Teardrop trailers have been having a bit of a resurgence of popularity in the internet age.
They first came to prominence in the 1930’s when some hobbyist magazines began publishing self-build plans. They remained a popular sight in the mainstream camping industry until around the 1960’s when they began to vanish from sight.
That is until plans became available online around the 1990’s, and their popularity began to take off again. And today with the rise of minimalism and tiny homes, the interest in teardrop campers continues to grow.
What are the pros and cons of teardrop campers?
⊕ Easy to manoeuvre
Teardrop campers are small and light, and they can be towed by an ordinary car. You won’t need a truck or an SUV like is usually required to tow a regular camper or fifth wheel trailer. Their small size also makes them easy to park and manoeuvre through the roads and campsites.
Now this might be a bit of a judgement call, but of us camping enthusiasts do enjoy cozy little spaces. And if sleeping in a teardrop trailer can be called anything, it must surely be cozy.
⊕ Cheap to buy and maintain
Your initial outlay for a teardrop trailer is going to be a drop in the ocean when compared to a larger camper in a similar condition. What’s more, there are so few intricate details and ‘moving parts’, that keeping it all in good order will be easy, and something you can do yourself. You’ll probably never need the help of a professional to fix maintenance issues, saving you a lot of money.
⊕ Can be self built
If you have the time and inclination, you can build your own teardrop camper for just a few thousand dollars. There are entire websites and forums dedicated to people who do this. And we have a popular page on our site where you’ll find detailed plans for a dozen different teardrop designs.
⊗ Not ideal for longer trips
Camping in small spaces can absolutely be a lot of fun, but for anything longer than a few days or up to a week, it may begin to get you down. For most people, even those of us who enjoy camping in small spaces, living in a teardrop camper long term shouldn’t be a consideration.
⊗ The kitchen is outside
This is good and bad. Many camping enthusiasts, myself included, actually prefer to cook outside, and teardrops can have well equipped little kitchens. But when there’s no indoor cooking option at all, this can be a real annoyance in bad weather. Especially if you can’t even boil up some water for a morning coffee without having to weather the outside elements.
⊗ No bathroom
This is another amenity that not everyone absolutely needs to have inside their rig, but there’s always going to be times when we wish we did. You can always bring along a portable toilet, but you’re probably going to have to pack that in your towing vehicle because that leads us on to our next point…
⊗ Limited storage
You can store things in the main living compartment when on the move, chairs, tarps, tents etc, things that will be setup at camp. But when it comes to general storage of your typical camping needs, teardrop trailers come up very short. You might have a small kitchen cabinet and some very small drawers and shelves inside, but for the most part, teardrop campers are sleeping vessels with outdoor kitchens and very little else.
Of course, your towing vehicle will have to take on this job.
Our Top 10 Best Teardrop Trailers
1. Earth Traveler Teardrop Trailer
Weight: Under 300 lbs
Dimensions: 5′ x 11′
Earth Traveler offers two standard models of its tear drop trailer, with the ability to purchase add-ons and packages. What makes Earth Traveler stand out is the rugged durability of the carbon fiber T250LX and fiberglass and resin-reinforced feather composite T3000, both of which come in at under 300 pounds.
The compact size is great for towing, but expandable tent sides and roofs (add-ons) provide spacious sleeping room in the cabin.
Both models have plenty of windows to let in natural light. However, electric accessories and outlets are only offered as add-ons and the camper has no kitchenette.
While the Earth Traveler may not offer much in extra luxuries and frills, what it does offer is extreme lightweight and compactness.
2. Bean Trailer Classic
Weight: 1490 lbs
Dimensions: 5′ 4 x 9′ 8
Made from one piece of fiberglass, the Bean Trailer Classic offers a shell that is durable and stylish with choices in trim color.
The sleeping area has a 4 inch queen foam bed with extra shelving and built in storage areas. A deep cycle battery powers the hatch dome light and RGB LED strip lights for reading or planning your next day’s route.
The Bean Trailer Classic offers comfort and organization with the functionality of being able to stay plugged in.
3. Vistabule Teardrop Trailer
Weight: 1200 lbs
Dimensions: 5′ x 10′
With its sweeping curves, the Vistabule Teardrop Trailer is reminiscence of campers from bygone eras. The cabin area is about the size of a queen bed that converts to a sitting area with floor to ceiling storage, fold down tables, and two large storage bins. The cabin also features abundant outlets and electric lighting, but what makes it truly stand out is the large front window that provides ample natural light and opens the cabin to the outdoor space.
The back hatch opens to a galley kitchen with a pass through window to the cabin and two 9 gallon tanks- one for fresh water and one for grey water storage.
The variety of options and upgrades available allow the Vistabule Teardrop Trailer to be designed to meet your needs and desires.
4. EscaPod Topo Series Camper
Dimensions: 5′ x 8′
The designers of the EscaPod Topo Series Camper may have been thinking about anyone who wanted a quick escape from the demands of life, but they gave special attention to stargazers.
A 9” by 41” window is placed just right, so you can lay back on the 5” memory foam queen mattress and relax in comfort as you watch the night sky pass by.
The cabin is also fitted with several cabinets and cubbies for storage as well as recessed LED lights and dual USB ports on either side of the bed. Two doors allow pass through entry into the cabin. The hatch doubles as a kitchenette. A fold down table on the exterior provides an area of outside eating and working.
5. Timberleaf Trailer
Weight: 1400 lbs
Dimensions: 5′ x 10′
With the Timberleaf Trailer, you may be camping out, but there is no need to rely on old standard camping meals. The Hatch galley kitchen comes with a cold water sink, a two burner pull-out cook top (optional), a pull-out prep counter, an optional cooler, and 11 gallon water tank, and storage areas allowing you to prepare delicious meals.
Access to the queen bed cabin is through two side doors. In addition to cabin cabinets the headboard has storage with sliding doors. LEDS lights and power and USB outlets are powered by an 100 amp-hour deep cell marine battery.
Star gazing is easy to do through the large upper cabin window, while the tinting on the window allowa dimness for sleeping when the sun is up.
6. Gidget Retro Camper
This teardrop trailer comes in a little package, but in 30 seconds, the front pod slides out to expand the cabin to fit a queen size bed. The Gidget Retro Camper features a 100 watt solar panel and alarm system for extra security. The kitchenette has a two burner gas cooktop, sink, utensil drawer, and pantry.
The Gidget Retro Camper comes in tso models: the Bondi Original and the larger Noosa Longline, which has space for a shower compartment.
Special note: From comments I read on websites, this company may no longer be in business
7. Luna Lite by inTech RV
Weight: 1400 lbs
Dimensions: 6′ x 13′ 9
If you like to entertain while you are out on your adventure, the Luna Lite by inTech Rv has you covered with seating area for four adults in the cabin. Listen to some tunes or watch some videos using the AM/FM stereo, DVD player and 32” TV.
The hatch gallery kitchen provides a 40 qt cooler, two burner stove, sink, and lots of storage for extra help with entertaining your guests. And the optional pull out awning provides shaded outdoor living space.
Luna Lite by inTech RV comes in two additional packages: the Rover, an off road package, and the Platinum, and extra luxury package.
8. Droplet Trailer
Weight: 950 lbs
Dimensions: 5′ x 8
Accessibility is what the designers of the Droplet Trailer have in mind. The two large side doors to the main cabin and the height of the 6” queen size mattress make the trailer more accessible for those in wheelchairs or with other mobility issues.
They did not stop there. The Droplet Trailer has a custom designed cooler in the hatch gallery to ensure the counter height is accessible to someone in a wheelchair. In addition to accessibility, the kitchen comes with a dual burner stove, handpump faucet from a 2.6 gallon tank, storage space and drawers.
The cabin is designed with a number of windows bringing the outdoors in, LED lights, and storage.
9. Tab 400 by nuCamp
Weight: 2800 lbs
Dimensions: 7′ 5 x 18
On the larger size of the teardrop trailers, the Tab 400 by nuCamp, combines both traditional RV and teardrop camping. The cabin contains a queen size sleeping area with 24” TV entertainment center, full kitchen, wet bath- including toilet, sink, and shower, and sitting area that turns into a second sleeping area.
The Tab 400 works well for the small family that likes to camp but is looking for something in between tent camping and towing a large camper or driving an RV.
10. Polydrop Trailer
Weight: 1150 lbs
Dimensions: 5’5 x 12′ 5
The Polydrop Trailer is where polygonal design, space capsule, and teardrop camping meets. The cabin is entered through two butterfly hinged passthrough doors that open upwards. Insides of the cabin, you will find the control center. The panel controls the lights, thermostat and charging ports powered by battery and 100 solar watt panel.
The hatch gallery kitchen offers storage, a pullout burner and prep area, and a handpump sink. On top of the trailer, the roof rack supports an awning, which can provide up to 49 sq. ft. of shade and a rooftop shower for washing off the dirt of the day.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much do Teardrop trailers cost?
Like with anything else, this will vary a great deal. You could build your own for a material cost of around $3,000 dollars or even less. Or you could splash out on a very top of the line larger teardrop trailer for around 10 times that.
Having said that most of the models covered in this article cost between $10,000 and $20,000 brand new.
Are Teardrop trailers worth it?
Teardrop campers are great value for money. They are cheaper to buy and maintain than other campers, and can be pulled by smaller cars so are more economical all around.
Do Teardrop trailers have bathrooms?
Typically, no. Though the Tab 400 by nuCamp covered in this article does have a bathroom. In other cases, the easiest way to rectify this is to bring along a portable toilet. If you want a small camper with a toilet, check out our other article on the best small campers with bathrooms.
How heavy is a teardrop trailer?
Typically around 1500 lbs or less. Though the models covered in this article start at just 300 lbs and go all the way up to almost 3000 lbs.
How big is a teardrop trailer?
On average you could say they are 6 foot wide or less by around 10 foot long. Have a look at the sizes of the individual models covered in this article, they vary quite a bit.
Are Teardrop trailers aerodynamic?
Yes. This is one of the primary design features of teardrop campers, their rounded shape and low profile make them very aerodynamic when compared to most larger campers, meaning savings on gas mileage.
What car can pull a teardrop trailer?
With this I advice you to look up the specific manufactures guidelines of your vehicle, in relation to the weight of the camper you’re looking to pull. For example the Earth Traveler only weighs 300 lbs, so can be pulled by almost any vehicle. But if you are pulling something like the nuCamp Tab 400, which weighs closer to 300 lbs, you’re going to need a much beefier vehicle.
Do Teardrop trailers need brakes?
This will depend on the weight of your trailer and the regulations in the state you are driving in. Many teardrop trailers will already have breaks or they can be added by the manufacturer. If you don’t have them and have determined that you need them, it’s not difficult or expensive to have them fitted.
How do you make a teardrop camper trailer?
If you’re interested in making your own, check out our page on teardrop camper plans.
You Should Also Read:
- 15+ Best Small Travel Trailers & Campers Under 3,000 lbs
- 10+ Cargo Trailer Conversion Ideas to Inspire Your Camper Build
- 10 of the Best Box Truck Conversions