There was a time when one described a travel trailer as light weight it meant light weight. Today that information is no longer the case. The term” light weight” has become more of a marketing tool more than the word being used correctly. There are many campers that are much heavier than they should be to be classified as a lightweight. However, marketing that term has been beneficial to a lot of manufactures in having dealers and end users feel like they are buying a lightweight unit that is not.
A light weight camper in my opinion should be able to be pulled by a small pickup truck, mini van, or car. Lightweight travel trailers marked as such, are often so heavy that they can only be pulled by a full size truck and in some cases a heavier rated full size truck. The classifying reason it is called a lightweight camper is open to opinion. In the opinion of this writer, I feel that a travel trailer should weigh no more than 4,000 pounds. When you pack the unit with supplies, clothing, and other gear you will add approximately another 800 pounds. This is now approaching 5,000 pounds, which is at the maximum for smaller vehicles and exceeds some other vehicles capabilities. One must check the rating of their vehicle that they plan to tow the unit with.
A popular option has been the hybrid. This type RV will usually have a bed, bunk, or both that can be pulled out after arriving at your destination. This gives you a lot of extra space and possibilities without the added weight and length. Most of the hybrids will have pullouts that have solid bottoms that are on rollers that allow them to be pulled out easily, but have canvas side walls and roof. While there is nothing wrong with that, it is unacceptable by some campers. There are other hybrid models that have powered pullouts with solid roofs and side walls, but they will always be heavier.
Another option is what is called a pop up travel trailer. There are two types that fall into this category. The first is a travel trailer that has its entire body as a solid side wall type construction. The unique feature in this type travel trailer is that it has an electric or hydraulic powered lift that allows the top half of the RV to be raised for use, and lowered to be towed or while in a storage mode. One of the popular reasons for this type travel trailer is not just its light weight, but it can be kept in your home garage.
The other style in the pop up line is called by many names. Pop up, fold down, tent camper, and a multitude of other combinations. Most often the side wall on this type unit is made of canvas, but there are a few exceptions to that. Some have hard side walls, but it is rare.
I wish you the best in finding the travel trailer of your dreams. If you are shopping for a travel trailer that is considered to be light, don’t be fooled by the RV have Lite, Lite Weight, or other similar titles plastered on the side of it. Best wishes and Happy Camping.