Thinking of buying a teardrop trailer to tow behind your car? We’ve put together some information to help you start your search for the right teardrop, clamshell or tiny dome-inspired towable.
How to choose the right teardrop camper for you
While the term “teardrop” may seem ubiquitous it actually covers many types of small, dome, and clam-shaped campers on the market. We’ll explore small box-shaped campers in a different post, so we can concentrate here on clamshell styles for towing.
Here are some things to think about when selecting a teardrop RV:
- What is the overall weight? Make sure your car can safely tow whichever clamshell camper you choose.
- What is the height? Some clamshell campers can be much taller than your tow vehicle, adding to towability. If you have a tow vehicle with a low profile, stick to the smaller teardrop profiles. Some manufacturers, such as Bushwacker, make one taller and one shorter style to choose from. Here are the Bushwacker teardrop campers for sale. You will see the “10” models are low profile, and the “15” and “17” have higher walk-in style bodies.
- How many can it sleep? While most clamshells can comfortably sleep two, if you are bringing a third person you may want to reconsider, or have them bring a tent to set up alongside your rig.
- Can I stand up inside? Many teardrop campers allow only crawl-through access, adding to its portability and small footprint. Be sure to select a teardrop that you can stand up in if that is important to your camping style, such as the Little Guy Max.
Can I safely tow a teardrop camper?
The most important safety tip for towing anything is whether your tow vehicle is compatible with the teardrop you choose. Here are some tips to help you find out (verify independently with your car and RV dealership).
- What is the tow capacity of my car or truck? Check the sticker on your door to find out the max carrying capacity of your car, as well as the towing capacity. These things combined will give you numbers that you need to select the correct size and weight of teardrop.
- What type of hitch do I need? With so many hitches and tow bars available, you need to be sure that your hitch, tow bar, and car are all compatible. A general rule of thumb is that your hitch should not exceed 10% of your overall towing capacity of the car. Here is a towing 101 resource we found from Curt (please verify all information independently before towing or attempting to tow).
- Does my tow vehicle have a brake controller? Some very lightweight (usually under 1,000 lbs) teardrop campers do not come with trailer brakes. Make sure you know the laws in your state for towing with or without trailer brakes.
- Does my tow vehicle have the correct wiring? you will need a 7-pin connection to tow a teardrop travel trailer. According to e-trailer, a 4-Way trailer connector has the basic lighting functions only; running lights, left turn signal and brake lights, right turn signal and brake lights, and ground while a 7-Way has these functions and a 12 volt circuit, a circuit for electric trailer brakes (requires a brake controller in the vehicle), and a reverse light or auxiliary power circuit.
What are the different types of Teardrop Trailers?
You may have seen the typical teardrop oval styles, but there are variants on the clamshell style that you may not be aware of. Here are a few:
- Clamshell Teardrop. Clamshells look just like a teardrop, but they open from the rear, giving access to outside storage, or in most cases, galley options such as small sinks, coolers, refrigerators, and gas stoves. The interior usually consists of a bed and some storage. Here are some popular teardrops under 10 ft long for sale.
- Tall Teardrop. Making use of the popular dome shape, tall teardrops allow for walk-in access. Many models are still small enough to tow comfortably, and have limited interior features. Check out the Tab 320S.
- Oversized Teardrop. Models such as the NuCamp Tag XL for sale have the shape of a teardrop, but the features of a larger travel trailer. You can walk in, sleep, use the galley – and sometimes even the bathroom in these larger domes.
- Hybrid teardrop. These cute teardrop shapes are also known as half-domes, as they have a rounded shape in the front and taper down in the rear. With a pop-up tent tail, you can stand up in these, but it will still feel like a small teardrop for towing and maneuverability. a popular one is the Coachman Clipper Express 9.
We hope you found this guide to teardrop travel trailers helpful. Happy Camping!
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