May 19, 2016
Most travel trailers are far too heavy for the average car or SUV to tow. Luckily, a few innovative companies have introduced a variety of alternatives to get car owners off the ground and into a camper. Here are a few lightweight campers that weigh in around the 1000 lb. limit that many cars are capable of towing.
Happier Camper just released their HC1 travel trailer in late 2015, and with such an eye-catching design, it’s easy to see why it has gained so much attention in such a short time. The HC1 is built on a 13 ft fiberglass shell which gives the camper plenty of durability without the weight and risk of decay that can affect wood or metal frames.
While the exterior may be what catches your eye initially, it’s the unique interior that really sets the HC1 apart. Happier Camper’s “Adaptiv” modular design system uses a series of grooves in the floor of the camper that allows owners to easily reconfigure the layout to suit their needs. This design, coupled with Happier Camper’s wide array of components, gives the HC1 a level of personalization not often found in a travel trailer.
Another recent addition to the lightweight camper market, the SylvanSport Go is marketed as versatile utility trailer/camper hybrid that can haul all of your toys to the campground and then be quickly converted into a tent.
While the Go may not have all of the amenities found in other campers, the design will appeal to those looking for a no-frills, practical approach to camping, and weighing in at less than 1000 lbs. unloaded, is a great option for vehicles with limited towing power.
Another ultra lightweight tent trailer, the QuickSilver 6.0 packs a queen size bed, sofa, and table into a camper small enough to be towed with a Honda Civic. The whole package is very simple and can be set up in just a few minutes. As with most tent trailers, the amenities are pretty slim, though the QuickSilver does include a deep cycle battery and outlets for electronics.
The QuickSilver is also available in eight and ten foot models which weigh 850 and 1050 lbs., respectively, and feature a kitchen area and more room for beds.
The TAG from Little Guy Trailers packs a lot of features into a compact and lightweight camper. The teardrop design offers just enough room inside for a queen size bed, while the galley containing the sink and stove are located under a hatch in the rear of the camper. Options include A/C, television, stereo, and 12v cooler, allowing owners many of the amenities found in a full-size RV.
If you’re looking for something new in the lightweight camper market, be sure to check out the TigerMoth. Designed by a former NASA engineer, this trailer was made to be used as a mobile base camp, with everything you need packed into one 8’ long package.
The interior has room for two to sleep or lounge comfortably, and also makes efficient use of space with plenty of storage, hooks, and bungees. Outside, the TigerMoth has a 55” slide-out drawer that can hold a kitchen set, as well as a roof rack and toolbox to bring along extra gear.
Note: Pulling more weight than your car is designed for is dangerous, so be sure to consult your owner’s manual beforehand. Websites such as RV Tow Check may be helpful in determining how much your vehicle can safely tow. Also, Towing capacity can vary drastically between different model years and options packages, and some models are not recommended to be used for towing a trailer at all, no matter how lightweight.