Small Camping Trailers: Benefits and How to Pick the Right One

Very Small Camping Trailers

Very small camping trailers offer individuals and families many of the luxuries and conveniences of RV camping, while they only require a small footprint and offer easy camping. It isn't difficult to see why many people opt for this style of camping.

Why Use Very Small Camping Trailers?

There are many benefits of very large RVs that offer all of the luxuries and conveniences of home. On the other hand, the necessary size can become a major burden. Because these campers are so massive, they are difficult to maneuver, troublesome to set up and they force your vehicle to consume a lot of fuel. On the other hand, very small camping trailers offer a trade-off - you will give up some luxuries and space, but you'll gain flexibility and freedom.

The Benefits of Small Campers

When most camping enthusiasts look for small, lightweight camping trailers, they are looking for certain advantages that these smaller trailers offer, including those listed below.

  • Easy to Tow: A lot of people who love camping don't own the sort of large vehicles that are capable of towing larger camping trailers. The average vehicle in the United States is the SUV or Minivan, typically with a 3.0 liter engine or smaller, and a towing capacity for trailers that weigh an average of 2500 pounds or less. Many people who own a sedan or a minivan don't believe they can enjoy RV camping; however smaller trailer campers open up the RV market to these outdoors enthusiasts.
  • Low Profile: Normally, large RVs require you to back carefully into a camping spot, level the trailer and then set up bracing legs and other equipment to balance and secure the heavy camper. Large camping trailers simply do not fit into a majority of campsites, and in some cases they aren't allowed to enter smaller campgrounds. On the other hand, many ultralight or other small camping trailers will only take up the space of a large tent once it's parked and set up. This allows you to use the camper in many more campsites than you could with a very large RV.
  • More Economical: Not only does it cost far less in fuel to tow a camping trailer that weighs so much less than the larger ones, but it also costs less to heat or cool the smaller space as well, if you use a heater or an A/C unit.
  • Mobility: Unlike larger units that can take a lot of time to set up, the smaller trailers provide you with the freedom to stow away your gear, hook up to your car and go to another campsite. Because these smaller campers require even less setup and take-down time than a tent, you can enjoy moving from campsite to campsite in a fraction of the time.
  • Luxury: Smaller campers certainly lack many of the luxuries of larger campers, but they do offer many conveniences that tent camping doesn't, such as off-the-ground sleeping, a stove and/or sink, dry storage and sometimes even a toilet or shower.

Additionally, these small campers provide far greater protection against unexpected weather conditions than tent camping does.

It's easy to see why these small trailer campers offer a perfect solution for a large majority of campers.

Choosing a Small Camping Trailer

Over the past few years, the technology of lightweight materials advanced to the point where there are now far more options for very light camping trailers. There are four major classes of light camping trailers that are available today.

  • Pop-Up Tent Trailers: Pop-up trailers are lightweight tent trailers with the majority of living space enclosed inside a collapsible tent structure mounted on top of a hard base. The collapsible top leads to a much lighter structure, ranging from as little as 1,000 pounds to as much as 4,000 pounds. A regular family vehicle such as a sedan or a minivan can easily pull the lightest pop-up tent trailers on the market.
  • Fiberglass Egg Trailers: Due to the development of advanced composite materials, the lightweight molded fiberglass trailers are quickly becoming a very popular option as a small camping trailer. Even units that are 17 feet long and just under seven feet high only weigh 2000 pounds. They are excellent for harsh weather conditions, but their molded shells do not allow for expanded space in the form of slide outs or extensions.
  • Teardrop Trailers: Teardrop trailers are a throwback from the 1930s when they were very popular. They are made of aluminum, fiberglass and many other materials, but their advantage is the fact that they are easily the lightest camping trailer available. Because of their low profile, they usually weigh less than 1000 pounds, but through unique engineering and efficient use of space, they provide a comfortable place to sleep and excellent storage.
  • Ultra-Lightweight Trailers: Ultra-lightweight travel trailers are made for families who can't afford the larger camping trailers, but don't want to give space and luxuries by going with one of the much smaller trailers. These camping trailers are scaled down from their larger counterparts, so they may weigh less than 3000 pounds, but they still offer full kitchens, bathrooms and plenty of sleeping space for a small family.

Final Words

When you want to graduate from tent camping into a trailer, but you want a unit that you can tow behind the vehicle you currently own, these smaller camping trailers are the perfect solution. Base the size of the trailer on the vehicle that you'll be using so that you increase your camping comfort as much as possible, without increasing the weight of the trailer beyond what your car can handle. When you know what size trailer you want, talk to your local RV dealer. You'll be pleasantly surprised to discover how many options are available for you.

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Small Camping Trailers: Benefits and How to Pick the Right One