Travel trailers are like the Swiss Army knife of recreational vehicles. There is a huge range of options to choose from with a variety of weights, sizes, floorplans, and features.
While it’s nice to have lots of options and variations, the selection can be overwhelming. Not everyone needs multiple rooms, huge sleeping and recreation areas, or all the amenities of home. In fact, one of the perks of living the travel trailer lifestyle can be getting back to basics and just learning to enjoy the simple life.
When you choose a simple travel trailer, you are also choosing more convenience. Large, bulky travel trailers can be more difficult to maneuver on the road. Because simple travel trailers are also usually lighter in weight, you can get by with a smaller tow vehicle, and it is generally easier to park and find roomy camping spots.
When you sacrifice the space of slide outs, you’ll find there is also usually less cleaning because you have less space to mess up and you don’t have to worry about areas where floors move or join. You may also find that setting up camp overall is a lot faster and easier as well.
Just like with purchasing any kind of vehicle, having all the bells and whistles can be nice, but more features and options also mean more things that can go wrong or more things to break.
Choosing a travel trailer without slide outs saves you time and money on maintenance. Slide outs can have issues with motor failure, misalignment, leaks, and other annoying problems that can ruin your camping experience or make it a lot more expensive.
We’ve rounded up seven simple travel trailer models that have all the basics and none of the problems of slide out models because they don’t have any slides!
1. Forest River R-Pod Ultra Lite Travel Trailer
The Forest River R-Pod Ultra Lite travel trailer has ten different floor plans to choose from. Two of those models, the RP-171 and the RP-172, have no slides at all. These models measure 18’4″ long, have an exterior width of 96 inches, and an exterior height of 9’6″. They also hold 36 gallons of fresh water and gray and black tanks hold 30 gallons each.
The RP-171 floor plan has a 42 x 74 dinette at the front end and a galley with a two-burner stove, convection microwave oven, and fridge. The rear of the travel trailer is a 60 x 74 queen bed, and an all-in-one bathroom with the standard toilet and sink with a shower handle extension.
The RP-172 flips the floor plan to place the sleeping areas in front and features a 42 x 74 sleeping quarters containing two bunks with additional storage space and a larger 58 x 74 dinette in the rear. In both floor plans, the mounted TV is visible from the dinette area.
Many people like the R-Pod line for its easy towing. These travel trailers have great curb appeal because of the two-tone curved exterior. The shell is made of gel-coated fiberglass around aluminum sidewalls.
Using fiberglass and aluminum construction keeps these travel trailers, lightweight. These models are also great when looking for a comfy travel trailer that is going to be able to squeeze into almost any size campsite.
While such a small travel trailer isn’t going to be for everyone, the R-Pod Ultra Lite is especially great for solo or duo campers who want something easy for a weekend excursion or first-timers looking to upgrade from tent camping.
2. Taxa Outdoors Mantis Camper
If a two-sleeper travel trailer isn’t really your style, you might consider Taxa Outdoors’ Mantis Camper. This funky little travel trailer is nineteen feet in length and sleeps up to four adults. The exterior is distinctive with an angular, modern style.
The founder of the company was a NASA architect who has lots of experience making people comfortable in very small spaces (like the International Space Station). This design aesthetic transitions well to travel trailer life, and one of the best features is that the Mantis Camper is designed to be towed by smaller vehicles and to fit inside a standard garage.
While it doesn’t have a slide out, this travel trailer does have a pop-up roof which makes it great for taller people who often run out of headroom in small travel trailers. The interior height with the top open can be anywhere from 5’11” to 7’10”. When closed, however, the exterior height only hits 6’10”, so you’ll have no worries while hauling this one down the road.
The front of the Mantis holds bunk beds while the rear contains a full-sized bed that converts to a couch. The interior also features a cassette toilet and shower, a combination two-burner stove and sink, a birch plywood kitchen with modular storage, and a combination dining/study counter.
Featured in magazines like Forbes and Popular Mechanics, campers love how easy this travel trailer is to set up whether you’re in an area with full hookups or you’ve decided to rough it and spend some time dry camping.
Tiny house enthusiasts love it too because it is designed to spend time off the grid and has plenty of life in the two deep cycle batteries that run the fridge, lights, and ports.
Some of our favorite features are the mesh screen door that keeps the interior clean, the acrylic windows that are insulated and also flip up easily, and the roof rack meant for bikes, kayaks, and other sports gear.
3. Homegrown Trailers Timberline Trailer
While our list focuses on travel trailers that are built simply, some of these also look super cool. Homegrown Trailers’ new Timberline models are some of the coolest looking travel trailers on the road. We love the sleek rounded wood paneled look of these models because they reflect the brand’s focus on simplicity and ease.
Homegrown recommends towing the Timberline models with a medium to large SUV or truck with a minimum towing capacity of 5,000 lbs. Because of the rounded shape of this model, the interior height will vary between 6’2″ to 6’11”. But with a hitch to the bumper length of twenty-three feet, this trailer can go pretty much anywhere.
Timberlines have a variety of designs and layouts available but can sleep up to five people because of its queen-sized master bed and up to three additional bunks. The 600-800 watts of solar panels and advanced batteries that store energy for multiple days’ use also mean that this travel trailer is comfortable whether you are on- or off-grid.
Optional features include your choice of either bunk beds or dinette, either a 2.6 or 3.1. cubic foot under-the-counter fridge, and heat and air conditioning. Standard features of the Timberline include the wet bath area with indoor shower, 2.5-gallon hot water tank, and the air-tight wool insulation.
Homegrown’s Timberline has a lot of great selling points, particularly for those who appreciate the way its aesthetic qualities help it blend into nature. All of this travel trailer’s components are made from nontoxic materials using low-waste construction. The entire energy efficient travel trailer is made from sustainable materials.
It is also comfortable, warm, and inviting as well as budget friendly for those who want to camp for a weekend, full-time, or even as a guesthouse for those who just need a little extra room when family or friends come to visit.
4. Scamp Trailer
Another simple travel trailer sans slide outs that is lightweight and easy to tow is the Scamp brand of travel trailers. These are designed in three different lengths, thirteen, sixteen, and nineteen feet in length, made of hard shell fiberglass to be durable. These are ideal for towing by small cars, SUVs, minivans, and trucks and are designed to be aerodynamic to minimize fuel costs.
The Scamp line prides itself on being 100% American made. The factory is located in Minnesota and sources all its components from suppliers in the USA as well. The design is meant to be simple, convenient, strong, and dependable.
The smallest thirteen-foot model has an interior height of 6’3″ and sleeps up to four. The table converts to a bed and the sofa converts to bunk beds. There are two standard options depending on whether you want a bathroom included and the deluxe models upgrade the interior to wood.
The sixteen-foot model comes in five different layouts (three of which include a bathroom) and the deluxe models come in two, depending on where you’d like the dinette located. The largest, the nineteen-foot model, is more of a fifth-wheel and sleeps up to six because of its lofted queen-sized bed.
The Scamp line is great because it is so customizable with a variety of options. Fiberglass travel trailers like these are especially good for wet, rainy environments because of their leak resistance. Considering the price tag on these models, they are exceptionally well built.
Because these are on the small side, they may not be best for tall campers or those who need a lot of room to stretch out, and unlike previously discussed models, the interior design doesn’t feel particularly modern.
However, for those looking for a low-cost, good quality travel trailer that is classic in design and easy to tow, Scamp trailers are a great choice especially for newbies looking to up their camping game to the next level.
5. Jayco Hummingbird
If you’re looking for a travel trailer that is clean and simple and feels roomy without a slide out, check out the Jayco Hummingbird. We like the 16MRB floor plan because the sleeping area is a 60 x 75 Murphy bed. The great thing about a Murphy bed is that your roomy sleeping space gets tucked away when you aren’t using it, opening up the floor for a roomier feeling during the day.
Jayco is a great brand with a good reputation for quality, and the Hummingbird line is just what it sounds like, lightweight and highly portable. This model includes a galley with two-burner stove, sink, microwave oven, and fridge and a pantry that can be used as a wardrobe is the overhead cabinetry is sufficient for your kitchen stuff.
This model also includes a full wet bath with corner shower, linen closet, and additional storage closet at the rear or the trailer. Outside is a retractable ten-foot power awning with remote controlled multi-color LED lighting. The exterior length of just under twenty feet makes this easy to park in almost any campsite.
The Hummingbird comes in another model that does not include a slide out, the 10RK, but the exterior length of thirteen feet on this model means that the 54 x 74 bed takes up the bulk of the room, leaving little movement around the kitchen and there is no option that includes a bathroom.
That may be fine for those who want a travel trailer as a slight upgrade from tent camping, but we prefer the 16MRB’s increased flexibility and the feeling of a more spacious environment.
6. Cherokee Grey Wolf
The Cherokee Grey Wolf line is another great option if you’re looking for a more traditional travel trailer that is simple and has zero slide outs. This line has seven-floor plans without slides that still feel roomy and custom-made just for you.
If you’re looking for something a little longer than the other models on our list, we like the 24JS floor plan with an exterior length of just under twenty-seven feet. This model features a queen-sized bed with dual wardrobes, and the sofa separates the bedroom from the main living space.
The 24JS has a standard galley with a microwave, three-range stove, and refrigerator as well as a dinette and mounted LCD TV. We like the maximized overhead cabinetry in the galley and dinette areas and that the bathroom in the rear features a tub/shower, toilet, and sink as well as a functional wardrobe.
If you’re looking for something a little shorter in length, the 17BHSE model is nice. It comes in at under twenty-four feet long and has a sofa with a side wardrobe and overhead shelf at the front, pushing the double bed bunk beds to the rear of the trailer so that the rear bathroom is close by.
If you like the bedroom at the opposite end of the trailer from the bathroom, however, check out the 18MT floor plan. This model combines the layout of the 24JS with the shorter length of the 17BHSE so that you get the best of both worlds. The 18MT is just over twenty-three feet long and has a queen-sized Murphy bed that comes down over the living space at the front of the trailer.
The Grey Wolf series also comes standard with an outside shower with hot and cold water, outside TV bracket and hookups, and a power awning. It also comes ready to install a backup camera and solar panels if you want to add on those features later down the line.
7. Travel Lite Aura Travel Trailer
The last model on our list is the Travel Lite Aura travel trailer. This model combines both modern and traditional designs in one sleek travel trailer. Of the nine different floor plans, this model offers, only one comes without a slide, the A-23TH.
The A-23TH has an exterior length of 22’9″, so this fits easily wherever you decide to park it for the night. The interior height is 6’3″, so there is also just enough headroom for the average camper.
The front of this lightweight trailer has a queen-sized bed with under bed storage and slider windows at each end of the bed for maximum airflow and comfort. The adjacent bathroom has a power fan and a generous shower with a skylight.
The galley boasts a 5 cubic foot refrigerator, much larger than many other travel trailers in this size range, and there is a two-burner stove and sink with both overhead storage and underneath cabinets with hidden drawers.
The sofa at the rear converts to a 41 x 68 sofa bed, and the end of the trailer opens into a heavy duty ramp door which makes it ideal for those hauling fun outdoor toys. We love the sharp, modern exterior combined with the traditional functionality of the interior and its convenient functionality.
When you’re looking for a travel trailer, remember that there are tons of options out there with a wide variety of styles, layouts, and features. Regardless of what your salesman may tell you, you don’t absolutely need the addition of slide outs to have a comfortable travel trailer that conforms to your specific needs.
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