Going for a weekend getaway, small travel trailers are a great way to explore the outdoors, and the 2023 lineup has some excellent options! Unlike giant Class A motorhomes, these tiny tow-ables allow you to reach more places and still use your vehicle for rides into town.
Every RV class has its advantages and disadvantages. And although you’ll be giving up some luxury with a small travel trailer, the perks of a smaller camper just might outweigh the competition.
Today, we’re exploring the benefits of teeny travel trailers and the best models of 2023.
Let’s hit it!
What is a Small Travel Trailer?
A small travel trailer is a towable RV. Unlike Class A or C motorhomes, they don’t have built-in engines. Instead, you tow them with your automobile.
Small trailers are an economical way to explore living the RV lifestyle. Sizes range from 22 feet down to tiny twelve-foot teardrop trailers. Weight is typically under 4,000 pounds, and many small trailers are light enough to be towed with a medium-sized car.
The Benefits of a Small Travel Trailer
Affordability is one of the significant benefits of owning a small travel trailer. While new motorhomes tend to start at over $100,000.00, most travel trailers are half that amount. You can find good used ones for under $10,000.00! That said, we suggest going with new models if you’re a first-time owner.
And speaking of budget perks, you’ll pay less to store your little tower when you’re not traveling!
Another bonus is they’re easier to park and maintain. Because of their small size, you’ll have more options when camping. Some national parks won’t even let large motorhomes in their campgrounds. And they’re easier to park when you stop for meals.
New RV drivers like small travel trailers because they’re easier to maneuver. It doesn’t take long to get used to towing something with a car you’re used to driving. And it makes things easier when getting in and out of cramped, off-grid sites.
Lastly, a tiny trailer can be packed with amenities. Designers strive to make the most of every square inch of space. Many come with bathrooms and showers. And almost all of them have efficiently designed kitchens with burners and a fridge. Some even come with commercial-grade flooring for that extra touch of home.
Pro Tip: Don’t know if a travel trailer is right for you? We weighed the pros and cons to help you decide Why Choose a Travel Trailer RV?
What Should You Know Before Buying a Travel Trailer?
If you’re eyeing the new 2023 travel trailers, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions before taking the plunge.
First, consider the triad of variables. What’s your budget, your towing vehicle, and how often will you use your trailer? If you have a truck you know you want to use, you can start with that. Check the tow rating, then add 1000 pounds to the labeled dry weight of your trailer.
But if you don’t have a tow vehicle yet, you might want to start with your budget. Or maybe think about the size you’ll need and the conditions in which you’ll be using it.
Next, check the guts. This means taking note of the propane tank sizes, drain system, and general space. Make sure you know what kind of limitations you’re opting into. For example, if you’re looking at a floor model with slides out, you want to assess the layout with them retracted.
Another perspective: 5 Reasons to Avoid Small Trailers
The 5 Best Small Travel Trailers
With so many models on the market, choosing the best trailer can be overwhelming, especially when shopping at a trade show. Asking the dealers about fees, financing options, and warranty can help you narrow your options.
But we can save you some time before you hit the lots. Here are our five travel trailers in the 2023 lineup.
#1 Happier Camper Traveler
About the Happier Camper Traveler: This 17-foot trailer can be towed by just about any car. And it’s got style. Coming in at a mere 85 square feet of living space, the company maximized design to give you as much room as possible. You have two spaces separated by a tiny kitchen area and bathroom.
The best part is the fully customizable Adaptiv components. You can move pieces around to make either area a bed, dining area, office, or storage space.
The Price of the Happier Camper Traveler: Premium Traveler packages start at $64,950, and you must put down a $2,500 deposit for one of these 2023 travel trailers. From there, Happier Camper will call you to discuss further customization options.
#2 Airstream REI Special Edition
About the Airstream REI Special Edition: If sustainable living is your thing, you might want to check out these 2023 travel trailers. They come with a UV-LED Smart Drinking Faucet, optional built-in solar panels, and four solar access points if you have your own solar setup.
A 180-degree panoramic window surrounds the well-designed front kitchen. And the backspace is suitable for one to two people.
Above all, the Airstream REI Special Edition is built to last. If you like to cook but don’t need much space beyond that, this might be the right trailer for you.
The Price of the Airstream REI Special Edition: Trailers start at $52,900 and go up with premium features like a lift kit.
#3 Alto Series F2414
About the Alto Series F2414: Measuring 24 feet long, the Alto is the largest camper on our list. It sleeps up to six if you opt for the electric bunkbed.
Amenities include a two-burner stove, a wardrobe, and a separate shower space. And when it comes to table tops and storage, the modular components give you lots of design options.
The Price of the Alto Series F2414: Prices start at around $41,780. Alto is based in Quebec, Canada, so contact them before making any plans.
Pro Tip: Beware of these 5 RV Safety Concerns (Especially for Travel Trailers) before you buy.
#4 Lance 1475 Travel Trailer
About the Lance 1475 Travel Trailer: This elegant two-person camper is equipped with winter insulation for year-round use.
The standard build includes a dry toilet, full shower, oven, and a three-burner range. The skylight helps things feel roomier. And best of all, it comes with two swivel chairs with a small table instead of a dinette.
The Price of the Lance 1475 Travel Trailer: This 20-foot trailer lists around $63,000. However, we’ve seen a few listed as low as $51,000 on sites like trailerhitchrv.com
#5 Casita Spirit 17” Deluxe
About the Casita Spirit: Casita Campers still have a cult following for their travel trailers in 2023. Their molded fiberglass frame makes them stylish and less prone to leaks than many other brands. Their legions of followers found their alluring style and strong construction in the 1980s and have stuck with them ever since.
The Deluxe Casita Spirit sleeps 2 to 4 people and has a large shower and bathroom.
Both beds convert to dining areas. The kitchen has a two-burner stove and refrigerator with an optional microwave. Other add-ons include a furnace and an exterior shower.
If you like this…you may like the tiny 5th wheel scamp offers.
The Price of the Casita Spirit: Starting at $32,694, this 2023 travel trailer may be the best fit for a small family on the go. The lightweight construction means you don’t need a big car to tow it. And because they’re so durable, they have a high resale value which almost makes them an investment!
2023 Travel Trailers Offer More Than Ever
Small travel trailers are much more fun than you might expect. If you walk from your big house into a tiny teardrop trailer, you’ll naturally wonder how you can relax in something so small! But take that trailer boondocking or deep into a campground, and you’ll think differently.
If you’re not ready to buy a small trailer, renting one for a long weekend may be a good first step. You’ll be surprised at how cozy and freeing the experience is. And you might find yourself hooked!
7 Fun Tips When Traveling in a Small Travel Trailer
- Manage Your Expectations: Before hopping in your vehicle to hit the road, remember that your living quarters will be tight soon. Spend a lot of time outside!
- Cook Outside: A small-trailer kitchen gets greasy with the quickness. It’ll make all your clothes smell, too!
- Step Outside When the Bathroom’s in Use: Don’t suffer inside the trailer if your partner takes a #2. It’s good practice to step outside for a few.
- Keep a 20amp Adaptor on Hand: Since you’re in a small trailer, you’ll have the opportunity to camp at fun and exciting places. But, most of the attractive camp options will only have 20amp electricity. This is the adaptor you’ll need.
- Harvest Host: If you’re not a member already, sign up for Harvest Hosts. Small RVs get the best benefits from their program.
- Honda’s 2200: A small camper can get a lot of use out of Honda’s inverter generator. We used one for years, and it was strong enough to run our air conditioner. Here’s the best price on Amazon.
- Portable Bluetooth Speaker: Ensure you can access music inside and outside your RV. A small Bluetooth speaker is perfect. And a high-quality player will sound way better than your stock RV speaker.
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