Smaller 5th wheel trailers can not only go farther off the beaten path, but they can also do so more efficiently. The smallest 5th wheel trailers are also compatible with a wider range of tow vehicles.
For those of you that don’t necessarily want to upgrade your truck to find a compatible 5th wheel trailer, we are going to review some of the smallest 5th wheel campers we could find.
Plus, we will outline the benefits of having a smaller 5th wheel travel trailer over a larger floor plan.
Renting a travel trailer before you buy is a great way to test one out! Outdoorsy is like the Airbnb of RV rentals, where you rent a travel trailer by owner. Use the coupon code wayward40 to get $40 off any rental with Outdoorsy.
Why Choose a Small 5th Wheel Camper?
There are many benefits to choosing one of the smallest 5th wheel trailers over any other type of recreational vehicle. If you are shopping exclusively for 5th wheels, smaller models can be towed by a wider range of vehicles and will also allow you to load more recreation gear without exceeding your vehicle’s payload capacity.
The smallest 5th wheel campers can also be much more affordable than all classes of RVs of similar sizes. This is mainly because you will not be paying for the engine, drivetrain, and other mechanical elements that come with drivable RVs.
This also means that you will not have to worry about regular mechanic maintenance on an engine if you choose a small 5th wheel travel trailer. You will still have to regularly maintain your camper’s appliances and electrical system, just to be clear.
Finally, small 5th wheel campers will be accepted at more campgrounds nationwide. So, if you aren’t necessarily looking for a trailer for boondocking or dry camping, going with a smaller rig will still allow you to fit in a larger number of campgrounds throughout your travels.
The Smallest 5th Wheel Campers For Sale
Here are our top picks for the best small 5th wheel campers on the market right now. Which one are you going to choose?
- Length: 27’3”
- Exterior Height: 12’7”
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 7,220 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 820 pounds
- MSRP: Starts at $43,094
The 25RKS floor plan of the Winnebago Micro Minnie Plus features a rear kitchen design. Rear kitchen designs are always nice for reducing kitchen traffic because people won’t be walking through the kitchen when they are moving between the bedroom, bathroom, and living room areas.
One thing I love about the Winnebago brand is that they stand behind their small 5th wheel trailers with a three-year warranty. This is an extended warranty when compared to what many other manufacturers offer.
Some of the best interior features in the Micro Minnie Plus include:
- Full Galley with Fridge, 3-Burner Cooktop, Microwave, and Stainless Steel Sink
- Bathroom with Shower, Foot-Pedal Flush Toilet, and Stainless Steel Sink
- Bedroom with a Queen bed and Optional TV Installation
- Roof Air Conditioning
- 10-Gallon Water Heater
Even though it is among the smallest 5th wheel campers, this rig offers plenty of underneath storage space. Some of its other great exterior amenities include:
- Patio Speakers
- LED Awning Lights
- Outdoor Shower
- Swing Out Entry Assist Handle
- Length: 27’10”
- Exterior Height:12’9”
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 6,831 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 1,930 pounds
- MSRP: Starts at $53,403
While it is still well under 30 feet in length, you will notice that the Northwood Fox Mountain 235RLS has a slightly heavier hitch weight than the previous small 5th wheel camper. Overall, however, this trailer is actually lighter, but the weight is simply distributed differently.
The floor plan in this smallest 5th wheel trailer features a central kitchen with a lounge area on the back wall. That lounge area comes standard with a jackknife sofa and decorative throw pillows. But you will always have the option of upgrading to two separate lounge recliners.
This Fox Mountain small 5th wheel camper checks a few important boxes for off-grid camping. That includes being built on a more rugged, independently-certified off-road chassis and including a 45-watt solar panel with a sidewall solar port as a standard feature.
Of course, experienced boondockers may opt to upgrade to the 100 or 170-watt solar panel, but it is great to have this as an option.
After reviewing them, some of the interior features that popped off the page for me include:
- 10 Cubic Foot Fridge with Cold Weather Kit
- 32” LED TV with AM/FM/CD/DVD Player and Bluetooth Connectivity
- Stainless Steel Appliances and Solid Surface Kitchen Countertops
- Glass Shower Enclosure
- Four Season Insulation with R-18 Ceiling.
Aside from the off-grid chassis and solar panel installation, I also wanted to mention a few other useful exterior amenities on this small 5th wheel camper:
- Powered, Dual-Motor Stabilizing Jacks
- Omni-Directional Roof-Mounted TV Antenna
- Powered 12-Volt Awning with LED Lights and Adjustable Pitch
- Length: 19’
- Exterior Height: 8’10”
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 2800 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 400 pounds
- MSRP: Starts at $27,790
Scamp has been around for quite some time and, at first glance, the interior of their small. 5th wheel trailers do look a bit outdated. To be clear, Scamp is currently updating its 19’ small 5th wheel campers and they will be available again in 2023.
That said, this small 5th wheel camper model is a great choice for folks with smaller trucks because it is one of the lightest on the market. It is also a more affordable option if you are working with a slightly smaller budget.
There are two layouts for the 19’ Scamp 5th wheel trailer. Both layouts place the toilet and shower at the front of the floor plan with the dining and sleeping areas at the back. The differences really lie in the layout of the kitchen.
Layout A places the closet, fridge, and pantry on the driver’s side of the camper. Opposite of that, you will find the sink and the stovetop. Layout B flips this and expands the kitchen counter space, so it is an attractive choice if you need more food prep space.
- Length: 28’5”
- Exterior Height: 12’2”
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 6,754 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 1,102 pounds
- MSRP: Starts at $37,212
My personal favorite part about the Palomino small 5th wheel trailer is that it comes with plenty of options for outdoor cooking. As someone who likes to take advantage of good weather as much as possible, outdoor cooking is essential for me when I am camping.
While it doesn’t come with these as standard options, you can add a micro kitchen with a cooking griddle at one of two locations on the passenger side of this camper. One option is directly in the center of the trailer and the other is closer to the front.
Because this small 5th wheel camper is equipped with a large powered awning with LED underneath lights, however, both of these locations will be shaded or protected from rain when you are cooking outside.
As far as the interior features go, these are a few that stood out during my review:
- Floor Ducted Heat
- LED Ceiling Lights
- Undermount Stainless Steel Sink with Roll Up Stainless Steel Sink Covers
- Glass Range Cover
- 11 Cubic Foot Residential-Style Refrigerator
Palomino also boasts a rugged build for all their models, so despite the rather lavish interiors, you can take these units through some pretty serious terrain for boondocking.
- Length: 27’9”
- Exterior Height: 12’9.25”
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 7,775 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 1,405 pounds
- MSRP: Starts at $61,563
The Eagle HT 255REOK is Jayco’s shortest towable 5th wheel camper. It is towable with most half-ton trucks and the shorter length will allow you to fit in more state and national park campgrounds.
The kitchen and living room lie in the rear part of this small 5th wheel camper, which creates plenty of floor plan space for the master bedroom and bathroom in the front. Speaking of that bedroom, it features a queen-sized bed, TV, and his and hers nightstands and wards.
If you plan on doing a lot of boondocking with this small 5th wheel trailer, you should upgrade to the 16” Goodyear tires to give it a little more ground clearance. The goods news is that it is already equipped with a four-star handling package that makes it plenty capable of handling rough roads.
In terms of the interior living space, these are some of the best features the Jayco Eagle has to offer:
- Standard Outside Kitchen with Optional TV
- Window in Bedroom Wardrobe Slide for Added Ventilation and Natural Light
- Central Command Center with Built-in Tank Monitoring
- Brushed Nickel Kitchen Faucet with Pull-Out Sprayer
- Gas/Electric RV Refrigerator with Freezer
The Jayco has also been dubbed as having the Industry’s Best Outside Kitchen. A few other notable exterior amenities include:
- Zero-Degree Tested Weather Protection
- 20’ Electric Patio Awning with Integrated LED Lights
- Smart LED Reading Lights with Blue Nightlight Mode
- Length: 28’11”
- Exterior Height: 13’1”
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 7,950 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 1,252 pounds
- MSRP: Starts at $53,327
The aim of the 2442BS floor plan in this small 5th wheel camper is to maximize the space in the bedroom and bathroom. It features a large 48” by 30” shower with a seat and more countertop space below the vanity than you will find in the smallest 5th wheel campers.
The bedroom can be upgraded to include a king-sized bed for taller individuals to sleep in greater comfort. There is also a full-height shared wardrobe with shelving next to it and additional dresser storage at the foot of the bed below the TV stand.
The kitchen is located in the rear section of the camper and it features extra-large countertops with bar seating. There are also two pantry areas for dry food storage and slide-outs in the living room and bedroom increase the overall interior square footage of this camper.
Some of the best exterior amenities that caught my eye include:
- Outside Griddle with Propane Hookup and Work Table
- Pass-Through Storage with Magnetic Latches
- Power Awning with Adjustable Rain Dump and LED Light Strip
- Outside Speakers
- Nitrogen-Filled 16” E-Rated Goodyear Endurance Tires
We love these six boondocking guides, where you can learn about where exactly to find free campsites. The writer, Marianna Edwards, is an RVer herself and details GPS coordinates of each site, and whether it has phone signal, water, bathrooms and what size rig it fits. Although boondocking can be quite cost-effective, it does have a bit of a learning curve. Since travelers can't hook up to water or electricity, they have to get a little creative when using appliances or amenities.
Plus, boondocking isn't allowed anywhere, so RVers have to know which spots are safe and which ones could lead to a ticket or fine. These travel guides showcase the best locations and offer tips and tricks on how to make the most of each stop.
- Length: 29’10”
- Exterior Height: 12’
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 7,273 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 1,115 pounds
- MSRP: Starts at $58,454
The 25RE Chapparral Lite floor plan focuses on a really open living room space. The long slide-out pushes both the theater seating and dinette back so that there is plenty of space for movement in the center of the room.
Personally, my first thought was that this is the best floor plan I have seen so far if you want an open space for yoga in your small 5th wheel camper. But you can obviously choose to use it for whatever purpose you desire.
The Chapparral Lite’s best interior features include:
- Extra-Large Stainless Steel Oven with Residential Cooktop, Glass Cover, and Piezo Ignition
- Extra-Deep Stainless Steel Farm Style Single Basin Sink
- Hidden Compartmentalized Storage Drawers Under The Bed
- Modern Entertainment Center for 50” to 55” Television
- Theater Seating with Heat, Massage, LED Lights, and Cup Holders
If you are ever able to get out of those heated massage chairs to check out this small 5th wheels exterior features, a few notables you will find include:
- Exterior Marine Speakers with LED Light
- Road Armor Suspension with Heavy-Duty Shackles and Wet Bolts
- Electric Awning with LED Light Strip and One Hand Pitch Adjustment
- Length: 21’2”
- Exterior Height: 10’
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 3,910 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 646 pounds
- MSRP: Starts at $29,995
The Escape Trailer 5.0 is one of smallest 5th wheel campers and it certainly features one of the most unique designs. It is towable with a mid-size truck and is also available at a price point that, to be perfectly honest, is hard for other small 5th wheels to beat.
It can even work with short bed trucks and it has a lower center of gravity than most 5th wheels. That means it is less subject to be blown around on the road if you encounter high winds. It also boasts a full wet bath and separate sleeping and living areas.
Inside, some of the Escape’s notable features include:
- Stainless Steel Kitchen Appliances
- 6 Cubic-Foot 3-Way RV Refrigerator
- Custom Wood Interior with High Grade Rolled Vinyl Flooring
- LED Captain’s Reading Lights On Both Sides of the Bed
- 12,000 BTU Furnace
While it may not be as luxury of a small 5th wheel camper as some of the other models on our list, it still offers everything you will need for comfortable 5th wheel camping, including:
- 12’3” Manual Exterior Awning
- Dual 20-Pound Propane Tanks with Auto Change Regulator and Cover
- Rear Stabilizer Jacks with Exterior Bubble Levels
- Length: 26’9”
- Exterior Height: 12’1”
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 7,250 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 1,310 pounds
- MSRP: Starts at $58,435
To finish things out, we are stepping back up to a couple of slightly larger floor plans. That said, the Durango Half-Ton D230RKD is still short enough to fit in most state and national parks, as well as county-owned and private RV campgrounds.
Coming from someone who probably has too much outdoor recreation gear, I love the pass-through storage compartment at the center of this 5th wheel. By locating it in that spot, the manufacturer also did you a solid by keeping a lot of the storage weight in front of the trailer’s axle.
That will allow for safer towing, but when you are not towing, here are a few interior amenities you can enjoy:
- Maple-Glazed Cabinetry with Seamless Solid Countertops
- LED TV and Multimedia Stereo with DVD, Bluetooth, and Wireless Connectivity
- Standard Tri-Fold Hide-a-Bed Sofa with Optional Freestanding Dinette Table
- Deep Undermount Stainless Steel Sink with Residential Faucet and Sprayer
- Double-Door Gas/Electric Refrigerator with Temperature Controls
One of the best options that all boondockers should consider adding to this small 5th wheel camper is the Off-Grid Solar Package, which features:
- 220-Watt Solar Panels
- 30-Amp MPPT Solar Charge Controller with MPPT Remote Panel
- 2,000-Watt Pure Sine Wave Inverter
KZ RV Sportsmen 231RK
- Length: 24’5”
- Exterior Height: 11’11”
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight: 6,150 pounds
- Hitch Weight: 790 pounds
- MSRP: Starts at $46,609
One of the absolute smallest 5th wheel campers from KZ RV is the Sportsmen 231RK. This trailer is light enough to be towed by most mid-size trucks, but it still includes the kind of luxury amenities that you would want if you were a full-time RVer.
The first thing that caught my eye about the 231RK is that the kitchen is located in the rear. This is something I look for more and more nowadays because of the ease and convenience it provides to your day-to-day lifestyle.
In trailers with central kitchens, traffic can get in the way of your ability to cook comfortably. Most front kitchen 5th wheels also have a lowered ceiling in the kitchen that makes them less comfortable for taller individuals. You don’t have to worry about either of those problems with a rear kitchen travel trailer.
In addition to its rear kitchen, the other features I like in this small 5th wheel include:
- Cooktop with Recessed, 3-Burner Work Area, Glass Cover, and LED Accented Oven Knobs
- Theater Seating with Cup Holders, USB Ports, and Heat/Massage Functions
- Stainless Steel Sink with High-Rise Faucet and Pull-Down Sprayer
- Optional 4-Point Auto Electric Leveling
- Fully Enclosed, Heated, and Insulated to Protect Tanks and Pipes
The Positives and Negatives of a Small 5th wheel Camper
As with almost everything, the best and worst aspects of small 5th wheel trailers are totally subjective.
While one shopper might see a small space as cramped, another might see it as more maneuverable.
Always consider your personal priorities and plan accordingly.
If you’re comparing a small 5th wheel camper to a motorhome, you’ll find a pretty drastic price difference.
When you can unload the mechanics and heavy lifting to your tow vehicle, your camper is a relatively very simple construction.
Even if you’re additionally purchasing a truck, you’ll likely find the cost of a motorhome still exceeds the cost of a truck and a small 5th wheel trailer.
Use of space
Without the driving cabin taking up precious floor plan space, you’ll find small 5th wheel campers to feel surprisingly spacious. They often boast at least one pop-out, and can end up feeling like way more space for a whole lot less than in an RV.
Most people who travel via a motorhome tend to tow a more “drivable” vehicle. That means two drive trains and double the potential breakdowns.
RVs are also typically more expensive to have worked on than a car or truck, so this can end up costing you more than you might expect. Cutting down on the possible pitfalls is a great road to success.
Without the mechanics or fuel tanks, small 5th wheel trailers have a surprising amount of storage, as well as large water and waste tanks. If you want to spend any serious time off-grid, large tanks are the way to go.
Driving any type of large rig is a pretty anxiety-inducing situation, especially if that large rig is your home.
The placement of a 5th wheel hitch really improves drivability and provides awesome stability on the road.
Elements like wind, which has a huge effect on towed rigs, are not so much of a factor for 5th wheels.
If you’re at all uncomfortable with towing, that added stability could add on some much-needed peace of mind.
As mentioned above, the 5th wheel hitch changes the pivot point of your trailer.
By shifting this up toward the body of your truck, turning (and backing out on a turn) is much more manageable.
Backing up tends to be the absolute worst part of towing just about anything, so having something that greatly helps in that situation is a huge plus.
You cannot tow a 5th wheel camper without a truck. This is pretty limiting for some people, and if you’re particularly opposed to trucks, this might not be an option.
On the other hand, if you’ve already got a truck with a high enough tow capacity, this is actually on the “pros” side of things.
Total rig length
This is another tricky factor. When compared to RVs, with a driving cabin built-in to the main section of your rig, 5th wheel trailers plus the tow truck tend to be a bit longer overall.
But, when compared to standard travel trailers, the opposite is true. This is due to the extended raised section above the truck bed, maximizing space.
For some travelers, the total rig length isn’t very important, but it will always affect things like driveability and maneuverability.
Most campsites have size ranges, so this could also determine where you’re staying and how much it costs you.
Lack of size options
You can buy a standard travel trailer in just about any length imaginable. 5th wheel travel trailers tend to be on the larger size, and finding smaller options may feel limited.
Yes, I know this was on the pros list. No, it’s not a typo. When compared to RVs, 5th wheel trailers win out in price hand over fist.
BUT, if you’re deciding between a standard towed trailer or a small 5th wheel camper, you’ll likely end up paying more for the 5th wheel.
Small 5th Wheel Camper Buying Guide
Even small 5th wheel trailers are basically tiny, towable apartments. Many feature full-size appliances, even washers and dryers, and tons of space to spread out. The front, raised sections feel almost like a split-level home, and can help divide the space in an efficient, smart way.
That being said, there are countless various layouts and floor plans for the small 5th wheel campers. It can quickly feel overwhelming.
Our best advice is to start at an RV show (without intent to buy!) and get a feel for what’s out there.
Camper manufacturers are constantly innovating and finding new and brilliant ways to maximize small spaces. Taking a walk through a range of sizes and layouts is the easiest way to get an idea of what you want. Take note of your favorite features and layouts.
Find elements that you want to incorporate and start prioritizing your needs.
How will you most often use the space? Where will you spend the most time? If you have a big family that loves movie nights, a large living area is essential. If you’re a solo or couple traveler with a passion for cooking, it might be better to prioritize a larger kitchen.
Many manufacturers offer flexible layouts and custom options. That means you can combine all your favorite elements and features into one, ideal floor plan.
Lots of first-time buyers make the critical error of falling in love with the first camper they look at. I’m not one to deny love at first sight, but the odds of finding your optimal rig on the first shot are…slim.
Do yourself a favor, and take some research trips.
Leave the checkbook in the car and look through with an analytical eye.
Taking the time upfront will reward you tenfold when you finally land on the rig that’s right for you.
If you find the right rig, check out our RV loan calculator to make sure you’re getting the right monthly payment.
Another great place to start is a rental. Once you have a general idea of what you want, rent out a similar unit for the weekend. Give it a true test drive, settle into the space and see if you feel cramped, or maybe you notice wasted space.
Maybe you realize a space-saving feature inhibits functionality.
Maybe you realize that you need something that was on the nice-to-have list.
Whatever it is, renting a unit for a weekend can help iron out some major kinks. And with a purchase this large, the added cost of the rental can save you some serious money in buyers remorse down the road.
Conclusion On The Best Small 5th Wheel Camper
If you’re looking for an easy-to-drive, spacious travel trailer to tow with your truck, a small 5th wheel camper trailer is an amazing option for you.
Whether you’re a solo, full-time nomad, a couple looking for an off-road oasis, or even a young family or group seeking some serious adventure, a small 5th wheel camper will get you there more than comfortably.
Hopefully our article has helped you determine if a 5th wheel is right for you, and where to start in your hunt for the perfect rig.
Let us know what else you’d like to know about small 5th wheel campers in the comments!
Other Camper Stories You’ll Love:
- 12 Amazing Insights From Full Time RVers
- The Best Small Camping Trailers with Bathrooms
- 19 space-saving ideas for your RV kitchen
Kristin Hanes is a journalist who founded The Wayward Home as a place to learn about alternative living. She currently lives on a sailboat and in a Chevy Astro van, and has written articles about alternative living published in Good Housekeeping, Business Insider, Marie Claire and SF Gate. Read more about Kristin here.