Before you head out and start looking for a new camper trailer, there are a few factors to consider. Camper trailers come in all shapes, sizes, and weights.
While most people are looking for certain appliances, interiors, and certain sized spaces inside campers, the weight is something that is arguably the most important aspect when buying a new model.
Knowing the weight of a camper trailer will help you figure out the size you can buy. Maybe you want a large trailer for all of your friends and family to fit in. If so, this will equate to a heavier weight.
Moreover, you need to think about how much your vehicle can tow. Some campers are extremely heavy so you would need some sort of truck or powerful engine in order to tow one of these beasts.
Also, camper vehicle weights can affect their cost which is what the decision comes down to for most of us.
Luckily, there are campers for just about every type of vehicle. Whether you have a small car or a feisty truck, you will find a compatible camper trailer.
To help you find the right camper trailer for your needs, we have compiled a guide on the weights of popular campers in this article.
By the end of today’s blog, you will be in a much better position to shop around and hopefully find the perfect camper for you and your family.
How Much Does A Camper Weigh On Average?
The average weight of a camper can vary greatly depending on the size and type.
Pop-up campers typically weigh between 1,500 and 3,000 pounds, while travel trailers tend to weigh between 3,000 and 8,000 pounds.
Fifth wheels are generally heavier than both pop-up campers and travel trailers; they usually range between 8,000 and 12,000 pounds.
However, if you’re looking at something like a toy hauler, they can weigh as much as 20,000 pounds.
Motorhomes can range from 7,500 to more than 30,000 pounds.
In general, the larger the camper, the heavier it will be. Of course, the weight may also vary depending on optional features or customizations that are added to the camper.
It is important to always keep in mind the weight of your camper when towing and be sure you have the proper vehicle for the job.
This is why it’s always a good idea to check with your manufacturer or dealer for an exact weight before purchasing a camper.
Figuring Out The Towing Capacity You Require
Before shopping around for a new camper trailer, you need to ensure what your vehicle is capable of towing. You need to consider the weight of the camper and everything that will be inside.
It’s important that you do not miscalculate your vehicle’s towing requirements. If you try to tow something too heavy, you could seriously damage your truck or car.
Sometimes, you may need a camper trailer of a certain size. If your current car is not capable of towing this heavier weight, you may need to consider buying a new vehicle as well.
But, it can be pretty confusing when finding out the weight of camper trailers as they differ widely. Let’s take a closer look at why.
Camper Trailer Weights Vary
There are different methods of measuring the weights of camper trailers. However, many of these weights are only measured when you’re planning on traveling.
That being said, the tools available to you and the type of journey you’re going on can affect what weights matter.
In the world of camping vehicles, two weights are arguably the most important:
- Dry weight
- Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)
The dry weight is basically the weight of the vehicle or camper without any cargo or items loaded on as well. This includes fuel and passengers as well.
When it comes to campers, their dry weights can vary significantly. This is because of many determining factors such as its internal features, its size, and its manufacturing.
It goes without saying but the heavier a camper is, the more amenities and space it typically has.
Amongst camper vehicles, the dry weight can vary from around 1,000 to 9,000 pounds. Nevertheless, the average dry weight of a camper is approximately 5,200 pounds.
However, towed campers tend to weigh a lot less than self-driving units but these also require a vehicle that is powerful enough to tow such a capacity.
Although mobile campers do not require an external vehicle to tow them, their dry weight is much heavier due to their mechanics such as the engine.
You can find the exact dry weight of a trailer by unloading all equipment from it. This includes batteries and propane tanks. Then, simply head to a local weighing station to find out the dry weight.
Once the camper trailer has been weighed, you should detach it from your vehicle and then weigh your vehicle. By subtracting these two numbers, you will discover the true dry weight of your camper.
Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)
The GVW is generally the best method of finding out a camper’s weight. GVW is essentially the weight of a camper or vehicle when cargo, tanks, and other items are loaded inside.
The GVW of the same model of the camper can differ depending on the features and size of the cargo load.
To accurately determine the total weight of a camper, you should fill the tanks up, add all equipment and cargo on board and weigh on a truck scale.
Water And Gear Weight
You also need to take into account the weight of a camper’s fresh water tank. For an average camper trailer, a freshwater tank will add almost 400 pounds to its weight.
Considering camping gear, food, and various supplies can also add around 400 pounds to the weight, you can see how the gross vehicle weight can soon become much heavier.
Camper slide-outs or slides are a cut-out portion of the trailer or motorhome. These extend and retract in some to increase the amount of living space inside the trailer.
These slide-outs are moved via either manual, hydraulic, or electric mechanical systems.
Slides and slide-outs can also increase the weight of a camper. Just one single slide-out can add an extra 800 pounds to your camper’s weight.
Some campers also feature pop-outs. Rather than metal construction sliding out, pop-outs are made from canvas tent material. When it comes to weight, these do not add any significant amount to your trailer.
Maximum Trailer Load
A maximum trailer load is the total weight of a trailer that your vehicle can tow under regular circumstances. This total weight includes the driver minus supplies and passengers.
In most cases, adding an additional 1,500 pounds to the dry weight will be close to the maximum trailer load.
If you then go ahead and try to tow a weight that is beyond this maximum load, you could damage or destroy your vehicle’s gear over time.
This will reduce the speed at which you can drive too so expect long lines of angry drivers behind you.
Average Camper Weights
Let’s take a look at the weights of the most popular camper models right now:
Camper Trailer Weight Chart
- 2015 Jayco Jayflight 19RD (19 feet) – Dry weight: 3,715 pounds
- 2015 Jayco Jay Flight 26RKS (26-foot) – Dry weight: 5,605 pounds
- 2015 Jayco Jay Flight 27RLS (27-foot) – Dry weight: 6,030 pounds
- 2016 Jayco Jay Flight 38BHDS (38-foot) – Dry weight: 7,690 pounds
- 2017 R-Pod RP-176 (17 feet) – Dry weight: 3,786 pounds
- 2017 Coleman CTS192RDWE (23 feet) – Dry weight: 3,974 pounds
- 2017 Cherokee West 274DBH (32-foot) – Dry weight: 7,705 pounds
- 2018 Jayco Hummingbird 17BH(17-foot) – Dry weight: 3,090 pounds
- 2018 Jayco Hummingbird 17RB(20-foot) – Dry weight: 3,117 pounds
- 2018 Salem Cruise Lite 171RBXL (22-foot) – Dry weight: 3685 pounds
- 2018 Salem FSX 187RB (22-foot) – Dry weight: 2944 pounds
- 2018 Highland Ridge RV Open Range OT310BHS(34) – Dry weight: 9490 pounds
- 2018 Highland Ridge RV Open Range Roamer RT292RLS(35-foot) – Dry weight: 8285 pounds
- 2018 Dutchmen RV Aerolite 2133RB(26-foot) – Dry weight: 5620 pounds
- 2018 Grand Design Reflection 297RSTS(34-foot) – Dry weight: 8164 pounds
- 2019 Grand Design Imagine 2150RB(27-foot) – Dry weight: 5295 pounds
- 2019 Grand Design Transcend 27BHS(32-foot) – Dry weight: 6770 pounds
- 2019 Forest River RV Wildwood 27REI (33-foot) – Dry weight: 7715 pounds
- 2019 Forest River RV Wildwood DLX 353FLFB(39-foot) – Dry weight: 8814 pounds
- X-Lite 33MLS(36-foot) – Dry weight: 8040 pounds
As you can see, the length of a camper trailer and its construction have a great impact on the overall dry weight.
But, in general, you can expect a trailer filled with water and different kinds of gear to weigh approximately 250 pounds per foot. This is the box length and not the entire length of the hitch.
Here are some average weights of popular sized camper trailers:
- 30-foot – Up to 5,200 pounds and can add up to 1,500 pounds
- 32-foot – Up to 7,000 pounds and can add up to 1,600 pounds
- Popup camper – Average weight of 600 pounds
- Teardrop camper – Average weight of 1,285 pounds
- 5th Wheel camper – Average weight of 2,000 pounds
How To Find Trailer Weight Numbers
Although we have already covered how to weigh a camper, this is obviously not possible if you do not own your camper yet.
When shopping for a camper or trailer, you will notice a lot of different numbers listed in various parts. If you’re new to the camper trailer game, these numbers can be very confusing.
However, these should be marked with the aforementioned ‘Dry weight’ and ‘Gross Vehicle Weight.’ You may also come across the ‘dry hitch weight’ and ‘cargo-carrying capacity.’
Remember, the general rule of thumb is to take the weight of an unloaded vehicle and add around 1,500 pounds when considering water, fuel, and gear as well.
Dry Hitch Weight
The dry hitch weight is the weight that is put onto the ball of your towing vehicle. However, this weight does not take loaded goods, fuel, or water into consideration.
While this is important, the dry hitch weight tends to be pretty low and makes up for around 10 percent of the camper trailer’s total weight.
For instance, the average 25’ camper trailer will have a dry hitch weight of slightly under 500 pounds.
Cargo Carrying Capacity
This is basically the maximum amount of cargo and other items the camper trailer can store. If you need to carry a lot of gear for family vacations or work, then you should consider a camper with a larger cargo carrying capacity.
Fiberglass VS Aluminum Campers
Camper trailers are typically made from fiberglass or aluminum material during construction. The main method is by using fiberglass. These campers have smoother exterior sidewalls.
These also include aluminum metal structuring resulting in lighter weights than most traditional stick-built camper trailers that use wooden 2x4s.
Stick-built camper trailers contain aluminum corrugated sides on their exteriors. The whole exterior of these trailers is covered in bumps and can weigh up to 900 pounds or so heavier when loaded with different materials.
How Much Does A 30 Foot Camper Weigh?
30-foot campers weigh anywhere from 8,000 to 15,000 pounds. On the lower end, you’ll find travel trailers and at the upper end, you’ll have 5th wheels.
Ultra lite models will weigh less and full profile designs will weight more. It depends on the type of camper, the style, and how it’s built.
How Much Does A 32 Foot Camper Weigh?
Generally speaking, 32-foot campers will weigh anywhere from 9,000 to 17,000 pounds. Toy haulers tend to be heavier than other types of campers due to their specialized construction.
Be sure to check with the manufacturer or dealer before purchasing to find out the exact weight of your camper.
The weights of campers vary significantly. While your vehicle’s maximum towing capacity may be more than your camper’s weight, it doesn’t mean it is always safe to tow.
When gear, water, passengers, and more are added to the equation, the gross vehicle weight of the camper could be too much for your vehicle.
The best method is to take the dry weight of a camper and add 1,500 pounds on top of this. Then, take this number and ensure that it is not more than 80 percent of the total weight your vehicle can tow.
With a little research and time, you will find a camper that is compatible and safe to tow with any vehicle, big or small, powerful or not.