Small (and easy to tow) camper trailers are the next big thing. These are the best small travel trailers that weigh under 2,000 pounds!
With so many Americans looking to travel as safely as possible, travel trailers have become extremely popular over the past several months. We recently purchased a 13 foot lightweight fiberglass camper (I’m calling it my tiny home on wheels) and it took me over a month to research the best camper trailers that are both lightweight and easy to tow.
Scott and I don’t need a travel trailer with a ton of indoor space because we prefer to spend most of our time outdoors while camping and we didn’t want to have to buy a large truck just to tow around a camper.
Lucky for us, the tiny travel trailer market has come a long way over the past few years and it turns out we have quite a few options.
Best Small Travel Trailers (Under 2,000 Pounds)
Scamp Travel Trailers
Located in Backus, Minnesota, Scamp has been making quality fiberglass travel trailers since the early 1970’s and they have quite the cult following. Their used trailers hold their value and cost almost as much as their brand new ones — if you can even find one used!
I had originally wanted a used Scamp, but quickly found this would be like finding a needle in a haystack, so I instead placed an order for a new one and also quickly found out there was an 8-month wait list.
They offer two travel trailers under 2,000 pounds — a 13 foot and a 16 foot — and you can choose between several layouts. The 16 foot was pushing it a bit for us on weight and we wanted our trailer to be as light as possible, so we chose the 13 foot with no bathroom (also known as layout 1). We bought a small portable toilet and solar shower for those times when we will be camping off grid.
The 13 foot weighs 1,200-1,500 pounds and the 16 foot weighs 1,700-2,000 pounds. This range depends on whether or not you get a bathroom and which other options you choose for your camper. Keep in mind for towing capacity: this is dry weight (the weight of your trailer without any of your gear packed inside).
With a price tag starting at about $12,500, Scamp is definitely one of the most affordable camping trailers on the market. However, this price tag is fairly bare bones and you can easily spend $17,000+ for a 13 foot after adding options (I know this from personal experience).
Happier Camper HC1 Trailer
Happier Camper is located in Los Angeles, California and they make some of the most adorable ultralight camper trailers on the market. For those of us on the West Coast who want to visit the factory before deciding on a camper, it’s much easier to visit Los Angeles than Backus Minnesota. Not to mention, it’s MUCH easier in the winter.
These campers start at $24,950 (for the 10 foot HC1) and have a dry weight of 1,100 pounds. Their standard features include off grid capabilities and an Adaptiv modular system which allows you to easily adjust the interior of your travel trailer to suit your needs. From camping, to hauling, to guest quarters, you can create the layout you want in just minutes.
Timberleaf Teardrop Camper Trailer
Built in Grand Junction, Colorado, the Timberleaf Teardrop is perfect for people who prefer a trailer that will fit in the garage and who mainly just want to use their trailer to sleep. With a dry weight of 1500 pounds and an overall height of 65″, their Classic trailer is extremely easy to tow.
It has a cute kitchen off the back with all the basic amenities. If you’re camping in the rain, you’ll just need to make sure you have a canopy above you. One of the coolest features of this trailer is that they offer “all-road” or “off-road” packages if you plan to camp off road.
The even have a lighter and more compact version of this trailer called “The Pika” that weighs only 1025 pounds. Prices for The Pika start at $13,200 and prices for The Classic start at $21,500.
Safari Alto Camper Trailer
I fell in love with the Safari Alto and could not wait to get my hands on one! Unfortunately, I found out they were located in Quebec City, Canada and they do not deliver to the USA. So if I wanted one, I would need to drive to Canada and their current lead time is about 9 months. All of that being said, I would still absolutely buy one in the future and here’s why…
It is one of the few all-inclusive travel trailers that will fit in most garages (because of the retractable roof) and fitting my camper in a garage was a must for me when searching for the perfect travel trailer. The Safari Alto has an aluminum frame and floor, weighs about 1800 pounds, is 17 foot 4 inches long, and the price begins at $38,000 CAD.
TAXA Cricket Camper Trailer
Another great camper that will fit in your garage! The rugged TAXA Cricket has a dry weight of 1,800 pounds, is 15 feet long and features a pop-up roof. There’s tons of storage space, and TAXA boasts superior cross ventilation in this compact camper. This one also comes with an exterior shower with both hot and cold water.
If you’re looking to pick up a camper at their headquarters, they are located in Houston, Texas. TAXA does not show any prices on their website. You’ll need to email them to request a price list.
Dinky Dub Travel Trailer
Not only does Dub Box make the absolute cutest trailers, but they also have the nicest customer service reps! If I had not found the perfect used camper, I would love to have a Dinky Dub (and at some point I might even add one to my collection and turn it into an Airbnb).
Their smallest trailer, The Dinky Dub, is a pop up trailer that looks like a vintage VW bus! The total length is 13 foot 6 inches, with a height of 6 foot 9 inches and a dry weight of 1,100 pounds.
The Adventure I is fairly basic with a hand-pump sink and space for a portable cooler and pricing starts at $27,300. The Adventure II comes with a kitchenette (3-burner stove, fridge and sink) and an electric water heater. Prices for the Adventure II start at $28,000.
Dub Box’s headquarters are located in Aurora, Oregon.
Meerkat Teardrop Camper
This company is located out of San Diego, California and they offer a couple of cute and compact travel trailer options. Their smallest, The Meerkat, is 13 foot long and weighs only 900 pounds! It comes with a small kitchen (with just a sink and an ice box), has a pop top and a porta-potty. You can email or call them for pricing and options.
Casita Travel Trailers
Casita makes a 16 foot standard camper with a dry weight of 1,970 pounds. They used to make a 13 foot camper (similar to the Scamp) but they stopped manufacturing those so you can only find the 13 foot used.
I really like Casita’s layouts and craftsmanship. They are slightly more luxurious than a Scamp, but they also weight a little more and they are more expensive — with prices for the 16 foot standard starting at $19,924.
If you’re not sure which camper to buy, I highly recommend renting one on Outdoorsy first in order to get a feel for what it’s really like!
What type of car is best to tow a small travel trailer?
One thing I want to note for anyone who has never towed with their vehicle before is to please consider safety first. There are far too many people who push the limits of their car’s towing capacity and it’s not only unsafe for you and your family, but it’s unsafe for other people on the road.
When searching for a car, SUV or truck to tow your travel trailer, max towing capacity is not the only thing to check. You’ll want to check the max tongue weight — which allows you to safely control the trailer when hitched. (If you don’t know what tongue weight is, this article does a good job of explaining it.)
As a general rule, you never want to tow at your max capacity. Always keep it under to be safe. Also, something many people don’t realize is that the weight inside your vehicle (gear and passengers) should be added to your tow weight. Don’t assume that you can just move gear from your trailer to your car because your trailer is overweight.
Also, keep in mind that tow capacity changes based on whether your trailer has its own brakes or if you are using your tow vehicle for brakes. We had brakes added to our camper (even though it only has a dry weight of about 1,100) because we want to put less strain on our car and the owner’s manual shows a tow capacity of 1,000 for a trailer without brakes versus 3,000 for a trailer WITH brakes!
If you’re curious about our set up, we originally wanted an SUV, but the ones that could tow at least 3,000 pounds ended up being a lot bigger than we had anticipated. We ended up finding a great deal on a Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited. We’re really happy with the size of it and it has everything we wanted in a car!