The term “RV” often conjures up images of oversized motor homes, massive trailers, or toyhaulers. These types of RVs have their perks. They’re comfortable and spacious for long-haul trips. Plus with amenities like full kitchens, plush furniture, and multiple TVs, they can add a lot of luxury to a camping trip. But large RVs also have their drawbacks. They can be difficult (or simply intimidating) to drive and park. And they can often require a fair amount of maintenance, technical know-how—and fuel.
Yet when it comes to RVs, super-sized rigs aren’t the only option these days. Maybe it’s the tiny house movement or plain old nostalgia, but there’s an increasing number of small RVs and micro campers on the market. At 14-feet-long or smaller, many of these small, micro campers can be towed by a standard vehicle. Here are some advantages of this popular class of RVs:
- Size: The compact size of a small camping trailer makes it easier to store when you’re not using it. Many can easily fit in a standard garage. Plus a small trailer fits more easily into a campsite or parking spot.
- Weight: A small trailer’s lighter weight (a gross vehicle weight rating that’s under 2,900 lb) means that most can be towed with a crossover or a small SUV.
- Versatility: Some of today’s small camping trailers come equipped with features that make them ready for off-road adventures. (So your camping options aren’t limited to typical campgrounds or RV parks.)
If you’re a camper who likes the comforts of home yet also wants a more minimalist approach to camping, it might be time to try one of the amazing micro campers that are on the market. Here are 7 tiny camper trailers for big adventures:
The Backpack is the newest model from Canada-based Armadillo Trailers. The company is run by an RV-loving family that has more than 45 years of experience in RV manufacturing and repair. To make their retro-style campers, they use the original molds that were created for the iconic Boler and Lil’ Bigfoot fiberglass trailers of the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s. Armadillo’s new Backpack model is 14-feet long and packed with options including an undercarriage storage drawer, exterior shower port, and flush toilet. Depending on the floorplan you choose, the Backpack also comes equipped with a 2-person dinette and kitchenette with mini fridge, sink, and stovetop.
For an up-close look, check out the video tour of the Backpack by Armadillo below.
All small trailers have a certain charm, but NüCamp’s Tab teardrop trailers seem to have extra flair. Yet despite their fun-loving appearance and colorful styling, the Tab is still a serious camper. Available in two floorplan options, the Tab teardrop camper comes with a kitchenette, dining area that converts to a sleeping space, a compact bathroom with toilet and shower (available in the S model), and alloy wheels. Additional packages give you the option of adding an exterior light bar, roof rack, off-road tires, and solar panels.
Happier Camper offers two retro-style tiny trailers but the HC1 is the smaller of the two—plus it’s the company’s flagship model. This 13-foot-long trailer is made from durable and lightweight “honeycomb” fiberglass. This unique modular design allows you to reconfigure the trailer’s layout simply by moving different components (bunk bed, cooler cube, bench, kitchenette) and plugging them into place. (And bonus: They can also be removed from the camper and used as outdoor furniture.) Despite its compact size, the HCI can be configured to accommodate up to 5 people. A large rear hatch (standard on all HCI models) helps bring the outdoors in, plus makes unloading and loading much easier.
Check out the video below for a full Happy Camper HC1 walkthrough and review.
Micro Trailer – Happy Camper HC1 Review
Colorado-based Timberleaf offers two road-ready teardrop campers. The larger Classic Teardrop includes a spacious sleeping area with a large skylight, interior lighting, storage cubbies, and fold-down shelves. (The standard mattress is 4-inches thick, but you can upgrade to an extra plush 8-inch-thick mattress.) The natural wood interior makes the space look warm and cozy, and the trailer’s 1-inch insulation makes sure it feels that way too. Outside, the back of the trailer opens up into a large galley with countertops, sink/faucet, LED lighting, and optional stovetop and cooler. The finishes are also impressive with birchwood, leather handles, and aluminum edging.
Timberleaf’s Pika Teardrop is an even smaller version of their Classic Teardrop (36% smaller to be precise). With its nimble size and rugged styling, it’s designed for camping off the beaten path. The standard model sleeps 2 with a double mattress, LED cabin lights, cargo nets for storage, and a fan for ventilation. Like the Classic, the Pika also includes sliding windows and a spacious skylight. The Pika’s galley is minimal compared to the Classic’s but still offers storage, countertop workspace, and the option of adding a 35-liter fridge or cooler. The trailer offers two upgrade packages: the All-Road and the Off-Road.
Little Guy Trailers specializes in teardrop trailers and their smallest option is the streamlined MyPod. This ultra lightweight trailer has a dry weight of just 630 lbs with a tongue weight of 110 lb. (In other words, you can tow the MyPod with just about any vehicle.) Inside the trailer, you’ll find a double mattress, A/C, interior lighting, fan, window shades, and entertainment system. If you’d like a little more sleeping or living space, you can also purchase a tent or screen room that’s designed to attach to the back of the MyPod.
Coachmen’s Clipper Express model is a hybrid-style trailer. It combines an aerodynamic teardrop-shape for towing with a pop-up section for extra space and ventilation. At just 13-feet-long, it still manages to offer an impressive set of options. Its standard package includes a furnace, fridge, grill, A/C unit, and a Bluetooth stereo. If you want to take the Clipper Express on an overland adventure, there’s also the option of adding off-road tires, freshwater tank, water heater, outdoor shower, and a roof rack. And if you think the trailer is just a tad too small, there’s also a screen-room option that will expand the living space.
Not quite ready to commit to buying one of these micro campers of your own? Here are 7 Cool Campers for Rent for Your Next Getaway.