Travel trailers provide the best convenience with their portability and lightweight quality. Yet, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration when buying one. But don’t worry as we’ll detail everything you need to know about travel trailer weight.
You will also find an in-depth review of five of the lightest travel trailers and we’ll even answer some FAQs. Read on as we answer the question of how much does a travel trailer weigh while looking at some of the best trailers out there. Let’s go!
Small Travel Trailer Weights (From Lightest to Heaviest):
Here is a list of the small trailer weight of some of the most popular models out there today. In terms of how much does a camper weigh, these modes range from just under 3,000lbs to 1,200lbs.
- Scamp 13 Standard Trailer (w/o Bathroom) – 1200 lbs.
- Forest River Rockwood Geo Pro G12RK – 1252 lbs.
- nuCamp RV TAG – 1284 lbs.
- Jayco Jay Feather Micro 12SRK – 1585 lbs.
- inTech RV Flyer Pursue – 1595 lbs.
- Aliner Ascape Plus – 1630 lbs.
- nuCamp Tab S Tear Drop Camper – 1969 lbs.
- Scamp 16 Standard Trailer (w/ Bathroom) – 2000 lbs.
- KZ RV Sportsmen Classic 130RB – 2190 lbs.
- Casita Spirit Standard – 2210 lbs.
- Riverside Retro 135 – 2540 lbs.
- Lance 1475 – 2600 lbs.
- Forest River E-Pro E15TB – 2608 lbs.
- Forest River R-Pod RP-171 – 2714 lbs.
- Forest River Cherokee Wolf Pup 14CC – 2884 lbs.
- Airstream Bambi 16RB – 2900 lbs.
Travel Trailer Weight Definitions:
Dry Weight or Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW):
The question of how much does a trailer weigh isn’t always easy to answer. The first figure you see is the camping trailer weight of the travel trailer that comes out of production and gets shipped from the factory. The measurement does not include fuel, cargo, passengers and dealer-installed options.
However, it will consist of your ordered optional equipment and fluids like oil and coolant for the generator and other onboard devices.
Some manufacturers define dry weight differently. Make sure to check them as they are used to calculate the other weights. The details can most commonly be found in stickers by the main door.
Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR):
It is the weight of your fully-loaded travel trailer that includes passengers, cargo, fluids, dry weight, sleeping capacity weight rating and other optional accessories. The GVWR is the total weight of the travel trailer and does not include the vehicle that tows it.
It is essential as it helps you determine if you are within limits as established by the manufacturer. It also allows you to assess if your vehicle has the required towing capacity for the particular trailer.
Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC):
This helps you to ascertain if you are overloading your travel trailer. You will have to take the weight of appliances, cargo, people and furniture into consideration. There is, however, another method, and a simple bit of math can help.
Take your vehicle’s gross vehicle weight rating. From that, subtract its dry weight, sleeping capacity weight rating, the weight of fuel, weight of water on board (potable and heater) and any dealer-added options. Most manufacturers have this data published online for comparison.
Vertical Load Rating (Tongue Weight):
It is the downward force that is exerted at the coupling point of the vehicle and your trailer. In simple terms, you are checking for the maximum vertical load that you can carry. A tongue weight scale is a device used to measure the vertical load rating and can be found in most towing supply shops.
Simply place the device under the trailer jack and take a reading. The recommended weight is 10-15% of the gross trailer weight. If it exceeds the weight limit, move your things toward the rear of the trailer and vice versa.
Sleeping Capacity Weight Rating (SCWR):
It is a manufacturer-provided maximum weight measurement with respect to the number of sleeping positions. It is determined by multiplying 154 lbs. (70 kilograms) with the number of sleeping positions. If your trailer has 6 sleeping positions, then the SCWR is 154 x 6 = 924 lbs.
What Affects the Weight of a Small Travel Trailer?
All vehicles have a specific weight that they can reliably tow. Make sure you know the towing capacity for safety purposes. There are several factors that could affect the weight of your travel trailer.
Design: There are many types of travel trailers, and their design plays an essential role in the weight. Teardrop trailers are used for almost all primary camping purposes. They have a dry weight between the range of 760 lbs. to 2000 lbs. Whereas a much bigger Toy Hauler has a dry weight of around 3500 lbs. – 6000 lbs.
Size: One of the most apparent reasons, the size of a trailer directly contributes to the weight. For instance, a 13-foot trailer and a 20-foot trailer are considered to be small trailers. However, they vary significantly in weight.
Materials: The methods of construction according to the different models affect the weight. Different companies use diverse materials to maximize their innovation.
Facilities: Higher-end model travel trailers have many amenities like full wood cabinetry, a bathroom, a well-equipped kitchen, and many other features. Beginner-level travel trailers will relatively have lesser facilities and carry less weight.
5 Lightest Travel Trailers (From Lightest To Heaviest):
1. Little Guy Trailers MyPod:
If you want a small camper weight, you can’t go wrong with this model. This trailer with a fiberglass molded body has a dry weight of just 760 lbs. and a tongue weight of 110 lbs. With a ton of features packed compactly, this lightweight trailer can be towed by any small car.
The rear hatch door acts as the entrance for this travel trailer. On the inside, it has a full-size sleeping area best fit for two. It comes with window shades, a 3-speed fan and a built-in AC, along with an entertainment center.
It additionally houses a protective gravel guard. The outer body has a smooth design, and any aerodynamic engineer would be pleased with it. The manufacturer offers different colors for your travel trailer, and paint color code matching is also available.
- Ultra-lightweight frame.
- 12V/110 power supply.
- Available roof rack.
2. Timberleaf Pika:
This is another model with a low travel trailer weight. This trailer with a 970 lbs. dry weight is the optimal choice for rough off-road adventures. This travel trailer is symbolically developed to traverse the rough and rocky tundra, named after the adventurous mammal that lives in the high-alpine terrain throughout the Rocky Mountains.
It includes a cozy cabin with a double bed mattress that can accommodate two travelers. The inside is illuminated by three warm white LED lights, two reading lamps above the head and a dome lamp at the foot.
Designed to be a very spacious trailer, it features an overhead skylight, two sliding windows and two doors having sliding windows. The facilities inside include a 4-speed electric fan, multiple USB charging ports, a 4-speed exhaust fan and a rain sensor, to name a few.
- An internal heater.
- The exhaust can be upgraded to a 10-speed thermostatically controlled fan
- Spacious cargo containers.
3. ProLite Eco 12:
How much does a small camper weigh? Well, this one is amazingly less than 1,000lbs. A deftly engineered model with its extremely lightweight body, this trailer has a dry weight of only 995 lbs. It is explicitly designed for sub-compact cars and offers all the standard features to provide a comfortable camping experience.
The interior has a large dinette with benches on both sides. It can also be converted either into a queen-size bed or two single beds. It also comes with plenty of storage options under the seating benches.
Other features include a 15-gallons freshwater tank and an optional 6-gallons DSI water heater. Below the stove in the maple cabinet is a 3-way refrigerator with a freezer and an LPG tank mounted on the hitch.
- UV-protected fiberglass body.
- Tinted and tempered windows.
- Electric brakes.
4. Happier Camper HC1:
With an 1100 lbs. dry small camper trailer weight, this is one of the few lightweight trailers where you can stand up. The interior comes with standard features like a wide door entry, honeycomb fiberglass floor, huge rear hatch and large windows.
The manufacturer provides endless possibilities on the interior. They allow you to completely customize the interior according to your needs. The modular components comprise of durable materials and can easily be rearranged and used outdoors.
This trailer can comfortably sleep up to a family of five with its premium fabrics. It comes with 5-gallons fresh water and a gray water tank. This flexible trailer tows with most standard cars and fits in a single parking space.
- Customizable interior design.
- No plumbing required.
5. Sunset Park RV 109:
One of the fast-selling trailers in the market, this camper trailer weight of 1180lbs is very low and idea for the weekend adventure seeker. With a sofa bed suitable for two campers, the entertainment center has a TV, LED lights and indoor/outdoor speakers.
Besides the other conventional features, this also comprises a power roof vent in the bath, outside shower, and a 6-gallons DSI water heater. Front and rear stabilizer jacks, electric brakes, and a diamond plate rock guard promise a convenient journey.
Optional packages include the choice of metal, power tongue, roof rack and 6″ lift with off-road tires.
- Electric awning with LED lights.
- Prepped solar panel and backup camera.
- Microwave and choice of cabinetry.
What’s the 80 Rule for Towing?
The 80 Rule is one of the most widely followed rules in towing. The rule is elementary and straightforward. It states that you should never exceed 80% of your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity. The maximum tow capacity is the maximum weight your car can safely tow.
The manufacturer sets the maximum towing capacity by taking your vehicle’s gross weight rating, gross axle weight rating, gross combined weight rating, and the engine type, suspension, transmission, and brakes.
For instance, if you have a Ford Explorer, it has a maximum tow capacity of 5300 to 5600 lbs. After applying the 80% rule, it reduces to a maximum limit of 4500 lbs.
Many campers in recent years have driven flak to this rule as being wrong and something that fails under different circumstances. So, do you need to follow the 80% rule? While there is no definitive answer on how much you should be towing, leaving space for a small margin of error by staying below your vehicle’s maximum tow capacity is always reassuring. If you tow something too heavy for your automobile, it can damage the engine and cause wear and tear of tires.
Frequently Answered Questions:
Can a half-ton truck pull a travel trailer?
Yes. Most vehicles can tow a trailer more than the mentioned towing weight. This is done by the manufacturer for safety purposes. Half-ton trucks are extremely popular and can easily keep up with the weight of the trailer when you pull them.
How do you increase towing capacity?
One of the most common ways is to upgrade your hitch that can handle the trailer’s weight. Other options include installing a bigger radiator, upgrading the braking system, improving suspension or enhancing the exhaust. You can also consider upgrading to a bigger truck if decreasing the trailer’s weight is out of the question.
How much does a 16-foot camper weigh?
In terms of how much does a small trailer weigh for a model this size, it can vary anywhere in the range between 2000 to 3500 lbs. The disparity in weight depends on several factors of the travel trailer. The most common reason is the brand and their floorplan. Other elements include materials used, interior facilities, construction type and other options included by the manufacturer or dealer.
How much towing capacity do I need for a travel trailer?
While most small cars today can comfortably tow travel trailers, getting a bigger vehicle is always advisable when you go for heavier campers. Cars and compact SUVs can safely tow up to 1500 lbs. A mid-size SUV or light-duty pickup truck can manage 3000 lbs. Full-size SUVs or half-ton pickup trucks can handle even trailers exceeding 8000 lbs.
Do you need 4×4 to tow a travel trailer?
No. A 2-wheel drive should be more than enough to tow your trailer. It is also wise to not tow the trailer on a dry pavement using a 4-wheel drive. However, if you find yourself in off-road conditions like muddy terrains or sand trails, you should use a 4-wheel drive.
The weight of a travel trailer can vary according to the brand manufacturer and the facilities they provide. Interior appliances, furniture, materials used, and different floorplans play a decisive factor.
Even travel trailers of the same length can vary differently in their weight. Finding how much your vehicle can tow with and without all your traveling belongings on the travel trailer will help you decide on the most suitable choice.
Hopefully we’ve answered your question on how much does a travel trailer weigh and happy exploring!
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