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Best Lightweight Travel Trailers Under 4000 Pounds: Our Top Picks

Published on March 26th, 2019 by Ray & Tammy Roman
This post was updated on March 19th, 2024

Lightweight travel trailers under 4,000 pounds are easy to tow by some sport utility vehicles and most all light trucks. You won’t need a heavy duty truck to take these travel trailers out on the road. We have researched most of the popular travel trailer manufacturers to see which of their models can meet the GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating)  of under 4,000 lbs. Here is what we found during our research. The ones listed below are our personal favorites but many of these travel trailers have creative floor plans that meet our criteria.

Our List Of Best Travel Trailers Under 4000 LBS

Coachmen Viking (17BH)

When it comes to lightweight travel trailers under 4,000 pounds, it’s hard to beat a Coachmen Viking. These travel trailers are affordable but do not compromise or quality and comfort. Most of the Viking Ultra-Lite models come in under our 4,000 lbs threshold. Towing a Coachmen Viking is a breeze with a typical full-size SUV or light truck. Outside speakers, aluminum rims, power awning, and outside shower are just some of the features.

This ultralight camper features a Norco NXG chassis, double-steps, electric brakes, four scissor-style jacks with pads, a heavy-duty tongue jack, and either single or dual 20 lbs liquid propane tank.

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The exterior also has lots of great features such as a diamond plate on the front and rear wall for added protection. An aerodynamic front profile, tinted glass safety windows, power awning, a walk-on Alpha Superflex roof, bathroom skylight, back-up camera prep just to name a few.

Inside you’ll find residential grade linoleum, dark ash cabinets, laminated countertops, 4-inch high-density cushions, 12 volts LED interior lights, stone cast sink, a 2-burner stove, powered range vent, microwave, and lots more. There are some optional packages that add more features.

The 17SBH includes bunk beds and a 54 x 74-inch bed. It has a dry bath (separate tub and toilet) and a dinette and pantry.

17SBH Specifications:

  • GVWR – 3,716 lbs
  • UVW – 2,694 lbs
  • Fresh Water: 33 gallons
  • Gray Water: 25 gallons
  • Black Water: 25 gallons

The example above is just one of many that weight less than 4000. Check out their website for the latest information and specification.

Coachmen Clipper Cadet (14CR)

Like the Viking above the Coachmen Clipper is another lightweight travel trailer under 4000 lbs. Designed with fuel-efficient tow vehicles in mind the Clipper has floor plans that start at a GVWR of 3,634 lbs and go up from there, some heavier than 4,000 lbs. The floor plan selected here is the 14CR which has a GVWR of 3,803 lbs.

Being small and lightweight is not an indication that it is short on features. It too has many features like the Viking above just in a slightly smaller package. Since it has the same features as the Viking above I’m not going to repeat them, but suffice it to say both are very capable lightweights.

Clipper Cadet 14CR Specifications:

  • GVWR – 3,803 lbs
  • UVW – 2,335 lbs
  • Fresh Water: 33 gallons
  • Gray Water: 25 gallons
  • Black Water: 25 gallons

Venture RV Sonic Lite

Venture RV is not a name I am personally familiar with, however, my research on lightweight travel trailers under 4,000 pounds indicates they make a very well designed camper. Venture’s parent company is K.Z inc which happens to be a subsidiary of Thor Industries. K-Z got started with truck campers back in 1972 so there is lots of experience in this company.

On the construction side of things, the Sonic Lite has several features worth noting. For example, the roof is a one-piece seamless fiberglass roof. It extends from the profile to the rear bumper. The insulation R-value is 14 which makes for a very comfortable environment in most everyday scenarios. The roof rafters are made is aluminum and there is a diamond plate protecting the aerodynamic front profile.

Like the Coachmen above this camper also has an NXG frame. you get a standard manual awning but can upgrade to a powered awning with LED lights.

The sidewalls are 5-sided ivory infused fiberglass. Not sure what makes the ivory infused so special but apparently it’s important enough to Venture RV to mention it.

On the inside, you will find a host of features such as a spacious 60″ x 75″ bed that has USB chargers, as well as storage on the headboard. You also have overhead storage and the bed platform is on hinges allowing you to store more stuff underneath the bed.

The kitchen area features a dual-burner cook-top with a range hood. You also get a full-size convection oven which is pretty nice to have. There is also a pantry for even more food storage.

The bathroom is well laid out and has plenty of space and there is a skylight above the shower.

Added bonus features include backup camera prep, marine-grade detachable power cord, cable, TV and solar prep, and the LevelMate Pro system (optional). The LevelMate Pro calculates and displays the height required to achieve a perfectly level position. There is a lot more than you can view on their website.

Venture RV Sonic Lite Specifications:

The Venture Sonic Lite comes in 7-floor plans so you are bound to find one that meets your needs. It has many of the same features as its bigger brother the Sonic but in a more compact package. The GVWR ranges from 3,500 lbs to 4,000 lbs making this ultralight travel trailer super easy to tow.

  • GVWR – 3,500 – 4,000 lbs
  • UVW – 2,210 – 2,940 lbs
  • Fresh Water: 38 gallons
  • Gray Water: 30 gallons
  • Black Water: 30 gallons

Winnebago Minnie Drop (1710)

A unique design, excellent use of interior space make the Winnebago Minnie Drop one of our favorite lightweight travel trailers under 4,000 pounds. You can read our review of the Minnie Drop right here.

With 4 floor plans that all have a GVWR of fewer than 4,000 lbs you are sure to find a layout that works for you and can be easily towed.

Like all Winnebago’s the Minnie Drop comes standard with lots of features. The exterior design has a nice collection of colors to please just about any RV enthusiast. The construction consists of an NGX engineered frame, aluminum floor structure, and plywood decking.

Night-shades, custom bedspread, carbon monoxide, and LP detector, as well as a 2-burner stove are included in their list of standard features.

Winnebago Minnie Drop Specification:

  • GVWR – 4,000 lbs
  • UVW – 2,760 – 3,160 lbs
  • Fresh Water: 31 gallons
  • Gray Water: 25 gallons
  • Black Water: 25 gallons

Airstream Basecamp

Airstream’s entry weighing in at 3,500 lbs GVWR is the Basecamp. The Basecamp is small but it is very well-design like all the other Airstream travel trailers. It is not by any means inexpensive starting at $37,400 but it does, for some, warrant the price

A panoramic front window makes the Basecamp a cool looking travel trailer that is also extremely functional for its small size of 16-feet in length. In 2017 the Airstream Basecamp was voted RV of the year by RV Business Magazine.

There is only one-floor plan available but it is a well-laid out design that is both economical in space but very functional.

The exterior of the Basecamp is a riveted aluminum structure with a very aerodynamic shape. Tammy and I both love the panoramic window and the shape increases fuel efficiency. It also sports a rear hatch door which is usually not found on campers.

There is both an air-conditioning unit and a heating system available that are both optional. The interior decor comes in three options Red Rock, River rock, and Glacier Lake.

Two benches can easily be made into a bed, the rear hatch lets you load up your bike easily. In the kitchen, you have a two-burner stove, a sink with a tempered glass cover, a microwave, and a fridge as well. There are also two removable tables and bench storage.

A pop-up charging station in the kitchen area has two USB ports and a 110-volt outlet. On the exterior, you get a solar pre-wire kit and an outdoor shower. The outdoor shower is really a pass-through from the bathroom.

Airstream Basecamp Specifications:

  • GVWR – 3,500 lbs
  • UVW – 2,585 lbs
  • Fresh Water: 22 gallons
  • Gray Water and Black Water (Combo Tank): 29 gallons

Happier Camper

If you have never looked at a Happier Camper we suggest you do. When it comes to a unique design that is both lightweight and functional we don’t think you will find one better in this weight range. The Adaptiv modular cubes allow you to design the interior of the Happier Camper just about any way you want.

The retro styling and colors make the Happier Camper stand out from the crowd. Check out the Happier Camper here.

The Happier Camper is not your typical travel trailer. As a matter of fact, I’ve not seen any other camper designed like this one. It has a retro look with very modern features. The interior comes with what they refer to as an Adaptiv modular design.

It allows you to easily and quickly configure the interior pretty much on the fly. For example, the sleeping arrangement can be configured to up to five people. Storage and counter-top option can also be arranged any way you like with the modular component cubes. An added bonus of the cubes is that some of them can double outdoor furniture.

This modular configuration is achievable due to the honeycomb fiberglass modular floor design. IT lets you insert cubes into the floor just like Lego. Pretty cool engineering.

Some of the components available include, cooler icebox, kitchenette with sink, patio table, serving bar, toilet cube and many more.

Happier Camper Specifications:

  • GVWR – 3,500 lbs
  • UVW – 1,100 lbs
  • Fresh Water: N/A
  • Gray Water: N/A
  • Black Water: N/A

Lance 1475

Can you tell we like Lance? Here we are again with another Lanlightweightght travel trailer. This time it’s the Lance 1475. This is the smallest travel trailer in the Lance line-up.

Even at this small size, it has a separate shower and toilet which is something we always look for in a small travel trailer. We are not big fans of the wet bath (shower and toilet in one).

It is quickly becoming one of our favorite lightweight travel trailers under 4,000 pounds. Lance has added more flexibility to the floor plan with an optional sofa bed slide out feature. The construction of the Lance 1475 is aluminum-framed sidewalls, floor, and ceiling. The interior panel walls are made from Azdel, and block foam insulation.

The floor and ceiling are laminated and insulated and the roof is a one-piece crowned PVC roof. More standard features on the outside include aluminum wheel and Goodyear radial tires, double-entry step with LED step lighting, exterior wash station, LCD mount bracket, manual tongue, and manual stabilizer bars, skylight, and roof vent in the bedroom and living room area.

The interior is well-appointed too with Euro overhead cabinetry, forced air 14,300 BTU furnace, 5-cubic feet refrigerator, stainless steel 3-burner range with cover, and back-splash. The bedroom has a queen-sized bed and LED reading lights. Way to many features to list here so please visit the Lance website for more information.

Lance 1475 Specifications:

  • GVWR – 3,700 lbs
  • UVW – 2,600 lbs
  • Fresh Water: 26 gallons
  • Gray Water: 26 gallons
  • Black Water: 26 gallons

Jayco Jay Flight SLX 7 (154BH)

The Jayflight SLX 7 offers plenty of room in a small travel trailer. Due to its lightweight, it is very easy to tow. This model is the bunkhouse model that sleeps 3-4 people comfortably. Not one of my favorite models but it is lightweight and affordable. The floor plan is well laid out and does have a separate toilet and shower.

This camper offers a Magnum Truss Roof System, Goodyear Tires with galvanized steel, impact-resistant wheel wells. The construction of the Jay Flight seems to be better than most of its competitors in a similar price range. For example, Jayco offers custom-manufactured frames that offer higher strength and durability according to the company.

The Magnum Roof Truss System uses screws rather than staples, they use oversize nail plates, 2 x 2 vertical wood studs, 7″ header beams. According to Jayco, their roof system can withstand 4,500 pounds which are 50% heavier than their competition. The frame is a fully-integrated A-frame, on a 3-inch cambered, steel box tube frame.

There is quite a bit of standard equipment including but not limited to, maple cabinets, pantry storage, acrylic sink, 2-burner stove, 3-cubic feet refrigerator, microwave oven, fancy-looking brushed nickel faucets, and 8,000 BTU A/C wall-mounted, high-quality vinyl flooring, premium sound system and much more.

Jayco Jayflight 154BH Specification:

  • GVWR – 3,250 lbs
  • UVW – 2,580 lbs
  • Fresh Water: 10 gallons
  • Gray Water: 19.9 gallons
  • Black Water: 19.9 gallons

Livin’ Lite Camplite (CL11FK)

Livin’ Lite makes another lightweight travel trailer that made our list. This one has a GVWR of 3,500 lbs. This floor plan is nice and offers many of the creature comforts found in the other models.

Livin’ Lite is no longer in business. You can access the owner’s forum which is still active.

Like many Livin Lite campers, this one offers a collection of very nice features. Included as standard equipment is dual-pane Euro windows, 3 interior color choices, including an all-aluminum cabinet door option. You also get solid-surface counter-tops, audio-visual package, interior speakers that are flush-mounted, a charging center with USB ports, and high-efficiency LED lights.

Appliances include 6 cubic-feet double door fridge, 2-burner stove with glass cook-top cover, 6-gallon water heater, and a 12V Vortex high-power exhaust fan.

The bathroom is outfitted with a foot-flush toilet made of porcelain, an all-aluminum shower surround, and a bathroom mirror. The bedroom offers a quilted comforter, 60 x 80 mattresses depending on the floor plan, overhead cabinets, and under-bed storage. There are several optional packages as well.

Livin Lite Camplite 11FK Specifications:

  • GVWR – 3,500 lbs
  • UVW – 2,430 lbs
  • Fresh Water: 26 gallons
  • Gray Water: 25 gallons
  • Black Water: 25 gallons

K-Z RV Escape Mini

K-Z RV Escape Mini is another travel trailer with a GVWR of 3,500 lbs. The Escape Mini is affordable and lightweight but not light on style. One of the things I like about this ultralight travel trailer is its got a queen-size bed and a power awning. The Escape Mini comes in 4 different floor plans.

Additional standard features include storage above the bed which is always good to have. In the kitchen, you will find a two-burner stove, a convection microwave, seamless countertops, and a 4 cubic foot refrigerator.

In the bathroom, you have a full bath with a shower and a foot flush toilet, and a vanity with a sink. Additionally, you will find a skylight for ventilation and natural light, exterior cable prep, exterior speakers, and backup camera prep.

There are 3 optional items available on this lightweight travel trailer. Those include a 13,500 BTU low-profile A/C 24-inch LED with an inside/outside bracket, and a wireless camera system. There is also an off-road package you might consider if you plan on going off-road.

K-Z RV Escape Mini Specifications:

  • GVWR – 3,500 lbs
  • UVW – 2,828 lbs
  • Fresh Water: 30 gallons
  • Gray Water: 32 gallons
  • Black Water: 30 gallons

Commonly Used Acronyms and Definitions for Campers

The acronyms below are commonly used in the RV industry when referring to the weight of a particular camper.

Gross Vehicle Weight Rating or GVWR?

Gross Vehicle Weight or (GVWR) as it is commonly abbreviated is, the maximum allowed the weight of the travel trailer and all of its content. It included the weight of the travel trailer, all fluids, cargo, optional equipment, and any accessories as well. 

If you would like to calculate GVWR here is an easy to use trailer GVWR calculator.

UVW (Unloaded Vehicle Weight)

The typical weight of the unit as manufactured at the factory. It includes all weight at the unit’s axle(s) and tongue or pin and LP Gas. The UVW does not include cargo, fresh potable water, additional optional equipment or dealer installed accessories.

CCC (Cargo Carrying Capacity)

The amount of weight available for fresh potable water, cargo, additional optional equipment, and accessories. CCC is equal to GVWR minus UVW. Available CCC should accommodate fresh potable water (8.3 lbs per gallon). Before filling the freshwater tank, empty the black and gray tanks to provide for more cargo capacity.

Tip For Buying Lightweight Travel Trailers Under 4000 Pounds

When you are ready to buy or even just looking at lightweight travel trailers under 4000 pounds, there are a few things you can do to help you make a better purchase decision. Here are some tips.

  • Know just how much your car or truck can tow. This can be found in your owner’s manual or you can search for this information on the internet for your specific vehicle. Two key ratings you want to know.
    • Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) is the maximum weight of the vehicle and travel trailer combined.
    • Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR) is the maximum weight the rear axle can support.
  • Talk to other owners of the model or models you might be interested in. Ask questions, ask to see the inside if possible. Ask them about their towing experience with the camper. Does it sway? Is it steady on the road?
  • At the dealership go inside the model, open cabinets, feel the materials, look for flaws, etc. Be very critical as this is not a cheap purchase.
  • Ask the dealership if you can talk to past customers, ask questions about service, warranty, etc.

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