I spent the first seven years of my life in a caravan traveling across Europe and the United States because my parents were just obsessed with traveling - Alex Sharp
Whether you call them travel trailers or caravans, the home away from home that you can hitch to the back of your truck or SUV was designed with one thing in mind.
To let you hit the road in style and comfort and spend your precious, hard-earned vacation relaxing wherever you want to be, where you want to be there.
Once you’ve been bitten by the travel trailer bug, and caravanning gets in your veins, it’s hard to imagine any other way to spend your downtime.
The freedom to just pack up and go whenever you feel like is exhilarating and intoxicating, and as we’ve already said, once you’ve had a taste of the travel trailer life, it’s almost impossible to imagine going back to vacations filled with crowded airports, busy hotels and an endless sea of tourists slowly shuffling from one must-visit place to the next.
After all, the only way to see, and really experience everything that this great nation has to offer is by getting out there and doing it. And there’s no better way to do that than in a travel trailer.
Why 4000 Pounds?
While it’s tempting to say, “Why not four thousand pounds?”, there’s a simple reason why we chose this weight and one that we think you’ll be eternally grateful to us for.
The weight is well within the towing tolerances of almost every SUV and truck, even when it’s loaded within another thousand pounds or so (which is also well within the weight tolerances that every trailer on our list can happily carry) it shouldn’t put an undue strain on any family vehicle.
If you haven’t towed a trailer before, the UVW (unloaded vehicle weight) that we’ve chosen won’t put you off the experience and four thousand pounds is a safe, and pretty easy weight to get used to towing a trailer with.
And if you have towed a trailer before, you’ll know how simple and straightforward it is to pull that kind of weight down the road. Why four thousand pounds?
Because it’s an ideal weight for a travel trailer, whether you’re a veteran camper or a die-hard caravaning fanatic. Now that’s out of the way, we can get on with the fun stuff and start helping you to find your new travel trailer…
OUR TOP PICK
There’s something charming about the vintage aesthetic and retro looks of the 19CSK, which has been designed to accommodate up to four people, making it ideal for family breaks and vacations.
It has a UVW (unloaded vehicle weight) of just over three and half thousand pounds, which means that it falls well within the weight parameters that we set, and as it can easily carry well over an additional thousand pounds of weight, it’ll be easy to tow down the road to where it is you’re heading, and as it’s less than twenty-five feet long, it’s big enough for your entire family to relax in without tripping over each other.
It has a fully equipped kitchen, including a microwave, a shower, and a six-gallon heater to make sure that there’s enough hot water for everyone, a sixty-inch dining table that can be folded away to convert the sofa into a bed, and more than enough storage space for everyone to stow their luggage in.
The Vintage Cruiser even has its own refrigerator and pantry so you can grab your groceries before you leave and not have to worry, or even think about shopping while you’re away.
And yes, don’t panic, there's a toilet and a sink in the bathroom, so you’ll never have to go anywhere near a public restroom while you’re towing this trailer behind you.
If you’re a homebody at heart and enjoy nothing more than putting your feet up and watching the world go by when you get home from work, then the Starcraft Satellite could be the answer to your travel trailer dreams.
At just over twenty-two feet long, nine feet high, and weighing in at a touch over three and half thousand pounds this caravan that was built to sleep four people is just like home.
Except it’s on wheels, and can, and will go anywhere that you want to, whenever you want to.
With a huge double bed and pull-out sofa bed fitted as standard, the Satellite is a reassuring refuge that you can easily relax in when you’ve spent a day venturing into the unknown.
Its surprisingly well-equipped kitchen has a double burner gas stove and a convection microwave, so whatever you fancy rustling up in the kitchen, you can.
The only thing that you’ll be limited by is your own imagination, and if you don’t want to eat inside your trailer, you don’t have to. You can sit outside and enjoy everything that nature has to offer while sheltering under the Satellites electric awning.
And we know what you’re going to ask, and don’t worry, it does come with a digital aerial, so if you want to add a TV to make sure that you never miss your favorite shows while you’re away, you can.
What’s that? You were actually going to ask us about the bathroom?
Sorry, our mistake, yes the Satellite has a bathroom with a toilet, sink, and shower that’s hooked up to a six-gallon water heater, so you’ll never need to be without hot water as long as you’re hanging out in a Satellite.
We know, we’re nearly pushing the UVW to its absolute limit with the Feather Micro as it weighs three thousand nine hundred and fifty pounds unloaded, but this twenty-foot long ten-foot-high travel trailer has a secret weapon up its rather heavy sleeve.
It can actually sleep five people, thanks to its bunk beds, queen-sized double bed, and dinette that can easily be converted into, that’s right you guessed what we were about to say, a bed.
Don’t worry though, that extra bed space doesn’t mean that the Feather Micro has had to sacrifice any other features, as it also has a kitchen that includes cabinets, cupboards, a refrigerator, and a convection microwave, and a bathroom with a shower that doubles up as a tub.
There’s also plenty of storage space for all of your family’s luggage as the Feather Micro doesn’t believe in wasting any available room and uses overhead storage lockers instead of floor-based units to make the most of every inch available to you and your family.
The only thing that we don’t like about Jayco’s revolutionary little trailer is that it does feel a little cramped inside when it’s fully loaded with a crew of five, but apart from that, it’s an incredible caravan that should help you enjoy the open roads of America for many years to come.
KZ RV, the company responsible for bringing the Sportsmen Classic to life are celebrating their fiftieth year of innovation and invention, and after spending a couple of hours in this incredibly comfortable trailer, it’s easy to see why they’ve been around for so long.
It’s their attention to detail and clever use of space in this relatively small, seventeen-foot long trailer that weighs just over thirty-two hundred pounds when unloaded that made us firm believers in the KZ caravan philosophy.
It doesn’t feel small inside, and the double bed, (or if you prefer, queen-sized bed, you can choose either with the latter coming with its own nightstands) doesn’t seem to take up as much space as it usually does in caravans, leaving plenty of space for the dinner and kitchen.
The former can be converted into another double bed when it’s not being used, while the kitchen comes equipped with a double burner stove and a microwave, but if you do want to include a refrigerator, it will cost extra which is a small blight on an otherwise incredible trailer.
It’s comfortable, spacious, and the bathroom adheres to the KZ way of doing things and feels much larger than it actually is. And they’ve somehow managed to fit it all into a trailer that weighs less than three and a half thousand pounds.
We’re not usually won over by clever wordplay, but Forest River is the exception to the rule and caught our attention with their trailer, which they’ve imaginatively named the Explore R-Pod.
The thing that we really don’t understand with this caravan is how Forest River crammed as much into its twenty-two feet as they did, and yet it only weighs thirty-six hundred pounds. We chalked it up to clever engineering, as this caravan is nothing short of genius.
Built to sleep four people, it has a huge double bed and a dinette that can swiftly and simply be converted into another, admittedly not quite so big double bed.
And neither of those things eat into the space of the kitchen, which comes with a double burner stove and a pretty grand six-foot refrigerator, or the bathroom that has a sink, toilet, and standing room only shower.
We did think that maybe the fact that there isn’t s microwave might explain the weight of the trailer, but even though we know that they’re heavy, even the most powerful microwaves don’t weigh as much as a grown man, so whatever they’ve done to bring this trailer in at under four thousand pounds, we like.
And after you’ve spent five minutes in it, we know that you’ll like it too.
It might be mini by name, but this travel trailer is anything but mini when you step inside it. At twenty-two feet in length, and weighing in at just under four thousand pounds in its natural UVW state of being, the Palomino is a thoroughbred among travel trailers.
It’s also adopted a rather unusual approach to sleeping with the usual double bed being folded away murphy style to make way for the sofa, while the bunk beds (which are a nice touch) are on permanent display.
It’s also been kitted out with all of the bells and whistles that you’d usually expect to find in a much larger caravan, like double burner stove, refrigerator, and microwave and a dinette that can convert into another bed, which means that theoretically at least, the Palo-Mini could sleep up to six people.
This is why it seems kind of strange that Palomino neglected to install a sink in the bathroom. There’s a shower and a toilet, but there’s no sink.
They came so close, so very very close to creating travel trailer perfection, but they were let down by the last hurdle by forgetting to include a sink in the bathroom.
Even though it isn’t a deal-breaker, and we’d still happily spend weeks away in this van, it would be nice if you could wash your hands as soon as you got off the john, instead of having to walk into the kitchen to clean them.
The name that helped to solidify the idea of the RV lifestyle in the mainstream consciousness of American society, Winnebago isn’t just devoted to motorhomes and large-scale RV’s, they’re also pretty good at making travel trailers.
Weighing in at just thirty-four hundred pounds, this nineteen-foot long trailer from the godfathers of RV culture can comfortably sleep three people, which means if you’re looking for a smaller family then you’ve come to the right place.
Winnebago has packed everything that the modern family needs into this caravan.
A large double bed and a dinette that can be converted in less than ninety seconds into a secondary double/ slash single bed, a kitchen with a double burner stove, microwave, and refrigerator, a bathroom (yes, this one has a sink), and space for a TV, because they know that the one thing that you can’t control when you leave home is the weather, and you need to be prepared for every eventuality.
In fact, the only thing that we’re not overly keen on is the eye-watering price that Winnebago charge for their travel trailers, and while we understand the importance of brand value, we don’t think that a name, regardless of what that name is, is worth the kind of money that Winnebago seems to think theirs is.
But if you like the idea of owning a Winnebago and you’re willing to pay the price, it is a pretty incredible travel trailer.
The premier name in travel trailer luxury, Airstream doesn’t just make gargantuan caravans that take an eternity to pass you by, they also make lighter small wheelbase trailers that come in at around nineteen feet in length and just under four thousand pounds in weight.
And that’s why Bambi made our list, as this trailer that was made to sleep four is the epitome of modern cool.
Yes, it has its own incredibly spacious bathroom and kitchen that would put the one in most of our homes to shame, and a dinette that converts into a double bed, but everything else is additional window dressing.
Every Airstream is made to order, and with a list of extras longer than most people’s arms, it’s impossible to describe what any Bambi looks like inside as they’re all as individual as the people who own them.
What we can tell you is that unless you have money to burn and a budget that would have made Elvis blush, the chances are, you won’t be able to afford an Airstream.
And if you don’t believe us, take a look at the prices for yourself. We told you, didn’t we? They’re way up there in coronary-inducing territory...
We know it's the second travel trailer from Forest River on our list, but as we’ve already said, we like the way they do things and their caravans are absolute bastions of design, inventive purpose, and clever engineering.
And this twenty-foot-long, three-and-a-half thousand-pound trailer fits our bill perfectly, which is why it made our list.
Fitted with a double bed and bunks so it will easily sleep four, and a dinette that can be converted to accommodate an additional guest, the Independence Trail also has a fully equipped kitchen and bathroom, that for some strange reason doesn’t have a sink, but does have an additional exterior shower.
The lack of a sink is again, an oversight that we’re prepared to ignore as this trailer ticks every other box in on the four thousand-pound list, and we think that, if you spend any amount of time in it, you’ll end up feeling the same way about it as we do.
The Clipper Ultra-Lite very nearly took the top spot on our list, as it literally stormed through all of our requirements and added a few more that we didn’t know that we wanted or needed.
It’s a twenty-foot long trailer that weighs in, unloaded, at just under three thousand pounds sleeps five people in it’s a double bed, bunk beds, and dinette that can be transformed into a bed for a guest, has a fully equipped kitchen and more than enough room for a family to hang out in comfort and style without tripping over each other.
So what let it down? It was the bathroom. It’s got a shower and a toilet, but it doesn’t have a sink, and that sink, or rather the lack of one, makes all the difference to us.
But if it doesn’t matter to you, then the Clipper Ultra-Lite could be the travel trailer that makes a caravan believer out of you.
Why A Trailer And Not An RV?
That’s the eternal question, isn’t it? The great thing about a travel trailer is that you can use it as your base of operations.
You can set up camp with your caravan, and then explore wherever you’ve made your home for that weekend or week in your truck without having to worry about the extra gas that an RV would burn and finding somewhere safe to park it while you’re out and about.
Think of a travel trailer as more user friendly, easier to move around with, and in RV, and it’ll soon become clear why more and more people are choosing to hitch a twenty-first-century wagon to the back of their vehicles to leave their working lives at home and spend their leisure time on the road exploring as many of the fifty states as they possibly can.
And as you’re here, we’re guessing that you’ve felt the pull of a travel trailer and are thinking about finally scratching that itch by finding the perfect caravan to satiate your wanderlust in, and with.
Choosing A Travel Trailer
It’s all too easy to get carried away and choose the first travel trailer that you see and for the most part, you’d probably be incredibly happy in it if you did.
But there are a few things that you should consider before choosing a trailer that can make the days and weeks away that you do spend in your new caravan, even more enjoyable.
So, before we dive headlong into the ten best travel trailers you can entrust your future vacations to, we’re going to take a look at some of the things that you’ll need to consider before making an informed decision about which caravan is the right one for you and your family.
Enough Room At Night - We can’t stress how important it is to make sure that there’s enough room for everyone in your family to sleep comfortably and well at night.
Every travel trailer will include the number of people it “can sleep”, which basically means that it includes enough space, and adequate provision (i,e beds) for that many people to sleep in it.
If there are three of you in your family, you’ll need a trailer that can sleep three people, and if there are four, you’ll need one that can sleep four. Once you’ve got the hang of it, it’s easy enough to understand.
Kitchen Space - Again, it’s important to ensure that the kitchen is big enough to cater to the mealtime demands of your nearest and dearest, even if the trailer it’s in doesn’t have enough room for everyone to sit around the table and dine together.
A Place For Everything And Everything In Its Place - If you’re heading out of town in your travel trailer for a while, you’ll want to make sure that it has enough room for all the provisions and clothing that you’ll need, and anything else that you might want to take with you.
The more storage space it has, the more comfortable you’ll be on your vacation.
Bathroom Time - It goes without saying that you’ll need to make sure that your trailer has a bathroom that includes its own shower, as it’s always more pleasant to spend the time you need to in your own bathroom instead of sharing a public restroom and on-site showering facilities with a whole host of people that you’ve never met before.
And finally, there’s the weight issue. How much the trailer that you’re going to spend your weekends away in actually weighs is incredibly important, as it’ll be you that’ll have to tow it everywhere you go.
The Final Word On The Four Thousand Pound Travel Trailer Dilemma
And that last word isn’t so much a word as it is a statement. We’ve done all the heavy lifting for you, all you need to do is choose the right travel trailer for you. Good luck and we’ll see you on the road…