What are the best travel trailers and brands? The travel trailer industry has hundreds of brands and thousands of different models and floor plans. If you are looking to buy, which brands and which travel trailers do you need to consider? In this post, I list some of the top-rated travel trailer brands and the models I think are deemed worthy of your consideration. Let’s get going with our list of the top 10 best travel trailer brands.
- Grand Design RV
- Winnebago Industries
- Happier Camper
- Forest River RV
|How I Selected The Brands and Models|
|Choosing the best travel trailers isn’t easy. There are hundreds of brands and thousands of models. However, I selected these brands and models based on my research. I looked at hundreds of user reviews looking for reputable manufacturers that produced good quality models with a good selection of standard features and options.|
#1. Airstream – Flying Cloud
View All Floorplans and Specifications: Airstream Cloud
When you think luxury camper Airstream is one of the first brands that usually comes to mind. They produce some of the most recognizable RVs in the industry. They are priced at the high-end of the range, however, the amount of value you get is very well worth the price.
Their iconic models include the Classic, Globetrotter, Tony Bahama, Flying Cloud, and several others. Owned by Thor industries now, Airstream continues to lead the industry in a unique, iconic, and distinctive design.
Why the Airstream Flying Cloud is one of the best travel trailers?
The Airstream model I have a preference for is the Flying Cloud. With a starting price of $67,400, it is not for everyone. Here are some basic specs on the Flying Cloud:
- Sleep Capacity: 4-8
- Length: 19 feet to 30 feet
- GVWR: 4,500 to 8,800
- 19 available floor plans
The Flying Cloud is loaded with features that exude quality. Here are just a few of the features I liked in this unit (some may be optional):
- Quietstream Climate Control
- Ultraleather seating
- High-end kitchen appliances
- Seating that converts to sleeping
- Memory foam mattress
- Handcrafted cabinetry
- Retractable awning
- Rear-view monitoring system
- Roller blinds and blackout curtains
- Moen faucets and much more…
#2. Grand Design RV Imagine
View All Floorplans and Specifications: Grand Design Imagine
Grand Design RV is another one of the “best travel trailer brands” and has a very loyal and raving fan base that considers their travel trailers some of the better overall brands in the industry. I have come across many owner reviews of Grand Design campers who rave about the quality of these units and the outstanding customer service. For me, a list of best travel trailer brands would not be complete without Grand Design
Grand Design is located in Middlebury, IN and all of their towables and fifth-wheels come with a 3-year limited structural warranty. Imagine XLS is one of my favorite due to its excellent styling, features, and amenities.
Grand Design as a company in the industry is not very old. They have only been around since 2001 as an independent company. They spun off from a larger company.
Grand Design allied with Winnebago and operates as an independent business within Winnebago Industries. When it comes to choosing a great travel trailer brand Grand Design is definitely on our shortlist ist.
Why I recommend the Grand Design Imagine
The Imagine travel trailer is my preferred trailer of choice from this RV manufacturer. There are several reasons I like the Imagine trailer. First off it comes in 11 different floor plans and they all come with a queen-sized bed.
There is simply no way I would want a travel trailer with anything smaller than a queen bed. Here are some basic specs on the Grand Design Imagine:
- Choose from 11-floor plans
- Length: 26 ft 9-inches to 36-feet 11-inches
- UVW: 6,695 lbs to 7,495 lbs
- Gel-coated fiberglass exterior
- One-piece roof membrane with a 12-year warranty
The Imagine is also loaded with a ton of standard features. Here are just a few of the ones that stand out for me and for what I’m looking for:
- Solid hardwood drawer fronts
- Large panoramic windows
- Upgraded residential furniture
- Residential quality countertops
- Stainless steel microwave
- 3-burner range with oven
- Double door fridge
#3. Oliver Legacy Elite 2
View All Floorplans and Specifications: Oliver Legacy Elite 2
The Oliver brand makes high-quality luxury fiberglass trailers in their Hohenwald, TN manufacturing facility. The company which was started by twin brothers Jim and John Oliver was formed in 2008.
The Oliver campers are built using 4 fiberglass shells, two inner shells, and two outer shells. It’s a unique process that ensures a very well-built camper.
Many things set Oliver apart from the industry. It starts with the wheels found on all Oliver models. The wheels are not cheap travel-trailer wheels but rather E-rated, 10 ply, light truck tires.
You won’t find any wood or carpet on an Oliver, thus no more or milder either. The frame is aircraft-grade aluminum which provides durability and longevity.
The Oliver is well-suited for those who are interested in extreme temperature camping. The insulated double-shell keeps the cold out and all water lines, appliances, tanks are enclosed within the lower shell.
Due to its aerodynamic styling and light aluminum frame, it is easy to tow. All Oliver RVs go through a 4-stage inspection process. There is an Incoming Inspection Process, Production Inspection, Final Inspection and, the Shakedown.
The Shakedown is a free night of camping a few miles down from the manufacturing plant. This gives the buyer a real-world test of the Oliver brand.
Why I Like The Legacy Elite 2
The Oliver Legacy Elite 2 pictured above is my favorite model and probably one of their top-rated all fiberglass campers. I like the Elite 2 for several reasons. I like that it has a dry weight of just 4,600 pounds.
So it can be towed with a good truck or full-size SUV. (Keep in mind 4,600 pounds is just the dry weight. For towing you need to consider everything else you put in it for your trip.
The Legacy Elite 2 comes in two-floor plans. One with twin beds and the with a dinette to 75″ x 79″ bed conversion. This model is loaded with standard features. These are just a few of the ones that stood out for me:
- Full Custom Molded Interior and Exterior Insulated Shells
- Plumbing, Holding Tanks and Drain Pipes enclosed between shells with heat to diminish freezing
- Quad Shocks on dual Dexter leaf spring axles with “Nev-R-Adjust” 10? electric brakes for exceptional control and braking
- Nordicold 3 Way Refrigerator 4.5 cubic ft. (12V, 11OV, LP)
- Molded vanity
- 15′ Dometic awning
- 22″ Flat screen LCD TV
- Custom mounted speakers (4)
#4. Winnebago Industries – Minnie Drop
View All Floorplans and Specifications: Winnebago Minnie Drop
Another of our selected best travel trailers is Winnebago. With a history spanning over 50 years, Winnebago is a well known and respected brand in the RV industry. Headquartered in Forest River, Iowa the company builds a huge selection of RVs including high-quality motor-homes, campers, fifth wheels, and toy haulers.
Winnebago makes 3 very popular models; the Minnie Plus, Minnie Drop, and Micro Minnie. Distinctly shaped it packs a lot of space in a small package. You can check out our review of the Minnie Drop here. Winnebago also uses Azdel composite panels in their manufacturing.
What I Like About the Minnie Drop
The Minnie Drop is very aerodynamic which makes it very easy to tow by 1/2 ton pickups and larger SUVs. The interior is very well designed and has 6 feet 5 inches of headroom. Some models also include a slideout that adds additional space. Inside you are going to find a bathroom with some models having a wet bath and others having our preferred dry bath.
It is available in several colors and includes great-looking exterior graphics. Here some additional specifications:
- Available in 6-floor plans
- Exterior length: 18′ 4″ to 20′ 4″
- Interior height: 6′ 5″
- GVWR: 3,500 lbs to 3,800 lbs
- Dry weight: 2,760 lbs to 2,980 lbs
When it comes to standard features Winnebago packs this lightweight travel trailer with lots of them. Here are just a few included in the value package.
- Aluminum Floor Structure with Plywood Decking
- NXG Engineered Frame
- Night Shades
- Custom Bedspread
- Carbon Monoxide/LP Detector
- AV System with AM/FM/CD/DVD/USB/SD/Bluetooth
- Full Extension Ball Bearing Drawer Guides
- Power Bath Vent
- Two-Burner Cooktop
- Direct Vent Furnace
#5. Happier Camper HC1
View All Floorplan and Specifications: Happier Camper
When it comes to one of the best travel trailers that are small and lightweight trailers Happier Camper is hard to beat. It is a top-rated brand that many people love. Happier Camper makes a unique retro-style all fiberglass camper with a versatile modular interior.
Called the Adaptiv interior it lets you arrange the interior just about any way you desire. The honeycomb fiberglass floor allows you to set the cubes in any arrangements. The Adaptiv cubes include storage cubes, kitchen sink, and cabinets, table, cooler, and several more.
One thing to keep in mind with the Happier Camper is that it does not have a typical bathroom It has a dry toilet. So for some of you that might not be what you are looking for. That is the only drawback I see to this camper trailer.
It is small so don’t expect a ton of room, but that is the way it’s been designed. It’s modern and it does make use of the small interior extremely well.
Why The Happier Camper?
A notable feature is the expansive rear-hatch that lets you easily load up a couple of bikes and even a kayak is needed.
Here is a partial list of specifications for this travel trailer:
- 100% Double-Hull Insulation Fiberglass
- Length: 10 feet for the shell, 13 feet including hitch
- Width: 6 feet 11 inches
- Height: 7 feet 4 inches
- Dry weight: 1,100 lbs
- Adaptive modules are all 20″ x 20″ and of varying height
As far as standard features of the HC1 no need to worry that they are sparse. Happier Camper did not skimp on useful standard features. Here are just a few.
- Custome engraved door hinges
- Outdoor porch light
- Precision hardware, locks, and components
- Stylized panoramic windows
- Adaptiv modular interior
- Side door storage
- Perimeter wall storage
- Stainless steel floor drain
- Heavy-duty D-ring tie-downs
- Independent dimmable LED lighting
- 14″ dual airflow ceiling fan
#6. Starcraft RV Mossy Oak
View All Floorplans and Specifications: Mossy Oak
Another of our picks with a long history, Starcraft started out making metal farm equipment back in 1903. In 1968 they began to manufacturing units. They were purchased by Jayco who was subsequently purchased by Thor Industries.
They all come with a 3-year warranty, as well as including a Magnum Roof System. Their trademarked Tuffshell is a vacuum-bonded lamination used for their walls.
Why Consider The Mossy Oak?
Of all the models in their line-up, I like Starcraft Mossy Oak which is pictured above. This is the double-axle model as opposed to the single axle Mossy Oak. The double axle allows for a higher gross vehicle weight rating and more towing stability.
This is a spacious camper available in 11-floor plans, including several that have a bunk bed. (In this article I wrote has other travel trailers with a bunk bed or bunkhouse.)
Specification on the Mossy Oak are as follows: (Partial list)
- Floor plans: 11 layouts including some with bunk beds
- Exterior Length: 23′ 4″ to 36′ 5″
- Interior Height: 81″
- Exterior Width: 96″
- Dry weight: 4,185 lbs to 7,600 lbs
- Sleeping Capacity: 4 to 10 people
This pull-behind travel trailer is another one on our list that is very well equipped at the standard level.
- 13,500 BTU A/C
- Cable & Satellite Prep
- Closeable A/C Vents
- Double-Over-Double Bunk Bed With 600lb Capacity (Select Models)
- Durable Residential Style Flooring – Designer Carefree Congoleum®
- Foot Flush Toilet
- LED Lighting
- 3-Burner Range with 17″ Oven
- 60/40 Split Kitchen Sink
- Residential-Style High Rise Faucet
#7. Lance Camper 1685 Travel Trailer
View All Floorplans and Specifications: Lance Camper 1685
Lance Campers have a reputation for being very well-built and an owner base that loves the customer support offered by the company. Definitely one of the better RV brands in the industry. What we like a lot about Lance is the interior of their models. The designs are extremely practical and very well done using top-grade materials.
They make 9 truck camper models and 12 pull-behind travel trailer models.
Lance using Azdel composite panels which is an eco-friendly toxin-free composite panel superior to wood. You can read about the Azdel panels right here.
If you search the internet you will find the majority of owners love their Lance so it’s easy to see why Lance has won the prestigious Dealer Satisfaction Index for quality almost every year, and have been rated best in owner satisfaction. Definitely one of the best travel ones made. Lance offers a 2-year structural warranty on their models.
Overall I consider Lance one of the Top 5 best travel trailers brands in the industry.
What I Like About The Lance Camper 1685
Of the 12 models of travel trailers Lance manufacturers I like the 1685 model. There are several reasons one of them being that it is one of their lightest travel trailer models. The dry weight is just a little under 4,000 lbs which makes it towable by a decent.
A 1/2 ton pick up might cut it a little too close once you add your gear. The GVWR is 5,500 lbs and it is something you need to consider if using a 1/2 ton truck.
The interior is roomy and has lots of storage space available and the floor plan is intelligently design and laid-out for maximum space efficiency. It includes a wet bath which I have stated before is one of my personal preferences in any RV we end up buying.
The specification of 1685 are as follows:
- Floor Length 16’6”
- Overall Length 21’0”
- Exterior Width 96-3/8”
- Exterior Height w/Optional 13.5M A/C 10’1”
- Interior Height 78”
- Gross Dry Weight 3980 Lbs.
- Hitch Dry Weight 425 Lbs.
- Axle Weight 3555 Lbs.
- Cargo Carrying Capacity 1520 Lbs.
- GVWR 5500 Lbs.
Standard features abound in this camper. Here is a partial list of the many features and options you’ll find in this travel trailer.
- Dlx Queen Innerspring Mattress w/Pillow Top & Bedspread
- LED Reading Lights
- Overhead Cabinet Bunk
- Dinette W/Locking Pull-Out Storage Drawers
- Euro Overhead Cabinetry Design W/Accent Lighting
- Flush Mount SS 3-Burner Range w/Cover & BackSplash
- Furnace Forced Air 25,000 BTU
- Propane Tank 2 Each 5 Gallon – One w/Gauge
- Refrigerator (7 Cu Ft) 2-Way Double Door
#8. Shasta RV 18FQ
View All Floorplans and Specifications: Shasta RV 18FQ
A division of Forest River, Shasta has a history going back to the early 1940s. The Shasta name brand is very well respected in the industry and for those for have been around a long time the toaster-like look of the original Shaster brings back memories. Shasta has made huge improvements since the days of the “toaster-on-wheels”.
Shasta campers made today have a well-designed sleek profile and amenities unheard of a generation ago. Shasta makes travel trailers, fifth wheels, and toy haulers. According to their website, they are the industry’s longest producer of recreational vehicles.
Why You Should Consider the Shasta 18FQ
Over the years Shasta has trimmed their travel trailer line to just the Shasta model which is available as a typical pull-behind and a travel trailer tow hauler. The pull-behind is available in a whopping 17 different floor plans. Of all those plans my favorite is the 18FQ. Thee 18FQ is very well laid0out. It includes a 60″ x 74″ bed mattress with overhead storage space above. There is a clothes wardrobe on either side and in the kitchen, you’ll find a nice-sized dinette.
The bathroom is a dry bath meaning a separate toilet and shower. The bathroom also includes a medicine cabinet and a linen closet.
Here is a partial list of the specification:
- Hitch Weight:325 lb.
- Dry Weight: 3254 lb.
- Cargo Carrying Capacity: 1796 lb.
- Exterior Length:22′ 5″
- Exterior Height:10′ 6″
Features and options are plenty on the 18FQ. Here are just a few of the standard features you’ll find on this camper.
- Straight Axle with Electric Brakes
- E-Z Lube Hubs
- Radial tires
- LED Interior Lights
- Pocket-Bored and Screwed Cabinets
- Full Extension Ball Bearing Drawer Guides
- Blackout Shades in Bedroom
- Over-Sized & Deep Residential Sink
- High-Rise Kitchen Faucet
- Range Hood with Exhaust Fan
#9. Jayco Jay Flight SLX 7
View All Floorplans and Specifications: Jayco Jay Flight SLX 7
With over 50 years of industry experience, Jayco has been one of the better brands in the RV industry. They have a very loyal following and have always been very responsive to their customers.
In 2016 Jayco was purchased by Thor Industries which also owns Airstream among many other companies. The hope is that the quality, service, and customer responsiveness remain intact after the purchase by this huge industrial conglomerate.
Jayco not only manufactures pull-behinds they also build fifth-wheels, toy haulers, camping trailers, Class A, and Class C motorhomes as well. My favorite model in the Jayco lineup is the Jay Feather an ultra-light camper.
Why I Like The Jay Flight SLX 7
Of all the models travel trailer models Jayco manufacturers, there are 9, I have a preference for the Jay Flight SLX 7. First off it’s not a huge camper and for its size very light. This makes the SLX 7 very manageable when it comes to towing. It is available in 6 floorplans. Several of the floorplans offer bunkhouses, hide-a-bed, and either a slide or no slide.
Some of the models feature a Simmons queen-size mattress which very nice. Besides, I like that it has a dry bath which is always nice. The bunk beds included in some of the models have a 4-inch mattress and a weight capacity of 300-pounds. In the galley, there are standard features such as two-range burners, 3 cubic-foot fridge, a microwave, and solid-surface countertops. Chances are you are going to find a plan that you will like.
As for specifications, the Jay Flight SLX 7 has the following:
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight (lbs): 2415 – 2890
- Cargo Carrying Capacity (lbs): 615 – 860
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (lbs): 2995 – 3750
- Dry Hitch Weight (lbs): 260 – 265
- Exterior Length: 16′ 6″ – 21′ 8″
- Exterior Height: 106″ – 107″
- Exterior Height w/ A/C: 111 – 1/4″ – 111- 3/4″
- Exterior Width: 85″
- Interior Height (living area): 73″
Lots of quality standard equipment ins included in all models:
- 3-inch, cambered, steel box tube frame
- Fully-integrated A-frame
- Magnum Truss™ Roof System with seamless DiFlex II material
- Seamless solid-surface look kitchen countertops
- Large 50/50 acrylic kitchen sink
- 2-burner range
- 3-cubic-foot refrigerator with temperature controls
- Microwave oven
- Brushed nickel faucets
- Wall-mounted 8,000-BTU A/C
#10. Forest River Alpha Wolf
View All Floorplans and Specifications: Forest River Alpha Wolf
Forest River is one of the largest RV manufacturers in the United States. Forest River is now owned by Berkshire Hathaway and makes trailers, 5th wheels, motor-coaches, camping trailers, pontoons, park models, and toy haulers.
They have several manufacturing facilities throughout the US and one of the best owner forums in the industry called FROG (Forest River Owner’s Group). In addition to the Forest River brand, they have other brands such as Coachmen, Dynamax, Prime Time, and Shasta among others.
Why the Alpha Wolf Camper?
Of all the units Forest River makes my favorite is a recent model that they have introduced. It’s called the Alpha Wolf. It’s a beautiful lightweight camper. It is roomy for a small design and it is very easy to tow with nothing more than a standard SUV.
A feature I like is the laminated construction. Laminated construction makes for a lighter pull-behind, is very well insulated, and creates a clean exterior look. The Alpha Wolf 26DBH-L was named “Best of Show by RV News in 2018.
You have 8 floorplans to choose from with this camper. Here is a partial list of the specifications:
- Hitch Weight: 570 lbs to 1,026 lbs
- Dry Weight: 5,795 lbs to 6,780 lbs
- Cargo Carry Weight: 1,246 lbs to 1,805 lbs
- Exterior Length: 31′ 6″ to 36′ 8″
- Exterior Height: 11′ 0″
- Exterior Width: 96″
Like all Forest River travel trailers the Alpha Wolf comes with many standard features, these include some of the following:
- LED Interior Lighting Package
- Super-Plush Evergreen Mattress
- Deluxe Bedding Package
- Individual Reading Lights at Bed
- Full Under Bed Storage with Strut Lift Assist
The following features are available on some models only:
- Blackout” Kitchen Appliance and Hardware Package
- VIBRATIONSMART™ 12V, 10 Cubic Foot Residential Refrigerator with Travel Lock
- Total Control” for Wireless Operation of Multiple Light Zones, Awning, Monitor Panel, and All Slides
- Zebra Shades” (Light Filtering with Blackout Capability) In Main Living Area
- Pleated Shades in Bedrooms, Hallways and Bunk Rooms
- Aluminum Rims
- Commercial Grade Spring Spout Kitchen Faucet with Pull-out Sprayer
- High Gloss Gel Coated Front Cap
Best Travel Trailer Brands Summary
So there you have it, some of the best brands in the industry, in my opinion of course. The thing is no matter what brand you research they all have their loyal fans and their detractors as well.
The most important advice I can give you when selecting your RV is to do your independent research. Get out there and visit the dealership, go to the shows, get on forums, and talk to owners. Selecting the best brand for you takes time and research and will make for more enjoyable travel.
Research not just the brand but the dealership as well since they will be providing the after purchase service. Make the choice that is best for you, your family, and your budget.
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