How Much Does a Camper Trailer Weigh?


Camper trailers are very much the best of both worlds. They combine the portability and easy setup of tent camping with the comfort and convenience of caravanning into a reasonably affordable package. If you cannot deal with another cold, uncomfortable night on a sleeping mat, this is no reason to rush into buying a camper trailer. 

Camper trailers can weigh anywhere from 450kg up to 1800kg depending on the style and model. There are many factors that contribute to the weight of the camper trailer, including; chassis size, trailer length, kitchen, power set up, brakes, water tanks, spare wheels, tents and more. Softshell camper trailers are typically much lighter as they have a simple box trailer base, canvas tent on top and basic features. Adding more bells and whistles onto the trailer will quickly increase its tare weight and reduce your additional carrying capacity for things like beer. 

With great weight comes great responsibility

 

Why is knowing camper trailer weight so important?

 

  • Vehicle limitations

All vehicles have a specific amount of weight they can tow safely and legally.

In most cases, larger cars with big engines have a larger towing capacity.

But unless you own Land Cruiser 200 series or something similarly powerful, you will be limited in your choice of camper trailers.

 

  • Wear and tear

Towing a caravan places extra weight on the rear suspension of the tow vehicle, causing it to sag. Vehicles fitted with factory suspension may be unsuitable for towing larger camper trailers.

Of course, there is always the option to upgrade the suspension in your car. But a far simpler alternative is to choose an appropriately-sized camper trailer in the first place.

Since weight is directly proportional to momentum, an excessively heavy trailer will also require more braking to stop, wearing the brake pads unnecessarily.

 

  • Fuel consumption

Fuel consumption is obviously going to increase when towing a camper trailer. But that is not to say you can’t minimise the disruption to your wallet by making good decisions.

The most obvious tip is to buy a camper trailer that is large enough for your needs, but no larger.

Once you hit the road, the speed with which you drive is the single biggest influencer of fuel economy. With increased speed comes increased drag, or air resistance.

Are you one of those drivers that absolutely have to do the speed limit wherever you go? If so, choose a camper trailer with a lower height profile or if possible, a shorter drawbar.

 

  • Safety

There are several reasons why camper trailer weight is crucial to safe motoring.

All trailers exceeding 750kg GTM (Gross Trailer Mass) must have brakes fitted to at least one axle.

Although less common, camper trailers exceeding 2000kg GTM must have electronically controlled brakes and a breakaway system if the trailer becomes detached from the tow vehicle.

Whatever the weight, we recommend that all camper trailers employ electronic brakes. Electronic brakes also allow for more controlled braking, shorter stopping distances, and a decreased likelihood of jack-knifing.

 

With that said, we had a look at some of the best-selling camper trailers in Australia at the moment.

 

Camper  Trailer Weight Examples

1) Patriot X1 – 1600kg ATM

With a TARE mass of only 940kg, many reviewers of the Patriot X1 comment that it is so light they have to check their mirrors while driving to make sure it is still there.

The lightweight of the X1 boils down to smart design and a smaller footprint. Weight has been saved by substituting steel for aluminium but without compromising on strength or build quality. The X1 has a respectable 155L water tank with a twin burner gas stove and grill.

 

2) Cub Brumby – 1400kg ATM

Smaller still is the Cub Brumby, which has carved out a niche at the lower end of the market by focusing on functionality over bells and whistles. The positively lightweight nature of the Brumby is due to the modest 80L water tank, aluminium construction, and smaller drawbar. However, there is the option to upgrade certain features such as the water tank by upgrading to the Adventure Pack.

 

3) Track Tvan Canning MK5 – 1500kg ATM

The Track Tvan Canning MK5 has a large road presence and is feature-packed, but aluminium construction throughout gives a TARE mass of just 1045kg.

The Canning MK5 features a premium kitchen with plenty of prep space, full-sized queen mattress and military-grade off-road suspension. More than anything, it is Track’s intelligent design and use of space which keeps weight at a manageable level without sacrificing features.

 

4) Jayco Eagle Outback – 1570kg ATM

The Jayco Eagle Outback is equipped more like a caravan than it is a camper trailer. But with a TARE of 1270kg, you may be more limited with how much you can pack compared to a camper trailer before exceeding your ATM.

Although feature-rich and well-equipped, Jayco offers a number of optional extras that can easily bump the weight closer to the 1570kg mark.

 

5) Cub Frontier – 1750kg ATM

One of the heftier camper trailers on the market is the Cub Frontier. Yet in terms of forward-folding campers, it is actually quite lightweight with a modest 1220kg TARE mass.

Given the 1750kg ATM, this means you have over 500kg to play with. Even with a cavernous 85L fridge and 100L water tank, there is still plenty of weight left over to enjoy this spacious and well-built Cub offering.

 

Conclusion

Although camper trailers are typically lighter than their caravan cousins, this does not mean you should overlook their weight entirely. Indeed, some of the larger camper trailers from Jayco weigh as much as small, full-bodied caravans.

Most importantly, check how much your vehicle can legally and safely tow by acquainting yourself with the numbers.

Then, and only then, should you get stuck into the fun stuff of choosing a camper trailer and enjoying the fruits of your labour.

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