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The Demand Grows for Lightweight Travel Trailers

Joni is an RV owner with over eight years of online writing experience.


Camping has once again become a very popular family activity. With the economic downturn, many families are choosing to purchase travel trailers as an alternative to pricey vacations staying in hotels. Sales of the large motor homes and fancy trailers are down. But the demand for travel trailers with all of the amenities yet lightweight enough to be pulled by the family car has increased significantly.

With the increase in crossover vehicle sales, car manufacturers are taking notice of what the buying public needs in a family car. Salesmen are quick to point out the towing capacity of their new models, noting that, indeed, they are powerful enough to pull the new lightweight travel trailers. A big pickup truck is no longer a necessity. Smaller trucks, SUVs, cross overs and mini-vans, and sometimes even the family car can tow these easy-to-pull trailers.


light weight 5th wheeler with slide outs

light weight 5th wheeler with slide outs

The interior of the 5th wheel above complete with double slide-outs and even a fireplace

The interior of the 5th wheel above complete with double slide-outs and even a fireplace

One of the most popular features of the new light weight trailers is the addition of slide-out sections just like the big RVs. With the use of slide-outs, small campers can enlarge to sleep 6-8 occupants. Sometimes the slide-outs enlarge the kitchen and dining area, others enlarge the bedroom or sleeping quarters.

The choices available to the buyer are amazing. You can decide on a tiny little trailer that even a small car can tow or you can get a family-sized travel trailer still light enough that your crossover or even a small pick up can pull with ease. The option of the 5th wheel pulled by a pick up truck is also a popular choice. Light-weight trailers are made with aluminum built frames instead of heavy steel. So the entire trailer is made much lighter.

Almost all the amenities of the larger motor homes and 5th wheel campers can be added to the lightweight models. Fully loaded kitchens, private bathroom, and a separate sleeping chamber are some of the popular choices along with TV, microwaves and as well as air conditioning. Even the 5th wheels are getting in the lightweight trend.

sway bar

sway bar

One thing to keep in mind pulling these lightweight trailers is they can sway while going down the road. So, an investment in sway bars, especially for the larger trailers, would be a good idea.

Shop around and know what features you need and what you would like in a travel trailer.

Know the towing capacity of your vehicle. It is one of the first questions you will be asked as you shop for your new trailer.

Questions to Ask as You Decide Which Lightweight Trailer Is Best for You

  • What is the size of your car engine?
  • What is its towing capacity of your vehicle?
  • How many people can sleep in the camper?
  • How much more room is added with a slide-out?
  • Would you prefer an awning?
  • How much storage do you need?
  • Do you need a bathroom inside the camper?
  • Which kitchen appliances are necessary? Do you need a microwave? Stove? Oven?
  • Is there a heater and an air conditioner?
  • What about hook ups for water, gas and electricity?

Questions to Consider Before You Purchase

  • Do you intend to go off-road camping?
  • Would you consider buying used?

Trailer Types

Choices vary in the market for lightweight trailers as they do with most things these days. Lightweight trailers can be small two-person trailers or extra long large family size campers.

Here are some types of easy-to-pull trailers.

Pop-Up Tent Trailers

Pop-up camper open and closed

Pop-up camper open and closed

interior of a pop-up camper

interior of a pop-up camper

Pop-up campers are great trailers for just starting out. They are less expensive and are easily towed by the family car. They can weigh as little as 1,000 lbs up to 4,000. Light weight pop-ups are usually soft sided but hard cover models are available weighing a bit more.

So many options are available in a pop-up camper. Some of the larger models now come with slide outs for added room. Awnings and tent screen rooms extend the versatility of pop-ups. Heat and air conditioning units are a popular choice as well as kitchen appliances.

Fiberglass Lightweight Trailers

The Egg camper

The Egg camper

Interior of the Egg

Interior of the Egg

Pictured is the Fiberglass Egg Trailers. It is a popular choice in fiberglass lightweight trailers. They only weigh about 2,000 pounds fully loaded and are 7 feet long. Using advanced composite materials, their molded shells do not allow for slide-outs.

Completely sealed fiberglass and totally insulated which reduces the cost of heating and cooling.Styled after the classic Boler of the late 60's, this egg is hitting it big.

The Egg Trailer does not use propane at all. It is fully electric saving weight and adding convenience. All of the amenities you need are built right into the Egg Trailer.

Teardrop Trailers

towing a tear drop camper

towing a tear drop camper

sleep inside and the galley is in back hatch

sleep inside and the galley is in back hatch

Teardrop Trailers are made of aluminum, fiberglass and other lightweight materials. Shaped like a tear drop, this unique design and engineering keeps theses trailers very light and easy to pull. They usually weigh under 1,000 pounds.

The teardrop trailers are very compact, great for 1 or 2 people. For those wanting to enjoy the outdoors without spending a fortune, the tear drop may be the answer for you. The sleeping quarters are inside with a good size double bed and the galley is under the back hatch.

Ultra-Lightweight Travel Trailers

Mini camper

Mini camper

Mini camper interior

Mini camper interior

Ultra Lite full size

Ultra Lite full size

Ultra lite interior with a slide out

Ultra lite interior with a slide out

Ultra-Lightweight Travel Trailers are made for families on a budget. Some are scaled down models of their larger counterparts and can weigh less than 3,000 pounds. They still offer a kitchen, bathroom and plenty of sleeping space.

Others are full size ultra lites that may require a stronger towing vehicle. As stated before, the towing capacity of your vehicle is an important thing to keep in mind while shopping around.

The amount of space you want and all of the amenities that you require are available in these trailers. Fully decked out kitchens, slide-outs and bunk beds are just some of the items that attract many buyers.

Large awnings are standard on most trailers. Exterior features such as a drop down stove or slide out grill are popular choices.

A variety of floor plans are available to choose from no matter if you want the smaller sizes or opt for the larger models. All of the major trailer manufacturers now offer the light weight trailers in a variety of styles, color schemes and sizes. So be prepared and know what you want in a trailer.

With the use of slide outs and the latest in decor features, one can camp in style and comfort without breaking the bank. Your home away from home will become a favorite place to be.

Camper / Cargo Trailers

Ultra lite camper/cargo trailers

Ultra lite camper/cargo trailers

As a camper

As a camper

Used for towing

Used for towing

The last item to mention is the camper / cargo trailer. This unique trailer can be a smaller trailer as shown, to haul motorcycles, all wheel terrain vehicles and yes, even the golf cart.

As you can see in the photos, the trailer can be used for both camping and hauling. The tables and bunks are pressed against the side for hauling yet unfold for use after the bike has been removed.

The versatility of this trailer is apparent when you can pull your camper with your car, yet take your motorcycle or golf cart with you as well.

These camper / cargo trailers come in a many different styles and sizes, all dependent upon what you want to haul with you. Pictured is one of the smaller choices.

Camping trailers combined with horse trailers or even car haulers are also now available in the light weight category.

Although they may be considered light weight, these trailers are much heavier than the trailers mentioned above. The towing capacity will need to be thoroughly checked for pulling the larger trailers.

The larger haulers have solid doors separating the living quarters from the cattle or cars or whatever it is that you decide to haul.

Let's Go Camping!

Let's Go Camping!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


San I Am on December 28, 2019:

You have no idea what you are talking about.

Linda McWilliams on December 17, 2019:

We are in the market for a used travel trailer. Light weight from 16 to 19 ft. not to old. We live in Sarasota FL. Are there any good RV dealers around our area selling used ones ?

Tina hemmis on December 08, 2019:

Me n my dad are selling house and we r going to buy a 30-35ft pull camper but we don't want bunk part at all my dad said I could have the bedroom and he don't mind sleeping on the couch or table bed or where ever...we want room to put his lift out chair....closet for hangup clothes in the bedroom and we really don't need fireplace but do want the outside kitchen and an awning and no carpet...thank you oh yes we will spend 25-30 thousand ....do u no of any camper company that offers that

Cathy Ramsey on October 14, 2019:

Winnebago makes the drop , the micro minnie, the minnie, minnie plus , a 5th wheel option as well. Check them out for a small camper model.

Linda A Davis on August 29, 2019:

I want to mobile my dog grooming business. I like the mini trailers,I already have tub(stainless steel), grooming table,I need water, electrical

Harold on December 20, 2018:

I am wanting to sell my house and hit the road. Looking for a small travel trailer such as a Tab or Aliner Ascape. Anybody out there know much about either of these? I would like to know all I can about the Aliner as it is my first choice in pictures. Never have actually seen one! I have been retired 14 years and tired of being stuck in one spot.

milesandcoffee on December 08, 2018:

I purchased a used T@B trailer and I love it! I am in the planning stages 1. to prepare for retirement 2. To downsize in hopes of full time travel. Purchasing my Tiny T@B was the best decision I ever made. It feels great to own my own tiny home and it's small enough that I didn't need to buy a TV. To there's a learning curve for supplies, systems, and needed equipment but that's all part of the lifestyle. Embracing it sooner than later has worked out for me.

GERALD W BETHMAN on June 07, 2014:

21 568 230 1334141 YBR-6178 Truck.

Joni Douglas (author) on September 01, 2011:

epatera, thanks for your comment. I love to camp and although still in a tent, I can see that a camper may be in my future.

epatera on August 31, 2011:

Reading your post makes me want to get back out camping. We love our travel trailer!

Alan Smoak on October 30, 2010:

Has any one sen or heard of the 'LIL Snoozy'. I saw one on the interstate when I was down in SC and the only thing I can find out it is in prototype stage now and will be available in January. It looked realy cool.

Joni Douglas (author) on September 23, 2010:

Hello mystere. Adequate precautions should always be a priority. Fiberglass is so much lighter and of course much less costly. Thanks for stopping by and adding your thoughts.

mystere from Southern California on September 23, 2010:

I've noticed that many of the trailers sold these days are lighter than the ones we grew up with. Fiberglass has become the material of choice for many of these trailers. I've also seen more slide in camper bodies being made of fiberglass. With the laws now requiring everyone riding in a vehicle to have a seatbelt, I see plenty of crew cab trucks, with many of them using the slide in bodies during a vacation trip. One must remember to be careful about the center of gravity with the slide in bodies, especially if it's on a compact truck.

Joni Douglas (author) on August 15, 2010:

Hi goldentech, Have your mind made up? The pics of that 5th wheel above are really something aren't they? Double slide-outs and a fireplace. Real homey. I could stay in one of these and tour the country. Thanks for checking this out and for your comment.

Joni Douglas (author) on August 15, 2010:

They are lovely Lady E. It's just amazing that you can find one is almost any shape with all the amenities you want. They sure have changed over the years. Thanks for stopping by.

goldentech03 on August 15, 2010:

It's going to be a fifth wheel for me, so we can tour the United States for a while after the kids are out of the house.

Elena from London, UK on August 15, 2010:

They look luxurious. I'm guessing this is what we call a Caravan in the UK but I like the sound of "light Trailers". Lovely mobile homes.

Joni Douglas (author) on August 15, 2010:

Thank you nifty for visiting my hub and for your comment. The trailers are cool and I am glad you liked it.

You are right, they make me want to go on a road trip too.

nifty@50 on August 15, 2010:

Hubs like this one make want a....ROAD TRIP! Very cool trailers (big ones are better rented) these are practical and economical! Great hub!

Joni Douglas (author) on August 11, 2010:

I agree Kaie, it is sounding better every day. Something to consider for the future for sure. Thanks for your comments and I am glad you took a look.

Kaie Arwen on August 11, 2010:

These are great, and I am ready to do more than vacation............. vagabond, is sounding really good these days! Thanks for all of the information! Kaie

Joni Douglas (author) on August 09, 2010:

You could be right gusripper. I know some folks live in them by choice and travel all year round. They retire and become gypsies and they love it. Thanks for your comments.

gusripper on August 09, 2010:

In future may a lot of people could live in these kind of campings because of the crisis.Its a time mark

Joni Douglas (author) on August 09, 2010:

Hi Springboard, that is exactly why they are becoming so popular. The convenience and the lower cost makes them perfect for weekend use as well as a full vacation. I love camping and would encourage anyone who wants to camp to go for it. I know that not everyone is a camper but for those who do, it can be a very enjoyable time. So go for it.

Thanks so much for stopping and for the comments. If you do get the camper, let me know how you like your excursions.

Springboard from Wisconsin on August 09, 2010:

Love these things, and some of them are really neat inside. My wife and I are actually considering buying my wife's cousin's pop-up he's been trying to sell. We figure there are a ton of lakes and little camp spots around here, and it's a good excuse just to get out a town for a weekend.

Great and informative hub, and for me, timely.

Joni Douglas (author) on August 07, 2010:

Yep it does akirchner. And the aerodynamics often help with gas mileage too. Glad you stopped by.

Audrey Kirchner from Washington on August 07, 2010:

Lighter means less gas - that is a good thing!

Joni Douglas (author) on August 07, 2010:

Thanks Bobbi. Camping is an much less expensive alternative especially for weekend getaways. Thanks for stopping by, I really appreciate the comments.

BobbiRant from New York on August 07, 2010:

In the 1980's when we had another economic turn down, camping was America's #1 pastime and once again, with the high price of motels and hotels these days that charge you just to say 'hello' it once again is popular. Good hub.

Joni Douglas (author) on August 07, 2010:

Thank your for your comments dahoglund. I'd rather stay in a trailer than most motels too. Especially, if they those trailers were like the ones above. But maybe that is me. I am just hooked on camping.

Joni Douglas (author) on August 07, 2010:

Hello carolina muscle, they are cool. There are a few different companies that make the fiberglass molded campers, but the Egg Camper is unique and is made right here in Michigan.

Thanks for stopping by.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on August 07, 2010:

Very informative hub.I dislike staying a motels so having something like a trailer or a Van Camper is appealing.

carolina muscle from Charlotte, North Carolina on August 06, 2010:

I really like that Egg Camper... cool!!

Joni Douglas (author) on August 06, 2010:

Hello Mentalist acer. Thanks for being my first commenter. Some of those boats are decked out pretty fancy too, from I have seen. Those bubble trailers can be small like the one I showed or they can be pretty big with lots of room. Take your pick. lol.

Mentalist acer from A Voice in your Mind! on August 06, 2010:

We have scenic trailor parks that are popular to tourist to Louisiana...though the natives buy boats and travel the abundent waterways...tending to pretty much rough it places deep in the marsh occaisionaly for a night,usualy without sleeping...though I could think of a few ways of using the fiberglass bubble trailer;)

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