One of the hardest things about buying an RV is choosing the right one. Even if you have it narrowed down to the class of RV you want, there are still many things to consider — price, size, and features, just to name a few.
Overwhelmed and not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered. In this guide, we’ve broken down everything you need to know before purchasing one of the most iconic RVs on the road today: the teardrop camper. We’ll cover teardrop camper prices, best brands and models, and how to find used campers if new models are outside your budget.
What is a teardrop camper?
Teardrop campers are a type of towable RV known for their sleek, streamlined, and compact design. The name comes from its iconic teardrop shape, which has long been a symbol of adventurers everywhere.
These campers typically sleep one to two people — with some sleeping up to four — making them perfect for individuals, couples, or small families who don’t need a lot of room. Their small size may be a deterrent to some RVers, but to others, it’s everything that you’ll need!
Teardrops are often compared to pop-up campers, which is another of the smallest RV types. Like pop-ups, teardrops are easy to tow due to their small size and profile. Typically, pop-ups offer more sleeping space thanks to beds that fold out on either side. However, teardrops require less work to set up and break down and have a hard shell exterior, which many people prefer over tent-like canvas popouts.
Types of teardrop campers
When it comes to teardrops, there are two main types.
- Ultra-compact trailers that have only enough room for a mattress in the cabin and may have storage or a galley kitchen accessible from the exterior
- Teardrop trailers with features more comparable to a larger RV
The first type of teardrop is by far the smallest. Don’t expect to stand up in these rigs, as they typically only have enough space to lay down or sit. Larger teardrops, on the other hand, may have two sleeping spaces, a kitchenette, dinette, and wet bath inside. Typically, you can expect to pay more for the larger trailer.
This leads us to answer the next question — how much does a teardrop camper cost?
How much is a teardrop camper?
Like most things in RVing, teardrop camper prices can widely range depending on factors like:
- Brand: Prices of small campers can vary depending on the brand. For instance, famous names in RVs like Airstream are typically more expensive than mom-and-pop RV manufacturers.
- Size: Typically, the larger the camper, the more expensive it will be.
- Off-road capabilities: Some teardrops are built for true off-the-grid adventures. Models that are outfitted with more durable exteriors, heavy-duty suspension, and boondocking accessories will be more expensive than base models.
- Amenities, features, and upgrades: What’s inside will heavily influence the teardrop trailer price. Is the camper equipped with only a bed or an entire kitchen and bathroom? Does it have an outdoor galley kitchen with a space for your own propane stove or a built-in stove and oven? The more features and upgrades a camper has, the more it will cost.
Luckily, teardrop campers are among the most customizable, meaning that you can find trailers to fit just about any budget. If you’re looking to save money, many manufacturers offer base models that come with the essentials. If you have more room to splurge, you can usually upgrade everything from the frame to the interior finishes.
Best teardrop campers on the market
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of RVs to choose from on the market. Even if you’ve narrowed your search to teardrops, you’ll still have a number of options to wade through. To help you out, we’ve narrowed down some of the best teardrop campers on the market today.
High-end teardrop campers
You don’t have to purchase a giant Class A trailer to really treat yourself. Here are some high-end luxury teardrop options
1. Airstream Basecamp
Airstream’s version of the teardrop is a sight to behold. This trailer may be smaller than most of Airstream’s models, but it is mighty. Its low profile and aerodynamic shape make towing a breeze, while its interior is chock full of useful features such as a wet bath, kitchenette, and convertible dinette. With two floor plans (one 16’ and one 20’), three decor options, and numerous add-ons to choose from, this is a teardrop that you can truly make into a small home on wheels.
This teardrop camper price starts at $43,100 for the base model.
2. Colorado Teardrops Summit
This rugged, high-clearance teardrop has enough room to sleep four people. The cabin is designed with a queen-size mattress and two bunk beds, which can convert to a dinette with a couch for four and a table. The galley area contains fold-out shelves that open to under-counter storage, along with a 37” x 60” countertop, which makes a perfect kitchen space. Colorado Teardrops prides itself on materials and building techniques that are impervious to water and weather damage, making it an investment that can last generations.
This teardrop camper price starts at $31,200 for the base model.
3. NuCamp TAB 400 Teardrop
This trailer does a fantastic job utilizing what space it does have. The TAB 400 comes equipped with a sleeping area with a stargazer window, a second sleeping area that converts to a dinette, a spacious wet bath, and solar power capabilities, to name a few features. It’s one of the largest teardrops on the market, giving campers plenty of space to stretch out after a long day.
This TAB camper price starts at $31,500 for the base model.
Mid-level teardrop campers
If you don’t need luxury, but want more than the bare minimum, these teardrop campers have you covered.
1. Oregon Trail’r FronTear
As Oregon Trail’rs flagship camper, the FronTear is a great choice for campers looking for a lot of options at a decent price point. This classic teardrop styled with an elegant modern flair can be configured to meet any of your camping needs.
This tiny camper price starts at $16,500 for the base model.
2. Timberleaf Pika
This trailer, which only weighs a little over half a ton dry, can be towed with just about any vehicle. This model borrows many design features from Timberleaf’s larger camper, the Classic, such as a powder-coated steel frame, enamel-baked aluminum sides, and a skylight. The cabin provides a roomy sleeping area, while the exterior galley has plenty of space for all of your cooking needs.
This camper price starts at $14,500 for the base model.
Budget teardrop campers under $10k
Because of their small size, teardrops can even be found at price points under $10k new. These typically won’t come with all the bells and whistles that larger, more expensive models have. However, they’re perfect for people looking for a comfortable place to rest at night after a long day of exploring the great outdoors.
1. American Teardrop Osprey
The Osprey from American Teardrop is a fantastic ultra-light caravan sleeper. The model is available in twin, full, and queen-sized bed options and can be customized with a number of upgrades, including the deluxe, convenience, and classic interior packages and the baja and off-road exterior packages.
The price of this camper starts at $6,250 for the base model.
2. Timberleaf Kestrel
Timberleaf makes the list once again, this time with the tiny Kestrel camper. As Timberleaf’s most budget-friendly option, the Kestrel offers the perfect minimalist camping experience in a compact package. The ultra-light 860-pound trailer has plenty of space for a bed but unfortunately doesn’t have a rear access hatch or galley area. This makes it perfect for those just looking for a place to sleep and enjoy the great outdoors without any frills.
This camper starts at $8,500 for the base model.
3. Oregon Trail’r DO-Drop
The DO-Drop is Oregon Trail’r’s smallest camper offering but is perfect for those looking to get out of a tent and into a real shelter. This trailer will sleep one to two people and comes with a galley area waiting to be equipped with your favorite camp cooking supplies.
This teardrop camper cost starts at $6,150.
Buying a used teardrop camper
If you don’t want to spring for a new model, purchasing a used camper is always an option. Shopping used is your best bet if you are looking for a teardrop camper under $3,000.
Luckily, used RVs are readily available at places like:
- RV dealerships (yes, they usually sell used models, as well as new ones)
- Online marketing places such as RVtrader.com or Facebook Marketplace
- Local newspapers or buy, sell, trade circulations
Before purchasing a used RV, always be sure to check it out in person and do a thorough inspection. RVs with issues such as water damage, mold, or a rusting frame can be extremely costly to fix, so it’s something that you’ll want to look out for before you buy.
Building your own teardrop camper
Feeling crafty? If you’re a DIY kind of person that has access to power tools, you might be inclined to build your own camper!
There are a whole host of resources available online that walk you through the process of building your own teardrop trailer step-by-step. This may be a time-consuming option, but it’s perfect if you know exactly what you want and want to save some money customizing your rig.
Rent to try out a teardrop camper
If you’re not quite ready to buy, renting a teardrop camper can be a great opportunity to give different models a try. Renting before you buy gives you a chance to understand what, exactly, you need in an RV to have the best experience out on the road. That way, when you do decide to buy, you can be confident that it’s the perfect trailer for you.
And speaking of buying — did you know that you can rent out your teardrop to make money? If you’re looking to make extra cash on the side to help pay off your rig or fund your next adventure, you can share your RV with others on Outdoorsy. And who knows, you may help another uncertain buyer find the teardrop camper of their dreams!
Hit the road in a teardrop
Teardrop campers have everything you need and nothing you don’t, making them one of the best and most budget-friendly ways to explore the country in an RV. It’s a definite upgrade from tent camping without the hassle and expense of larger trailers. Whether it’s a weekend trip or an extended stay, a boondocking adventure, or a retreat to a developed campground, teardrop campers have you covered.