For those who love the idea of RVing but don’t want a large rig, a 1000lb camper may be the solution. You can pull most of these trailers with almost any vehicle, as they weigh so little. A light camper could offer you many of the comforts of a big fifth wheel without the enormous price tag or a heavy weight to pull. We’ve highlighted the benefits of five 1000lb. campers for you to consider.
What Kind of 1000lb Campers Are There?
Most lighter-weight campers are travel trailers of one kind or another. These RVs make the most of the small space they inhabit, don’t usually have bathroom facilities (because of the weight of water), and can be towed by small SUVs and cars. Unlike motorhomes, trailers don’t have the added weight of an engine, gas tank, transmission, etc. And many of today’s models of 1000lb campers come in unique shapes and sizes.
Benefits of Having a 1000lb or Less Camper
If you’re accustomed to camping in a large recreational vehicle, you may not notice some of the subtle benefits of a 1000lb camper until you’ve camped in one. Once that happens, you may never want to go back to your big rig! Here’s why.
Can Pull with Almost Any Car
The family car is all you might need to tow a lightweight camper. In fact, your Honda CR-V or Subaru Crosstrek can handle a 1000lb camper easily. All it will take is adding a tow package, including the hitch, to the car and installing a brake controller to pull a trailer legally.
If you’re wondering about your own vehicle, look up the car’s towing capacity. Then see how much the trailer in question weighs, including your camping gear and any liquids in the tanks. Include the weight of the trailer’s tongue, as well. Just keep the final weight of your packed camper under your car’s towing capacity, the maximum weight your car can tow.
Better than Tent or Car Camping
With one of these lightweight campers, you can sleep in a bed rather than on the ground, and most come with a heater. All of these features and more make a 1000lb camper much more comfortable and useful than camping in a car or tent. Protection from the elements might rate high on your list of must-haves, and having an electrical system may also set some of these travel trailers apart.
Easy Towing Experience
Even small vehicles won’t notice much difference when towing a 1000lb camper. Small trailers make towing much more manageable. Many of these campers have independent suspensions on their axles, so rough roads are easy to handle. But as with any travel trailer, drivers will need to watch crosswinds when traveling.
Easy for One Person
Because these 1000lb campers are lightweight and many have a hitch roller, one person can easily hook up, unhook, or move the trailer into place. In fact, just about every aspect of these lightweight campers is extremely simple to execute. Maintenance is easy to keep up with, too.
5 Lightweight Campers Under 1000 lbs
Here are our suggestions for five of the best options in lightweight campers under 1000lbs:
1. SylvanSport GO
Dry Weight: 840 lbs.
A cross between a travel trailer, a pop-up camper, and a tent, the SylvanSport Go is an affordable lightweight camper that’s adaptable to a variety of situations. Use the gear deck to haul toys, then open up the camper for a sleeping space that can handle up to four people. Fold-down the table in the GO to enjoy dinner together, or add a GOzeebo tent to double the “indoor” space.
There’s no refrigerator or port-a-potty, but the gear deck and adjacent locked storage have room for you to bring along both. Almost any vehicle can tow this inexpensive camper, which goes for about $11,000.
2. Livin’ Lite Quicksilver 8.0 and 6.0
Dry Weight: 994 lbs. and 694 lbs. respectively
The Quicksilver 8.0 and 6.0 offer the full camp experience with a lightweight footprint. Each has an aluminum body with foldout bed platforms. The 8.0 has a galley and a dining table that you can lower to create extra bed space. The 6.0 model has only one bed platform and seating in an aluminum body that’s 10-feet long.
The travel length of the Quicksilver 8.0 is only 12 feet, but when fully expanded, it grows to 16 feet. At only four feet tall, these pop-ups provide eight feet of clearance inside when you set up at a campsite. Add an optional furnace, refrigerator, or air conditioner. Built to last forever, you can find these lightweight campers for about $8,000 to $12,000.
3. Polydrop Camper
Dry Weight: 820 lbs.
Built with all-season camping in mind, the Polydrop Camper was created with 8.7-inch insulation under an aluminum shell. Outfit it with up to 520 watts of solar panels and a 1,000-watt inverter for living off the grid.
The Polydrop has an innovative movable table that slides from one end of the camper to the other for optimal use as an outdoor dining table or a bedside table for working. You won’t stand upright in this camper. Think of this little camper as a luxurious bed on wheels with an optional outdoor kitchen. The starting price is $15,000.
4. Go Little Guy MyPod
Dry Weight: 760 lbs.
This teardrop-shaped camper is made from fiberglass, and its “max” model has a full-sized bed, sound system, television, three-speed fan, and even an air conditioner. Stack the mattress to create more storage space. Add accessories like a roof rack, attachable awning, and a cover. MyPod is 11.6 feet long and offers 37 inches of interior height. This lightweight trailer comes solar-ready. The price starts at $10,000.
5: Meerkat Camper
Dry Weight: 920 lbs.
At a mere 920 lbs., this little camper still comes loaded. Standard features include a camp stove, cushions, sink, closet, icebox, and dinette that folds down into a bed. That’s a whole lot of bang for about $23,000. Upgrade with options like a refrigerator, induction cooktop, bedroom extension, awning, hubcaps, or spare tire extension. A pop-top allows more space for standing inside the camper, but you can still store it in a standard garage.
Know the Difference Between Dry Weight and GVWR
When you finally settle on the 1000lb camper that’s right for you, consider its dry weight and its weight when loaded with gear. The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the maximum number of pounds your rig can weigh with its payload. Make sure that your vehicle can pull the lightweight trailer at its GVWR. Many RVers forget that liquids like water can use up a lot of that allowed weight quickly, especially since water weighs about eight pounds per gallon.
Lightweight campers are a small niche in the RV industry that meets the need for travel trailers towed by smaller vehicles. Today’s models offer a wide variety of features and give campers an alternative to a tent or car camping. If you enjoy casting a smaller footprint as you travel, a 1000lb camper might be the perfect compromise.
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