailer? When you have a small travel trailer, you get more thoughtful of the things you carry. You feel lightened when you leave most of your stuff back at home. This allows you to enjoy your trip a little more.
Top 10 Small Travel Trailers You Should Consider
1. Forest River r-pod
r-pod trailers from Forest River are advertised as affordable luxury with the lowest tow weight in that class. There are 10 different floor plans in these small trailers which are designed to be incredibly functional and easy to tow. One of the floor plans comes with a pop-up tent room which can hold a queen-sized bed.
You can choose any r-pod that best suits your purpose with so many different layouts on offer. Do you want a rear kitchen or more sleeping space? Or, would you rather have a roomier bathroom? Regardless of your needs – there is an r-pod that is just perfect for you. The average length of an r-pod is 18’4”-22’2”.
Every model can be towed easily by an SUV, crossover or minivan. The best part is that these trailers can fit almost any space whether you are boondocking, visiting a national park or just storing the trailer till your next camping trip.
The r-pod comes with a steel frame that is powder-coated for increased durability, reduced maintenance, and better corrosion resistance. There is a standard 3.7 cubic foot 3-way refrigerator, 6-gallon gas/electric DSI hot water heater, a 4-speed MaxxAir fan, and a recessed cooktop with two burners and a flush mount glass cover.
Unlike other small travel trailers, the camper has an interior height of 6’6”. This makes it a good choice for those at the 6-foot mark. They won’t have to bend with ample headroom inside. Some r-pods come with wet bath or at least provisions for a dry one. There is an outside shower with cold and hot running water in every model.
You can always upgrade by adding a 24” LED flat screen TV, convection microwave oven, and R-Dome awning with screen room. You can also get the handy solar package, which includes a 1000 Watt inverter, 110W panel, and digital controller. The solar panel array comes in highly useful when you are camping off-grid and off-road.
Most r-pod users cannot stop talking about how easy to tow and lightweight the camper is. It holds splendidly on the twists of mountain roads as well. Users also prefer the convenience of having an outdoor shower. Another popular feature on r-pods is the pet-friendly frame mounted utility hook, which can hold food or water bowls. This makes traveling with your pets so much easier.
2. TAXA Outdoors Cricket Camper
TAXA Outdoors’s Cricket camper has an innovative design, which is modern, sleek, and created for off-road adventure. You should stay away from this if you prefer the more traditionally designed travel trailers. Cricket is an ultra-light camper and easy to tow by 4-cylinder vehicles. It measures just 15 feet in length and can be easily maneuvered into tight places.
But, don’t let the short length fool you into believing it’s not comfortable. The camper can easily conform to the needs of two adults and two children comfortably. The trailer’s ground breaking design is responsible for this amazing functionality.
The founder and CEO of TAXA, Garrett Finney, has tremendous experience designing small spaces for purposeful usage after working on the International Space Station.
The Cricket comes with a convenient pop-up roof and five mesh windows. This is in addition to four swing windows which allows for optimizing ventilation. You will feel like you are outdoors even when you are inside the camper. The 32 x 20 window are big enough to offer a panoramic view of the scenery.
The best part is you can have your privacy when parked in crowded campgrounds without compromising on the breeze factor with shades and screens on the swing windows.
TAXA’s has a unique design which allows one to access the pop-up table and storage under the bed, even when the bed is being used. There is a large counter on the kitchen with a covered sink. This gives you enough space for cooking, prepping, and storing necessities.
The travel trailer’s construction is its biggest selling point. Non-slip seamless nickel patterned flooring and inch thick plywood floors with ABS laminate makes the interior construction durable and tough. Cricket is designed to be incredibly strong and lightweight with its powder-coated steel chassis and laser-cut aluminum skeleton.
It has been featured time and again in The Travel Channel and Forbes as the perfect camper for outdoor enthusiasts because of its focus on giving a traveler the most of nature. But, this also means that TAXA’s Cricket doesn’t come with a lot of amenities. You won’t find infinite floor plan options either.
The travel trailer is more of a base camp for people who love the outdoors and are seeking a minimalist home away from home. The camper is not meant for people looking to lounge in or set up a workspace. It is for outdoor adventurers who want a step up from tent camping.
3. United Recreational Vehicles iCamp Elite
iCamp Elite by United Recreational Vehicles is something you cannot miss if you like TAXA’s design. This tiny cute travel trailer is reinforced with aluminum tubing frames and fully laminated for keeping it light. The reduced weight helps with lower fuel consumption as well.
iCamp Elite is a funky little camper which is reminiscent of retro teardrop trailers of the 60s with their unique styling. But, it comes with all the modern amenities you want from an RV in 2020. In fact, it is one of the very few (perhaps the only) models to include an Apple iPod connection.
You also get a 6-gallon hot water heater, 3-way refrigerator, and glass slider windows with screens. There is a lot of storage space in this small trailer. There is also a dinette which easily and conveniently converts to a comfortable queen-sized bed.
You should know the specs of this trailer state that 2 – 3 people can comfortably sleep inside. However, there is no other sleeping area except the dinette bed. Unless the third person is tiny enough to cram between two other people, the iCamp Elite is probably suitable for only duo or solo travelers.
The camper is easy to tow at 14’ length. A major drawback is the interior height at just 5’11”. Tall campers may not find it comfortable with the limited headroom. However, there are other great features in the model which makes it a good consideration.
There is only one floor plan on offer in the iCamp Elite. The only major choice you have is to whether to purchase the trailer in blue or orange color package. There are a few add-ons you can choose from to upgrade your travel trailers, such as a flat-screen TV and a DVD Video/audio system.
The trailer has a modular design making it surprisingly easy to move around and adorably cute. You can enjoy all the necessities wrapped in an easy to manage, sturdy package. However, you won’t get many modern bells and whistles, like kitchen islands and recliners.
4. Happier Camper HC1
Another cute little trailer is the HC1 from Happier Camper. This has an aesthetic quite similar to the iCamp Elite, but it still manages to set itself apart. There is a definite vibe in this 70s styled travel trailer with some super-cool features, like a thick 1.5-inch honeycomb fiberglass floor, wide entry door, and a rear hatch.
Your camper experience can be customized in the HC1 to suit your purposes completely. The modular interior can be arranged and re-arranged the way you want depending on your changing needs. The Happier Camper is available in 7 retro-color styles. It is 13’ long and has an interior height of 6’1”.
HC1 makes use of the Adaptiv dynamic interior and is not broken into any floor plans. The interior is comprised of 20 x 20 cubes which can be arrange in infinite number of configurations. You can make use of the configuration examples provided by the manufacturer if you have trouble getting the creative juices flowing.
There are several built-in features in the HC1 floor plan, such as a drain, table bases, and frame-mounted D-ring tie-downs. You have several options to place your sink, table, cargo, and cooking surface. The cubes creating the storage, dining, sitting, and sleeping space can be taken outdoors to make a convenient living space.
It also allows for easier cleaning and storage. There are endless varieties to the modular cubes. They can be nested to form table or counter tops, cushioned for sleeping or sitting, used as benches, as a cooler, lids for storage, or as toiler cover component.
The designers did not dedicate or divide the space into kitchen, sleeping quarters, or bathroom, leaving the user with an insane amount of options. But, this can be a major drawback for people that like things simple and don’t have a creative side.
Happier Camper offers limitless options for those who like customizing their space on the fly. You can choose from great interior accessories, such as AC/DC fridge/freezer, dry flush/turbo toilet options, rear hatch privacy screen, and flexible reading lights. You also receive options for exterior accessorizing, such as contoured 100-watt solar panel package, loading ramp, and a pressurized and heated road shower.
HC1 comes with a lifted suspension to make it better compatible with off-roaders. It is the perfect camper for those seeking outdoor thrills. Users find the rear hatch convenient as a toy hauler, for bicycles, and other outdoor stuff. The versatility of interiors is another bonus since it allows for accommodating various different functions.
5. Homegrown Trailer’s Woodland Trailer
The Woodland Trailer is another unique teardrop shaped camper. It is set apart by the wood paneling which allows it to blend with natural environs. Homegrown Trailers’ hallmark is using renewable components and sustainable materials for creating a healthy indoor space, which is made entirely from non-toxic materials. You cannot get a cleaner camping experience.
The trailer has a length of 19’4” allowing it to fit inside most residential garages. You don’t have to take up another space just for storing this camper. The wood-paneled exterior comes as a choice of tongue-and-groove or beveled siding. You can take your pick from four color schemes.
There is 400 watts of solar panels in the standard package which can be doubled if you purchase the extended off-grid package. You get a composting toilet, one-burner induction cooktop, and an efficient mini-fridge as part of the standard package too.
The interior height can be extended to 6’5” with the hard-sided pop top. This also adds to interior ventilation. The Woodland can comfortably sleep four people. There is a queen-sized bed and the option to choose between a bunk/couch layout and dinette/bench layout. You can either convert the couch into a bunk or switch the dinette to an XL twin bed or bench.
The Woodland Trailer only offers a composting toilet and a sink as the interior bathroom. But, it does have a portable outdoor shower system with a -foot spray nozzle and a 3-gallon pressurized water chamber. This is installed on a wooden standing platform with a privacy screen (modular).
The Woodland needs to be towed by something that has a 2,700-3,500 lb. towing capacity. This allows the small travel trailer to be towed easily by most crossovers and SUVs. The trailer is designed to be sustainable, which further adds to the company’s commitment of leaving a small environmental impact.
The trailer has advanced lithium-ion batteries on its solar panel array, which allows the trailer to work great during off-grid camping trips. You don’t need to plug it in for a long time as long as there is sunny weather.
Ceiling and walls of the trailer is insulated with wool, which is another cool feature. Wool is great when used as insulation since its crimped surface naturally forms air pockets to create a thermal barrier. Wool also absorbs and neutralizes harmful substances from the air. It can regulate humidity by wicking moisture. It is also great for sound insulation.
Homegrown’s fans love the ability to stay off-grid and all the natural light the camper provides. They also like the fact that they can work, cook, and do everything else without really plugging in. Users feel the interior design is well-laid and doesn’t allow the small space to feel claustrophobic.
6. Winnebago Micro Minnie
Winnebago’s Micro Minnie is another great small travel trailer, if you don’t mind something granular. This camper is seven-foot-wide with ten open floor plan options. Winnebago is a reputed trailer manufacturer and has been designing them since 1958.
Micro Minnie comes with a high-quality frame giving the camper a lightweight yet strong foundation. It also has a NXG engineered chassis, 13.5K BTU low profile air conditioning system, and a TPO roof, which is both energy efficient and heat reflective.
There are no slides in three out of the ten options on offer. This can help if you want to decrease the overall width and fit better into tight camping sports. It also works for people who don’t like their camper to have many moving exterior parts.
You can expect all the modern amenities from this small travel trailer. It comes with a full kitchen resplendent with a pull-out faucet and a split galley sink. There is a roomy dinette, convenient bathroom, and a king mattress, which can also be converted to two twin beds.
Standard kitchen appliances in the Micro Minnie are range, microwave, and refrigerator. Other interior features include power awning with LED lighting, exterior speakers, and tankless water heater. The exterior length of Micro Minnie models is from 19’2” (1706FB model) to 25’5” (2306BHS model). The interior height of all models is 6’4”, making it a good option for those at or above 6 feet.
Winnebago customers appreciate the fact that the Micro Minnie is compact and easy to use. It offer superior quality at highly affordable rates and is easy to two. There are dual axles on the travel trailer which are not usually found on small camping trailers. It is solidly built and offers several amenities for the small space.
Another aspect that makes customers happy is that the kitchen has a lot of storage and cabinet space with high-quality appliances. In fact, the Micro Minnie can comfortably accommodate up to 2,500 lbs. of cargo while most small trailers don’t go above 950 lbs. Users of the camper say the manufacturer has great after-sale support and service. This is an important factor when you are investing in a trailer.
7. Hiker Trailer
Hiker Trailer is the perfect balance between the spontaneous customization of HC1 and a limiting pre-set floor plan. The company creates custom-built trailers based on individual specifications and customer preferences. You can tow these insanely customizable small trailers with crossovers and minivans.
There are four distinct models on offer – Highway Basic, Highway Deluxe model, Mid-range Deluxe model, and Extreme Off-Road Deluxe. The Highway Basic is offered in four sizes – 4 x 8, 5 x 8, 5 x 9, and 5 x 10. The model has 14-inch wheels, a black powder coated frame, two windows with screens, 205 tires, and an exterior made from aluminum.
The Highway Deluxe model is the same as Highway Basic, but with a small rear galley door. It also includes rear and front cabinets.
The Mid-range Deluxe model has larger 29-inch radial tires and 15-inch aluminum wheels. It has sturdy black steel diamond fenders and a large rear side-opening galley door. The model is offered in 5 x 8, 5 x 9, and 5 x 10 sizes.
The Extreme Off-Road Deluxe is the final model on offer and is available in 4 x 8, 5 x 8, and 5 x 9 sizes. The model has the largest wheels. It has 17-inch black wheels with 33-inch tires, making the camper perfect for off-roading. There are two drop-down legs in the rear for awesome stabilization regardless of the terrain. You get additional storage space in the front with a black colored box.
Hiker Trailer builds trailers in two locations – Indianapolis, Indiana and Denver, Colorado. You need to first select the trailer style to have the trailer custom-built. This will determine the kind of options you have. Exterior features, like trim, color, fenders, racks, doors, and awnings can be selected. Other options include mounts, hitches, cabinetry, and systems like electrical, air and heat.
Hiker Trailer has available rental units if you aren’t sure how to customize your camper. You can get a feel for the trailer and ascertain customizing ideas before purchasing.
Hiker Trailers tend to offer good quality. Most customers feel the trailers are affordable at that price range. They find the RV utilitarian and functional. Happy Trailer is compact, easily towable and great for outdoor enthusiasts, especially the ones looking for a quick weekend getaway.
8. Scamp Trailer
Scamp is a retro-looking small travel trailer, which is sure to appeal to someone looking for a homier trailer. Scamp was established in 1975 as a trailer manufacturer in Backus, Minnesota. They used to sell all their trailers directly from the factory. Scamp prides itself on offering American-made travel trailer by using US-based suppliers.
Scamp trailers are available in three lengths – 13 foot, 16 foot, and 19 foot. 13 foot is perfect for small families or couples, while 16 foot offers more space for families. 19 foot is for groups. It can easily sleep up to 6 people comfortably.
Scamp trailers don’t have complicated external features, like slides. They are easy to tow and don’t take long to be set up once you have reached your destination. 13 foot models can be towed by 4-cylinder cars while the 16 foot requires smaller trucks or medium sized SUVs. The 19 foot model comes only as a fifth wheel.
The 13 foot Scamp trailer includes an icebox, sink, and a two-burner stove. It is one of the original models and is available in a wide variety of choices, available cushions, and flooring. The 13 foot model doesn’t sleep more than 4 people. It has a rear dinette which seats up to 4.
The 16 foot mid-range Scamp has additional length and is a great choice for people looking for slightly more comfort. The camper comes with additional storage space, counter, and a bathroom. The 13 foot Scamp does not include a bathroom. This model conveniently sleeps 2 – 5 people and is available in three floor plans. The dinette, like with the 13 foot model converts into a sleeping space. The couch transforms into two additional bunks.
There is an addition of loft bed in the 19-foot fifth wheel. Everything else is similar to that of the 16 foot model. The loft allows increasing the sleeping space to house 6 people.
All Scamps are built on heavy gauge tubular steel. They use a torsion suspension system on the axle for independent suspension of each wheel. The frame comes coated to prevent rust. The Scamp body is made of fiberglass construction.
Scamp owners hardly, if ever, purchase any other brand. They are notoriously loyal to the manufacturer and appreciate everything that Scamp stands for. The best part about Scamp is its great customer service. These trailers are made of high-quality materials and have a solid construction. The company is committed to customer satisfaction.
9. Safari Condo Alto
Safari Condo is another reputed company specializing in small sized lightweight travel trailers. Their campers are inspired by fluid aerodynamics and durability involved in aircraft design. The independent Flexiride suspension is one of the line’s appeals. This component is responsible for providing greater stability to its aluminum frame. Interestingly, the frame is designed weld-free.
Safari Condo focuses on designing environmentally conscious trailers that can be towed by smaller vehicles with minimal fuel usage. The small trailers are built mostly using recyclable materials. The walls and roof of the trailer is designed as a honeycomb core made from plastic. The core is sandwiched between aluminum on both sides. In some cases, one of the sides is made from Alufiber, which combines the durability of fiberglass with aluminum’s strength.
There are two model series within the Alto line – R series and F17 series. The R series is characterized by its seamless aluminum roof, which is retractable in nature. This series is designed to fit comfortably in a standard sized garage. The exterior height (when the roof is down) is just 83.5 inches.
However, once the roof is raised, the interior height goes up to 82 inches. This allows taller campers to enjoy ample headroom without bending or slouching. The exterior length of R series Altos is 17’3”. There are two models on offer within the R series – R1713 and R1723.
R1713 has a 72 x 76 king size bed, which can also be converted into two twin sized beds. In contrast, the R1723 has a smaller bed measuring 60 x 76. However, both models are advertised as comfortably fitting 3 to 4 people. There is a nice-sized dining area available even when the bed is being used.
The dining table in both the R series models can be shifted to create two separate areas – five-seat or two-seat dinette. Both models come with a handy storage and fixed flush toilet.
The F17 series does not have a retractable roof model. The company bills the fixed roof model as European style. There are double-glazed panoramic acrylic windows in the F17 series with built-in screen and blind combination system. This gives you the feeling of being outdoors even when you are inside the trailer.
This larger model has an exterior height of 95 inches. It doesn’t always fit in a standard garage. However, it is still lightweight enough to be towed by most small SUVs and compact cars. There are two F17 series models on the menu: F1734 and F2114.
The F1743 has a 60 x 81 queen sized bed and sleeps 3 to 4 people. It also allows the front dining area to be converted to a 36 x 81 bed. The model features a fully enclosed toilet and a shower inside. It also has a large wardrobe and a huge bathroom cabinet.
F21 series is the largest Alto model with greater exterior height and a fixed roof. The height is 101 inches allowing most people to stand comfortably. The F2114 differs from the F17 on several counts. For instance, it has additional storage and more spacious interiors. The F2114 includes a queen (60 x 81) as well as a king (80 x 81) bed. It is designed to comfortably fit 4 people.
There is a large fridge in the F2114 with a more powerful heating system. It also has a four seating front dining area. The table in the dining area can be easily moved outside to be attached to the trailer’s exterior. You can enjoy the complete al fresco dining experience in the wilderness.
All Alto models have an abundance of natural light. Customers love that the trailer doesn’t give in to heavy crosswinds even though it is built to be lightweight. Users also like that it can be towed by almost any smaller car.
10. Airstream Basecamp
Airstream is a renowned brand in the small camper brand with Basecamp being the smallest model on offer. The travel trailer is designed for first times who want to experience trailer trips or people looking to step up from tent camping.
The exterior length is 16’3” and the interior height is 6’3.5”. The space encloses an ingeniously designed floor plan with a bathroom, kitchen, and a dining area that can be easily converted to sleep two.
There are two removable tables in the dining area which can be adjusted to different heights and moved in different directions for a more customized experience. The legs and the tables can be stowed away inside the benches as well.
The benches can seat up to five people. They can also be converted to a full bed (76 x 76) or a half one on one side. The back of the trailer has bungee storage, which is designed for hiking gear.
There is a wet bath with a toilet, shower and sink in the trailer in an enclosed space. The shower can be converted to an outdoor one with the pass-through.
There is a sink, fridge, microwave, and a two-burner gas stove in the front of the trailer. The cooking space includes grocery and spice storage. The countertop is designed to follow the curve of the trailer wall and face its panoramic windows.
The model comes in three interior décor themes even though the layout is not customizable. Rear door, which holds the bungee storage, is separated by a screen from the interior. There is a screen on the main door as well.
You can also consider the Basecamp X, which is designed for off-roading. It has larger tires and higher ground clearance. The model comes with a stainless steel front protector to protect from debris and rock damage.
People that have used the Basecamp gush about its ease of use and strategically placed LED lights. The travel trailer is easy to set up, even in the dark. You shouldn’t have any trouble setting up the rear bed as well. The storage bench has convenient rings that just snap into the legs. This prevents them from rolling or getting damaged when not in use.