Teardrop trailers are experiencing a comeback. After their huge success between the 1930s and 60s, teardrop trailers disappeared from the market in favor of bigger RVs, motorhomes, fifth wheelers and camper vans. Now, thanks to the surge in popularity of tiny houses and minimalism, they’re back.
If you’re looking to go camping on a budget with a comfy mattress and solid walls, teardrop trailers might be just for you.
Why get a teardrop trailer?
Teardrop trailers are a stylish but practical upgrade from a tent. They offer the comfort of a double bed, a solid roof and a permanent kitchen. Some even come with bathrooms and rooftop tents.
With more models appearing on the market, teardrop trailers are becoming a great versatile option for minimalist campers who enjoy traveling to remote destinations and being in touch with nature.
What’s so special about teardrop campers, apart from being extra cute?
They bring us back to the roots of camping. Back in the day, it was all about cooking a meal outdoors, starting a campfire and watching the stars while playing guitar.
Teardrop trailers bring us back to the roots of camping, when it was all about cooking a meal outdoors, starting a campfire and watching the stars .
Teardrop trailers offer the traditional romance of camping, with the added luxury of a comfortable bed and a decent galley.
The benefits of teardrop trailers
Before you run out and buy a teardrop camper, we wanted to give you some positives and negatives to think about. Here are the key benefits.
Maneuverability and low impact
Teardrop trailers are light and small, which makes them easy to maneuver and inexpensive to tow. Some lighter models can be towed by a mid-size car and even by motorbike. This is ideal for the environmentally-conscious folks, who want to have a small impact while camping. The tiny size of certain models also means it’s fairly easy to find a parking spot and it’s possible to take them into cities.
Teardrop trailers are comfortable
Although small and rather minimalistic, teardrop trailers can be very comfortable. The cabin hosts a double mattress, so it makes for a snug bed away from home. The kitchen is often as big as that of a medium-sized campervan. You can even add an awning to create a nice, dry outdoor living room with a table and cozy chairs.
Easy to store
Some teardrop trailers are so small, they can fit into a garage or front yard. That makes them easy and cheap to store. This also means that you can keep yours ready to go off on a spontaneous adventure, anytime. You could even go camping for the night somewhere near where you live in the middle of the week and just drop it off at home before work.
Feeling all-in-one with nature
The best teardrop trailers can be towed to wilder, more remote places and the open galley design means you can feel closer to nature while cooking, eating, and chilling out.
Space for installing solar
Although they are small vehicles, the roof can often fit at least one solar panel that you can use to generate electricity. This means you can easily charge your phone, tablet and laptop while stationary, rather than relying on running your car.
Cheap to buy and maintain
Teardrop campers can be purchased for cheap, way cheaper than most RVs. If you keep them rustic – without installing AC, a complicated electrical system, TV, and more – they are inexpensive to maintain too. To cut costs down, you could even think of doing the maintenance and install any upgrades yourself.
And if you can’t afford or don’t like the models available on the market, you can build your own! Anyone with basic carpentry skills can build a teardrop trailer; different plans are available online. This is partly what made them so popular back in the 1930s.
The downsides of a teardrop trailer
With everything that seems amazing at first glance, there are downsides to be aware of. Here are the top negatives of teardrop campers.
They are more suited to short trips
While small is practical, not everyone is suited to tiny living, especially if it’s for longer than a weekend. It can be fun to camp in a teardrop trailer for a week or so, but living in one long-term might be a bit much.
The galley is usually outdoors
Teardrop campers generally have outdoor kitchens, which means that cooking on a rainy or snowy day might be a wet affair. You could add another awning to protect you from the rain, but this is yet another add-on to set up when you stop, which takes away from the ease of having a trailer rather than a tent.
Most teardrop trailers don’t have bathrooms, so unless you carry a portable toilet and solar shower with you, you’ll have to either go to campgrounds or do some wild camping.
Finally, there isn’t a whole lot of storage space in the best teardrop trailers, so if you plan on towing one with a mid-sized car, you won’t be able to take much with you. This is especially true if you have lots of add-ons, such as awnings, visors and tents, which can take up lots of space. Teardrop trailers are definitely suited to minimalists.
The best teardrop campers for sale
Here’s what you’ve been waiting for. Our recommendations for the best teardrop campers for sale right now. We hope you find your perfect tiny home!
1) TAB Teardrop Camper by nuCamp – From $22,000
View this post on Instagram
Features: Indoor kitchen, seating area that transforms into a bed, 6ft headroom, TV, entertainment system and option to add either an AC unit, an extra cabinet, or a bathroom.
The TAB is a top-of-the-range teardrop trailer with lots of comforts you won’t find in cheaper models. All TABs come with a two-burner propane stove, a three-way fridge that can be fuelled by the 12v battery, a propane tank or shore power. If you decide to go for the bathroom option, you will have a shower, a toilet, a mirror and an optional window. You can even add an outdoor shower and a vent above the bed. How revolutionary is that?
The nuCamp TAB Teardrop Campers come in various models – the 320U, the 320S, the Boondock Edge and the Boondock Lite. The last two are ideal for off-road adventures and living off-the-grid. And if you’re looking for something bigger, check out the TAB 400 ($29,000). It features a separate dinette and bed area, over 6ft headroom, a bigger bathroom and a closet.
2) Self-Build Ultimate Big Woody Camper – Around $3,000
Features: Outdoor kitchen with fridge, side tables, patio lights, 12v and shore power wiring, double bed, overhead cabinets and TV.
If you love DIY and a retro look, the Big Woody campers are right up your street. Big Woody adapted the designs from the 40s and 50s to bring them back, with some improvements and modern add-ons. The result is a stunning-looking and functional teardrop. The Ultimate model is their top of the range, but there is also the more affordable, but lower spec, Deluxe version.
Big Woody sell plans with templates, parts and kits on their website, so you can build your own trailer. You can either buy the plans and build everything from scratch, or purchase some of the kits and parts and assemble them to create your very own trailer. The kits don’t include all the items you need – you will have to source some materials locally at a home improvement center. Imagine the satisfaction of building your own trailer! And if you don’t fancy doing a self-build, you could always buy a used one.
3) Oregon Trail’R FronTear – From $14,000
Features: Outdoor kitchen, doors on both sides, overhead cabinets and side table.
Minimalist campers will love the Oregon FronTear. This teardrop trailer features modern looks, clever storage solutions and a comfortable double bed. The side table is concealed under inside, by the bed, while the kitchen is simple and functional.
$14,000 is the base price; you can add all sorts of options on top, such as a second side table, a TV, a fan and more.
4) Polydrop Trailer – $9,000
Features: Ultra-light, 100W solar system, heater with thermostat, thick insulation, outdoor kitchenette and wing doors.
Inspired by the design of spaceships, the Polydrop Trailer is a sleek, ultra-lightweight trailer that can go anywhere. The solar system comes as standard because this trailer is meant to be taken off-grid. The wing doors make it look like the Ferrari of the teardrop trailers; however, the cabin actually looks rather minimalistic and simple. Most of the luxury gadgets, like the heater, roof ventilation and solar charger, are hidden away from view.
5) Escapod – From $16,500
Features: Outdoor galley, doors on both sides, insulated walls, fan, food cooler and all-terrain tires.
The Escapod has been designed to travel over technical terrain, so it can take you to the wildest, most remote places. The layout is the standard teardrop trailer style, all wrapped up in a very cool exterior.
The base price doesn’t include a stove, sink or water tank. You can choose some add-ons to make up for it, but a sink option isn’t available. Other cool add-ons include a rooftop tent to accommodate three more people, a kayak or bike rack and a variety of awnings. Above the queen size bed, there is a stargazer window, perfect for gazing at your favourite constellations.
And if you’re not sure whether to buy one, you can either rent one ($125 per night), or go to a Red Rock base camp and stay in one (from $89 per night).
6) Mount Massive by Colorado Teardrops – From $21,500
Features: Outdoor kitchen, children’s bunk beds, table and sofa, doors on both sides and off-road tires.
The Mount Massive is one of the few teardrop trailers on the market that can accommodate more than two people. The cabin features an indoor table and sofa for eating inside, which converts into a queen size bed and two bunk beds — sleeping a family of 4 comfortably. The Mount Massive offers the feel of a camper, while being small enough to get into National Parks and fit in a garage. In the galley, there is room to add a coolbox and stove, however these aren’t included in the base price.
7) Vistabule Teardrop Trailer – From $17,995
Features: Four windows and two portholes, pass-through opening with sliding screen, vent, outdoor kitchen, under bed storage and collapsible sofa table.
If you’re looking for a teardrop trailer with some innovative features that eliminate the typically claustrophobic teardrop interior, the Vistabule is for you. An incredible amount of windows make it impossible for you to miss the beauty of the world around you. The opening between the galley and the cabin allows you to pass food to the people at the table or coffee to someone lying in bed.
Inside, you can choose bed mode, which allows you to fall asleep gazing at the stars through the huge front window, or easily transform the bed into a sofa to lounge comfortably at the table. These unique features spice up the standard teardrop setup well, making the Vistabule stand out.
8) Little Guy Max – From $28,999
Features: Fully kitted indoor kitchen, wet bath, indoor dinette that converts to a single bed, heater, hot water heater, floor-to-ceiling pantry, air conditioning, 6ft 7in headroom, TV and entertainment system.
The Little Guy Max is a teardrop trailer that features all the comforts of a motorhome – it’s designed to make your camping experience luxurious. The interior is so spacious, you could mostly live inside it when it’s cold. With the headroom being an astonishing 6ft 7in, anyone can stand inside while cooking or moving around. However, the heavier weight of the Little Guy Max means you’ll need a rather powerful vehicle to tow it.
9) Hütte Hut – From $63,900
Features: All-wood construction, open plan minimalist interior and a unique shape.
OK, this isn’t a cheap teardrop trailer, but it’s so unique, we had to include it. Its epoxy-bonded, screwless, all-wood assembly makes it look like no other trailer. Each piece of wood looks stunning and the high quality construction is evident in every detail.
The Hütte Hut opens completely up on one side through two huge doors, offering wonderful views of your surroundings from the bed. It accommodates two people comfortably and can fit up to a maximum of three. The interior is very basic, with just a mattress and a few shelves for storage.
10) Pika by Timberleaf – From $11,750
Features: Outdoor kitchen with coolbox slider, netting storage, double bed, fan, insulated ceiling, two sliding windows and doors on both sides and large skylight.
If what you’re looking for is simplicity, a lower price tag and a stylish exterior, the Pika is the teardrop trailer for you. This little trailer fulfills all the basic needs of the minimalist camper with a double bed, an outdoor kitchen and plenty of windows and doors. You can also opt to add an awning to create an outdoor living space. Its light weight makes it easy to maneuver and tow, while the off-road tires paired up with their Timbren trail climbing suspension option allows you to take the Pika anywhere.
11) Vintage Overland Trailers – From $12,500
Weight: From 600lbs
Features: Double bed with vent and fan above, storage compartments and outdoor counter space.
Vintage Overland trailers come in three models – the Tuco (600lbs), the Great Escape (750lbs) and the T.E. Lawrence (900lbs). They are all so light, they can be towed by almost any car. Their super stylish design is inspired by Danish lines.
The small size of the Vintage Overlander trailers means a totally minimalistic approach to camping – there is no galley or bathroom. They are built to provide a bedroom in the wilderness, so you can enjoy cooking over a campfire, sitting out under the stars and then sleep in comfort. They embody a teardrop trailer’s original purpose.
12) Micro Minnie by Winniebago – From $23,845
Features: Fully kitted indoor galley, good size bathroom with shower, double bed and bunk beds, 6ft 4in headroom and table and sofas.
The Micro Minnie is a teardrop with a travel trailer feel – it has all the comforts you could ask for, perfectly integrated within a small space. This trailer can sleep up to four people, with the bunk beds coming in exactly 2 inches shorter than the double bed.
No other teardrop trailer offers a shower separated from the toilet, so it’s quite astounding that Winnebago managed this feat. There really is no more luxurious teardrop out there. The interior is modern and built with premium materials. The best bit? It comes in a variety of versions featuring 11 different floorplans.
If you’re looking to upgrade from tent or minivan camping and like to travel light, teardrop trailers are a great and affordable choice. You’ll gain some extra comforts, but you will still feel like you’re camping “properly”, old school – feeling close to nature, marshmallows roasting on the campfire and a beer in your hand.
However, if you’re planning on living on the road full-time, you might want to consider something bigger – a travel trailer, fifth wheel, RV or campervan. These offer more comforts and roomier indoor living spaces.
You may also like: