Small travel trailers are my secret weapon for combating Camping Regret. What is Camping Regret? You may ask. Well, it’s that feeling when you wake up in a soggy sleeping bag because of an unexpected downpour.
If you’ve ever struggled to pitch a tent at night because you didn’t get to the campsite until after dark, then you know Camping Regret.
Camping should be a fun way to relax after a day of hiking, skiing, doing goat yoga, or whatever it is you do outdoors. Small travel trailers, camper trailers, RVs, or whatever else you want to call them, are the best way to do that. They have the amenities you need to feel comfortable away from home with some neat additions that make camping even more fun.
What to look for when buying a small travel trailer
When buying your first or second or maybe even sixth small travel trailer, these are some of the things you need to consider:
- Affordability. Small travel trailers won’t break the bank like a full-sized RV would. Prices typically range between $11,000 and $35,000 depending on the style and features you prefer. That’s less than the cost of most new trucks. And trust me, they are way more comfortable to sleep in than a truck bed.
- Convenience. At about 20 feet long and less than 5,000 pounds when fully loaded, small travel trailers are easy to park and tow. I would say that if you have a mid-sized SUV then you’re good to go, but some of these models are so lightweight they can be towed by compact cars!
- Amenities. Saving on size doesn’t mean skimping on the good stuff. You’ll be surprised at the variety of amenities loaded into these models. We’re talking bathrooms, dining spaces, entertainment, and private bedrooms. Think wet baths were only for full-size RVs? Think again!
And now, in no particular order, here's my top picks for the best and most practical small travel trailers.
The best small travel trailers money can buy
Here's a list of the models I'll be going over below:
|❤️ Model||⚖️ Dry weight||💰 Base price|
|Safari Condo Alto R1723||1.867 pounds (847 kg)||$30.469|
|Vistabule Teardrop||1.330 pounds (603 kg)||$23.995|
|Forest River RP-192||3.379 pounds (1533 kg)||$32.999|
|Airstream Bambi 16RB||3.000 pounds (1.360 kg)||$48.900|
|Happier Camper HC1||1.100 pounds (499 kg)||$34.450|
|TetonX Hybrid||2.900 pounds (1.315 kg)||$30.995|
|TAXA Outdoors Cricket||1.753 pounds (795 kg)||$32.439|
|Bean Stock||1.650 pounds (748 kg)||$22.990|
|Airstream Basecamp||2.650 pounds (1.202 kg)||$46.000|
Let's dive straight in.
1. Safari Condo Alto R1723
The Alto R Series (R1723) Camper Trailer is a standout teardrop camper. Its eye-catching design isn’t just for looks, these models are designed to be eco-friendly and easy on the vehicle towing them. What’s neat about the Alto is its one-of-a-kind power-retractable roof. It adds 18” of headspace when it’s up and reduced aerodynamic drag when it’s down.
There’s plenty of space inside whether you’re going on a solo trip or taking the whole family. It’s easy to convert either the front dining area or the King-sized bed into singles if you’ve got kiddos. Everyone gets their own sleeping space, no more sleep-kicks in the ribs at o’dark thirty.
2. Vistabule Teardrop
Look at that funky, retro vibe! Everything about the Vistabule is thoughtfully crafted. A large front-facing window with additional side and back windows provide a truly enviable view. Open both side doors to let in the breeze while you relax.
The cabin is cozy – not crowded – at about the size of a queen bed. This one also makes it easy to go from living space to sleep zone. Pop the galley hatch and you’ve got cover for washing and cooking. Did you see that pass-through from the kitchenette to the cabin? I dare you to use it without shouting, “Order up!”.
3. Forest River RP-192
The first thing everyone notices about the Forest River RP-192 is the decorative wrap. You either hate it or love it. Personally, I don’t get why it’s a frog and not a bee at the front. The honeycomb pattern with gold accents screams bee to me.
Brand new amenities for this model make camping easy with plenty of natural light sources, lots of exterior storage space, a power awning, and … we need to talk about this last one. Its amber exterior LED lights. If you’re not excited about that, you’ve never accidentally inhaled a cloud of gnats.
4. Airstream Bambi 16RB
In love with the iconic Airstream style? Me, too. The Airstream Bambi model has that familiar curved aluminum design with the practicality of a compact space. The kitchen is stocked with all the appliances you need for a fancy brunch without feeling cramped. Pretty much every living space doubles as a bonus sleeping space. Even the bathroom is roomy enough to get clean without feeling claustrophobic.
If feeling one with nature is your jam, the Bambi is definitely for you. You can take in the whole horizon with those front panoramic windows. Plus, this model is famously easy to maneuver. Fit into that coveted “perfect” spot with ease.
5. Happier Camper HC1
The Happier Camper HC1 is frequently described as the Lego of small travel trailers, which I am in love with. This Lego camper has an innovative modular design that can be configured in a ton of ways to do whatever you need it to do. Using the Adaptive™ floor grid and components really feels like building a Lego kit, but with your furniture!
There are two main living spaces you can play around with. Everything you don’t use in your design can double up as storage or outdoor furniture. The potential is crazy. You will definitely spend a chunk of time figuring out your favorite setup.
6. TetonX Hybrid
This hybrid camper trailer is designed for going off the grid. You can tell right away by the Super Cool stylized ‘X’ on the side panel. It has a higher ground clearance than other small camper trailers and averages 2,9000lbs when loaded with the most popular features. A trailing arm suspension makes traveling over rugged terrain easy.
Here’s what I love about the TetonX Hybrid: it saves interior living space with optional front and rear slide-outs that house your fridge, sink, stove, and pantry. That’s a whole u-shape kitchen! Think of all the gourmet camping food you can cook to impress your friends. I know I am.
7. TAXA Outdoors Cricket
This little Cricket is a space camp alumni. The big selling point for this small camper trailer is a “NASA-inspired design.” Think more International Space Station functionality and less Jet Propulsion Laboratory. What that catchy phrase really means is that practicality is maximized as a rule.
It’s lightweight and rugged enough to be towed nearly anywhere no matter what vehicle you drive. Under-bed storage quickly converts into a dining area. Five swing windows in addition to the pop-up roof’s five mesh windows create superior cross ventilation – a.k.a. your favorite summertime feature.
8. Bean Stock
This Bean Stock travel trailer often gets overlooked in the shadow of the brand’s more popular models, but if you’re looking to save on weight and cash then this one is for you. The exterior is composed of a one-piece fiberglass shell and composite sidewalls that make it ultra-lightweight. The Bean is fully capable of handling off-road excursions with 15” of ground clearance. Just stow your gear in any of the interior or roof rack storage options and you’re ready to go!
You won’t be disappointed by the Bean’s roomy cabin – complete with a 4” Queen foam mattress – and pleasantly simple aesthetic. Hey, it’s not always about having the most luxurious amenities. A good, solid travel trailer like this is one you can confidently recommend to friends just getting started in RV life.
9. Airstream Basecamp
You read that right. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Airstream holds two places in this list. The Basecamp has everything the Bambi does: a bathroom, a kitchen, and a living space that converts into a bed. The difference is primarily in cost and size with a few quality of life features to improve your next camping experience.
Multiple charging stations with both USB and 110V outlets are available to charge devices wherever you’re lounging. Say goodbye to battery rationing. You can binge your preferred streaming service to your heart’s content. Bench and bungee storage in the cabin can hold awkward-sized gear and an outdoor shower will clean both you and your equipment.
Everyone looks for something different in their small travel trailers. That’s why talking about favorites is so interesting!
Whether you prefer a minimalist experience or refuse to camp without a wet bath, all these small travel trailers hit the mark when it comes to practicality. You won’t regret hitching one up the next time you’re ready to hit the road.