How Much Do Small Campers Weigh?Anthony Day
Are you in the market for a small camper but not sure how much they weigh? There are a wide variety of campers available that range from compact to heavy-duty.
Small campers weight around 500 pounds on the lightweight end to roughly 4,500 pounds for full-featured models. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes - such as pop-up campers or shorter travel trailers – allowing for customizable camping experiences.
We know a lot about the different kinds of small campers, like pop-up campers or travel trailers, and how much they weigh. You can trust our advice because we are well-versed in campers and travel. We have watched the market carefully and know what to look for in a camper.
Small Travel Trailer Weights With Examples
We are here to help you learn about small campers.
Knowing the maximum weight of your pop-up camper trailer is important as it will help determine what type of vehicle you'll need to tow it with.
Here we’ll look at some common types of campers and their trailer weight so you can make an informed decision when shopping for your next camping adventure.
What is the Dry Weight/Unloaded Vehicle Weight of a Camper Trailer?
The dry weight of the trailer is the weight of the pop-up camper without any people or cargo weight inside it. This average weight can vary depending on the type and design of the camper.
Commonly referred to as Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW), it provides a valuable understanding of the carrying capacity of campers and other vehicles.
Understanding Trailer Weight Numbers
When shopping for a small camper, you'll come across several types of weight numbers. Each number represents part of the total maximum weight of the trailer and its components.
These are some of the most common pop-up camper weight terms to know:
- Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW): Also known as gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), GVW is the maximum loaded weight capacity of a camper. It includes all passengers, cargo weight, fluids, and other items inside your travel trailer when it's ready to be towed.
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW): This is the dry weight of the trailer without any additional items inside it. It is the actual weight of the travel trailer.
- Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC): Also referred to as payload capacity, CCC is simply the amount of extra weight your travel trailer can carry in addition to its own average weight. This is calculated by subtracting the UVW from the GVW.
Pop-up campers are typically a lightweight option for weekend camping trips, weighing in at an average of 2,000 pounds.
- Aliner Expedition Pop-up Camper has a UVW of 1,850 lbs and is rated for up to 3,500 lbs.
- Flagstaff T12RBST Hard Side Camper has a dry weight of 2,120 lbs and a gross vehicle weight rating of just under 3,300 lbs.
Both are popular, highly-rated campers.
Lightweight travel trailers are an increasingly popular type of small camper, with models ranging over 4,000 pounds.
- This Forest River Salem Cruise Lite Trailer model has a dry weight of 3,836 lbs and can contain up to a 3,685 lbs cargo carrying capacity.
- Jayco Jay Flight SLX Travel Trailers weigh under 3,500 lbs and have a cargo carrying capacity of 1,000 lbs.
Why Does Gross Vehicle Weight Rating?
Knowing the weight of a pop-up camper trailer is important when selecting a model, as it will help you determine if your current vehicle will be able to tow it safely.
It's also necessary for safety and performance reasons – if a travel trailer is too heavy for your towing vehicle, it can potentially cause damage and reduce your overall fuel efficiency.
What is Towing Capacity?
Maximum towing capacity refers to the maximum amount of extra weight a vehicle can safely tow. This includes the pop-up camper weight and any cargo that is contained inside it.
If you exceed your vehicle's towing capacity, you are putting yourself and all occupants at risk.
What Affects Camper Weight?
The weight of a camper trailer is impacted by the style, the construction materials used, and any extra items or features it includes.
Naturally, size is a major factor as well. Smaller campers tend to be lighter than larger ones with more intricate floorplans, making them easier to tow.
For instance, pop-up campers are crafted with lightweight elements and fewer built-in appliances and comforts and, thus, are the best fit for smaller vehicles.
In contrast, even lightweight travel trailers generally contain heavier substances like wood or fiberglass, which make them pricier yet bulkier than other types of campers.
Heavier campers have more amenities, such as air conditioning, refrigerators, sinks, and plentiful seating.
What Extra Equipment Do I Need for a Small Camper?
When towing a small camper trailer, it's important to ensure you have the proper equipment.
This includes a trailer hitch, wiring and brakes that can match your vehicle’s output, and safety chains.
You'll also need an adequate tow vehicle with a strong enough engine that can handle all types of terrain with the pop-up camper in tow.
It's always a good idea to consult an expert when selecting the right camper trailer and tow setup for your needs.
The best and most reputable RV and camper dealers will be happy to help you select the right model and accessories for your towing vehicle.
What Is the Lightest Weight Camper?
The lightest camper will vary, depending on the type and design. In general, any camper under 1000 lbs is considered very light.
- So-Cal's Buzz Trailer has a dry weight of 670 lbs.
- The T300 from Earth is one of the lightest campers available, with a dry weight of 400 lbs.
Travel trailers this light are often referred to as ultralight campers and provide a great option for those who are looking for an easy way to travel.
Most cars will be able to tow these without any issues.
In fact, if your tow vehicle can't tow the T300, the problem isn't with the camper.
Are Small Campers Worth It?
For thrill-seekers and adventure lovers, having a small camper brings you the best of both worlds - experience nature in all its glory with some home comforts.
Campers are more comfortable than tents but easier to set up and maintain than large RVs, making them an ideal option for those who like to explore hard-to-reach places.
As they’re lightweight and can be towed by most vehicles with a hitch, these economical options offer the perfect way to embark on your camping journey!
What Vehicles Can Tow a 3000 Lbs Camper?
Generally, a mid-size or large SUV or pickup truck can handle up to 3,000 lbs of cargo, but it is best to check with your owner’s manual for exact specifications.
- The Subaru Outback model of crossover SUVs all have a minimum towing capacity of 3500 lbs. Subaru's are affordable and dependable, making them a popular choice for small camper owners.
- The Toyota Tacoma pickup truck has a towing capacity of up to 6,400 lbs, more than enough to tow any small camper.
There are plenty of other vehicles that have higher towing capacities.
Consult your owner's manual or local dealership for all available options.
Can a Car Tow a Small Camper?
Yes, if that camper's gross vehicle weight is below the car's towing capacity.
Most normal sedans have a towing capacity of 1,000 lbs. or less, so you should avoid heavy campers if you plan to tow it with a car.
Smaller pop-ups and ultralight campers are the best options for cars.
Not having a pickup or SUV is not a dealbreaker when it comes to owning a small camper.
About THE AUTHOR
Hi, my name is Anthony, and RVs are what I'm passionate about. I bought my first RV when I was 21, and I've been hooked ever since. I'll guide you on how they work, how they can be used in different environments, and how they fit into our everyday lives.Read More About Anthony Day