Last Updated on January 6, 2022 by Douglas
If you want to travel for the rest of your life, it’s best to travel light. We’re not just talking about the things you pack either. The weight of your travel trailer or camper should ideally be as low as possible as well. Lightweight campers are among the best travel trailers that you could possibly buy. In this article we will be discussing three things: why, how, and what.
The why refers to the advantages of lightweight campers, particularly those that are under 3,000 pounds. This is the first aspect of such campers that we will be discussing here. Following that, we will move on to the how. Here we shall tell you the various things that you should be on the lookout for while buying a camper. Finally, the what refers to which campers we feel are worth the money. We have a list of 12 amazing campers that you can look through, all of which easily fall under 3,000 pounds and provide a lot of excellent features that you can take advantage of as well. Without any more delay, let’s start off by discussing why lightweight travel trailers are such a great option.
Why You Should Buy a Lightweight Travel Trailer
You get a lot of variations in size with the trailers that we have listed below. However, pretty much all of them would have a dry weight that falls under 3,000 pounds. That’s about 1,500 kilos if you use the metric system. The benefits of such trailers have a lot to do with the weight. Different sizes means that you can reap all of the advantages we will be discussing here without having to compromise on the amount of living space you and your family would be able to use.
The primary benefit of these kinds of travel trailers is that they make your life easier. You can easily tow them with just about any vehicle. In fact, if the camper you buy is small enough you might even be able to tow it with a simple sedan. This makes it a far more accessible on the road living situation that you can invest in. Having to compromise on a travel trailer just because your car can’t tow it easily can be a real disappointment. Taking a travel trailer under 3,000 pounds for a test drive would show you how light they are while you are towing them.
Driving the camper itself would also be easier. A lot of people don’t want to have to tow their camper behind them. They would much rather invest in a single vehicle and use it for both living purposes as well as their primary mode of transportation during their life on the road. Lightweight campers tend to be the easiest travel trailers when it comes to driving. 3,000 pounds is not very heavy at all, so maneuvering your camper would be fairly easy as well so you wouldn’t have to worry too much if you are trying to turn a tight corner.
Now, it’s very important for you to understand that the benefits of such travel trailers are not just restricted to their ease when it comes to driving and operating them. They have plenty of functional advantages apart from this as well. For example, trailers under 3,000 pounds tend to be a lot more fuel efficient than heavier trailers. This is because fuel consumption is quite closely linked to the weight of a vehicle. The heavier a trailer is, the larger the amount of fuel required would be in order to get it up and running.
Lightweight travel trailers also tend to be more affordable. They are generally smaller than heavier trailers, which means that the asking price would full in a much lower range. In fact, if you compare the prices between lightweight travel trailers and those that weigh between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds, you’d see that a trailer that is even slightly heavier than 3,000 pounds would have a disproportionate increase in the price. You might not have enough money to afford those trailers, and this can delay your plans to get started on your adventures. Hence, by purchasing a lightweight camper you can avoid such delays and embark on your travels more or less immediately.
You will also get access to wider range of campsites and off-road locations if you travel in lightweight campers. Campsites generally have a hard limit with regards to vehicle size, and many don’t accept vehicles that weigh more than 3,000 pounds. Travel trailers under 3,000 pounds can also be parked in regular parking lots which greatly increases the number of places where you can rest for the night. It’s easier to travel to locations that don’t have proper roads leading to them as well as lighter vehicles have an easier time navigating tough terrain.
How to Find The Right Camper Under 3,000 Pounds
Figuring out what matters most in campers and travel trailers can be a little tricky. One thing to keep in mind is that the 3,000 pound figure generally refers to the dry weight of the camper. Once you add things like furniture and water to the storage tanks, the weight might go well past the 3,000 pound mark. Don’t worry if this happens though. It’s an unavoidable aspect of these kinds of trailers so it shouldn’t factor into your decision making process.
Before you decide to buy a camper, try to check out what floor plans they have available. Don’t make the mistake of accepting the first floor plan that you are offered. Sometimes the difference between floor plans can be quite drastic. A travel trailer that initially didn’t seem like a good option would actually provide a lot of value if you opt for a different floor plan. Try to prioritize certain things so that you can dependably look for them. Things like sleeping space and living options need to be optimized. Certain features like slide out beds and sofas can help save you a lot of space. These are things that depend a lot on the kind of floor plans being offered.
Floor plans also change what design options you are given. Design matters because you need a space that conforms to your aesthetic preferences. Your choice of floor plan might also affect your upgrade options. Sooner or later you would want to boost your lifestyle by adding a few new things into the mix. Adding some luxury to your travel trailer is great. You need to keep your options for upgrades open. Otherwise you might be restricted in what upgrades you can even ask for. This sort of thing is especially important if you plan on staying in your travel trailer for the long term.
Weight is important, but it’s not everything. A lightweight trailer might be a little too long. Or it would have disproportionate design elements that reduce the benefits of such a low weight. Pay attention to the length and width of the travel trailer. It should be consistent enough to prevent difficulties in maneuvering. Remember, this is an object that you would be towing behind your car. It’s shape will play an important role in how it affects your car’s trajectory.
The quality of the materials used during the manufacturing of your travel trailer can’t be ignored. High quality materials make a real difference. They offer more comfort in terms of softer and smoother seat upholstery. Durability is also optimized through the materials that a company might use. High quality material would not get torn or damaged so easily.
If you have kids, material quality and durability becomes even more important. Because kids are notorious for being rowdy. You will be very upset if you buy a brand new travel trailer only for your kids to rip through the seats on the first day. However, if this happens remember that it’s probably because the manufacturer didn’t use high quality materials. Durable material will never tear in such a short period of time short of someone actively trying to damage it.
If all else fails, just check reviews from other customers. They can help you see through the advertising the company might have done and will give you a true picture of what kind of experience you can expect from your travel trailer. Reading other reviews is an important aspect of getting a realistic idea of the camper you’re about to buy.
Top 12 Lightweight Travel Trailers Under 3,000 Pounds
1. Jayco Jay Sport Camping Trailer
We want to start off by mentioning how solid this trailer is. It is made of some excellent materials. The metal used is highly resistant to corrosion. This means that the trailer will last a lot longer than most other trailers on the market. This also makes the trailer perfect for travel in rainy areas. Constant rain can do a number on even the most durable trailers. Unless their materials have been made specifically to resist corrosion in every way. A benefit like this is hard to find in travel trailers under 3,000 pounds. Durability usually comes with a lot of weight. It’s surprising that Jayco was able to make such a solid and durable camper while keeping the weight under 3,000 pounds.
We’re not done talking about how great this trailer is for rainy weather, by the way. It comes with an excellent fiberglass roof. This single piece of fiberglass is perfect for preventing any kinds of leaks. You get complete water runoff with the fiberglass roof. Leaks can be a real nuisance during your travels. They can cost a lot of money in repairs. A lot of your belongings might get damaged by these leaks too. You get a number of heated bed mats with this trailer. It would be a shame if they suddenly got spoiled.
As for sleeping arrangements, Jayco has provided a set of bunk beds. The bunk beds have curtains for privacy. Many would find this useful, since you need a little bit of privacy in order to sleep properly. Privacy is also maximized with the tinted windows. They’re made of vinyl too, which means they provide superior insulation.
2. Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro 19FD Travel Trailer
If you’re willing to spend a bit more money, this offering from Forest River is worth checking out. It has a lot of luxurious features such as the water filtration system. It allows you to bathe with pure water, and you can drink this water too. This would solve a lot of problems that you might face on the road. This trailer manages to offer durability without increasing its dry weight by using aluminum. This is a very light metal that is resistant to a lot of damage causing phenomena. It’s a smart move from Forest River to use this kind of material. It reflects their discipline as well as their commitment to offering the best travel trailers for people to use.
One problem that aluminum might cause is a lack of insulation. But this is well handled by the construction of the roof and walls, both of which have been vacuum laminated. Also, the pull out queen sized murphy bed that you get with this camper is heated. So you don’t need a lot of insulation anyway. Because the heat from the mattress would be enough to keep the cold away. Forest River has done a good job of fixing insulation issues that can occur whenever aluminum is used.
Forest River has also managed to provide an effective energy solution. This is the solar panel that you would find on the roof. The solar setup can also be optimized by replacing the solar panel. If you find that it’s too small for your general usage, replacing it with a larger one should be no big deal. Overall, this camper has a lot of space that you can use as well. There are extra sleeping berths in the living area which can be perfect for kids.
3. Scamp 13’ Standard Light Weight Travel Trailer
This is a very lightweight camper. It’s also quite compact. This means that it can be used comfortably by one or two people. Or you can use it as a supplement to your main trailer. The fact that it’s so light, with a dry weight of just 1,200 pounds, means that you can tow it with pretty much any car. People that don’t have large cars often struggle to find the right travel trailer. This option provides a solution that is more accessible to those that might have smaller scale cars.
Don’t let the small size fool you, though. This trailer comes with a lot of storage space. Every area of the trailer has been decked out with extra storage options. Scamp knows that storage space is really important. Even people that are looking for smaller trailers would need adequate storage options. So it’s good that you can store all of your belongings so easily.
A really great aspect of this trailer is the insulation. Since this is a small and lightweight trailer, it doesn’t need as much insulation. Maximum insulation means that you might not even need to get a heater of any sort. Your body heat would permeate the small space inside the trailer and keep it warm. The insulation would handle the rest by trapping all of this heat inside as long as you don’t open the door.
Another aspect of this trailer that we liked is how durable it is. It’s been made with very solid 11 gauge steel tubes. This means that the trailer won’t be getting damaged anytime soon. Steel is a rather heavy material. But this trailer has a very low dry weight anyway, so optimizing durability is something that needed to be done to make this trailer the best it could be.
4. United RV iCamp Elite Camper
The look of this camper is a big part of its appeal. It has an adorable design, one that is compact and very pleasant to look at. It’s not just the exterior that looks nice either. The interior has been decked out with a really retro aesthetic as well. If you’re the sort of person that’s nostalgic for the 70s or 80s, chances are that you would really like how the interior of this camper looks.
The curves and smooth edges along this trailer would help make it a lot more aerodynamic as well. It weighs just under 2,300 pounds. But it feels a lot lighter thanks to the aerodynamic design. You need your trailer to have as little drag as possible. Otherwise it might exert too much pressure on your car. This would damage your vehicle and make it difficult for you to travel at fast enough speeds. Hence, this trailer does a good job of not adding too much extra drag to your car.
The exterior of this trailer has been thoroughly laminated. This protects it from the elements. Rain and sunlight can both do a lot of damage to trailer exteriors. Lamination is necessary to protect the trailer from these kinds of things. The tubes reinforcing this trailer are made of aluminum. That’s partly why this trailer weighs less than other campers of a similar size. Aluminum helps make this trailer stable and durable while keeping the weight well under the 3,000 pound mark.
Even though this trailer is rather small, it doesn’t skip any of the necessary amenities. The bathroom comes with a shower and toilet. You also get a full kitchen with all of the accessories required to cook whatever comes to mind.
5. Barefoot Caravans Travel Trailer
The most iconic trailers are from the 60s. They have a really unique look to them that has stuck around for decades. Barefoot Caravans has managed to create a trailer that resembles that kind of aesthetic. It has a very nostalgic design that would remind a lot of people about their childhood. Weighing in at just a hair over 2,000 pounds, this trailer is also quite light. It manages to use what little space it has quite effectively. There are plenty of cabinets that you can use for storage. The built in wardrobe is quite spacious as well.
The windows are an especially impressive element of this trailer. They are designed to be as eco friendly as possible. This is mostly because of the fact that they are very well insulated. They come with built in flies and blinds too. So you wouldn’t have to spend any extra money on any of these items. Saving a bit of money on curtains can help you put this money towards other things. It would allow you to invest in making your living space a little more comfortable. The interior is cozy and well constructed, with everything being close within reach when you are in the living area.
This trailer also has a lot of lighting options. You get LEDs as your main lighting source. However, if you want to read at night without turning all of the lights on, you get built in reading lights for that as well. Some people would prefer to add their own lamps to the mix. You have two 230V sockets for this sort of thing. You have an extra 12V socket too if you want to charge your phone or laptop. The number of power outlets means that you would never have to go too far to keep your items charged.
6. Casita Travel Trailers Spirit Deluxe Small Travel Trailer
This trailer is a prime example of how you can have maximum luxury in tiny trailers as well. Depending on the floor plan you choose, this trailer would weigh anywhere from 2,000 to 2,500 pounds. That’s well under the 3,000 pound mark once again. What sets this trailer apart is how luxurious the interior is. Some smaller trailers are not very luxurious and instead make do with cheap furniture and the like. That’s definitely not a problem that you would be facing with this trailer.
The kitchen area has two separate dinettes. This means that people in the trailer can dine separately if they so choose. It also allows for more space if many people want to eat at the same time. Both of the dinettes can be converted into sleeping quarters as well. This is why you can sleep up to 6 people in this tiny space. Most trailers under 3,000 lbs are only meant for three or four people at most. The fact that Casita has created a space for 6 people in such a small trailer is truly impressive.
The bathrooms have been designed for maximum ventilation in this trailer. You get a mesh window that will keep your bathroom aired out. It will also prevent bugs and other critters from getting in. As if that weren’t enough, you get an industrial strength fan for extra ventilation as well. This means that you can keep your travel trailer full of fresh air. Summer months are going to be really easy to get through thanks to all of this ventilation. They make things like air conditioners a lot less necessary. Especially if you are traveling in areas that don’t have especially hot summers.
7. Happier Camper HC1
This is perhaps the lightest travel trailer on our list. It weighs less than 1,100 pounds. And it can sleep up to 5 people. When you compare the weight to how many people it sleeps, this trailer might be the most effective option out there. It’s rare to find a trailer that’s this light which you can use to house up to five people. Midsized families should have no trouble at all traveling around in this camper. They can use this to make the most of the kind of budget they have and get closer as a result.
A really special aspect of this trailer is how versatile it is. The interior is very comfortable, but it can be changed to fit your needs. Whether you want to go camping, hunting or just want to live life on the road, the interior has enough options for you to customize that you will only ever travel the way you truly want to without having to make any compromises along the way.
The windows come with double hull insulation. This is the best kind of insulation that you can possibly hope to get. It basically seals the internal temperature of your trailer. If it’s warm inside, it will stay that way for hours on end. The same goes for cold. You will only ever have to turn your AC or heater on for a brief interval after which the double hull windows would keep the temperature pretty stable.
We also liked the large hatch door in the back. Smaller trailers need larger doors so that you can move things in and out easily. There’s a lack of space as it is, a small door would just make everything a whole lot worse.
8. Taxa Cricket Pop-Up Roof Camper
The most pertinent benefit of this camper is the pop up roof. It gives you more control over how much space you have. A low roof can be restrictive. But it can also help make the trailer more aerodynamic. You need a low roof while you are driving. When you park in a certain location to spend the night, you can pop the roof up and the canvas would provide a much higher ceiling. This facilitates excellent ventilation. So much so that the interior of this camper would always be cool. Even if it’s extremely hot outside.
Ample storage space has also been provided. You have six separate storage compartments, all of which have quite a bit of capacity to them. These storage compartments are perfect for when you want to maximize your travels. The bed also comes with a storage space. If you pick the mattress up you would see an adequate area where plenty of things can be stored. Most people would use this to store things like bedding and quilts as well as other bed related items. You can even use it to store your clothes if you need them to be easily accessible at all times.
One thing about this trailer that everyone might not like is the design. It’s angular and rather industrial. This is done for practical reasons. It helps make the trailer a lot more aerodynamic. Many might actually like the design quite a bit as well. It has a very modern look to it. People are starting to move past the idea of smooth lines and minimal curves. Angles and industrial looks are becoming more and more popular. So in a way, the design of this trailer is actually pretty futuristic if you take this into account.
9. Lance 1575 Ultra Light Weight Travel Trailer
Natural light is important. Artificial light can work fine as well, but for the most part you need at least a little bit of natural light coming in occasionally. Lance has brought a lot of natural light options into their ultra light trailer. There are two big windows that will let a lot of sunlight in. These windows will also give you a good view of the night sky once the sun goes down. They also help to make the interior seem a lot more spacious. Even reasonably roomy interiors can seem claustrophobic if they don’t also have top notch windows to help you see the outside world a little bit.
The décor in this trailer is quite fantastic. It has a very chic look to it. A lot of understated colors have been used. This makes it perfect for a romantic getaway. The kitchen has been placed in such a way that you would get a good view of the outside world at all times. This can enable you to make the most of your cooking experiences. It’s also placed right next to the main door for this trailer. Hence, you can just crack the door to get a bit of ventilation and to prevent smoke and other vapors and smells from collecting in this confined space. You probably wouldn’t need to do this, though, seeing as how this trailer comes equipped with an excellent exhaust fan.
This trailer has been insulated with block foam. This is an affordable yet effective solution that can help make the insulation quite complete. Such insulation also adds very little weight to the overall chassis. Thereby helping make this a really easy trailer to pull around wherever you need it to go.
10. KZ Spree Escape Mini Ultra Lightweight Travel Trailer
This is the most luxury that you can get in a trailer under 3,000 pounds. The KZ Spree Escape Mini has all of the necessary luxuries, including a full bath in the bathroom. A full bath might seem like a huge luxury, but it actually has a lot of advantages to it that you simply can’t ignore. You need to be able to take a full bath on occasion, even if you are planning to live rough on the road. The bathroom also comes with a foot flush. This is really convenient since you can just flush with a tap of your foot rather than having to reach back and flush it the way you would normally need to.
You even get a fridge with this trailer, something that is usually only reserved to heavier trailers that are out there. Everything has been created using the finest materials. This is something that we liked since it means that everything is more durable as well. The sleeping area has also been well designed. It has a huge bed that goes from one wall to another. This creates a very cozy vibe. You can rest against the wall while you are on the bed. Which is a very comfortable way to sit that would enable you to make the most of your downtime.
The kitchen in this trailer has a lot of options. It provides an excellent two burner stove. The fridge is placed in such a way that it would never limit the space that you can use. You can also rely on the tinted windows to give you a lot of privacy. They come with pleated shades as well in case you want even more privacy. These shades can come in handy when you are trying to keep your trailer cool too.
11. Airstream Sport Travel Trailer
This camper looks more like a traveling restaurant in a lot of ways. It manages to offer an amazing kitchen without compromising on space. You get a two burner stove and a built in fridge as well. What’s more is that there are two dinettes, one of which is right next to the kitchen. The other dinette is a bit further off which is great if you want to be able to separate yourself from the kitchen. It can be hard to enjoy a meal if you have to sit right next to your workspace after the cooking is done.
You can also choose between an oven and a microwave in the kitchen. If you plan on cooking a lot, an oven might be a much better option. If not then a microwave might just be the way to go. It’s cheaper and is a great way to warm up all kinds of food. It’s also a more space saving option, so based on your priorities getting a microwave might just make a lot more sense for a number of different reasons.
All of the seating in this trailer has leather upholstery. This is a very durable and comfortable material. It also gives the trailer an amazing look. Leather always looks classy, and adding it to any environment would help to make it a lot nicer. It lasts a really long time as well, so you wouldn’t have to worry so much about getting any new upholstery if you already have leather that you can rely on.
If you’re willing to pay a little extra, you can also get a 90 watt solar panel added to the trailer. This would be a great option if you’re trying to live completely off the grid.
12. Taxa Mantis Trek Camper
This trailer comes in at under 2,900 pounds, but it also manages to provide you with extra space due to its length. It’s about 19 feet long so you will have a lot more room in this camper. The wood used in the kitchen is birch, and it gives quite a nice look to it. Along with being the kind of wood that is quite resistant to the humidity that often comes while cooking. The wood has been adequately lacquered as well. So you wouldn’t have to worry about cleaning it too often.
As for the shower, this trailer offers one outdoors. This is a common feature in trailers under 3,000 lbs. It’s actually great thing if you think about it. It can allow you to experience the location that you are in and enjoy it as much as possible. Showering outdoors is an experience that everyone should try at least once. You can’t claim to have traveled properly until you experience something like this. The shower offers great water pressure to. So you wouldn’t have to worry about low water pressure making it difficult for you to bathe properly.
There is a lot of precision in how the body of this trailer has been cut. That’s because the manufacturers used lasers during the cutting process. This kind of precision makes for a more stable trailer. You need stability while towing a trailer behind you. The trailer is made of steel, too. Which means that it offers quite a bit of durability. It’s surprising how light this trailer is given that it’s made of steel. Most trailers made of steel are far too heavy to properly use. So you might like the fact that this trailer is available.
Another thing that you might like is the pop up roof. It makes this trailer somewhat more versatile. You can get some extra ceiling space if you ever have guests. This sort of thing is also useful in situations where you have arrived at your vacation spot. Popping up the roof can let a lot more natural light and air in.
- Best Travel Trailers Under 6000
- Best Travel Trailers Under 5000
- Best Travel Trailers Under 4000
- Best Travel Trailers Under 2000
Trailers under 3,000 lbs offer a lot of great options. They can be luxurious or basic based on your preferences. Mostly they are beneficial because they can make it easier to travel. You won’t have to worry about tugging an enormous metal box behind you. Instead, you would have something compact and convenient. We highly recommend that you check out one of the trailers that we have reviewed above. These trailers are truly excellent, and they represent the best of what the industry has to offer. There’s plenty of variety in there too so you can simply choose what you like.