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The Demand Grows for Lightweight Travel Trailers


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, crossovers and mini-vans, and sometimes even the family car can tow these easy-to-pull trailers.


One of the most popular features of the new lightweight 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 six to eight 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 pickup can pull with ease. The option of the 5th wheel pulled by a pickup 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, a 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 the 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 hookups 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 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

Pictured are the Fiberglass Egg Trailers. It is a popular choice in fiberglass lightweight trailers. They only weigh about 2,000 pounds fully loaded and are seven 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 60s, 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

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

The teardrop trailers are very compact, great for one or two people. For those wanting to enjoy the outdoors without spending a fortune, the teardrop 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

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 lightweight 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

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 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 lightweight category.

Although they may be considered lightweight, 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.