Small Campers, Big Fun: 5 Reasons to Consider a Small RV

Last Updated on October 29, 2021 by Christina

If you’re new to the RV lifestyle, you might be familiar with distinct Class C motorhomes or fifth wheels. But did you know that there are many small RVs available like pop-ups, teardrop campers, lightweight travel trailers, and even Class B motorhomes? These tiny but mighty options can pack lots of features into a compact footprint. This makes them perfect for those who love camping and also enjoy having a few creature comforts. And they’re great for first-time buyers, too! Here are five reasons why small campers make excellent starter RVs. 

1. Small campers are lightweight

One of the biggest advantages of owning a small camper is the weight factor… or lack of it. Most pop-up campers and teardrop trailers weigh in at less than 3,500 lbs., which means you don’t need a truck with heavy tow rating to take on big adventures. These lightweight travel trailers can be towed behind an SUV or minivan. There are also ultralight options for those with even smaller vehicles, like the svelte Coachmen Clipper 9.0TD Express which has a curb weight of only 1418 lbs. Whatever you choose, make sure you don’t exceed your vehicle’s max towing capacity. Not sure what your vehicle can safely tow? Grab your vehicle information and check out our Tow Capacity Guide.

a popup trailer sits on the beach at sunset
Lightweight, easy-to-setup camping trailers are a popular choice for young families and childless first-time buyers. But they aren’t the only small RV option.

2. Small campers are easy to tow and park

In addition to being lightweight, small campers are easy to move. Even if you’ve never towed anything before, don’t worry! Towing a camper is not intimidating as long as you’ve got the right towing equipment. A weight distributing hitch will help prevent your trailer from swaying side to side when you’re on the road. The result is that your trailer will stay aligned with your vehicle, and you’ll feel more comfortable and confident when driving. At the campground, small campers are easier to maneuver thanks to their shorter length. That means you’ll have more chances to snag a prime camping site in spots that are too tight for larger RVs.

3. You can choose to “rough it” or “go glamping” in a small camper

Have you ever woken up sore from a night spent sleeping in a tent on the ground? Or wished you had a microwave to make a quick meal instead of building a fire? Then you’ll love the amenities that a small camper offers. These range from basic to feature-loaded. If you want a comfortable place to sleep and your main concern is weight, consider the Rove Lite by Travel Lite. This ultra lightweight travel trailer is available in multiple floorplans to sleep up to 4 and weights less than 1900 lbs. Pop-up campers offer more room; with sleeping space for up to six, the Clipper 108ST Sport is a great option for camping with the whole family. If an indoor kitchen, bathroom, and WiFi, are at the top of your wish list, check out the Little Guy Max teardrop camper. For a small camper you don’t have to tow, check out the Scope. This agile B-van from Thor Motor Coach is easy to park and can be your basecamp for going off the grid or exploring new cities.

the interior of a small teardrop trailer RV that shows the galley kitchen, convertible dinette, and lots of cabinets for storage
Is this what you pictured when you thought of a small RV? Little Guy Max teardrop campers sleep three and feature a wet bath, full kitchen, and plenty of electronics for staying connected when on the road.

4. You can spend more time camping with a small camper

Another reason why so many people choose small campers is because they make spending time outdoors more accessible. Things like AC or a generator can add several weeks (or months depending on where you live) to your camping season. And your spouse or children might be more excited to go too, if they know they won’t be limited to meals made over a campfire. You’ll also enjoy more time exploring or relaxing once you reach your destination because a small RV requires less set up time. When the season finally ends, you don’t have to worry about storing your small camper offsite. All the RVs we’ve mentioned will fit in a garage, which gives you greater flexibility in your camping plans.

5. Small campers are affordable

Perhaps the most important reason why so many people choose a small camper is the cost. Pop-up campers and lightweight trailers are the most affordable RVs, and because they are popular there are lots of new and used options. You can find great deals on used RVs. Sure, the décor might be a little dated but does that matter when it saves you a few thousand dollars? If you plan to spend lots of time outdoors and prefer to buy new, you can finance your purchase and work it into your monthly budget. Maintenance and ownership costs are also reduced compared to larger RVs since small trailers have no engine and fewer components.

a small camper called the Little Guy Mini Max sits in the woods. There are two bikes mounted on the back of the trailer and an awning over the side provides shade.
You don’t need a big RV to make unforgettable memories. There are plenty of small camper options if your towing capacity is limited.

The bottom line on small campers

You don’t need a huge RV to make unforgettable memories. There are many different types of small campers available – pop-ups, teardrop campers, ultra lightweight trailers – and it’s easy to find one that fits your needs and budget. Because they are lightweight and easy to tow, you won’t need a big truck to get out there. With a huge variety of floorplans and features like indoor kitchens, small campers can accommodate solo campers, couples, and families.


Ready to begin your own adventure in a small camper? Let General RV help you discover the RV lifestyle. We offer a huge selection of new pop-up campers, teardrop campers, travel trailers, and Class B motorhomes, as well as used RVs for sale. Need RV parts? We’ve got those, too. And our highly trained technicians can help with all your RV service needs. Visit our RV Virtual Showroom to start browsing now. Or find a General RV dealer near you. Whether you shop online or in store, our experts will help you camp with confidence.