Lightweight travel trailers have many advantages over both large travel trailers and motorhomes. Sub-3000-lb trailers can be towed with hatchbacks, small SUVs, or vans, are easier to drive with and maneuver, do not have as big of an impact on fuel mileage, are more affordable, and are easier to take off-road and fit into campsites.
The tradeoff is that the living space is quite small, but these trailers are designed efficiently so that many components have multiple uses and everything can be stowed away to keep the interior uncluttered. Plus, the point of camping is often to spend as much time outside as possible!
The 7 best travel trailers under 3000 pounds:
1. KZ RV 2021 Escape E14 Hatch
The 2021 Escape E14 Hatch trailer from KZ RV weighs in at 2,825 pounds and retails for around $19,500. It measures 15’ 3” in total length and features an innovative rear hatch door, which flips up to allow refreshing air flow, a second covered outdoor space (in addition to the 10’ foot awning along the side), and easy loading of bulky items like paddleboards, bikes, kayaks, and so forth.
The rear area of the trailer is home to a convertible dinette, so you can dine with an unobstructed view of the outdoors (with a screen to keep bugs out) and then convert it into a large sleeping space for two people.
The trailer also includes a spacious 8-cubic-foot refrigerator/freezer, a bathroom with a separate toilet and shower space (not a wet bath), pantry space, a sink with 20 gallons of fresh water storage, a microwave, and a two-burner stove.
The Escape E14 has a lofty interior height of 6’8”, which, combined with the rear hatch, makes the small trailer feel quite spacious. A full-size side door with flip-up solid steps allows for easy entry, and a screen door gives maximum airflow.
2. Jayco 2020 Hummingbird 16MRB
Jayco’s 2020 Hummingbird 16MRB weighs 2,890 pounds, measures 19’ 10” in length, and retails for around $25,500. This trailer has a sofa up front with a queen murphy bed that folds down over it to sleep two. In the central part of the trailer, you’ll find a pantry/wardrobe with a TV mounted for easy viewing from the couch or bed, a microwave, a fridge, and kitchen space with a sink and two-burner stove.
The back of the trailer houses the spacious bathroom area, with a shower stall, small sink, toilet, and plenty of storage for linens and other items.
Outside, the trailer features a 10-foot awning over the door and window, marine-grade exterior speakers, aluminum entry steps, reinforced step-up wheel wells, and a rounded aerodynamic profile. You can even opt to add an exterior TV with the built-in bracket and cable/satellite hookups.
The trailer has a 31.6-gallon fresh water tank as well as 25.4-gallon black and gray tanks, and it comes with a folding 2×4-foot picnic table.
You can add all kinds of upgrades, including a larger TV, a Baja Package for beefier tires and extra ground clearance, a spare tire, a bike rack, a roof-mounted solar prep kit, a roof rack system to hold kayaks, an external grill, and a larger LP tank.
3. Forest River Flagstaff E-Pro 15TB
The Flagstaff E-Pro 15TB is Forest River’s smallest walkable travel trailer, measuring 15’ 10” long and weighing just 2,600 pounds. The MSRP for this model starts at $22,586. The Flagstaff E-Pro 15TB has a dinette in the back that doubles as two twin beds, or you can use the table as a bed insert to create a massive king bed. Such a huge sleeping space takes up approximately half of the total interior space, but there is still room for a wet bath (shower and toilet in a shared space), a fridge/freezer, a microwave, a kitchenette with a sink and three-burner stove, a TV, and overhead storage space throughout.
Outside, the trailer has a 10-foot awning, a solid-step entryway, and two different exterior storage areas. This Flagstaff model has a 31-gallon fresh water tank and 12-gallon black and gray tanks.
If a giant sleeping space is high on your priority list, this might be the lightweight trailer for you.
4. Jayco 2021 Jay Flight SLX 7 195RB
Jayco’s 2021 Jay Flight SLX 7 195RB weighs 2,940 pounds and has a total exterior length of 21’ 10”, making this one of the more spacious lightweight trailers on this list. This model features a walk-around queen bed with a curtain that pulls across for privacy, spacious wardrobe and pantry spaces, and even a bathtub!
The Jay Flight starts at just over $20,300, although you can opt to add a solar power package, fiberglass sidewalls, and/or a roof-mounted air conditioner for additional fees.
This trailer also features a dinette that converts into additional sleeping space, a large fridge/freezer, a recessed stove, a microwave, and plenty of overhead cabinetry storage. Outside, the trailer has a 10-foot awning, an exterior cable TV hookup, LED exterior lighting, and axles that have electric self-adjusting brakes.
5. Travel Lite RV 2021 Rove Lite
Travel Lite RV’s 2021 Rove Lite trailers come in three different floor plans, with all of them weighing less than 1,700 pounds and measuring 15’4” in total length. These trailers start at $22,000 and have beautiful open designs with tons of seating space.
They all have wet baths, 2-burner stoves, and 3-cubic-foot fridges, although the small fridge and limited 10-gallon fresh water supply make these trailers best for weekenders or staying in RV parks with hookups. The Rove Lite is so light that essentially any vehicle with a hitch could tow it!
All three layouts feature a dinette plus a sofa, with a variety of dinette-to-bed and sofa-to-bed options. There is also storage built in everywhere to keep things out of the way and preserve the airy feel of these trailers.
Travel Lite trailers feature Hydro-Lite sidewalls which do not have wood substrate and are therefore impervious to water, which can be a big concern with older travel trailer construction methods.
6. Gulf Stream Coach Ameri-Lite 16BHC
The Ameri-Lite 16BHC from Gulf Stream Coach retails for around $12,500, making it one of the most affordable lightweight trailers available. It’s 18’10” long and weighs just 2,612 pounds. This trailer packs a ton of features, with a dinette that converts to a queen bed, two stacked twin bunks, a bathroom with a bathtub, closet space, a two-burner stove, a microwave, a small fridge, and some overhead storage space.
Outside is a power awning and rear stabilizer jacks, and you can opt to add a solar prep kit, exterior bluetooth speakers, a backup camera prep kit, a spare tire, and so forth for additional fees.
7. Casita Travel Trailers Spirit 17’ Deluxe
Casita Travel Trailers’ Spirit 17’ Deluxe trailer weighs 2,480 pounds and starts at $25,694. It features a wet bath and closet at the front end of the trailer and a dinette that converts to a double bed at the back. In the middle portion of the trailer is another dinette that converts to a twin bed and a kitchenette with a small fridge, a microwave, a two-burner stove, and sink.
An overhead cabinet runs almost around the entire perimeter of the main living space and there’s additional storage under the smaller dinette’s seats and above the fridge.
With two dinettes, there is comfortable seating for six people, or if you travel solo or as a couple, you can leave the rear dinette permanently in bed mode and use the smaller dinette to eat so you don’t have to set up the bed every night.
How To Determine the Best Quality Travel Trailer
It is unfortunately common for RV manufacturers to skimp on quality in order to cut production costs and make as big a profit as they possibly can. However, with a little investigative work, you can ensure that you purchase a high-quality travel trailer.
It’s best to start by reading reviews of various travel trailer manufacturers to see what other customers have to say about them. As with all online reviews, take them with a grain of salt and remember that mainly only people who really love or really hate the product are going to take time to review it. Overall, reviews can be one of the most useful tools for determining the quality and longevity of various travel trailers.
Another good way to check out the quality of a travel trailer is to tour it in person before you buy it. This might be difficult if the trailer you have in mind is manufactured on the other side of the country, but a trip out there to test it out can be warranted for such a big investment.
Knock on the walls, open and close the cabinets a few times, inspect the appliances, and move around the space for a while to make sure it’s comfortable and nothing feels chintzy or cheap.
Lightweight Travel Trailer Brands with the Best Reviews
It’s a pretty safe bet to trust large RV and travel trailer brands like Jayco, Winnebago, Airstream, and Forest River RV since they have proven themselves in the industry for many years. However, that’s not to say that newer brands are less trustworthy.
Once you know what type of trailer you are looking for and what components are necessary for you, you can narrow down your search field to a few brands and then look for online reviews specifically of those brands and models. This makes for an easier, less overwhelming, and more targeted search.
If you really want to do some sleuthing, look at the hashtags for each travel trailer on your shortlist on Instagram or other social media, and reach out to some people who have owned the trailer for a few years to see if they are happy with it. This way, there’s no pressure for them to hide flaws with the trailer since the company won’t see what they say.
Can My Vehicle Haul a 3000 Pound Travel Trailer?
The best way to determine how much weight your vehicle can tow is to consult your vehicle’s manufacturer for an exact towing capacity for your make, model, and options.
As a general guideline however, a front wheel drive car or small SUV can tow 1,500 pounds, a mid-size AWD SUV or small pickup can tow 3,000 pounds, and a full-size SUV or half-ton pickup can tow 5,000 pounds or more. Even some hatchbacks like Subaru Outback XTs can tow up to up 3,500 pounds.
Keep in mind that all the weights we have listed in this article are empty weights, and when deciding on an appropriate trailer for your vehicle, you will need to account for the weight of water, propane, food, gear, and anything else that will go into your trailer.
Personally, I can’t get behind the idea of wet baths and I don’t relish the thought of having to convert a dinette into a bed and vice versa every morning and night, so my top pick out of this list would be Jayco’s Jay Flight SLX 7 195RB.
The curtained off walk-around queen bed and a bathroom with a tub and a shower make this one the top contender for me, but each of these trailers has their own merits for sure, and for weekend use or taking a family out on the road some of the other options may be better.
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