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What Is a Trailer Tent, and Is It Better Than Tent Camping?

What Is a Trailer Tent, and Is It Better Than Tent Camping?

When you think about camping, you may imagine sitting in a comfortable and luxurious fifth wheel. On the opposite side of the spectrum, maybe you dream of the simplicity of a tent under the stars. A trailer tent can provide the best of both worlds.

Keep reading to find out exactly what they are and why they might be perfect for your next camping adventure.

What Is a Trailer Tent? 

A trailer tent is a compact pull-behind trailer that expands into a small attached tent. These small units are towable by most vehicles due to their lightweight design. They’re easy to pull off-road and highly versatile. They’re a step above tent camping but not quite what you might think of as an RV or even a pop-up camper

trailer tent interior
Trailer tent with fold-down table.

How Much Does a Tent Trailer Weigh? 

Tent trailers are tiny in comparison to many other RVs you see at the campground. Most of these small tent trailers weigh between 300 and 1,000 pounds. Some tent trailers are even small enough for a motorcycle to tow.

Do Trailer Tents Have Bathrooms? 

Most trailer tents don’t have bathrooms like many of the slightly larger pop-up campers. The lack of a bathroom is usually due to the minimal floor space, plumbing, and tank availability.

Those who do have a toilet have a cassette-style toilet or a portable toilet. Some tent trailers come equipped with a freshwater tank, allowing for easier meal prep and, in some cases, an outside shower. 

Benefits of Trailer Tents

While they may not have all the bells and whistles of other RVs, trailer tents certainly have a lot to offer. Keep reading to find out some of the fantastic benefits.

Leesure-Lite Tent Trailers


These tiny trailers are very affordable. Paying cash isn’t far-fetched. If you want to explore but aren’t sure you want to invest in a pricier unit, a tent trailer is a great starting point. 

Easy to Tow

Because of their length and weight, they’re incredibly easy to tow. As mentioned before, some models are even small enough for a motorcycle to tow. Saving the money you would have needed to spend on a heavy-duty tow vehicle can free up some funds for exploring.

Need some towing help? Get our best advice here: How to Tow an RV: The Beginner’s Guide

Easy to Store

Imagine getting home from a camping excursion and simply pulling your camper into your standard-sized car garage. That’s exactly what you can expect from a tent trailer. You probably won’t need to pay for additional storage.

Due to how light the units are, you may even be able to maneuver it by hand once you’ve unhooked it from the tow vehicle. This maneuverability means the tent trailer will never be in the way. 

More Comfortable Than Tent Camping

Getting off the ground can make for a much more comfortable night of sleep. No more tossing and turning in an uncomfortable sleeping bag on the hard ground. Instead, enjoy a restful night of sleep on a smooth and comfortable elevated surface. You won’t need to worry about rainy nights or sudden storms either.

tent camping
Trailer tents keep you off the ground when it rains.

Warmer Than Tent Camping

Being off the ground can also help keep you warm during cooler months. In your tent trailer, you’ll have an insulated floor between you and the ground. This space will help keep your heat in your tent versus losing it to the cold ground below you. 

How to Pitch a Trailer Tent

One of the best parts of owning a trailer tent is the ease of setup and tear down. Once you’ve reached your destination, you can kick back and relax in mere minutes.

For most models, setup involves lifting the protective lid off of the tent pod and simply unfolding the included tent. Many models have pre-attached poles, requiring very little effort on the part of the owner. Some models have additional poles to secure to the ground. If you’ve ever pitched a standard tent, pitching a trailer tent will be a breeze.

Looking for something a little larger than a trailer tent? Check out the 7 Best Small Pop-Up Campers for Convenient Camping.

Is It Better Than Tent Camping? 

While the answer to this question will vary from person to person, we think that there are some serious advantages. You get all of the benefits of tent camping with none of the downsides.

Never again will you worry about water seeping in under your tent. In some models, you’ll even have running water, as well as onboard batteries. 

trailer tent
This camping style can be rugged while also providing a comfortable sleeping space.

A trailer tent could change the way you go camping. It can spare you many of the common discomforts of tent camping without the hefty price tag of an RV.

Have you ever tried out a trailer tent? Share your experience in the comments below.

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for and an Arizona travel guide.

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Friday 30th of July 2021

Made my own version of a tent trailer and now in season 4. Works great and less than $1500 investment. I bought a Lowe’s CarryOn trailer and mounted a Smittybilt RTT to the trailer. It’s very light weight at around 500 lbs. and also contains my Rubbermaid Action Packers holding camp kitchen, chairs, and firewood/firepit.

Mortons on the Move

Wednesday 11th of August 2021

Very cool! :)