Courtesy of nuCamp
Courtesy of Polydrops
Compact travel trailers let you bring all the comforts of home into the great outdoors—without the tonnage of an RV.
These small, self-contained, and irresistibly adorable trailers will fit perfectly into your camping plans—and your driveway.
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Is it just us, or are there suddenly a lot more travel trailers around? We’re spotting teardrop campers being towed along highways, compact Airstreams parked in our neighbors’ driveways, and newfangled, “fifth wheel” rigs set up in the next campsite over. It makes sense: RVing and other forms of self-contained camping have become increasingly popular over the past few years—and the past few months in particular. And teardrop and other small-size travel trailers are less of a commitment and easier to maneuver than converted vans or full-size trailers but still provide all the creature comforts you’d want. These days, you can even find tiny travel trailers with tiny bathrooms.
But we really just can’t get enough of the styles, whether they’re retro curving profiles with classic aluminum or primary-colored styling, or fresh, modern designs with clean lines and wood interiors. These are the sorts of trailers that would look as good in your own backyard (home office space, anyone?) as they would in a national park. Here are eight travel trailers that we’re a little obsessed with right now.
(Pssst! Not ready to buy? You can rent some of these from the dealers and find others on peer-to-peer rental sites like Outdoorsy.)
This polyhedral pod (pictured at top) is not simply a camping trailer, according to Polydrops founder Kyung-Hyun Lew; it’s a portable private space that you can bring nearly everywhere. The gull-wing doors open upwards to reveal a bright, clean interior just big enough to fit the 48- by 75-inch mattress and a few storage cubbies, and the rear hatch hides a light-wood kitchenette area with sliding drawers and pull-out counters, as well as space for a Yeti Tundra 35 Cooler. But it’s not only the angular good looks that makes the Polydrop trailer futuristic—it runs on a 100-watt solar panel and battery, and at 900 to 1,150 pounds is lightweight enough to be towed by just about any car. The four different models are all the same size but include different add-ons, such as aluminum siding, a two-burner stove, a roof rack, and an awning.
Buy now: From $14,495, polydrops.com
NüCamp’s Tab 400 trailer is cozy, but it packs all of the necessities into its tiny footprint. And we mean all—this 18-foot rig even includes a wet bath, a rarity in teardrop trailers. There’s also a queen-sized sleeping area and a dinette that transforms into a second, cushioned sleeping spot. And the furnished kitchenette with refrigerator is also inside the trailer, as opposed to hidden beneath a rear hatch. You can even opt for air-conditioning and heating. Light-wood interiors make this little trailer feel more like a home than a box, and a sporty, bold red or blue trim gives the Tab some retro chic. And it weighs in at 2,876 pounds, so you don’t need a heavy-duty truck to make it move—a good-size SUV like a Ford Explorer or a Toyota Highlander would do the trick.
Buy now: From $40,489, nucamprv.com (find a dealer)
Nearly everybody loves an Airstream, but towing one of those massive, attractive land yachts can be daunting (though, we promise, it is easier than you think to tow an Airstream). Enter the compact Bambi, the fun-size version of the classic Airstream that pairs those iconic good looks with proportions that fit neatly in your driveway. The current model, available in 16- and 20-foot versions, is actually the brand’s original 1961 Bambi trailer reborn. A great trailer for those traveling with kids, the Bambi has all the bells and whistles: a gas stove, air-conditioning and heating, a microwave, a fridge, a bathroom with a standing shower, a dinette that converts into a bed, and another two-person bed with a memory foam mattress. Like the Tab 400, this single-axle trailer is lightweight enough to be towed by a midsize SUV.
Buy now: From $49,600, airstream.com (find a dealer)
OK, so this 10.5-foot French trailer won’t be rolling down our streets in the near future—the brand is available throughout Europe but hasn’t made it stateside yet. But that doesn’t mean we’re not still dreaming about the Carapate (and Googling “how much does it cost to ship a camper from Europe to the United States?”). With its blue-and-wood exterior, large windows, and rear-mounted spare tire, the 65-square-foot “mini caravan” has serious old-school vibes—think midcentury woodie station wagon or a vintage sailing yacht. The floor of the trailer is covered with a modular, removable mattress, which you can rearrange into a couch or pull out for sunset picnics, and the walls are lined with pouches, cubbies, and shelves. The kitchen sits in a drawer, so it can be used inside the trailer or pulled out to form an outdoor kitchen. Add-ons include a 120-watt solar charging pack, a kitchen sink system and single-burner stove, a gas/electric fridge box, and more. This lightweight trailer weighs around 1,100 pounds, so it can be easily towed by smaller cars.
Buy now: From $16,000, carapate-aventure.fr
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Timberleaf recently released a small version of its teardrop trailer called the Pika, but we’re still holding a candle for the original, a 14-foot trailer for that brand of outdoors-person who doesn’t believe that rugged and elegant have to be mutually exclusive. It’s built for the outdoors, with a 100-amp-hour deep cell marine battery (a reliable, long-running battery), 11-gallon water tank tucked under the main cabin, and insulated walls and ceiling, but the interior of this little teardrop features the sorts of thoughtful touches and gorgeous custom woodwork you’d want in your tiny home. The cabin holds an almost queen-sized mattress (it’s the same length but is just three inches narrower), storage cabinets, a skylight, and cute, collapsible bedside shelves beneath each side window. The galley, or kitchen, hidden under a hatch at the back, has loads of Nordic style and is equipped with a sink, faucet, LED lighting, and an optional stove and custom cooler, which looks like a wooden steamer trunk. Customize yours with different colored enamel-baked aluminum siding options as well as countertop laminate. At 1,500 pounds, it’s still considered a featherweight trailer, and like the Polydrops Trailer and the Carapate, can be towed with a smaller car.
Buy now: From $21,500, timberleaftrailers.com
Of all the family-friendly teardrop trailers out there, Colorado Teardrop’s 10.5-foot Summit model has a special feature that might save everyone’s sanity—bunk beds. The two nooks fit horizontally into the five-foot-wide trailer, and an additional queen-size bed converts into a sofa for day use, leaving space for a removable table. The cabin also features a skylight, shelving, and sliding windows. The customizable galley is accessible from the back of the trailer and manages to accommodate an incredible amount of stuff with divided spaces for a cooler, water tank, firewood and charcoal, kitchenware, food, and more. You might even be able to store some extra luggage in there. With anodized aluminum siding that comes in a range of colors, and burly off-road tires, this 1,750-pound trailer is ready for any adventure.
Buy now: From $25,700, coloradoteardropcamper.com.
We’ve loved the stylishly retro Happier Camper since 2016, when it appeared in the pages of our November/December issue. And we still haven’t gotten over it. Since then, the brand has come out with the Traveler, a new, bigger version of its adorable original model, which includes an all-important bathroom, one major upgrade. But we’re still awestruck that the original version can sleep five and still be pulled by a Mini Cooper. The 13-foot, 1,100-pound trailer’s interior features a modular Adaptiv system, which uses floor panel components and indoor/outdoor block furniture to arrange and rearrange into beds, benches, tables, kitchenettes—you could even make a bunk bed or add a toilet to the smaller version’s modular layout. The large rear hatch opens up, which gives you sweeping views of wherever you’re parked.
Buy now: From $24,950, happiercamper.com
The Sealander went viral a few years ago thanks to its clever, amphibious abilities. The German-made fiberglass-reinforced plastic pod looks like a sleek and modern teardrop trailer, but it floats. And the outboard motor allows you to navigate the 15-foot trailer around your chosen body of water. The Sealander comfortably fits a handful of adults on an outing, but it can be customized to include a cushioned sleeping area for two that converts into seating for six with a table, an onboard shower, a freshwater toilet, a sink, stove module, grill, and more. As you might expect from a travel trailer made in Europe (though yes, it is available in the United States), this 1,100-pound camper can be pulled by most vehicles, including smaller ones.
Buy now: From $20,250, sealander.de
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