Teardrop campers were once super popular for campers all across the country but eventually gave way to larger and more advanced RV models. However, these compact trailers are making a comeback with their minimalist design and vintage appeal. So, how much does a teardrop camper cost?
A basic, low-end teardrop camper costs around $10k, but you may be able to find a few even cheaper than that. A top-quality, high end teardrop camper may cost $40k or more, depending on the make, model, and features. Brand name has a lot to do with price with RVs, and these campers are no exception.
What is a Teardrop Camper?
Teardrop camper trailers are towable campers with a specific shape or design. They’re compact and easy to haul without a massive SUV or large truck. And, unlike pop-up campers, teardrops normally have a hard exterior, making them more durable and sturdy for the outdoorsy types.
These campers aren’t designed for large families, as they typically only sleep 2 adults. Still, there are a few options out there that may sleep up to four people.
The downside of a teardrop camper is that you won’t find all the amenities that you get with a full-sized camper or RV. These trailers are normally just intended as a replacement for a tent, so you can sleep in a secure space (and in a bed).
Still, there are options available that include kitchens and bathrooms and many of the features you find with more traditional RVs, but you should expect the cost to go up significantly with those additions.
How Much Does a Teardrop Camper Cost?
Teardrop campers typically start around $10,000 for a basic, ultra-compact model. These would be the most basic trailers that only have room for sleeping inside. There are basic options that you may find even cheaper than $10k, like pre-owned or off-brand models for $5k to $8k.
If you’re the handy type, you may even be able to construct your own for a couple of thousand dollars.
However, if you want a more inclusive, higher-end model, you could expect to pay $40,000 or more for one of these compact campers.
Teardrop Camper Prices
|Low-End||$8,000 – $12,000|
|Mid-Range||$15,000 – $25,000|
|High-End (Luxury)||$25,000 – $50,000 and up|
|Average Cost||$17,000 – $35,000|
Teardrop Camper Cost Factors
There are many factors that can impact the price for a teardrop camper, but most of the variation you’ll see is due to the features and amenities. Even these small camper trailers can include some desirable upgrades, like kitchens, bathrooms, upgraded materials, and more.
Some of the most common teardrop camper upgrades may include:
- Full kitchen
- Sink with faucet
- Fresh water tank
- Furnace & air conditioner
- Solar panels
- Upgraded LED lighting (interior or exterior)
- Entertainment equipment
- Outdoor shower
- Dining area
The brand name also has a lot to do with the cost. For example, Airstream is a well-known luxury RV brand, so you should expect to pay significantly more for an Airstream teardrop versus a lesser-known brand.
The camper’s quality and warranty coverage can also affect the price. Sometimes it may be worth it to pay a little more on the front end to know you have a product that the manufacturer will stand behind for many years to come.
You’ll also need to consider the costs of a new camper versus used model. You may be able to find a used camper that’s in great quality, but it’s important to consider the use, condition, and what kind of repair and maintenance work the camper may need.
Still, a brand new camper isn’t in everyone’s budget. In that case, a used model may be your best bet to find a quality teardrop camper in the price range you’re looking for.
|Base Teardrop Camper||$15k – $50k|
|Teardrop Camper with Bathroom||$15k – $25k+|
|Teardrop Camper with Toilet||$20k+|
|Teardrop Camper for Motorcycles||$5k – $10k+|
|Teardrop Camper with Outdoor Kitchen||$5k+|
|Mid-Range Teardrop Camper||$12k – $22k+|
Popular Teardrop Campers
Now that you know a little more about teardrop campers, let’s discuss some of the most popular models out there and check out some sample pricing.
- Airstream Basecamp: This is a high-end luxury teardrop option, complete with a wet bathroom, kitchenette, and dinette. Plus, it comes with the trusted Airstream name. These small and mighty camper trailers are priced starting at over $43k new.
- Timberleaf Classic: Timberleaf is another trusted brand known for quality products. This model is fully insulated for comfort wherever you travel, and comes with a kitchen you can access from the rear of the unit. These start at just over $21k.
- Colorado Teardrops Summit: These are taller models and will sleep up to 4 people. Inside, you’ll find a queen-sized bed along with two bunk beds that convert into a dinette and couch. There’s plenty of storage space and the rugged design will last for many years. These models start at just over $31k.
- Oregon Trail’r FronTear: The FronTear has that great vintage look with the iconic teardrop design. Oregon Trail’rs are highly customizable and can be packed with upgrades. They come standard with a double bed and small kitchen. These start out around $15k.
- Timberleaf Kestrel: The Kestrel is Timberleaf’s budget-friendly camper option, which comes standard with just a bed and space to escape the elements. It does not include a rear kitchen or any of the other amenities you’ll find in the upgraded models, but it’s perfect for anyone looking for a tent alternative. These models start at just over $8k.
- NuCamp Tag: This trailer sleeps 2 adults and comes standard with a back-side galley kitchen. There’s a large skylight (window) above the bed, and the trailer comes with heating and AC. You can also upgrade with features like solar power. This is a good upgraded option for a few more amenities if it’s in your budget. These trailers start at just over $20k.
How Much is a Used Teardrop Camper?
Buying a pre-owned or used teardrop camper can be a great way to save some money and find a camper trailer in your budget. You can potentially find a camper for $5k or less if you’re willing to shop around or consider an older model.
Still, if you want to buy a high-end luxury camper you should expect to pay the higher price even if it’s a used model.
Most used teardrop campers cost between $8,000 and $25,000 depending on the exact make and model.
Teardrop campers typically hold their value a bit better than other similar products (like popup campers) because they’re made from hard, durable materials. If you go with a well-known name brand, you should expect the value to hold even better. That means you’ll pay more for a used model than you might expect in some cases.
If you opt to go with a used model, it’s always a good idea to use a reputable dealer or online marketplace that offers some buyer protection. If you go with a private seller, we recommend taking the camper for an inspection and check for any signs of rusting, water damage, accidents, or other issues that could be expensive to fix.
Can You Rent a Teardrop Camper?
One good way to get a feel for a teardrop camper trailer before buying is to rent one out. It’s also a good alternative if you don’t plan on using the camper enough to warrant buying your own.
Renting a teardrop camper should only cost around $50 per night, maybe $100 at most, depending on the location and season.
There are plenty of websites out there to help you find a camper rental, like Outdoorsy, which makes it safe, easy, and convenient.
Renting is a good option to try before you buy so you can be sure that a teardrop camper will meet your needs. Plus, you can try out different models and see if the added amenities are something you might want to purchase for your own camper trailer.
How Much Does it Cost to Build a Teardrop Camper?
If you have the time and skill, it’s possible to build your own teardrop camper at a fraction of the price you’d pay to buy a new one. Because the design concept is simple for these campers, it’s possible to DIY it if you have the know-how.
You could build a very basic teardrop camper for as little ast $1,000. This would include the basic design for the camper, flooring, doors, waterproofing, a fan, and electrical wiring. However, this price would assume you have the basic tools needed for the job.
Still, most people should plan to spend closer to $3,000 to build a teardrop camper. This would cover the materials cost for the camper itself as well as the galley kitchen in back. If you add any appliances like a fridge or microwave, you’d need to budget that into your cost as well.
Other upgrades like cabinets, countertops, and windows or skylights would also impact your cost. Your choice of materials is also a big cost factor, so you’ll want to price out different options before you get started.
If you’re handy enough but don’t know where to start to build your own camper, you can find plans to do the job yourself online. Or, you can purchase a complete guide to build a teardrop camper from scratch, like this one (available on Amazon).
Another option is to purchase a teardrop camper kit, which includes the instructions and supplies. Depending on the make and model, you can find these kits starting around $3,000. Then, you can add features and amenities to customize your camper just the way you want it.
Teardrop Camper or Pop-Up Camper: Which is Better?
Teardrop campers have a lot in common with pop-up campers, including their small and compact size, and upgraded experience from tent camping without all the hassle of transporting a full-sized camper.
People like these smaller options because they can be easily towed behind small SUVs, cars, and even motorcycles in some cases.
Still, there are many differences between teardrop and pop-up campers, so how do you know which one is best for you?
Teardrop campers are designed primarily for sleeping. You won’t have all the headspace and amenities that you can find with pop-up campers. Teardrops don’t normally expand beyond their standard size, unlike pop-up campers.
However, teardrop campers are more durable and have hard exteriors. That makes them appealing for staying out of the elements, and it means you can have added comforts like heating and AC in some models.
Plus, they normally last longer and are less susceptible to damage from transport and the elements compared to soft-exterior pop-up campers.
Another benefit of teardrop camper trailers is that they don’t require any assembly or setup when you arrive at your destination. Unlike pop-up campers which can be a hassle to “pop-up,” teardrops are ready to go anytime, with no set-up or take-down required.
The Bottom Line
Teardrop camper trailers are a great option for couples who want to see the great outdoors in more than just a tent. If you’re going on the road, these compact trailers are perfect for hauling behind small SUVs or even some standard vehicles.
Teardrop campers provide a vintage appeal and minimalist simplicity that’s more popular than ever. If you want to buy one of these cute campers yourself, you should plan to spend between $8k and $35k (or more) depending on the model and features you choose.
Teardrop camper trailers are a step-up from tent camping but without all the fancy amenities that you might find in a full-sized camper or RV. If you like to see all that nature has to offer without camping in a house on wheels, a teardrop camper might be for you.
These little campers are perfect for weekend retreats, overnight camping trips, or longer getaways to campgrounds that have some of the necessary features your teardrop might lack.