Cozy, efficient campers make for comfortable, thrifty travel!

Hard-sided "tent trailer" is the A-Liner, this one a very small model.

T@B trailers have been on the road for about 10 years, and offer a winning combo of good looks, light weight and room for four.

The R-Pod is a large "tear-drop styled" trailer, offering slide outs for lots of room in a small, towable package.

This '71 Camp Mite offers 6' standing room with the roof is popped up, and light-weight, aero-dynamic profile for ease of towing.

One of the smallest tent-trailers we have seen; big bed for two, and nice kitchen and stand-up room!

Our '58 Serro Scotty teardrop, St. George, FL lighthouse in back.

An early model of efficient campers, an historic wagon in Capital Reef National Park!

We have just returned from a 22 day tour of seven national Parks – Great Basin in Nevada, the five stunning ones in Utah, the Grand Canyon North rim and a return through Yosemite (OK, make that eight national parks, though we merely passed through Yosemite).

Along the way, we viewed and camped with a series of small, efficient camp trailers and camping set-ups that make me wonder why people, with less than six kids, ever would purchase and navigate huge motorhomes or giant fifth wheel trailers.

We camped 16 nights in a reproduction ’58 Serro Scotty teardrop, measuring 4 feet wide, four feet tall and eight feet long (and, seven nights in a nice timeshare in Park City, UT).  Weighing only about 800 pounds, our little trailer is pulled by a 2013 Ford Escape four-cylinder SUV – we get 23.5 MPG towing our little sleeper coach.  We are just as comfortable (well, almost) as neighboring couples in 25 to 38 foot motorhomes and fifth-wheels; the air, sunshine, views and campfires are identical!

We cruised about 3,200 miles, paid about $420 for gasoline, and averaged about $8/night for camping (all in national park, Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management campgrounds, we get half-off with our federal ‘America the Beautiful’ senior pass, just $10 for life!). For more efficient and scenic travel, camping in a small, maneuverable trailer is truly hard to beat.

Along the way, we took photos and chatted with owners of other small, comfy campers – and thought we would share some of them with you! Here are some of our favorites; whose owners rave about comfort, ease of handling and low-cost of both purchase and ownership.

How we got to Utah: From Stockton, go north on I-5  to Sacramento, then east on Hwy. 50 through Nevada and into Utah.

For more info: For good resources for purchasing used, small campers, see Craigslist or eBay (you can put up a daily search for what you seek). Local dealers like Pan Pacific Trailers in French Camp carry tent-trailers, the R-Pod and smaller tear-drop trailers. Camping can be booked in national parks and federal campgrounds through www.recreation.gov, or 877.444.6777.

Happy travels in the west!

Contact Tim Viall at tviall@msn.com. Follow him at recordnet.com/travelblog.

This entry was posted in Central California, East Coast US, Midwest US, Mountain West (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado), Northern California, Pacific Northwest USA (Oregon, Washington, Idaho), Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Sierra Nevada, Southeast US, Southern California, Southwest USA (Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas), Stockton/San Joaquin County, Teardrop and tiny travel trailers and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment

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