Bigger isn’t always better. That’s definitely the case with vaccine needles, kidney stones, and the number on the bills you get in the mail. 😲 But it’s also true with travel trailers and RVs. You can have some pretty big adventures in small travel trailers under 1500 lbs.
So let’s have a quick look at some of the best lightweight camper options under 1500 lbs that you can tow with just about any vehicle. Plus, you’ll get a bunch of other tips that’ll help you choose the right tiny trailer for your outdoor adventures.
Table of Contents
Why Choose a Camper That’s Less Than 1,500 Pounds?
Here are a few reasons.
- Budget-friendly: Yup, they cost less all-around — less to buy, less to tow, less to maintain.
- Easy to tow: With a short sub-1500-lb trailer, you’re less likely to damage your towing vehicle, cut a turn too tight and take out a mailbox, or back into a picnic table. And since they’re so light, just about anything that’s bigger than a compact car can tow one.
- Easy to store: Travel trailers under 1500 lbs aren’t as long and are often shorter (height-wise). That makes them super easy to store (unlike a giant 35-foot 5th wheel).
- Go more places: If you like to head off the beaten path, you’re better off with a small travel trailer. You can make tighter turns, tackle rougher trails, and head up steeper inclines.
What Vehicles Can Tow a 1,500-lb Camper?
Before purchasing even a small travel trailer under 1500 lbs, it’s important to double-check the tow ratings of your vehicle as well as the weight capacities of the camper. As you check those specs you’ll probably run into terms like these.
UVW: Unloaded Vehicle Weight
Or “dry weight”. This is the weight of an unloaded travel trailer. So if your vehicle can tow 1,500 pounds, look for a camper with a dry weight of LESS than 1,500 pounds.
Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC)
The CCC or cargo-carrying capacity is the maximum amount of additional weight your trailer can handle.
GVWR: Gross Vehicle Weight Rating
This is the maximum total weight (UVW + CCC).
So if the trailer you’re looking at has a UVW of 1,250 pounds, a GVWR of 1,475 lbs and your vehicle can tow 1,500 pounds…IT’S A WINNER! 🎉👏
Some Vehicles that Can Tow a 1,500-lb Trailer
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but here are a few small SUVs and crossovers that can tow a 1,500-pound camper. Basically, you want to look for at least a mid-size crossover with a powerful 4-cylinder engine or a standard 6-cylinder.
*Important: Always double-check your vehicle’s manual. Towing capacity can vary a lot depending on your vehicle’s trim, AWD or FWD, engine, etc.
|1,500 – 3,500 depending on trim and engine
|2021 Subaru Crosstrek
|2021 Jeep Compass
|2,000 pounds with the 2.4L engine
|2021 Kia Sportage
|2021 Ford Bronco Sport (W/ Class II Tow Package)
|2,000 pounds (Up to 2,200 on highest trims)
|Hyundai Tucson (181 HP 2.4 liter)
|2020 Ford Ecosport (AWD 166 HP 2.0 liter)
Did you double-check your vehicle tow ratings? Can it tow more than 1,500 pounds? Then maybe you should head over to one of these articles:
- 13 Best Travel Trailers Under 3500 lbs (2021) Video Tours + Pics
- 11 Best Travel Trailers Under 5000 lbs (2021) Video Tours, Pics + Floor Plans!
- 11 Best Small RVs With a Shower and Toilet (Pics + Floor Plans)
8 of the Best Ultra-Lightweight Travel Trailers Under 1,500 lbs
Ok, so let’s have a look at 8 of the best travel trailers under 1,500 lbs that should be at the top of your list.
If you want a small camper but can’t settle for a tiny teardrop.
DRY WEIGHT: 1,252 lbs
Source: Forest River
Logistically, this trailer is similar to a teardrop. It’s got an interior sleeping area that’s just big enough for a bed and a rear hatch that flips up for access to an outside kitchen. And with a UVW of well under 1,500 pounds (1,252 to be exact), this is guy is light!
However, the E12RK definitely feels more like a normal travel trailer and less like a teardrop. It’s got a rectangular shape that helps maximize the space. There’s an optional 7’ awning that opens up on one side and a TV inside.
And the outside kitchen is actually quite impressive for a tiny trailer. It comes with a refrigerator, microwave, sink, and griddle. Plus, just like a normal camper, it’s got water and electric hookups.
The extra ground clearance and all-terrain tires also make this little guy a nice option for exploring out-of-the-way areas or boondocking off the grid.
Check out the E12RK Video Tour.
Light, tough, fabulously functional.
DRY WEIGHT: 1,310 lbs (with just standard features)
Source: TAXA Outdoors
TAXA definitely broke the mold with their off-road habitats. Most look more like a moon lander than a travel trailer. But once you get a closer look you can appreciate how intelligent the design is.
The Tigermoth is one of their smaller trailers. With just the standard features you get a rugged travel trailer under 1,500 lbs that can handle just about any terrain. It can sleep two people in a multi-purpose area that converts into bench seating with a small table. There’s a slide-out field kitchen, a 30-amp electric hookup, and tons of storage areas for strapping on additional gear.
Plus, there are some pretty cool available options like a 5000 BTU AC unit, an awning and mosquito netting, and even a 3-person rooftop tent! Just watch the total weight if you start adding on a bunch of accessories — you can quickly go over 1,500-lbs.
With its rugged practicality, the Tigermoth is a great ultra-lightweight trailer to take on off-grid road trips and overlanding adventures.
Check out the TAXA Tigermoth walk-around video.
*If you’re looking for a small off-road trailer, don’t miss my article 10 Best off road camper trailers under $10,000 | Video Tours!
Big features for such a small camper.
DRY WEIGHT: Tag 1,269 lbs, TagXL 1,369 lbs
When you started looking for a travel trailer under 1,500 lbs, you might’ve thought you’d have to settle for basically a tiny box on wheels, right? With the nuCamp Tag, you don’t have to settle for that.
Imagine a tiny camper under 1,500 lbs with standard features like A/C, sink & stove, fresh water tank, exterior shower, LED lights, and electric brakes. Sweet! Plus, there are some pretty cool optional add-ons like a microwave, electric heater, solar package, stargazer window, and Bluetooth speaker.
The Tag is a great option if you want some more comforts without the extra weight.
*There’s even a Boondock package that makes it more off-road-friendly, however, it’ll push the dry weight to just about 1,500 lbs (excluding of course the propane, water, gear, bacon, etc.)
Watch the nuCamp Tag XL video tour.
Simple, compact, and rugged.
DRY WEIGHT: 1,025 lbs base weight without any options
Source: Timberleaf Trailers
The Timberleaf Pika is a teardrop trailer that comes in well under 1,500 pounds. That makes it a great option for those who want the freedom to trick it out with all the bells and whistles without going over their vehicle’s max towing capacity.
The base version is simple, yet practical and well-built. And one cool standard feature on most of the Timberleaf trailers is a skylight with a shade. That’s a really nice feature for letting in tons of extra light and not feeling so claustrophobic in the teardrop cabin.
Then, as you go through the build options, it’s really easy to upgrade the Pika and basically build one that has exactly the features you need.
You can opt for an all-road or off-road package with beefier tires, a more rugged suspension, and extra ground clearance. Select from different shelving and storage options, and upgraded mattress, 12V Dometic fridge, heater, roof rack, and solar packages.
Watch a Timberleaf Pika trailer tour from some real owners.
Pretty much the smallest travel trailer out there.
DRY WEIGHT: 760 lbs!!!
Source: Go Little Guy
Nope, it’s not a spaceship. Although I have to say, it looks oddly similar to the SpaceX Dragon capsule. 🤔🤔🤔
The MyPod is truly a tiny travel trailer. I mean it’s only 760 lbs…basically half of 1,500! You could tow this with a lawnmower 🤣.
While it does have some pretty cool features like A/C, electric hookup, TV, roof fan, and a cargo rack, it lacks some of the features you normally see on small teardrops. There’s no galley, no freshwater tank, and no space for a cooler.
But if you’re under 6-feet, are basically just looking for a place to sleep, and have a tiny towing vehicle, the MyPod is for you.
Check out the MyPod tour from Matt’s RV Reviews.
A lightweight adventure trailer that’s ready for mods and add-ons.
DRY WEIGHT: 1,115 – 1,595 depending on options
If you want to go exploring and need a versatile camper under 1,500 lbs that can keep up, the Flyer Pursue is a nice pick. It’s got a fully welded frame that can handle rough roads that would make other RVs blow apart.
It’s got a large slide-out galley with a 50-quart 12v fridge/freezer. The interior is really spacious thanks to the boxy shape. And instead of just side doors like you find on most teardrops, the Flyer Pursue has large rear doors so you can easily load extra camping gear into the multi-purpose cabin.
Plus, there are tons of add-ons and mods that make it even more functional — awnings, roof top tents, a 2” hitch receiver for extra cargo carrying capacity, A/C and heat, and even an add-a-room tent.
Watch the InTech Flyer Pursue full video tour.
A hybrid pop-up/teardrop that’s just under 1,500 lbs
DRY WEIGHT: 1,418 lbs
If a pop-up and a teardrop had a love child, it would be the Clipper 9.0. And you know what…it kinda works! You’ve got the lightweight and low profile of the teardrop-like shape when it’s all folded up. Then the back pops up and BAM! You’ve got standing headroom!
Plus, there are some nice available options like a 13,500 BTU air conditioner, a cargo system, and a portable camping toilet! Just keep in mind that since the UVW is already almost 1,500 pounds, so any extra options will quickly push it over that.
Watch the Clipper 9.0 video tour from Matt’s RV Reviews.
One of the roomiest travel trailers under 1500 lbs.
DRY WEIGHT: 1200-1500 for the standard models
Finally, a camper under 1,500 lbs that you can actually stand up in! YES!
The Scamps are a very special kind of travel trailer. If you’re looking for luxurious refinement, they’re definitely not for you. Honestly, the interiors in the 13’ Standard models are a little dated.
But honestly, you can’t complain when you get standing headroom, an interior kitchen, and sleeping room for up to four people… all in a trailer that weighs as little as 1,200 pounds.
Check out this Scamp 13 video tour.
Woohoo! You did it, you made it to the end of the list! Maybe you have a few more questions…
Who Makes the Best Ultra-Light Travel Trailers?
It all depends on what type of trailer you’re looking for. You could go with one of the mainstream RV companies like Coachmen or Forest River. You can usually find these in stock at dealers and can probably get a good deal. However, they don’t always make the best use of space and the build quality isn’t always up to par with some of the smaller guys that hand-craft their trailers one by one.
If you’re looking for a trailer that makes the best use of space, has plenty of options for customization, and has top-notch build quality, then go with a smaller company like Timberleaf or Taxa.
What is Better – Fiberglass or Aluminum Lightweight Travel Trailers?
They each have their pros and cons. Fiberglass campers, like the Scamp, tend to be more durable, have less wind resistance, and better insulation. Aluminum siding on the other hand tends to be a little lighter and less expensive.
How Much Can I Safely Tow?
Check your vehicle’s owner manual or look it up on a towing capacity database. Then just double check your hitch specifications and the total weight of your trailer and any cargo you loaded into it.
Which Travel Trailer Under 1500 Is Right For Your Next Adventure?
Are you gonna go with the comfortable features of the nuCamp Tag? Or maybe the versatility of the InTech Flyer Pursue? Whatever lightweight camper under 1500 pounds you choose (or even if you just stick with a tent 😜), just make sure to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors!
And don’t forget to check out my other RVing articles!