Interested in an RV that’s light, cheap, can fit you (and your spouse) and can be hauled to basically any location?
Then look no further because a teardrop trailer is the perfect fit.
These trailers are a popular option for a wide variety of adventures, and have been taking the camping world by storm over the past 10 years.
Built with a number of cool options, it’s bound to make any solo traveler very happy.
In today’s article, we’re going to focus on what teardrops are, the main features, some pros and cons, and frequently asked questions.
So… What Exactly Is A Teardrop Trailer?
Made popular after WWII, a teardrop trailer (often referred to as a teardrop camper, or teardrop RV) is basically a sleeping space enclosed by 4 walls in the shape of a teardrop.
It’s called a teardrop trailer because the aerodynamic design resembles a teardrop turned sideways, with a fatter round end closer to the hitch, and a tapering back towards the rear.
This RV type comes in a wide range of sizes, and prices, which is bound to fit any RV owners needs.
If you enjoy tent camping, but want to upgrade to an enclosed (hard-shell) sleeping area, with very basic amenities (like an outside shower and kitchen) then this RV is perfect for you.
A teardrop trailer offers almost all the amenities a traditional travel trailer would offer, but in a significantly smaller space.
Compared to more full sized RVs, a teardrop trailer is great for a solo hiker or a couple looking to boondock and spend more time camping in state or national parks.
Word of warning – families need not apply. You’ll find out why further below!
Teardrop Camper Quick Facts
Usually between 8-15 feet. There are some trailer options that get larger, but they’re not really teardrop campers at that point.
Teardrop trailers weigh between 2,000-5,000 pounds. This little guy is a small trailer.
A true teardrop camper will sleep two adults. There are claims of four people but I seriously doubt this unless you’re talking about small children.
Zero slide outs.
Teardrop campers cost anywhere from $2,000 – $30,000 or more depending on the amenities.
Advantages Of Teardrop Trailers
Is a teardrop camper worth adding for your next camping trip? Let’s find out these benefits!
A teardrop is a small camper. In fact, teardrop trailers are the second smallest RVs (right next to pop-up campers) which means they’re going to be super lightweight. Compared to larger rigs (like fifth wheels), a teardrop camper is easy to tow and can be towed by most vehicles. Heck, I’ve even seen a motorcycle pulling a teardrop trailer, giving me more than a few reasons to pause at the awesomeness of that sight! Weighing under 4,000 pounds, you won’t require a large pickup truck to tow these small campers, and because of their aerodynamic shape, you’re going to be saving on gas. Can you hear the “cha-ching, cha-ching”, or is it just me?
Speaking of ‘molla, teardrop trailers are cheap. Very often small teardrop trailers are priced between $3,000 – $7,000, which compared to a large RV, is significantly more affordable. Yes, a teardrop makes you feel slightly cramped when you’re camping, but if you’re used to tent camping then this will be a slightly similar experience, but with nicer amenities and a hard shell cover to protect your from inclement weather. Speaking of which, for the price point of a teardrop trailer, you’re getting good amenities. Almost all offer an outdoor kitchen (with a small sink), a convertible dinette or dining area, and sometimes a seating area. Everything except the interior RV kitchen and bathroom come standard with a teardrop trailer.
Easy Setup & Takedown
If the great outdoors is calling you (not what I mean…) and you want to leave for a weekend camping trip on a moment’s notice, then a teardrop camper will be your best friend. Grab your camping gear, throw it in the rear galley, hook it up to tow, and head out to get some fresh air. When you get there, just unhitch, and enjoy the scenery with no hassles and no worries. This would be impossible to do with a larger RV. You would need to prep the tanks, secure the interior items, map the route, then level the travel trailer, pop out the sides, and more before you can enjoy the camping experience.
If you’re not sold on a teardrop trailer, pop up campers are also lightweight, affordable and easy to use.
Disadvantages Of Teardrop Trailers
While teardrop campers provide a lot of benefits with their compact size, it’s not always roses. Here are some serious cons to pay attention to.
Limited Storage Space
You’re not getting much storage space with a teardrop camper. These are tiny trailers, and the storage area provided will be limited to under the bed and in whatever cabinets within the interior living space. You can bring more items with you in your tow vehicle, and if you’re driving a truck you at least have to bed to carry additional stuff. There’s also the option to utilize roof racks on SUVs which can assist. With all that being said, these small trailers offer you next to zero storage space for any camping longer than a weekend.
Basically Zero Amenities
Picture this: you just got back to your teardrop camper from a beautiful and crisp hike because the weather started to turn a bit cloudy. During your hike, you enjoyed a tasty peanut butter protein bar. The weather is taking a turn for the worse and it starts pouring. All is good, you get into your travel trailer and get shelter from the rain. So. You. Think. Next thing you know, that peanut butter is causing all sorts of havoc on your stomach. You MUST go to the bathroom, but your only option is to sit on a bucket (your “portable bathroom”) in the frigid rain emptying your bowels. Not to mention, when you need water or and to wash your hands, you have to open the galley kitchen, in awful weather, to get to your sink. That’s your life with even the best teardrop trailer.
Tall people need not apply. Sure, most teardrop campers are going to offer a queen bed, but because of the tapering and overall “crampness” of the travel trailer, you’re going to feel very uncomfortable. Not to mention there’s no foot room, or standing room for that matter, which leads to you feeling very large in a very small RV. Personally, after having tried out a teardrop for the weekend, if you’re over 6 feet tall, you won’t have enough room. Not to mention the sleeping area will offer only 2 people the opportunity to rest semi-comfortably. There is no way you’re getting 4 people in a teardrop trailer. And if your teardrop has bunk beds, it’s not a teardrop anymore. That’s a travel trailer.
Main Features Of A Teardrop Camping Trailer
Teardrop campers are the most distinct RV types because of their tapered shape. This provides an aerodynamic look and feel, which greatly reduces the overall amenities that can be available.
Now, there are large teardrop trailers which have a bundle of amenities more like traditional travel trailers, but these start to push your price range further out making it more beneficial to just get the full rig. You could consider a hybrid trailer, if you wanted to add a little more space without the extra weight though.
Anyways, here are some highlights of what features you can expect from a teardrop camper:
There are some trailers which provide a bed conversion that turns into a seating area. This would be the closest you might get to a prototypical living area within a larger RV. Some options will include a convertible dinette which offers a dining area to help you eat your food inside. This dinette area will be able to seat 3-4 people at most, which when you think about it makes a teardrop camper a very nice step up compared to the tent camper lifestyle. I’ve even heard most trailers have great natural light options because of the large windows.
Okay so earlier I made a bit of an exaggeration about the lack of amenities, but the point does stand for these tiny trailers. There are some larger teardrop campers which offer a wet bath. If you’re not familiar with a wet bath, it’s where the shower and toilet all get wet together. These are rare though and if you did have a bathroom it would be a dry flush toilet. If you’re expecting a complete bathroom, you’re not going to find one. Most teardrop trailers will make you go in camping bathrooms, and if you’re very familiar with tent camping, then this won’t be so rough.
There’s one model I can think of which offers an indoor kitchen within a teardrop trailer. However, most teardrop RV models will offer a galley kitchen (which is just an outdoor kitchen) for you to cook with. The back of the trailer will open up like the hood of a car, and underneath you can often find a sink, stove, refrigerator, and some extra storage. From what I’ve heard, these kitchens are actually quite nice.
Just like we talked about earlier, the sleeping area is an issue in my opinion with teardrop trailers. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re coming from the tent camping world, and you want to step up your sleeping area with a dedicated bed instead of a pad, then by all means, get a teardrop. You will at least be protected from the weather. Most floor plans utilize a convertible option to turn the lounging area into a sleeping space, which leads to lower quality mattresses. However, as I said earlier, if you’re coming from sleeping pads, this is a step up in quality.
Frequently Asked Questions About Teardrop Trailers
Here we answer your main questions about these RV trailers.
Does A Teardrop Camper Have A/C?
Actually yes! A good portion of teardrop trailers will have air conditioning as a standard option. Although most will have vents and windows to provide airflow, you can get quite a few campers to include air conditioning.
Can Four People Sleep In A Teardrop Trailer?
Personal opinion, no. At least not four fully grown adults. There are some options with bunk beds which are good for smaller children, but those are rare. These campers are really built for two people, and are usually great for couples looking to hit the road as weekend warriors.
Is A Teardrop Camper Easy To Tow?
Yes – these travel trailers are fairly easy to tow. And the majority of SUVs, trucks, even some cars can operate as a tow vehicle for this travel trailer type. These campers are light, compact, and basically a rolling bed built for one to two people.
Can You Live Full Time Within A Teardrop Camper?
Sure. If you’re primarily used to tent camping, or you’re switching from vanlife, then a teardrop could be a good option for full-time RVing.
Will A Teardrop Camper Offer Full Bathrooms?
No, for the most part. At best, some of the larger trailers will offer a wet bath. You have to anticipate most of these trailer options will be limited due to the size.
Teardrop camping trailers offer a wide variety of options for a majority of campers across the U.S. looking for a high quality trailer to take on their next adventure.
Sure they’re tiny, but they’re sleek and offer a lot of protection from the weather when you compare it to primitive camping.
No matter your destination, you can expect a great adventure when you’re towing a teardrop!