Earth Traveler Makes World’s Lightest Teardrop Trailer
Earth Traveler, a New Mexico-based startup, recently showcased its new T250LX teardrop trailer. This custom-built unit weighs 298 pounds, compared to the heavier 300-pound T300 standard model, making it the lightest RV available on the market.
Ultra-lightweight, expandable, and organic-inspired, this little unit is tough enough for an off-road excursion but light enough to be pulled by an array of small vehicles. The secret behind this compact innovation on wheels involves a Fiat 500, a hot camping trip, and chicken feathers.
The story behind the teardrop trailer
Earth Traveler founder and artist Angel Irlanda told the backstory on how Earth Traveler teardrop trailers came into existence.
“The genesis of the idea to design and build an ultra-light trailer was conceived during a camping trip in New Mexico in 2014 when the excitement of our first summer camping trip turned to dismay when we faced the reality that the tent was extremely hot during the day, and at night the wind was causing the tent to collapse on us.
Our car at the time was a Fiat 500, so I decided to find an RV that our small car would be able to tow, but none were available on the market. Thus, I decided to design and create our own ultra-light RV with similar sleek curves and stylish design as our Fiat 500.”
Lightweight construction: From chicken feathers to carbon fiber
To minimize weight, Irlanda turned to experts at Los Alamos National Lab SBA for ideas. Together they came up with utilizing a chicken feather-based material for all non-structural parts in the T300 model. Fiberglass and resin helped reinforce the feathers, creating a lightweight but effective layer of weather protection and insulation.
Fast forward to the T250LX flagship model. With this new and improved unit, Irlanda substituted the feathers for 100% carbon fiber. This, combined with Kevlar and Corecell, helped create an ultra-lightweight protective layering. The structural components of both teardrop models were made of load-bearing traditional composite materials.
…And off-road capabilities
For a smoother off-road experience, Irlanda included Timbren axle-less suspension and SumoSprings Trailer Helpers. Both components work together to remove sway and enhance load carrying ability. This improves overall driver control and ride comfort when towing.
Other teardrop trailer specifications and add-ons
An Earth Traveler teardrop trailer is considered a hybrid between teardrop and pop-up trailer. It can comfortably sleep up to 4 people. In travel mode, the teardrop measures 5 feet wide by 5 feet high by 11 feet long. When settled at a campsite and expanded, the teardrop measures 11 feet wide by 7 feet high by 11 feet long.
The unit has pop-out side walls and a pop-up roof with mosquito mesh. Storage compartments can be found underneath the trailer’s flooring. Five interior LED lights can help campers find items at night.
Upgrades like kitchen amenities, flexible solar panels, a backup battery, additional room with attachable tents, and off-road components are available. Add-ons are all dependent upon the vehicle capacity of the owner.
“Since cars vary significantly in their power and tow capacity, I designed the Teardrop Trailer interior with a semi-modular concept for the planned amenities to keep the weight at a minimum and avoid unnecessary add-ons that could compromise the weight. In this way, customers could customize their Teardrop Trailers according to the capacity of their vehicles,” Irlanda said.
Take the Earth Traveler teardrop trailer camping off-grid
Earth Traveler teardrop trailers are available for purchase online. The standard teardrop (T300) starts at $10,000, and the newest model (T250LX) has a base price of $31,000. Once an order has been submitted, it can take up to 7 months until delivery as these are hand-built, customized units.
The video below gives a sneak peek of the Earth Traveler teardrop trailer, including possible upgrades.
Looking for places to experience off-grid camping with your teardrop trailer or off-road RV? You can find a slew of boondocking sites in locations like national forests and BLM land on RV LIFE Campgrounds. Plus, RV LIFE Trip Wizard helps you plan out your trip to one or more of these places using RV-friendly routes.
See also: Do You Need Teardrop Camper Insurance?
Natalie Henley is a freelance writer and has also been full-time RVing with her husband and pets since 2015. She covers a wide range of topics from RV lifestyle, RVing tips, DIY projects, RV news, and more.
28 thoughts on “Earth Traveler Makes World’s Lightest Teardrop Trailer”
Just went to the website and the least expensive base model starts at $25k. There is no $10k model. The more expensive model starts at $38,500 with no accessories.
I love the idea of a lightweight teardrop for behind my Subaru Forester. The reality is that for $25k you can still get a lightweight teardrop with many more amenities. Don’t get me wrong, I think this platform is amazing, I just can’t justify the price (or the 18-20 month waiting period) for a shell.
yep, AND the tent is not an acceptable quality for the price. Over priced.
Where do you buy a simple kitchen (gadget??)that sets up next to a teardrop? Also, are their tents that easily attach to a teardrop? Thanks!
Amazing! For $10K it isn’t a bad price. Small companies who produce trailers such as this do not have the economy of large scale production, the material they use usually are lightweight and lightweight does not mean easy on the pocket book. You get what you pay for and this is a lovely rare piece of camping equipment and at the weight listed you can tow this with almost anything.
In the long run this will be less expensive because you won’t be using a lot more fuel, which you will if towing something much larger with a much larger vehicle.
$30K and no kitchen !?!
Plus, isn’t it pretty much a hard top TENT?
ANTICIPATING your less expensive improved engineering …
There’s a $10,000 one that weighs 300lbs. Insanely good value. You can’t find a trailer that costs less that doesn’t weigh at least 4x as much.
which trailer is that?
There is a $10,000 one. You can get many portable kitchen gadgets these days, where you can take either in or out of the trailer, you don’t have to be marry to a full heavy kitchen cabinets that you have to drag everywhere. You might be going on a road trip, no necesarily camping. Modular design is the future.
On Point. That is correct.
I love it but I want a bed and bath. Not really a shower/tub. Don’t need a kitchen.
Does it have a shower and toilet?
Why would you need a shower & toilet? This is for rugged individualists, not pampered city pansies.
Lol I agree. Stay home if you want that.
Jeffrey Dahmer? Hilarious. I’m far from a pampered city pansie but unless you’ve pushed a baby, or three, out of your vagina it’s probably hard to understand the need to pee in the middle of the night, in comfort. My suggestion for a female, like Colleen is to buy a portable potty for inside the trailer, works great for those of us without male equipment.
Amazing totally. A bit pricy! Very cool
What is the weight capacity for humans for the 300 model?
Interesting concept. As owners of a teardrop who travel and camp as often as possible, we have come to enjoy the small size for ease of pulling and setup as well as we have to keep a minimalist attitude because there isn’t a ton of storage. That said, we do have a/c, heat, wet bath, kitchen, we can stand up in it, and it’s hard sided. While the Earth Traveler is lightweight, as you begin to add those things that anyone might want on a trip; propane for cooking, outdoor chairs/table plus the interior stuff such as clothes, hiking gear, kitchen set, etc., you get the idea, you are going to add weight, especially if you are sleeping four people. The GVW is 1200lbs and UVW is 300. Seems like you have 900lbs of weight to add with options, etc., that you will need for all the essentials. I did not see whether the trailer has independent brakes. Their high end model is $30,000 but for that amount of money there are better options with a/c, showers/ etc.
There’s a $10,000 option that still weighs 300 pounds. Doesn’t come with the side tents. Also the 1200lb gvwr is just for when it’s moving. When it’s parked I think it’s rated for 2000lbs
I wonder what the weight limit is it can handle?
Depending on your vehicle. Find out.
I keep saying this. But If it’s no bigger than this then a tent is a better deal. Especially since
this is partly tent already. This has to be towed (tent doesn’t) this has to have new tires every 5 years. This has to be registered every year. This requires a place to store it. This has to be washed and waxed. this takes as long to set up as a tent. And this will lower your gas mileage.
excellent points I was thinking along the same lines!
I love this idea alot but start at 10k.
no thanks…. must be made for yuppies but not middle class families. go figure it’s always too good to be true.
I will he passing on this New Mexico business.
regards Army Veteran (retired) New Mexico,
You can’t find a single new trailer for under $10,000 with these options that doesn’t weigh 4x as much or more. The price makes sense for people who don’t want to buy a truck, get that truck titled, insured, and pay for horrible gas mileage. You could tow this with a Prius and still get over 35mpg.
Hopefully larger scale manufacturing outfits adapt to this model, while bringing the overall price down. That’s an absurd list price for a pop up tent with wheelbarrow tires. Meanwhile….. compact, almost equally weighted trailer companies in Florida are selling enclosed, hard-paneled, all season trailers for half that price.
I live in New Mexico as well so while I’m excited to see a home state based company make something potentially incredible, I’m sad that the pricing is so high, 80% of New Mexico’s population couldn’t even afford one.
where in Florida can you buy a camper that’s 300 pounds for $5000 with fold out front, rear, and sides? It’s fully enclosed when the trailer isn’t unfolded. According to them they can also take them off road. I’d like to see a trailer that’s less 3x the weight of this with the same amount of features under $8000.
There’s the My Pod by Teardrop. It’s a 500 lb. camper trailer for a trike. It’s fiberglass and for shorter people, you can add TV, DVD and CD Player, radio, A/C, 2 electric plugs and computer plugs for charging. Fan, lights and screen door. It’s about $10,000 and about $8,000 without the things listed above. And it’s 2 foot longer without the extras.
Just checked out the Teardrops. They sleep max 3 people. I need to sleep 4. This is really flexible, I’ll say that. When the kids are off to college, and we no longer have a SUV, using w/out the side tents would be more practical, and pulling with the Prius would work.