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10 Best Lightweight Travel Trailers Of 2024

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  • RV Trailers and Motorhomes

Relaxing with family and friends while enjoying all the amenities of a home is why a good travel trailer makes RV outings so special. Add in the ability to tow one with a vehicle that’s likely already in your driveway—plus the opportunity to drop the trailer at the campsite and use the tow vehicle to explore the surrounding area—and it’s easy to see why the popularity in lightweight travel trailers has been at an all-time high for the past few years.

lightweight travel trailers for families

The Year Ahead

According to the RV Industry Association (RVIA), more than 60 million Americans are expected to take to the highways, byways, and backroads in the coming year, all in an RV of some type. About one in five of those doing so towing a travel trailer.

“Travelers continue to choose RVing as a top travel option because of its affordability and ability to bring family and friends closer together,” said RVIA President & CEO Craig Kirby. “Our research shows that consumer interest in living an active outdoor lifestyle remains strong, and there are RVs available at every price point for consumers eager to get outdoors.”

Why are Lightweight Travel Trailers So Popular?

Travel trailers with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 6,500 pounds or less are especially popular because they are considered lightweight travel trailers and are easily towable by half-ton pickups and full-size SUVs. They can also be towed by properly equipped vans, mid-size pickups, and smaller SUVs, making it simple to plan your RV trip , whether months in advance or the week before your vacation.

There are more than 50 brands of travel trailers, and within those brands are dozens of lightweight travel trailers that have a multitude of floorplans, amenities and options to suit different lifestyles. This can make choosing the perfect lightweight travel trailers for your camping needs a little mind boggling, so we’re highlighting 10 of the best lightweight travel trailers of 2024 (in alphabetical order) to help you find your perfect RV.

(If you’re looking for previous model-year lightweight travel trailers, check out these posts: 10 Best Lightweight Travel Trailers For 2023 and 10 Best Lightweight Travel Trailers of 2022 ).

Airstream REI Special Edition Basecamp 20X

lightweight travel trailers for families

Airstream and REI have collaborated on the design of the 20-foot Special Edition Basecamp 20X, a rugged new lightweight travel trailer targeting adventure-bound outdoorsy families. From the three-inch lift, off-road tires and rear cargo entry door to load bicycles, kayaks, and other outdoor gear, to the wrap-around galley in front, the 20X is one of the most advanced and eco-friendly lightweight RVs on the market. It has plentiful storage options overhead and built-in storage spaces , plus two convertible sleeping/lounge areas. Base MSRP: $62,400

  • GVWR: 4,300 lbs
  • Hitch Weight: 535 lbs
  • Exterior Length: 20’ 2”
  • Exterior Height: 9’ 5”
  • Exterior Width: 7’ 9.5”
  • Interior Height: 6’ 7”
  • Freshwater cap: 23 gal
  • Black-/Gray-water cap: 21 gal/28 gal

Escape Trailer 23 First Edition

lightweight travel trailers for families

Escape Trailer’s new Escape 23 First Edition is one of the few custom-built lightweight travel trailers and is available with either a walk-around queen bed or twin beds. Buyers can also choose between Contemporary or Maple interior, plus different table styles, sink colors, along with seven choices for flooring, countertops, and fabric as standard features. This luxurious fiberglass-body camper also comes with a state-of-the-art 400-watt solar system with dual lithium batteries and Victron control package for an excellent off-grid power supply. Base MSRP: $64,999

lightweight travel trailers for families

  • GVWR: 6,000 lbs
  • Hitch Weight: 600 lbs
  • Exterior Length: 24’ 11”
  • Exterior Height: 9’ 6”
  • Exterior Width: 8’
  • Interior Height: 6’ 5”
  • Freshwater cap: 42 gal
  • Black-/Gray-water cap: 40 gal/40 gal

Forest River IBEX 19QBH

lightweight travel trailers for families

Forest River’s IBEX lightweight travel trailers with the Beast Mode option feature a comfy chaise dinette in the amidships slide, a queen bed up front, a central vacuum system, heated tank pads, Curt Beast Mode independent suspension and a panoramic front window. There’s also butcher-block countertop, premium accent lighting, a power awning, an exterior kitchen, and a 2,000-watt inverter. The 2024 19QBH adds rear bunk beds to the mix, making it a great family camping trailer. Base MSRP: $44,987

lightweight travel trailers for families

 Features

  • GVWR: 5,365 lbs
  • Hitch Weight: 495 lbs
  • Exterior Length: 23’
  • Exterior Height: 10’ 6”
  • Exterior Width: 7’ 4”
  • Interior Height: 6’ 4”
  • Freshwater cap: 30 gal
  • Black-/Gray-water cap: 30 gal/30 gal

InTech Sol Dusk

photo: InTech Sol lightweight travel trailers

Central to inTech’s new Sol Dusk’s design is its versatile bed/lounge area. This adaptable space can be effortlessly transformed from a comfortable lounge to twin beds to a luxurious 80-by-80-inch oversize king bed in minutes. The Dusk’s huge curved front window provides a panoramic view and the luxurious interior with wet bath is soothing, while the 10-foot awning and the cool slide-out exterior kitchen adds to the enjoyment of the RVing outdoor experience. Base MSRP: $44,940

  • GVWR: 4,800 lbs
  • Hitch Weight: 540–575 lbs
  • Exterior Length: 20’ 8”
  • Exterior Width: 8’ 6”
  • Interior Height: 6’ 6”
  • Freshwater cap: 28 gal
  • Black-/Gray-water cap: 32 gal combined

Jayco Jay Flight 260BH

lightweight travel trailers for families

Jayco’s Jay Flight 260BH is a new floorplan designed for growing families. The bunkhouse in the rear is opposite the full bath and is set up with 48-by-76-inch beds. The amidships galley and dining/living area is spacious and well-appointed with a jackknife sofa. The master bedroom up front has a queen bed with good storage space beneath. This Jay Flight is perfect for RVers who want a comfortable, well-built travel trailer that easily tows behind any vehicle with a maximum tow rating of more than 6,500 pounds. Base MSRP: $33,749

Jay Flight floorplan.

  • Hitch Weight: 515 lbs
  • Sleeps: Up to 10
  • Exterior Length: 29’ 5”
  • Exterior Height: 9’ 10”
  • Interior Height: 6’ 9”
  • Freshwater cap: 52 gal
  • Black-/Gray-water cap: 39 gal/39 gal

Keystone Bullet Crossfire 1700BH

lightweight travel trailers for families

If you’re looking for an entry-level single-axle lightweight RV that is easy to tow and can accommodate a growing family, the 2024 Bullet Crossfire from Keystone is for you. The 1700BH sleeps up to six with the rear bunks and queen bed up front. The new Goodyear Endurance tires and TORFLEX rubber torsion suspension do a great job protecting the trailer and cargo on long road trips. This new floorplan also makes smart use of cargo space and lots of standard features, like power stabilizer jacks and Hyperdeck flooring, that make it one of the most durable and comfortable lightweight travel trailers. Base MSRP: $24,150

lightweight travel trailers for families

  • GVWR: 4,825 lbs
  • Hitch Weight: 425 lbs
  • Exterior Length: 21’ 5”
  • Exterior Height: 10’ 5”
  • Freshwater cap: 37 gal

Lance 1475 Travel Trailer

lightweight travel trailers for families

Lance Camper’s ultra-light 1475 Travel Trailer is nicely equipped with a residential 60-by-80-inch queen bed that has an extra-large under-bed storage area. It features a nice-size dry bath, but no dinette; instead, it’s equipped with two comfortable lounge chairs with a small coffee table between, which makes the interior even roomier. A nice galley and Truma Combi handle the eating, heating and water needs. Base MSRP: $47,326

Lance 1475 lightweight travel trailer interior. photo: Lance

  • GVWR: 4,500 lbs
  • Hitch Weight: 340 lbs
  • Sleeps: 2–3
  • Exterior Length: 19’ 8”
  • Exterior Height: 10’ 3”
  • Exterior Width: 7’
  • Interior Height: 6’ 8”
  • Freshwater cap: 26 gal
  • Black-/Gray-water cap: 26 gal/26 gal

Starcraft Super Lite 189RG

Starcraft lightweight travel trailer interior. photo: Starcraft

The new 25-foot Starcraft Super Lite 189RG is a well-equipped lightweight travel trailer at the upper end of the lightweight class. It’s big enough to bring along the whole family with strong heating and A/C to keep everyone comfortable for four-season use. The rear-kitchen- and bath floorplan with a small slide out for the jackknife sofa leaves the center of this travel trailer wide open for entertaining. The residential vinyl flooring is strong enough to stand up to pets and kiddos alike, while the 17-inch oven with a three-burner range and the 10-cu-ft fridge make it easy to prepare meals for the whole crew. Base MSRP: $39,053

Starcraft Super Lite Maxx exterior. photo: Starcraft

  • GVWR: 6,400 lbs
  • Hitch Weight: 520 lbs
  • Exterior Length: 25’ 2”
  • Exterior Height: 11’ 1”
  • Exterior Width: 8’ 1”
  • Freshwater cap: 45 gal
  • Black-/Gray-water cap: 29 gal/29 gal

Travel Lite Rove Lite

Travel Lite Rove Lite exterior. photo: Travel Lite

The 2,500-pound  Rove Lite 14FL from Travel Lite RV is light enough to be towed by many of the smallest properly equipped vehicles due to its aerodynamic teardrop design crafted from revolutionary Hydro-Lite material. It’s also one of the handful of lightweight travel trailers that offers an all-electric package powered by solar and lithium batteries. In standard trim the 400-watt solar panels, full-bed in the rear, nice galley, high ceiling and basic bathroom make this 16-foot trailer both a comfortable and cozy choice for one or two campers. Base MSRP: $28,499

Travel Lite lightweight travel trailer interior. photo: Travel Lite

  • GVWR: 2,500 lbs
  • Hitch Weight: 220 lbs
  • Exterior Length: 16’ 6”
  • Exterior Height: 8’ 1”
  • Exterior Width: 7’ 11”
  • Freshwater cap: 10 gal
  • Black-/Gray-water cap: 5 gal/30 gal

Winnebago M-Series 2326RK

Winnebago M-Series lightweight travel trailers exterior. photo: Winnebago

Winnebago unveiled the entry-level M-Series line of 26-foot compact lightweight travel trailers in late September to rave reviews. The 2326RK, the largest of the three new models, features big skylights, ample storage, a beautiful interior decor, a standard 10-cu-ft 12-volt refrigerator (or optional 8 cubic foot gas/electric refrigerator), and factory-supplied solar on each floorplan. The rear kitchen floorplan offers a lot of elbow room for the camp chef, and the amidships bathroom has one of the largest showers found in lightweight travel trailers. Base MSRP: $29,330

lightweight travel trailers for families

  • Hitch Weight: 387 lbs
  • Exterior Length: 26’ 7”
  • Freshwater cap: 31 gal
  • Black-/Gray-water cap: 25 gal/25 gal

Related Articles

10 Best Lightweight Travel Trailers For 2023 10 Best Lightweight Travel Trailers Of 2022

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12 Best Travel Trailers For Families

Travel Trailers For Families Cover

Sharing is caring!

Travel trailers for families have always been popular since they’re great for loved ones to hit the open road together. The reason is simple: travel trailers offer all the comforts of home on wheels, making them the perfect base camp for exploring the great outdoors together. 

But with so many travel trailers on the market, it’s tough to know which one is right for your family. To help narrow down your options, we’ve compiled a list of the twelve best travel trailers for families. 

From lightweight models for small families, longer units for large families, and spacious travel trailers for full-time families, there’s sure to be a travel trailer perfect for your next family adventure. 

Best Travel Trailers for Families of 4

Travel Trailers For Families Travel Trailers for Family of 4

Smaller, lightweight travel trailers are great for families of four or fewer. They’re easy to tow, and you can store them in smaller spaces when not in use. In addition, their smaller size makes them more fuel-efficient, which is great for long road trips.

1. Jayco Jay Flight SLX 174BH

Travel Trailers For Families Travel Trailers for a Family of 4 Jayco Jay Flight STX 174BH Exterior

Our Pros and Cons

✅ We like how Jayco cleared up the confusion by consolidating the SLX Series!

⛔ Not having a bathroom sink makes roughing it a little more inconvenient.

  • UVW: 3,145 lbs.
  • Tongue Weight: 325 lbs.
  • Length: 21.8 ft.
  • GVWR: 4,150 lbs.
  • CCC: 1,005 lbs.

The Jayco Jay Flight SLX 174BH travel trailer is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a lightweight and budget-friendly RV. And because it’s a travel trailer under 5,000 pounds, you can tow it with most mid-size SUVs. 

For 2023, Jayco took all the best features of the SLX, SLX 7, and SLX 8 Series and condensed them into one incredible lineup. The 174BH may be a non-slide-out travel trailer, but you can trust Jayco’s decades-long experience; they know how to maximize space.

2. Coachmen Apex Ultra-Lite 266BHS 

Travel Trailers For Families Travel Trailers for a Family of 4 Coachmen Apex Ultra-Lite 266BHS Exterior

✅ The storage system under the master bed increases the capacity and versatility!

⛔ Yep, that’s carpet on the slideout.

  • UVW: 6,080 lbs.
  • Tongue Weight: 934 lbs.
  • Length: 32.11 ft.
  • GVWR: 7,600 lbs.
  • CCC: 1,520 lbs.

Proud to be the winner of the RV-Pro Best New Model for 2022, the Coachmen Apex Ultra-Lite 266BHS travel trailer is ready to take your family of four on your next camping trip. 

This 8-feet wide RV has double bunk beds perfect for kids. And you can fold the 68-inch jack knife sofa into an expanded tabletop. Coachmen also create all the storage you need behind the entertainment center, under the master bed, and add a large 12v refrigerator.

Best Travel Trailers for Families of 5

Travel Trailers For Families Travel Trailers for a Family of 5

If you have a larger family of five or often travel with guests, you’ll want to consider a travel trailer that offers more space.

3. Airstream Flying Cloud 30FB Bunk

Travel Trailers For Families Travel Trailers for a Family of 5 Airstream Flying Cloud 30FB Bunk Exterior

✅The lower bunk measures to an RV queen!

⛔While Airstreams are built to last, they aren’t entry-level travel trailers.

  • UVW: 6,422 lbs.
  • Tongue Weight: 885 lbs.
  • Length: 30.10 ft.
  • GVWR: 8,800 lbs.
  • CCC: 2,378 lbs.

The Airstream Flying Cloud 30FB Bunk travel trailer is ideal for a family of five. With two bunk beds, a queen-size bed, and a convertible dinette, everyone has plenty of room to sleep comfortably. This travel trailer also features a fully equipped kitchen, making it easy to whip up meals on the go. 

And with its iconic exterior and spacious interior, the Airstream Flying Cloud will turn heads wherever you go. Despite the recent popularity of its sister office model, the 30FB Bunk is one of the most popular Flying Clouds on the market.

4. Forest River Vibe 32BH

Travel Trailers For Families Travel Trailers for a Family of 5 Forest River Vibe 32BH Exterior

✅Pet friendly with wall-mounted vents and other features!

⛔You may want to add or upgrade your house batteries.

  • UVW: 7,836 lbs.
  • Tongue Weight: 1,074 lbs.
  • Length: 38.3 ft.
  • GVWR: 9,874 lbs.
  • CCC: 2,038 lbs.
  • Sleep: 4-10

The first thing you notice about the Forest River Vibe 32BH travel trailer is its stylish exterior. But it’s not just about good looks. This trailer provides ample space for a family of five, with a queen-size bed in the front, double bunks in the rear, and two large slide-outs. 

In addition, plenty of storage and a fully equipped kitchen makes this travel trailer great for long-term camping trips. During those trips, you’ll find that the Vibe is chock full of features.

The RV builders even thought about making it safe for your four-legged family members that come with you. Claws won’t get caught in floor vents since they’re mounted on the sidewalls. The wide walkways even give them enough room if they are struck with a case of the “zoomies.”

Best Travel Trailers for Families of 6

Travel Trailers For Families Travel Trailers for a Family of 6

If you have a family of six or more, you’ll want to consider a travel trailer that offers even more space. The travel trailers below are just a few of the best options on the market for larger families.

5. Grand Design Reflection 150 278BH

Travel Trailers For Families Travel Trailers for a Family of 6 Grand Design Reflection 150 278BH Exterior

✅ We are big fans of the long kitchen counter space!

⛔ This half-ton fifth wheel will require a 250/2500 series truck!

  • UVW: 8,295 lbs.
  • Tongue Weight: 1,338 lbs.
  • GVWR: 10,195 lbs.
  • CCC: 1,900 lbs.

When you walk inside the Grand Design Reflection 150 278BH , you’ll understand why it’s the best mid-profile fifth wheel for a family of six. With plenty of room to sleep, eat, and live, this travel trailer has everything you need to make the most of your time on the road. 

The 278BH floor plan features a private bedroom with a queen-sized bed and a bunkhouse that can sleep up to four. You’ll find a spacious living area with a large sofa and a convertible dinette for additional sleeping accommodations. 

Grand Design’s commitment to quality construction and customer satisfaction is apparent in every detail of the Reflection 150 278BH travel trailer.

6. Keystone Outback 342CG

Travel Trailers For Families Travel Trailers for a Family of 6 Keystone Outback 342CG Floorplan

✅ This coach defines versatility as a bunkhouse, motorcycle garage, mobility accessible, and more!

⛔ The built-in pet kennel is ideal for small and toy dog breeds.

  • UVW: 8,030 lbs.
  • Tongue Weight: 960 lbs.
  • Length: 38 ft.
  • GVWR: 10,500 lbs.
  • CCC: 2,470 lbs.

Keystone’s new Outback 342CG travel trailer is the perfect solution for families looking for a flat-floor mobility-accessible travel trailer. Yet, the unique design includes a ramp into a front garage wide enough to store your motorcycle or use extra sleeping space with the two twin bunks.

The Outback Series is known for its built-in pet kennel under the master bed. Keystone continues the true versatility with the standard 12v or optional 3-way fridge. Whether you want to plug in or go off-grid, this travel trailer for families works for virtually everyone.

7. Venture Stratus 291VQB

Travel Trailers For Families Travel Trailers for a Family of 6 Venture Stratus 291VQB Exterior

✅ Use the flex bunk room’s as an office, king bed, storage, or pet palace!

⛔ The bins under the dinette benches are okay, but some folks like drawers.

  • UVW: 6,710 lbs.
  • Tongue Weight: 860 lbs.
  • Length: 33.11 ft.
  • GVWR: 9,290 lbs.
  • CCC: 2,580 lbs.
  • Sleep: 4- 12

The ultra-light Venture Stratus 291VQB includes a versatile bunkhouse that can sleep up to eight, making it one of the best travel trailers adapted to the size of your family and guests.

You can convert the four bunks into additional storage, a desk, and even a queen-size bed. The lower bunks can be bridged together for a full-width king bed.

With a convertible dinette, there’s never an excuse not to invite friends along for the ride. The 291VQB has a fully equipped kitchen, an RV outdoor kitchen, and plenty of storage.

Therefore, the Stratus 291VQB travel trailer has everything you need to travel in style. Just make sure you hang your coat in the closet next to the door.

8. Cherokee Arctic Wolf 327MB

Travel Trailers For Families Travel Trailers for a Family of 6 Cherokee Arctic Wolf 327MB Exterior

✅ The middle bunk space has triple bunks with storage for each space!

⛔ Reaching over from the bunks to the same-level cabinet can be a falling hazard.

  • UVW: 9,178 lbs.
  • Tongue Weight: 1,540 lbs.
  • Length: 37.10 ft.
  • GVWR: 11,740 lbs.
  • CCC: 2,562 lbs.
  • Sleep: 5- 7

The Arctic Wolf 327MB fifth wheel by Forest River RV is a uniquely designed multi-sleeper with features that set it apart from other camping trailers. Your kids will love camping in this travel trailer with a treehouse-style mid-bunk that includes triple bunks.

The Master bedroom features start with a comfortable residential queen-size bed, and the living area comprises a sofa, a dinette, and a fireplace. This floor plan won’t let you swap out the theater seating because the rear tri-fold sofa can fully expand for extra sleeping space.

Best Full-Time Travel Trailers for Families

Travel Trailers For Families Travel Trailers for Full-Time Families

When you’re a full-time family, the RV you choose needs to be spacious and packed with features that make life on the road easier. Below are some of the best travel trailers for full-time families.

9. Forest River Alpha Wolf 33BH-L

Travel Trailers For Families Travel Trailers for Full-Time Families Forest River Cherokee Alpha Wolf 33BH-L Exterior

✅ The half bath for the bunkhouse also acts as a mudroom with the second entry!

⛔ Some like having TVs provided; this one lets you choose your own LED TVs.

  • UVW: 7,986 lbs.
  • Tongue Weight: 953 lbs.
  • Length: 37.4 ft.
  • GVWR: 9,863 lbs.
  • CCC: 1,877 lbs.
  • Sleep: 4- 10

The Forest River Alpha Wolf 33BH-L is the best bunkhouse travel trailer for full-time families. With three slides, this travel trailer provides plenty of room for a large family to live comfortably. 

Forest River’s Alpha Wolf Series gives you all the full-size features but are travel trailers under 40 feet. Having a 38-foot travel trailer can make a big difference when it comes to maneuvering a tight angle.

The bedroom has a queen-size bed, and the rear bunkhouse can sleep up to six people. Additional sleeping options include the living room’s jackknife sofa and convertible dinette. Thanks to the dual slides, the kitchen is open and spacious, with plenty of room to move around.

This fifth wheel’s RV outdoor kitchen for 2023 now comes standard with dual tall dorm-size fridges. Before you load them up with all the carbonated drinks possible, don’t forget you may need to store some food in there too.

10. Jayco White Hawk 32BH

Travel Trailers For Families Travel Trailers for Full-Time Families Jayco White Hawk 32BH Exterior

✅ Half-ton trucks with heavy tow packages can tow this one!

⛔ Some may not like how the kitchen counter space was sacrificed for the room in the master bedroom.

  • UVW: 8,145 lbs.
  • Tongue Weight: 1,125 lbs.
  • GVWR: 9,995 lbs.
  • CCC: 1,815 lbs.

Check out the Jayco White Hawk 32BH , the best travel trailer bunkhouse for families with one and a half bathrooms. The half bathroom is in the rear bunkhouse, making it convenient for kids to use without going through the main living area. 

This double slide-out travel trailer can accommodate up to ten people, making it the perfect option for large families and friends. The bedroom has a queen-size bed (king option), and the rear bunkhouse includes a set of bunks and a tri-fold sofa.

Jayco made the 32BH versatile to full-timers’ needs. Change the dinette out with a bench and two chairs or fully freestanding with four chairs. The tri-fold sofa can be swapped out with theater seats that have trays.

Best Overall Travel Trailers for Families 

Travel Trailers For Families Overall Travel Trailers for Families

There are a lot of great travel trailers on the market, but some rise to the top as the best overall travel trailers for families.

11. Airstream Classic

Travel Trailers For Families Overall Travel Trailers for Families Airstream Classic 33FB Exterior

✅ Your great-grandkids will enjoy your Classic. They’re built that well!

⛔ The end of the master bedroom can be tight for some.

  • UVW: 8,261 lbs.
  • Tongue Weight: 1,175 lbs.
  • Length: 33.3 ft.
  • GVWR: 10,000 lbs.
  • CCC: 1,739 lbs.

The Airstream Classic travel trailer is one of the best overall travel trailers for families because of its iconic design, spacious interior, and features. With 2 floorplans to choose from, there’s a Classic travel trailer to fit your family’s needs. 

In addition, they fully equipped the Classic travel trailer with a kitchen, bathroom, and sleeping accommodations for up to eight people. Airstream even added an RV workspace with a chair opposite the sofa.

Thanks to the spacious interior and multiple windows, the Airstream Classic travel trailer feels bright and open, making it an excellent option for spending time on the road with your family. Don’t let the layout photo fool you; the Classic’s interior space is bigger on the inside.

12. Jayco Eagle

Travel Trailers For Families Overall Travel Trailers for Families Jayco Eagle Fifth Wheel 321RSTS Exterior

✅ The Eagle Fifth Wheel is a mid-profile with full-profile features!

⛔ Boondocking features are mostly optional with this one (like the 3-way fridge).

  • UVW: 10,740 lbs.
  • Tongue Weight: 1,980 lbs.
  • Length: 36.4 ft.
  • GVWR: 12,900 lbs.
  • CCC: 2,160 lbs.

Our last best travel trailer for families is the Jayco Eagle model. This family-friendly fifth wheel has several stylish floorplans.

Each one has a spacious interior and plenty of sleep accommodations. Owners enjoy the standard king bed, 21 cu. ft. residential fridge and wide open living room space. Jayco did a great job making the Eagle mid-profile fifth wheel feel like a full profile.

If you’re looking for a fiver-style travel trailer, look into their counterpart Eagle Travel Trailers with many of the same floorplans.

6 Things to Look for in a Travel Trailer for Families 

What to Look for in a Travel Trailer for Families

When looking for a travel trailer for your family, choose one packed with features and accommodations that makes life on the road easier. 

The best travel trailers for families have spacious interiors, multiple sleeping options, and a variety of amenities. 

So, before you buy, be sure to consider the following factors.

The best travel trailers for families have spacious interiors and open floorplans. This allows everyone in the family to move around comfortably and provides plenty of storage space. A travel trailer with a rear bunkhouse works well for families with kids, as it allows for a separate area to sleep and play.

2. Separate Sleeping Quarters 

When traveling with a large group, it’s essential to have a travel trailer to accommodate everyone comfortably. That’s why separate sleeping quarters are a must-have feature. Not only will it give everyone a place to sleep, but it also provides much-needed privacy, especially for teens.

3. The Intended Use 

It’s important to consider how you’ll use your travel trailer before making a purchase. For example, do you envision yourself mainly using it for weekend getaways? Or can you see it as more of a home away from home for extended stays?

There are a variety of travel trailers on the market, and the one that’s right for you will depend on your intended use.

A smaller, lighter trailer may be all you need if you’re primarily looking for a comfortable place to crash after a long day of exploring.

However, suppose you’re planning on spending extended periods in your trailer. In that case, you’ll need to look for one with more amenities and better equipped for a nicer indoor living experience.

4. Tech and Amenities 

There’s no question that travel trailers have come a long way in recent years. You can now find them equipped with many tech and amenities, from self-leveling jacks to Bluetooth speakers.

Of course, all this tech and luxury comes at a price. Travel trailers with all the bells and whistles can climb in price. But if you’re willing to pay the expense, you’ll be able to enjoy a level of comfort and convenience that was once unthinkable.

5. Shower or Tub Space 

With RV bathrooms, one size doesn’t fit all. That’s why travel trailers with shower or tub space are valuable to families. However, when traveling with a group, having a wet bath instead of a shower or tub space becomes old fast. 

You want to have the option of taking a luxurious shower after a long day of hiking or being on the beach. The last thing you want is for your kids to be stuck in a cramped bathroom with no shower or tub.

When considering travel trailers for your family, choose one with a spacious and well-appointed bathroom. It’ll make all the difference for everyone’s comfort and enjoyment.

6. Towing Capacity of Your Vehicle 

Before buying a travel trailer, you must ensure your vehicle can safely tow it. The last thing you want is to be stuck on the side of the road with a trailer that’s too heavy for your car or truck.

Check your tow vehicle’s owner’s manual if you’re unsure what your SUV or truck’s maximum towing capacity. You can also find this information online or by contacting your local dealership’s service department.

What’s the Most Reliable Travel Trailer for Families? 

Whats the Most Reliable Travel Trailer for Families

Some people think bigger is always better for travel trailers. But that’s not necessarily the case. A larger trailer might have more space and features, but it can also be more difficult to tow and maneuver.

The sweet spot for families is a trailer around 30- 35 feet long. Owning an RV this size gives you plenty of room for your family, but it’s still small enough to tow and maneuver easily.

When choosing the most reliable travel trailer, look for something you can manageably maintain. Every brand has high manufacturing standards. The real question is how can you fix and service.

One extreme is a brand new model that will have its maintenance routine. The other is buying one that needs a DIY overhaul. Only you can decide where you fall on the scale.

Is a Travel Trailer the Best Type of RV for Families? 

Is a Travel Trailer the Best Type of RV for Families

There are a lot of factors to consider when deciding what type of RV is best for your family. For example, travel trailers come in a wide range of sizes, from compact models you can pull with an SUV to massive fifth wheels that require a heavy-duty truck to tow.

Travel trailers offer many enhancing camping experience amenities, such as slideouts, bunk beds, and outdoor kitchens.

Travel trailers for families have one significant advantage over other RVs: their size. Most travel trailers can accommodate families of four or more, making them ideal for family vacations. 

Towable trailers also typically have more storage space than other RVs so that you can bring your gear along. And for full-time families, a travel trailer can be a great way to see the country while having all the comforts of home.

How Long Will Travel Trailers Last? 

How Long Will a Travel Trailer Last

A travel trailer can last for many years with proper care and maintenance. The average lifespan of a travel trailer is around twenty years. Still, some trailers, such as the Airstream models, have lasted much longer.

How Many People Can Comfortably Live in a Travel Trailer? 

How Many People Can Comfortably Live in a Travel Trailer

The number of people who can comfortably live in a travel trailer varies depending on the size and layout of the trailer. For example, most travel trailers can accommodate four to six people, but bunkhouse travel trailers can sleep more than eight people.

When choosing a travel trailer for your family, be sure to pick one that’s the right size for your group. You don’t want to be cramped up in a small trailer. Yet you also don’t want to have a rig that’s bigger than you can handle.

Which Travel Trailer for Families Will You Choose? 

Which Travel Trailer for Families Will You Choose

Now that you know more about the best travel trailers for families, it’s time to shop. But first, keep a few things in mind as you narrow your choices.

First, think about how many people will travel with you. If you have a large family, you’ll need a trailer that provides plenty of sleeping and living space. 

Second, consider your budget. Travel trailers can vary widely in price, so it’s crucial to find one that fits your financial needs. 

Finally, decide what type of features you want in a trailer. For example, some families prefer trailers with full kitchens and bathrooms, while others prefer more straightforward designs.

Once you’ve considered these factors, you’ll be ready to choose the perfect travel trailer for your family’s next adventure.

Related Reading:

– 12 Best Camper Trailers Under 25 Feet – 10 Travel Trailers With High Ceilings Perfect For Tall People – 10 Best Travel Trailer Toy Haulers

About the Author:

Mike Scarpignato is an avid RVer who owns a Class C RV and a Class A RV. He loves to travel with his wife Susan and write blog articles about the RV lifestyle.

Mike and Susan also make YouTube videos on the RVBlogger YouTube channel.

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12 Best Small Travel Trailers for a Family of 4

Small Travel Trailer

Small travel trailers come in all different shapes, sizes, and configurations.

But if you’re looking for a small travel trailer that can fit a family of four , this is not always an easy task.

As many small campers are not designed or set up for a family of four to comfortably live and sleep inside the trailer. 

So we did a ton of research and created this list of the best small travel trailers for a family of 4 .

To showcase some of the best options, if you’re looking for a small travel trailer designed for families .  

Best Small Travel Trailers for Family of 4 (Least to Most Expensive)

1. braxton creek bushwhacker plus 17fd, quick specs.

  • Average Cost :  $14,000
  • Length :  18 Feet
  • Dry Weight :  2,240 Pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity :  4
  • Bathroom :  2-Piece Wet Bath
  • Slide Outs :  None

Braxton Creek Bushwhacker Plus 17FD Floorplan

One of the smallest and cheapest small traveler trailers on the market for a family of four is the Braxton Creek Bushwhacker Plus 17FD .

Making the trailer perfect for first-time RVers or anyone shopping for a new RV on a budget that still needs to sleep four.

While you’re not going to find too many bells and whistles on this basic small trailer, you do have everything you need for a weekend camping trip with the family .

Including such amenities as a kitchen with a two-burner propane cooktop, sink, and mini-fridge, as well as a small wet bath, a convertible dinette booth, and a rear queen bed.  

Why It’s Great for a Family of 4

  • Can sleep four campers at a time with two separate sleeping areas. 
  • Has a four-person dinette booth so the whole family can sit down to enjoy a meal together.
  • Offers a well-equipped kitchen making meal prep and cooking for the family easy.
To see other cheap campers, check out our blog post “ Top 10 Budget Travel Trailers Under 20K (With Video) “.

2. Scamp 13 Standard Trailer

  • Average Cost :  $17,000
  • Length :  13 Feet
  • Dry Weight :  1,200 or 1,500 Pounds (Depending on Floorplan)
  • Bathroom :  3-Piece Wet Bath (Optional)

Scamp 13 Trailer Standard Layout 1

One of my personal favorites when it comes to small travel trailers is the Scamp 13 Standard Trailer because of its super short length, lightweight design, and affordable price point.  

But there’s a catch if you want this trailer to sleep four, as you have to option the trailer without a bathroom.

This is because the front of the 13-Foot Scamp Trailer can either be optioned with a convertible sofa that converts into bunk beds or a wet bath. 

13 Foot Scamp Trailer Interior

But if you choose the wet bath, the only place to sleep in this small camper is the convertible dinette booth that can only sleep two.

If you can camp without a bathroom though, you won’t find a smaller or lighter travel trailer that can actually sleep four campers at a time.  

  • Equipped with a convertible four-person dinette booth, providing a great space for mealtime or family activities like board games.  
  • Front bunk beds make a great place for two kids to sleep.
  • Versatile interior, allowing you to set the trailer up to best suit your family’s needs.  

3. Jayco Jay Flight SLX 174BH

  • Average Cost :  $18,000
  • Length :  21 Feet 8 Inches
  • Dry Weight :  3,145 Pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity :  5
  • Bathroom :  2-Piece Dry Bath

Jayco Jay Flight SLX 174BH Floorplan

The Jayco Jay Flight SLX 174BH is one of the cheapest bunkhouse travel trailers you can buy.  

Making it ideal for families of four, as this camper offers rear bunk beds, a small convertible dinette booth, and a front RV queen bed .

Providing not only a five-person sleeping capacity but also four separate sleeping areas.

And with an average price of only $18,000, this little travel trailer makes a great camper for a family of 4 shopping on a budget.  

  • Can sleep five campers at a time with four separate sleeping areas. 
  • Equipped with bunk beds, which are great for kids.
  • Lots of overhead cabinets provide plenty of storage space.
  • The bathroom offers a tub/shower combo, which is great for smaller kids.  

4. Coachmen Clipper 17CBH

  • Average Cost :  $18,500
  • Length :  20 Feet 5 Inches
  • Dry Weight :  2 ,840 Pounds

Coachmen Clipper 17CBH Floorplan

The Coachmen Clipper 17BH has a very similar floor plan and price compared to the above Jayco Jay Flight SLX 174BH, which is nice.

As it allows you to choose either the Coachmen or Jayco version of the camper, based on their design and individual features.

Plus, like the Jay Flight , this popular Clipper has the ability to comfortably sleep up to five campers at a time , thanks to its front queen bed, convertible dinette, and rear bunk beds .

In addition, Coachmen also included several upgrades not typically found on entry-level trailers, including certified green construction, extra soft teddy bear bunk mats, and a standard 12-foot power awning with LED lighting.   

  • Can comfortably sleep five campers at a time.
  • Has four separate sleeping spaces, allowing for a wide range of sleeping options.
  • Equipped with bunk beds that are great for kids.
  • Offers a built-in four-person dinette booth providing a very flexible space for the whole family to hang out together.  
  • Plenty of overhead cabinets provide a lot of storage capacity.

5. Keystone Bullet Crossfire 1900RD

  • Average Cost :  $25,000
  • Length :  21 Feet 11 Inches
  • Dry Weight :  3,892 Pounds
  • Bathroom :  3-Piece Dry Bath

Keystone Bullet Crossfire 1900RD Floorplan

When you’re ready to move beyond the basic entry-level small travel trailer, a great option to consider is the Keystone Bullet Crossfire 1900RD .

As this compact trailer has a full exterior fiberglass body, as well as many features throughout that, give it an upgraded premium feel .

Including such features as multiple large windows, a full three-piece dry bath, a large U-shaped convertible dinette, and an upgraded and modern interior. 

And as is the case with all campers on this list, this small travel trailer is also great for a family of four.

As the camper can comfortably sleep four campers at a time, thanks to a front queen bed and a large U-shaped dinette booth in the rear . 

Keystone also did a nice job on the interior cabinetry and finishes on this trailer as well, which really gives it a fresh and modern feel. 

  • Has sleeping space for four campers at a time.
  • Offers a well-equipped kitchen with a full-size refrigerator making food storage, prep, and cooking a breeze.  
  • Equipped with a separate 3-piece dry bath making getting ready for the day much easier.  
  • The bathroom has a tub/shower combo, which is great for smaller kids.  

6. KZ RV Escape E17 Hatch

  • Average Cost : $27,000
  • Length : 22 Feet
  • Dry Weight : 3,320 Pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity : 4
  • Bathroom : 2-Piece Dry Bath
  • Slide Outs : None

KZ Escape E17 Hatch Floorplan

The KZ RV Escape E17 Hatch is like no other camper on this list.

Thanks to the trailer’s unique hybrid toy hauler/travel trailer design, which features a large rear flip-up hatch and a versatile open cargo area.

Allowing the trailer to act as both a standard travel trailer as well a toy hauler .

Which makes this camper super popular with RVers that enjoy outdoor activities and sports, such as fishing, biking, kayaking, etc…

KZ Escape E17 Hatch Rear Garage

Just because this camper from KZ RV offers toy hauler capability though doesn’t mean it lacks the usual travel trailer creature comforts.

As the Escape E17 Hatch has all the standard RV amenities.

Including a four-person sleeping capacity, a bathroom, a fully equipped kitchen, and a convertible fold-up dinette booth.

  • Offers a built-in four-person dinette booth that provides flex space for the whole family to hang out together.  
  • Toy hauler design provides unmatched storage capacity.
  • Has a well-appointed kitchen, making prepping and cooking meals a breeze.

7. Forest River Rockwood Geo Pro G20BHS

  • Average Cost :  $27,500
  • Length :  21 Feet 2 Inches
  • Dry Weight :  3,547 Pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity :  6
  • Bathroom :  Hybrid 3-Piece Wet/Dry Bath
  • Slide Outs :  1

Forest River Rockwood Geo Pro G20BHS Floorplan

A popular small travel trailer that’s great for families is the Rockwood Geo Pro by Forest River.

And they released a new trim level in 2021 called the Forest River Rockwood Geo Pro G20BHS , featured here, which is absolutely perfect for families or anyone that needs a lot of sleeping capacity .  

As this roomy travel trailer has a front full bed, a large convertible dinette booth, and rear bunk beds.

Giving this small camper the ability to sleep six campers at a time, which is pretty amazing, considering this trailer is only 21 feet long.  

Forest River Rockwood Geo Pro G20BHS Interior

And thanks to the trailer’s slide-out, the inside of the camper has a roomy feel inside, allowing four people to comfortably move around without bumping into each other.

  • Can sleep up to 6 campers at a time.
  • Has four separate sleeping spaces allowing for a wide range of sleeping options.  
  • Built-in bunk beds are great for kids.
  • Slide-out provides more interior space for people to move around inside the trailer.
  • Has a large dinette booth that provides nice flex space for eating and entertainment.  

8. Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro E16BH

  • Average Cost :  $28,000
  • Length :  18 Feet 6 Inches
  • Dry Weight :  3,280 Pounds

Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro E16BH Floorplan

If you liked the above Forest River Rockwood Geo Pro G20BHS but looking for a smaller lighter bunkhouse option, you might want to check out the Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro E16BH .

As this Flagstaff E-Pro, which is the sister RV to the Rockwood Geo Pro, offers a bunkhouse floorplan and is over 2 feet shorter and 200 pounds lighter.

Making it one of the smallest bunkhouse campers available, and ideal for less capable tow vehicles, such as SUVs and small trucks .

Despite the trailer’s smaller size though, it still feels surprisingly spacious inside, thanks to its kitchen slide-out, which helps to open up the interior.

At just under $30,000, this small bunkhouse trailer doesn’t come cheap though, as it actually costs more than the larger Rockwood Geo Pro from above, due to its desirability and scarcity.

  • Can sleep up to 4 campers at a time.
  • Offers a large U-shaped dinette booth that provides a great place for the whole family to hang out. 
  • Equipped with a full 3-piece dry bath, providing plenty of room for everyone to get ready in the morning.  
  • Ample overhead cabinets provide lots of storage options.
To see other campers under $30K, check out our blog post “ Top 10 Travel Trailers Under $30,000 (With Pricing & Video) “.

9. Winnebago Micro Minnie 2100BH

  • Average Cost :  $30,000
  • Dry Weight :  4,088 Pounds

Winnebago Micro Minnie 2100BH Floorplan

The Winnebago Micro Minnie 2100BH is the first true four-season trailer on this list.

As the trailer can be optioned with an all-weather insulation package, heated tanks, and a heated/enclosed underbelly .

Allowing you to camp year-round with this family-friendly travel trailer.  

This compact travel trailer by Winnebago also has many upgrades as well, including a double axle , power tongue jack, powered 13-foot awning, dual propane tanks, and an available off-road package.  

Winnebago Micro Minnie 2100BH Bunk Beds

Another nice feature of the Micro Minnie 2100BH is that it includes what Winnebago refers to as an exterior pack-N-play, which is a rear access door that allows you to use the lower bunk as cargo space while traveling .  

And of course, this small travel trailer also makes a great camper for four.

Thanks to the trailer’s five-person sleeping capacity that includes a front full bed, convertible dinette booth, and rear bunk beds. 

  • Can sleep up to 5 campers at a time.
  • Four separate sleeping spaces allow for multiple sleeping arrangements.
  • Slide-out provides extra interior space and a more open floor plan for easier movement inside the trailer.

10. Lance 1685

  • Average Cost :  $ 5 0,000
  • Length :  21 Feet 5 Inches
  • Dry Weight :  4,690 Pounds

Lance 1685 Floorplan

While there’s nothing cheap about Lance travel trailers, as this Lance 1685 is definitely towards the top of the small travel trailer price range , when it comes to quality and craftsmanship it’s hard to beat a Lance. 

As Lance makes some of the most well-built and high-end travel trailers on the market today .

What Lance trailers are best known for though is their four-season capability , which is second to none in the RV industry.  

This is because Lance includes a wide array of cold-weather and four-season features on their trailers to handle not only the coldest days of winter but also the hottest days of summer.

There’s more to Lance trailers though than just their four-season capability.

As Lance trailers are also some of the most well-appointed and feature-rich small travel trailers on the road today as well.

As they offer all-aluminum framing, Azdel walls , ducted heat, high-end cabinetry with accent lighting, and upgraded appliances. 

  • The large U-shaped dinette provides a great place for the whole family to eat and play games together.  
  • Equipped with larger holding tanks, including a 45-gallon fresh, grey, and black tank, allowing a family of four to boondock for longer.

11. Airstream Basecamp 20X

  • Average Cost : $58,000
  • Length : 20 Feet 2 Inches
  • Dry Weight : 3,500 Pounds
  • Bathroom : 2-Piece Wet Bath

Airstream Basecamp 20X Floorplan

If you need a four-person sleeping capacity and like adventure and getting off the beaten path, one of the best options out there is the Airstream Basecamp 20X .

As this compact Airstream Basecamp makes the perfect adventure trailer .

Thanks to numerous off-grid and off-road features, including a 300W roof-mounted solar package, good-size holding tanks, an enclosed/insulated heated underbelly, 12V tank heaters, a 3-inch lift kit, Goodyear Wrangler all-terrain tires, and stainless steel front stone guards.

Airstream Basecamp 20X Interior

Just because this trailer is built for adventure though doesn’t mean it lacks RV comfort and convenience features.

As the camper offers a wide range of amenities, such as two convertible dinette booths, a fully functional kitchen, a self-contained wet bath, a four-person sleeping capacity, and plenty of flexible storage.

  • Front and rear convertible dinettes provide flexible space for the family to spread out inside the camper.
  • Offers a well-appointed kitchen, making prepping and cooking meals a breeze.

12. Airstream Bambi 19CB

  • Average Cost :  $65,000
  • Length :  19 Feet 1 Inch
  • Dry Weight :  3,650 Pounds

Airstream Bambi 19CB Floorplan

While Airstream trailers come with a hefty price tag, there is no other small camper on the market that is more iconic than the classic Airstream travel trailer.  

And one of the most popular Airstream travel trailers is the small Airstream Bambi , which includes four different floorplans and trailer lengths, ranging from 16 to 22 feet.

However, the Bambi we’re focussed on here is the Airstream Bambi 19CB , which is the smallest Bambi that can still accommodate a family of four . 

This small travel trailer from Airstream is perfect for a family of four, thanks to its sizeable rear bed and front dinette booth that can be converted into additional sleeping space for kids.

In addition, this well-equipped small trailer also has a full three-piece dry bath and a nicely appointed kitchen as well.

  • Equipped with a full three-piece dry bath providing plenty of room for everyone to get ready in the morning.  
  • Offers a large front dinette booth that provides an excellent place for the whole family to hang out together. 

Wrap-Up   

Scamp Trailer

Finding a small travel trailer for a family of four is no easy task, due to the size constraints of small campers.

However, we hope we’ve shown you what’s possible by highlighting 12 of the most popular options.

As these compact four-person trailers offer a level of comfort and convenience that’s hard to find in small trailers.

And because we ranked them from least to most expensive, it’s easy to find the best options for your family as well as your budget.

Whether you’re looking for a lightweight simple option or a luxurious feature-packed option.

Remember though, the best small travel trailer is the one that aligns not only with your budget but also your needs.

So take your time, do your research, and make sure to visit your local RV dealerships to see these trailers in person.

To find the perfect match for your family.

Regardless of which camper you choose though, you can be sure that investing in a small travel trailer will allow your family to create lasting memories, explore new destinations, and embark on unforgettable adventures together for years to come.

Happy travels!

If you’re new to RVing, then you have to check out our blog post “ 20 Important Beginner RV Tips No One Tells You “.

Jason is an avid lover of RVs and the RV lifestyle. He is both a writer and editor for RV Owner HQ and has been RVing and camping for over 20 years.

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lightweight travel trailers for families

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The Best Lightweight Travel Trailers Under 3,000 Pounds

lightweight travel trailers for families

  • Length: 21’5”
  • Dry Weight: 2,970 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 3

The Lantern LT 17R is one of the newest additions to Coleman’s lineup. Coleman has improved upon the 17B by turning it into a more comfortable couple’s RV, highlighted by the spacious rear bathroom and closet. Units should start hitting Camping World lots in spring 2023, so stay tuned into inventory in your region.

Find the latest availability on Coleman Lantern 17R campers.

Check out other lightweight travel trailers perfect for couples .

Coleman Rubicon 1200RK

  • Length: 13’5”
  • Dry Weight: 1,682 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 2

Ideal for couples or solo travelers, the Coleman Rubicon 1200RK is a rarity among travel trailers on the market today – it can fit in most garages with an overall height of seven feet. The rear outdoor kitchen features a bigger refrigerator than previous models, and the reinforced wheel fenders make it easy to access the RV’s roof.

Explore our selection of Coleman Rubicon trailers.

Coleman 17B

  • Dry Weight: 2,985 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 5

The Coleman 17B travel trailer provides a lightweight base for family camping adventures. Affordability is the main draw to this bunkhouse camper, but it features everything you’ll need to easily transition from tent camping to RVing, including a six-gallon water heater, two-burner cooktop, single-door refrigerator, and much more.

Shop Coleman travel trailers.

Forest River Lightweight Travel Trailers

Forest river flagstaff e-pro e15tb.

  • Length: 15’8”
  • Dry Weight: 2,667 pounds

The Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro E15TB is a unit that has a unique layout with two 30” x 74” twin beds that can be converted to a king-sized bed for couples. It’s Forest River’s smallest walkable camper, but it still packs a full kitchen and bathroom for comfort and convenience.

This travel trailer also comes with an exterior gas grill. You’d be surprised how much you’ll use an outdoor kitchen in a smaller RV. The Flagstaff E-Pro E15TB is a lightweight travel trailer with a 10’ power awning, plenty of exterior storage, and a 2” hitch receiver for a bike rack or cargo carrier.

Shop Forest River Flagstaff E-Pros.

Forest River R-Pod 180

  • Dry Weight: 2,950 pounds

The Forest River R-Pod 180 is an excellent, lightweight travel trailer with everything a couple could need for a  weekend warrior getaway or a longer boondocking trip to a wild landscape.

Across from the entry door, on the off-camp wall, is a slide with the two-burner stove, sink, prep space, and refrigerator. The 75″ by 24″ dinette is great for game nights or if you need extra sleeping space when hosting guests. There’s a large queen size bed at the front of the unit and a dry bath along the rear wall.

Shop Forest River R-pods.

Forest River Ozark 1530VBK

ozark-best-lightweight-travel-trailers-under-3000-pounds-02-2023

  • Length: 18’1”
  • Dry Weight: 2,989 pounds
  • Sleeping Capacity: Up to 4

Don’t be fooled by the compact size of the Forest River Ozark 1530VBK . This lightweight travel trailer is packed with amenities and designed for rugged adventures. That starts with the high-capacity axles and the bike-sized cargo door on the off-camp side.

Inside, the rear bath floorplan gives you one of the most versatile living spaces out there. There are two flip-down bunks, an optional cargo net for storage, a central skylight for extra natural light, and one of the largest 12-volt refrigerators you’ll find in smaller campers.

Discover more about the Forest River Ozark trailers.

Jayco Lightweight Travel Trailers

Jayco jay flight slx 154bh.

  • Length: 18’
  • Dry Weight: 2,810 pounds

The Jayco Jay Flight SLX 154BH is a simple bunkhouse floorplan with 29” x 75” bunks, a convertible front dinette, a full bathroom, and a modest kitchen. There’s also a nice ward next to the entrance door, a spacious pantry, and plenty of storage in the overhead cabinets.

While it’s already easy to tow because it’s small and lightweight, this camper is also prepped for side and backup cameras. You’ll also find an LP quick connect, an exterior TV hookup, and roof solar prep among the list of standard features on the Jay Flight SLX 154BH.

Shop Jayco Jay Flight travel trailers at your local Camping World.

Explore Jayco’s entire RV lineup .

Jayco Hummingbird 16MRB

  • Length: 19’10″
  • Dry Weight: 2,890 pounds

The Hummingbird 16MRB is another lightweight model (no longer in production as of 2020) from Jayco. This unit features a 60″ by 75″ Murphy bed, a split kitchen, and a large rear bathroom with linen and storage closets. The Murphy bed offers extra versatility, converting to a comfortable sofa during the day.

Shop used Jayco Hummingbird floor plans.

Other Lightweight Travel Trailers

Sometimes less is more, especially when it comes to small lightweight travel trailers . Less to tow, less to maintain, and less to clean means more time for adventures, fun, and making memories.

RV owners often find peace of mind by towing smaller travel trailers, especially when navigating certain roads and paths. Whoever said good things come in small packages must have been referring to travel trailers.

Happier Camper HC1

  • Length: 13’
  • Dry Weight: 1,520 pounds

Who doesn’t aim to be a happier camper? Thanks to Happier Camper , that goal is more achievable than ever. Responsible for revolutionizing the lightweight travel trailer industry with its trademarked modular Adaptiv® system, Happier Campers can quickly and easily become whatever you need them to be. The modern design certainly doesn’t hurt, either.

Learn more about the Happier Camper HC1.

TAXA Outdoors Cricket

  • Length: 15’
  • Dry Weight: 1,800 pounds

Look no further if you’re looking for a lightweight, rugged, sophisticated design and bold purpose. The TAXA Outdoors Cricket is the ideal small travel trailer for your next adventure. The pop-up roof is optimized for ventilation without sacrificing protection. As a bonus, it fits in a standard garage.

Find pricing and availability for the TAXA Outdoors Cricket small campers.

Airstream Basecamp 16

  • Length: 16’2”
  • Dry Weight: 2,650 pounds

Airstream’s revitalized Basecamp 16 travel trailer is another excellent lightweight travel trailer under 3,000 pounds. Built for two, it’s perfect for adventurous couples who need a cozy place to rest each evening. It has a full wet bath inside and is equipped with thoughtful amenities like a rear hatch for cargo loading and an exterior shower for rinsing yourself and your gear.

Discover Airstream trailers at your local Camping World.

Find Your Lightweight Travel Trailer

find-yours-best-lightweight-travel-trailers-under-3000-pounds-02-2023

Is your tow vehicle up to the task of towing one of the best lightweight travel trailers under 3000 pounds? Use Camping World’s Towing Guide to check your maximum towing capacity before you go any further.

You’d be surprised at how light and nimble today’s RVs are. Manufactured with lightweight materials and designed to be aerodynamic, today’s towable travel trailers are getting increasingly easier to pull.

It doesn’t take much to tow 3,000 pounds. You might even be able to  tow with a minivan . With that, you have a full kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom wherever you park it – a tiny home on wheels.

If your current RV isn’t lightweight, sell or trade it in for one that is. Camping World has options to suit every RV enthusiast! Fill out an online credit application and get pre-approved today.

Check out some of our other content on lightweight camper trailers and how to find your RV:

  • Understanding RV Weight Ratings
  • The Best Family Travel Trailers Under 4,500 Pounds
  • The Best Retro Style Travel Trailers
  • Everything You Need to Know Before Buying a Travel Trailer

Do you have any other suggestions for the best lightweight travel trailers? Leave a comment below.

Great Lightweight Travel Trailers Under 3,000 Pounds

  • Comment (21)

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I am having trouble deciding from a travel trailer to a RV. I am lookong used and am feeling a little intimadated to whole Idea of living in and owning a travel house. Wade i think you look a lot like my cousin Braden. Uncanning. With that said what would you recommend? I am a woman, in my 40’s, with a disability looking for a home. I dont need super luxury, but I also dont want something that could potentially be a money eater. I have a variety of tools and sure i can use them and figure things out, but even i know when i shoukdnt or its beyond my knowledge. When i go camping its usually in my car or a tent. What wpuld you reccommend? Are there easier and harder options? Can i paint this rv purple and green if i would like? I have so many questions. I will keep on researching more and more i kind of liked the van home my cousin guy had two yeara ago, althoigh i never dis get to see the inside. I dont know whether to buy a dolly and tow my car behind or buy a new car to tow the home. The 4 cylinder vehicle i have may not be enoigh. I just hope it is big enough for 2 and maybe a dog. I may want to make dinner for aomeone someday. I may want to have my family visit., althoigh theu may have to find their own place to sleep. Wow i better stop, i have no idea.

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What about cassita and scamp? They are 13-17 feet and feature full bath, kitchen, dinette, full bed, etc

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Those are indeed great options John. Thanks for bringing them to the attention of your fellow readers!

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Is there anything <3,000 that sleep 3 adults and has a bathroom? We’re a family of 4 with 3 wanting to visit the 4th at college for weekends. Car is a Chevy Traverse with max tow of 5,000-ish but understand we want to be well under for the trailer. Lots of options to sleep 2.

You might also be interested in our article on trailers under 4500 pounds:

https://blog.campingworld.com/find-your-rv/travel-trailers-that-weigh-4500-pounds-or-less-that-are-perfect-for-families/

The first two Coleman trailers in that article sleep up to 5 and up to 4, respectively.

Hope that helps!

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Are there any 3,000 -3,500 lb travel trailers with tandem axles?

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And as always not one word about the price. B i g secret!

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Wade You should look at RKS Offroad. I visited them a month ago. They are a startup trailer company out of souther California and they are doing some great things. Hopefully they make it to Florida.

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There is a new trailer company out of California called RKS Offroad. You should include new companies like this for consideration in your list

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Try looking at the e-pros by Thor Flagststaff and their companion G-Pro. Many of them are under 3000 pounds and come with all kinds of bells and whistles

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I wan thebedroom in the back of the trailer is that possible

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Dry weight does not include the cargo or the weight of the passengers. Isn’t that to be considered when towing capacity. Our towing capacity is 3,500 lbs. we were told to add our weight and everything in the truck bed and stowed inThe camper such as food appliances and dishes.

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Can we get any of these without the dinette, I really need theater, double recliner

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Please provide price for these 5 light weight rvs.

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I would like to come down Monday afternoon to apply for finance Im looking for a small pull behind camper that sleeps four

Hi Courtney!

There is a lot to learn when you’re new to RVing, but I’d say the best thing you can do is head to your local Camping World to actually tour different RV types and floorplans in person. There’s really no substitute for walking into an RV when it comes to envisioning how your lifestyle might look if you owned it.

Aside from that, here are a few links to articles that address some of your questions:

https://blogcw.local/rv-basics/finding-your-rv/how-to-overcome-first-time-rver-intimidation/ https://blogcw.local/rv-basics/finding-your-rv/choosing-your-rv-towable-vs-motorized/ https://blogcw.local/rv-basics/finding-your-rv/intro-to-rvs-types-classes/ https://blogcw.local/rv-basics/inside-your-rv/what-you-need-to-know-if-you-want-to-repaint-the-inside-of-your-rv/ https://blogcw.local/rv-basics/finding-your-rv/5-rvs-you-can-pull-with-an-suv/ https://blogcw.local/rv-basics/finding-your-rv/rv-buying-guide-towing-with-a-midsize-suv/

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Hi Peter, it’s not a big secret, but the price can vary dramatically depending on the deals and promotions currently going on. Because of that, they are omitted from this article. It would be silly to publish prices when you could potentially get a far better deal than the list price. I’d suggest you go to https://rv.campingworld.com/ if you’re curious about the prices on these travel trailers. The prices can be easily found there.

Yep! Check the inventory on Camping World’s website!

Hi Pam, your right. Dry weight doesn’t include the cargo or the weight of the passengers. It must be factored in. If you’re vehicle is only able to tow 3,500 lbs, then you definitely need to make sure you’re under that with the passengers and cargo included.

Hi Joda, give your local dealership a call and I’m sure they will be happy to assist you!

Hi Jerry, the price will vary depending on where they’re sold. The MSRP isn’t super representative of what you can get them for at Camping World dealerships. Your best bet is to click through to Camping World’s inventory and see what the dealers have them listed for.

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RV Expertise

Best Lightweight Travel Trailers

Looking for a lightweight travel trailer to accompany you on your road trips? They're the perfect towable trailer that pretty much any car can take along for the ride.

Of course lightweight trailers compromise on certain things, such as space and luxuries, but they make up on many other aspects, including getting into areas where bigger, more family-sized travel trailers can't.

They're equipped with beds and a kitchen and various other features that vary from model to model, and they give you a base to crash when you really want to get away from it all. 

But which are the best lightweight travel trailers? And why do they stand out? In this review, we look at some of the best models on the market. We've also included a guide in what to look for when shopping for one.

And if you have any unanswered questions we've added an FAQ section dedicated to all things lightweight travel trailers. 

Travel light with TAXA Outdoors Cricket Camper

What we love

  • Integrated electric, plumbing, and pre-wired solar input
  • Stove and large counters for cooking, prepping and eating
  • Holding capacity of 15 gallons fresh and 16 gallons grey water in the tanks
  • Pop-up roof for enhanced cross ventilation to avoid stuffy indoor situations
  • Easily towable with a 4 cylinder vehicle including small trucks, SUVs or even a Sedan

Quick Specs

  • Sleeps: 2 adults and 2 kids
  • Number of Floorplans: 1 story
  • Length: 15’
  • Width: 6'7"
  • Weight: 1800lbs.

The TAXA Cricket Camper is an incredible travel trailer . It is 15’ long and could be easily parked in a garage or in camping spaces. It is structured with Aluminum Composite panels and features a non-slip patterned flooring, which gives it a strong and dependable laser cut design. 

The design elements are stylish, lightweight, and sturdy. The Cricket is equipped with a combo furnace, a water heater, and a refrigerator . The café table is large enough to hold family meals or other activities. 12V USB onboard outlets are suitable for charging and powering devices. 

The pop-up roof is a great addition that allows cross ventilation and keeps the temperature inside the trailer pleasant with the help of a 12V exhaust fan. The interior is equipped with LED lighting and reading lights illuminating the insides when needed. 

It has full-sized beds as well as facing seats for a wide and broad sitting area. The trailer is secured with electric brakes as well as wireless brake controllers to avoid bumping into the towing car and mishaps. 

Runner-up: Happier Camper HC1

Happier Camper HC1

  • 100% 1.5” honeycomb fiberglass construction
  • Multiple windows and large rear hatch for breezy ventilation
  • Solar power enabled trailer ready to function off-grid as well
  • Customizable interior with modular components are suited to needs
  • Towable with most standard cars and can be parked in a single parking spot
  • Sleeps: 5 people
  • Number of Floorplans: Unlimited, you can design the interiors however you want
  • Number of Slide-Outs: Depends on your choice of added components
  • Length: 10’
  • Width: 6’6”
  • Weight: 110-150lbs.

At first, the small size of the Happier Camper HC1 may seem insufficient, but once you take a deeper look, it is anything but. The small and compact size is made of very durable fiberglass that has a high strength to weight ratio. There are multiple shaded windows to give you a view of the outside. 

Secondly, the HC1 is incredibly versatile. You can change it into anything you want it to. With the modular components, the interior could be designed whichever way you desire to suit your needs. Select the right equipment, components, and interior objects to make it suitable for anything from camping and hauling to a guest quarter. 

The grooved floor design holds the customizable components securely in place like pieces of Lego. The HC1 is super exciting to travel in. You can make use of the space however you want. It combines form and function into one trailer and gives you an authentic camping experience.

Best for the Money: Winnebago Micro Minnie

lightweight travel trailers for families

  • Solar prepped with LED lighting for interior
  • Pet-friendly with enough space and mounted bowls for food and water
  • A great number of safety measures make your stay safe and enjoyable
  • Azdel Fiberglass construction with welded aluminum sidewalls and floor
  • Fully equipped bathroom and kitchen along with water heaters, a TV and a wall-mounted thermostat
  • Sleeps: Variable; minimum 3
  • Number of Floorplans: 16
  • Number of Slide-Outs: 1; Exterior Sliding/Removable Outside Kitchen in select models.
  • Length: Varies; smallest 18’4”.
  • Weight: Varies; lightest 2437 lb.

Forest River R-Pod understands when you say safety and utility like home. This trailer is versatile and fully secure. It has strong locks to block out any unwelcome intruders, a smoke alarm, a CO detector, and an LP detector to warn against potential leaks. 

Other than that, it has all the interior equipment to make it as comfortable for you as possible with a TV , a thermostat to regulate temperature, a central vacuum, and an air conditioner . In addition to a wet bath available on all models, some models also carry a dry bath. In some models, the kitchen may also be extended out. The queen-sized beds are comfortable and large enough to sleep up to 3 people. 

Additionally, the lightweight travel trailer has a wide dinette for comfortable meals, which may also be used for various other activities. The camper also boasts a premium look to it with a stylish interior and sturdy exterior. Overall, this model will go where you want it to and take care of your needs while you enjoy your time.

Best Lightweight Fiberglass Travel Trailer: Aliner Travel Trailer

Best Lightweight Fiberglass Travel Trailer: Aliner Travel Trailer

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Top 7 Lightweight Travel Trailers

prime time avenger 16bh travel trailer interior

Do you prefer a lightweight camper compared to a heavy and more difficult to tow RV? Lightweight travel trailers offer a tow weight less than 3,500 pounds making it an easy to tow trailer while still being packed with features that make for a comfortable, relaxing and fun camping adventure.

In this blog, we discuss six different lightweight trailer floor plans that offer plenty of features and are built with quality construction so everyone can find the perfect lightweight RV that fits their needs.

7 Best Lightweight Travel Trailer RVs Under 3,500 Pounds

  • Winnebago Hike 170S
  • Prime Time RV Avenger LT 16BH
  • Keystone RV Springdale 1750RD
  • Gulf Stream RV Friendship 199DD
  • Forest River RV Cherokee Wolf Pup 16TS
  • Coachmen RV Apex Nano 185BH
  • Forest River RV Rockwood GEO Pro 19BH

Winnebago Hike 170S – Starts at $36,097

winnebago hike travel trailer exterior

The Winnebago Hike is a small travel trailer with a dry weight of 3,260 pounds and is 20’7.5” in length. It comes standard with desirable features that make it a luxury, but lightweight camper.

winnebago hike 170s travel trailer floor plan

It comes with off-road tires and fenders which provide an easier experience when traveling through rocky or difficult roads. The exoskeleton allows for kayaks, bikes and more to be attached to the roof of the RV so your favorite gear can always go wherever you are. The Hike offers a modern interior that is inviting and stylish.

Other features include an LED TV, wireless phone charger, USB charge ports, WiFi prep and more. Start shopping for the Winnebago Hike here . 

Prime Time RV Avenger LT 16BH – Starts at $21,139

The Prime Time Avenger is a great starter RV for small families or campers who prefer a smaller and more lightweight RV. It weighs 3,033 pounds and is 20’7” long.

This model offers a double bed and bunks for extra sleeping space, a two-burner cooktop and a small kitchen sink and bathroom. The bed area has one nightstand that features a USB port and 110V power outlets. There is overhead cabinet storage as well as large under-bed storage for more storage space.

prime time avenger lt 16bh floorplan

The Avenger also comes with safety glass windows, 12V electrical system with 40 AMP and oversized holding tanks. The freshwater tank holds 38 gallons and the gray and black water tanks each hold 30 gallons.  Shop for the Prime Time Avenger here at Campers Inn RV !

Keystone RV Springdale 1750RD – Starts at $27,002

keystone springdale travel trailer exterior-1

The Keystone Springdale is 3,414 pounds and 21’5” in length and can sleep up to four people. It has a queen-sized bed and a u-shaped dinette offering plenty of space for families or couples camping together.

keystone springdale 1750rd travel trailer floor plan

The kitchen galley space comes with lots of storage including a pantry. There are pressed countertops and a single basin undermount sink with a stainless-steel drying rack and a high-rise spring pull-out kitchen faucet. If the Keystone Springdale is right for you, start shopping here . 

Gulf Stream RV Friendship 199DD– Starts at $23,683

Gulf Stream Friendship 199DD Travel Trailer

The Gulf Stream Friendship is a 20’11” long, 3,100-pound travel trailer. Its standard features include 30 AMP svc with 45 AMP converter/charger, monitor panel, safety chains and more.

GUlf Stream Friendship 199DD Travel Trailer Floorplan

This floorplan offers a corner, queen bed, full bath, booth style dinette and overhead storage throughout the RV as well as a shelf and shirt closet in the bedroom and vinyl flooring.

The kitchen features laminated countertops, craft-made cabinetry, and a high-rise kitchen faucet with a white sink. Some amenities showcased include a microwave oven, an electric refrigerator and a two-burner gas cook-top

The Gulf Stream Friendship 199DD has many features and amenities packed into this ultra-lite travel trailer. Shop for the Gulf Stream Friendship here ! 

Forest River RV Cherokee Wolf Pup 16TS – Starts at $25,912

forest river cherokee wolf pup travel trailer exterior-1

The Forest River Cherokee Wolf Pup offers a compact floorplan that combines comfort and efficiency. The dry weight is 3,204 pounds and it is 21’9” in length. Because this is a lightweight unit, it can have smaller tow vehicles compared to large trucks.

forest river cherokee wolf pup 16ts travel trailer floor plan

It has a small bathroom, queen bed, kitchen and a dinette. This model is a smaller trailer, so it is ideal for couples or solo travelers. The overhead cabinets throughout the interior offer plenty of storage.

The exterior of the Cherokee Wolf Pup comes with a full-size power awning, LED lighting, RV quick connect and more. Start shopping for a Cherokee Wolf Pup here . 

Coachmen RV Apex Nano 185BH – Starts at $25,568

coachmen apex nano travel trailer exterior

The Coachmen Apex Nano is a great RV for campers with a tow vehicle that has a low tow weight. It is just under 3,000 pounds at 2,870 pounds and is 20’7” long. It is perfect for small families, couples or solo travelers.

coachmen apex nano 185bh floor plan

There is a double bed in the front and bunks in the bath. There is a small bathroom, kitchen and a dinette. The kitchen features a stainless-steel single bowl sink with flush mount cover, flush-mount two-burner cooktop, 6 cubic foot double door fridge and a microwave. These appliances give campers the ability to cook their meals on the road and store all ingredients and leftovers as well.

It is built with an aluma-cage construction, vacuum-bonded, aluminum trussed roof and safety glass windows. Start shopping for the Apex Nano here . 

Forest River RV Rockwood GEO Pro 19BH – Starts at $31,536

RockwoodGeo Pro 19BH Travel Trailer

This floorplan offers a 54-inch by 74-inch full bed, 26-inch by 74-inch bunk beds, full bath and a 32-inch dinette. There is overhead storage throughout the RV as well as a shelf with netting above the bed.

Some exterior features this RV has to offer include magnetic baggage doors, an outdoor shower, griddle with LP hookup, speakers, power awning, tinted frameless windows and more.

The Rockwood Geo Pro has many features and amenities pack ed into this travel trailer. Start shopping for your Rockwood Geo Pro 19BH here ! 

Additional Resources

RVers just want to find the best RV for them. Something that fits their lifestyle, budget and towing restrictions. These lightweight travel trailers give campers the opportunity to experience awesome adventures at a low weight and budget-friendly price.

If you have a vehicle with a higher tow weight but are still interested in travel trailers, check out The Best Travel Trailers for Families . 

Do you prefer a larger RV? Learn more about the 5 Top of the Line Fifth Wheel RV Brands . 

Tags: RV Shopping , Travel Trailer

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18 Best Lightweight Travel Trailers in 2023

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The pandemic and resulting boom in the RV industry has resulted in a lot of interest in the best small travel trailers. A light weight travel trailer is an ideal choice for many people. They are cheaper to purchase and own than van life Class B campers and more accessible than Class A or Class C motor homes. Many can be towed with the cars and SUVs we already own, making them a win-win. You can explore the world and live the Instagram life, all while traveling on your terms.

In truth, these lightweight camping trailers have been around for a while. They’ve always enjoyed a small niche corner of the RV market. So you might be surprised by the choices available when looking for an RV under 3500 lbs. You’ll find everything from diminutive teardrops and micro campers to off-road overlanding adventure habitats.

Here’s a look at the various things to look for in the best lightweight travel trailers out there, along with some of the best ultra-lite travel trailers on the market today. 

Best Lightweight Travel Trailers

Table of Contents

Best small travel trailers – traditional rv styles, best small travel trailer teardrop campers, fiberglass eggs – best light weight travel trailer choices.

  • Best Lightweight Travel Trailer Choices for Off-Road Adventures 

Lightweight RV Towing 101 – What to Tow With and What Not to Try

Towing weight ratings explained, top reasons to purchase a lightweight travel trailer under 3,500 lbs., pros and cons of small travel trailers, traditional micro rvs, soft-sided pop-ups, a-frame hard side pop-ups, classic teardrop-style ultralights, fiberglass egg style, off-road and adventure micro campers, what do you get in a small travel trailer, owning a small camper, should you buy an extended warranty, common problems with travel trailers, what’re the best lightweight travel trailers for your adventure, lightest travel trailer faqs, best ultra lite travel trailers and rv under 3500 lbs., airstream basecamp 16 – one of the best lightweight travel trailers on the market.

Estimated Empty Weight 2,650 lbs. (Based on GVWR 3,500 lbs.)

One of the most eye-catching and stylish lightweight travel trailers on the market is the tiny Airstream Basecamp. It’s available in 16 and 20-foot lengths, each one retaining signature Airstream styling but with a modern aesthetic. The curved aluminum-skinned exterior includes wrap-around windows and the amenities you’d expect from a high-end manufacturer like Airstream.

The layout of the Basecamp is very similar to other sub-20-foot trailers. There is a walk-through dinette in the rear that converts into a double bunk. Mid-layout, there is an enclosed wet bathroom. In the front of this lightweight travel trailer, there is a u-shaped kitchen with a sink, double-burner stovetop, and small fridge.

The Airstream has entry doors at the rear and on the side. The available Basecamp X upgrade includes off-road upgrades and air conditioning.

Airstream Basecamp Small Travel Trailer

KZ Sportsman 130RB and 160QB – Traditional Small RV Trailer with Queen-Sized Sleeping Space

Empty Weights Start at 2,240 lbs.

KZ makes very traditional aluminum-sided RV travel trailers. Their 13-foot model (16-foot 9-inch overall) is designed to sleep two adults and starts well under the 3,500-pound mark. In fact, all of their Sportsman Classic floorplans have unloaded vehicle weights under 3,500 pounds–even the 191BHK with a slide-out dinette. 

If your vehicle can tow it, the best balance is undoubtedly the 160QB (QB as in “queen bed”). This model is one of the best lightweight travel trailers and it ditches the all-too-common convertible dinette in favor of a walk-around bed located upfront. The dinette and kitchen are small but completely adequate for a couple. In the rear, there’s an enclosed bathroom with a separate shower. The amount of amenities they’ve squeezed into this sub-3,000 pound travel trailer is incredible.

KZ Sportsmen 160QB Travel Trailer

Aliner Classic

Empty Weight 1,725 lbs.

Aliner makes several sizes of their hard-sided a-frame pop-up, but the original Classic remains the perfect combination of size, weight, and price. It is one of their medium-sized campers, built in a 12-foot box on a 15-foot-long frame. 

The a-frame pop-up provides lots of headroom in the cabin’s center, where you might stand up to use the kitchen or sink. The front and back are dedicated to the dinette and large bed. The dinette converts into a bunk if you have guests over. The Classic does not have a toilet.

Alternatively, the LXE model includes a dormer pop-up on the forward end, extending standing headroom and moving the kitchen forward. There’s also an enclosed shower with a cassette toilet in this area. But getting this travel trailer means giving up the dedicated bunk and dealing with a convertible dinette instead. The weight difference between the two is negligible; the LXE is only 70 pounds heavier than the Classic.

Aliner Classic Hard Side Popup

Forest River Rockwood Hard Side Pop-Up

Empty Weight Starting at 2,120 lbs.

Rockwood by Forest River RV makes some a-frame pop-ups like Aliner, but they are a little heavier and come with a few more features. Rockwood also makes traditional tent-style pop-ups. Like Aliner, they have several models of lightweight travel trailers, some with dormers for more headroom and some with full-sized queen bunks. All of their a-frames have unloaded dry weights between 2,120 and 2,648 pounds. They are built in either 12 or 14-foot long boxes.

Rockwood Pop-Up A122S

Empty Weights Starting at 2,750 lbs.

The Lance 1475 camper could easily count as a lightweight travel trailer if you load it carefully and watch your installed options. If your vehicle is sturdy enough to tow 3,500 pounds reliably, this is one of the nicest appointed trailers. The cabin is only 14 feet, with an overall trailer length of 19-feet 8-inches. The total GVWR for the trailer is 3,700 pounds.

The Lance features a layout that boasts features you are unlikely to find in any other travel trailer of this size. Forward you’ll find a queen-sized bunk. In the center, there is a full-featured kitchenette opposite a small dinette or captain’s lounge chairs. In the back, an enclosed shower and bathroom round out this home away from home. 

With all the living space, it’s easy to forget all the other standard amenities you get with this package. For example, air conditioning and ducted heat also come standard. 

Lance 1475 travel trailer

Forest River R-Pod – Loaded with Standard Features

Empty Weights Starting at 3,159 lbs.

Forest River R-Pods are traditional RVs made with a slightly more aerodynamic design. They’re large and heavy when compared to many lightweight trailers, but they offer a more conventional RV experience. The interior features a U shaped dinette that converts into a double bed, a rear bath, and large windows throughout that contribute to a spacious atmosphere.

The smallest R-Pod is the RP-153, which is 17.5 feet long overall. There are multiple layouts and options all the way up to the top-of-the-line RP-195, which features a queen size bed with lots of under bed storage.

RPOD 153 Trailer Exterior

Jay Feather Micro 12SRK

Empty Weights Starting at 1,585 lbs.

RV giant Jayco isn’t to be left out of the ultra-small camper fun. Their Feather Micro 12SRK is one of the smallest and lightest traditional travel trailers out there. It’s an interesting little trailer–while it looks like a diminutive travel trailer, it’s functionally more like a large teardrop. 

You see, the 12SRK includes an exterior kitchenette. A 12-volt cooler and griddle are accessed from the rear of the trailer. Inside the small cabin, there is only a futon and some storage nooks.

Jayco Feather Micro 12SRK

NüCamp TAG and TAB RV Teardrops

Empty Weights Start at 1,269 lbs. (TAG); 1,946 lbs. (TAB 320S Model)

NüCamp makes two different size teardrop campers. The smaller TAG and TAG XL are classic small teardrops. There is no standing headroom in these small and easy-to-tow travel trailers, but there is a full-featured exterior kitchenette around the back. Inside, you’ll find a queen-sized bunk, ample storage, and a really cool stargazing window. Both the TAG and TAG XL are the same length, but the XL is one foot wider.

The TAB 320 is a larger travel trailer that retains the teardrop profile. This camper has standing headroom inside, with an enclosed wet bath and kitchenette forward and a convertible dinette in the rear. It’s a slick, useable layout packed into a very small package. It provides space to hang out when the weather stinks, or you just want to sit comfortably and gaze out the large side windows. But it easily swaps into a bed space each night. 

TAB320 teardrop travel trailer

Little Guy Teardrop

Empty Weights Starting at 1,785 lbs. (Micro Max Model)

This “Little Guy” is similar to the TAB 320–it’s a larger teardrop designed to give amenities that more closely resemble a larger trailer. Three lengths are available, from the smallest and lightest Micro Max at just under 16-feet long to the 21-foot-long Little Guy Max (GVWR 4,200 pounds).

If you’re looking for a basic and easier to tow teardrop and into an ultra lightweight travel trailer, you’ve got to check out the Little Guy MyPod. This 100-percent fiberglass teardrop is sleeker than any other on the road and has a dry weight of only 840 pounds. It also has a unique rear-door entry, which allows for an exterior tent to hook up to add living space. However, unlike other teardrops, it does not come with space for a kitchenette.

Little Guy Micro Max trailer interior

Polydrop – Space Age Teardrop with Style

Empty Weight Starting at 820 lbs.

The fact that the Polydrop’s promo photos show it being towed by a Tesla Model 3 is telling. If the Polydrop trailer looks like it came from outer space, that’s because it almost has. This compact travel trailer is a conventional teardrop that was beamed in from the 21st century. The company has studied the design in wind tunnels to get the shape just right, molded the interior to suit a modern aesthetic, and kitted it out with state-of-the-art lithium batteries and solar panels.

The upgraded model, the P17A All-Electric, comes with 260 watts of solar power, 2.4kWh of Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries, a 2,500-watt inverter, induction cooktop, and an electric air conditioner that works off the grid.

polydrop camper

Scamp 13 – Fiberglass Ultralight Trailers

Empty Weights Between 1,200 and 1,500 lbs.

The Scamp design has been around for a long time, originally built in Canada under the Boler name. That’s good news because there are some available on the used market. But like most of the small fiberglass campers you’ll find, these Scamps have a loyal fan club and values on used campers stay relatively high. 

The Scamp comes in two versions–standard and deluxe. The only real difference between the two is the furnishings–the standard is basic, with fiberglass walls and minimal equipment. This not only keeps it less expensive but lighter for towing. 

This lightweight travel trailer has a convertible dinette in the rear, a small kitchen area in the center, and the forward area comes as either bunk beds or as an enclosed toilet, shower, and closet. If you’re looking for a little more space, the Scamp is also available in a 16-foot extended version and a unique 19-foot-long fifth wheel. 

Scamp 13 fiberglass travel trailer

Happier Camper – High Quality Lightweight Travel Trailers

Empty Weights – HC1 1,100 lbs.; HCT 1,800 lbs.

The Happier Camper has fantastically updated the fiberglass egg design. These beautiful little travel trailers have everything you’re looking for in a micro-camper–classic looks, robust and versatile designs, and adventure-ready features. The HC1 has a 10-foot cabin, while the HCT (Traveler) has a 14-foot cabin.

You cannot deny that one look at a Happier Camper will sell you on the concept. They’re modern yet retro, with two-tone paint schemes and an aerodynamic profile. There is also an off-road upgrade with larger tires and increased ground clearance.

The classic jalousie windows are of particular note in the design, which let plenty of airflow through but doesn’t allow rain in. The rear liftgate is also a welcome addition since it makes the living space easily flow outside.

The interior of this lightweight travel trailers is a cleverly-designed modular system that HC calls Adaptiv. It’s made of removable, rearrangeable, and interchangeable fiberglass 20-inch cubes. There are various cubes, including storage nooks, bench/beds, coolers, a toilet, and a kitchenette. You can rearrange your Happier Camper into any layout you like, customized for any adventure you like. You can also leave space for bikes or other gear, like your own little toy hauler. That’s something no other lightweight travel trailer this size offers.

Happier Camper fiberglass travel trailer

Dub Box and Dinky Dub Retro Adventure Campers

Empty Weights Start at 2,300 lbs. and 1,100 lbs., respectively

If you have ever dreamed of setting off in a classic VW pop-top camper van, the Dub Box trailer will give you your chance. These new lightweight travel trailers, available in two sizes, mimic the looks of a classic Volkswagen microbus travel trailer perfectly. They include a crank-up pop-top to add standing headroom, a convertible dinette, and kitchenette options. Unfortunately, they don’t include an enclosed bathroom, but they do include a dedicated cabinet for a portapotty.

Check out this tour of this amazing little camper.

The Dinky Dub is only nine feet long, or 14-feet with the tongue. The regular Dub Box Adventure Camper is 12 feet long, 17 feet overall. The exterior shell is molded fiberglass for long life and easy maintenance. They are built in Oregon.

Dub Box VW camper trailer

Casita Fiberglass Travel Trailers

Empty Weights Start at 2,210 lbs. (Standard Version)

The Texas-made Casita is very similar in appearance to the Scamp 16, with a slightly more modern design and more amenities. This fiberglass travel trailer has a two-shell design for extra protection from the elements and have been built since 1981. They are very similar to a smaller and lighter travel trailer – Oliver.

The Casita comes in standard and deluxe versions and has several layout choices. The shells are always the same, however–a 17-foot-long cabin. In most cases, the deluxe models sleep fewer people but include enclosed toilet and shower compartments. 

Casita travel trailer

Best Lightweight Travel Trailer Choices for Off-Road Adventures

Bean trailer fiberglass off-road teardrops.

Empty Weights Starting at 1,650 lbs. (Classic Bean Roadster)

Bean–could there be a better name for a teardrop manufacturer?–makes travel trailers that are between 14 and 16 feet long. They are kitted out for either regular camp use (Bean Stalk and Classic Bean) or for off-road overlanding (Mean, Meaner, and Black Beans).

Bean Travel Trailers are configurable in every detail, perfect for a travel trailer this size. After all, every person who buys a Bean will likely be using it slightly differently.

Bean Stalk minimalist teardrop

Escapod TOPO and TOPO2 Off-Road Teardrops

Empty Weights TOPO 1,750 lbs.; TOPO2 1,500 lbs.

Escapod started by building an off-road capable teardrop, still available and called the TOPO. The original TOPO is a great lightweight travel trailer with nice specs–it has a wonderful kitchenette in the rear for camp cooking, an upscale interior with lots of storage and tech options, and a rugged but good-looking design that immediately feels at home off-road.

The TOPO2 is the camper that Escaped built after they learned all the off-road teardrop lessons they could. Thanks to a fiberglass shell and upgraded chassis, it’s lighter than the original. It’s got room for all the gear you want to take along and lots of little touches that make sure you know that real sportsmen built it in Utah. In short, it’s hard to find a cooler teardrop if you want to leave the pavement behind.

escapod TOPO2 teardrop

Hiker Trailers

Empty Weights 800 to 1,350 lbs.

Hiker Trailers are built in Indiana and Colorado, and they present a unique value for those looking for an overlanding lightweight travel trailer. These travel trailers aren’t fancy–they look more or less like small cargo trailers. But they are extremely lightweight, and they are inexpensive enough for most camping budgets. 

Trailers are ranked in four different classes , from “highway deluxe” for regular campsite use to “extreme off-road.” These can go anywhere you can get the trailer to tow to. Upgrades to each model include beefier axles, better suspension, and better ground clearance. If you want a truly off-road trailer–not just one with bigger tires–then the Hiker off-road is hard to beat.

Each rated travel trailer can be spaced out on either a 5×8, 5×9, or 5×10 box. Prices start at just under $6,000 for a 5×8 Highway Deluxe.

Hiker Trailers off road camper

Taxa Outdoors Habitats

Empty Weights Starting at 1,270 lbs. (Woolly Bear RTT model) or 1,800 lbs. (Cricket Pop-Top Camper)

Taxa Outdoors makes a few different versions of off-road friendly overlanding “habitats.” These are small, easy-to-tow trailers with varying levels of accommodations. 

At one end, you have the Woolly Bear. This is basically a small but robust ultralight travel trailer built with a frame that supports a rooftop tent (RTT). The trailer’s slick drawers and storage compartments reveal a full exterior kitchenette, complete with a two-burner camp stove and Yeti cooler. 

On the other end of Taxa’s lineup are the Tiger Moth, Cricket, and Mantis travel trailers. The Tigermoth is an updated take on the teardrop, while the Cricket and Mantis are low-profile and lightweight travel trailers that add headroom with a clever pop-top tent. Trailers are available in regular or upgraded overland configurations.

Taxa Outdoors Cricket off road trailer interior

What are Lightweight Travel Trailers?

There are no travel trailers that you can truly tow with any car. So every trailer owner chooses–what is the biggest, most comfortable travel trailer you can tow with your vehicle?

Not everyone can afford to (or wants to) upgrade to a full-size pickup or a motor home. What’s more, many people are looking for a minimalist, simple camping experience. The point for them is not to have recliners and a big-screen TV–the point is to travel, to collect experiences and memories. 

The folks interested in lightweight travel trailers are more likely to be younger couples. Some are occasionally camping throughout the year, and others stay in their campers for months.

From this description, it should be apparent that luxury is not the theme when you shop for an RV under 3,500 lbs. These travel trailers can be towed by many larger cars or mid-sized SUVs, but they will be smaller and more basic than other travel trailers, vans, or motor homes.

If you’re shopping for a lightweight travel trailer, chances are it is because you want to tow it with a small vehicle. Maybe that’s because you already own a car or SUV you’d like to keep, or maybe it’s because you don’t want to sacrifice your vehicle’s good gas mileage or comfort. 

Every car and truck sold comes with a maximum recommended tow weight published by the manufacturer. The number varies depending on your country and how the manufacturer calculates the number. It is always best to stay within this safety limit. Doing otherwise could void your vehicle’s warranty. Worse still, if an accident resulted, you could be found at fault for overloading your tow vehicle.

Keep in mind that a car maker will rate the vehicle for towing based on many criteria. It’s not just the power available from the engine – it’s also the brakes’ quality and the transmission’s robustness, but also the towing bar you choose. Here are a few maximum towing ratings for new vehicles sold in the United States. This should provide some idea of the size trailer you could expect to tow.

GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)

This is the maximum allowable weight for the travel trailer. It’s a designed-in limit, and the manufacturer is telling you not to load it heavier than this. The number includes everything on the rig – the frame, the cabin, all your stuff, appliances, batteries, and even water in the water tank.

What if your trailer has a GVWR of 3,500 pounds while your tow vehicle is only rated to tow 3,000 pounds? While some trailers are built right to the limit and use nearly all of their GVWR, others are not. Some trailers, especially those built to be lightweight from the start, may have a GVWR rating that allows carrying a bunch of gear. But since the cabin and appliances are light, much of that is available for your gear. As long as the actual tow weight is less than 3,000 pounds, you might be good to go.

GAWR (Gross Axle Weight Rating)

Each axle of the vehicle is rated to support only so much weight. This is how a trailer manufacturer comes up with the allowable GVWR. 

Dry Weight, Empty Weight, or UVW (Unloaded Vehicle Weight)

This is the exact weight of your trailer, as weighed when it leaves the factory. As you can imagine, it varies with every trailer a company makes. Options like extra travel trailer batteries or better appliances will add to the weight.

It’s a hard number to pin down when shopping for a trailer. The trailer you come home with will have its own number, so you’ll only be getting rough estimates for what it will be before then. Any numbers you see online, including those used in this guide, are likely to be on the low end.

Net Carrying Capacity, or CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity)

If you take your maximum allowable weight (GVWR) and subtract out the trailer’s dry empty weight, you are left with how much extra gear you can put in it. This is the net carrying capacity.

Tongue Weight

The tongue weight is important because it’s the weight that the rear of your tow vehicle must support. The heavier and sturdier your tow platform, the more tongue weight you can have.

A properly loaded trailer’s tongue weight is around 10 percent of its total weight. Any more than this could result in poor tow performance. Therefore, car and truck makers publish the maximum tow rating for the vehicle and the maximum tongue weight. 

Actual Tow Weight

A number you would only know if you either do the math or weigh the trailer is the actual tow weight. If you know the trailer’s weight when it left the factory and the weights of everything you’ve added, you should have a solid idea of what the tow weight is. 

This is the most critical number to know–because it is this number that you must apply to your vehicle’s tow rating . You’re good to go as long as this number is less than the car’s limit.

towing weights depend on your vehicle

Why Choose Lightweight Camping Trailers?

For most folks shopping for light travel trailers, the appeal is that it’s better than a tent. If you have been camping in a tent for years and want a little bit of an upgrade–just a little more storage and more privacy – then a small travel trailer might be the answer. 

What these tiny campers are not is an entry point into RV living . Most of the trailers under 3,500 lbs and 20 feet long will not provide the accommodations and living space you’re looking for. So if you’re shopping for a light travel trailer as an inexpensive way to get an RV with the car you already own, you might be disappointed by the results. If this sounds like you, consider a Class B or Class C motor home that doesn’t require a tow vehicle before downsizing into a minimal trailer.

  • Can be towed with smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles
  • Cheaper to tow – requires less fuel no matter the vehicle
  • Easier for boondocking and off-road use
  • Lower purchase and upkeep costs
  • More outdoor opportunities than larger RVs–exterior kitchens and rear hatches, for example
  • Minimalist styling and living
  • Can be stored inside a garage or storage shed
  • Easy to add more storage and sleeping space if you already tent camp
  • Less living space than larger RVs
  • Less storage space for gear
  • Less privacy than larger RVs have
  • Weight limited – can carry less gear
  • Fewer appliances and amenities
  • Very small and simple kitchenettes
  • Cramped bathrooms and showers (if it even has one!)
  • Smaller beds or convertible dinettes
  • Less insulation and all-weather potential than luxury RVs

Types of Travel Trailers Under 3500 lbs

While being extremely weight-conscious, it is possible to find a traditional-looking and feeling travel trailer that fits the definition of “lightweight.” Don’t expect these campers to be as luxurious or as big as other choices–generally, we are talking about campers whose cabins are only 10 to 13 feet long. In that space, it’s possible to have a dinette that converts to a bunk, maybe an enclosed bathroom, and a small kitchen with a sink, tiny fridge, and maybe a single-burner stove.

It’s this type of RV that can easily get overweight. It’s very important to look at the GVWR for the trailer and exactly how much gear you’re going to be putting in it. Can your car really tow it? If you’re still car shopping, how much more towing capacity would you need?

Outside of specialized designs built for light towing, the RV industry hasn’t put much effort into small camper designs. The money comes from the big ones, and once they’ve convinced their customers that they need to buy a full-size truck to have a comfortable camper, there is little bonus for them to go back and work on lightweight designs. 

However, many recent startups and a boom in the popularity of travel trailers have resulted in a little forward movement. The major trailer manufacturers are working on micro designs that are comfortable and noteworthy. One such example is the Airstream Basecamp.

You can’t discuss lightweight travel trailers without mentioning pop-up campers. These hybrid tent campers are built like traditional trailers but lack walls. Instead, a robust tent with vinyl plastic windows and bug screens is installed on a frame. 

Pop-up campers are an interesting concept, but they pose some problems. The experience isn’t very different from camping in a tent. The soft sides provide very little protection from the elements. They offer little privacy or shelter from cold weather or winds that hard-sided RVs do. 

Another problem is that they tend to be on the heavy side. The travel trailer is low profile but still relatively heavy when folded down in towing mode. 

It’s also worth noting that you can’t camp in soft-sided campers in some parts of the world. For example, in bear country, you need to keep your food, dishes, and kitchen area separate from your living and sleeping accommodations. These are all combined inside the same tent in a pop-up, making for a potentially dangerous combination.

Finally, remember that pop-ups are made of fabric and canvas, which will not last forever. New tents are expensive, so the resale value of soft side pop-ups decreases rapidly. 

A modern take on the pop-up camper is the pop-up a-frame. These campers use standard RV wall material that folds to make an A-shaped RV with standing headroom in the middle. It’s a unique take that solves many of the problems with a pop-up and retains the small trailer size and minimalist design.

Only a few companies make a-frames, most notably Aliner. 

Teardrops have a distinctive aerodynamic shape that makes them appeal to those towing behind a car. Their curved profile means less air resistance, but it also means less room to move around on the inside. Most teardrops are very small, and many even lack standing headroom.

These small teardrops nearly always share a similar layout. The interior cabin has a large padded bunk–and nothing else. Some have added shelves, and some even allow you to sit at a small table. The kitchen area is exterior and accessed through a lifting trunk on the back of the trailer. The inside of the camper is nothing more than an off-the-ground tent. All cooking, eating, and socialization are likely to happen outdoors behind the camper. Also note: most teardrops do not have a toilet at all.

There are also a group of teardrops that are slightly larger and have more amenities, like an enclosed bathroom and an interior kitchen. These are much larger and resemble the vintage “Canned Ham”-style trailers of the 1950s. They are comparable to a fiberglass egg-style camper, with a convertible dinette/bed, a small sink and fridge, and a cramped bathroom compartment.

There’s nothing too complicated about a classic teardrop trailer. Many people opt to save money by building their own, like CLC’s stitch-and-glue plywood teardrop or our very own DIY teardrop trailer .

teardrop camper

While many big RVs claim to be made from fi b erglass , they are just made of pre-fab fiberglass paneling in the same method as an aluminum-sided RV. The fiberglass campers described here are completely different–they are laid up in molds, just like the hull of a boat. That means they can have complex curves and sleeker shapes than conventional RVs, but they do cost more to make.

However, they also last much longer and hold their value much better. Fiberglass eggs are some of the most popular micro-sized travel trailers out there. They’re cute as a button and very functional. And in many cases, they weigh far less than a conventional camper.

The epitome of the fiberglass egg is the Scamp. These 13-foot lightweight travel trailers come in several layouts and are light enough to be towed with most sedans and small SUVs. 

Overlanding and boondocking enthusiasts love the versatilities that a camper can offer. But they don’t want a bloated RV that requires a less-than-nimble tow vehicle. Instead, they need something compact, lightweight for towing, and agile enough to follow their truck anywhere.

What Features Provide Off-Road Capabilities?

High ground clearance.

The number one thing that sets an overlanding trailer apart is its increased ground clearance. This isn’t just that the trailer is raised–it also applies to its overhangs. Many highway travel trailers have very low clearance and enormous overhangs to maximize the living space inside the cabin. 

An overlanding trailer is more likely to offer minimal accommodations with smaller overhangs. This is one reason why teardrop trailers are perfect for the job–there’s no expectation of standing headroom inside, and the outdoor kitchen area means the rear can be kept well off the ground.

Stable, Low-Profile Design

Another important factor to consider is the trailer’s overall stability–how hard is it to tip over? While most four-season RV campers are top-heavy, an off-road trailer needs to remain upright at extreme angles should the terrain get sportier. This favors shorter designs, with more weight nearer the axle. The wider the trailer and axle, the better.

Oversized All-Terrain Tires

Knobbly off-road tires not only look cool, but they also get a better grip on difficult terrain and provide the traction needed to make it up inclines. They’re also less likely to get punctured accidentally on rocks and debris. 

Rugged Chassis and Heavy Duty Suspension

All that bouncing along will take its toll quickly on a standard trailer chassis. Aluminum frames, often used on lightweight campers, are too weak to take the stress. Ideally, a galvanized steel frame is where it’s at. 

Suspension on the trailer axle also deserves some consideration. The best offroad travel trailers have robust shocks and springs to help the trailer remain stable and tow well over any surface.

Off-the-Grid Capable

If you’re in the market for a lightweight travel trailer like this, you will want something that is just as comfortable away from hookups as it is with access to them. Most of these campers have battery systems with a small solar panel, a small quantity of freshwater stored in tanks, and not much else needed to have a good time.

Gear Hauling Options

Off-road travel trailers are adventure machines–so what adventure inspires you? Hunting, fishing, mountain biking, hiking, skiing/snowboarding, or fill in the blank here–your camper can take you there; just make sure it has storage space and options to carry your gear.

Modern Teardrops and Micro Campers

While the idea of a teardrop is not new, many companies are combining the idea of a modern fiberglass ultralight camper with the classic designs for a teardrop. This site is excellent for boondocking and adventuring offroad. Add on oversized all-terrain tires and a beefed-up chassis, and you’ve got yourself an adventure machine.

Trailer Tents

Another popular option for boondockers is the rooftop tent (RTT). But these tents are heavy–usually over 100 pounds–and pretty awkward to get on and off your car. Some companies have engineered small trailers that hold gear and an RTT. They can be towed by anything and can carry all sorts of gear. 

You can apply this idea with some DIY skills to a classic Jeep trailer or even a $100 Harbor Freight utility trailer. RTTs aren’t cheap, but you can often find them used on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. Many also have enclosed annexes for showers, portapotties, or changing areas. When you combine this with awnings and the amenities built into the trailer, you have a great campsite ready-made to go anywhere.

overlanding trailer tent

Trailers Under 3500 lbs. – Features and Ownership Issues

Here’s a tour video of the Scamp 16, one of the larger campers you can get in this size range. It goes through the various layouts you can choose and gives you a great idea of what the space is like in one of these small lightweight travel trailers.

Owning a lightweight trailer isn’t much different from owning any other travel trailer, except that your overall ownership experience is easier and cheaper. These travel trailers are naturally less expensive than larger models that have more features. But with that plus comes another bonus–smaller trailers have less maintenance and fewer systems to keep working. All of this equals a lower cost of ownership in the long run. 

Small campers are simple items with very little maintenance or warranty problems. You’ll have to look at the camper you choose and evaluate its construction and materials. It pays to scope out owners’ forums online, where you can connect with long-term owners and find out if they’ve experienced any problems. From these details and the cost, you can evaluate the true benefit of an extended warranty.

The only moving parts of a trailer are the wheels and axles. While these have a life span, most will never find it. The biggest danger to the longevity of a simple travel trailer comes from corrosion or rust on the axle and chassis frame. Always tend to any rust immediately to prevent further damage. 

Traditional campers are made from paneled sides made from plywood, aluminum, or thin fiberglass sheets–or a combination of these things. They are framed together with wood or aluminum supports and generally hold up to the elements very well. 

Alternatively, some modern travel trailers use all fiberglass construction. In this case, the camper shell is made in a mold, just like you would make the hull of a boat. This type of camper has a few benefits. They tend to be lightweight and long-lasting. They have more aerodynamic designs since the mold can produce complex curves. And they hold their value better than traditional travel trailers since they have very few maintenance requirements. 

If you’re shopping in the used market, most upgrades will be simple additions you can DIY. Maybe you want to add better batteries, solar, or other off-road options. 

When speccing out a new trailer from the manufacturer, you’ll likely be given many choices. Do you want air conditioning or heat? Do you want upgraded batteries and solar panels? Do you need that pressure water system , or is a jerry can good enough? Of course, all of these choices depend greatly on how you will ultimately use the trailer. 

The only way to determine if an upgrade is valuable to you is to break out a spreadsheet and see how much it really costs. If you’re handy, chances are you can DIY most RV upgrades for less money than they would come from the factory. But, of course, if you’re financing it, it might make more sense just to spec the camper how you want it and make the monthly payment.

Finally, keep in mind that some things are harder or more expensive to add after the fact. If you want an overlanding lightweight travel trailer with extra ground clearance, sturdier suspension, and off-road tires, it’s best to buy this new. Otherwise, you’ll be buying the basic package and all the upgrades, too.

Generally, the smaller and simpler the camper, the fewer problems you will have. The more options and systems you add, the more complex the plumbing and the easier to stop up the drain, so to speak. 

This logic applies to every system in the travel trailer. Simple teardrops usually have camp stoves and jerry cans for water. If that sounds like roughing it to you, you’ll want a built-in freshwater tank with fill and vent. Then, you’ll also need the hose and plumbing to run a 12-volt water pump. And, of course, you’ll need a 12-volt electric system to power that pump. A proper propane cooktop will require propane tanks and hoses, and the stove itself will cost four times as much as a good-quality camp stove.

Every RVer must strike a balance between how complex they want their travel trailer to be and how much time and money they’re willing to spend making it all work. These plumbing and electrical appliances add their complications and, of course, are all things that can and will break down and need replacing one day.

Running water and gas cooktops might sound complicated, but it sure is nice to turn the faucet and have running water. In your efforts to keep it simple, lightweight, and inexpensive, don’t undervalue the comforts of home.

As you can see, there are a lot of choices out there. And thankfully, more lightweight camping trailers pop up on the market every year. There’s probably the perfect adventure camper ready for the mission, no matter where the road takes you.

What is the largest lightweight travel trailer?

Lightweight is a relative term with no official meaning in the RV industry, so defining the largest and lightest is impossible. Most people are limited by their tow vehicle’s capabilities. For this reason, this is where you form your definition of “lightweight.” To some extent, all campers are lightweight since they are designed to be towed by another vehicle.

For example, if you drive a two-ton pickup, you might be interested in a lighter camper to save a little gas money. A lighter camper also means you can tow a bigger camper and have more space and amenities. For you, a lightweight trailer is under 7,000 pounds and is around 25 feet long or more. 

On the other hand, if you drive a newer crossover, you might be limited to 1,000 pounds. For you, an ultra lightweight trailer is your only option, and what that will mean is a tiny teardrop or a pop-up–and even that might be too much for your vehicle.

In other words, just because an RV manufacturer says their product is lightweight or ultra-lite does not mean that any vehicle can tow it. So always start with the rated tow weight your vehicle can handle, and then shop for the most trailer you can get under that weight.

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Mike leads research, writes, and keeps the site up and running. He's worked on upgrades to an old class A Winnebago, vans, and other homes - wherever they are.

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Camper Guide | RV & Travel Trailer Guides

Written by Johnathan R. Smith • October 16, 2020 • 8:46 am • Travel Trailers

Best lightweight travel trailers of 2022: The Ultimate Round-up

lightweight travel trailers for families

Reports say that there is a resurging trend for traveling by RV during this time of coronavirus pandemic. Why not? It is the best option for going around the country while still maintaining social and physical distance. With a travel trailer, you don’t need to use public restrooms, hotels/motels, and restaurants. With a travel trailer, you’ll be assured of a great camping experience amidst this pandemic.

Don’t own an RV yet? Planning to get one? Here’s our feature on the best lightweight travel trailers for this year. You’ll want to continue reading so you can make the best choice. We’ll explore the different features of the different brands in the market today.

Things to know before buying a travel trailer

But first, here are some important things to know before you buy a travel trailer. According to a recent survey on leisure vehicles, 77% of Americans said that they would buy a leisure vehicle if money wasn’t an issue. Almost half of them or 42% of the respondents answered RV or camper as their top choice for a leisure vehicle.

However, there’s a lot more to learn about owning a travel trailer than just being able to hit the road with your own mobile camper.

  • Do your research. Never buy on impulse, at the urging of friends or enticed by its looks. Take your time to know the best RV for you and scrutinize each component to get the best value for your money.
  • Join RV Groups. You can connect with the experts and those who have a travel trailer of their own. Listen to their recommendations and ask them about their experiences and concerns regarding their trailers. Take note of the tips they give you because they speak from their own experience.
  • Negotiate the price. Yes, you can do this! Don’t just go for the market value. Ask the dealer for the best deal and you’ll be surprised that they do give huge discounts especially when you buy during those period when they need to meet their sales quota.
  • Be prepared for the expenses. Purchasing an RV comes with a lot of other expenses so make sure you’re prepared for them. Gas, maintenance, repairs, and replacement are quite expensive not to mention that there’s a shortage for RV repair shops.
  • Good storage. You’re not gonna use your RV everyday so you need to have a good storage area. You can’t just park your RV in your driveway or across the street. Take note that your RV’s tires and components will age prematurely when exposed directly to direct sunlight and extreme weather conditions. There are RV storage spaces for rent but of course, you have to include the storage costs in your budget.
  • Choose the best model for you. Even among travel trailers, there are lots of models to choose from – some coming with just the basic necessities while some offer luxury while your put camping. Know which model fits your travel needs.

Now, let’s discuss the best lightweight travel trailers in the market today.

What are the best small travel trailers? Here are our top 7.

Taxa outdoors cricket.

  • Forest River R-Pod

Airstream Basecamp

Winnebago micro minnie, happier camper hc1, safari condo alto, hiker trailer.

Let’s look closer at the features of each lightweight travel trailer to see if they suit your travel needs.

2021 Cricket Camping Trailer

This model is hailed in the RV community as the most durable and functional lightweight travel trailer in the market today. It lives up to its tagline “everything you need, nothing you don’t.”

This travel trailer comes with a dry weight of 1,800 lbs and has an exterior length of only 15 ft. This means it is easily towable using almost any kind of vehicle. Parking and storage are not a problem as it can fit in a standard garage. With an overall area of 63 sq ft, it can fit 2 adults and 2 kids. Its design is inspired by NASA which integrates electrical systems and plumbing for a comfortable travel experience.

It is nicely equipped with a Truma Combi eco furnace and water heater system, exterior hot and cold shower, pre-wired solar input, 12V roof exhaust fan, and LED interior and exterior lighting.

The Cricket comes with a pop-up roof for added ventilation and protection for its users. Its inside features include a full size bed with storage underneath. This also transforms into a dinette where your family can lounge while inside the camper trailer . It also has a kitchen counter with a covered sink and a 2-burner stove so that you can upgrade your meals during your camping adventure.

For those who want to upgrade its features, you can opt to have a 5000 BTU Window AC for added comfort, a portable toilet, or add 1 to 2 kid’s berth.

Forest River R Pod

Forest River R.pod

The Forest River r pod is dubbed as the best bunkhouse and most affordable travel trailer of 2021. It comes in 10 different floor plans and 3 more dealer stock only. Its weight ranges from 2504 lbs to 4574 lbs and the length doesn’t exceed 25 ft. Forest River says that the r.pod design series exemplifies the form follows function rule that’s why buyers can be assured that they are carefully constructed with users in mind.

Popular r.pod features include tinted safety glass windows, LED interior lighting, pet-friendly frame mounted utility hook (with food & water bowls for your furbabies!), solar prep, and a universal smart vacuum system with VacPort that allows you to clean your trailer without using a hose.

The interior has a height of 6’6″ to allow comfortable movement while standing, seamless kitchen countertops, residential style shaker cabinetry, hardwood drawer, shower, and wood slideout fascia with corner blocks.

The Tupelo Honey interior decor, designer Carefree flooring, decorative window treatments, and bathroom pocket organizers add a decorative and thoughtful touch to the Forest River r pod’s interior. Some models even have an accent lighting, a fireplace, and a large pantry.

The Forest River r pod comes equipped with a 6 gallon gas/electric DSI hot water heater, 13,500 BTU air conditioner, 28″ 12V LED TV, convection microwave oven, wall-mounted residential style thermostat, water heater by-pass system, 2-burner recessed cook top w/flush mount glass cover, 20,000 BTU furnace, 4 speed MaxxAir® Fan, Thetford™ toilet, and 12V demand water pump. Talk about comfort and luxury while out on the road!

Some r pod models even have a 6 cu ft G/E Double Door Refrigerator and power awning w/ LED lights strip.

The exterior’s material is Laminlux Exterior Azdel Fiberglass. The sidewalls and floors are made of welded aluminum and the entry door step is made of double aluminum. The safety glass windows are custom tinted and there’s also a window in the entrance door for added light and ventilation. It uses a Bauer Keyed Alike Key System to ensure safety and security. There are outside speakers, TV and stereo antenna, and a Schwintek™ slide out system making the r pod truly one of the best luxurious trailers for camping.

As if those features aren’t enough, buyers of Forest River r pod have the option to avail of a solar package for a more eco-friendly RV experience and upgrade to a 15,000 BTU AC to ensure their comfort in all weather conditions. You can even enjoy lounging on a sofa with footrests and TV trays instead of the usual dinette in their RP202 model!

Airstream Basecamp

This is also considered by many as the best lightweight travel trailer under 3,500 lbs. The Airstream Basecamp is a modern travel gear for adventurers. According to Airstream, it is tough enough to go anywhere your wanderlust takes you, and comfortable enough to help you really enjoy the time you spend there.

This travel trailer can be easily towed by a mid-size SUV. It has large wheels and an aggressive departure angle to allow you to traverse even the off road with confidence. Its side skirts and wheel flares give an added layer of protection from all the debris and gravel along the way.

Made by Airstream, which is a trusted brand for generations, you can be sure about the quality of the design and construction of Basecamp. It is made from the same aluminum superstructure that Airstream trailers are known for. Its aerodynamic design allows it to pass by the road and slip through the air effortlessly and increases its fuel efficiency.

A look at its floor plan lets you know that it’s packed with all that you need for a great camping experience despite its small size. It has a kitchen, bathroom, and a lounge area that’s convertible into a bed. It is spacious and has more than enough room for your travel and adventure gears. As if this isn’t enough, Basecamp comes with an attachable and inflatable tent to give you more room to relax while camping.

Travel with your comfort in mind no matter where your adventure takes you, this is how carefully designed Basecamp is. When you go somewhere cold, its furnace and heater will keep you warm. No need to worry when you go somewhere hot because the AC and 2-speed fan will help keep you cool. It also has a refrigerator, microwave, and a storage for your cooking essentials.

And it just keeps getting better as most of its features are flexible to accommodate your travel needs. You can reconfigure the benches 7 ways to make them into a full bed, half bed, or seats that can accommodate up to 5 people. The tables are removable to give you more space to move around when you’re done using them. You can also make an outdoor shower if you want to clean up yourself or your gears outside the trailer. How thoughtful of Airstream indeed!

Winnebago Micro Minnie

The Winnebago Micro Minnie is recommended for the various options it provides to its users. It comes in 11 different floor plans to ensure that buyers get the model that would fit their specific travel and adventure needs.

It comes with an exterior length starting from 19’4.5″ to 25’8″ and a standard height of 10′ from the exterior and 6’4″ in the interior. The models’ dry weight range from 3,280 lbs to 4,540 lbs. It has an exterior width of 7 ft which makes towing each Micro Minnie easier because of its greater visibility.

Don’t be deceived by its size, the Micro Minnie is roomy inside. There is more than enough room to move around especially in the kitchen area so you can cook delicious food and enjoy hearty meals while camping. It has a sink, microwave, cooktop, and a double door refrigerator to store your fresh meats and ingredients. Each of the floorplans also have ample storage space inside and outside of the trailer that makes packing your stuff so easy.

Another thing that we like about this trailer is the comfortable sleeping area. The Micro Minnie has a wide mattress and Winnebago designed the bed space with windows on both sides for added ventilation and to enjoy the fantastic view outdoors.

Of course, Winnebago hasn’t forgotten about the need for entertainment! The Micro Minnie allows you to enjoy your favorite tunes and dance to the groove with its speakers and power awning with LED lighting located at the exterior of the trailer. The fun begins with just a touch of a button.

Happier Camper HC1

Happier Camper HC1 is a little trailer with a big heart. Its manufacturers developed Adaptiv with rights reserved. It is a unique system that allows them to turn this ultra-light travel trailer into a very functional and flexible unit for every user.

HC1 has a dry weight of just 1,100 lbs. It has an overall length of 13 ft. Its inside width is 6’6″, inside height is 6’1″, and the walkable floor space is 42 sf. It can be towed using almost any standard vehicle and can fit in just a single parking space. Inside, HC1 can comfortably accommodate a family of 5.

HC1 comes in a cool retro design and wide panoramic windows for light, ventilation, and enjoying the natural view of the outdoors. The fabrics and hardware in its interior are made of premium materials.

Its modular floor is made of honeycomb fiberglass which assures us of its strength and quality while still being ever so light so it doesn’t weigh the trailer down. The floor design is grooved so that the components inside the trailer are kept in place, just like how Lego works!

Speaking of Adaptiv components, HC1 comes with an Adaptiv bench/bed, table top, storage cubes, counter top lid, cooler cube, bunk bed or couch, standard kitchenette and a toilet all specifically designed to fit the adaptive modular floor design.

Because it’s very adaptive, HC1 can be used not only as a camper but also a guest room, mobile office, photo or market booth, tradeshow, retail space, espresso bar, info kiosk, basically anything you want it to be! Its modular components are very flexible. You can take them outside to enlarge your space and they can withstand different elements.

HC1 is solar-ready to keep you comfortable even when you’re off grid during your adventures.

You can also have add ons to enrich your camping experience. You have the option to have a dry flush toilet which doesn’t require any plumbing anymore or have a 4-gallon road shower for your wet bath. These are designed with your convenience in mind and will help you stay clean during your camping.

Safari Condo Alto

Alto is dubbed as an outdoor transformer and is known for its eco-friendly features that’s why it’s also called The Green Travel Trailer. It comes in 6 models – each design is inspired by an aircraft to maximize aerodynamics and put together the important elements of flexibility, lightweight, and durability in one structure.

Alto has a dry weight ranging from 1,765 lbs to 2,947 lbs. The materials used for its roof and walls are mostly recyclable from aluminum, Alufiber (combination of aluminum and fiberglass), Formica, glass, and plastic. All of these were consciously chosen by Safari Condo so that the Alto can surely withstand harsh elements, last longer against wear and tear, while being eco-friendly.

The model you choose will determine if the roof is retractable or fixed. The retractable roof series reduces the aerodynamic drag by 75%. The fixed roof series just comes in a simpler design but retains this important aerodynamic property. This makes Alto towable even by compact cars and smaller vehicles which also means that less non-renewable energy will be consumed as the trailer travels on the road.

The Alto R series has an exterior height of 83.5 inches with the roof down. This is an important feature for users because this means your camping trailers can easily fit in your garage so there’s no added storage cost. When the roof is up, Alto can be very comfortable and spacious for its users giving an interior clearance of 82″. Just to demonstrate this point, you can still use the front dining area even when someone’s using the rear bed. And this front dining area can be converted into another bed, another testament to its thoughtful design and functionality in the front and rear.

But even if the roof is down, you can still use the beds, refrigerator, storage units, and toilet easily. Depending on the model, 3 to 5 people can comfortably stay in this trailer travel. For those who want to have a bathroom, there’s an Alto model that comes with an indoor shower so that you can enjoy a dry bath or wet bath during camping.

lightweight travel trailers for families

The Hiker Trailer is a teardrop trailer that’s best used for off-roading. The best thing about this trailer? It’s customizable to how you want it to be. It can be as bare as can be or have all the amenities you need to make it your home away from home.

Hiker Trailers come in 4×8 to 5×10 sizes. You can choose their highway, mid-range or extreme off-road model depending on your camping needs.

All of their models come with white aluminum exteriors, a door with lock on its curb side, two operable and screened side windows, a manual hand-crank roof vent, and a black powder coated frame. The axle weighs between 2,000 and 4,500 lbs.

The interiors have vinyl flooring, one cabinet, a rear galley, a pass-through door in the middle area, and a 110V power strip.

To make it more camper friendly, you can customize this teardrop trailer according to your needs and budget. You can choose your design, storage solutions, water tank capacity, electric or solar power for off grid, and other amenities that will make your camping a better experience.

What makes a travel trailer lightweight?

A travel trailer with a structure that comes with a weight of 6,000 lbs or less is considered a lightweight. This is exclusive of the weight of the supplies and luggage that travelers put inside these trailers . Weight is a very important factor in RVing. It determines the towing ease and which type of vehicle is suitable to tow the trailer behind.

Why should you choose a lightweight travel trailer?

Let’s discuss the pros and cons of buying a light weight travel trailer to help you decide.

A travel trailer is a towable type of RV. Having a light weight trailer means it is easier to tow around than the traditional full sized trailers. It is also less expensive to operate and maintain. Your fuel cost will also be less with this type of trailer. When it comes to storage, parking, and camping, you have more options and can find a place easier with this kind of trailers.

A light weight travel trailer may not be as strong and durable as the heavier ones. You will also be limited in terms of furniture that you can put inside so that they don’t weigh down the entire trailer. It’s also not for a large family or those who love bringing a bunch of friends on their camping adventure since they won’t be able to fit in this structure.

The Verdict

If you take good care of your light weight travel trailer and have it maintained regularly, it will last for a long time. They also come in different sizes and styles so you’ve got different options to choose from and you can customize it according to your preference. So, buying a light weight travel trailer is a good idea.

Not all lightweight travel trailers are created equal. Make sure you do your research, study the specifications and inclusions as well as the options for upgrade so that you can buy a travel trailer that suits your needs and budget. Hopefully this review of the best lightweight travel trailers help you make the best choice that’ll give you the most amazing camping experience.

lightweight travel trailers for families

About the Author / Johnathan R. Smith

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Best Travel Trailer For A Family. Keystone Premier

The Best Travel Trailer For A Family: 2023 RV Models

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What’s In This Article

Best Travel Trailer for a Family: Top Picks for Every Size

Are you looking for the best travel trailer for a family adventure? We’ll explore today’s top travel trailers, including bunk beds, solar panels, and tow vehicle requirements. We’ll also discuss the best options for small families and those who need extra space.

Family Travel Trailers: Top 10 Picks

Before we go into detail, here’s a quick look at the list of the top 10 family travel trailers from major brands like Jayco , Keystone, and Grand Design .

When starting your search for a family travel trailer RV, here are some key points to focus on:

Now let’s discuss the different floorplan abbreviations you’ll come across while looking at various RV models and their meanings:

Bunk Beds, Solar Panels, and Tow Vehicles, Oh My!

Let’s dive deeper into what makes each model a great choice for family road trips.

The Jayco Jay Flight is a popular travel trailer for families who enjoy spending time outdoors, as it offers a perfect combination of comfort, convenience, and practicality. This section will explore the Jay Flight’s features in more detail, helping you understand why it’s a top choice for family adventures.

Spacious Sleeping Options

One of the standout features of the Jayco Jay Flight is its bunk beds, which provide comfortable sleeping space for children and guests. Some floor plans even offer double bunk beds, allowing more family members to sleep comfortably in their own space. The master bedroom features a queen-sized bed, providing privacy and comfort for parents after a long day of outdoor fun.

Entertainment and Living Space

The Jayco Jay Flight’s living space is designed with families in mind. A cozy entertainment center with a TV and stereo system keeps everyone entertained during downtime. The U-shaped dinette offers ample seating for family meals or board game nights, and it can be converted into additional sleeping space when needed.

Outdoor Kitchen and Dining

The outdoor kitchen is a game-changer for families who love to cook and dine al fresco. Equipped with a two-burner stove, refrigerator, and sink, the outdoor kitchen makes meal prep a breeze. The power awning provides shade and protection from the elements, creating an inviting outdoor dining area for the whole family to enjoy.

Storage and Convenience

Families will appreciate the Jay Flight’s abundant storage options, including pass-through storage, overhead cabinets, and under-bed storage. With plenty of room to stow away gear and belongings, your family can stay organized and clutter-free during your travels. The Jay Flight also features USB ports for easy charging, ensuring everyone’s gadgets are powered up and ready for use.

Towability and Versatility

The Jayco Jay Flight is designed for easy towing, making it compatible with many tow vehicles, including pickup trucks and small SUVs. With its lightweight construction and aerodynamic design, the Jay Flight won’t hold you back on your family adventures. The Jay Flight has various floor plans and lengths, allowing you to choose the perfect layout for your family’s needs and preferences.

The Keystone Passport is a versatile and environmentally-friendly travel trailer that caters to families who love exploring the great outdoors. With its variety of sleeping options, eco-friendly features, and easy towing capabilities, the Passport is an excellent choice for families seeking adventure. Let’s dive deeper into what makes the Keystone Passport a top pick for family getaways.

Flexible Sleeping Arrangements

The Keystone Passport provides families with various sleeping options to accommodate everyone comfortably. Bunk beds are perfect for children or guests, while the convertible dinette can be quickly transformed into additional sleeping space when needed. Parents can enjoy a restful night’s sleep in the trailer’s private master bedroom, which features a comfortable queen-sized bed.

Green Living with Solar Panels

One of the standout features of the Keystone Passport is its solar panels, which make it an eco-friendly travel trailer for environmentally-conscious families. The solar panels help keep the trailer’s batteries charged while camping off-grid or in areas with limited access to electricity. This feature allows families to reduce their carbon footprint and provides a reliable power source for lights, appliances, and electronics during their travels.

Easy Towing and Compatibility

The Keystone Passport is designed for easy towing, making it compatible with many vehicles. Its lightweight construction and aerodynamic design mean that even smaller SUVs and pickup trucks can safely tow this travel trailer. This flexibility allows families to choose a tow vehicle that suits their needs and preferences without compromising on the features and amenities of the travel trailer itself.

Spacious Living and Dining Areas

The Passport’s living and dining areas are thoughtfully designed to provide a comfortable and inviting space for families to relax and enjoy each other’s company. The cozy living area features theater seating or a tri-fold sofa, perfect for watching movies or simply lounging after a day of outdoor activities. The dining area, complete with a large dinette, offers plenty of room for family meals, board games, or planning the next day’s adventures.

Ample Storage and Convenience

Storage is always a priority for families on the go, and the Keystone Passport delivers with its generous storage options. Pass-through storage, overhead cabinets, and under-bed storage provide ample space to stow away gear, belongings, and supplies, keeping your travel trailer organized and clutter-free. USB ports and easy access to power outlets ensure everyone’s devices stay charged and ready for use.

The Grand Design Reflection is a luxurious fifth-wheel travel trailer that combines comfort, privacy, and entertainment, making it an excellent choice for families who appreciate the finer things in life. This high-quality trailer, known for its craftsmanship and attention to detail, offers a master bedroom, spacious living area, and outdoor kitchen. Let’s explore the features that make the Grand Design Reflection stand out among family travel trailers.

Private Master Bedroom

For families who value their privacy, the Grand Design Reflection’s master bedroom is a dream come true. Depending on the floor plan, this private sanctuary features a queen or king-sized bed and ample storage space for clothes and personal belongings. The bedroom’s elegant design and cozy atmosphere provide a welcome retreat for parents after a day of outdoor adventures.

Spacious Living Area

The Grand Design Reflection boasts a large living area for relaxation and entertainment. Families can unwind in style with plush theater seating or a tri-fold sofa and an entertainment center with a TV and fireplace. The living area also features a convertible dinette, which can be transformed into additional sleeping space.

Outdoor Kitchen and Entertaining Space

Entertaining is a breeze with the Grand Design Reflection’s outdoor kitchen. Equipped with a refrigerator, sink, and cooking facilities, this outdoor space is perfect for preparing meals and snacks while enjoying the great outdoors. The power awning provides shade and protection, creating a welcoming environment for family gatherings and socializing with fellow campers.

High-Quality Construction

Grand Design is known for its commitment to quality, and Reflection is no exception. Built with high-quality materials and meticulous craftsmanship, this fifth-wheel travel trailer is designed to stand the test of time. Families can trust that their investment in a Grand Design Reflection will provide them with years of enjoyment and memorable experiences.

Tow Vehicle Considerations

As a fifth-wheel travel trailer, the Grand Design Reflection does require a more powerful tow vehicle, such as a heavy-duty pickup truck. This type of tow vehicle provides the necessary stability and towing capacity for a safe and comfortable towing experience. Check your tow vehicle’s payload and towing capacity to ensure compatibility with the Reflection’s weight and size.

In conclusion, the Grand Design Reflection is a luxurious and comfortable family travel trailer that offers privacy, entertainment, and outdoor living spaces. This high-quality fifth-wheel trailer is perfect for families who appreciate the finer things in life and are willing to invest in a travel trailer that will provide them with years of enjoyment. Your family’s adventures will be extraordinary with the right tow vehicle and a Grand Design Reflection.

The Winnebago Micro Minnie is a compact travel trailer for small families and couples. Though small, this camper packs a punch with its eco-friendly features, comfortable sleeping arrangements, and ample storage. Let’s look at what makes the Winnebago Micro Minnie an excellent choice for those seeking a small yet functional travel trailer.

Cozy Sleeping Space

The Winnebago Micro Minnie features a queen bed, providing a comfortable and cozy sleeping area for couples or small families. The bed is in a dedicated space, ensuring a restful night’s sleep after a day of outdoor activities. The convertible dinette can also be transformed into an additional sleeping space for young children or guests.

Environmentally-Friendly Solar Panels

One of the standout features of the Winnebago Micro Minnie is its solar panels, which cater to those who live an eco-friendly lifestyle. The solar panels provide an off-grid power source for the trailer’s lights, appliances, and electronics, reducing the need for a traditional power hookup. This feature helps minimize the camper’s environmental impact and offers greater flexibility and freedom when choosing camping locations.

Surprisingly Spacious Storage

Despite its compact size, the Winnebago Micro Minnie offers plenty of storage space for your belongings, gear, and supplies. The camper features overhead cabinets, under-bed storage, and a pass-through storage compartment, ensuring that you can keep everything organized and accessible. This clever use of space means that even small families can travel comfortably and clutter-free.

Easy Towing Capabilities

The Winnebago Micro Minnie is designed for easy towing, making it compatible with various vehicles, including small SUVs and pickup trucks. Its lightweight construction and aerodynamic design ensure a smooth towing experience, allowing you to hit the open road without any worries. The Micro Minnie’s compact size also makes it easier to maneuver and park, even in tight spaces or crowded campgrounds.

The Winnebago Micro Minnie is a compact yet functional travel trailer perfect for small families or couples seeking an eco-friendly camping experience. The Micro Minnie proves that good things can come in small packages with its comfortable sleeping arrangements, solar panels, ample storage, and easy towing capabilities.

The Forest River Flagstaff is a spacious and comfortable travel trailer designed for families who love to relax and unwind while enjoying breathtaking views. This travel trailer offers a range of features that cater to families, including bunk beds, large windows, and an entertainment center. Let’s examine what makes the Forest River Flagstaff an excellent choice for family adventures.

Bunk Beds and Sleeping Space

The Forest River Flagstaff’s bunk beds provide comfortable and cozy sleeping space for children or guests, while the queen-sized bed in the master bedroom offers a restful night’s sleep for parents. The Flagstaff also features convertible furniture in the living area, providing additional sleeping space if needed. With the ability to sleep up to eight people, the Flagstaff can accommodate large families or groups of friends.

Large Windows and Scenic Views

One of the standout features of the Forest River Flagstaff is its large windows, which offer panoramic views of the great outdoors. The windows provide abundant natural light, making the interior more spacious and inviting. Families can enjoy the beautiful scenery while relaxing in the comfort of their travel trailer.

Entertainment Center and Family Fun

The Forest River Flagstaff’s entertainment center offers families a range of options for indoor entertainment. The entertainment center is a central hub for family fun, whether watching movies, playing games, or listening to music. The Flagstaff’s spacious living area also offers plenty of room for family bonding, making it an ideal space for board games, puzzles, or simply spending quality time together.

Ample Room and Storage Space

The Forest River Flagstaff’s spacious interior provides plenty of room for families to spread out and relax. The living area, kitchen, and dining area provide maximum comfort and convenience, ensuring families enjoy their time together without feeling cramped or crowded. The Flagstaff also features ample storage space, with overhead cabinets, under-bed storage, and pass-through storage compartments, ensuring everyone’s belongings can be stowed safely and conveniently.

In conclusion, the Forest River Flagstaff is an excellent choice for families seeking a spacious, comfortable travel trailer that caters to their needs. With its bunk beds, large windows, entertainment center, and ample storage space, the Flagstaff provides families with the perfect home base for outdoor adventures. Whether you’re exploring national parks, RV parks, or embarking on a road trip, the Forest River Flagstaff is ready to accompany you on your family’s next adventure.

Keystone Cougar: A Family Travel Trailer for Outdoor Enthusiasts

The Keystone Cougar is a luxurious fifth-wheel travel trailer that offers families a range of features designed to enhance their outdoor adventures. This travel trailer offers an outdoor kitchen, ample living space, and a range of other features that cater to families who love to cook and enjoy the great outdoors. Let’s take a closer look at what makes the Keystone Cougar an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts.

Outdoor Kitchen and Entertainment Space

The Keystone Cougar’s outdoor kitchen offers families a convenient and functional cooking, grilling, and entertaining space. Equipped with a refrigerator, sink, and cooking facilities, the outdoor kitchen allows families to prepare meals and snacks while enjoying the great outdoors. The outdoor kitchen is also under an awning, providing shade and protection from the elements, making it an ideal spot for socializing and family gatherings.

Ample Living Space

The Keystone Cougar’s interior is designed with families in mind, offering ample living space that provides comfort and convenience. The spacious living area features a range of seating options, including a tri-fold sleeper sofa and a recliner, ensuring that everyone has plenty of room to relax and unwind. The Keystone Cougar’s large windows provide abundant natural light, making the interior more spacious and inviting.

High-Quality Construction and Comfortable Sleeping Space

The Keystone Cougar is built with high-quality materials and construction, ensuring that families enjoy their adventures with peace of mind. The Cougar also provides families with comfortable sleeping space and a queen or king-sized bed, depending on the floor plan, located in the master bedroom. The bunkhouse floor plans provide additional sleeping space for children or guests, ensuring everyone can get a good night’s sleep after a day of outdoor activities.

As a fifth-wheel travel trailer, the Keystone Cougar does require a more powerful tow vehicle, such as a heavy-duty pickup truck. This type of tow vehicle provides the necessary stability and towing capacity for a safe and comfortable towing experience. Check your tow vehicle’s payload and towing capacity to ensure compatibility with the Cougar’s weight and size.

The Grand Design Imagine is a spacious and comfortable travel trailer designed with large families in mind. With its range of features, including a spacious living area and solar panels, the Imagine is an excellent choice for families seeking an eco-friendly and functional travel trailer. Let’s look at what makes the Grand Design Imagine an excellent choice for family adventures.

Spacious Living Area and Comfortable Sleeping Arrangements

The Grand Design Imagine’s interior is designed to provide families with a spacious and comfortable living area, ensuring that everyone can relax and unwind after a day of outdoor activities. The living area features a range of seating options, including a tri-fold sofa and theater seating, ensuring that everyone has plenty of space to spread out and relax. The Imagine’s comfortable sleeping arrangements include a queen-sized bed in the master bedroom and bunk beds in the bunkhouse floor plans, providing ample sleeping space for children or guests.

Eco-Friendly Solar Panels

The Grand Design Imagine’s solar panels provide an eco-friendly and off-grid power source, ensuring families enjoy their adventures while minimizing their environmental impact. The solar panels provide power for the trailer’s lights, appliances, and electronics, reducing the need for traditional power sources. This feature also gives families greater flexibility and freedom when choosing camping locations, making it easier to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Multiple Floor Plans are Available

The Grand Design Imagine offers families a range of floor plans, ensuring they can find the layout that best suits their needs. Whether it’s a bunkhouse floor plan for large families or a couple’s floor plan for couples seeking a romantic getaway, the Imagine provides families with various options.

Lightweight and Easy to Tow

The Grand Design Imagine is designed to be lightweight and easy to tow, making it compatible with a range of tow vehicles, including small SUVs and pickup trucks. Its lightweight construction and aerodynamic design ensure a smooth and comfortable towing experience, allowing families to easily hit the open road.

The Jayco White Hawk is a versatile and functional travel trailer offering families various features designed to enhance their outdoor adventures. With its bunk beds, outdoor kitchen, and comfortable sleeping arrangements, the White Hawk is an excellent choice for families seeking a spacious and comfortable travel trailer. Let’s examine what makes the Jayco White Hawk an excellent choice for family adventures.

The Jayco White Hawk’s bunk beds provide comfortable and cozy sleeping space for children or guests, while the queen-sized bed in the master bedroom offers a restful night’s sleep for parents. The White Hawk also features convertible furniture in the living area, providing additional sleeping space if needed. With the ability to sleep up to ten people, the White Hawk can accommodate large families or groups of friends.

The Jayco White Hawk’s outdoor kitchen offers families a convenient and functional cooking, grilling, and entertaining space. Equipped with a refrigerator, sink, and cooking facilities, the outdoor kitchen allows families to prepare meals and snacks while enjoying the great outdoors. The outdoor kitchen is also under an awning, providing shade and protection from the elements, making it an ideal spot for socializing and family gatherings.

Easy to Tow and Lightweight

The Jayco White Hawk is designed to be lightweight and easy to tow, making it compatible with a range of tow vehicles, including small SUVs and pickup trucks. Its lightweight construction and aerodynamic design ensure a smooth and comfortable towing experience, allowing families to hit the open road easily.

Spacious and Comfortable Living Area

The Jayco White Hawk’s interior is designed to provide families with a spacious and comfortable living area, ensuring everyone can relax and unwind after a day of outdoor activities. The living area features a range of seating options, including a tri-fold sofa and theater seating, ensuring that everyone has plenty of space to spread out and relax.

The Winnebago Minnie Drop is a compact and eco-friendly travel trailer designed with small families and couples in mind. With its range of features, including bunk beds and solar panels, the Minnie Drop is an excellent choice for families seeking an eco-friendly and functional travel trailer easily towed by a small SUV or pickup truck. Let’s examine what makes the Winnebago Minnie Drop an excellent choice for family adventures.

Compact and Lightweight Design

The Winnebago Minnie Drop is designed to be compact and lightweight, making it easy to tow and compatible with a range of small SUVs and pickup trucks. Its lightweight construction and aerodynamic design ensure a smooth and comfortable towing experience, allowing families to hit the open road easily.

The Winnebago Minnie Drop’s solar panels provide an eco-friendly and off-grid power source, ensuring families enjoy their adventures while minimizing their environmental impact. The solar panels provide power for the trailer’s lights, appliances, and electronics, reducing the need for traditional power sources. This feature also gives families greater flexibility and freedom when choosing camping locations, making it easier to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations.

The Winnebago Minnie Drop’s bunk beds provide comfortable and cozy sleeping space for children or guests, while the convertible dinette provides additional sleeping space if needed. The Minnie Drop’s interior is designed to provide families with a functional and comfortable living area, ensuring everyone can relax and unwind after a day of outdoor activities.

Easy to Use and Maintain

The Winnebago Minnie Drop is designed to be easy to use and maintain, ensuring that families can enjoy their adventures more and less time worrying about upkeep. The Minnie Drop’s interior is designed to be easy to clean and maintain, and its lightweight construction ensures that it can be easily maneuvered and parked in tight spaces.

The Keystone Hideout is a toy hauler travel trailer perfect for families who love adventure and outdoor activities. With its range of features, including bunk beds and an outdoor kitchen, the Hideout is an excellent choice for families seeking a versatile and functional travel trailer to accommodate their active lifestyle. Let’s take a closer look at what makes the Keystone Hideout an excellent choice for family adventures.

Toy Hauler with Bunk Beds and Sleeping Space

The Keystone Hideout’s toy hauler design allows families to bring their favorite outdoor toys and gear, including ATVs, dirt bikes, or kayaks. The toy hauler area can also be converted into additional sleeping space, with its bunk beds providing comfortable and cozy sleeping space for children or guests. The Hideout’s master bedroom provides parents with a private retreat, ensuring a restful night’s sleep after a day of outdoor activities.

The Keystone Hideout’s outdoor kitchen provides families with convenient and functional cooking, grilling, and entertaining space. Equipped with a refrigerator, sink, and cooking facilities, the outdoor kitchen allows families to prepare meals and snacks while enjoying the great outdoors. The outdoor kitchen is also under an awning, providing shade and protection from the elements, making it an ideal spot for socializing and family gatherings.

Plenty of Storage Space

The Keystone Hideout offers families plenty of storage space for all their gear and equipment. With its toy hauler area and multiple storage compartments, families can bring all the gear they need for their adventures, ensuring everyone has everything they need to enjoy their outdoor activities.

Towable with a Variety of Vehicles

The Keystone Hideout is designed to be towable with various tow vehicles, including pickup trucks and SUVs, ensuring that families can easily hit the open road. The Hideout’s lightweight construction and aerodynamic design ensure a smooth and comfortable towing experience, allowing families to bring their travel trailer to their favorite outdoor destinations.

Here are some commonly asked questions about family travel trailers:

Q: What is the best travel trailer for a family with small children?

A: The best travel trailer for a family with small children would likely have bunk beds, a comfortable living space, and an outdoor kitchen. Some options include the Jayco Jay Flight, Keystone Passport, and Forest River Flagstaff.

Q: What is the best lightweight travel trailer for a family?

A: The best lightweight travel trailers for families include the Winnebago Micro Minnie, Winnebago Minnie Drop, and the Keystone Passport. These trailers are easy to tow with a small SUV or a pickup truck.

Q: What is the best RV for a family of five?

A: The best RV for a family of five would likely have a bunk room or multiple sleeping areas, a spacious living area, and an outdoor kitchen. Some options include the Grand Design Reflection, Jayco Jay Flight, and Keystone Cougar.

Q: How do I choose the right travel trailer for my family?

A: Choosing the right travel trailer for your family depends on factors such as the number of family members, your personal preferences, tow vehicle capacity, and your budget. Consider the sleeping capacity, living space, and additional features each trailer offers to help you make the best decision.

Q: What are some good travel trailers with an outside kitchen?

A: Some good travel trailers with an outside kitchen include the Jayco Jay Flight, Keystone Passport, Grand Design Reflection, and Keystone Hideout. These trailers offer a convenient way to cook and entertain outdoors while enjoying nature.

Q: Are solar panels worth it for a travel trailer?

A: Solar panels can be a great addition to your travel trailer, especially if you plan to camp in remote areas or national parks with limited access to electricity. They can help keep your batteries charged, allowing you to use lights, appliances, and electronics off the grid.

Q: How important is the payload capacity of my tow vehicle when choosing a travel trailer?

A: The payload capacity of your tow vehicle is crucial when choosing a travel trailer. It determines how much weight your vehicle can safely tow, including passengers, cargo, and the travel trailer. Be sure to check your tow vehicle’s payload capacity and choose a trailer that falls within the safe range.

Vintage Family Camping Travel Trailer

Understanding Towing Capacity and Its Implications

The towing capacity is critical when selecting a travel trailer for your family. This figure denotes the maximum weight many vehicles can safely tow. Surpassing this weight threshold may lead to serious safety issues for you and other drivers on the road.

Hitch Weight

However, most vehicles reach their maximum payload capacity before the towing limit . Payload capacity refers to the maximum weight a vehicle can support, including passengers, cargo, and any added accessories. As such, it’s crucial to accurately calculate the vehicle’s payload to prevent overloading and jeopardizing safety.

When towing a travel trailer, it’s important to factor in the RV’s hitch weight, which can quickly accumulate when fully loaded. Hitch weight is the force the trailer’s tongue exerts on the vehicle’s hitch. Ensuring that the hitch weight doesn’t exceed the hitch’s maximum weight capacity is essential, as overloading may lead to vehicle imbalance, handling problems, and stability issues.

The hitch weight is even higher when the RV is fully loaded , so it’s important to evenly distribute the cargo’s weight within the RV to avoid surpassing the hitch weight limit. Placing heavy items at the front of the RV can increase the hitch weight even more.

When you connect a fully loaded RV to a vehicle, you might already be approaching the maximum vehicle payload before adding passengers and cargo . Accurately calculating the weight of passengers and cargo is vital to avoid exceeding the maximum vehicle payload, which can cause handling problems, reduced braking power, and damage to the vehicle’s suspension and tires.

Example Scenario:

Suppose you have a vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 6,500 lbs and a curb weight of 5,000 lbs. This vehicle’s maximum payload capacity would be 1,500 (6,500 lbs – 5,000 lbs = 1,500 lbs).

Now, imagine you want to tow a travel trailer with a dry weight of 6,000 lbs and a hitch weight of 900 lbs. When fully loaded, the travel trailer may weigh up to 7,000 lbs with a hitch weight of 1,000 lbs. Therefore, when connected to the vehicle, the combined weight of the trailer and hitch would be 8,000 lbs (7,000 lbs + 1,000 lbs).

To calculate the maximum vehicle payload with the travel trailer connected, subtract the weight of the trailer and hitch weight from the vehicle’s maximum payload capacity:

Maximum vehicle payload = 1,500 lbs – 900 lbs = 600 lbs

As demonstrated, only 600 lbs of payload capacity remain after hooking up the trailer. The available payload might be even less if the RV is fully loaded . This highlights the importance of carefully managing cargo weight in the vehicle to avoid exceeding the maximum payload capacity.

In conclusion, accurately calculating the vehicle’s payload and choosing a travel trailer within your vehicle’s maximum weight capacity is essential. This ensures that you can tow the RV safely without compromising your safety or that of other drivers on the road. Additionally, distributing the weight evenly throughout the RV is vital to avoid surpassing the maximum hitch weight limit and compromising handling and stability while towing.

Other Things to Consider

Sleeping capacity and layout.

It’s important to consider a travel trailer’s sleeping capacity and layout when shopping for a family trailer. Families with younger children may prefer bunk beds, while those with teenagers may prefer a separate bedroom area. Consider the number of family members and their preferences when choosing a travel trailer layout.

Storage Space

Families traveling with children need plenty of storage space for their gear and equipment. Look for trailers with ample storage compartments, and consider a toy hauler if you plan to bring outdoor toys and equipment.

Tow Vehicle Requirements

When shopping for a travel trailer, it’s essential to consider the requirements of your tow vehicle. Ensure your vehicle is rated for the trailer’s weight and that you have the proper hitch and towing equipment.

Travel trailers can vary greatly in price, so it’s important to set a budget and stick to it. Consider the essential features and amenities for your family, and look for trailers that fit your budget.

Camping Style

Consider your family’s camping style when choosing a travel trailer. An outdoor kitchen and entertainment space may be essential if you spend most of your time outdoors. A trailer with full hookups and amenities may be preferred if you plan to stay at RV parks.

Brand Reputation

Research the reputation of the travel trailer brands you are considering. Look for reviews from other families who have purchased the same brand and model and consider factors such as quality, durability, and customer service.

Finding the best travel trailer for your family doesn’t have to be daunting. With so many options on the market today, there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re a small family needing a lightweight trailer or a larger group looking for plenty of space and amenities, there’s a travel trailer for you.

Don’t forget to consider important factors such as tow vehicle capacity, payload capacity, and your personal preferences when choosing the perfect travel trailer for your family. With the right travel trailer, you’ll be ready to hit the open road and create lasting memories with your loved ones. Happy trails!

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15 Best Lightweight Travel Trailers Under 3500 lbs for 2024

2020 Airstream Nest Ext

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Thanks for your support! If you make a purchase using our links in this article, we may make a commission. And, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See the full disclosure here .

Article Updated 1/9/24

There is a broader range of travel trailers under 3500lbs on the market than ever before! We have toured many of them at RV Shows and dealerships nationwide. If you are looking for a travel trailer that you can tow with a small truck or even an SUV, there are many great options.

We have investigated them all to find the very best ones on the market today. Our list of the 15 Best Lightweight Travel Trailers Under 3,500 lbs will give you great ideas to start your search!

Things To Consider When Purchasing a Travel Trailer Under 3,500 lbs?

If you are considering purchasing a Travel Trailer under 3,500 lbs, we recommend two courses of action.

  • If you have never owned a small camper before we recommend that you rent one before you buy one. Susan and I did this, and it worked out great for us. We rented a Class C RV for a week and by the end of that week, we knew everything we liked — and didn’t like about that RV. This helped us to purchase the perfect RV for us! And we recommend you “try before you buy” a travel trailer too! It could save you thousands!
  • If you are ready to purchase a travel trailer — or any RV — we highly recommend that you use GoRollick to find the best local pricing from dealers near you on new or used RVs!

15 Best Lightweight Travel Trailers Under 3,500 lb

Some of these travel trailers under 3500 lbs are truly unique and exciting additions to an already massive market.

With the growing popularity of these economical, versatile, and easy-to-tow travel trailers, you can stake out your next adventure in style and leisure while operating on a smaller footprint.

1. Airstream Basecamp

Airstream Basecamp Exterior - travel trailers under 3500lbs

Our Pros and Cons

✅ Airstream maintains its well-known, incredible aesthetic on the inside as well as out

⛔ Off-road packages are not much of an off-road upgrade, especially with sensitive components

  • Length: 16′ 2″
  • UVW: 2,650 lbs
  • GVWR: 3,500 lbs
  • CCC: 850 lbs
  • Tongue Weight: 410 lbs

Airstream took its old, classical aesthetic and flipped it around on its head with the Airstream Basecamp . Relaying their classical aluminum exteriors to the interiors is a joy to look at, if you dig shiny walls and a clean, metallic look. The massive, panoramic windows on the front are a huge plus, especially if you take it off-road and find some incredible scenery.

This RV packs everything you need for going off-grid, though you may want to upgrade the underbelly with something a little more resilient to off-road adventures. A standard wet bath, two-burner stove, dining area, bed, counter space, and storage are all packed into a 16-footer.

2. r-pod 171C

r-pod 171C Exterior - travel trailers under 3500lbs

✅ Lightweight, highly water-resistant Azdel walls that are lightweight and durable

⛔ Aftermarket options necessary to run the A/C boondocking or off-grid

  • Length: 19′
  • UVW: 2,449 lbs
  • GVWR: 4,725 lbs
  • CCC: 2,276 lbs
  • Tongue Weight: 325 lbs

Forest River took the classical, DIY teardrop exterior aesthetic and amped it up a notch with their r-pods , which are really just giant teardrops with more of the features on the inside rather than the outside.

The bathroom is a wet bath, but it’s large enough that you don’t have to sit on your toilet to shower.

The refrigerator is large for the size of the camper, with a large, convertible dinette and a sideways queen bed on the opposite end.

Since r-pods went with the Azdel walls, they are far more durable and long-lasting, with less preventative maintenance throughout the seasons.

3. Rockwood Geo Pro G15RD

Rockwood Geo Pro G15RD Exterior - travel trailers under 3500lbs

✅ Dexter Torflex Torsion Axle and indie suspension is standard (Nice!)

⛔ Known for having a loud air conditioner that resounds throughout the RV

  • UVW: 2,883 lbs
  • GVWR: 4,325 lbs
  • CCC: 1,442 lbs

Another Forest River entry on our list is the Rockwood Geo Pro, which sounds pretty bad to the bone for a camper title.

This particular model features a sideways bunk house in the rear and a convertible U-dinette, both of which sleep up to four. It’s an excellent option for short-term family adventures, whether you’re bringing the kids or rocking some big dogs.

The U-dinette fits square against the bunks, with the remainder of the kitchen appliances and furniture continuing with the flow of the U-shape around the RV.

This makes for more room in the center, where all the day-to-day work and activities take place. It’s a smooth idea that really works, keeping you from feeling constrained when indoors for long periods.

4. Palomino Puma Ultra Lite 12FBX

Palomino Puma Ultra Lite 12FBX Exterior - travel trailers under 3500lbs

✅ Includes an AlphaPly roof membrane with gutters for catching rainwater

⛔ No bathroom sink

  • Length: 18′ 6″
  • UVW: 2,839 lbs
  • GVWR: 3,910 lbs
  • CCC: 1,071 lbs

The Palomino Puma Ultra-Lite 12 FBX may carry the Puma name, but it has the shape and versatility of a bulldog. It’s lightweight, yet wide enough and long enough to accommodate all the features we expect in travel trailers under 3500lbs these days.

It’s the tiny things that count and the lengthy design of the dinette, sideways queen, and corner bathroom all work to maximize the central living space.

This Puma does it a little differently than the previous entry, but it accomplishes the same level of space and comfort where it doesn’t seem like there should be any.

5. Scamp 13

Scamp 13 Exterior - travel trailers under 3500lbs

✅ Multiple floorplans with Standard and Deluxe additions to boot

⛔ Air conditioner isn’t standard

  • Length: 13′
  • GVWR: 1,500 lbs
  • Tongue Weight: 150 lbs

The tried and true Scamp 13 is the quintessential travel trailer under 3500lbs. Scamp has been around for a long time and they’re known for constructing fiberglass behemoths writ small, that can take on just about anything you throw at them.

The Scamp 13 features more than one floor plan, with the addition of standard and deluxe models, depending on how bougie you want to get.

The designs are solid and comfortable, and feature the level of customization you want for either long-term use or short and sweet vacations.

6. inTech Sol Eclipse

inTech Sol Eclipse Exterior - travel trailers under 3500lbs

✅ Large amount of kitchen space for its size

⛔ No dedicated bed, like the Horizon

  • Length: 17′
  • UVW: 2,775 lbs
  • CCC: 770 lbs
  • Tongue Weight: 445 lbs

The inTech Sol Eclipse is one of the most exciting and off-grid-ready travel trailers under 3500lbs on the market. There are multiple models under the inTech lineup, with the Eclipse being one of the more popular variations.

Interior space is maximized and simplified, leaving plenty of room for you to make it your own.

The 32-gallon black and gray water tanks, 35-A converter, Dexter torsion axles, all-aluminum triple tube cage frame, 28-gallon freshwater tank, panoramic windshield, and aggressive tread are all combined for the pinnacle in off-road and off-grid adventures. This is the travel trailer you want to pull when going well out into the boonies.

7. Jayco Jay Flight 195RB

Jayco Jay Flight 195RB - travel trailers under 3500lbs

✅ Includes electric, self-adjusting brakes

⛔ A/C unit is known for being a little too loud

  • Length: 21′ 10″
  • UVW: 2,940 lbs
  • GVWR: 3,750 lbs
  • CCC: 810 lbs
  • Tongue Weight: 270 lbs

This Jayco Jay Flight has the interior feel of an RV much larger than typical travel trailers under 3500lbs. The interior is designed with a corner bathroom, a walk-in wardrobe, and a parallel queen, the latter of which features plenty of room to move around.

As a lightweight travel trailer, that feeling of size is an impressive accomplishment. The bathroom is sizeable as well, though Jayco left out a sink next to the shower. It’s a dry bath as well, which is often hard to find in a travel trailer within this class.

8. Venture Sonic Lite SL150VRB

Venture Sonic Lite SL150VRB Exterior - travel trailers under 3500lbs

✅ Panoramic automatic window is excellent if you like views and spring breezes

⛔ No dedicated sitting area for dining or entertainment

  • Length: 19′ 11″
  • UVW: 3,180 lbs
  • GVWR: 3,885 lbs
  • CCC: 705 lbs
  • Tongue Weight: 480 lbs

This little camper features a massive rear bathroom, which takes up roughly 1/3 of the entire RV. However, the Venture Sonic doesn’t skimp on the remaining 2/3 either.

The remaining space is utilized very well, with a parallel Murphy bed (which features a free-standing table for dining), a two-burner stove, sink, and 8 ft³ fridge.

Thanks to the Murphy bed and lack of a traditional dinette, the space in the center of the camper is large and comfortable.

There’s also plenty of cabinetry and storage, with a passthrough on the exterior, a row of overhead cabinets over the stove, and another row of overhead cabinets over the bed.

9. Wildwood 164RBLE

Wildwood 164RBLE Exterior - travel trailers under 3500lbs

✅ AccessiBelly feature is amazing in terms of protection and accessibility for repair work

⛔ TV mount is at a harsh right angle, over the queen bed in the front

  • Length: 20′
  • UVW: 2,819 lbs
  • GVWR: 3,880 lbs
  • CCC: 1,061 lbs
  • Tongue Weight: 380 lbs

One of the most attractive qualities of the Wildwood 164RBL E is the bright and cheery interior. Stepping inside is like stepping into a breath of fresh air, even if it’s not a very large travel trailer. As you can see in the above floorplan, a lot is going on inside as well.

The 11 ft³ fridge is a huge benefit, especially if you need the extra food for a lot of boondocking or going off-grid.

The bathroom takes up the back 1/5 of the RV, though there’s plenty of room to keep it a dry bath with a sink, toilet, and sizeable shower.

10. Travel Lite Rove Lite 16RB

Travel Lite Rove Lite 16RB Exterior - travel trailers under 3500lbs

✅ Traditional travel trailer at a mind-blowing sub-2,000lbs

⛔ Black tank size is very underwhelming at 5 gallons

  • Length: 18′ 9″
  • UVW: 2,020 lbs
  • CCC: 1,480 lbs
  • Tongue Weight: 154 lbs

Sometimes simple is better and, when it comes to travel trailers under 3500lbs, it’s often a good idea to simplify things. The Travel Lite Rove Lite 16RB is both simple and streamlined while retaining a full-featured RV status.

There are some interesting things to get used to in this model, and some that RVers may not like.

For instance, instead of cabinet doors, the Travel Lite features a strong mesh net across all the cabinet openings. There’s also a small black tank instead of a cartridge toilet, which means shorter periods away from home or a campground.

11. Safari Condo Alto 1723

Safari Condo Alto 1723 Exterior - travel trailers under 3500lbs

✅ Nearly half the Safari Condo Alto is a wild array of windows

⛔ This is a very different aesthetic and may not be for everyone

  • Length: 17′ 3″
  • GVWR: 1,867 lbs
  • Tongue Weight: N/A

This is easily the most unique-looking RV on our travel trailers under 3500lbs list. The Safari Condo Alto is a window-full masterpiece. If you like to see everything around you while never stepping foot outside, this is the camper for you.

The lightweight frame, compact design, and interesting floorplans make this RV a lot of fun and an interesting choice for those looking at travel trailers in this class.

You can literally eat lunch underneath a driving rain, and this camper isn’t known for leaking either. There are limitations on storage and holding tanks, but this remains an excellent off-road adventure choice for single occupants, couples, and small families.

12. Coachmen Clipper 15CBH

Coachmen Clipper 15CBH Exterior - travel trailers under 3500lbs

✅ Excellent interior space for travel trailers under 3500lbs

⛔ Lack of windows throughout, with the existing ones being fairly small

  • Length: 17′ 10″
  • UVW: 2,644 lbs
  • GVWR: 3,830 lbs
  • CCC: 1,186 lbs
  • Tongue Weight: 330 lbs

Coachmen Clippers make for excellent travel trailers under 3500lbs. Unlike most of the other campers on our list, the floorspace on the Clipper is a sideways L-shape, like an elongated hallway that ends in a sizeable bathroom and a very large shower.

The bathroom occupies the corner space while the two bunkbeds take up the opposite corner. All of your typical kitchen amenities are present making this a very complete travel trailer under 3500lbs.

The dinette is a convertible bed with a large shelf above, maximizing the room in the RV while retaining some extra sleeping and storage space.

13. Little Guy Mini Max

Little Guy Mini Max Exterior - travel trailers under 3500lbs

✅ Hydraulic life TV is a nice entertainment addition in this class of RV

⛔ No battery monitor

  • UVW: 2,406 lbs
  • CCC: 1,094 lbs
  • Tongue Weight: 240 lbs

The Little Guy Mini Max is one of two campers on our list that approach the true teardrop form (the other is next on the list).

The Little Guy is known for its high-quality interiors, with attention to the finest details throughout. The light tans make for an excellent interior aesthetic and, despite its size, it features all of the major amenities of a traditional camper.

The wet bath is large enough to accommodate both the toilet and shower so as long as you’re not against wet baths it’s a great option.

The entire galley is in the front, which is an interesting change of pace. One of the things people really love about this camper is the number of hidden storage places scattered throughout. If you need to store it, there’s a place for it.

14. Aliner Ranger 12

Aliner Ranger 12 Exterior - travel trailers under 3500lbs

✅ Very easy to set up as a hybrid pop-up camper

⛔ Dinette bed is not the most comfortable, an understandable lacking in a minimalist design

  • Length: 15″
  • UVW: 1,450 lbs
  • GVWR: 3,000 lbs
  • CCC: 1,550 lbs

The Aliner Ranger 12 is another of the teardrop-esque travel trailers under 3500lbs on our list of 15.

Its unique, triangular shape is definitely a conversation starter in any campground get-together. However, it’s more of a pop-up camper, in reality, than it is a teardrop.

The interesting triangular roof creates a spacey-feeling interior that other campers in this class struggle to achieve. However, as cool as it looks, you’ll have to go with an exterior shower or only camp at campgrounds where showers are available.

15. KZ Sportsman Classic 180RBT

KZ Sportsman Classic 180RBT Exterior - travel trailers under 3500lbs

✅ Tent beds are well-built and maximize the living space within the travel trailer

⛔ Storage options could be better

  • Length: 21′ 9″
  • UVW: 3,370 lbs
  • GVWR: 4,500 lbs
  • CCC: 1,130 lbs
  • Tongue Weight: 360 lbs
  • Sleeps: 4 to 6

Last on our list of travel trailers under 3500lbs is the KZ Sports man Classic 180RBT. Unlike the other 14, this RV saves space, and expands it, in an entirely different way, by utilizing fold-out tents for beds. Not only does this save space, but it also opens up the interior to a higher sleeping count.

Thanks to three fold-outs, the interior space is enormous for a travel trailer this size. There’s a full, corner dry bath, a sizeable dinette across from a long bench seat, a fridge, a pantry, and a full kitchen amenity range on opposing walls.

There are also plenty of storage options, though this RV uses a large storage door on the exterior, rather than passthrough storage.

Should I Buy an Extended Warranty for My Travel Trailer?

Yes — but not from a dealership! Unfortunately, your odds of suffering a major mechanical breakdown go up with every passing year. Based on RV Warranty claims records, more than 3 out of every 10 RVs will need major repairs in only their second year on the road.

This skyrockets to 8 out of 10 in their fifth year, and virtually ALL of them in their eighth year! Today’s RVs are increasingly more complex, and with more things to go wrong, the need to protect your investment is more important than ever.

Our RV Warranty plans allow you to change your mind! If you’re looking to sell your RV to a private party, you can absolutely transfer the policy to the new owner. Additionally, if you are trading in your RV, you can cancel your policy for a pro-rated refund.

We bought a warranty through Wholesale Warranties for several reasons:

  • We can cancel the warranty at any time and get a pro-rated refund
  • We can transfer the warranty to the new owner if we decide to sell our RV
  • There are no mileage caps on our policy
  • We can use repair shops all across the country
  • We can use a mobile repair company right at our campsite
  • The price is way better than most dealerships
  • We could finance the cost of the warranty
  • With parts and labor prices increasing all the time, we have peace of mind

You owe it to yourself to at least check out a warranty and get a free quote to see if it is right for you. It just takes a few minutes, and you will learn a ton about protecting your investment. We only recommend products we use ourselves, and we highly recommend you get a free quote from Wholesale Warranties .

Are Travel Trailers Under 3500lbs Big Enough For Families?

Some of them are, depending on your definition of family size. Some travel trailers under 3500 lbs will accommodate a single-child family, while some will accommodate two. If they are particularly energetic and rambunctious, it may take a class-A motorhome to accommodate them.

It’s safe to say that maybe one or none are fit for extremely long-term family use. Homeschooling kids in an Aliner Ranger 12, which will sleep up to 4, is doable but not the most envious task in the world.

If it works for you, then by all means. At the end of the day, the thing that works and works well is what you should go for.

Final Thoughts About Travel Trailers Under 3500lbs

Travel trailers under 3500 lbs are extremely versatile and much easier to tow. With the improving technologies and truly unique offerings on the market, they’re exciting for off-grid living, off-roading, regular camping, boondocking, and more.

If you’re in the market for a small, economical travel trailer, these 15 travel trailers should be high on your list.

Related Reading:

– 8 Best Fiberglass Travel Trailers – 9 Best Travel Trailers Under 30 Feet – 7 Best Travel Trailers Under 4,000 Lbs – 8 Best Small Campers Under 2,000 lbs. with Bathroom

About the Author :

Mike Scarpignato is an avid RVer and outdoorsman. He travels with his wife Susan in their Class A 2021 Thor Challenger and their Class C 2008 Gulf Stream Conquest. Mike is the owner of RVBlogger.com , TravelTrailerPro.com , MotorhomeFAQs.com , the RVBlogger YouTube Channel , and the private Facebook group called RV Camping for Newbies .

lightweight travel trailers for families

7 thoughts on “15 Best Lightweight Travel Trailers Under 3500 lbs for 2024”

Most extended warranties start after the regular warranty ends BUT the prorated amount includes the time under the regular warranty. Our original warranty was for 12 months and we got another 12 month extended warranty. After a year we traded for a larger trailer and only got 1/2 of the cost of our extended warranty back, even though it wasn’t going to kick in for another few weeks.

Which of these under 3500 lbs come insulated for cold temperatures 5,500 ft above sealevel? I only have a Subaru Outback turbo that can haul up to 3,500 lbs

I have been looking for an ultra lite trailer under 3500lbs that I can tow with my Nissan Frontier. I would prefer one with bunks and no bed. Also I would like a slide out. Double axle would be great also, but that may be asking for too much.

Good information for one looking for a small trailer. With all of my research, for one looking for a light trailer, the LANCE 1475 is a good one deserving of review. it’s more $$$$ than the afore mentioned unit’s, but it’s really nice.

Good to very good quality used 3500 pounds trailer for a 2018 Chevy Equinox diesel to pull well over the Rockies?

Hey Mike, good article. Did you come across Jayco? …2 full years of warranty. Full shower & tub. This is my third Jayco and I’m happy. I’m cruising in a Jayco Jay flight SLX Baja Edition, 145RB. Dan

Ps: I keep my weight down so I can pull with my Jeep. If I ever get out of a Jeep and into a truck, I’ll keep this article in mind. Thanks.

This was a great grouping of nice smaller trailers! The size is just what an older couple like my husband and I are drawn to. The biggest surprise was the Puma ultra light. It didn’t really stand out from the exterior, but the interior was surprisingly good looking and very functional. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen one before. The Casita, Oliver and Nest are also stunners IMO, but I bet you will have to put your name on a waiting list to get one. I recently camped next to a young couple and their dogs staying in a Wolf Pup that was probably even smaller than the 16FQ and it had a rear entry. It had the same big picture window on the passenger side though. That seems like a really great detail to carry across their floor plans. Thank you for the ‘eye candy’. Happy Travels from Michigan

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lightweight travel trailers for families

Camper Grid

11 Best Travel Trailers for a Family of 4

11 Best Travel Trailers for a Family of 4

  • BUYERS GUIDE

G. Yoganand

As camping continues to grow in popularity, so does the demand for camping gear, and especially travel means.

Motorhomes come costly but towable RV’s like travel trailers are way less in price.

Some of the best travel trailers for a family of four will easily outmatch an insanely prized RV.

Regardless of their popularity, selecting an ideal one from tens of similar travel trailers can be a daunting task for a beginner.

This article reviews the best travel trailers for a family of 4 , across various features and price ranges.

Here are 11 best travel trailers for a small family with kids.

1. KZ Sportsmen Classic 181BH

Weighing a cool 3000lbs, the KZ Sportsmen Classic 181BH is a lightweight bunkhouse trailer.

The weight shouldn’t have you conclude that it is a small trailer; in fact, it’s 20’9″ long . The length and weight are very manageable on the road when driving, while the size makes the interior spacious enough for a family of four.

Since its debut, the KZ Sportsmen Classic 181BH has been known to include all the necessary features to make a camping experience worthwhile but cuts out the extras to reduce weight and increase space for gear.

Sleeping in this travel trailer is more of a home experience rather than camping. There is one queen-size bed for an ultimate sleeping experience and two lightweight bunk beds at the back.

Long-distance campers can have peace on the road with a full dry bathroom that includes a shower. You can also enjoy a meal or play cards by night from a pop-out dinette. This travel trailer is a very good option if you want to go full time RVing.

  • Dry weight: 3000 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 3500 pounds
  • Payload: 660 lbs
  • Length: 20 feet, 9 inches
  • A pop-out dinette
  • 4-sleeper, 1 queen-size bed, 2 bunk beds
  • Full dry bathroom with shower
  • Freshwater capacity: 20 gal
  • Wastewater capacity: 15 gal
  • Gray water capacity: 15 gal
  • Water heater
  • 8 cubic feet refrigerator
  • Payload: 660 lbs.
  • Has ample and comfortable sleeping space for four
  • Ideal for frequent short and long trips
  • Lightweight and compact for a small family
  • It can be towed by a family SUV or pickup truck
  • Build quality is not perfect; occasional cases of a leaking roof

2. Jayco Feather X17Z

Do you think your family needs an expandable trailer? Here is a perfect option you could use to accommodate more family members.

When expanded, some beds occupy the sticking-out section, leaving more space in the dining area. There is enough sleeping space for 6-7 people once the trailer is fully expanded.

The family camping experience gets better now that four adults and 2-3 kids can all sleep comfortably inside.

Although the rear and front expanding tents can feel cold, the trailer still comes with a heater to keep your family warm.

Habitability is also better than in an average trailer, given the enclosed underbelly to keep the cold out, a refrigerator for food storage, and a microwave oven to quickly warm food up.

A full bathroom and an external TV mounting bracket allow you to enjoy the wild conveniently while keeping up with the world news.

If you’re planning a long-distance trip, the Jayco Feather X17Z collapses to a 17′ which is easier to tow and maneuver on the road, but expands to a 26.5′ trailer when camping.

  • Dry weight: 3285 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 3970 pounds
  • Length: 18.58′
  • Expandable construction
  • 2 queen-size bed, 2 bunk beds
  • Freshwater capacity: 22.5 gal
  • Wastewater capacity: 30.5 gal
  • Gray water capacity: 22.5 gal
  • Payload: 665 lbs.
  • Refrigerator
  • Front and rear expanding tents for beds
  • Can sleep 6-7 campers
  • Enclosed underbelly for cold conditions
  • Ample facilities for a long trip
  • Expanding tents can be cold
  • Setup and takedown time is required

3. Heartland North Trail 22CRB

At 5366 lbs. dry weight, the Heartland NORTH TRAIL 22CRB is only 28.04′ long. Its a very good option for a small family of 4 to 5 persons.

This giant camper trailer is expandable and has not just comfortable facilities but in the right measure.

This allows the trailer to comfortably accommodate four campers at full comfort.

The camper trailer has a separate master bedroom with a door and curtains for privacy. The sofa can be converted into a bed for two, while the rear-located full bathroom complements the experience. Vinyl flooring material graces the entire floor to give a luxurious feel whenever inside the trailer.

There is also an onboard radio with internal and external speakers and a DVD player.

You can listen to music as you enjoy a hot shower in the camper, or you could relax on the sofa as enjoy cool and conditioned air in this comfortable wild house.

Its features make it a very good option for going full-time RV camping.

  • Dry weight: 5366 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 6900 pounds
  • Length: 28.04′
  • 1 queen-size bed, convertible sofa
  • Freshwater capacity: 45 gal
  • Wastewater capacity: 40 gal
  • Gray water capacity: 40 gal
  • Payload: 1502 lbs.
  • Air conditioner
  • 3 oven burners
  • Extremely comfortable living for 4
  • A partitioned master bedroom
  • Has air condition for summer conditions
  • Ample storage for a long trip
  • It May not fit the fifth camper
  • Requires substantial towing capacity.

4. Coleman Lantern 242BHWE

With just one sliding side, the Coleman Lantern 242BHWE can accommodate up to 8 sleepers. The camper is designed with ample storage space, accommodating up to 1722 pounds of cargo.

The Coleman Lantern 242BHWE has a 6-gal Gas DSI water heater, two LP tanks, and 3 cooktop burners to serve an 8-crew camper group. Sleepers also get to enjoy a standard shower and cold beers straight from the refrigerator.

The double-size bunks and the queen-size bed are complemented by a U-shaped dinette. The dinette has deep sinks for a comfortable clean-up job, while the large pantry provides storage space for lots of gear.

Take this Coleman Lantern 242BHWE out in a cold season, and you might get surprised by how well it is insulated. The design combines a TPO roof, fiberglass insulation, and metallic exterior to form an aerodynamic trailer that’s durable and easy to tow along.

  • Dry weight: 5867 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 7600 pounds
  • Length: 28’11”
  • 1 queen-size bed, 2 double-size bunks
  • Freshwater capacity: 60 gal
  • Wastewater capacity: 42 gal
  • Gray water capacity: 84 gal
  • Payload: 1733 lbs.
  • Cooktop burners
  • Blade airflow system limits both noise and air resistance when traveling
  • Durable construction
  • Can sleep up to 8 campers
  • Ample cargo space
  • Roof leaks after about a year and a half of use

5. Shasta Oasis 18BH Travel Trailer

Living inside this trailer makes you feel like you’re actually at home. It retains the residential aesthetics while providing an exquisite camping experience.

The storage compartments are cleverly concealed in the trailer to make the interior as attractive as possible. You’ll find ample storage space under the dinette, the bed, and the sofa.

If you feel like you need some time from the kids, the queen-sized bed on the front side of the trailer gives you the required peace of mind.

Entertainment is not limited either. There is ready electrical wiring to hook up your Wi-Fi router or backup camera if you prefer the camera instead of a TV set.

When it’s time to prep a meal, you are guaranteed great convenience from the fully-equipped kitchen, including a microwave oven and 3-burner stovetop. Once done, the deep sink and a high-rise faucet make it easier to clean up.

  • Dry weight: 3163 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 4750 pounds
  • Length: 22’6″
  • Shower with Surround and powered roof vent
  • Freshwater capacity: 42 gal
  • Wastewater capacity: 36 gal
  • Gray water capacity: 36 gal
  • Payload: 1568 lbs.
  • It can accommodate six sleepers
  • Adequate sleeping and living space
  • Has a sanitizing station to keep hygienic in the wild
  • Ample and hidden storage space
  • The optional backup camera is not provided
  • Residential-style design is not ideal for everyone

6. Keystone Hideout Travel Trailer 272LHS

Looking forward to a camping experience with lots of entertainment options? Keystone Hideout Travel Trailer 272lhs could be the ideal option for you. Digital entertainment is at its best here.

The TV antenna has a booster located on the roof. This way, you’re assured of the best signal reception from wherever you’re camping, to keep up with the world news, or watch your favorite show.

There is a Bluetooth speaker system. This adds to your movie or TV experience. You could still play a CD or a DVD from the inbuilt player and compliment that with the profound Bluetooth speaker sound.

The speaker system extends to the trailer’s exterior so that you can mount a TV outside and enjoy your favorite nature show right under nature.

If you can afford a couple hundred bucks, go for the luxury model, which comes with an inbuilt HD LED TV.

  • Dry weight: 6069 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 7780 pounds
  • Length: 30.67′
  • Exterior TV hook-up
  • Freshwater capacity: 43 gal
  • Wastewater capacity: 30 gal
  • Gray water capacity: 39 gal
  • Payload: 1711 lbs.
  • Can sleep up to 10 campers
  • Comfortable queen-size bed, and 2 double beds
  • Buyers can choose between a standard and a luxury trim
  • Adequate infotainment system
  • Beds on either side of the trailer provide privacy
  • Has two exits on either side of the trailer
  • Limited storage space
  • Has one air conditioner that is insufficient for the entire trailer

7. Taxa Outdoor Cricket Camper

Perhaps you want to introduce your little kids to camping, or you’ve yielded to their request for such a trip. TAXA Outdoor Cricket Camper trailer would be an ideal solution, especially if you still want to economize on gas.

Camping presents a good break from all the amenities and digital noise affecting our concentration, which is why you don’t find such in this trailer. In essence, the TAXA Outdoor Cricket Camper is built for boondocking.

There is no entertainment system, but these trailers have an electrical system that has to be supplied from your car battery. If you bring along many gadgets, you might as well need an RV solar panel to hook up to the trailer.

The TAXA Outdoor Cricket Camper can fit two adults and two children, with an average amount of packing. You do not have much storage here, so you need to be careful when packing.

If you plan to engage the kids outdoors, this camper trailer will be enough as they’ll most likely sleep immediately after dinner.

  • Dry weight: 1800 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 2500 pounds
  • Length: 15′
  • Freshwater capacity: 15 gal
  • Wastewater Capacity: N/A
  • Gray water capacity: 18 gal
  • Payload: 700 lbs.
  • 1 Queen-size bed
  • 2 Hob burners
  • Has off-road capabilities
  • It can be towed from a four-cylinder vehicle
  • Easy setup and takedown
  • Suited for boondocking
  • Water heater and electrical hook-up point available
  • No privacy when sleeping
  • No wet bath provided
  • A toilet is a portable unit

8. Keystone Passport GT 2210RBWE

The Keystone Passport GT 2210RBWE provides a complete but straightforward trailer camping solution. It has a storage space enough for all your necessary gear, and especially the more oversized items.

For meals, the U-shaped dinette serves the perfect breakfast for a couple as they challenge each other in a game of cards. The breakfast bar is suitable for afternoon snacking, just as you anticipate an evening nature walk.

Keystone Passport GT 2210RBWE is a lightweight trailer towed by an SUV or a pickup truck. The trailer is also equipped with Load Equalization axles to make towing easier.

If you prefer camping around the year, the camper has a heated and enclosed underbelly to keep the cold out, especially during winter.

These trailers come with stainless steel sinks. A pull-out faucet is cleverly engineered to the sink for optimal space utilization.

  • Dry weight: 4796 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 7500 pounds
  • Length: 26’3″
  • Gray water capacity: 30 gal
  • Payload: 2704 lbs.
  • Breakfast bar
  • Vaulted ceiling
  • USB charging outlets
  • Full dry bathroom
  • Pull-out dinette
  • Load equalization axle reduces swaying when driving
  • It can be towed by a family car
  • The enclosed underbelly suits it for camping around the year
  • It can comfortably fit four campers
  • Storage space is not sufficient for heavy gear

9. Airstream Bambi

The Airstream Bambi lightweight trailer boasts a classical style exterior that’ll have your signature wherever you travel. The aluminum outer body also lasts ages, giving the characteristic rustic look.

Airstream Bambi has a decent kitchen for a camper, with stainless appliances and utensils you need on a camping trip. All of these are intricately arranged to utilize space most efficiently. The dinette, for example, can be folded to make some sleeping space.

The Airstream Bambi is also airconditioned and has a JVC Stereo Bluetooth audio system.

  • Dry weight: 2900 pounds
  • Length: 15’11”
  • Freshwater capacity: 23 gal
  • Wastewater capacity: 28 gal
  • Gray water capacity: N/A
  • Payload: 600 lbs.
  • JVC Stereo Bluetooth audio system
  • Has an iconic exterior look
  • Lightweight and easy to tow
  • No setup required
  • High-quality audio system
  • It can be packed at home in the garage
  • Expensive compared to similar trailers

10. FOREST RIVER EVO

The Forest River Evo is one of the modern trailers with a gorgeous interior space. If the outside looks great to you, the interior will blow your mind.

For entertainment, there is an installed TV, with movies you can readily watch. Enjoyment is further enhanced by a Bluetooth sound system that lets you play music from your mobile phone.

Should you need to use an AC current, the hook-up point works well with an inverter. This is to say you can operate a blow drier from this camper trailer! Awesome indeed.

  • Dry weight: 3334 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 4830 pounds
  • Length: 22’8″
  • Freshwater capacity: 48 gal
  • Wastewater capacity: 22 gal
  • Gray water capacity: 22 gal
  • Payload: 1496 lbs
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Installed TV
  • Microwave oven
  • Has a compact floorplan
  • Installed many facilities for top comfort
  • Attractive LED lighting
  • Towable with a pick truck
  • Remote control for lights, awning, and power stabilizers
  • A poorly designed dinette- congested
  • The plastic sink doesn’t work fine with knives and sharp metal objects

11. FLAGSTAFF SHAMROCK 19

Flagstaff Shamrock 19 focuses on weight reduction and design which are vital considerations when buying a camper trailer. In line with this, the camper can be easily towed with an SUV.

Water management is also at a higher level with the Shower Miser Water Saver bathroom. You spend water sparingly. Whenever you go off-road, you must spare your freshwater, or you go thirsty unexpectedly.

The Shower Miser Water Saver comes with a 15″ Mud Rover, radial tires, and a lift kit for superior off-road capabilities.

  • Dry weight: 2872 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 3841 pounds
  • Length: 22′
  • Freshwater capacity: 36 gal
  • Payload: 931 lbs.
  • Wi-Fi range booster
  • Roof-mounted solar PV module
  • Built-in DVD player
  • Lightweight; can be towed with a pickup truck
  • Superior water management system
  • Inbuilt Wi-Fi range booster allows GPS locators over an acceptable range from the camper.
  • Roof solar panels allow you to stay off-grid for longer
  • The roof is not very durable

Having covered the 11 best camper trailers, we hope you now stand a better chance to make the right choice. You can also rent a trailer if the features you need come at a high price. This option gives you access to many camper trailers before you can settle on the one to buy.

lightweight travel trailers for families

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Best Small RV’s for a Family: Travel Trailers, Teardrops & Truck Campers (Under 5,000 lbs)

pinterest graphic with image of teardrop trailer set up at campsite with text overlay in teal and yellow that says the best small rv's for families of four (tow with a car or suv)

It’s more complicated than you’d think to find the best small RV for a family. Many small campers are set up perfectly – for a couple. Or maybe a family of three with a baby or toddler.

But, as your family grows, it gets more challenging to find a camper that can fit your soon-to-be adult size kids. 😅

We get it. As a family of four, we started the process of researching and planning for our perfect small camper almost two years ago.

I think we considered every option out there – campervans, travel trailers, teardrops, offroad trailers, and truck bed campers, just to name a few. We visited RV lots, RV shows and spent countless hours researching before deciding on the ideal solution for us.

The best part? Our hours of research led us not only to the best option for our family of four but also to several more great choices that might be perfect for yours. And I’m going to share them all with you in the next few minutes.

I’ve pulled together our favorite small RV’s for a family of four in multiple categories, pros and cons of each, and – of course – which one we chose for our family.

Escape Campervan Rentals

Why choose a small camper?

Though reasons for choosing a small RV for a family of four can vary, for us, the decision to choose a small camper came down to a few key items. 

  • Manueverability – A smaller RV is easier to manuever – period. I knew that if I were ever going to take trips on my own with the kids, I would be way less stressed if I wasn’t towing 30 feet behind me. Plus, one of the biggest things we were looking for was the ability to tackle forest service roads and overlanding.
  • Maintenance – Look, I’m just going to be honest. I already have a house to clean and maintain. I don’t need a second one. That might change if we ever decide to travel full-time, but we wanted something easy to clean with minimal maintenance and fewer features to break. 
  • Lightweight – We do a lot of winter travel and snowboarding, so the idea of pulling a long, heavy RV on snowy roads is not appealing in the least to us. Plus, a lightweight RV leads me to my next reason to choose a small RV.
  • Gas – The bigger the RV, the more gas (and money) it will take to travel with it. We wanted to choose an option that would preserve our mileage as much as possible. 
  • Storage – We wanted an option that we could store at our house. Luckily, we don’t have an HOA, so there are no rules against it, and we keep it neat, of course. We decided if we had to store our RV away from the house, we would be less likely to use it as often. And, why pay for something if you don’t use it enough to justify the cost?!

A Note About Lead Time

Before we get into our best picks, I want to mention a little thing called lead time. If you’re not familiar with the term in the RV world, lead time is essentially the time between when you initiate your order and when your order is complete.

Unfortunately, as of October 2021, the lead time on many RV’s, travel trailers, and campers are a MINIMUM of 6 months. In reality, many are taking up to 18 months for delivery. As you’re shopping, I think it’s important to know this early in the process so you can plan accordingly.

Thankfully, many companies have a reasonable down payment to secure your spot, and you can wait to pay the remainder, via cash or financing, until delivery. For reference, on our camper, we paid $500 to reserve our spot in the production line on December 28, 2020, and paid the remainder on August 3, 2021, when we took delivery.

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Best Small Travel Trailers & Offroad Camping Trailers 

First, let’s talk about the best travel trailers under 5,000 pounds. There is no shortage of small trailers on the market today, but these are our favorites in this category.

Aero Teardrops Sellwood Retro Style Trailer

First up is the Aero Teardrops Sellwood Retro Style Trailer, and I have to say that this is one of the cutest trailers on our list. It instantly makes me think of my childhood days and my great-grandparents – until I look inside at all the extra features, that is.

  • Bed arrangement: Convertible dinette (35” x 79”) and convertible couch (50” x 80”) 
  • Length: 13 ft.
  • Base weight: 2500 lbs.
  • Starting price: $26,499
  • Additional info

Aero Teardrops The Sellwood retro style trailer in grey and teal at campsite

The Sellwood has a sleeping capacity to fit four people, a fully equipped kitchen, and on-demand hot water. Plus, standard features include a Bluetooth stereo and flat-screen TV with a DVD player! You can even customize the size band color on your trailer! 

In addition, you have the choice of an option with and without a bathroom, so you can decide which is best for you (and your wallet). You can also add an optional hammock for sleeping space, which brings me to the cons. 

Both of the beds are convertible options, and the dinette is only a twin size. So, unless your kids are super tiny, you’ll need that optional hammock to truly sleep four.

Taxa Outdoors Cricket

The Taxa Outdoors Cricket is a true lightweight travel trailer with a base weight of only 1753 pounds with some pretty sweet features, including a two-burner stove and a 5000 BTU air conditioner.

  • Sleeps: 4 (2 adults and 2 small kids)
  • Bed arrangement: Dining area converts to a full-size bed (75” x 59”), optional berths for 2 kids (60” x 22”) 
  • Length: 15’
  • Base weight: 1753 lbs.
  • Starting price: Approximately $29,000

TAXA Cricket set up at campsite with roof popped up into place against the backdrop of a beautiful pink and orange sunset

This smaller camper trailer is made with a rugged design for all your adventures, and we love the pop-up roof design for extra height and ventilation. In addition, the optional berths for kids allow for additional sleeping space with a smaller footprint and lighter weight. 

One of the best things about this particular model is because this is such a lightweight trailer, it can be towed with almost any vehicle (though don’t forget to take the weight of your family and gear into account).

While the optional berths are excellent for small children, they may present a challenge as your kids grow with a weight capacity of 130lbs and a length of 60″. My 11 year old would already be too long for these. 😅 

Taxa Outdoors Mantis

Though the Cricket and the Mantis are both made by Taxa Outdoors, they have completely different floor plans, and we have to say we love the additional space and sleeping arrangements in the Mantis.

  • Bed arrangement: Dining area converts to a full-size bed (78” x 54”) with under-bed storage, Folding couch converts to a bunk bed (76”x22” and 77” x 26”), Optional Thule Tepui 3-person rooftop tent, optional hammock. 
  • Length: 19’
  • Base weight: 2972 lbs. 
  • Starting price: Approximately $41,000

TAXA Mantis set up at camp with back open, awning extended and roof popped up while mom and kids hang outside the camper

Like its little brother, the Mantis is made with a rugged design and pop-up roof for height and ventilation. With the extra space, you also get more living space as well as larger freshwater (20 gals) and greywater (22 gals) tanks.

Most significantly, though, is the additional sleeping space to more easily fit the entire family – plus friends! With the convertible dining area, folding couch bunk bet, rooftop tent, and hammock, you could potentially sleep up to 8 people!

All that extra space does come with some cons. The Mantis is over 1,000 pounds heavier than the Cricket and four feet longer, limiting your options for tow vehicles. Plus, you’ll have to shell over more cash on those monthly payments (or upfront) for the extra space. 

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Airstream Basecamp 20X

Did you know the first Airstream factory was built in the 1930s?! Needless to say, they are no stranger to the RV world, and one of the newest additions to their lineup is the Basecamp. It comes in two models, the Basecamp 16, which sleeps 2 (so it’s not included on our list), and the Basecamp 20, which sleeps 4!

  • Bed Arrangement: Bench seating that converts to a full bed (41” x 78”) and Convertible dinette (43” x 78”), though the shapes are unique.
  • Length: 20 ft
  • Base weight: 2,635 lbs
  • Price: $48,300+

The Basecamp 20 on its own is a solid trailer camper that can take you where you want to go. Still, one of our favorite features is the ability to upgrade to the Basecamp 20X, which is the model we are highlighting here. The addition of the X-Package gives you rugged features to allow you to truly get off the beaten path with things like a 3” lift kit, all-terrain tires, stainless steel rock guards, and more. 

In addition, you have color choices when it comes to the interior decor, the ability to add an optional attachable tent, and that window is incredible! 

Airstreams have always had a unique shape, and the Basecamp 20X is no different. However, that also means beds that are a little oddly shaped. In addition, this definitely isn’t the cheapest small RV on our list at a starting price of $48,300 for the Basecamp 20X (the standard Basecamp 20 will save you about $7,000). 

Black Series HQ12

When it came to choosing our own camper, Black Series was high on our list. Truth be told, they were our front runner for a long time (with the HQ17), though ultimately, we made a different choice. Many of our favorite features from the HQ17 are also present on the HQ12.

  • Bed arrangement: Queen bed, overhead bunk, pullout table that converts into a bed
  • Length: 19 ft.
  • Base weight: 4422 lbs
  • Starting price: $65,999

Black Series was at the top of our list for an offroad camper trailer because they are fully self-contained, ruggedly built, have BOTH an indoor and outdoor kitchen. Not to mention, they still manage to put it all together in a luxurious package. Another huge perk is the inclusion of a Dometic DF Series Furnace to keep you warm on those cold nights. 

Black Series should definitely be a top contender if you plan to do any off-roading or dispersed camping. With independent suspension, a quad shock design, a rugged exterior, and more, they are created to go wherever you go. 

The biggest con for the HQ12 is the price. With a starting price of over $65,000, this is one of the most expensive travel trailers on our list. In addition, during our research, we found that if you plan to use it throughout the winter instead of winterizing and storing it, you will likely want to add on a winterizing package from your dealer on top of the already steep price. Though, if you’re willing to part with that much cash, you’ll have one of the coolest rigs out there. 

Opus OP15 

When it comes to luxury and rugged features, the OP15 is one of the first options that comes to mind. This camper is full of options to make your adventures comfortable and has enough space to fit a family of four. 

  • Bed arrangement: King bed (76” x 71”) and Bunk Beds (80” x 45”, 80” x 33”)
  • Length: 257” travel mode, 280” at camp
  • Base weight: 4960 lbs
  • Starting Price: $53,000

opuscamper 54

This camper has one of the most beautiful interiors we have seen in an off-road camper. The solid bamboo drawers provide plenty of storage, and we love how the bunk beds are permanently set up  – plus, the curtains are a nice touch for a bit of privacy. 

In addition, we also love how the roof pops up at camp for extra room and ventilation but closes for a lower profile when towing.

This isn’t the cheapest camper trailer on our list, though it does make up for most of the price in features and design. In addition, it’s quite a bit heavier at its base weight of 4960 lbs, so if you need to stay under 5,000 lbs total, including your gear, this option won’t work for you.

However, for us, the biggest drawbacks are the lack of an indoor kitchen (even though we’re in love with the outdoor kitchen) and heater. Because many of our adventures include winter trips in snowstorms here in the Pacific Northwest, an option with a heater and the ability to cook indoors was a must. Of course, I’m sure we could have found add-on solutions, but we would prefer not to at this price point.

Boreas EOS-12 Camper Trailer

The Boreas EOS-12 is assembled in Colorado and finds its spot on our list because of its lightweight, rugged features that can easily sleep a family of four (or even five) in a compact package.

  • Sleeps: 4 adults (5th child with fold down bunk option)
  • Bed arrangement: Queen bed, Convertible dinette (double bed), optional fold-down bunk
  • Length: 19’3”
  • Base weight: 3500 lbs 
  • Starting price: $74,990

Boreas Campers EOS 12 with storage compartments and pop up roof open

When it comes to taking care of the family, cooking, and staying clean, the EOS-12 is fully equipped with everything you need. It has features like an indoor wet bath, a 50-gallon capacity of freshwater, 25 gallons of greywater, a shower room option, and water filtration system. 

But, don’t let the comforts fool you. This camper trailer is mighty capable with 20” of clearance for off-road capability, all-terrain tires, independent suspension, and more. 

The Boreas EOS-12 takes the lead for the most expensive small RV on our list, with a starting price of almost $75,000.

BRX Trailers X2+

Born in my home state of North Carolina, BRX (founded as Blue Ridge Expedition Trailers) is building some serious hard-core overland trailers for any adventures you have up your sleeve.

  • Bed arrangement: Queen bed, 3-person Thule Tepui Rooftop Tent
  • Length: 16 ft 9 in
  • Base weight: 2450  lbs
  • Starting price: $44,000

image of brx x2 trailer hitched to Toyota Rav 4 with rooftop tent and awning set up against a beautiful mountain backdrop

The BRX X2+ is fully equipped for getting you off the beaten path with offroad features such as a Max Coupler Multi-Axis Hitch, Timbren 3500 lb Axle-less Suspension, 22” of ground clearance, and more.

In addition, the X2+ has lots of other features, including a 3-person Thule Tupui rooftop tent making your sleeping capacity 5, an awning room, solar charging system, a Dometic 55 L cooler, an AC and heating unit, and a 2-burner Partner gas stove.

Bonus: At the time of publish in the fall of 2021, BRX is reporting a lead time of only 2-3 months, which is excellent news if you’re itching to get into a camper sooner than average!

At a starting price of $44,000, the X2+ is no small chunk of change, and they require a 50% deposit to secure your spot in line. 

Best Camper Under 5,000 lbs for Family of 4 With the Most Privacy

Forest river r-pod west coast rp-201.

If you’ve ever been to an RV show or lot, you’ve likely heard of Forest River. They have a lot of models available. However, the Forest River R-Pod West Coast RP-201 is our pick for the most privacy.

  • Bed arrangement: Queen bed (in a closed-off bedroom), Convertible sofa bed
  • Length: 25’
  • Base weight: 4379 lbs
  • Starting price: $32,948

interior of Forest River Rpod 201 showing kitchen area, seating area, and a peek through to private bedroom

It has a separate bedroom! Do you really need to know anything else?! Kidding. Kind of. 🤪

Seriously though, this is the only camper that we have seen under 5,000 lbs that truly has an entirely closed-off bedroom, which is a huge perk.

That private bedroom comes at a cost, with this being one of the heaviest and longest campers on our list. At twenty-five feet, I’m not even sure I would call this a small camper anymore. Still, it is lightweight and offers a beautiful, comfy interior! 

Best Tent Trailers

The Opus OP4 (and OP2) are the Transformers of the tent trailer world. If your kids are anything like my boys were at five, owning one of these would win you cool points for life. Needless to say, if we ever buy one of these, I’m naming it Optimus Prime. 

  • Bed arrangement: 2 double beds (5’7” x 4’2”)
  • Length: 17’ closed, 20’ open
  • Base weight: 3100 lbs
  • Starting price: $27,000, plus options

Okay, first of all, can we just talk about the ease of setup with this thing?! Let me just say that anything that makes setting up at camp easier as parents is a win. Opus delivered with their rapid deployment feature. You literally inflate the OP4 in under two minutes with the flip of a switch. 🤯

But that alone wouldn’t have made us include it on the list. This tent trailer also has plenty of sleeping space for families with two double beds and a seating area that can transform into a third bed. Plus, you can also make that front bed a King size with an optional extension.

With all that space, ease of use, and rugged features, this camper is ready for just about any adventure you can throw at it. 

The biggest cons for us on the OP4 are similar to the OP15. Because we spend a lot of time adventuring when the weather is…well..less than stellar (or downright frigid), for us a camper trailer really needs to have an option for cooking indoors and a heater. Unfortunately, neither come standard on the OP4.

That said, even though they don’t come standard, you do have some options available as add-ons to address these cons:

  • You have the option to add a Truma Furnace (16,000 BTU) propane heater or a Dometic Coolcat AC & Heatpump (10,000 BTU) to keep you warm in the winter.
  • In addition, there are two options for creating a cover or enclosure over your outdoor kitchen, which may be enough for many people. Both the AIR Annex and the AIR Canopy are inflatable and attach to your camper. The AIR Canopy provides coverage from the sun and rain, while the AIR Annex also provides additional living space.

Ultimately, we still chose an option with an indoor cooking area because we regularly encounter high-wind snowstorms, but these options make our cons for the OP4 minor concerns.

Best Teardrop Trailers (Including Rugged Offroad Options)

Tc teardrops 5×10 (overland option).

TC Teardrops is a small family-run business that makes each camping trailer one at a time for your family.

  • Sleeps: 4 (2 adults and 2 small children)
  • Bed arrangement: Main bed plus double bunk (58”x42”)
  • Length: 14’6”
  • Base weight: 1150-1200 lbs
  • Starting price: $8500-$9,600, plus options (plan to double that if you want it fully loaded)

TC Teardrops camper trailer with blue sides parked in a field behind silver truck with galley kitchen open

One of the most incredible things about this company is that because they custom-make their trailers, you have more choices than you do with some other options – including over 200 different colors for the sides of your camper. In addition, the 5×10” allows for a single (21”W x 58” L) or double (42” x 58” L) bunk that can easily fit two small children.  You also have the option of adding an awning and side tent for additional living and sleeping space. The Overland model also includes upgrades on features such as Falken A/T Tires, 7” electric trailer brakes, Lock N Roll articulating hitch, and more.

The bunk bed is only 58”L, which means it’s really only suited for younger children (my 12-year-old is already too tall for this option).

Oregon Trail’r TerraDrop Alpha

The TerraDrop Alpha from Oregon Trail’r is another great option for an off-road capable teardrop.

  • Sleeps: 2 (4 with added rooftop tent)
  • Bed arrangement: Queen sized bed inside with optional rooftop tent
  • Length: 8 ft
  • Base weight: 1200-1500 lbs
  • Starting price: $22,500 for TerraDrop Alpha, options added ala-carte

Oregon Trail'R Terra Drop Alpha galley shot with mountains and sunset in the background

The ALPHA coating is designed to provide a durable seamless exterior, which means it will resist damage and keep you dry. The base-level package includes a welded-on wheeled tongue jack, off-road multi-axis coupler system, all-terrain tires, and more to truly take you where you want to go.

You have many options available to customize it just how you want, such as awnings, solar heated outdoor shower, solar connectivity, electric braking system, and more.

You’ll have to add the rooftop tent as a minimum to sleep four.

If you choose to fully load the trailer with most or all of the (many) available options, your price will jump significantly to $35-40,000. 

Aero Teardrops The Steel

The Steel is the flagship model for Aero Teardrops, and it’s still around for a good reason. It’s functional, lightweight, and has everything you need to get out and adventure with your family.

  • Sleeps: 2-4 with optional rooftop tent
  • Bed arrangement: Main bed 54” x 80”, optional rooftop tent
  • Length: 14 ft.
  • Base weight: 1500 lbs.
  • Starting price: $16,999

Aero Teardrops The Steel Camper set up with rooftop tent, galley open, and doors to interior open showing teal interior cabinets.

Aero Teardrops is a family-owned company from Tigard, Oregon (PNW for the win!)

Some of the features that stand out on this teardrop trailer are the ability to convert the upper cabinet into a bunk for a small child, the underfloor storage, and options to configure the galley to your preferences.

The Steel is also available in a High Clearance Package with oversize tires and wheels, heavy-duty axle, and Jeep-style fenders to get you out further on your adventures. 

You’ll need to add the rooftop tent option to sleep a family of four. 

Like most camper companies, their lead time is currently several months long. However, when available, they do list ready-to-buy trailers on their website as well. 

Timberleaf Travel Trailers – The Classic

The Classic from Timberleaf Trailers is precisely what you would expect from its name – plus a whole lot more. 

  • Sleeps: 2 (4 with your own added rooftop tent)
  • Bed arrangement: Main bed sleeps 2 (80” x 57”)
  • Overall Length: Classic 168”
  • Base weight: Classic 1500 lbs
  • Starting price: Classic starts at $23,400, fully loaded $38,000+

red timberleaf teardrop trailer at campsite overlooking red rocks and canyon with galley kitchen open

The design of this trailer truly is classic. But, the options and features are so much more. Timberleaf has some of the best options for customization that we’ve seen anywhere, allowing you to choose things like the color of your trailer and the countertop color and design. In addition, they have available options like off-road options, awnings, additional shelving, heaters, fans, and more.

In their build options, Timberleaf Trailers allows you to add a rooftop rack. However, there is no standard option to add a rooftop tent. That said, I emailed Timberleaf and they shared that they prefer to not limit your choices on tents, but they are happy to work with customers to ensure they get the option they need.

Colorado Teardrops Summit Pinnacle

The Summit Pinnacle from Colorado Teardrops is one of the toughest teardrops in their lineup and is meant to handle whatever adventures you have planned. 

  • Bed arrangement: Queen bed and bunk beds that fold into a sofa
  • Overall length: 173”
  • Base weight: 1850 lbs
  • Starting price: $32000
  • Additional  info

Colorado Teardrops Summit Pinnacle trailer with Rhino Rack awning against the backdrop of trees and mountains

This camper trailer is genuinely designed for overland use with Timbren axle-less suspension, articulating hitch, rock sliders, and more. But don’t let that fool you. It’s also incredibly functional with under-floor storage, an outdoor galley kitchen, and optional on-demand hot water and shower.

They aren’t the least expensive option out there, and your price will creep closer to $40,000 fully loaded. 

Note: If you don’t need overland use, consider their Mount Massive Teardrop. With a dry weight of 1470 lbs, sleeping space for 4, and a starting price of $26,500, it’s another great option for your adventures. 

Best Small Truck Bed Campers

If you have a car or SUV, you can go ahead and jump right to the next section . If you have a truck but still want a lightweight camper with a smaller footprint and without having to tow on overland adventures, a truck bed camper can be a great option.

Choosing the Best Lightweight Truck Bed Camper

Payload vs. tow capacity.

When you’re looking at the weight of truck bed campers, one thing to keep in mind is that your tow capacity on a truck might easily be 10-15,000 pounds. But, don’t be fooled. That is NOT the same as your payload capacity, which is what you’ll need to take into account for a truck bed camper.

For instance, our Ford F350 has a towing capacity of 20,000, but our payload capacity is around 3,700. And, that weight technically needs to include your camper, supplies, and the people you’ll have in the vehicle. Yes, some people will push this and never have issues, but when we’re hauling our kids and gear on forest service roads away from easy service, that’s not something I’m willing to risk.

Truck bed length/bed closure

Depending on the length of your truck bed and the camper you choose, you may need to take the tailgate off completely. However, some options may allow you to close the tailgate or leave it in place for a bit of a “porch.” If being able to leave the tailgate on and close it is very important to you, make sure you measure for clearance to ensure fit. 

Scout Campers Kenai

If you’re looking for a camper that can accommodate a family of four, is still lightweight, and you don’t really want to tow a trailer, this is your pick!

  • Bed arrangement: Queen-size bed over the cab, optional rooftop tent, and convertible dinette.
  • Overall length: 145.5”
  • Base weight: 1370 lbs, 1908 lbs fully loaded with options including rooftop tent, awning, jacks, fridge, etc.
  • Starting price: $24,900, fully loaded comes in around $37,000

Scout Kenai Camper on Ford F350 Tremor with the Grand Tetons in the background amidst a smoky haze

Note: If you don’t need the shower option or additional storage, Scout also has two lighter weight smaller options, the Olympic (base weight 1133 lbs)  and the Yoho (958 lbs)

The Scout Kenai has a perfect balance between comfort and functionality while maintaining a minimalist design and relatively small size. It can give you the features you need without sacrificing weight by using simple systems and features instead of heavier, more complex choices. 

We love the sleeping options for 4+ that include a queen-sized bed over the cab, a Roofnest roof top tent, and a convertible dinette. Though, to be fair, the dinette is best suited for small children.

The 4-season insulation and Newport Real Flame Fireplace are perfect for skiing or snowboarding in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Plus, the drain pan area works great for the optional shower kit but also for hanging your snow gear to dry. 

With reinforced aluminum framing, optional indoor/outdoor cooktop, hanging storage bags, and more, it can be outfitted with everything you need and nothing you don’t. 

floorplan layout of Scout Kenai camper from above showing bed, dinette, dometic fridge, stove, shower, toilet, and more

Many of the options that make it perfectly equipped do not come standard at the base price. The beauty of that is that you don’t pay for features you don’t need or care about. 

If you opt for the RinseKit shower , plan on it pulling a lot of power from your solar-powered Goal Zero Yeti 1500X to heat. It’s great for summer adventures as the water is comfortable from the heat of the day. If you want hot water in winter, the Joolca water heater might be a better choice. In addition, it has no onboard gray water system. However, that is easily remedied by attaching a hose and collection container .

While the Kenai does have a heater for those cold winter nights, there is currently no option for air conditioning. You can open the windows and turn on the small fan, but it’s not likely to keep you cool on the hottest of summer days.

Best Unique Camper Trailer (for Electric Vehicles!)

Colorado teardrop campers – the boulder ™ .

The Boulder™ from Colorado Teardrop Campers is so innovative I simply couldn’t leave it off the list. Made specifically for owners of electric vehicles, it’s made in Colorado and ready for all seasons.

  • Bed arrangement: Queen, 2 bunk beds
  • Overall length: 195”
  • Base weight: 1950 lbs
  • Starting price: $55,000 (with current preorder pricing, you can save up to $10,000 and have one of the first models available)

graphic rendering of Colorado Teardrops The Boulder with doors open and table set up in place

The Boulder™ has a fully insulated cabin, galaxy-gazer window, large galley, and a bank of EV batteries that allows you to recharge on your adventures. Because towing with an EV decreases your range, the extra bank of batteries means you’ll be able to go further on your adventures. According to Colorado Teardrop, the bank should get you the equivalent of its non-towing range or more.

They aren’t available quite yet. And, they certainly aren’t the least expensive out there. But, if you reserve yours now, you can save a large chunk off the list price and get several perks for being the first to order. 

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Small Camper for a Family of 4

Okay, so now what? You’ve seen our top picks for the best small campers for families of four. But, how do you choose the best one for YOUR family? 

Here are some things we think are the most important to consider a camper that works for the whole family. In fact, they are the things that we took into consideration when choosing our camper.

What is Most Important to You

The truth is that no matter which camper you choose, there are likely to be some compromises. Just like buying a house or a car, you’re unlikely to find one that checks every single item on your wishlist. So, it’s super important to decide what your priorities are as a family when you’re buying so that you can filter your options through and make the best decision for yourself. 

For example, here are some questions to ask yourself as you prioritize your options: 

  • Where do you plan to use your camper? 
  • What time of the year do you want to camp?
  • How long do you expect your trips to be? 
  • What can your tow vehicle handle?
  • Is the floor plan functional for you? 
  • Is an indoor kitchen a must? 
  • What sleeping arrangements will work for your family? What about in a few years when your kids have grown?
  • Is there enough storage (or can you add extra) to accommodate your family?
  • What can you budget for your camper?
  • How much maintenance are you willing to do?

Where You Plan to Use It

This is a huge consideration and one of the key decision-makers for us. If you’re planning to use your camper primarily on the highway and in major campgrounds, any of these options will be suitable. 

However, if you have plans to explore any forest service roads, have overlanding dreams, or plan to do hard-core off-roading, your needs are going to be completely different. We knew we wanted to explore forest service roads and overland, so a model built for that type of use was key.

The other factor in where you want to use your camper is your physical location. For instance, if you live in Florida or the Southwest, you will probably prioritize a unit with air conditioning. If you’re in the Pacific Northwest like us, a heater is probably the bigger priority.

When You Want to Use it

Next on the priority list is when you want to use your new camper. For instance, if you only plan to use your camper during spring, summer, and early fall, you have plenty of choices. But, if you plan to do any winter camping or use your camper as a base for winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, you’ll want to choose a camper that will keep you warm and is equipped for travel on the snow.

Maintenance Requirements

One of the things we realized when we were looking is that the maintenance requirements for small campers can vary. A LOT.

Many small trailers are fully equipped with all niceties, including freshwater, greywater, and black tanks, requiring more work to clean out. Some also need winterizing every season. Others are more simple and require very little maintenance other than cleaning and general upkeep.

It’s worth it to spend a little time researching the requirements for your top contenders and deciding if the maintenance requirements fit into your schedule – and budget. 

interior of Aero Teardrops The Sellwood showing table, kitchen and bench area

Length of Trips

Knowing how often and how long your trips typically are can help you decide what is best for you as well. Do you love to road trip, or are you just planning to use it at a few local campgrounds each year? 

For instance, we plan to take a couple of weekend trips a month and a handful of longer trips each year, so a smaller, easier to maneuver option is perfect for us. If we were planning to live in our camper full-time, let’s just say I think the only choice on this list would be the R-Pod. Mama occasionally needs her private space for sanity. 🤪

Functional Floor Plan

Okay, so this is one of the most essential things, in my opinion. Though it’s still an opinion, so take it as you wish. For us, having a camper that required beds to be set up and taken down every. single. night. was not an option.

We’ve spent some time renting campervans and RV’s that required sleeping spaces to be converted to seating spaces or dining spaces, and it drives me up the wall. I feel like even if we’re at a site for a week, I never feel settled having to set up and take down each night. We were open to a camper that required a quick set upon arrival at camp for one or more beds, but not a complete setup and takedown each day. 

That said, I know when you’re looking at small campers, space is at a premium, so it might be hard to find an option that doesn’t require some conversion. And, that’s okay. As long as the trade-offs in the rest of the floorplan work for you.

Sleeping Arrangements

This is one of my biggest pet peeves in the RV world. When we first started looking, we saw so many campers that claimed to have sleeping space for four. 

They might have enough sleeping space if you’re children are teeny tiny adorable babies and toddlers. 

But, guess what? Those babies and toddlers grow up FAST, and sometimes they end up at 5’4” with bigger feet than you before they even hit twelve. And, they aren’t slowing down anytime soon.

So, a convertible “bed” that’s 24 inches wide and 48 inches long is a cop-out, in my opinion. Or when they expect two “people” to sleep on a space marginally bigger than a twin bed. Even when our kids were smaller, that would have been a nightmare to get them to sleep and hear “his feet are on my side” a bajillion times.

All I’m saying is to take into consideration what you need now, but also what you’ll need as your kids grow.

Food and Gear Storage

This falls back a bit to some of the things we’ve already mentioned. If you’re only taking weekend trips, you’ll need a lot less storage. But, if you plan to be off-grid for weeks at a time, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of storage for your food and clothing.

Another thing to consider is what activities you plan to do when you’re camping. If you plan to do winter sports, biking, or other activities, consider how you will fit your gear.

Walupt Lake 0008

More things to Consider When Buying a Small Camper for Your Family

Aside from the features specific to each camper, there are a few other things to consider when purchasing your new RV.

Size and Age of Your Kids

As I mentioned earlier, choosing a camper with adequate sleep space to grow with your family is a priority. However, another thing to consider is if you have older teens, they may not go with you on every trip due to other obligations, and they’ll likely be moving out or going to college soon, so something like a convertible sleep space might be totally fine.

Your Tow Vehicle

A key thing to include in your choice is what vehicle you will be using. You’ll need to know the towing capacity of your vehicle if you decide to go with a teardrop or small trailer. However, if you’re planning on a truck bed camper, make sure to consider the payload of the camper, your family, and your gear as you’re making your choice.

As you probably noticed, the costs for small campers can vary widely. You can start with a simple teardrop camper for around $10,000, or you can go all out for fully loaded options and spend $75,000 or more!

Because they vary so much in price, it’s a good idea to look at your budget, savings, and financing options before you fall in love with a particular model.

Should You Consider Alternate RV Types

Lastly, you may want to consider if a different type of RV would be better suited to your family of four. There are many different options – all with their own sets of pros and cons – but if you’re still not sure, some options to consider are: 

  • Class A RV’s – You know those RV’s that look like a tour bus? Yup, that’s a Class A. They are big, comfortably appointed, and can set you back anywhere from $40,000 to a few hundred thousand.
  • Class B RV’s or Campervans – If we hadn’t gone with a small RV, a campervan would have been our choice. They can be built from several different sizes of vans, but our favorites are those on the Sprinter chassis. You can find options with proper seating for a family of four (hard to find in many driveable RV’s) and all the amenities you could dream up. DIY builds are very popular if you’re looking to save some money, or you can have custom builds done that can range from $50,000 to several hundred thousand dollars.
  • Class C RV’s – Class C campers are built with a cab attached to the camper. They are smaller than Class A’s but drive more like a regular vehicle.
  • Toy Hauler – A toy hauler is a bigger camper trailer that has plenty of room for – you guessed it – your toys. If you love to ride dirt bikes, ORV’s or just need an ample garage storage space, these could be the best option for you! 
  • Fifth Wheel – Fifth wheels are large camper trailers that use a special mount in the truck’s bed. They are popular because they provide more space and are more stable than other campers of similar size.

We only really considered the Class B, Toy Hauler, or Fifth Wheels out of all these. Despite our best efforts, we have never found a Class A or C RV that has seating for all four of us that we are comfortable with.

And, I know…there’s a lot of opinions on this, but I have trusted Car Seats for the Littles for years for sharing the facts and data related to car seat and child vehicle safety. When we were looking for an RV, I went straight to their site and found this article about RV Travel with Children to help us make our decision.

Which Small Camper Did We Pick For Our Family of Four? 

Drum roll please…🥁

After much consideration (and a VERY close second from Black Series), we landed on a Scout Kenai for our family.

Scout Kenai on F350 Tremor set up with rooftop tent in use at campsite in the Pacific Northwest under evergreen trees

It was a tough decision, but ultimately, we made our decision based on a few key factors: 

  • We planned to use the camper all year round .
  • It has enough room to sleep 4 regular-sized adults . Our oldest is almost as tall as me at 12, and he isn’t slowing down. 😅
  • We spend a lot of the winter in the snow, and we weren’t keen on towing in the snow and ice if we didn’t have to.  (And, by we, I mostly mean me. 😆)
  • A camper with a heater and options to sleep 4 INSIDE was essential for us (though, to be honest, it will be a little tight if we don’t use the rooftop tent).
  • We wanted simple functionality instead of fancier systems that require more time and money to maintain.
  • It was important for us to have solar power , so the option for the solar panel and Goal Zero Yeti 1500X was huge for us.

Will it be perfect? Of course not. There are trade-offs no matter which option we chose, and the same will be true for you. 

Which Small Camping Trailer Should You Choose?

I wish I could give you a one-size-fits-all answer, but the truth is, there isn’t one. Your family is unique in your needs, so what I find essential might not be the same for you.

Ultimately, after learning about the best small RV’s for a family of four, we suggest you make a list of the key features that are non-negotiable for your family, as well as features on your wishlist, and find one that ticks the most boxes. 

Then, if you have the chance, see one in person or find one to rent on Outdoorsy .

If that doesn’t work, get creative! 

For instance, we couldn’t see a Kenai in person before we ordered, but we were able to see another model by Scout, which helped us feel confident.

If you know someone who owns the camper you’re thinking of, ask them if you can take a tour – even if you only “met” them online. Seriously. People love showing off their gear, and I’ll bet you get a yes! 

After taking a look through our list, which small RV stands out for you and your family?

Additional Resources to Help You Plan Your Camping Adventures

  • Ridiculously Easy Camping Food Ideas (That Don’t Need Refrigeration!)
  • The Brilliant Apps All Campers Need to Know About
  • What to Bring Camping: A Beginner’s Guide to the Essentials
  • Camping Etiquette 101: What You Should (and Shouldn’t) Do

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Tiffany is co-founder of The Stoke Fam. She has been adventuring outdoors with her family since her oldest child was born 13 years ago, and has loved traveling both near and far since she caught the travel bug as a teen. She moved to the Pacific Northwest with her family in 2012 where they first lived in Washington for 5 years before settling in Oregon in 2017.

Tiffany has spent years exploring the PNW. She helps over 20,000 tourists and locals plan their outdoor adventures and family travel each month by sharing things to do and outdoor adventures in the Northwest and beyond.

When she isn't working on The Stoke Fam, you'll likely find her paddleboarding, snowboarding, hiking, camping, or planning her next trip.

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Dallas RV Supersale 2024

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Get Ready for the Dallas RV Supersale

February 22-25, 2024, dallas market hall, dallas, tx.

Come to Dallas Market Hall and see hundreds of RVs from North Texas RV dealers in more than 350,000 square feet of exhibit space! Major national manufacturers and top dealers will display motorhomes, fifth-wheels, travel trailers, toy haulers, tent trailers, RV accessories and more! RV shows allow you to browse brand-new 2024 RVs from the THOR family of companies at your leisure while immersing yourself in the RV community. Whether you're an existing RVer, prospective RVer, or an RV enthusiast, attend a show to check out the latest features and innovations, learn about RVs, and get inspired to embark on your next great adventure.

Top RVs to Look For

Travel trailers.

These are the most popular type of non-motorized RVs for a reason! Travel trailers come in a wide range of lengths, sizes, floor plans, and price points. They are easy to set up, extremely versatile and a great choice for any size family or group.

Featured Travel Trailers

lightweight travel trailers for families

Sportsmen SE

  • Sleeps 1 - 10
  • Length 26' 2" - 37'3"
  • Weight 4860 - 7270 lbs

lightweight travel trailers for families

  • Sleeps 1 - 8
  • Length 23' 3" - 28' 4"
  • Weight 3388 - 4740 lbs

lightweight travel trailers for families

Sportsmen Destination

  • Length 40' 9" - 41'2"
  • Weight 8250 - 9260 lbs

lightweight travel trailers for families

  • Length 26' 6" - 36' 9"
  • Weight 5200 - 7020 lbs

Lightweight Travel Trailers

Lightweight RVs can be towed with light-duty trucks, SUVs, crossovers, even sedans. Made from lighter materials and shaped more aerodynamically, lightweights are designed to keep towing weight down, sometimes reducing it by thousands of pounds.

Featured Lightweight Travel Trailers

lightweight travel trailers for families

  • Sleeps 1 - 6
  • Length 19' 1" - 22' 10"
  • Weight 3020 - 3620 lbs

lightweight travel trailers for families

  • Sleeps 1 - 4
  • Length 13' 0" - 21' 10"
  • Weight 1760 - 2660 lbs

Fifth Wheels and Toy Hauler RVs

These camping trailers are a favorite of many, especially those taking extended trips or traveling full-time in their RV. The prominent overhang resting above the tow truck bed is frequently employed as a bedroom suite or, more recently, a living room or kitchen.  

Featured Fifth Wheels & Toy Haulers

lightweight travel trailers for families

Mobile Suites

  • Length 38' 7" - 46' 0 "
  • Weight 16600 - 20860 lbs

lightweight travel trailers for families

  • Length 24'10 - 35'9"
  • Weight 6020 - 8860 lbs

lightweight travel trailers for families

  • Length 27' 11" - 39' 4"
  • Weight 7577 - 11847 lbs

lightweight travel trailers for families

Durango Half-Ton

  • Length 26' 9" - 37'5"
  • Weight 7110 - 9740 lbs

lightweight travel trailers for families

SportTrek Touring

  • Sleeps 1 - 12
  • Length 31' 6" - 38' 2"
  • Weight 7140 - 8830 lbs

Motorized RVs

Drivable RVs, including Class A, Class B and Class C RVs, are the true definition of a home on wheels. These motorized RVs all come equipped with the conveniences of a stick-and-bricks home, including a bathroom, kitchen and sleeping area(s), making them a great option for any type of adventurer.

Featured Motorized RVs

lightweight travel trailers for families

Open Road Allegro

  • Length 34' 3" - 38'

lightweight travel trailers for families

  • Length 25' 8" - 25

lightweight travel trailers for families

Outlaw Class A

  • Length 39' 10" - 39' 10"

lightweight travel trailers for families

  • Sleeps 1 - 7
  • Length 35' 9" - 36'

lightweight travel trailers for families

  • Sleeps 1 - 2
  • Length 21' 1" - 21' 1"

lightweight travel trailers for families

Sanctuary Transit

  • Length 19' 7" - 19' 7"

lightweight travel trailers for families

  • Length 24' 1" - 32' 8"

lightweight travel trailers for families

Explore The THOR Family of Companies

Together, the THOR family of companies represents the world’s largest manufacturer of recreational vehicles. We offer a comprehensive range of RVs and travel tools to inspire and empower everyone to Go Everywhere. Stay Anywhere. We’ve chosen our family wisely so your choice is that much easier.

lightweight travel trailers for families

Not sure which RV is right for you?

Discover the RV to fit your needs using this quiz.

Renee Tilby's Jayco travel trailer at a campsite in coconino national forest

Know Before You Go

Renee Tilby's Keystone Montana driving through the desert

Ready to buy an RV?

 So, you’re thinking about buying a new RV? Full-time RVer Renee Tilby shares her tips for feeling prepared and ready to speak with an RV dealer.

Chelsea Day working on her laptop.

Things to Consider When Buying Your First RV

Chelsea Day shares her tips and advice for first-time RV buyers.

CHRISTINA AND BEN MCMILLAN sit around a fire while boondocking in a desert

Three Checklists To Help You Find Your Perfect RV 

Interested in buying an RV but don’t know where to start? Full-time RVers Ben and Christina McMillan share their three RV checklists to help guide you through the process.

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Recruitment of volunteers will be competitive. A maximum of 450 children aged 12 to 17 years inclusive will be screened in the study, of which it is planned to include and randomize 300 children who meet the criteria for inclusion in the study and do not have non-inclusion criteria, data on which will be used for subsequent safety and immunogenicity analysis.

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lightweight travel trailers for families

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Reproductive characteristics

  • For girls with a history of mensis - a negative pregnancy test and consent to adhere to adequate methods of contraception (use of contraceptives within a month after the second vaccination). Girls should use methods of contraception with a reliability of more than 90% (cervical caps with spermicide, diaphragms with spermicide, condoms, intrauterine spirals).
  • For young men capable of conception - consent to adhere to adequate methods of contraception (use of contraceptives within a month after the second vaccination). Young men and their sexual partners should use methods of contraception with a reliability of more than 90% (cervical caps with spermicide, diaphragms with spermicide, condoms, intrauterine spirals).

Research procedures

  • Written Informed consent of a volunteer (14 years and older) and one of the parents to participate in a clinical trial.
  • Volunteers who are able to fulfill Protocol requirements (i.e. answer phone calls, fill out a Self-observation Diary, come to control visits).

Non-inclusion criteria:

  • Volunteers cannot be included in the study if any of the following criteria are present:

SARS-CoV-2 infection

  • A case of established COVID-19 disease confirmed by PCR and/or ELISA in the last 6 months.
  • History of contacts with confirmed or suspected cases of SARS-CoV-2 infection within 14 days prior to vaccination.
  • Positive IgM or IgG to SARS-CoV-2 detected on Screening.
  • Positive PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 at Screening / before vaccination.

Diseases or medical conditions

  • Serious post-vaccination reaction (temperature above 40 C, hyperemia or edema more than 8 cm in diameter) or complication (collapse or shock-like condition that developed within 48 hours after vaccination; convulsions, accompanied or not accompanied by a feverish state) to any previous vaccination.
  • Burdened allergic history (anaphylactic shock, Quincke's edema, polymorphic exudative eczema, serum sickness in the anamnesis, hypersensitivity or allergic reactions to the introduction of any vaccines in the anamnesis, known allergic reactions to vaccine components, etc.).
  • Guillain-Barre syndrome (acute polyradiculitis) in the anamnesis.
  • The axillary temperature at the time of vaccination is more than 37.0 ° C.
  • Positive blood test for HIV, syphilis, hepatitis B/C.
  • Acute infectious diseases (recovery earl

Exclusion Criteria:

- • Withdrawal of Informed consent by a volunteer and/or a parent of a volunteer;

  • The volunteer was included in violation of the inclusion/non-inclusion criteria of the Protocol;
  • Availability of inclusion/non-inclusion criteria before vaccination;
  • Any condition of a volunteer that requires, in the reasoned opinion of a medical researcher, the withdrawal of a volunteer from the study;
  • The established fact of pregnancy before the second vaccination;
  • Taking unauthorized medications (see section 6.2);
  • The volunteer's incompetence with the study procedures;
  • The volunteer refuses to cooperate or is undisciplined (for example, failure to attend a scheduled visit without warning the researcher and/or loss of communication with the volunteer), or dropped out of observation;
  • For administrative reasons (termination of the study by the Sponsor or regulatory authorities), as well as in case of gross violations of the protocol that may affect the results of the study.
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Readers' wishes for 2024: TLC for Earth, an end to AIDS, more empathy, less light

Gisele Grayson

lightweight travel trailers for families

We asked our readers to send in their wishes for 2024, and many of you expressed a hope that humans pay attention to the health of the planet. The woman pictured above is one of the nomadic Wodaabe people — cattle herders who live mainly in Chad and Niger. Their lifestyle is affected by higher temperatures, shifting winds and changing precipitation patterns due to climate change. Marco Longari/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

We asked our readers to send in their wishes for 2024, and many of you expressed a hope that humans pay attention to the health of the planet. The woman pictured above is one of the nomadic Wodaabe people — cattle herders who live mainly in Chad and Niger. Their lifestyle is affected by higher temperatures, shifting winds and changing precipitation patterns due to climate change.

Several weeks ago, we asked global health and development leaders to share a wish for the coming year. Then we turned the metaphorical mic over to our readers.

Global wishes for 2024: Pay for family leave. Empower Black men. Respect rural voices

Global wishes for 2024: Pay for family leave. Empower Black men. Respect rural voices

Thanks for the many submissions of wishes for 2024. Here's a sampling of responses.

Pay attention to the health of the planet ...

"I come from the South South region of Nigeria," writes Dr. Oritseweyinmi Erikowa-Orighoye. "We are faced with water and air pollution, rising seas, tides and extreme heat alongside flooding. My global wish for 2024 is to create more climate and health advocates, especially for women and children in coastal areas, by documenting more stories and doing more campaigns and hands-on projects on how climate affects their health. Women and children are disproportionately affected due to limited resources and access to quality health care alongside various socioeconomic inequalities."

Many of our readers share her wish for the planet to be a priority in 2024. Janice Hawn from Culpeper, Va., wants "our leaders to get serious about attacking global warming."

"My wish is that this country and the world take climate change more seriously!" writes Susan Jewett East Hampton, N.Y. "I am so sad when I look at the beautiful parts of our planet, knowing how adversely they will be affected and thinking about the future generations and the world they will have to live in."

... and do something about plastics!

That care of the Earth must include facing the problems caused by plastics, says Dayle Wallien from Seattle, Wash. "We need to enact the Global Plastics Treaty and rapidly phase-out chemicals in plastics that cause harm to human health and the environment," she says, referring to an agreement that United Nations members hope to finalize by the end of 2024 to reduce plastic waste. "Plastic recycling is touted as a solution, but less than 10% is actually recycled."

Turn down the lights

Let there be less light – that's a wish from Christina White of Northampton, Mass., who points out that light pollution affects people, animals and plants (probably fungi, too!) "I wish people would turn their lights off and then use warmer, dimmer lights directed down when they really need them. Light pollution, unlike greenhouse gasses or plastic, just stops when you turn it off. But glare and sky glow resulting from human lights disrupt bird migrations, bats hunting, and organisms trying to rest--trees, insects and mammals, and people."

Memo to the media: Accentuate the positive

In a time of polycrises, Julia Bates from Sewanee, Tenn, urges positive thinking: "I wish every news broadcast would start with information on a successful effort to address climate change or pollution or community development. Surely someone is creating positive change!"

Care for the health of all humans

Other wishers emphasize that the health of people is as important as that of the planet.

"I want us to go deeper – delve below the surface and build stronger relationships with people who are different from us, in order to engender trust and advance health equity," writes Dr. Lisa A. Cooper from Clarksville, Md., for her 2024 wish. "Like an iceberg, visible health disparities are the tip of a larger, submerged whole, that includes beliefs, values, preferences, life experiences, strengths, and social needs of the people living with these disparities, as well as negative experiences and limitations in the opportunities they have been afforded. The iceberg of health disparities can be effectively navigated by respecting and empathizing with people from diverse backgrounds, engaging in self-reflection, being a good listener, adopting holistic approaches to health, and embracing multisector partnerships."

A call for inclusion also comes comes from Lisa Pelham of Mobile, Ala. "My wish is for those with Down syndrome and all of those with intellectual disabilities enter the discussion of those who are calling for inclusion & diversity," she writes. "They are as diverse as any and too often they are not included in all aspects of our communities."

Richard Crank from Topeka, Kan. "I wish that 2024 be the last year that HIV be transmitted from one human to another. With antiretroviral therapy and pre-exposure prophylaxis, and the U.N.'s Undetectable = Untransmittable informational outreach campaign, it seems that an end to the HIV/AIDS pandemic has, at least theoretically, become possible. I want it to become reality."

"Universal health care coverage in USA," is the place to start for Cori Baill from Orlando, Fla.

Don't be cruel

"I wish for the year 2024 to see more empathy & compassion shown to our fellow humans (and creatures of the earth) replacing mean, inconsiderate and bullying behaviors," says Leora Stewart of Zephyrhills, Fla. In this, an election year, "my wish for 2024 is that Congress will work together to pass legislation," writes Beth Larklund from Moscow, Idaho. "Well really, for everyone to just work together. We are all residents of this planet and more alike than different."

Take action

Turning frustrations into action is a 2024 wish of Steve Hilton from north Texas. "I wish more people would decide to do something tangible about the problems," he writes, such as, "Become a voter registrar, or attend events and help people to register to vote." (Editor's note: That's a wish that could hold true in many countries – our story on buzzwords notes that 2024 is being referred to as a "mega election year." )

Age-old wishes that are timelier than ever: Empathy and peace

Mary-Claire Bernstein from Tenakee Springs, Alaska, says "I wish for all people of the earth to have enough sustenance in their life to find peace and end all wars."

And Mary McKnight of Ellicott City, Md. says, "Let us listen to each other and remember that each of us has a story, a background, loves, losses, laughter, tears. In that listening and remembering, let us share our humanness, rather than compete and lift each other in peace, in opportunity and in the collective care of our world."

  • climate crisis
  • light pollution
  • climate change

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  27. Global wishes from readers: TLC for Earth, end AIDS, more empathy ...

    Readers' wishes for 2024: TLC for Earth, an end to AIDS, more empathy, less light. We asked our readers to send in their wishes for 2024, and many of you expressed a hope that humans pay attention ...