clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The 7 best campers and trailers of 2017

New, 1 comment

We’ll take one of each

Two small camper trailers in red and yellow.
The Meerkat Trailer, made by Little Guy Trailers in Southern California.
Courtesy of Little Guy Trailers

Getting outside has never been easier, and this year’s crop of RVs proved that you can have it all: creature comforts, high-design, and campers that get you off-the-grid and adventuring, ASAP.

Of course, there are some wacky campers and trailers that just don’t make sense for most people—we’re looking at you, RV that hides a sports car in a mobile garage. But the majority of campers that we covered in 2017 weren’t about gimmicks or a top-dollar price tag. Instead, our favorite campers tackled classic camper problems (like how to fit a family of four or where your power comes from) in new ways.

To pay homage to everything this year had to offer in camper world, we’ve rounded up the best campers, RVs, and trailers we covered here at Curbed. From beautifully crafted teardrop trailers to all-electric concept RVs, here’s what caught our eye in 2017.

Converted Sprinter van is a cozy tiny home on wheels

This custom camper van is a converted 2012 Mercedes Benz Sprinter 313 and took 13 weeks to build.
Photos courtesy of This Moving House

Many converted vans still look a bit like an upscale delivery truck, but not this 151-square-foot Sprinter converted by Jack Richens and his girlfriend Lucy Hedges in Oxford, England. With an aesthetic that’s akin to a boat or tiny home, this Sprinter boasts a kitchen with a two-burner stove, sink, and fridge, a four-person dining area that uses rotating captain seats that swivel around, and plenty of storage spaces.

The most innovative feature is the bed system, which uses a three-berth design to comfortably sleep a family of four. The parents sleep on a full-size bed while the kids each get a bunk in a layered design that maximizes space. A small porthole provides extra light for the top kiddo, and the finishes walls add to the coziness. Read more, over here.

The tiny Meerkat camper can be towed by almost any car

Two small camper trailers in red and yellow.
The Meerkat Trailer, made by Little Guy Trailers in Southern California.
Courtesy of Little Guy Trailers

Little Guy Trailers—headquartered in San Diego, California—has been making the small Meerkat trailer for a while now, but it just hit our radar this year. At only 900 pounds—and $17,820—this lightweight unit can be towed by almost any 4-cylinder car and it can even fit in a standard garage.

The interior features a dinette and seating area that transforms into a roller system bed that sleeps two comfortably. There’s storage underneath each of the cushions, and the kitchen boasts wood cabinetry, an icebox, sink, and a 120-volt electrical system. The top of the Meerkat pops open for more head room, and there’s even a hanging closet for your clothes.

It’s also just really, really cute. Head over here for more photos.

All-electric motorhome is completely covered in solar panels

A white camper parked outside of a house. The camper has solar panels on the side of it.
A new concept RV from Dethleffs.
Dethleffs via New Atlas

Similar to Volkswagen’s plans for a new electric minibus, the Dethleffs e.home Type C motorhome combines a zero-emissions powertrain with tons of smart technologies inside. And it’s all powered by the head-to-toe solar panels affixed to the camper’s exterior.

Sure, it may be a concept RV and it won’t be awhile until this RV is ready for production, but the e.home is so innovative that it warrants a spot on this list.

Larger than some of the electric adventure vans out there—which are almost always Class B vans—the e.home motorhome uses an Iveco Daily Electric chassis that normally has a 174 mile range without the larger camper trim. All of the extra weight would no doubt limit that range, so Dethleffs has added 334 square feet of thin-film solar panels that can generate up to 3,000 watts of electricity to keep the 228-Ah sodium-nickel-chloride battery array charged.

Not only does the e.home point to where motorhomes are headed, but also its interior design is pretty great too. Take a look, over here.

Winnebago’s new Revel camper van is not your grandfather’s RV

An RV camper van, the Revel Adventure van from Winnebago, sits on a grassy hillside. The van is grey and has rooftop storage. There are mountains in the distance and a sunset in the sky.
The new Revel adventure van from Winnebago.
Courtesy of Winnebago

Iowa-based Winnebago has been making affordable motorhomes since the early 1960s. The brand became so popular that the very name Winnebago—to say nothing of the ubiquitous “flying W” running along the RV’s side—became synonymous with motor homes everywhere.

Winnebago’s latest RV, however, looks nothing like the Minnie Winnie’s of the past. Like many of today’s hottest adventure vehicles, the new Winnebago Revel is built to go anywhere, for however long you want to stay there.

Using a 144-inch Mercedes-Benz 4x4 Sprinter as the base, the Revel is chock-full of outdoorsy amenities, like a 3-liter turbo diesel engine, all-terrain tires, and an on-demand four-wheel-drive system that has a high, low, and “hill descent” mode. Inside, the Revel provides all the conveniences you’d expect from a larger motorhome, like a full kitchen, air conditioning, and heating. Like what you see? Read the full story, right this way.

Lightweight Cricket camper trailer sleeps family of 4

The Cricket camper trailer from Taxa Outdoors can sleep a family of four.
Courtesy of Taxa Outdoors

TAXA Outdoors is one of our favorite companies that is pushing the envelope with small, modular campers that are well-priced and can sleep a family. At only 15 feet in length and weighing a mere 1450 pounds, the Cricket can be pulled by most 4-cylinder vehicles.

The Cricket also expands to sleep two adults and up to two children, all with integrated plumbing and electrical systems that allow you to stay off the grid for days. Swing windows with shade and mesh screens allow for ventilation and the interior boasts a pop-up table, covered sink and 6 cubbies for kitchen prep, storage, and cooking, and 12-volt lighting throughout the cabin. If you’re already in love, read the whole story, this way.

Safari Condo reinvents the teardrop with an electric pop-up roof

The Safari Alto R Series Trailer, featuring a pop-up roof.
Photo courtesy of Safari Condo

Teardrop trailers can be an affordable, easy way to camp, but many of them lack head space. Not so with the Alto R Series Trailer. Made by Canadian-based Safari Condo, the Alto is an ultra-light travel trailer that has an exterior height of only 83.5 inches, allowing it to fit easily in a garage. But the seamless aluminum roof pops up electronically to reveal 7 feet of interior space.

Once in the up position, the Alto R Series reveals crescent-shaped windows made with tinted tempered glass, flooding the camper with light. Inside there are two available dining areas—a two-seat and a five-seat dinette—and both dining areas convert to sleeping quarters with room for 3-4 people. Find out more, this way.

Burly adventure camper is prepped to go off-grid

The LC79 off-road vehicle by Patriot Campers.
All photos courtesy of Patriot Campers

If you’re looking for the ultimate adventure vehicle—or maybe just need a rugged getaway car—look no further than this all-black rig from Australia-based Patriot Campers. The LC79 Super Tourer double cab starts with a brand new Toyota Land Cruiser chassis, then is tricked out with everything from survival basics to creature comforts.

The V8 turbo diesel, upgraded suspension, and beefy tires are built for going off road, and the truck’s panels are made from aluminum to maximize the payload and towing capacity. We’ve got even more details, over here.