10 Best Tent Trailers For Compact Road Explorers
Living off grid has become the new ‘dream lifestyle’, and tent trailers are helping people to live this dream all over the world. Where once we might have sat in offices thinking about living on a superyacht or buying a million-pound mansion overlooking a stunning cityscape, we now find ourselves doodling designs for campervan conversions and planning the first location we would head to while travelling in a van. We often talk about camper conversion builds of all shapes and size here at Van Clan, but there are lots of other ways of setting out on an alternative living adventure and many that don’t have to cost the earth. If you’re strapped for cash or want to see the world on a budget, then there are a whole host of tent trailers out there that pack a punch without burning a hole in your wallet; pretty tempting, right?
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Tent trailers are the perfect solution if you like to get off-grid at a moments notice but don’t have the space or money for a second vehicle in your life. They are small enough to store in a garage or round the back of your house, and they can be towed by pretty much any vehicle (with the exception of a Reliant Robin or this ridiculous Mini Camper). You can even leave them erected all year round and have an extra tiny home from home in your back garden for chilling and reading your favourite van life articles (everyone needs a van cave!). So, without further ado, let’s crack on and check out 10 of the best tent trailers for off grid living and find out if trailer life is for you!
1. Air Opus – £16’495
Air Opus tent trailers from Opus Camper are super slick and crammed full of van life essentials…well…trailer life essentials, but you get the idea. This lightweight towable tiny house is like a tardis on the inside yet packs down to stand at just 120cm high when not in use. The strong and durable Polycotton fabric used for the main pop up body of these tent trailers is 100% weatherproof, and the entire camper is insulated to keep you warm on those winter nights.
Gas-assisted springs and a system called ‘air pole technology’ help to erect this tent trailer in under 90 seconds! That’s pretty impressive and will be a hit with any parents who have impatient children (or partners for that matter!). Each of these tent trailers has a full kitchen, a comfortable dining area, and can sleep up to 10 people! Now that’s what I call value for money!
2. Rockwood Extreme Sports Package – $20’000
If you like your tent trailers to be injected with pure adrenaline and a sense of adventure as standard, then this Rockwood Extreme Sports package from Forest River will be right up your street. Not only does it pop up into a mobile mansion, but it also has enough space for all of your off grid necessities such as a gas bottle for outside cooking and storage for your bikes, kayaks, surfboards and StandOut Sport paddleboards while out on the road. This camper is definitely aimed at people who like to live life on the wild side, but that doesn’t mean that the inside can’t be comfortable at the same time.
Yes, you are correct. This is the inside of that little box that you saw above; crazy, right! The Rockwood ESP range of tent trailers has everything that Millenials and people of the ‘digital age’ rely on a day-to-day basis, including a Bluetooth digital media receiver and a WiFi booster for picking up that free internet on the go. It has lots of USB ports for charging up devices that you might use on the trail such as drones and action cameras, and the LED lighting provides light in dark places (little LOTR quote there for the fans). With up to 26 gallons of water storage and the ability to sleep up to four people, these tent trailers are perfect for adventurous friends who love to hit the road together.
3. Trigano Camplair S – £3’999
Looks can be deceiving in the world of compact tent trailers as this next brand shows. This little towable trailer might not look like very much when it’s all folded away, but when opened out, it provides (W)390 x (D)450 x (H)230cm of space and can comfortably sleep four no matter whether the weather is hot, cold, wet, or windy outside. It’s the first one of our tent trailers to end up looking more like a tent than a trailer, but as long as it arrives on two wheels, then it’s good enough for us.
The galvanised chassis and storm straps are ready for whatever Mother Nature might throw your way, and the breathable Ten Cate cotton canvas can handle rain, snow, and sleet with ease. The windows can open up to let light and air into the inside of your tent and the bottom half of the outer-canvas is made from easy-wipe PVC which should make cleaning and packing away a doddle. The Camplair S has two double beds and a central cushioned seating area for hanging out with friends. It doesn’t come equipped with lots of top cooking accessories or a built-in washroom, but at that price, it doesn’t matter if you have to shell out for one of the best campervan cookers or one of our best campervan toilets to complete your set up.
4. Camp-let Dream – £7’880
This next range of tent trailers also look pretty sleek and futuristic when packed away and pop out into a ginormous living space when you’re parked up at your favourite parking spot. The Isabella Camp-let Dream trailer is designed for new campers and weekend warrior wannabees that are dipping their toes into the off-grid movement for the first time. If you’re not quite used to living a minimalist lifestyle just yet, then the ample space that these trailer tents provide should make first-time campers feel right at home.
This build is made up of two sleeping pods and a communal outdoor area. It’s not much different from owning a tent, apart from the fact that you don’t have to mess around with as many poles or ruin the start of your holiday by throwing the peg mallet at your spouse in a fit of rage. The large awning area is a nice place to sit and relax, with plenty of room for a dining table, chairs, and a kitchen that you can customise depending on how much you’re planning to use it while out on the road. This tent trailer is definitely one for couples or friends who like to socialise, and it would make a great addition to any family who likes to spend their weekends in the great outdoors instead of laid-up on the sofa in front of the television.
5. Jayco Jay Sport Camping Trailer – $11’747
If the rest of the tent trailers on this website were normal cars, then the Jayco Jay Sport Camping Trailer would be the hot rod of the bunch. It has a cool shape, nice decals, and an overall neat design that just works; what more do you need! Jayco use the tagline ‘camping done right’, and after seeing the inside on the picture below it’s hard to argue with that statement. Leaf spring suspension and 14-inch tyres give the Jayco Jay Sport a super smooth ride no matter what terrain you’re driving over, and with pre-plumbed appliances, a full vinyl flooring package, and all of the electrical necessities needed for off-grid entertainment, these trailer tents are made for the adventure enthusiast who wants to leave the planning to other people and just concentrate on living life.
I mean, this beast looks absolutely incredible! Just look at all of the furniture that comes inside this towable trailer tent! It comes complete with a comfortable seating area that folds down into a bed, a spacious kitchenette with cooking facilities and space to brew up coffee for your sleepy campers, and a useful roof fan to let out steam and to keep the inside cool on hot days. I really like the different window styles in this build too and how light and airy it is inside; bringing nature indoors always ticks boxes when it comes to campers, and Jayco certainly know how to make one heck of a trailer tent!
6. Raclet X Trail – £5’050
The X Trail from Raclet looks a little like one of the Mobile Army Surgical Hospital units that you might have seen from the famous programme with the same abbreviated name, but it doesn’t take ‘hawk-eyes’ to notice that this range of tent trailers provide oodles of space and the perfect solution for off grid camping. This is probably the least glamorous looking tiny trailer on our list of the best tent trailers around, but if you’re looking for something that provides protection and shelter from the elements and creepy crawlies, then the X Trail may well be the next item on your purchase list.
The X Trail sleeps four and has a central area in the trailer itself for sitting and storing your camping gear. It’s cheap and cheerful, which is what old-school camping is all about. Throw in a Trangia and an inflatable cool box and you’re good to go! Set-up time takes ten-minutes, and at 400kg, the X Trail is light enough to be towed by most medium-sized vehicles. The downside to this camper is that you’re advised not to put it in direct sunlight in the summer as the dark-outer casing will make the interior pretty hot. If you’re a sun soaker, then this might not be a bad thing, but if you like the look of the camper and the price, then just set up in the shade and enjoy looking and keeping cool at the same time.
7. Conqueror Overland Adventure Trailer – $33’000
I come back to this pop-up tent trailer time and time again because it’s so ridiculously over the top, which instantly makes it one of my favourite mobile campers of all time. I like being in the great outdoors as much as possible, and this trailer camper is perfect for an outdoorsy lifestyle. There’s a place for everything and everything has its place; just check out the small cup holders for your off-grid coffee if you don’t believe me!
If you’re wondering whether these things can keep up with a fast-paced lifestyle, then read on. Conqueror off-road camping trailers have been tested in the harsh and unforgiving environments of Africa and Australia for the past 25 years; does that answer your question? They’re made of metal (so no chance of rot) and come with storage in every fold, nook, and cranny. The inside living area is a little bland compared to some of the other tent trailers in our list, but with the whole world on your doorstep, who wants to sit inside?
8. SylvanSport Go – $9’995
With diamond plate decking, a powder-coated aluminium frame, and 220-denier ripstop nylon fabric that is a whopping 3x heavier duty than traditional family tents, the SylvanSport Go is a small but mighty tent trailer and a force to be reckoned with. This corrosion-free camper is perfect for a couple who like living in a small space and travelling at a moments notice. It weighs just 840lbs, making it perfect for any kind of adventure, especially if you like driving into the back-end-of-beyond to find the most secluded park up spots.
SylvanSport claim that the Go is the ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of tent trailers. You can carry up to a dozen boats, boards, bikes, boxes, or any other combination of gear on the roof/inside of this camper, making it perfect for people who like to spend more time outside of their camper than in it. You can use this as a gear haulier, a camper, or even a trailer if you need to move furniture between houses. National Geographic Adventure declared this range of tent trailers the “Coolest. Camper. Ever”. It might not be the biggest, but it certainly is a contender for the best.
9. QuickSilver Tent Campers – $10’998
We’re new to the world of QuickSilver Tent Campers, but we’re pleasantly surprised with what we’ve discovered about these affordable and colourful tent trailers. At 950lbs and with a pack-down travel height of 4-foot, this camper is more than capable of holding its own against the Air Opus and other similar brands. With two flip-out bunks, a dining area, and a well-equipped kitchenette, this travel trailer is well suited to someone who doesn’t need a lot to be able to enjoy their time out in the wild. Simplicity is key when it comes to QuickSilver Tent Campers, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have a few tricks up their sleeves.
12V and 110V sockets feature throughout this build, so there’s no need to worry about whether you’ll be able to charge your drone up on the go. Each camper is pre-wired for a solar system, giving you the ability to stay off the grid for longer and away from the other holidaymakers in the campsite. Storage can be found underneath the marine-grade vinyl cushions and in the kitchen cabinetry, and that bed looks big enough to starfish comfortably on after a long day hiking through the woods. These campers are a nice all-rounder, and the price is pretty appealing too!
10. Campooz Lazy Jack – £7,895
This four-berth trailer tent from Campooz is the last off grid trailer on our list of the best tent trailers on the market. The Lazy Jack comes complete with two fold-out bedrooms and a spacious awning for all-weather use, the sides of which can be fully removed to make a sun canopy in hot weather. It’s one of the wider models in our list once erected and includes lots of storage areas for all of your adventure gear; it’s a nice touch if you want to keep your expensive travel bikes inside where you can keep an eye on them! If you need a trailer for towing bits and bobs around for work or piling the kid’s bikes in on the weekend, then you can completely remove the tent and store away until it’s needed!
The Lazy Jack comes with a lockable sleeper cab and is held up by galvanised steel rods. It benefits from something called a Clima-C System, which is essentially a ventilation system that maintains a nice temperature in the inside of your camper and helps to reduce the build-up of condensation while you’re inside cooking and doing all of the things that we need to survive…like breathing! We’re ending on another affordable trailer camper; at just under £8’000, the Lazy Jack is a spacious home from home that the whole family can enjoy. Now all you have to do is figure out where your first trip away is going to be!
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