Teardrop trailers are known for their aerodynamic silhouette and lightweight design. But what is the average weight of a teardrop camper? We've pored over the top teardrop manufacturers' lineups to answer this question, and here's what you need to know:
Teardrop trailers weigh around 1,500 pounds on average. However, they come in a range of styles, designs, and features, so they can vary significantly in weight. The very lightest is 250 pounds, but others tip the scales north of 3,000 pounds.
If you're looking for a lightweight teardrop trailer, we'll cover the best and the lightest on the road today. We'll also look at those teardrops that might not weigh the least but include more creature comforts and what you'll need to tow your teardrop. Read on to get the whole story!
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What is the lightest teardrop trailer?
Recent years have seen more and more Americans looking to the great outdoors for adventures and getaways. Manufacturers, old and new, have been putting more lightweight and ultralightweight campers on the market to attract customers who want to tow without needing so much power.
Teardrop campers rank among the lightest in this golden age of the lightweight camper. But which teardrop camper weighs the least? Let's look at the lightest teardrop camper and some of the best teardrop trailers under 1,000 pounds.
Earth T250LX by Earth Traveler
At just 250 pounds, the Earth T250LX is the lightest teardrop trailer on the market today. This seemingly impossible weight is accomplished through innovative design and modern materials.
While a bit small, this teardrop is fully functional in its original form, however, through Earth Traveler's clever design, you can expand this trailer for a more spacious interior.
The rooftop pops up in front and back, and the side walls can lie flat, all covered with weatherproof tents.
The 100% carbon-fiber monocoque shell makes this teardrop light and incredibly strong.
Learn more about this trailer and its sister, the T300, in the video below.
The Tuco by Vintage Overland
Vintage Overland produces some of the best-handcrafted trailers on the road today. The Tuco is their smallest design, weighing in at 600 pounds.
The Tuco is designed with utility in mind. It's perfect for hauling your gear, especially if you opt for the additional racks. By night, it's a comfortable camper for sleeping two.
You can learn more about Vintage Overland's trailers and story in the video from Bloomberg below:
The Kestral by Timberleaf
One of several teardrops offered by Timberleaf, the Kestral is their lightest, weighing just 860 pounds.
The Kestral is available in three different suspension packages to suit your needs: standard, all road, and off-road. The cabin is built around a double-size mattress to comfortably sleep two and features a surprising amount of storage space.
The Kestral is the minimalist version of Timberleaf's Pika and Classic trailers, which feature more bells and whistles. Timberleaf hasn't released a video tour of the Kestral, but you can see the Classic and Pika in the video below.
P17 Essential by Polydrop
Polydrop produces some of the most eye-catching campers on the road today. Available in several styles, the P17 Essential's base weight starts at 820 pounds.
The P17 Essential comes with all the basics, including a 54-by-75-inch mattress, a movable table, and an open galley in the rear. The optional skylight and solar panel make this teardrop more comfortable and functional for longer journeys.
If you have the towing capacity, you may want to consider the P17A All Electric or P17X Explorer models, including kitchenettes, air conditioning, and more.
The Hütte Hut
One of the most striking and premium teardrop trailers, the Hütte Hut has a base dry weight of 900 pounds.
The wood and canvas construction and barn doors make the Hütte Hut look simultaneously modern and timeless.
The majority of the wood is marine-grade Okoume plywood from the Joubert group and includes birch fixtures, floors, and window casings. The epoxy-bonded assembly is completely screwless, showcasing the craftsmanship.
The double-ply canvas canopy is water-repellant. It diffuses a gently light throughout the cabin when in place and can be removed to allow you to enjoy the skylight and the wooden trusses.
The Hütte Hut is a stunning display of craftsmanship and elegance, but the $63,900 price tag for the base model will leave most customers making their own teardrops. If you're in the market for a premium trailer that doubles as a work of art, you may want to consider this beauty.
Press on the Hütte Hut is limited, but you can see more images of this gorgeous teardrop in the slideshow below.
Teardrop campers with bathrooms
Going for a teardrop trailer doesn't mean you have to give up the comforts and amenities found in some of their more conventional counterparts. Here are some of the best teardrop trailers, including a bathroom, so you won't have to rough it when nature calls.
iCamp Elite by United Recreational Vehicles
The iCamp Elite manages to fit in a modular bathroom with a shower and toilet while keeping the weight of this teardrop at just 1,337 pounds.
The Plus S by Pro-Lite
Pro-Lite [also known as Roulottes Prolite] has an extensive lineup of teardrop trailers, but, at just 1,390 pounds, the Plus S is their smallest model with a shower and toilet.
The TAB 320 CS-S by nüCamp
Ohio-based nüCamp produces several great teardrop trailers. Their TAB CS-S Clamshell gets its name for the galley kitchen, which is accessed through a clamshell hitch at the rear of the camper. It also features a wet bath with a cassette toilet.
With a dry weight of 2,075 pounds, this teardrop requires more towing power than the others we've seen so far but still stays on the light side.
Little Guy Max by Little Guy Trailers
The Little Guy Max is full of features, functions, and comforts. It has a full wet bath with a marine-style toilet and adjustable shower head. It also features an indoor kitchen and dinette for even more comfort when the weather turns sour.
The Little Guy Max weighs 3,010 pounds. This puts it on the heavy side for a teardrop, but still lighter than most conventional campers and easily towed by many SUVs.
How much towing capacity do I need for a teardrop camper?
To safely tow a camper, you'll need a towing vehicle that exceeds the total weight of that camper and any extra weight you add to it.
We recommend following the 80% rule for towing, which suggests that you tow under 80% of your vehicle's maximum towing capacity. This will reduce strain on your vehicle and make your drive smoother, especially on inclines or with crosswinds.
For most teardrop trailers, 2,000 pounds of towing capacity will be sufficient. The 80% rule would leave you with 1,600 pounds for towing. This is plenty for lightweight teardrop trailers and many mid-range teardrops too.
For some of the larger teardrops or those with more amenities, you'll need 4,000 to 5,000 pounds of towing capacity.
For the very lightest teardrop trailers, like the Earth T250LX, we looked at before, you'll be able to get by with just a 1,000-pound towing capacity.
Remember that you need to factor in the weight of cargo and fuels when calculating the total weight of your camper. Your best bet for an accurate measurement is to weigh your camper after it is fully loaded.
Weighing a camper can be tricky for the uninitiated, and many don't know where to start. You can learn more about this topic in our article: "How and Where to Weigh Your Travel Trailer [Complete Guide]."
Can a car tow a teardrop trailer?
You can tow teardrop trailers with many cars on the market today. While some vehicles are still not rated for towing, many can pull at least 1,000 pounds and some up to 2,000 pounds.
For example, the Hyundai Accent has a towing capacity that ranges from 1,500 to 2,000 pounds, depending on the year and model. You can learn more about towing with the Accent and get some general advice on towing with a car in our article: "Can a Hyundai Accent Tow a Trailer?"
Always check with your owner's manual or dealer to find your vehicle's towing capacity.
Do I need trailer brakes on a teardrop camper?
Trailer brakes apply braking power to the wheels on the trailer, making stopping safer and easier when towing. The towing capacity for most vehicles assumes that trailer brakes will be used, although some also include a smaller towing capacity for unbraked trailers.
For teardrop campers, most come with trailer brakes already installed. However, some teardrop trailers don't. This is especially common among lightweight teardrop trailers.
In general, you should always use trailer brakes if you can. It will make braking safer and smoother when towing and reduce the stress on your vehicle.
However, if you don't have trailer brakes, you may still be able to tow your teardrop. This will depend on several factors, including the weight of your trailer, your vehicle's unbraked towing capacity, and the laws where you will be towing.
Teardrop trailers aren't just sleek and stylish. They're among the lightest campers on the road, breaking barriers for RV adventure seekers who want to hit the road without investing in a hefty hauling vehicle.
You've seen some of the best of these featherweight campers on the market and those with more pounds and amenities under their belt. We've also taken a look at what's required to tow a teardrop, both in both towing and braking power.
With this knowledge in hand, you'll be ready to find the best teardrop trailer for your next outdoor expedition. Safe adventuring and happy hauling!