Small campers have many benefits. But is price one of them? We’re about to reveal the real cost of a small camper and whether they’re budget-friendly.
Knowing your price range is a good starting point when looking for a small camper. Some small trailers have luxury features that translate into sticker shock. We’ll get into that as well as highly affordable options.
Are you ready? Let’s dive in!
What Is a Small Camper?
A small camper is a towable camping unit that’s lightweight and short. A small camper’s GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating) is typically under 7,000 lbs. So a small truck or SUV can tow it.
The maximum length of a small camper is usually up to 25ft from the hitch to the rear bumper. This allows them to camp in more spots than larger campers. Many state and national park campgrounds only offer campsites for RVs below these limits, giving small campers an advantage in getting campsites in these high-demand areas.
Additionally, being smaller doesn’t necessarily mean a lack of amenities. Many of these campers come fully equipped with bathrooms, kitchens, and sleeping quarters (albeit smaller).
How Much Does a Small Camper Cost?
Small campers range in price. You can find options around $20,000. There are a lot of models on the market within the $15,000 to $25,000 price range that come with bathrooms and other favorable amenities. For example, the 13ft to 19ft fiberglass Scamp trailers fall within this range.
Meanwhile, luxury models may run up to $80,000. For example, Airstream’s Caravel starts at $70,500. The tiny camper is 16’5” long and has a GVWR of 4,300lbs. An SUV can tow it, and it has a lot of creature comforts in a tiny space.
The Benefits of a Small Camper
A small camper has multiple benefits. For starters, they’re lightweight and easy to tow. And since an SUV can pull some, it may mean not having to upgrade your tow vehicle to a big truck.
In addition, small campers are on the short side from the hitch to the rear bumper, so maneuverability in campgrounds, parking lots, and driveways is a lot simpler than with a larger camper.
→ Check out the 11 Best SUVs for Towing RV Campers!
Another benefit of a small camper is fewer things to break. Campers often require a lot of maintenance since they’re going down the road at high speeds. With fewer parts to break and a petite frame that doesn’t bounce around as much, you might have fewer maintenance costs.
The Disadvantages of a Small Camper
The main disadvantage of a small camper is quite apparent: There’s limited space. A tiny home on wheels might have storage space, a sleeping area, seating, a kitchen, and more. There’s little room to walk or do anything.
However, if you like spending your time camping outdoors, a tiny camper is a no-brainer, in our opinion. You can use it as a place to sleep and cook and spend most of your time outside.
What Is the Smallest Camper You Can Buy?
Teardrop campers are the smallest models on the market. And the Happier Camper HC1 is one of the tiniest out there.
It’s a fiberglass travel trailer with a shell 10ft long and only 13ft long from the hitch to the rear bumper. The GVWR is 3,500 lbs, and the dry weight is only 1,100 lbs. So even some sedans can pull it.
While it doesn’t have a bathroom or many features, it comes with cool modular furniture that you can configure how you want and even take outside. The back opens like a teardrop or toy hauler, and you can load the camper with bikes and gear. In all, it’s small but highly functional.
Pro Tip: Like the looks of a teardrop camper? We found 7 Super Teardrop Campers with Bathrooms that Will Blow Your Mind.
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What Is the Least Expensive Camper?
The least expensive campers are typically pop-ups. But as far as small travel trailers go, Gulf Stream’s Ameri-Lite models are some of the cheapest options.
For example, the lightweight Ameri-Lite 199DD has an MSRP (manufacturer suggested retail price) of under $20,000. The small camper has a dry bathroom, bunk beds, a queen bed, a dinette, and a kitchen. It’s 20’ 11” long and has a dry weight of 3,100 lbs.
What Is the Smallest Camper with a Bathroom?
The Scamp 13’ Deluxe Trailer wins the prize for the tiniest camper with a bathroom. You can get one with an optional wet bathroom that includes a toilet and shower. The floor plan also has a sink, stovetop, storage space, and a dinette that converts into a bed.
Can a Car Pull a Small Camper?
Some cars can pull small campers with a GVWR that falls under their maximum towing capacity. For example, a Suburu Outback can tow trailers under 3,500 lbs.
Of course, that depends on the model of the Outback. So always research and check the towing abilities of your specific year, make, and model before you hook up a trailer.
Is a Small Camper Worth It?
A small camper can be a game-changer for those moving from a tent to something more substantial. And they’re highly economical if you don’t need to upgrade your car for towing it.
These tiny homes on wheels are worth it for exploring the outdoors, road trips, and all types of camping. Best of all, you can find one in various price ranges, making them a lot more accessible.
Do you have a small camper? Any particular model you’d recommend? Drop a comment below!
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