Runaway Campers are known as “America’s most affordable mini camper.” With four models under $10,000, could they really be the most affordable campers in the country? And does affordable mean cheaply made? No one wants to buy a camper just to have it fall apart the first weekend out. Let’s learn more about this company and if it lives up to its slogan.
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What Are Runaway Campers?
Essentially, Runaway Campers are boxes on wheels with an air conditioner. These simple teardrop trailers have no bathroom, kitchen, and very little storage. They offer several feet of enclosed space in which to sleep. These “no frills” Runaway Campers allow travelers to use the space as they see fit as well as keep prices down.
The four different models measure 11’ 4” in length. Three of the units only offer 42” to 46” of interior height, while the Rouser provides 5’ 6” to 5’ 10” of internal height. It’s the only unit that travelers can stand up in. The CoolCamp is the lightest model at 580 lbs, while the 6x8 Venturist is the heaviest at 1,050 lbs. All four models feature a 5,000 BTU air conditioner.
Where Are Runaway Campers Manufactured?
Stephen Shives and his father-in-law Robert Lane started Runaway Campers in 2012 in Summerfield, Fla. By 2018, the company had established a dealer network around the United States.
Today the company has six dealers located in Tennessee, Michigan, Arizona, Utah, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania. You can visit the sales center in Summerfield off Highway 441, just north of Orlando.
About Runaway Campers
You won’t get much for the price you pay, and that’s what Runaway Camper owners love. The empty space allows them to create a camper that fits them. If someone wants to put in a twin bed and a small dresser, you can turn it into a bedroom. If another person wants to put in a lounger and table, you can make it into an entertainment area.
The four models of Runaway Campers include the CoolCamp, RangeRunner, Venturist, and Rouser. The interior of each of these models is a blank canvas. They have no bed, drawers, or countertops. You can turn these models into whatever fits your needs. This is why Runaway Campers are essentially a box on wheels.
The CoolCamp is the smallest and lightest, with an overall length, height, and width of 11’4″ x 65″ x 66″ and a weight of 580 lbs. The RangeRunner has an overall length, height, and width of 11’4″ x 65″ x 94″ and weight of 765 lbs. The Rouser is the tallest unit with an overall length, height, and width of 11’4″ x 7’3″ x 94″ and 840 lbs.
Finally, the Venturist comes in two sizes, the 4x8 and 6x8 models. The 4x8 Venturist comes with the standard right-side door, while the 6x8 Venturist comes equipped with both left and right-side doors. The 4x8 unit weighs 850 lbs, and the 6x8 unit weighs 1,050 lbs. These Runaway Campers are lightweight enough for nearly any vehicle to tow them.
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Each unit comes equipped with at least one 110V power strip and dual folding stabilizers. The frames feature fully welded steel frame construction, and the campers come with tinted safety glass windows. The RangeRunner has 15” white-spoke wheels and tires, while the CoolCamp and Rouser models have 13” ones. The off-roading Venturist models have Timbren one-ton axle-less suspensions with 4″ lifts, electric brakes, 17″ Method Race Wheels, and 33″ BFG all-terrain tires.
Inside, the units feature a shelf above the air conditioner and empty, open space. The RangeRunner has an additional third window in the rear of the unit, while the other three models only have two windows, one on each side. Owners can add numerous options, from a front cargo rack for $100 to a roof rack for $310 to an 11 lb propane tank and mount for $250. You can also get a 40” x 40” rear door for $350 for all models except the Rouser.
How Much Does a Runaway Camper Cost?
The CoolCamp model starts at $5,550, followed by the RangeRunner at $7,145 and the Rouser at $8,620. The 4x8 Venturist starts at $9,050, and the 6x8 Venturist starts at $11,145. The Venturist models cost the most because of their off-roading features. Each model will also vary in final price due to upgrades or add-ons.
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Are Runaway Campers Really America’s Most Affordable Camper?
Compared to other teardrop trailers of the same size, the CoolCamp Runaway Camper is the cheapest at the starting prices of $5,550. One comparable brand, Peewee Campers, offers teardrop trailers from $6,895 for a 4’ x 6’ unit to $18,990 for a 6’ x 10’ unit.
The Highway Deluxe made by Hiker Trailers is another comparable model measuring 5’ x 8’ and weighing 1,100 lbs. The base model starts at $5,995. Finally, Oregon Trail’R is another similar brand offering small trailers. The Do-Drop weighs about 550 lbs with overall dimensions of 120” x 66’ x 60” for $6,750.
What Vehicle Do You Need to Tow a Runaway Camper?
You can tow a Runaway Camper with practically any vehicle that has a hitch. Because they are so lightweight, owners don’t have to worry about buying another vehicle. They can use what they already own, making Runaway Campers so popular. However, always check your owner’s manual to make sure you know your vehicle’s payload and towing capacity.
Are Runaway Campers Worth It?
Try out the versatile Venturist models with 20” of ground clearance if you want to camp in the desert sands of Arizona or explore the mountains of Nevada. Instead of backpacking and pitching a tent everywhere you go, you have a safe, enclosed, hard-sided space to sleep.
As long as you don’t mind owning an empty box on wheels, the other three Runaway Campers are also great mini campers. However, if you want an outside kitchen, rear hatch, storage space, or interior furniture, these campers won’t make the cut. You’ll receive a blank canvas to make it your own. You won’t get a fully outfitted teardrop trailer for these prices.
So are Runaway Campers worth it? That’s completely up to your travel needs and desires. But for the price, you can start exploring new areas and having adventures all over the country without breaking the bank.
Is a Runaway Camper in your future? Tell us in the comments!
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