Small camping trailers these days have many features and amenities that make them campers to consider if you don’t want to buy a pickup just to tow one around. Small campers can usually be towed with a light truck (Toyota Tacoma), a Jeep Wrangler, and/or a mid-sized SUV and in some cases a crossover vehicle, even a 4 cylinder car. To keep this list relevant we placed the following limits on our list of Top 10.
- Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) should not exceed 5,000 pounds
- The length of the camper (minus the hitch length) should not exceed 20 feet
1. Jayco Jay Feather Micro
The Jayco Jay Feather Micro is a small and lightweight travel trailer that has a gross weight ranging from 2,000 to 4,000 lbs. As of the publishing of this article, the actual dry weight of each plan has not yet been revealed by Jayco. This makes the Jay Feather Micro an ideal camper to be towed with a light truck, mid-sized SUV, and even certain crossover vehicles.
The Micro is available in five-floor plans. All but the smallest (12SRK) have a bathroom. Here is the 166FBS layout. As you can see the dry bath for this camper is located in the rear and includes a separate toilet and shower. Plus you get the added benefit of an outdoor shower as well.
In addition, the Jay Feather Micro includes residential-style kitchen countertops with a 3-burner cooktop. This floorplan also has a jackknife sofa and Jayco’s new patent-pending trays. There are many standard features we think you’ll like.
Optional packages add solar panel prep for off-grid camping and 13,000 BTU air conditioner. The Jay Feather Micro is an excellent camper.
Visit Jayco to learn more.
2. Happier Camper
The Happier Camper is still one of our favorite small trailers not only for its cool retro look but also because of its versatility. Inside the all fiberglass body you’ll find the Adaptiv modular system. It easily lets you customize the interior layout of the small camper by using cubes or Adaptiv components.
Now they offer two models the HC1 and the HCT “Traveler” which has a longer footprint.
The Adaptiv components include a bench/bed, storage cubes, kitchenette, and many more. The sleeping space is suitable for 1 or 2 people only. The HC1 is an all fiberglass construction camper.
Many cars and small SUV have the towing capacity to tow the Happier Camper.
Visit Happier Camper for more information.
3. Forest River R-Pod
The Forest River R-Pod is another of the available small campers you should consider. It is available in 11 layout designs, the RP-202 is the heaviest with a dry weight of 4,574 lbs.
It is constructed on a powder-coated steel frame and comes equipped with a power tongue jack, self-adjusting electric brakes, and much more.
The interior has designer Carefree flooring, solid lumber core cabinet fronts, central vacuum, USB ports, LED lighting and it is solar panel prepped. One feature we like that has been added is a dry bath in certain models as opposed to a wet bath which we don’t particularly like.
It is solar panel prepped for off-grid use and back up camera prepped as well.
You can see all Forest River R-Pod models here.
4. Casita Liberty Deluxe
The Casita travel trailer is an all fiberglass construction camper available in 5-floor plans with each one having a standard and deluxe model. The fiberglass shell is a two-piece marine-grade shell. There is a top and bottom half that are sealed together with fiberglass.
What’s great about this method of construction is the roof has no seams, which makes this camper virtually waterproof, durable and, lightweight. The interior and exterior are both super easy to clean.
The frame is constructed of heavy-duty steel which improves underbody strength and helps in protecting the travel trailer from the road and rough terrain damage.
The Casita is available in 5-floor layout designs and each one has a standard version and a deluxe version. The major difference is the deluxe has a bathroom. It’s a wet bath which means the shower and toilet are in the same compartment.
You can view all of their models by visiting their website.
5. Sylvan Sport Go Camper Trailer
The Sylvan Sport Go is described by its manufacture as the “Swiss Army Knife” of small tent trailers. Not only that but National Geographic called the Go the “Coolest Camper Ever”.
There are many things that make the Sylvan Go cool and one of them is the ability to use the camper as a utility trailer to haul stuff, which makes it rather unique among small campers.
When used for camping the interior is spacious and the bed is wide and long. Many buyers rave about customer service from Sylvan as well.
This is a very capable tent camper that is comfortable on the road or off-road. When it comes to storage space you won’t find much but what is available is very useful. Note that there is no air conditioner on this camper.
The towing capacity of many small SUVs is well within the range to tow this camper. The pop up tent is easy to set-up.
When it comes to small trailers, Tammy and I really like the Sylvan Go. It gives you the outdoor camping experience but a lot more refined than just being in a tent. Check out their website for more information.
6. Taxa Outdoors Cricket Camper
The Taxa Outdoors Cricket small camping trailer is both lightweight and rugged. It can be towed by vehicles with 4-cylinder engines. The inside allows for two and adults and two children to sleep comfortably.
The roof pops up to provide optimized ventilation and the spacious interior has ample room for a full-bed and under-bed storage that converts into a dining table.
The kitchen features a large counter-top, a sink, and a two-burner stove allowing you to easily prep your meal and cook.
There are 5 swing windows equipped with shades and screens and 5 mesh windows in the upper tent side that allow open views and cross ventilation from just about any angle.
Need a roof rack? No worries the Taxa has one if you need it.
With it’s NASA inspired design you’ll find the Taxa Outdoors Cricket is one very capable small camper trailer. If you plan on going off-road this camper can definitely handle that.
7. Scamp Travel Trailers
Scamp trailers are made to order all fiberglass lightweight camper. The fiberglass shell is lightweight and very durable. It’s a small trailer which makes it easy to tow by small cars, minivans, and SUVs. The round corners make it aerodynamic which in turn increases fuel efficiency.
For example the Casita Spirit 16-Foot Standard has a dry weight of just 1,970 lbs.
Scamp trailers are available in 3 sizes, 13′, 16′, and 19′. Each size is available as a “Standard” or “Deluxe” model. The big difference between the two is the “Deluxe” has a bathroom. or other amenities.
There are plenty of options available with this camper. To figure out what you can or cannot get with each model visit Scamp Trailers website. It has plenty of details on features and options.
8. Winnebago Micro Minnie
The Winnebago Micro Minnie 1700BH is the only plan in their Micro Minnie line-up that meets our criteria. The BH stands for a bunkhouse, and on this camper, it is located towards the rear adjacent to the bathroom.
This Micro Minnie exceeds our length criteria by only 9 inches but we included it because it is a great looking camper. The layout is has been very well done and it sleeps 5 which we like since the grandkids can come along.
Can you take the Micro Minnie off-road? We say maybe but you shouldn’t. Even though the double axle gives it some really good suspension it’s not made to take the pounding an off-road camper can take.
The Micro Minnie has a spacious kitchen with a gas stove, a nice sleeping area with windows on each side for cross-ventilation, USB Ports, patio speakers, and an awning with LED lights. Overall a very nice living space.
To learn more about the Micro Minnie visit the Winnebago website.
9. Safari Condo Alto
The Safari Condo Alto is one of the more unique small teardrop trailers we know. What makes it so unique is the retractable roof system. Essentially the roof expands upward to add interior height. You can easily go from 83.5 inches to 101 inches when the roof is open. It’s a great classic teardrop camper looking design.
You can almost consider it a pop up camper since the top actually pops up to increase interior headroom and space. Deinfitlet one to consider if planning any off-road expeditions.
The roof and walls are made of a plastic honeycomb core that is laminated with aluminum on one side and Alufiber on the other side. Alufiber combines aluminum and fiberglass to create a durable lightweight material.
One interesting thing to note about the Safari Condo Alto is that they have intentionally used materials that water has little to no effect on. This camper mainly uses aluminum, Alufiber, plastic, Formica, and glass in its construction.
When it comes to storage space it has just enough for most folks and quite a bit more than a typical teardrop camper.
Sarafri Condo also makes several models with fixed roofs. To see all models visit the Safari Condo website.
10. Riverside RV Retro 135
Tammy and I were heading to Lake Texoma when we decided to stop at Treasure Valley Casino. Out front, they had this cool looking unit from RiversideRV. We managed to peek inside and immediately fell in love.
For a small camper, it had quite a bit. This little beauty has a queen-sized bed, a dry bath (toilet and separate shower), a cooktop and sink, refrigerator, and sofa. It also managed to fit in a microwave and outside shower. Storage space is limited on this camper but still very useable.
The interior has a retro wood paneling design. To maximize space it has a rear hatch or door.
The RT 135 has a dry weight of just 2,540 pounds and a Cargo Carrying Weight of 1,170 pounds.
This is definitely one of our favorite small trailers. To sell all Riverside RV models visit their website.
If you are looking for a comfortable camper to spend your weekends in or even an extended road trip any of the above campers should work just fine for you. For Tammy and me our preference would be the Jayco Jay Feather Micro or the great-looking Riverside RV 135. Both are very capable and lightweight.
Some of you may want a toy hauler and the smallest we’ve been able to find is the Rockwood Geo Pro.