Most often we meet mini micro campers and trailers in the classic form, which was invented back in the 30s. But the 21st century brings us so many improved, modern models that look completely different.
Today we shall talk about the latest innovations in the trailer market, their main characteristics, equipment, and design. You will find out what trailers are the best existing models for traveling around the country, their features, and technical elements to pay attention to when buying a mini-camper. Let’s get to it!
1. PolyDrop Futuristic Micro Trailer
If you are bored with classic trailers and looking for something new, this innovative micro travel-camper will surely please you with its design. The futuristic looking teardrop trailer was designed by a promising architect from Los Angeles, Kyunghyun Lew, and the look of his futuristic creation will not leave you indifferent. The Polydrop Trailer is the choice for eco-friendly admirers, those who are fond of sharp lines and angular designs. The manufacturer (Polydrops) is also based in LA, by the way.
The 4-season mini-camper is one of the best micro campers because it is highly practical and functional. Its walls feature 8.2″ thick rigid insulation, which makes the trailer highly energy-efficient and well-protected against extreme weather conditions.
The Polydrop Trailer is made of wood, which means it can be towed by any car, and the exterior is coated with aluminum, which adds to its lightweight design (760 lbs and 1150 lbs when “fully loaded”). In addition, the trailer has independent suspension and hydraulic disc brakes for improved driveability and safety on the road.
Inside the small trailer there is a bed for two (three-quarter size mattress), a place to fold bedding and accessories, a roof vent, interior and exterior LED lighting. The roof of the trailer also features a 100W solar panel, and inside the trailer there is a 110V power inlet for heating, charging, and lighting applications.
The Polydrop Trailer also comes with a heater, and at the back, there is a comfortable kitchenette equipped with everything you need for cooking.
2. Bruder EXP 4 Off Road Mini Camper
This is an Australian SUV mini-camper with a body made of epoxy composite (up to 60 mm thick) which impresses with its high cross-country performance and 5.1+ insulation R-value. You can easily use it to go on a round-the-world trip and stay overnight, regardless of a daytime – the trailer can be fully closed with blinds shut for those who need absolute darkness.
It has huge ground clearance (861 mm), 17-inch sharp-toothed tires, 450-grade high tensile circular hollow section tapered suspension arms, 4x Bruder specific remote canister rose joint mono tube shock absorbers, and 12-inch adjustable wheel travel. Moreover, the trailer can also be height-adjusted for easy grip on the hitch. Finally, a couple of large ventilated discs provides high braking capability.
The cabin of the trailer is made of light but strong epoxy composite with closed pores. There also is a large 6′-wide and 7′ 2″-long Cal-King double-sized sleeping area and an extra folding 1.8m bed, which can accommodate up to 3 kids, without disturbing the adults. Regardless of the terrain, the beds are always in a flat position.
The Bruder EXP 4 also features a floor plan with some kind of a sitting area, conveniently recessed into the sleeping area base. Other features include a TV, internal USB charging connectors, a 105A gel battery, energy-efficient LED lighting, and a 100L internal body tank.
The rest of the interior space is equipped with three large heavy-duty storage shelves, and there’s also a special area for clothes hangers.
Outside the small camper trailer, there are 2 large lockable storage areas that can easily hold 3 jerry cans each. The Bruder EXP 4 can also be equipped with additional rooftop tents to accommodate large families, and the roof itself can be used to haul different travel/sports equipment and accessories, e.g. surfboards, push bikes, toolboxes, shovels, sleeping bags, snowboards, inflatables, skies, etc.
In the back, on the outside, behind the lift lid, there is a kitchen unit made of light, durable, and easy to clean materials. There’s also a 60L fridge, stainless steel sink, soft close drawers, stainless steel latches, and an electric cooktop. You don’t have to look for even ground or shade – the EXP 4 has your back covered! On the right side of the trailer, there is also a remote shower. The roof of the EXP 4 features solar panels that supply all electrical appliances in the trailer. An AC and/or a heater can be installed optionally.
As for the toilet accommodation, it’s in the rear outside of the trailer, just as 2x recovery points that can be easily accessed.
Special attention should be given to EXP 4’s reduced weight – 1874 lbs and a new base on a heavy-duty sealed chassis with 17-inch Mickey Thompson discs, which already makes the model extremely interesting for off-road applications where the cross-country factor is essential.
Despite the reduced size of the trailer, it has become even more comfortable, maneuverable, and convenient for long stays. The price is also much more attractive, compared his older 2016 “brother.” Thus, the Bruder EXP-4 trailer is built on the best basis of its multifunctional range.
3. Intech Luna Lite Teardrop Camper
For a long time, InTech has been pleasing all its users with quite interesting high-quality travel trailer models. The latest experimental teardrop camper models are particularly worth mentioning.
Today the company has officially launched a new teardrop like model of the Luna Lite Trailer, which is a rather compact mini-camper, weighing less than 1543 lbs (700 kg), with a very wide range of amenities and comfort elements, including an air conditioning system, a large front window, full kitchen with a sink, 2-burner cooktop, 12V/120V 40 qt. fridge, LED lighting, upper/lower cabinets, a MaxxAir vent fan, and a 32″ TV. And if you think all this is not enough, the Luna Lite has something else up its sleeve.
Namely, an enlarged and lifted suspension, and an additional luggage compartment on the roof, which logically continues with a separate roof lounge panel.
Like all inTech RVs, most of the Luna Lite trailer body is an all-aluminum, all-tube, fully welded cage frame, which makes it quite lightweight, protected against rust, and long-lasting. The set of 4×4 wheels allows you to travel almost any distance on any terrain. It’s worth noting that the wheels are also LT235/75R15-certified, which indicates that this mini-camper can travel almost anywhere.
The trailer has a one-piece fiberglass roof, as well as insulated fiberglass panels which perfectly withstand heat and further protect the trailer from extreme weather conditions and other harmful external factors. As for the interior, it’s quite minimalistic but at the same time spacious – you have a quite spacious 60″ x 80″ sleeping space with a comfortable orthopedic mattress. The kitchen area is outside, at the rear, which is, basically, a really rational and useful solution.
The weight of the Luna Lite is between 1,775 and 1,850 lbs on the package. Since the trailer is small and compact, even by the standards of wheeled houses, it is, obviously, more suitable for those interested in mini-campers than full trailers. However, do not be fooled by the size – inside (and outside), the Luna Lite has everything that can be useful to a true car enthusiast.
Micro-Camper Types and Features
Wheeled mini-homes have undeniable advantages – comfort, coziness, and mobility. Sometimes, all of us need to leave the bustling city, that’s when mini-campers can be really useful – their owners don’t have to look for a place to sleep, and traveling becomes highly efficient. If you are not familiar with this unique type of wheeled houses, you should first learn their classification.
Residential mini-trailer is a full house, which has a minimum set of furniture pieces and household appliances. It must have a toilet, kitchenette, and sleeping area. The size of the trailer can be very compact or large, but spacious in both cases. All the varieties are divided into two large groups: uniaxial and biaxial – the former are smaller in size than the latter. They can haul a small amount of cargo.
In comparison with a regular motorhome, single axle models are much cheaper, easier to maintain, and can be used to drive around the country all year round. When choosing this option, you should remember that its transportation will increase fuel consumption by 40%. The trailer can only be attached to vehicles with an engine volume of at least 1.8 liters. Moreover, you can’t carry people in a trailer when you’re driving – passengers may disturb the balance and alignment of the trailer, and it can also be dangerous for you, as a driver behind the wheel, and for other drivers on the road. There were instances when trailers flipped over, as passengers inside started to move around during the trip.
If you want to buy a compact slide-out mini-house on wheels, experts recommend paying attention to a trailer tent. For stationary use, it folds out as a hood/cap. It noticeably increases the inner area which can be used to organize a comfortable recreation area.
There are models that can be assembled and moved apart at the touch of a button – this mechanism is extremely practical. Such a trailer allows you to go virtually anywhere without losing the common civilization benefits. The trailer unfolds automatically, and the internal living space is approximately doubled in size due to slide-out side sections. The owners can use berths, a comfortable toilet and shower, a kitchenette, and a compact dining room unit. There are also places for storage of clothes/accessories, a battery with a generator, and a spare gas cylinder for the cooktop. Unfolding and assembling of the trailer takes less than a minute.
Then there are mini-campers that can be used in tandem with a motorcycle or scooter. They are quite inexpensive, but the inner living space is quite small for a big family. Such models are designed for relatively small distances but they are still very comfortable for camping rest.
Those who like to sleep in the fresh air can get a trailer-hybrid – a compact folding wheeled mini-camper, equipped with tents that can be unfolded in a stationary mode and organized for sleeping.
How to Choose a Mini-Camper
After studying the proposed models, it should not be difficult to formulate your own preferences. If there is any doubt, experts advise following certain rules.
According to Jim Malkovich from Mechanic Faq blog, It is important to decide in advance on how and where you will use your mini-camper. You also have to decide if you need a shower and toilet or a portable toilet in your tiny micro camper. If your trip involves a long stay in a stationary position, it is better to choose a biaxial model – its internal layout is larger than that of uniaxial, you can sit comfortably inside of the trailer and enjoy the surrounding nature.
When you have to spend most of your rest on wheels, you should give preference to short uniaxial trailers. With them, it will be easier to maneuver on the road and move around through urban areas.
When choosing your trailer style, you want to rely on your own taste preferences – there are no restrictions here. Technical parameters are much more important. Thus, pay attention to the heating and air conditioning system.
Typically, there are two heating systems installed – water and air systems. The former is capable of operating in conditions where the air temperature drops to -40F. The second one fails at 5F. The second heating option is most often used in mini-campers – it heats the interior very fast. The manufacturer will also calculate heating system capacity.
Moreover, there should be at least two ACs: one running on your car’s engine, the other one must be powered by an external source (e.g. solar panels). It is installed in the sitting area instead of the hatch or under the sleeping area. The cost of both ACs is usually the same.
We highly recommend that you rent a mini micro camper before you buy one to make sure it really works for you and your camping style. Outdoorsy is a great place to find small mini camper RV rentals if you are interested.
This article was contributed to the RVBlogger website by Dale Lomas. Dale is an automotive fan, journalist, photographer, racer, Ring Taxi driver and he runs the largest unofficial Nürburgring fan site BridgeToGantry.com.