Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a full-time vagabond, taking to the road in pursuit of the great outdoors is becoming as popular as it is Instagram-worthy. Decked-out campervans and travel trailers are on the uptick as the itch to explore takes hold of the masses — and it seems the #vanlife movement isn’t merely a gimmick.
So as the momentum behind this budding lifestyle continues to grow, it’s likely you’ve grown weary of scrolling through your friend’s social media feed that’s chock full of lavish sunsets and nights spent under the stars. Why not set out on your own adventure? If you’re in the market for a travel trailer, we can help you make the perfect choice. These are the best travel trailers currently on the market.
The best overall
The Mantis Trek
With so many travel trailers available, it’s difficult to find one with all the characteristics you’re looking for. Primary considerations include amenities, weight, convenience, and efficiency. However, we found one that checks all these boxes: The Taxa Outdoors-designed Mantis Trek. The Mantis is a fully-featured camper weighing in at just 2,300 pounds and measures 18 feet in length. It’s light enough to be pulled by small trucks and SUVs and conveniently fits into a standard-sized garage. While it might seem small, it’s equally mighty, featuring all the amenities needed for living off-the-grid.
The key to its convenience is the pop-up roof which expands the living area to a height of 6 feet, 9 inches. The Mantis Trek is run on a dual 12-volt battery system which powers a refrigerator, as well as personal devices via USB ports. The rig is propane-ready, suited for powering the two-burner stove, water heater, optional air conditioning, and included Truma Combi furnace for cold weather nights. Sleeping arrangements were designed to accommodate up to four adults, with bunk beds in the front and a queen-sized bed in the rear.
The trailer is equipped with 20-gallon fresh and grey water tanks, a Dometic cassette toilet with electric flush, and an exterior shower with hot and cold water. The Mantis was designed with serious adventurers in mind as it comes equipped with a preinstalled Thule cargo deck and roof rack. Taxa didn’t skimp on the details, either — the Mantis features LED interior lighting, plenty of storage, blackout curtains, and an 8-foot patio awning.
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The best for off-grid living
The Living Vehicle
If you’re ready to sell your house and jump into off-grid living full-time, the Living Vehicle is the ultimate travel trailer, ready to take you wherever the road may lead. While its price tag is similar to a small house, the Living Vehicle is equipped with everything you need to live off-the-grid for months at a time. Architect Matthew Hofman has a decade of experience living in mobile spaces and designed the Living Vehicle with both luxury and sustainability in mind.
A 24-volt lithium ion battery complete with an inverter and solar panel array is the mechanism that makes off-grid living possible. The Living Vehicle is meant to withstand the harshest conditions with an internal HVAC, dual-pane windows, and four-season insulation in the floor, ceiling, and windows. What makes the Living Vehicle particularly stand out is its sustainability. The rig was designed with a strict adherence to environmental guidelines, eco-friendly characteristics, and the ability to be completely sustained by sunlight.
Amenities-wise, the Living Vehicle has it all. Four values were integrated into the design: Adventure, family-friendliness, pet-friendliness, and the ability to work remotely. The trailer was designed to accommodate up to six people with two different sleeping area options available including a fixed queen-sized bed or a fixed lounge with a fold-out queen sleeper.
The bathroom features a spa-style shower while the kitchen includes a refrigerator, two-burner cooktop, water filter, skylight, island, and trash chute. The Living Vehicle truly achieves luxury vehicle status as it comes standard with a washer and dryer combo, pull-out BBQ island, central vacuum system, and a towel warmer. If you want to work on the road, this trailer is perfect as it includes built-in WiFi, as well as an LTE antenna that transmits signals to an inside router. While $150,000 might seem like a steep price, you’re investing in a lifetime of adventure.
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The most luxurious
If your main priority is luxury and style, it’s hard to beat Airstream’s new Globetrotter — or really any Airstream, for that matter. This travel trailer features sleek, clean lines, elegant features, and a few international touches which helped dub it “an American icon with a European twist.” The exterior is simple, classic aluminum while the interior serves as a thing of sheer beauty. Two floor plans are available: One with a queen-sized bed and one with two twin beds. The 27-foot long interior includes every amenity you could ask for — and then some.
Four interior decor options are available, highlighted by Corian countertops, Hitch upholstery, and high-end fixtures. Feature-wise, the Globetrotter has it all, including a dinette, two lounge slash bed areas, a 6.7 cubic-foot refrigerator, a gas oven, and a microwave or convection oven option. There’s even a pantry, ample wardrobe space, a beautiful lavatory, a separate shower area, and a bedroom with nightstands on either side of the bed. Airstream decked it out with a 30 amp A/C and heat pump unit with Quietstream ducted climate control to help keep you comfortable.
Aside from its interior style, the Globetrotter features plenty of technology and entertainment amenities, as well. Listen to some tunes through the Polk audio system outfit with Bluetooth or kick back while enjoying a show on the Samsung LED HD TV — there’s even a built-in Blu-Ray player. Other features include USB outlets, power stabilizer jacks, and a solar pre-wire kit if you want to go completely off-the-grid. Panoramic windows allow plenty of light and make for unprecedented views while blackout curtains ensure you sleep deeply. With a $100,000 price tag, you’re certainly getting the most luxury Airstream has to offer.
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The best for rugged terrain
The Escapod Topo Series
When your journey takes you off the beaten path, you need a travel trailer made for technical terrain. The Escapod Topo Series was designed just for that purpose. This 5- by 8-foot teardrop trailer body is built on a hand-welded 2-inch by 2-inch frame of powder-coated steel with an elevated suspension, 17-inch wheels, and Trailrunner tires. For a travel trailer priced under $15,000, the Escapod still has a lot of luxury to offer.
The Escapod features a 5-inch custom memory foam queen-sized mattress and two doors for easy entry and exit — so you don’t have to crawl over your partner in the middle of the night. The sleeping area is complemented by LED lighting, a three-speed fan, and USB chargers. The kitchen galley offers ample counter space, LED lighting, and a YETI Tundra 65 cooler with a slide-out drawer. The walls, ceiling, and floor are all insulated, making the Escapod suitable for any climate.
While other trailers are designed for comfort or style, the Escapod was meant for adventure. This travel trailer is equipped with Rhino Rack cross bars and a Sunseeker awning. Looking for a little living luxury, too? The Escapod is available with tons of upgrades including a stove and propane tank, water heater and shower, water tank, bike rack, kayak rack, solar power, and built-in Bluetooth audio.
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The best for towing with smaller vehicles
Known for its iconic — and sometimes sprawling — silver bullet trailers, Airstream decided to throw the travel trailer industry a curveball with its latest release, the Basecamp. A much smaller trailer than anything else in its fleet, the Basecamp is not only a master class in efficiently using space but its diminutive size — it weighs just over 2,500 pounds — makes it perfect to be towed by crossovers or small pickup trucks. Considering the price starts at a whopping $35,900, the fact you won’t need a massive (i.e. Expensive) truck to tow the thing is an attractive feature.
Its small stature aside, the Basecamp is packed with 21st Century technology sure to please those who hate seeing their precious electronics run out of juice. With several AC outlets and USB plug-ins throughout the interior of the rig, as well as an onboard battery and optional rooftop solar installation, its essentially a rolling power bank capable of keeping smartphones, tablets, or laptops at 100 percent battery for a few days. The trailer also comes standard with a small kitchen area outfit with a two-burner stove, a working sink, gas-powered refrigerator, and an included microwave.
And how about that efficient use of space? In addition to its hybrid restroom — which features a shower and toilet in the same room — the back of the trailer features a quick-changing bedroom slash living room. During the day, the back section converts into a comfortable hangout area customizable as either a two couch lounge or a makeshift restaurant booth. When it’s time to sleep, the couches fold out entirely, creating a comfortable sleeping area for up to two people.
Though the price tag is a bit steeper than other trailers in its category, the amenities, convenience, and pure comfort offered by the Airstream Basecamp are incomparable. If you have the money to spend, you can’t do much better.
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The best pop-up
If you’re looking for a full-featured pop-up trailer, the Tipoon makes for the perfect option. This tiny trailer pops up into a living space three times its size, all at the push of a button, and is meant to accommodate up to four people. When in towing mode, it’s just 5.5-feet high and measures between 13.5 to 14.7 feet in length, depending on the drawbar on the trailer.
In addition to towing mode, the Tipoon features two living modes: Half-open and Full. Half-open mode raises the trailer to a height of 8.3 feet and opens a side wing which features access to the shower, toilet, and sink. Full mode provides access to the trailer’s second wing while also self-stabilizing the vehicle. For something this small, the Tipoon is packed full of amenities.
Its most unique aspect is the ability to fully customize your living space. The trailer’s adjustable space includes a dining area, storage space, and an optional king-sized bed — or a second bed if need be. The kitchen includes a hotplate, storage, and a fridge, while the entire interior is outfit with LED lighting powered by a rechargeable battery system — a solar power option is said to be coming soon. Prices start at roughly $30,000 but vary greatly because of the level of customization available.
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