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On-Road Tiny Trailers: Camping Small and Light

Originally Published in Trailer Life Magazine

The ultimate RV guide to cozy but comfortable mini camping trailers that are just right for free-roaming spirits with small tow vehicles.

Not every RVer owns a big pickup capable of lugging around trailers that weigh several times more than the average American car. Nor does every RVer want or need a travel trailer that can sleep six with all the accommodations of a fancy motel room. Some of today’s free-roaming campers just want a comfortable space where they can sleep with a sense of security, have the basic necessities to spend a few days on the road and do it in a trailer that can be towed by a small vehicle. A bed-and-stove-to-go, so to speak.

See Related Story: Off-Road Tiny Trailers: Adventure Starts Here


That’s why over the past decade we’ve seen such a rise in the popularity of “tiny trailers,” those nimble little creations that have an unloaded vehicle weight (UVW) of 2,500 pounds or less and come in a variety of shapes, styles, prices, features and fabrication methods.

They typically have a comfy bed, 12-volt DC power, LED lights, a minimal amount of storage space, and come with an external galley that can be set up with a camp stove and a cooler. Most also have provisions for solar power. Nearly all have options to suit different buyer needs.

About half of this market is filled with tiny trailers designated as off-road adventure-style models. The other half focuses on tiny trailers designated primarily for on-road use, just like their bigger brethren. Those are what we are highlighting here.

There are literally dozens of these little creations from which to choose. We’ve picked out a cross section of 18 models to showcase, along with listing many more manufacturers building these types of on-road tiny trailers in 2020.


Bruce W. Smith’s monthly Tiny Trailer posts go into depth on many of these models.


The 2020 Airstream Basecamp is just over 16 feet long and weighs in under 2,600 pounds (dry), with a 3,500-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR). Airstream touts it as being perfect for two. It has both heating and air conditioning, a back door, a nice interior galley and a bathroom with a shower, all of which are unusual in tiny trailers. The 6-foot, 5-inch-wide interior is remarkably roomy with a rear lounge area that converts into a comfy 72-by-72-inch bed. The ceiling and walls are polished aluminum, with curving trim and recessed LED lighting, and the fabric is marine grade to resist water, mildew, dirt and spills. The Basecamp X option adds a suspension lift kit and larger wheels and tires for off-road use.

Silver Airstream Basecamp trailer with kayak in foreground.Exterior Length: 16′ 3″
Exterior Width: 7′
Exterior Height: 8′ 8.75″ with A/C
Interior Width: 6′ 5″
Interior Height: 6′ 3″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 72″x72″
Freshwater Cap.: 22 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: 29 gal. combo
LP-Gas Cap.: 10 gal.
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 2,585 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 410 lbs.
GVWR: 3,500 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $37,900


With an 1,875-pound dry weight and 3,500-pound GVWR, Aliner’s Family Expedition is the smallest and lightest A-frame camping trailer in the industry, according to the Pennsylvania-based company. The trailer can comfortably sleep a family of four, and when the top is collapsed for towing, it will fit in a standard-size garage. The Expedition’s interior configures to three beds (front, middle and rear), so, as the name suggests, it’s very family-friendly. The sleek exterior slide-out galley provides an easy, convenient location for feeding hungry adventurers.

Aliner Expedition trailer with family at campsiteExterior Length: 18′
Exterior Width: 7′
Exterior Height. 4′ 11″ (closed); 10′ 6″ (open)
Interior Width: 7′
Interior Height: 8′ 6″ (open)
Bed/Sleeping Area: 44″x72″, 32″x80″, 60″x80″
Freshwater Cap.: 11 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A/4-gal. cassette toilet
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal.
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 1,875 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 260 lbs.
GVWR: 3,500 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $22,945


“We look at Armadillos as if they are intended to float,” says Mike Jong, of the family-run Armadillo Trailer Company in British Columbia. “We use a two-piece fiberglass shell to keep all water out, and marine-grade materials, metals, sealants and glues along with dense insulation and breathable fabrics to reduce moisture and internal condensation.” The 13½-foot 13.5 comes in front-couch, double- and triple-bunk models with radius-corner cabinetry, in-frame sliding storage system, 30-amp service, a built-in galley, fridge-freezer, 12,000-Btu furnace and a water system. The roomier new Backpack model adds 6 inches up front and expansive windows.

Blue, white and black Armadillo fiberglass trailerExterior Length: 13′ 6″
Exterior Width: 6′ 6″
Exterior Height. 8′
Interior Width: 6′ 5″
Interior Height: 6′ 1″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 47″x76″, 26″x76″
Freshwater Cap.: 10 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: 10 gal.
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 1,800 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 180 lbs.
GVWR: 3,500 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $19,500


The beauty of a Big Woody is the owner is usually the builder, while the company supplies the templates. That’s because Wisconsin-based Big Woody sells comprehensive plans and parts, so any DIYer with the time, basic woodworking skills and a garage or shop can build his or her own teardrop. These sturdy, durable campers are lightweight, since ¾-inch plywood is generally used for the side walls. The DIYer typically supplies the wood, although the company can, too. The cabin in the 4×8 camper is 4-by-6 feet or longer and sleeps two people. The owner can use a futon, or the company can provide a custom-fit covered mattress. Big Woody also supplies plans for its 5×8 version, in which a queen mattress can be used. Owners supply the trailer frame/axle.

Wood-sided Big Woody teardrop trailer with rear kitchen open.Exterior Length: 8′
Exterior Width: 6′ (fender-to-fender)
Exterior Height. 5′
Interior Width: 3′ 10.5″
Interior Height: 3′ 10″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 48″x72″
Freshwater Cap.: N/A
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: N/A
Axle Rating: 2,000 lbs. (builder supplies axle)
UVW: 600 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 125 lbs.
GVWR: 2,000 lbs. (depends on axle)
MSRP, Base: $2,500 (all plans and Ultimate Parts Kit)


Another Wisconsin company, Camp-Inn offers the 560 Ultra Raindrop with an aluminum exterior, stainless-steel fenders and all-birch interior. The trailer is built using marine materials, construction methods and wood finishes. Cabinet hardware, polished stainless-steel hinges, stainless-steel countertops and backsplashes, and a chrome-plated brass faucet are all sourced from the marine industry. The rear galley has lots of stainless steel and uses a commercial stove, a full water system with external hookups and an onboard water supply. Air conditioning, an LP-gas furnace and refrigeration are among a long list of options.

Silver Camp-Inn trailer on road with canoe on top rack.Exterior Length: 13′ 11″
Exterior Width: 6′ 6″ (fender-to-fender)
Exterior Height. 5′ 1″
Interior Width: 4′ 10″
Interior Height: 3′ 8″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 58″x102″ (sofa converts to bunks)
Freshwater Cap.: 8.5 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: 8.5 gal./N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: 2.5 gal.
Axle Rating: 2,000 lbs.
UVW: 1,200 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 185 lbs.
GVWR: 2,000 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $22,028


Since 1983, Casita has produced one of the highest-quality, lightest-weight conventional-style travel trailers on the market. Built at Casita’s factory in Texas, the 17-foot version of the Heritage Deluxe can sleep up to six in its completely sealed fiberglass body. It’s also self-contained with fresh-, gray- and black-water tanks, two 5-gallon LP-gas cylinders, a bathroom and shower. A roomy, user-friendly design and endless customizable features give owners freedom to travel anywhere and not be restricted to the typical camping experience.

White Casita fiberglass trailer being towed.Exterior Length: 17′
External Width: 6′ 8″ (fender-to-fender)
External Height. 8′ 11″
Interior Width: 6′ 4″
Interior Height: 6′ 2″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 4-6 people (depends on floorplan)
Freshwater Cap.: 16 gal. (25 gal. optional)
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: 32/15 gal.
LP-Gas Cap.: 10 gal.
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 2,480 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 365 lbs.
GVWR: 3,500 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $21,189


Built in British Columbia, the Droplet is a one-of-a-kind lightweight teardrop with an airy, modern ambience and doors large enough to accommodate wheelchair users. Weighing just 950 pounds unloaded, and with a 1,400-pound GVWR, the steel-frame version doesn’t need brakes and can be towed by some of the smallest cars. A big plus is a covered kitchen on an excentered waterproof hinge. The Droplet is also versatile with all portable appliances: 12-volt DC fridge, lithium power pack, stove, water tank and solar panel. Another plus: The company will list Droplet trailers for rent on its website when they are not being used, like an Airbnb service for owners.

Parked Droplet trailer with door open and woman inside reading.Exterior Length: 13′
Exterior Width: 6′
Exterior Height. 5′ 4″
Interior Width: 4′ 10″
Interior Height: 3′ 8″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 60″x80″
Freshwater Cap.: 2.65 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: 453 gm. (1 lb.)
Axle Rating: 1,400 lbs.
UVW: 950 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 90 lbs.
GVWR: 1,400 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $14,450


With a dry weight just under 2,500 pounds and a GVWR of 3,500 pounds, the Forest River Rpod 171 is a conventional-style travel trailer that is on the heavy side for this roundup but is still towable behind many midsize pickups, small SUVs and crossovers when properly equipped. Ideal for family getaways, the 171 can easily sleep three or four people with the rear queen bed and the front dinette folded down for the little ones. The trailer is self-contained with a bathroom, and a galley with a two-burner cooktop and a three-way (LP-gas/120-volt AC/12-volt DC) refrigerator. With 30 gallons each of fresh-, gray- and black-water capacity, this 18-foot-plus Rpod makes dry camping enjoyable.

Dinette with bench seats in Rpod 171 travel trailer.Exterior Length: 18′ 4″
Exterior Width: 8′
Exterior Height. 9′ 6″
Interior Width: 6′ 6″
Interior Height: 6′ 6″
Bed/Sleeping Areas: 60″x74″, 42″x74″
Freshwater Cap.: 30 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: 30/30 gal.
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal.
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 2,485 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 252 lbs.
GVWR: 3,500 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $16,209


Featuring a surprisingly spacious layout, the 15½-foot inTech Luna has an 1,800-pound dry weight, a 2,200-pound GVWR, and rides on an aluminum frame and Dexter torsion axle. What makes it unique among tiny trailers is the signature front cap that allows for a uniquely large interior with a panoramic windshield, creating a feeling of enveloping comfort that makes every outing more inspiring. The optional Rover Package adds off-road tires, a roof rack and sporty graphics.

Couple in front of Luna Rover trailer at lakefront campsite.Exterior Length: 15′ 6″
Exterior Width: 7′ 10″
Exterior Height. 7′ 1″
Interior Width: 5′ 9″
Interior Height: 4′ 6″
Bed/Sleeping Areas: 60″x80″
Freshwater Cap.: 8.5 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal.
Axle Rating: 2,200 lbs.
UVW: 1,800 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 265 lbs.
GVWR: 2,200 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $20,657


“There isn’t another folding camping trailer like the Air Opus Classic,” says Opus Campers’ Sarah Liner. The onboard air system inflates the tent using a 12-volt DC air compressor to fill the inner ribs, making the trailer ready to occupy in less than two minutes, according to the company. Inside is a yacht-style leatherette club lounge that provides a comfortable retreat, 8-foot ceilings, and large skylights and side windows. A double bed is situated at each end, and the lounge folds down to sleep two more. A heating system, air conditioning, bike/kayak carriers, hot water and other luxuries are available from a long list of options.

Couple in front of Opus camper dexter to blue Nissan SUV.Exterior Length: 14′ 3″
Exterior Width: 6′ 4″
Exterior Height: 3′ 8″ (closed)
Interior Width: 6′ 2″
Interior Height: 8′ (open)
Bed/Sleeping Areas: Two 68″x50″ and lounge convertible to king
Freshwater Cap.: 40 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: 6/6 gal. optional
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal.
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 1,550 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 180 lbs.
GVWR: 3,500 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $16,500


The Trillium from Alberta-based Outback Trailers is unique in that customers can order this lightweight, two-piece fiberglass-shell camper to suit their needs and taste, starting with the exterior color, interior fabrics and aluminum-frame style, and then running down the long list of options. An interior galley, 10-gallon freshwater supply, and front and rear beds are standard features. The Trillium is also 12-volt DC/120-volt AC/solar-ready.

Blue and white fiberglass Trillium trailer in snow.Exterior Length: 14′ 2″
Exterior Width: 6′ 3″
Exterior Height: 7′ 9″
Interior Width: 6′ 2″
Interior Height: 6′ 2″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 47″x74″, 26″x74″, 24″x74″
Freshwater Cap.: 10 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: N/A
Axle Rating: 2,200 lbs.
UVW: 1,600 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 250 lbs.
GVWR: 2,200 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $11,761


Based in Tennessee, PeeWee offers the aptly named Half Pint, a 5-by-8-foot teardrop trailer that is just right for one or two people. The wall-to-wall mattresses make a queen-size bed, and the rear galley hides the air-conditioning unit. The 12-foot, 5-inch trailer’s aerodynamic design and lightweight wood, aluminum and steel-frame construction make it easy to tow and maneuver. The 80-pound hitch weight allows it to be easily moved by hand.

White PeeWee trailer with bright green graphic on side.Exterior Length: 12′ 5″
Exterior Width: 6′ 8″
Exterior Height: 5′ 11″
Interior Width: 4′ 9″
Interior Height: 4′ 3″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 52″x75″
Freshwater Cap.: N/A
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: N/A
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 1,100 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 80 lbs.
GVWR: 3,500 lbs.
Base MSRP: $9,895


The Polydrops K20 demonstrates the innovative, futuristic design of a teardrop trailer with a well-designed rear galley. The Los Angeles-based manufacturer claims this eco-friendly camper is the best insulated of all four-season trailers in this segment with its 8.7-inch-thick insulation. It comes equipped with hydraulic disc brakes and independent suspension, electronics are run by a 100-watt solar system. The roof can support a rack for a tent or carriers for bikes and kayaks. The K20 is towable by most vehicles when properly equipped, and options bound.

Polydrop Trailer with doors open in snow setting.Exterior Length: 12′ 5″
Exterior Width: 5′ 6″
Exterior Height. 5′ 4″
Interior Width: 4′
Interior Height: 3′ 1″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 48″x75″
Freshwater Cap.: 1.6 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: 1.6/N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: N/A
Axle Rating: 2,000 lbs.
UVW: 900-1,150 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 160 lbs.
GVWR: 2,000 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $15,495


When one fiberglass shell isn’t enough, double it. That’s how the new Relic 1960 campers are built in Washington state. “We are the only solid one-piece double-hulled fiberglass trailer on the market, no seams,” says Jayne Barocela, owner of Relic Custom Trailers. “This is an original 1960 design. It can be towed with just about any vehicle and fits in most garages.” The new Relics are available in six two-tone colors, and can be custom-painted to match the tow vehicle. The galley is up front, and a dinette in the rear converts to twin, queen or king beds depending on the floorplan.

A white and yellow and a white an red Relic trailer.Exterior Length: 13′
Exterior Width: 6′ 9″
Exterior Height. 7′ 4″
Interior Width: 6′ 6″
Interior Height: 6′ 8″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 24″x74″ (2), 72″x64″ or 78″x64″ depending on floorplan
Freshwater Cap.: 12-15 gal. optional
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: 15/9 gal. optional
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal. optional
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 1,200 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 145 lbs.
GVWR: 3,000 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $22,500


New York’s RollingStar Manufacturing has taken standard 6-by-12-foot cargo trailers and turned them into cool, lightweight, versatile, roomy campers. There’s no wood in the build; it’s all aluminum, fiberglass and composites. The Trail Marker’s rear dinette converts into a queen-size bed, and the floor is wide enough to carry plywood from the hardware store or haul an ATV. There are lots of options, including a choice of Dexter axles and how the front galley can be configured. The trailer is designed for on-highway and light off-pavement use.

Black RollingStar trailer with tire mounted in front.Exterior Length: 12′
Exterior Width: 8′ (fender-to-fender)
Exterior Height. 8′
Interior Width: 6′
Interior Height: 6′
Bed/Sleeping Area: 60″x80″
Freshwater Cap.: N/A
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: N/A
Axle Rating: 2,000-3,500 lbs.
UVW: 1,100-2,000 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 150- 240 lbs.
GVWR: 2,000-3,500 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $11,500


A new model among the more conventional-style small camping trailers is the 2020 Roulottes ProLite Lounge out of Quebec. The Lounge has a UVW of just 1,485 pounds and is self-contained. It features a one-piece fiberglass roof to prevent leaks that are a common occurrence with rubber-roof models, according to the manufacturer. Front and rear beds, a galley, bathroom and full water system including fresh-, gray- and black-water tanks are standard.

Silver Prolite Lounge trailer towed by black SUV.Exterior Length: 15′ 2″
Exterior Width: 6′ 5″
Exterior Height. 7′ 6″
Interior Width: 6′ 2″
Interior Height: 6′
Bed/Sleeping Area: 54″x74″/36″x74″
Freshwater Cap.: 10 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: 15 gal./cassette toilet
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal.
Axle Rating: 3,000 lbs.
UVW: 1,485 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 155 lbs.
GVWR: 3,500 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $23,565


“The Kodiak was designed from the ground up to have a rugged look,” says Steven Russell of Rustic Trail, a North Carolina company. “It’s perfect for those looking to make their great escape in an adventure-style teardrop that’s good for both on-road and light off-road travel.” The Kodiak Stealth is one of five teardrops offered by the company. A 5-foot ceiling, stand-on flat fenders, electric brakes, dinette seating and a queen-size bed are standard features. A long list of options is available for personalization including a full roof rack.

Gray Rustic Trail Kodiak trailer with monument in background.Exterior Length: 14′
Exterior Width: 6′ 8″ (fender-to-fender)
Exterior Height. 6′ 8″
Interior Width: 5′
Interior Height: 5′
Bed/Sleeping Area: 60″x80″
Freshwater Cap.: N/A
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: N/A
LP-Gas Cap.: N/A
Axle Rating: 3,500 lbs.
UVW: 1,475 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 130 lbs.
GVWR: 3,500 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $8,450


There’s no other teardrop that looks or is designed like the Alto F1743, made in Quebec by Safari Condo. The seamless aluminum roof is built in a single piece of curved AluFiber, an aluminum sandwich panel, and the curved acrylic windows that give a panoramic view are imported from Europe. The trailer’s generous interior has plenty of storage, a large private shower/toilet cabinet and a cool interior galley. It will fit under an 8-foot garage door, and is towable by most compact cars or small SUVs.

Silver Safari Condo Alto teardrop trailer in front of body or water.Exterior Length: 17′ 4″
Exterior Width: 7′
Exterior Height. 6′ 11″
Interior Width: 6′ 9″
Interior Height: 6′ 4″
Bed/Sleeping Area: 60″x81″ (rear)/36″x81″ (front)
Freshwater Cap.: 15.8 gal.
Gray-/Black-Water Cap.: 15.8/12 gal.
LP-Gas Cap.: 5 gal.
Axle Rating: 2,700 lbs.
UVW: 1,800 lbs.
Hitch Weight: 200 lbs.
GVWR: 2,700 lbs.
MSRP, Base: $27,042 (plus $1,150 U.S. import fees)

More On-Road Tiny Trailers for Free-Roaming RVers

Aero Teardrops, www.aeroteardrops.com

Bean Trailers, www.beantrailer.com

Car-Go Trailers, www.car-gotrailers.com/en/index

Cargo Camp Trailers, www.cargocamp.net

Colorado Teardrops, www.coloradoteardropcamper.com

DubBox USA, www.dub-box-usa.com

EggCamper, www.eggcamper.com

Escapade Camper Company, www.escapadecampers.com

Extreme Teardrops, www.extremeteardrops.com

Hi-Lo Trailer, www.hilotrailer.com

Hélio RV, www.heliovr.com

Hiker Trailer, www.hikertrailers.com

Lance Camper, www.lancecamper.com

Little Fox Campers, www.littlefoxcampers.com

Little Guy Trailers, www.golittleguy.com

New Wave Teardrop, www.newwaveteardrop.com

Camp, nucamprv.com

Oregon Trail’R, www.oregontrailer.net

Overland Trailer, www.overlandtrailer.com

RetroRide Teardrops, www.retrorideteardrops.com

Runaway Campers, www.runawaycampers.com

Scamp/Eveland’s, www.scamptrailers.com

So-Cal Teardrops, www.socalteardrops.com

SylvanSport, www.sylvansport.com

Taxa Outdoors, www.taxaoutdoors.com

Taylor Coach, www.taylorcoach.com

Teardrops Northwest, www.teardropsnw.com

The Teardrop Trailer, www.theteardroptrailer.com

Three Feathers Manufacturing, www.3feathersmfg.com

Timberleaf Camping Trailers, www.timberleaftrailers.com

Treeline Teardrop Trailers, www.treelineteardrops.com

Trekker Trailers, www.trekkertrailers.com

United Recreational Vehicles, www.urvusa.com

Vintage Trailer Works, www.vintagetrailerworksinc.com

Vistabule Teardrop Trailers, www.vistabule.com

WeeRoll USA, www.weeroll.com

Weis Craft Trailers, www.weiscrafttrailers.com

A respected automotive and RV journalist and longtime Trailer Life contributor, Bruce W. Smith has held numerous editorial titles at automotive and boating magazines, and authored more than 1,000 articles, from tech to trailering. He considers his home state of Oregon a paradise for RVing and outdoor adventure.

Bruce W. Smithlightweight RVslightweight travel trailersteardrop trailerTiny Trailer

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