Why are teardrop campers so expensive?

In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: Why are teardrop campers so expensive? We will review the price of 10 of the most expensive teardrop campers and discuss the pros and cons of this type of RV. 

Why are teardrop campers so expensive?

Teardrop campers are expensive, first of all, for the convenience they bring.  Teardrop trailers are classic motorhomes dating back to the early 20th century. 

A teardrop trailer is:

  1. Small enough to be towed by almost any motor vehicle, yet large enough to provide a comfortable place to sleep while on the go. 
  2. Such a trailer is a great alternative to the more expensive RV options available today.
  3. With a body that looks like a single teardrop turned on its side and mounted on wheels, the teardrop trailer is great for shorter trips. An advantage of the unusual body design is the aerodynamic qualities of the trailer. 

What are teardrop trailers and why are they so popular?

The Teardrop trailer originated in the United States in the late 1930s. Most often, it was the campers who built it themselves from plans published in magazines such as “Popular Mechanics”. This was before the big caravan boom.

Teardrop, therefore, is a tear. It’s easy to identify with its rounded shape that tapers towards the back, a falling teardrop shape. The front part is used for sleeping and the rear part houses a small kitchen.

Most models of this type of camping trailer have been intentionally built to be compact and easy to use. Typically, the body did not rise higher than five feet or 1.52 meters, while the length usually did not exceed ten feet or 3.05 meters. Since the teardrop trailer is relatively small and light, virtually any car or truck can tow the device with ease and won’t have a big impact on the average gas mileage.

Inside the trailer, the traditional design allows space for two sleeping bunkers and a room for storing clothes, camping gear and other dry items. A tiny kitchenette is located outside the trailer, hidden under a hatch. Over the years the kitchen section has undergone changes that make the trailer, even more, user friendly. Since the drip trailer is equipped with connections for water and electricity, it is possible to use a small kitchen and an oven for cooking, as well as enjoy running water for washing dishes and other activities.

Teardrop trailers were extremely popular from the 1930s through the mid-1960s. As larger RV models with more amenities became affordable, the production of the teardrop trailer dropped significantly. However, interest in vintage trailer design began to grow in the 1990s when DIY plans for trailer construction appeared online. 

Soon, manufacturers offered new and improved teardrop trailers, as well as pre-made kits for assembly. Consumers today often see the trailer as an ideal travel option when the larger camper is not desirable.

As in the past, the drip trailer is an affordable and relatively inexpensive way to enjoy camping and different types of road trips. The simple and compact design makes it easy to store the trailer when not in use. Best of all, today’s trailers are very easy to maintain, which means the consumer is likely to get many years of service before replacement is required.

The reasons why teardrop campers are expensive

Here is a list of why we believe teardrop campers are worth your money:

  1. Simple and lightweight: Teardrops are the smallest caravans. Most do not rise higher than five feet or 1.52 meters, while the length usually did not exceed ten feet or 3.05 meters.
  1. The Teardrop is easy to tow: No need for a 4×4, powerful and torquey engine since the curb weight is around 990 lbs to 1200 lbs (450 to 550 kg) for a GVW of 1540 lbs to  1650 lbs (700 to 750 kg). There are even models towable by motorcycles or bicycles! 
  1. The B driving licence is sufficient: With models for which the GVWR (permissible gross weight) is limited to 1650 lbs, or even less, the Teardrops can be towed with the B license only.

As a reminder, the total GVWR, i.e. that of the vehicle added to that of the caravan, must not exceed 7,700 lbs (3,500 kg).

  1. Is aerodynamic: The teardrop trailer has the enormous advantage of not offering significant wind resistance and thus limiting fuel consumption.
  1. The price offer starts at less than $11,000: Apart from the Bicycle Camper which costs less than $6,000, the offer starts at less than $11,000. The heart of the market is around $15,000, but beware! The options can quickly increase the bill between solar panels, comfort equipment and even Al-Ko chassis as for large motorhomes.

If you are surprised at the prices, remember that they are real caravans; they are built-in sandwich panels with thermal insulation, furnished and supplied with electricity. The kitchen area has a fridge, sink and water reserves, gas fire, as well as storage cupboards.

  1. Artisanal construction: Apart from Caretta, the oldest brand (2008) made in Turkey, and Hero Camper, a Danish brand with the characteristic of having a greater height, it is mainly small craftsmen who share the market.

Mix and match, there are two Breton companies (Tear Drop and Tip Top), a Tarnaise (Hundred Miles My Drop) or even “My tiny Camp” and “My camp Explorer”, the latter oriented off-road.

How much does a teardrop camper cost?

As already mentioned, teardrop camper prices range from $5,000 to $20,000 and more, depending on the size of the camper, the materials used and of course, on the type and number of amenities. 

In the table below we present the prices for the most popular (and highest-quality) teardrop campers currently on the market. 

Teardrop Camper ModelAmenitiesMSRP
Little Guy MaxDry weight: 3,000 lbsPlenty of headroom: 6’7″ Plenty amount of storageLED lighting insideDinette and kitchenette areaSleeps up to three adults. $28,999
TABSix feet of headroomIndoor kitchen with a stove and a fridgeThe dinette converts to a queen bed;TV and entertainment system;Optional: AC, more storage space, a bathroom/outside shower.$22,000
TImberleaf ClassicDry weight: 1,500 lbsA kitchen that can be accessed from the outsidePlenty of storage roomFully-insulatedAvailable in a variety of colours$21,500
Oregon Trail’R FronTearExtra storage space;Double bed;Small kitchen;Optional: TV, AC, side-table, etc.$14,000
PolydropDry weight: 760 lbsFully-insulatedOutdoor kitchenettePlenty of storage for your camping gear;Roof-Rack awning Optional: AC, fridge, etc. $9,000
Earth Traveler T250LXDry weight: 216 lbs100% carbon fibre trailerPop-up sidewalls and roofUV awning$30,000
The Meaner BeanMade from a one-piece fibreglass shellQueen bedClever storageLaminated interior cabinets.$19,950
Hutte HutA very stylish, minimalistic and  retro-looking camper;Wood panellingVery lightweight and aerodynamic.$63,900
Tiny Camper Mini StandardA kitchenette with a sink, stove and a mini-fridgeSkylight over the bedA variety of styles and colours.$11,435
Vintage Overland Great EscapeA double memory foam mattress;Aluminium exterior and hardwood interiorRetro-looking camperSleeps up to two adults. $15,000

Conclusions

To conclude, teardrop campers are expensive because they are practical, easy to tow by almost any vehicle, they are high-quality and very well-looking campers. The trailer’s fancy name is indicative of the overall shape of the trailer’s shell, and this shape exactly is what makes the teardrop camper aerodynamic and convenient for many travellers.

What do you think about teardrop campers and how much would you pay for one? Let us know what you think!

FAQ on Why are teardrop campers so expensive?

Are Teardrop trailers more aerodynamic?

Yes, Teardrop trailers are more aerodynamic than any other trailer, mainly due to their shape. Many Teardrop trailers these days are built on purchased steel trailers or custom made steel trailers. In our time, we are returning to minimalism, we want to consume less fuel, we avoid the congestion of motorhome circuits, so Teardrop trailers seem like a good choice. 

Are Teardrop trailers worth it?

Teardrop trailers are worth it for those who love the outdoors and want to make a short trip to nature. It is easier to tow and just enough for two people. 

How many can a teardrop camper sleep?

Two passengers can sleep in a teardrop camper very comfortably. Bigger teardrops trailers can fit up to five people, however, this would be indicated by the manufacturer. 

What are the benefits of Teardrop trailers?

Teardrop trailers have many advantages over large trailers. While they don’t offer as many conveniences and features, they still have their place in the market. Small and light in construction, that means you don’t need a huge vehicle to pull them. Plus, they’re much cheaper in price and they provide a place to sleep and eat, without the hassle of a large trailer or tent trailer.

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