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Top Travel Trailers Under 5000 LBS

Let’s say you love the idea of owning a travel trailer but are apprehensive about towing a large unit. Or perhaps your new vehicle has a relatively low towing capacity, but you’re still thinking about using it to take your camper on the road.

Luckily for you (and for your fellow motorists!), there are plenty of lightweight options out there. There’s no need to sacrifice comfort for convenience, either—the smaller units can be just as well-appointed as their larger counterparts.

Some of them also come equipped with awnings and exterior speakers, thereby allowing you to bring the party outdoors and make the camper seem even larger.

Here’s our list of the top travel trailers under 5000 lbs.

  • 2017 Coachmen Clipper Ultra-Lite 17BH
  • 2019 StarCraft Satellite 18MK
  • 2017 Jayco Hummingbird 17MBS
  • 2019 Forest River R-Pod 189
  • 2019 KZ Sportsmen Classic 181BH
  • 2018 Keystone Passport ROV 173RB
  • 2020 Gulf Stream Vista Cruiser 17RWD
  • 2019 Airstream Sport 16RB

Things To Consider Before Buying

First and foremost, you’ll need to find a travel trailer with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 5,000 pounds or fewer. This number takes into account the total weight of the trailer, including cargo, passengers, all water tanks, and any optional add-ons (such as awnings or bicycle racks).

It’s important to note that this total is different from the dry weight, or curb weight, which refers only to the weight of the vehicle itself, minus you and your gear.

Besides the weight factor, what criteria did we use when making these selections? Here’s a list of the most important considerations:

  • Age of the unit (older models might have outdated or obsolete features)
  • Length
  • Exterior height
  • Width
  • Dry Weight
  • Maximum sleep count
  • Fresh water tank capacity
  • Gray water tank capacity
  • Black water tank capacity
  • Awning size (if applicable

Top Travel Trailers Under 5000 Lbs

2017 Coachmen Clipper Ultra-Lite 17BH

What appeals to us the most about the Coachmen Clipper Ultra-Lite 17BH is the bathroom, which is roomy enough to include a generously sized bathtub. This is an appealing feature in any travel trailer, but it’s especially rare when you’re looking at lightweight models.

The bathroom is located at the rear of the trailer, next to the built-in bunk beds. This could be good news for couples who go to bed at different times, but if you’re traveling as a family (the unit is capable of sleeping up to 5 people), you might risk waking the young ones with late-night visits to the latrine.

The laminated countertops are another nice touch, as they’re easy to care for without sacrificing style. Ample storage space is available, but be careful not to overload the trailer—the GVWR is well under 4000 pounds, making this one of the lightest campers on our list.

LengthHeightWidthDry WeightSleepsFresh WaterGray WaterBlack WaterAwning Size
21 feet, 4 inches9 feet, 8 inches7 feet, 4 inches2,818 pounds533 gallons25 gallons25 gallons12 feet

2019 StarCraft Satellite 18MK

The Satellite 18MK is visually appealing from the exterior, with its rounded capsule-like design. The interior is well-designed, too, although there’s only one floor plan to choose from with this model. Key features include centrally located switches, a large refrigerator, and a sleek kitchen countertop with built-in sink.

All the materials used in the interior construction are high-end, from the cabinets to the upholstery. The flooring even includes a moisture barrier to keep the unit from suffering damage due to mold and mildew. Being all-season campers, we appreciate this extra touch.

Be aware that this unit only sleeps four people, so it’s not a good choice for large or growing families. The interior height gives you just six and a half feet of clearance, so taller individuals might be in for some discomfort. For anyone else, however, this is a highly manageable and attractive travel trailer.

LengthHeightWidthDry WeightSleepsFresh WaterGray WaterBlack WaterAwning Size
22 feet, 3 inches9 feet, 9 inches6 feet, 4.5 inches3,464 pounds431.6 gallons24 gallons40 gallons10 feet

2017 Jayco Hummingbird 17MBS

The Hummingbird 17MBS is an aerodynamic travel trailer that’s easy to tow, even if you have zero experience. With a GVWR of just 3000 pounds, it can be pulled by a light-duty truck or an SUV with no difficulty.

The majority of the interior is taken up by a comfortable queen-sized bed, located in the rear of the trailer. The bathroom is adjacent to the bedroom, and the kitchen area is located just across from the bath, with the convertible dinette taking up residence toward the hitch. Cupboard space is ample, particularly in the kitchen. An eight-foot awning offers plenty of shade.

Like the Satellite 18MK, this unit sleeps just four people, but the interior feels cozy rather than cramped. The bathroom is on the smaller side (the shower unit is practically nonexistent), but it’s adequate if you don’t mind roughing it.

LengthHeightWidthDry WeightSleepsFresh WaterGray WaterBlack WaterAwning Size
18 feet, 10 inches9 feet, 1.8 inches8 feet, 1 inch2,555 pounds425.6 gallons25.4 gallons25.4 gallons8 feet

2019 Forest River R-Pod 189

According to the manufacturers, R-Pods have the lowest tow weight of any RV in their class. The 2019 R-Pod 189 provides a fine example of everything Forest River does best, offering a compact design with many options for upgrades, along with a number of thoughtful touches.

For example, we love the convenience of the layout. The plush sofa and dinette area is located at the rear of the trailer, facing the entertainment center. The recessed cooktop is a great touch if you enjoy whipping up gourmet meals while on the road. There’s even a 20,000-BTU furnace, meaning this unit can be enjoyed during all four seasons.

The queen-sized bed measures 60 by 74 inches—a generous size by any standards. Things might be a bit cramped if you try to wedge in a couple of kids, but for couples, this is a great option.

LengthHeightWidthDry WeightSleepsFresh WaterGray WaterBlack WaterAwning Size
21 feet9 feet, 11 inches8 feet2,792 pounds436 gallons30 gallons30 gallons10 feet

2019 KZ Sportsmen Classic 181BH

This 2019 version of KZ’s Sportsmen Classic offers all the basics you’d expect from a lightweight travel trailer, with a surprisingly spacious interior. The master “bedroom” is situated at the front of the trailer, with a set of bunk beds taking up residence in the rear, opposite the bathroom. In between are a kitchen area with two-burner range and sink, along with a small dinette.

Note that the primary sleeping space has no door to separate it from the living area, so be prepared to dwell in close quarters. However, the space is well-ventilated, with windows located on all three exterior-facing sides.

This could be a major plus when camping in scenic areas. Since there are air-conditioning and furnace options available, the Sportsmen Classic 181BH can be used all year round.

LengthHeightWidthDry WeightSleepsFresh WaterGray WaterBlack WaterAwning Size
20 feet, 6 inches9 feet, 4 inches7 feet2,840 pounds520 gallons15 gallons15 gallons14 feet

2018 Keystone Passport ROV 173RB

Some versions of the Keystone Passport can be bulky and cumbersome to tow. Not the ROV 173RB, which has a GVWR of just 3900 pounds. Although the specs claim that the unit can sleep up to four people, we think it’s a better choice for singles or couples.

The queen-sized bed is located at the front of the trailer, with the bath on the opposite end. In between, you’ll find a small kitchen and dinette area for two, with a pantry that can pinch-hit as a wardrobe if necessary.

The angled shower is one of our favorite aspects of the ROV 173RB. In fact, the whole bathroom offers more space than we were expecting, a welcome surprise. The rest of the interior is considerably snug, but an optional slide-out offers more space, should you need it.

Ample compartment space, situated beneath the bed and in the pantry/wardrobe, allows you to bring along plenty of outdoor gear. Another nice touch? Radio speakers located along the trailer’s exterior, so you can rock out to your favorite tunes wherever you go.

LengthHeightWidthDry WeightSleepsFresh WaterGray WaterBlack WaterAwning Size
20 feet9 feet, 6 inches8 feet2,920 pounds436 gallons30 gallons30 gallonsNot listed

2020 Gulf Stream Vista Cruiser 17RWD

Also billed as a “vintage” cruiser, the updated version of the Gulf Stream Vista 17RWD has a funky retro feel and plenty of creature comforts, offering campers the best of both worlds.

The bathroom is one of the roomiest we’ve seen in campers of this size, with a full shower setup and adjacent sink. The full-sized bed offers overhead storage, and the dinette area can be converted into another sleeping area.

Although Gulf Stream claims that this cruiser can sleep four people, two of them would have to be pretty small in order to squish onto the convertible dinette. If you’re traveling with one or two small children, you’ll be fine, but the second sleeping area isn’t large enough for more than one adult.

With windows located on all three sides, the Vista 17RWD has the perfect name. We would recommend using this one for scenic camping journeys whenever possible.

That said, tech-savvy campers are sure to enjoy the multitude of charging ports that this unit offers. While the camper is certainly roomy enough, maneuvering and parking the trailer are a breeze.

LengthHeightWidthDry WeightSleepsFresh WaterGray WaterBlack WaterAwning Size
20 feet10 feet, 2 inches7 feet, 6 inches2,567 pounds427 gallons33 gallons33 gallonsNot listed

2019 Airstream Sport 16RB

You’re sure to recognize the Airstream Sport, one of the most distinctive travel trailers on the market. Its shiny aluminum construction does more than enable it to stand out in a crowd, though—it also makes this stunning trailer much lighter and more transportable than some of the competition.

Airstream has been in business for more than 80 years, and their experience is evident when you step inside the Sport 16RB. Not an inch of space is wasted, from the snug dinette, to the well-equipped kitchen (complete with gas-fired oven range), to the rear bedroom area. The unit offers both air-conditioning and a functioning heat strip, so you’ll be comfortable in both winter and summer.

Although you won’t have many options as far as the floor plan is concerned, there are several upgrades available that will elevate your camping experience to the next level.

An optional solar conversion, for example, makes it easier for you to go off the grid and enjoy multi-day boondocking expeditions. Since the unit measures just over 16 feet long, it’s easily tucked into out-of-the-way places.

LengthHeightWidthDry WeightSleepsFresh WaterGray WaterBlack WaterAwning Size
16 feet, 4 inches9 feet, 3 inches8 feet2,860 pounds423 gallonsN/A (combination tank)21 gallonsNot listed

In Conclusion

Before we head on down the road, you’re probably wondering which of these trailers stands out above the rest.

While we would feel comfortable recommending any of these, we’re partial to the Airstream Sport 16RB. Call us old-fashioned, but we love the sleek retro vibe of the aluminum construction, not to mention the nifty economy of the interior.

Thanks to its small footprint and light weight, it can be hauled by just about any SUV or crossover with a decent tow package. For couples or small families who don’t mind living in close quarters, this is an excellent travel trailer.

Best of luck, and happy camping!

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