Looking for your first travel trailer can be very overwhelming. It is a big investment and there are so many factors to consider like where you want to travel, how often you’ll be using it, what vehicle you have available to tow it, and what features you find absolutely necessary. When choosing your first travel trailer, how easy it is to tow and maneuverability will play a big role.
The best beginner travel trailers are lightweight and small, yet still have all the features that make a travel trailer desirable in the first place like comfortable sleeping arrangements, a kitchen, and hot shower. Here are five lightweight travel trailers perfect for first time owners.
The Best Beginner Travel Trailers of 2020
Coachmen’s Apex Tera 15T is the smallest in its Apex lightweight line, and was designed with adventure travelers and small families in mind. This easy to pull travel trailer measures 18 feet, 7 inches, and weighs 2,862 pounds dry. It can be pulled with half ton trucks, minivans, and SUVs, as long as they have a towing capacity of 4,000 pounds.
The layout features a front sofa bench that converts to a 60-by-80-inch bed and twin rear bunk beds. The rear bathroom houses a dry tub, shower, and toilet, and a skylight for extra natural light. The kitchen includes a fridge, built-in microwave, under-mount sink, and stovetop, but the highlight is a fold out camp kitchen for outdoor cooking.
The Apex Nano can be outfitted with off-the-grid features including solar panels and dual LP tank carrying capacity for extending camping time. Other add-ons include all terrain tires, a front bike rack, and a toy lock cable system.
The Sport is one of Airstream’s lightest travel trailers and a great introduction to the Airstream lifestyle, which has a loyal following akin to vanlifers. It’s sleek, aluminum exterior makes it easily recognizable as one of Airstream’s iconic trailers, and inside, you’ll find many of the comforts of home in a compact package. Available in both a 16-foot and 22-foot floor plan, the Airstream Sport is light enough to tow with an SUV.
A dedicated front bed sleeps two and the panoramic front windows come with black out shades. The Sport’s kitchen is decked out with a two-burner stove, microwave, fridge, and a cutting board sink cover and stove cover extends your countertop space. The dining table easily converts to a bed that sleeps two, and the spacious rear bath combines the toilet and shower in the same space and a pass-through shower option lets you rig an outside shower.
Jayco has been around nearly 50 years and they’re a trusted name in travel trailers. Hummingbird is the name of their lightweight collection and floorplans run anywhere from 13 to 20 feet in overall length. Maximum weight of these trailers range from 2,000 to 3,950 pounds meaning most can be towed with an SUV or minivan.
The Jaybo Hummingbird is one of the best beginner travel trailers for campers who like to hit the dirt roads. The single axel is lightweight and its rubber-torsion suspension system offers a little give on the dirt. The 10RK version features a fully equipped outdoor kitchen with microwave, refrigerator, sink, and LED TV.
The KZ Sportsmen Classic is a budget-friendly, ultralight travel trailer packed with standard features. Classic floor plans range in length from 18 feet 11 inches to 23 feet 2 inches with weights ranging from 2,790 to 3,400 pounds. Standards include 78-inch ceilings, roomy sleeping quarters, full-size shower, extra USB outlets, an awning, and lots of storage. Some floor plans include pass thru storage for extra camping gear, bikes, and more.
The new Sportsmen Classic SE collection is KZ’s lightest and most affordable model. The smaller floor plans offer outdoor kitchens and are light enough to be towed by a minivan or SUV. With so many simple and lightweight options to choose from, the KZ Sportsmen Classic ranks high among the best beginner travel trailers.
Dutchmen’s Aerolite collection of travel trailers are light on weight but not on amenities. Dutchmen Aerolite trailers range from 4,000 to 6,500 pounds and span anywhere from 25 to 34 feet with tons of floor plans to choose from. Depending on what model you choose, Aerolites can sleep from four to ten people comfortably and have anywhere from one to three slide-outs.
Key features include an LED-lit power awning, 8 cubic foot double door refrigerator, plenty of spacious storage drawers, outdoor shower, and Jensen audio soundbar. The Aerolite 2133RB is the smallest option in this collection and consistently ranks among the best beginner travel trailers. The Aerolites also have a handful of advanced features as well including a ground control automatic leveling system and electrical control system.