This post may contain affiliate links or mention our own products, please check out our disclosure policy.

Trailer Campers Versus Teardrops Smackdown

Published on March 4th, 2019 by Camper Report
This post was updated on May 26th, 2021

trailer campers versus teardrop trailers comparison
Is it a teardrop or a travel trailer? Here’s how to know the differences.

RV trailer styles are as different as the people who buy them. These key comparisons in our trailer campers versus teardrop trailers smackdown can help you choose the perfect model when you’re undecided.

Don’t Buy Until You Compare Trailer Styles

You can’t make a good RV purchase decision until you know something about advantages and disadvantages of different models. If you happen to know that you want a towable RV, not a motorhome, this article can help you weed through the differences between two popular towable trailer models: basic camper trailers, and tiny teardrop trailers. By the time you’re done reading, you should have a good idea about the best kind of camper trailer for your needs.

Trailer Campers Versus Teardrop Trailers at a Glance

One thing that trailer campers and teardrops share in common, is you don’t need a special license to tow either one. If you have a regular driver’s license, you can either kind of RV. The department of motor vehicles doesn’t usually care what kind of vehicle is towing it, but having the right tow vehicle for your trailer is a wise decision before you hit the road. But that’s about where the differences between trailer campers and teardrop trailers ends. Here’s a look at trailer campers versus teardrops at a glance:

Sign up for the newsletter today!

Please enter a valid email address.

An error occurred. Please try again later.

× logo

Thank you for subscribing to the Camper Report newsletter, keep your eye on your inbox for updates.

FeaturesTeardrop TrailerTraditional Camper Trailer
CostAvg. $5,000- $15,000Avg. $7,000-$30,000
Sleeping spaceTiny (1-2 people)Large (4-10 people)
Tow weight1,000 – 3,000 pounds3,000 to 15,000 pounds
Storage SpaceLittle or noneMuch more
BathroomsGenerally notYes
RepairsLess, very simpleMore systems to fail

When it comes to camper trailers versus teardrops you’ll find significant differences besides weight and space differences. In this article, you’ll learn how they compare with a list of advantages and disadvantages for each trailer design.

Teardrop Trailer Advantages

Teardrop trailers were one of the first towable RVs on the road. Created in the 1930s, teardrops are smaller and lighter than a traditional towable camper trailer. These adorable campers get their name from the small raindrop-shape profile. Streamlined and compact, they’re among the most aerodynamic RVs which makes for easy towing with lighter vehicles. There are several benefits to getting a teardrop trailer. Listed below are some of these advantages. Use them to compare with camper trailers.

  • Parking and storing a teardrop trailer is easy. With an average of five to seven feet in width, most teardrops fit in garages and driveways. They fit in nearly all campgrounds,
  • Tow vehicles love them too. The light weight of a teardrop doesn’t put as much stress on a tow vehicle. Unlike camper trailers, most passenger cars with a bumper hitch can pull a teardrop.
  • They cost less. Teardrops keep camping simple. Without all the extras like a bathroom and separate bedroom, teardrops make budget camping easy.
  • Teardrops are beautiful. These trailers aerodynamic and nice to look at. With features like wood siding and retro paint designs, a teardrop can be customized to each owner’s personal camping style.
  • You can camp just about anywhere. Their light weight and towing ease makes it easy to take these trailers off-the-beaten-path. Some rugged teardrops can even go off-roading.

Disadvantages of Teardrop Trailers

Teardrop trailers have many great qualities. But it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. Teardrops also have important disadvantages you need to know before you buy.

  • You don’t have much room inside. Teardrop trailers are one of the smallest camping trailers around. If you have a large family or need a decent amount of living space, you won’t find it in a teardrop. Limited storage makes long road trips and full-timing living in a teardrop a huge challenge.
  • They generally don’t have bathrooms: You won’t find much room for a lavatory in a teardrop trailer. If you need one, portable camping toilets and outdoor showers are always an option as long as your tow vehicle has room for them.
  • The kitchen is outside: Again, because of their size, teardrop trailers don’t often have room for fully functional indoor kitchens. Most have a clamshell hatchback that opens to reveal a small, sheltered galley area for cooking.

Advantages of a Camper Trailer

RVs have many differences in size, style, and function. But when it comes to trailer campers versus teardrop trailers , several key areas set them apart:

  • Travel trailers have more room than teardrops. You can sleep many more people, have space for a kitchen, multiple beds, a bathroom and shower, etc.
  • They are more versatile too: Teardrop trailers have limited options for different camping situations. For example, want to bring an ATV that you later acquire? Sorry, no place for that unless you have a large enough truck bed. Most trucks aren’t big enough since you need to put the tailgate down, which impedes towing. Or, have a extra child coming along and need one more sleeping space? Sorry, no room in a teardrop trailer. Want to camp for a week with a shower and toilet? Nope! Unlike a teardrop trailer, a camper trailer allows much more versatility.

Disadvantages of a Camper Trailer

Camper trailers have a few disadvantages you need to know before you decide to buy one. For example:

  • Camper trailers generally require more maintenance. Camper trailers have more electrical and plumbing systems that require maintenance and occasionally break. Teardrops have fewer and less complicated house systems that break and require maintenance.
  • Set up takes a bit longer. Teardrops don’t usually have leveling jacks or utility hookups like camper trailers. This isn’t a complicated process, but it does add some time to your campsite setup routine.
  • Towing takes practice and the right tow vehicle. If you’ve never towed a trailer, it pays to have RV towing lessons with an experienced RVer. But first, you need to do your homework to make sure your tow vehicle is equipped to safely haul it down the road.

Is One Trailer Better than the Other?

Everybody has different camping styles and tolerances, so it’s smart to test before you invest. Plenty of RV rental companies offer towable trailers for rent, as long as you have a vehicle that can safely haul one. Consider an all-inclusive RV rental for your next road trip. Testing each kind of camper trailer is one of the best ways to discover the best towable for your budget and needs.


The ultimate winner of a trailer campers versus teardrops smackdown depends on so many factors. Teardrops are lightweight, relatively inexpensive, and easily towed by most any vehicle. Camper trailers are roomier, more comfortable and generally more durable than a teardrop but they need the right tow vehicle and require a bigger budget to care for them. The best way to know which trailer camper will make you happy is to rent one of each on separate road trips, then decide.

About the Author:

Leave a Comment

Welcome! Please follow these guidelines:

  • Be kind and respectful.
  • Keep comments relevant to the article.
  • Avoid insults, threats, profanity, and offensive remarks.
  • Refrain from discussing gun rights, politics, or religion.
  • Do not post misleading information, personal details, or spam.

We may hide or remove comments at our discretion.