If you own a small vehicle, it doesn’t mean you’re without options for towing a mini camper. Teardrops have long been a popular option. However for some, having a bit larger trailer with more interior space, or a different configuration would be more desirable. Fortunately, there’s some great trailer options available that are lightweight enough to be towed by even 4-cylinder vehicles. Here’s some popular small camper manufacturers you might consider:
The Happier Camper HC1
- Trailer Weight: 1,100 lbs
- Length: 13 feet, including fold back trailer tongue
- Sleeps: Up to 5
At first glance it’s obvious this retro-looking mini camping trailer is a big hit stylistically. With a visually appealing look of the 50’s era, the Happier Camper HC1 is anything but retro in it’s design and construction.
At a dry weight of 1100 lbs., HC1 small, pull behind campers feature a double hull fiberglass shell and a honeycomb fiberglass floor. Support is based on a Lippert tube frame chassis. This mini camp trailer includes marine parts and components throughout, LED lighting, as well as rear stabilization jacks. HC1 also include an Adaptiv ™ interior that can be customized to your own desirable configuration.
Some of the great options available are a contoured 100 watt solar panel integrated into the roof, air conditioning, custom awning, and a large assortment of additional add-ons.
Flagstaff E-PRO 12RK Trailer
In terms of practicality, the Flagstaff E-Pro 12RK camper setup is one of the best on the market for small SUV’s for the price. Flagstaff is part of the huge conglomerate of camping trailer brands under a company called Forest River. With superb engineering, manufacturing capabilities and time-tested solutions, The E-Pro 12RK has many of the camping essentials and comforts baked into this little trailer at an affordable price.
What kind of features does this little camper include? How about a full outdoor kitchen that houses a microwave, fridge, outside sink an a gas grill? On the interior, there’s a 54”x74” bed, overhead storage and a TV w/ DVD player. Also, standard is an AM/FM stereo with bluetooth and USB ports, 2 20 lb. propane tanks, solar prep w/ 1000 watt inverter, stabilizing jacks and a low profile roof A/C that also has a chill chaser heat strip.
- Trailer Weight: 1252 lbs
- Length: 11’3” feet
- Sleeps: 2 adults
The Cricket by TAXA Outdoors
- Trailer Weight: 1,450 lbs
- Length: 15 feet
- Sleeps: 2 adults and 2 children
The Cricket Trailer is inspired by NASA, with a lightweight, aerodynamic design that is towable by many four cylinder vehicles. Multiple setup options and two different models are offered: The Cricket Camp or Cricket Trek.
Cricket is available with a multitude of options and configurations including an efficient electric water heater, external shower system, battery recharge when hauling the trailer, solar panels, air conditioning, refrigerator, LED lighting and much more.
The roof pops up for more room and ventilation, and Cricket can be stored in a standard garage.
Scamp Mini Trailer
- Trailer Weight: Standard 1200-1500 lbs, Deluxe 1300-1600 lbs
- Length: 13 feet
- Sleeps: Up to 4 people
Since the early 1970’s, Scamp trailers are one of the original mini campers designed for easy towing by small cars and trucks. Scamp trailers come in 13’, 16’ and 19’ lengths, in both standard and deluxe versions. Don’t let it’s compact size fool you, even the 13′ comes with all the amenities you’d expect in a larger travel trailer, and tons of upgrades. The Scamp 13′ has a hitch weight of 100 pounds. One of Scamp Trailers hallmark features is it’s egg-shape fiberglass shell, which is both aerodynamic and lightweight for improved towing fuel efficiency.
- Trailer Weight: 900 lbs
- Length: 13 feet, including trailer tongue
- Sleeps: 2 Adults, 1 child
The MeerKat, manufactured by Little Guy Trailers, has a curb weight of just 900 lbs and can be towed by small cars. A 6’ tall individual can stand in it, and is customizable for individuals standing 6’5”. The interior includes 12V DC and 120V AC outlets. Interior has wood cabinetry, an icebox and a hand pump sink where you supply the water container. Also includes blinds and table seats turn into a queen size bed. All trailer windows open, has exterior LEDs and 4 stabilizers.
Aliner Scout Hardside
- Trailer Weight: 1395 lbs
- Length: 15 feet
- Sleeps: Up to 4
Aliner offers a small A-Frame camper trailer that looks similar to a pop up tent trailer when folded up. However, as you can see in the image, the main difference is it offers hard walls and a roof which provide a more definitive barrier and protection from the elements. This trailer weighs just 1,395 lbs. making it towable by most vehicles.
Wee Roll Classic Camper
- Weight: 980 lbs
- Dimensions: 5’W x 8’L (the Box) x 66″ Interior Height
The most affordable option on this list is Wee Roll’s Nomad 8 mini camper. It’s a very pragmatic solution as these trailers appear in shape to look not much different than your average cargo trailer, which ends up being a great solution for space. However, it doesn’t take much to notice there’s more to these trailers, with vented windows on each side, and a full size side door.
The trailer sits on a steel tubular frame and 3,500 lb axle, with stabilizer jacks. It has vented windows on both sides, and a roof vent. The ceiling and walls are insulated, and there’s a port in the side of the trailer for optional A/C. The interior walls are lined with birch and with the 6” interior height, most can stand up straight no problem. All lighting is LED and the trailer is wired with a 4-way electrical plug, a 15-Amp motor base plug and 2 110-Volt outlets.
From this point, the interior is all a clean slate, and great option for those looking for a somewhat DIY mini camper option to express their creativity.
Sylansport Go Ultralight Camper
The Sylansport Go is in a world of its own in terms of design. The trailer is basically a tubular aluminum frame exoskeleton that houses a hard clamshell tent on its top. The trailer compresses down to the height of a small tent trailer (53” tall) and you can haul up to 165 lbs on the top in this configuration. The top also extends up, creating a space for gear hauling, like dirt bikes, etc. Here you can haul up to 960 lbs. This is also the configuration for deploying the built-in tent which is called a tent pod. It does so downward within the tubular frame of the trailer, so it’s a robust setup. There’s 3 package levels you can order, adding things such as a solar system, air mattresses, an awning and more.
Trailer weight: 840 lbs.
Sleeps: 4 people
Interior: 6’5” Height, 80” length, 116” wide (sides fold out)
Casita Patriot Deluxe 13′ Mini Trailer
NOTE: The Casita Patriot 13 appears to no longer be in production by the manufacturer. Searching the used market might be a viable alternative.
Casita Travel Trailers started making small camping trailers in 1983 and is family owned and operated. Casita trailers are based on a steel frame, with an aerodynamically shaped, marine-grade, fiberglass shell construction. The trailer is very durable and sturdy, yet lightweight. Improved towing fuel economy and the ability to be towed by most vehicles makes Casita trailers a nice option.
- Trailer Weight: 1880 lbs
- Length: 13 feet
- Sleeps: 2
Casita 13′ specs include:
- Dinette converts into double bed
- Has a toilet, shower and closet
- Sink and stove range
- Electric Brakes, torsion rubber ride suspension
- LED running/tail lights and more.
Options include interior LED lighting, Flat screen TV w/ DVD, TV Antenna w/ amplifier, awning, outside shower and others.
The Patriot Deluxe 13’ trailer would be a great mini camper for a couple with a smaller SUV or vehicle since it’s lightweight, especially for it’s size. Unfortunately, Casita has stopped manufacturing the 13′ so the used market might be your best best.
Weis Craft Little Joe
Trailer Weight: 1,100 lbs
NOTE: It appears the Weis Craft website has gone dark, so for the time being looking on the used market for these mini campers appears to be the only option.
Pointed out in our comments by Mr. Dave King, the Little Joe is a lightweight mini camper trailer, designed for 2. At 1,100 lbs., this small trailer can be towed by compact vehicles including some compact cars, Jeeps or small trucks. Construction includes a molded fiberglass body that sits atop a light and sturdy steel frame.
- Some features include a sink, stove, seating area, bed, ample storage and an awning
- Camper interior height of 6 feet, exterior height of 7’4″, width 5’8″
Weis Craft also offers an upgraded version of their popular mini trailer, called the Ponderosa Little Joe, which includes more features and amenities.
Of course, you could always go the route of a teardrop trailer and there’s a ton of options. Nowadays, there’s all sorts of niche manufacturers designing and building them. Many fall well within the towing limits of many smaller vehicles, making it an appealing option.
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I LOVE little campers and your list is the tops of the chart. Unfortunately… the smaller it is, the more they cost!! The HC1 (exceptionally clever design!)is $17k with nothing in it!! It makes the Meerkat much more of a $$ deal. The delight is the used market for Scamps and the like. A used Scamp is easily emptied and customized with out too much of an investment. Cool costs $$!
Thanks for the comment – great feedback. It would great to see some of the customized Scamp mini trailers out there.
It seems difficult to find a used Scamp; can you suggest a website or two? Thanks.
I looked at websites such as RV Trader and Craigslist, but no luck. These little trailers are in high demand I’m sure.
I realize you can’t name all little trailers but you left out one of the best..
Little Joe by Weiser craft
I was totally unaware of Weis Craft. The Little Joe would be a perfect lightweight travel trailer to add to this article I’m going to do as you suggest. Thank you for bringing my attention to their mini camping trailer.
The link for Meerkat Trailers is as follows: http://www.meerkattrailers.com
To many choices! As an educator I want something inexpensive which allows me to jump in for the weekend, week long breaks or summer time without having to purchase a truck to tow the trailers. Also like the all weather aspect of the different manufacturered trailers. May need to find a place to rent and test the different trailers before buying
Cost of the Scamp 13Ft Standard?
Not sure what the exact amount is, but from research online, it appears to be around the $12K mark with some options new. Hope this is helpful.
I am interested in a USED and gutted small camper that has good bones but can be customized on the interior. I have researched online without much luck….any suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Little guy T@G utility on clearance would fit what you want without costing a lot
looking for a small retro looking towable camper that will sleep 2-3 people
I`m looking to buy a small camper, There is only me ! I want the most I can get in a small camper.