How Tos & Tutorials

How to Choose a Teardrop Trailer

Planning on your next adventure can be stressful if you haven’t picked the right teardrop trailer yet.

So, we help you decide on the appropriate teardrop trailer depending on your situation and needs.

What Is a Teardrop Trailer?

A teardrop trailer is a small, moving type of tent that can usually accommodate three people. It has a sleeping area that’s connected to a kitchen. The “teardrop” refers to its water droplet shape. Towing it is easy because it can weigh 800 lbs. or less and is also considered an off road camping trailer.

When Did Teardrop Campers Start to Become Popular?

vintage teardrop trailer
Photo from

The invention of teardrop trailers started in 1930s but teardrop trailers’ popularity has not reached its peak until the end of World War II in 1940s when people are looking forward to vacation trips to spend time with family and friends.

Even though teardrop trailers slowly lost their popularity in the late 1950s as people began looking for larger types while the automotive industry expands, they’ve regained it in 1990, since makers found a way to improve their designs from the basic ones to the customizable versions known today.

Where Are Teardrop Trailers Made?

teardrop trailer building materials
Photo courtesy of Wander Tears’ YouTube Channel

Teardrop trailers are also considered off road camping trailers and are usually made from these four materials:

  • Wood – for flooring/base and interior structure.
  • Aluminum – used as an alloy for strengthening the exterior.
  • Steel – for easy assembly and longer durability period.
  • Kevlar – for added external heat protection of up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Tall Is a Teardrop Camper in Feet?

teardrop trailer height

The average teardrop trailer is around 4-5ft in height which says a lot about its compact size and why others often have to bend or slightly crouch when they go inside one. Although its length and width may vary, it’s usually 8-10ft long and about 5-6ft wide.

Why Buy a Teardrop Trailer?

teardrop trailer adventures
Photo by DROPLET Marketing via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons License

Whether it’s to save on fuel consumption or just travel light, there are many reasons why you should purchase a teardrop trailer but some of the important ones are as follows:

  • Cooking and eating is possible with the mini kitchen.
  • Solid protection against weather and wild animals.
  • Low maintenance because it doesn’t require a lot of plumbing or part replacements.
  • For quick go-to camping and can be towed by any vehicle.

What’s the Difference between Teardrop Trailers and Caravans?

teardrop camper vs trailer

Teardrop trailers’ size is smaller than caravans. In fact, it’s easy to store them in places that are within 8-10 ft of space. And because their weight is often less than a 1000 lbs, light trucks weighing around 5,000-6,000 lbs. can handle them, but SUVs can too.

As for the caravans, the term “caravan” is popular among European countries but in North America, they’re known as the traditional “camping trailers.” They’re large (which can occupy more than 10 ft of space) and generally weigh around 3,000-4,700 lbs. Obviously, moving them requires large pickup trucks that are 7,000-12,000 lbs.

How Many People Can Sleep in a Teardrop Camper?

teardrop trailer queen size bed
Photo by PPILLON via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons License

Since a teardrop camper is generally small, most of the time, only two people can fit right in. This is also known as the entry-level teardrop camper because it comes standard with basic mini kitchen and bedroom (with bunk bed) amenities in one. It’s an ideal option for 2 adults with 1 child.

On the other hand, if you’re a family of three or four (all full-grown adults), you need a little teardrop trailer upgrade. There are teardrop trailers that sleep four to five people with their queen-size beds and toilets that double as bathrooms.

What’s the Tow Capacity of a Teardrop Trailer?

teardrop trailer towing weight
Photo by Terry Bone via Wikimedia Commons under Creative Commons License

A teardrop trailer’s tow capacity depends on its size and what it contains:

  • Entry-level teardrop trailers500-900 lbs., contain basic amenities like a kitchenette and bedroom.
  • Mid-level teardrop trailers900-1500 lbs., contain additional features like an indoor dinette area and double-deckers and or bunkbeds.
  • High-end teardrop trailers1500-3200 lbs., contain a bathroom, queen-sized bed and sometimes an entertainment area.

It’s also important to be familiar with some tow details to ensure you can properly move your teardrop camper and doesn’t exceed its limit:

  • Cargo Carrying Capacity (CCC) – weight of your teardrop trailer including all your belongings and how much pressure your hitch ball can endure.
  • Dry Weight (DW) – includes weight of fluid-containing parts such as; fuel, oil, and generator fluids.
  • Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW) – standard weight of your teardrop trailer minus the accessories.

Are Teardrop Trailer Kitchenettes Always Outside?

teardrop trailer outdoor kitchen
Photo shows a galley with cabinets from nucamprv’s teardrop camper.

While many teardrop trailer kitchenettes are found outdoors or normally at the rear part of the teardrop trailers, they’re not always like that.

Little Guy Max Trailer

little guy max trailer


In fact, some types are found indoors like the Little Guy Max Trailer that features an indoor kitchen. This is very useful, especially when you don’t want to go outside in the middle of a bad weather condition.

Valiant Xtreme Teardrop Trailer

valiant extreme teardrop

However, most teardrop trailers have kitchens outside like the Valiant Xtreme Teardrop Trailer to maximize the available interior space. Given that a typical teardrop trailer’s size is already small, you might need to make room for a dinette or lounging area, for eating or relaxation.

Batwing Awning or Screen Shelter for Your Teardrop Trailer?

If getting out of your teardrop trailer is unavoidable because of your outdoor kitchen, there are a few accessories you can purchase to give yourself a certain layer of protection.

Rhino Rack Batwing Awning

rhino rack batwing awning

The Rhino Rack Batwing is a good example of an awning that acts as your cover against the sudden rain downpour or sun’s melting heat while you’re busy cooking. It attaches to either left or right side of your teardrop camper and can be extended to the opposite direction by up to 270 degrees.

Quickset by Clam Escape Sky Screen Tent

quickset screen shelter

If you don’t have enough space for an indoor dinette area, you can just assemble a screen tent that’s similar to the one offered by Clam’s Quickset brand. This screen tent is ready in 45 seconds and is surrounded by a net or mesh to let you comfortably eat inside while mosquitos and insects are kept away. It measures 11ft wide and 7.5ft tall.

How Much Is a Teardrop Trailer?


There’s a common misconception in a teardrop trailer that you can buy something that’s less than $4000 as long as you settle for a DIY type. While it’s possible you can somehow reduce their cost to a certain extent, because you’ll be the one choosing the materials to make them, it still won’t be that much.

In fact, even the entry-level teardrop trailers can still cost about $5000 depending on the composition and items that go with it. And, whether you like to or not, that price can skyrocket to $20,000 or more because most of those parts come from the overlanding industry.

Other factors that affect teardrop camper pricing are:

  • Demand – How many people like it?
  • Business scope – Small scale or international production?
  • Target market – Is it only for campers or for off roaders and overlanders?
  • Amenities – Does it include two burner stovetops? Does it require a refrigerator or an air conditioner?


There are many ways and reasons for choosing a teardrop trailer. But in the end, it really is a matter of preference. After all, what’s suitable for you may not be suitable for others. Share us what you love about teardrop trailers and why you want one by commenting below.








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