The 10 Best Small Camper Trailers That You Can Be Pulled behind your car

These days fuel-efficient vehicles are more important than ever. This has driven waves of innovation in the automobile industry to the point where there is pretty much a car that suits everyone’s needs. For RV adventurers this poses a little bit of a problem.

If you choose a heavy, half-ton pickup truck or a full-size SUV for the towing power, you’re going to see a reduced return on your investment when it comes to fuel consumption.

Especially if you are going to be using the tow vehicle as your daily driver for commuting back and forth from work.

Fortunately, some cars have the power and features to handle towing a small trailer or camper.

You just have to make sure the camper itself has the lightweight construction to be safely towed.

This begs the question, what are some of the best small campers that can be towed by a car?

The answer might surprise you. Indeed, there are a few very attractive small pull behind campers options in the new and gently pre-owned marketplace. Some of the best small campers that can be towed by a car include the 2021 Braxton Creek Bushwhacker 10FB and the 2018 Forest River - R-Pod RP-180.

Which small lightweight pull campers is right for your car will depend a lot on how you’re going to use it, where you’re most often going to stay and the component features.

With this somewhat flooded field, we’ve rolled up our sleeves and tried to filter out some of the best small camper trailers that can be towed by a car.

10 Best Small Campers To Pull Behind Your Car

Of course, not every small camper is light enough to be towed by a car. Even some of the ones that can have some corners cut in the overall build quality.

The last thing you want to do is choose a small camping trailer that your car can tow, only to see the return on your investment dwindle away in breakdowns, towing, and repair costs.

We’ve turned a discerning eye on the small campers and travel trailers on the market to find you some of the following gems.

So, here are the 10 great Small And Lightweight Campers And Travel Trailers Designed For Easy Towing By A Car.

  • 2020 Hutte Hut Teardrop Trailer
  • 2018 Forest River R-Pod RP-180 Ultra Lite Travel Trailer
  • 2020 Forest River Flagstaff 176LTD Pop-Up Camper
  • 2019 ProLite Mini 13 Travel Trailer 
  • 2021 Sunset Park RV TRAVELER 139 MINI Travel Trailer
  • 2019 ProLite Eco 12  Lightweight Camper
  • 2020 NuCamp TAG XL Teardrop Camper
  • 2020 HELIO O4 Ultralight Travel Trailer
  • 2021 Braxton Creek Bushwhacker 10FB Teardrop Camper
  • 2019 Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro E12RK Super Light Travel Trailer

1. 2020 Hutte Hut Teardrop Trailer

Hutte Hut Trailer 2020
  • Length 14-feet
  • A dry weight of 900 lbs.
  • GVWR of 3,500 lbs.
  • Hitch weight of 75 lbs.
  • Sleeps up to 3 people

The 2020 Hutte Hut Trailer is an innovative teardrop camper based largely on solid wood construction, seated firmly on a lightweight aluminum frame.

This makes this small camper incredibly light and easy to tow for a mid-size SUV or a car. You might also be surprised by just how well it tracks behind the tow vehicle as well as how nimble it is to back up.

This is sort of a big deal when using a car as a tow vehicle as sightlines are often challenging in a low-profile vehicle.

About The Campers Interior

The interior of the 2020 Hutte Hut lightweight camper trailer  could be defined as being “Sparse.” There’s some floor space for sleeping and some basic shelves.

It also includes a pair of 120 Volt outlets for times when you might want to connect the camper to an RV park’s shore power. It also has a very pleasant interior smell from all the wood construction.

2. 2018 Forest River R-Pod RP-180 Ultra Lite Travel Trailer

Forest River - R-Pod RP-180
  • Length 20-feet
  • A dry weight of 2,662 lbs.
  • Payload capacity of up to 1,170
  • Hitch weight of 332 lbs.
  • Freshwater holding tank capacity of 36-gallons
  • Gray water tank capacity of up to 30-gallons
  • Black water tank capacity of up to 30-gallons
  • Sleeps up to 3 people
  • Bathroom with shower and toilet
  • Compact RV kitchen

The 2018 Forest River - R-Pod RP-180 is a slightly older model that you can find for a great price on the pre-owned RV market. 

With a dry weight of 2,662-pounds and a hitch weight of 332-pounds, this lightweight travel trailer is pushing the limits of what a full-size sedan can tow.

Keeping the payload of cargo in the camper to the absolute minimum and traveling with the fresh and wastewater tanks empty will make this small camper for easier towing.

About The Camper’s Interior

The 2018 Forest River - R-Pod RP-180 has a spacious interior. This is thanks in some part to the slide-out section that comprises most of the kitchen.

It includes a two-burner stove, a small RV absorption refrigerator that runs on propane or electricity, as well as a small sink for washing hands and dishes.

There’s a queen-size bed in the front with a TV at the foot of the mattress. There’s also a 24 by 75-inch dinette with overhead storage, that converts into a single bed.

This makes the 2018 Forest River - R-Pod RP-180 a great option for small families with an only child.

The rear of the 2018 Forest River - R-Pod RP-180 has a small, yet complete bathroom. It includes a flushing toilet, as well as a small shower and sink.

Though it’s advisable not to tow this camper with a car if the tanks are full. So, if you do find an R-Pod for sale that you like, you should also factor in portable wastewater tanks.

This will let you empty out your black and gray water tanks at the RV dump station, without having to navigate the camper to the dump, and spares you having to tow it with such a heavy fluid load.

3. 2020 Forest River Flagstaff 176LTD Pop-Up Camper

Forest River – Flagstaff 176LTD
  • Price: $7,500
  • Length 17-feet
  • Dry Weight of 1,456 lbs.
  • Payload Capacity of up to 793 lbs.
  • Hitch Weight of 162 lbs.
  • Fresh Water Tank Capacity of 10-gallons
  • 1 Awning
  • Compact RV kitchen
  • Sleeps up to 6 people

As a popup camper, the 2020 Forest River – Flagstaff 176LTD is very popular with families that are looking for a great entry-level value.

This small tent trailer is relatively lightweight and can be towed by a midsize SUV, or a robust sedan with a towing package.

This small popup camper also has an exterior awning to help keep the sun off you and the sidewalls. There’s also screening to keep out the bugs!

It comes with a 10-gallon freshwater storage tank in the standard package. This is a sufficient volume of water to support the small kitchen sink for things like washing hands and dishes.

A hot water heater isn’t included. However, the 2020 Forest River – Flagstaff 176LTD does have the plumbing to accommodate one. Which is a great opportunity to try out a small tankless water heater.

About The Camper’s Interior

The 2020 Forest River – Flagstaff 176LTD has a compact kitchen. It includes a 2-burner propane stovetop and a durable RV absorption refrigerator that can run on electricity or propane.

The robust engineering of the refrigerator is designed to handle tough bumpy roads without breaking down like an electric residential refrigerator is often prone to.

Technically, Forest River claims that the Flagstaff 176LTD can sleep up to 6 people. This includes a pair of full-size beds on each expandable section as well as a convertible sofa bed.

Arguable in the real-world this camper can sleep around 4 adults comfortably, though young children could share a full-size bed.

4. 2019 ProLite Mini 13 Travel Trailer 

2019 ProLite Mini 13
  • Length 13-feet
  • A dry weight of 1,150 lbs.
  • Hitch weight of 130 lbs.
  • Sleeps up to 4 people
  • Freshwater tank capacity of up to 15 gallons
  • 1 awning
  • Exterior storage

The 2019 ProLite Mini 13 is a compact travel trailer with a teardrop nose. For only being 13-feet long it is surprisingly spacious inside. 

In rings it with a hitch weight of only 130-pounds and a dry weight of 1,150-pounds, which puts this small pull behind camper in range to be towed by a sedan or a mid-size SUV.

It also has very nice suspension, to handle bumpy forest backroads. Some of the nose section and the aft hatch over additional storage space. 

It’s a great way to haul your gear to the campsite, then once empty, you can keep dirty shoes, clothes, and sundry items in the rear hatch to prevent tracking dirt into the camper.

About The Camper’s Interior

The midship kitchen greets you as you walk in the main door. It includes a two-burner propane stovetop, as well as a sink.

There’s an RV refrigerator build into the side counter. It can run on propane or electricity, and just like the suspension system on the 2019 ProLite Mini 13, it was built to endure the shaking and bouncing of riding over rough roads.

There are also some nice creature comforts built into this compact teardrop camper.

This small tow behind camper has a radio, multiple built-in fans, and a fair number of electrical ports for using other appliances powered by a generator or an RV park’s shore power system.

Prolite claims that the Mini 13 can sleep up to four people. However, this is distributed between a convertible dinette and a front bench that turns into the equivalent of a double bed.

So, in the real world, two to three people might be more realistic. Though it would be a great option for a family with an only child who’s ready to explore the RV lifestyle.

5. 2021 Sunset Park RV TRAVELER 139 MINI Travel Trailer

Sunset Park RV TRAVELER 139 MINI
  • Length of 16-feet
  • A dry weight of 1,800 lbs.
  • GVWR of 3,500 lbs.
  • Sleeps up to 2 people
  • In-wall air conditioner

The 2021 Sunset Park RV TRAVELER 139 MINI is a compact camper with a rounded nose cap reminiscent of a teardrop camper.  

With a dry weight of 1,800-pounds, This small camper trailer is towable by a powerful sedan with a towing package or a mid-size SUV.

The front area near the tongue also has a great place to set up a secondary generator and keep it up off the ground.

About The Camper’s Interior

While the outside might be sheet metal with blue and white retro coloring, the interior is reminiscent of a Northwoods cabin.

There is a copious amount of knotty pine used through, which gives the 2021 Sunset Park RV TRAVELER 139 MINI, a rustic, yet clean feeling.

It also has a hint of pleasant pine odor that truly adds to the camping feel. At the same time, the lighting is tasteful and recessed to maximize the vertical space.

The kitchen in the 2021 Sunset Park RV TRAVELER 139 MINI includes a two-burner stove, and a sink, as well as copious storage for a small camper.

One stunning feature of the kitchen is a tall refrigerator and freezer tucked into the sidewall.

6. 2019 ProLite Eco 12  Lightweight Camper

2019 ProLite Eco 12
  • Length 12’ 10”
  • A dry weight of 1,095 lbs.
  • Hitch weight of 95 lbs.
  • Sleeps up to 3 people
  • 15-gallon fresh water storage tank
  • 15-gallon gray water storage tank
  • 16,000 BTU per hour furnace
  • Awning
  • LED internal and external lighting

Here again, we see another well-designed small lightweight pull camper from ProLite. It’s designed with some basic aerodynamics in mind, which reduces the drag force of the otherwise lightweight 1,095-pound camper.

With a hitch weight of only 95 pounds the 2019 ProLite Eco 12 is one of the best small travel trailer which can easily towable by a lot of mid-size sedans and SUVs. In fact, ProLite even claims they designed it to be towed by a subcompact car.

Though this might be a little bit of a marketing ploy. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a true subcompact car that could confidently tow this mini camper trailer at highway speeds or up a steep incline.

There’s also a fair amount of external storage, which lets you keep more of your camping gear together.

It comes with a spare tire and a very firm mounting bracket for a 20-pound propane tank.

When you set up camp a pair of rear stabilizer jacks plant the 2019 ProLite Eco 12 firmly in place. So, you don’t get some of the bouncing and wobbling that is typical with small campers.

About The Camper’s Interior

The interior of the 2019 ProLite Eco 12 employs a fair amount of wood and Formica laminate, which gives it a very clean and open feel.

It also features energy-efficient LED internal and external lights. Just bear in mind that the internal ceiling height measures in at precisely 5’11”, which might be a little uncomfortable for a very tall person.

The front dinette has surprisingly comfortable cushions. The table collapses down and the cushions convert into a full-size bed that can sleep up to two people comfortably.

The kitchen is nicely appointed for what is a relatively small 12-foot camper. It includes a two-burner stove as well as an RV absorption refrigerator.

There is also a fair amount of storage in the pantry compartment. It also has GFCI electrical outlets for safely powering other appliances like an aftermarket microwave or a toaster.

There’s a basic sink that is just large enough to wash a few dishes. It’s fed by a 15-gallon freshwater storage tank. Then drains into a similar size 15-gallon gray water storage tank.

7. 2020 NuCamp TAG XL Teardrop Camper

2020 NuCamp TAG XL
  • Length 14-feet
  • A dry weight of 1,434
  • GVWR of 2,200 lbs.
  • Sleeps up to 2 people
  • In-wall air conditioner

The 2020 NuCamp TAG XL is a very compact camper with a very sleek and unique visual appeal.

It feels space age, while also having a little bit of a retro look. Whoever designed it was definitely a creative sort of person who wants you to truly enjoy your small camper and give you a conversation starter when you pull up at your campground.

It tips the scales with a gross vehicle weight rating of 2,200 pounds and a dry weight of 1,434-pounds.

So you definitely need a full-size sedan or a mid-size SUV with a solid towing package to safely tow the 2020 NuCamp TAG XL at highway speed, or pulling it up a steep incline.

About The Camper’s Interior

The inside of the 2020 NuCamp TAG XL is very comfortable. Most of it is taken up the sleeping space.

Though there is a modest 2-burner kitchen area with a cooler storage compartment. A small tinted skylight lets in just the right amount of light, as do the side windows.

The 2020 NuCamp TAG XL also has a microwave cabinet to let you warm up meals and defrost things from the cooler.

There’s even an in-wall air conditioning cabinet that does a great job of keeping the internal sleeping space cool.

This small, aerodynamic camper is a great option for a couple who likes to travel and doesn’t necessarily want to spend a lot of time indoors. Yet still wants to be comfortable while they sleep.

8. 2020 HELIO O4 Ultralight Travel Trailer

2020 HELIO O4
  • Length 14’ 2”
  • A dry weight of 1,135 lbs.
  • Payload capacity of up to 865 lbs.
  • Hitch weight of 99 lbs.
  • Sleeps up to 4 people

The 2020 HELIO O4 is another lightweight teardrop travel trailer that’s growing in popularity with people who need an easily towable camper.

With a dry weight of 1,135-pounds and a hitch weight of only 99-pounds, This tiny travel trailer can easily towable by a sedan or a mid-size SUV.

Just note that the 865-pound payload capacity needs to be thoughtfully distributed.

About The Camper’s Interior

The inside of the 2020 HELIO O4 has a very sleek and modern look to it. Though it is largely used up with sleeping space.

There is a large dinette with seating for up to four people. It then converts down into a full-size bed.

On paper, Helio claims that this teardrop camper will sleep up to 4 people, but 3 is more realistic.

This makes it a great option for a small family that wants to travel but doesn’t necessarily want to blow the family budget on a gas-guzzling pickup truck.

There’s also a fair amount of storage inside the 2020 HELIO O4, which you see reflected in its impressive 1,135-pound payload capacity.

There isn’t a refrigerator included in the standard package, but the adjustable storage shelves can be used to hold an electric cooler, which can replicate pretty much everything you’d need an RV absorption refrigerator for.

9. 2021 Braxton Creek Bushwhacker 10FB Teardrop Camper

2021 Braxton Creek Bushwhacker 10FB
  • Length of 13’ 2”
  • A dry weight of 1,300 lbs.
  • Payload capacity of up to 817 lbs.
  • Hitch weight of 120 lbs.
  • Sleeps up to 2 people
  • 24-gallon fresh water storage tank
  • 5,000 BTU air conditioner
  • 12,000 BTU furnace

The 2021 Braxton Creek Bushwhacker 10FB was designed to be durable for RV adventurers who like to take their camping experience off the beaten path.

Yet it’s also lightweight and only has a dry weight of 1,300-pounds and a hitch weight of 120-pounds.

The 817-pound payload capacity is distributed through the interior storage as well as the heavy-duty luggage roof rack.

There’s also a rear hatch that holds the kitchen area under a fair-sized roof.

This is an innovative way to give you an outdoor kitchen, without having to fill up the interior of the camper with the smell of cooking.

Not to mention it also keeps cooking the evening meal from competing with the 5,000 BTU air conditioner that comes in the standard package.

About The Camper’s Interior

Much of the 2021 Braxton Creek Bushwhacker 10FB is dedicated to sleeping space. Though there is a nice amount of storage volume tucked into the various compartments.

Though Braxton Creek was still conscious of the desire for creature comforts and entertainment.

It comes with AM/FM Bluetooth Compatible Stereo with interior and exterior speakers as well as TV prep for cable or a digital TV antenna.

There’s also Multiple 110V, 12V & USB Outlets, conveniently located throughout the 2021 Braxton Creek Bushwhacker 10FB.

The LED lights also spare the drain on the batteries or a secondary aftermarket generator.

10. 2019 Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro E12RK Super Light Travel Trailer

Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro E12RKker 10FB
  • Length of 11’ 4”
  • A dry weight of 1,133 lbs.
  • Payload capacity of up to 820 lbs.
  • Hitch weight of 153 lbs.
  • Sleeps up to 2 people
  • 20-gallon fresh water storage tank
  • 6-gallon gray water storage tank

The 2019 Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro E12RK with its 153-pound hitch weight and a dry weight of 1,133-pounds is just in range for a full-size sedan or a midsize sports utility vehicle.

Just make sure you don’t overdo it with the impressive 820 payload capacity.

Especially if you fill the 20-gallon freshwater storage tank before setting off. Instead, you should try to look for a reliable source of fresh water near your intended campsite, or simply ask the RV park to supply a water line.

Afterall a gallon of water weighs just under 8.5 pounds, so 20-gallons of water in the fresh storage tank will add an extra 170+ pounds into the towing equation.

Once you get to your intended destination the heavy-duty leveling jacks firmly plant the 2019 Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro E12RK in place.

It’s really nice not having to deal with the bounciness you get with a lot of other campers. It also spares you having to set up your own jack stands.

Though if you are going to be setting up on a loose or sandy surface, you might want to first put down some wood planks to keep the feet and the tongue jack from digging in.

About The Camper’s Interior

The 2019 Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro E12RK’s interior is largely taken up by bed space. 

In the copious storage compartments, you’ll also find a hookup for a TV and other features that let you deck out your own entertainment center.

The 2019 Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro E12RK also has an outdoor kitchen that’s contained under the rear hatch awning.

It comes with a basic refrigerator and microwave. Something else you’ll like about this lightweight travel trailer is that it comes with an outdoor grilling station camp stove.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Hard To Back Up A Camper With A Car?

A car adds another challenge beyond the normal challenges of backing up any camper or travel trailer when reversing.

Most cars are low profile vehicles with relatively small mirrors. Not only does it make it hard to see what you’re doing, up the shorter wheelbase invites over-corrected steering, which increases the chances of accidentally jackknifing the trailer.

There are a few ways around this. You can add mirror extenders to your car. These are removable and extend the width of your rear field of vision.

Though they are a little bit of a hassle to put on, and if you get it wrong, they can catastrophically rip off when you accelerate to highway speed.

If you are going to go this route, you might want to wait until you get to your intended destination before installing them.

Another option is to simply make sure you have another person with you to be a second pair of eyes. They can get out and direct you.

Just make sure that you both have an agreed-upon set of terms like “Left Hand Down” or “Right Hand Down.” When reversing a trailer with any vehicle, you want to avoid metaphors and confusing instructions.

What Is The Average Towing Capacity Of A Full-Size Sedan?

Of course, the power, towing capacity, and suspension of a full-size sedan are going to vary from one make and model to the next.

On average most full-size sedans have a maximum towing capacity between 1,500-pounds to 2,000-pounds.

To find out just how much your car can tow, you can check the owner’s manual. Though most manufacturers put a stamped or printed metal plate in the driver’s side door well.

Will Towing A Camper Affect My Cars MPG?

Anytime you tow anything it will cause the vehicle’s miles per gallon rating to drop.

This is just as true for a family sedan pulling a lightweight teardrop camper as it is for a one-ton diesel pickup truck towing a giant fifth-wheel camper. 

Using high octane fuel, traveling with a minimal amount of gear, packing for even weight distribution, and driving without the air conditioning on will help with fuel consumption.

How Can I Set My Car Up To Tow A Camper?

Some modern-day cars come with a tow bar installed into the rear frame. Though most need you to have a tow package installed by a certified mechanic.

Even if your car does happen to come with a small receiver hitch it might not be large enough to accommodate the camper.

So, put in your due diligence to make sure your car has all the correct hardware and wiring for the lightweight camper you have your eye on.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are a surprising number of small and lightweight campers to choose from. Many of which can be towed by a family sedan or a midsize SUV.

Just make sure to take a good hard look at your vehicles towing capacity and compare it to the statistics of the camper you’re thinking about buying.

If you are looking for a convenient popup camper, then the 2020 Forest River – Flagstaff 176LTD might be the best lightweight camper you can tow with your car.

It’s a compact trailer, that you can easily see around when backing it into place. Then expands to offer an impressive amount of square footage living space.

If you place a high priority on creature comforts and you love to bring a little tech with you on your outdoor adventures, then you might want to move the 2021 Braxton Creek Bushwhacker 10FB up your list.

An ecologically conscious family might fall in love with the 2020 Hutte Hut Trailer. It’s light and made from semi-sustainable wood, which also gives it an organic feel as well as an ambient odor that reminds you that you are camping.

Whatever your priorities happen to be, and the creature comforts you prioritize, chances are good that the best lightweight camper you can tow with a car is somewhere on this list.