If the RV industry can be characterized by any trend at the moment, it’s a move towards lighter and smaller campers. Instead of buying the bohemoth Class As of yesterday, more and more adventurers are gravitating towards Class B adventure vans and compact travel trailers. Love campers and trailers? Come join our community group.
Lightweight campers are considered any trailer that is less than 2,000 pounds—like these five you can buy right now—but it can be hard to fit all the basics in campers under 1,000 pounds. Still, there’s a growing market for ultra-lightweight campers, because anything under 1,000 pounds can often be towed by almost any car (disclaimer: please always check the towing restrictions of your personal vehicle).
The latest and greatest trailer to catch our eye is from California’s Polydrops Inc. A bit like a spaceship and a teardrop trailer had a baby, the Polydrop trailer uses wood and skinned aluminum to create an all-new take on what a modern camper can look like. Based in Los Angeles, it’s refreshing to see an angular and innovative version of the small camper trailer, and Polydrop’s design is akin to the much-loved trailers from Taxa Outdoors.
At 12.4 feet long, the Polydrop trailer was created by Kyung-Hyun Lew—an architectural designer. On its website, Polydrop says “this is not a camping trailer. It’s your own space that you can travel with.” All PR-jargon aside, Lew used the polygonized teardrop shape as a portable study space while he was finishing architecture school. Even more impressive, he pulled it around with his wife’s four-cylinder car.
The trailer uses an aluminum chassis and wood structure to clock-in at a very lightweight 760 pounds dry. It also only has an 80-pound tongue weight, which means you can easily maneuver the trailer into place when it’s not hitched.
Inside, strut-assisted butterfly doors display a clean and simple cabin filled with a 48 by 75 inch mattress. The light-colored pine walls give off a Scandinavian vibe, and the well-insulated camper also boasts a roof vent, LED lighting, and leather trim. There’s not a ton of storage compared to other, larger teardrops, but three small cubbies get the job done. A command panel controls the electric heater, lighting, USB and 12V outlets, and it’s all powered by a battery and 100-watt solar panel.
Like most teardrops, the kitchen is accessed from the rear. But the Polydrops galley is bare-bones at best, with no built-in elements and unfortunately little space for a cooler. Two drawers and a shelf provide a spot for cooking, but you’re going to have to provide the stove and water to get the job done.
As a brand-new camper, Polydrop is offering 20 limited edition 2019 launch models for $9,000 each, before shipping. Once they have ramped up production, the Polydrop trailer will go for $13,000.
While its simplicity may be a drawback for some, the Polydrop’s best feature is its design. Like this sleek travel trailer out of Germany, the Polydrop pushes camper design forward with a fresh take on a classic shape.