How Much Do Small Campers Weigh?

Small campers come in a variety of designs from pop-up campers to travel trailers. Their weights can range from around 500 pounds for compact truck campers up to 4,500 pounds for larger travel trailers. Pop-up campers are among the lightest and most portable, often weighing 1000-2000 pounds. Small travel trailers start at 2000 pounds fo r basic models.

Thinking of buying a camper but worried your vehicle may not be strong enough? Small campers allow you to enjoy camping without needing a big truck or SUV. Their lightweight and compact designs mean greater mobility and flexibility. You can tow them with smaller cars and explore new places.

This article shares information about small camper weights so you can find one suitable for your needs and vehicle. Different designs have different space and features for varying numbers of campers. Understanding camper weights helps choose properly for safe towing.

Key Takeaways

  • Small campers weigh between 500 and 4500 lbs on average.
  • Your vehicle’s tow capacity will determine what campers you can tow.
  • Pop-up campers and travel trailers are the two most common types of campers.
  • Dry weight is the camper weight before loading any cargo or people.
  • The GVWR is the maximum loaded weight of any camper or tow vehicle.

‍Small Travel Trailer Weights With Examples

Understanding a pop-up camper’s maximum allowable weight is key when purchasing one. The weight rating helps buyers select an appropriately sized tow vehicle. This article examines popular pop-up styles and their average weights.

Whether you own a small SUV or full-sized pickup truck, learning typical trailer loads empowers campers to choose a rig their automobile can safely haul. Various factors like cargo and passengers also affect towing capacity. Make informative decisions by comprehending how design affects a pop-up trailer’s poundage rating.

Popular Small Camper Models
ModelDry Weight (UVW)
Hatchling Turtle Camper840 lbs
Happy Camper HC11100 lbs
Scamp 13’ Standard Package1200 lbs
Taxa Woolly Bear Overland1400 lbs
Timberleaf Teardrop Trailer1500 lbs
Escape 17A2290 lbs
Little Guy Mini Max2320 lbs
Sol Dawn2560 lbs
Airstream Bambi3000 lbs
Winnebago Micro Mini3710 – 4040 lbs

What Is The Dry Weight/Unloaded Vehicle Weight Of A Camper Trailer?

What Is The Dry Weight/Unloaded Vehicle Weight Of A Camper Trailer?

The dry weight of a camper trailer is like its basic weight from the store. It doesn’t include things like your stuff, friends or other things added inside. It’s just the frame, outside walls, floors and normal inside pieces that came with the trailer. Knowing this weight is important for your vehicle because it affects how heavy the front of your trailer is pulling on your car, truck or SUV. This baseline weight is listed on the trailer papers from the manufacturer or what the seller tells you.

It lets you see what you’re really towing without extra gear. Your vehicle needs to be strong enough to handle this dry weight safety plus other possible added weight. You can figure out how heavy of a camper your car can tow by taking the maximum it can pull and minus what might be in the trailer with you all.

Understanding Trailer Weight Numbers

When picking out a small camper, you will see different weight numbers. Each one shows part of how heavy the whole trailer and parts can be.

Some Common Weight Terms For Pop-up Campers Are:

  • Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC): Also called payload capacity. It’s how much extra weight your travel trailer can hold on top of its normal weight. You figure this out by taking the UVW away from the GVW.
  • Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW): Also called Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR). This is the most weight a camper can be with everything inside when being pulled.
  • Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW): This is the basic weight of the trailer without extras in it. It’s just how heavy the travel trailer is by itself.

Understanding these weight numbers helps ensure your camper and vehicle can handle how heavy it will be safely.

Pop-up Campers

Pop-up campers are a popular choice for small RV camping due to their compact size and lightweight versatility. When collapsed, they can be easily towed behind most vehicles. Some key features of pop-up campers include:

  • Fold down into a low-profile trailer for transport, then “pop-up” to reveal a livable space
  • Interior space ranging from 90-160 square feet when set up
  • Weights between 1,000-3,000 pounds depending on size, allowing towing behind smaller cars and SUVs
  • Basic floor plan includes a sleeping area, small kitchen and seating
  • Larger models may have slide-outs, full bathrooms and additional amenities
  • Portable camping option that sets up quickly for a comfortable outdoor experience

Popular Camper Models

Aliner Expedition Pop-up Camper

  • UVW of 1,850 lbs
  • Rated for up to 3,500 lbs
  • This lightweight pop-up camper is easily towed by smaller vehicles yet sleeps up to 4 people. The low UVW and high rating allow for ample gear and supplies to be brought along.

Flagstaff T12RBST Hard Side Camper

  • Dry weight of 2,120 lbs
  • Gross vehicle weight rating of just under 3,300 lbs
  • Offering more interior space than a pop-up, this hard-sided camper provides stability but requires a larger tow vehicle due to its higher dry weight. The weight rating still permits loading of personal items, food and equipment for longer excursions.

Popular Lightweight Travel Trailers

  • Forest River Salem Cruise Lite Trailer
    • Dry weight of 3,836 lbs
    • Cargo carrying capacity of up to 3,685 lbs
  • Jayco Jay Flight SLX Travel Trailers
    • Weigh under 3,500 lbs
    • Cargo carrying capacity of 1,000 lbs
    This Forest River model is on the heavier end for lightweight trailers but accommodates a substantial cargo load. The Jayco trailer stays under the 3,500 lb mark while still providing space for gear. Both offer convenient towing in smaller lightweight packages.

Why Does Gross Vehicle Weight Rating?

The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is important because it tells you how much weight your vehicle can safely carry, including passengers and cargo. Going over the GVWR is dangerous because it means your vehicle is overloaded. When a vehicle is overloaded, it’s harder to steer and stop, and parts like the brakes, suspension and tires have to work too hard.

Overloading can also cause accidents, damage your vehicle, and make it use more gas. That’s why you should always check your vehicle’s GVWR and don’t go over the limit – to keep yourself, others, and your vehicle safe.

What Is Towing Capacity?

What Is Towing Capacity?

Towing capacity is important for safely hauling a pop-up camper. It’s the maximum weight a vehicle can tow – including the camper’s weight plus any cargo inside it. Going over your vehicle’s towing limit is dangerous as it can cause loss of control and put you and others at risk from accidents. Always check your owner’s manual for the specified towing capacity before planning a camping trip with a trailer in tow. Safety should be the top priority when transporting extra weight behind your vehicle.

What Affects Camper Weight?

Here are some of the important factors that can affect the overall weight of a camper:

  • Size/floorplan – Larger campers with more sleeping and storage space will generally weigh more than smaller, compact models.
  • Construction materials – Aluminum and composite campers may weigh less than equivalent-sized models built with wood framing. Fiberglass is also commonly used.
  • Appliances/amenities – Features like large refrigerators, slide-outs, rooftop AC units, heavier furniture/cabinets add weight.
  • Fresh water tanks – Larger fresh water holding tanks increase wet weight.
  • Propane tanks – The size and number of LP gas tanks factor in.
  • Options/accessories – Extras like exterior storage boxes, bike racks, and generator contribute weight.
  • Cargo/contents – Any personal items, food, clothing, gear inside the camper are part of the overall weight.
  • Quality/durability – Heavier-duty construction and components spec’d for long-term use result in more weight.

Proper weight distribution is also important for safe towing. Keeping cargo centralized lowers the tongue weight on the hitch.

What Extra Equipment Do I Need For A Small Camper?

For setup, you’ll need camper jacks to level and stabilize the trailer once parked. Having a water hose allows you to fill your fresh water tank from nearby spigots too. Leveling blocks help create an even surface if the ground is slanted.

It’s also good to pack some gear for enjoying the outdoors. Don’t forget a first aid kit for safety. You may want a cooler with drinks and snacks, as well as chairs and a small outdoor table for relaxing outside your camper. A portable lantern comes in handy for setting up camp after dark. These extras make your camping trips more comfortable.

What Is The Lightest Weight Camper?

Some of the most lightweight campers on the market weigh under 1000 lbs. So-Cal’s Buzz Trailer has an exceptionally low dry weight of just 670 lbs. The T300 from Earth Campers is one of the lightest designed, coming in at only 400 lbs.

Being this lightweight, these “ultralight” campers can be towed easily by many vehicles. In the case of the 400 lb T300, if your car can’t tow it, the issue is with your tow vehicle’s capacity rather than with the extremely light camper itself.

Campers under 1000 lbs, like the Buzz Trailer and T300, provide a very convenient option for those seeking an effortless way to travel and camp comfortably while towing with smaller cars or trucks. Their featherweight designs make hitting the road simple.

Are Small Campers Worth It?

Small campers are easy to use because they don’t take up much space or weigh a lot. This means you can put them behind most cars and go camping whenever you want. They are also cheaper to buy and to take places than big RVs. Everything you need like beds and a little kitchen fit inside, but there isn’t extra room you don’t use.

Setting up and packing up is quick too. If you want simple camping without spending too much, a small camper lets you enjoy nature and traveling easily. You can try it out before getting a larger one. They make visiting new places on weekends very doable.

What Vehicles Can Tow A 3000 Lbs Camper?

Many mid-size SUVs and pickup trucks have ratings close to 3,000 lbs. The Subaru Outback is good because all models can tow at least 3,500 lbs. Subarus are reliable and priced well.

Toyota Tacoma trucks can pull up to 6,400 lbs, much more than needed for a small camper. Other makes and models may tow over 3,000 lbs too.

It’s best to check the owner’s manual to be sure of the exact limit for whatever vehicle you have. Talking to a dealership can also give you more options depending on what features are on the vehicle. This helps pick one that has enough towing power safely handle a camper around 3,000 lbs. Following the manual is important for safety.

Can A Car Tow A Small Camper?

Can A Car Tow A Small Camper?

It is possible for some cars to tow a very small and lightweight camper, but an SUV or truck may be better suited for the job. A few things to check:

  • Make sure the camper is under 1500 lbs for a car to tow safely.
  • Look at the owner’s manual for the car’s tow rating. Compact cars are usually under 2000 lbs.
  • Check that the car has a towing package with upgrades like transmission cooler, stronger brakes, etc.
  • Consider experience level – towing requires focus, so a beginner may prefer an SUV or truck.
  • Think about terrain – hilly or long trips put more strain on cars than level, short distances.

Following the owner’s manual for tow capacity is important. A small popup camper may work for some mid-size cars set up for towing, but an SUV or truck gives more capability and safety.

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