Using a camper is fun, I’m sure you’ll agree!
The adventurer inside of all us is unleashed when we go out and explore the world. Be it on your own or with your family.
All of nature- the majestic mountains, the mighty flowing rivers and waterfalls, the mysterious forests and woods, all seem to be welcoming you.
As fun and enthralling, all this may sound, but there exists a major blockage in your path, and that is accommodation.
Not everyone wants to stay in a hotel while traveling, or even a tent. There’s the expense of it, the stale and lifeless accommodation offered by hotel rooms, or the lack of facilities offered by a tent.
Once you factor in the cost of eating out all of the time and additional expenses, you might want to consider your other options.
We love our Travel Trailer, as it solves many of these options, offering more flexibility than a hotel, and more luxurious accommodation compared to a tent.
However, even getting your hands on the perfect travel trailer is not as easy as it may seem or sound. There are a lot of factors that have to be kept in mind before choosing one and heading off on your first trip.
What To Look For In A Travel Trailer
The carrying capacity of the trailer is one of the deterministic factors to consider before leaving the comfort of your home. How much food, clothing, utensils, accessories, and miscellaneous stuff is required; all have to be thought of before just packing your things, stuffing it in the trailer, and hitting the roads.
No one likes cramped spaces when it comes to cooking and eating food. Hence, one should make sure that the kitchen accessories do not occupy a major chunk of the trailer area and limit your space of cooking and eating.
The mechanical design of a trailer is what determines the amount of drag force experienced by it while driving it around. And if this design is not dynamic (or rather an aerodynamic one) enough, it will lead to a lot of resistance while driving at high speeds and consequently increasing the amount of gas and fuel that you have to burn.
So, it is always economical and suggested to go with a trailer that has a design which is capable of cutting through the wind while minimizing its sway about its axle at the same time.
Everything on this big wide earth is made impressive and cool by the pack of features that it packs with itself. A trailer is no different. There have to be a bunch of features that make it stand out from an already existing crowd and options of countless other trailers. It is these features only that can make or break the mind of you as a customer.
The same features are able to communicate with you on a personal level that helps you to decide whether or not you can see a comfortable second house in the trailer being shown to you or not.
In very simple words, the work of a leveling system is to automatically change and shift the front and rear heights of your trailer in order to compensate and reduce the load on the axle during a journey. As such, it is quite important that your trailer comes equipped with a leveling system to ensure that you do not have a breakdown at any point of time during your journey, particularly if your route is a bumpy one.
Many high-end trailers are equipped with a hydraulic leveling system but they are quite expensive at the same time, and if your pockets do not allow for such a heavy expenditure, then make sure that your trailer at least is equipped with electric leveling systems instead of manual ones.
Having unnecessary things in your trailer that you are not going to make use of in any manner on your trip just accounts as an overhead burden to maintain. But overall, they account for an unwanted increase in the weight of your trailer which is just going to be a burden for you and your vehicle (which is going to have to pull it all the way) and an unwanted and unnecessary surge in fuel expenses.
Considering that not every car can pull every trailer unless of course, you have an SUV or a heavy engine vehicle at your disposal, it is more than practical enough to think of the perfect weight of the trailer that you shall choose for yourself.
So here we compile a list of some of the best trailers (under the weight of 4000 pounds) in our purview to assist and facilitate your decision of buying/renting one on your next trip. Keep in mind though that the list is not ranked from best to worst. It has just been drafted in no particular order.
Our Favorite Travel Trailers under 4,000 lbs
KZ SPORTSMEN CLASSIC TRAVEL TRAILER
“Looks are deceiving” is the perfect phrase, to sum up this trailer. Manufactured by a brand whose tagline in itself says “Keeping it Simple”, this trailer does more than enough justice to the same tagline. Standing pretty and comparatively small at almost 17 feet long, it would seem and sound pretty small and a congested place for those inhabiting it.
But all those judgments are put silently to rest when you become aware of the fact that it can very easily and comfortably accommodate up to 5 people with more than ample space still remaining and carrying a dry weight of just 2800 pounds! To complement all of this, the Sportsmen Classic offers you 7 contrasting choices of floorplans along with a bunch of features that give you the satisfaction of money well spent.
Many people may wonder that owing to its relatively small size (lengthwise at least), the trailer may have been compromised on various key and central highlights during its design and manufacturing. But if that had been the case, it would certainly not have made it to this list right!
A fully automatic power awning to keep the sun or rain or any unwanted element away from yourself, a beastly air conditioner operating at 8000 British Thermal Units (BTU), a furnace operating at a colossus 20,000 British Thermal Units, two stereo speakers standing firm at 6.5 inches each to give the best output of sound and to punch all those bass and treble sounds perfectly, are just some of the handy and cool features to make it a worthy consideration for you. Club those with a 12-year warranty on all kinds of services in the trailer and what you get is an almost perfect and sweet little trailer that you can tow anywhere and everywhere with the utmost of ease.
FOREST RIVER R-POD TRAVEL TRAILER
As long as we are discussing trailers and judging them by their weights, it is very hard to miss out on and exclude the Forest River R-Pod trailer from our list. Standing very sweetly at well under 3,000 pounds in its unloaded and dry weight, the Forest River R-Pod is as durable as a trailer can possibly get owing to its steel-crafted frame that is made tougher and stronger by a very fine 2-tone coating of fiberglass.
Standing a little longer than the Sportsmen Classic at almost 21 feet and a maximum housing capacity of 4 people, the Forest River R-Pod comes available with 9 different floor plans which means you have more than enough choices to go with the perfect layout of the interiors that suit your needs. Again, don’t be fooled by the fact that small and compact size means a cutoff in the features and functionalities of the trailer. Just like the Sportsmen Classic, the Forest River R-Pod throws fairy dust in your eyes and ridicules you of any misconceptions you possibly have regarding it.
A 20,000 BTU furnace, a mind-boggling and majestically large and powerful air conditioner operating at 13,500 BTU, a microwave, separate detectors to keep a tab on the levels of carbon monoxide (CO), gas (LP), and smoke further ensure that there is absolutely no type of suffocation and feeling of choking and nauseousness to the inhabitants of the trailer. Furthermore, equipped with punchy and powerful speakers and adjustable electric brakes make sure that your journey is not only devoid of entertainment, but also safe as hell on the roads (which can be highly unpredictable).
Customizations available in the form of tinted windows and an R-dome awning make the trailer no less than a premium grade accessory to have and a more than worthy option to consider if you are on the lookout for one of the best things in the market.
BULLET CROSSFIRE 1800RB (KEYSTONE)
In the department of the overall dry weight, the Crossfire 1800RB is a clear loser to the likes of the Forest River R-Pod and the Sportsmen Classic. Where the R-Pod and the Sportsmen Classic stand very sweetly and pretty at less than 3000 pounds, the Crossfire 1800RB is quite bulky in comparison- standing firmly at 3300 pounds. But don’t consider this weight as a basis for comparison, because just like its heavy-duty name, the Crossfire 1800RB is a heavy-duty accessory in itself.
With a frame crafted out of double welded aluminum and a rooftop constructed out of galvanized steel, you are assured of one thing at least: that the ride across all kinds of terrains is going to be absolutely devoid of vibrations and bumps that are common with any kind of road trip. Furthermore, in order to make the rides, even more, bump and exertion free, the Crossfire 1800RB comes equipped with Monroe 34690 Gas-Magnum Truck Shock Absorbers. For those of you who don’t know what it is or what’s special about it, all you need to know is that it is one of the best suspensions by one of the best manufacturers as of 2019.
The trailer comes equipped with a queen size Murphy bed which means you have more than ample space to walk around and not feel any sort of congestion in the surroundings. Apart from the master bedroom containing the Murphy bed, the Crossfire 1800RB can accommodate a maximum of 4 people in a single go, making it an ideal choice for a family with at most 2 children.
The overall build is also really sturdy and durable at the same time, which is quite understood by the fact that the primary materials in its construct are steel and aluminum. As such, it is also understood at the same time that the drag force experienced while driving this trailer around shall also be minimal and would feel like a hot knife going through butter. To make you feel even more at home and to get rid of any homesickness you might get, mirrored wardrobes and reading lamps have been provisioned at the side of every bed with LED lighting to make the ambiance even more sophisticated and light.
Other accessories include a microwave oven, a Bluetooth stereo with both AM and FM support, a three burner stove, skylights above the shower, and a sufficiently large sized hanging closet wardrobe to accommodate almost everything that you decided to bring along with you.
KEYSTONE SUMMERLAND MINI
This particular trailer has been designed mostly for people looking to travel to chilly terrains owing to its gargantuan 20,000 BTU furnace. In its weight range and features on offer, it is fair enough to say that the Summerland Mini triumphs over the Crossfire 1800RB very easily and very clearly. Weighing exactly 45 pounds less than the Crossfire RB, the Summerland Mini stands 21 feet long in length and 3255 pounds in weight with a total housing capacity of up to 5 people, the Summerland Mini is an almost perfect trailer containing a bunch of assorted features packed literally under its hood.
Just like the Crossfire 1800RB, the Summerland Mini also comes equipped with a queen size Murphy bed situated just at the front of the trailer. Two separate bunk beds situated at the back side of the trailer along with the dining booth that can double up and shape-shift into additional sleeping space account for the 3 places where people can relax their backs at the end of a supposedly wonderful and adventure filled day.
As far as the build and structure are concerned, the Summerland Mini is as tough and durable as it gets owing to a structure that has been reinforced with hurricane straps keeping it steady and transfixed to its place even in the worst of scenarios. Constructed purely out of aluminum and reinforced steel, there is almost nothing that can penetrate the tough shield of a body that the Summerland Mini carries with itself.
Miscellaneous features include overhead cabinets in the kitchen area, a microwave oven, a 8,000 BTU air conditioner, a 20,000 BTU furnace, an exhaust fan to keep the trailer devoid of any heat and smell arising from food, a 7 foot refrigerator for storing food and beverages, a small pantry to store all of your eatables, a minibar sort of area at the back of the trailer that opens up in the form of a boot, a stereo system with AM, FM, CD, and MP3 support whose output is delivered by 2 6 inch boombox speakers.
Also, to accentuate the storage space, a closet has been provisioned at the foot of the master Murphy bed which is only accessible when the bed has been folded back into the walls of the trailer.
COACHMEN CLIPPER ULTRA-LITE TRAVEL TRAILER
Coachman as a brand and Clipper as a subsidiary series of it, have already established themselves as one of the most trustworthy and quality options to choose from when it comes to buying a trailer that can satisfy each and every one of your descriptions and wants- factors that make a trailer perfect in your eyes. Weighing tremendously low at 2500 pounds of dry weight, the Clipper Ultra-Lite can be literally considered as feather light in the world of trailers.
Standing pretty tall and long at 23 feet, the Clipper Ultra Lite offers you 13 different floor plans to choose from making it a perfect choice for all those people who have a thing or two about vastu, feng-shui, and that kind of stuff. The most intriguing thing about all these floor plans is that almost all of them have the sub-4000 pounds GVWR rating, giving you tons of free space inside the trailer while being extremely lightweight at the same time.
The building and construction material used in the framework and the body is something that Coachmen seem to have paid utmost attention to. Standard aluminum is replaced by factory grade aluminum and steel is replaced by reinforced steel to give the Clipper Ultra-Lite a sturdy build. To reinforce the front and rear sections of the trailer, diamond plate coatings have been done to ensure that no sort of accidents and mishaps leads to fatal and major damage to the main body structure and consequently the passengers and inhabitants of the trailer are also as protected as they can be.
As for the features, the Clipper Ultra Lite has a lot many things to offer. A 20,000 BTU furnace to make sure that you are warm, cozy, and comfortable despite the weather outside, a staggeringly large 13,500 BTU air conditioner, walnut coating on all the furniture present inside, laminations on all kinds of surfaces and tops to ensure that nothing sticks to the surface and thus making it dirty and unappealing, tinted windows for privacy as well as safety, a skylight in the bathroom to give a natural touch to the washroom interiors, and a bunch of other cool and optional upgrades make the Clipper Ultra-Lite one of the contenders on this list vying for the ultimate crown of being labeled the best.
KEYSTONE RV COLT TRAVEL TRAILER
Stylish, affordable, compact, light-weight are just some of the adjectives that can be utilized to describe the RV Colt 171. Measuring 20 feet in length and standing sweetly at 3000 pounds heavy, the RV Colt 171 is yet another great choice as a trailer for a small and sweet family looking to get away from their lives for a bit and rediscover themselves once again while strengthening their bonds and relations at the same time.
With a queen size bed situated at the rear of the trailer and a dinette doubling down as a bed that can easily accommodate two people gives the RV Colt 171 a total occupancy of 4 people in a single go. Both the beds have been provisioned with closets besides them to spoil you with laziness. No need of having to get out of the bed to hang any clothes or get something new and fresh to wear. You can just do so by sitting on your bed and grabbing/throwing whatever you need.
The key and highlighted features of the RV Colt 171 include a microwave oven, a decent sized refrigerator measuring three cubic feet, a 20,000 BTU furnace, a 8,000 BTU air conditioner, carbon monoxide detector, smoke detector, LPG/Gas detector, overhead cabinets in the kitchen to store cooking ingredients, hardwood drawers to prevent any sort of damage, tinted glasses and windows to enhance security while giving privacy at the same time, self-adjusting brakes that account for any miscalculation that you may make on the road while driving, and a stereo system with AM, FM, CD, DVD, and Bluetooth support and which delivers its output through 2 speakers transfixed at the back side of the trailer.
As far as the safety and build of the RV Colt 171 are concerned, be rest assured that you are as safe as houses inside this trailer owing to its seamless coating of fiberglass on an already tough frame constructed out of aluminum, steel, as well as iron.
If you liked this article, you might also like to check out our other travel trailer recommendations here or learn more about RVs here.