Teardrop campers first became popular in the 1930s when do-it-yourself magazines like Mechanix Illustrated published guides for readers to build their own. These streamlined teardrop trailers remained a top choice for enjoying the outdoors in comfort until their popularity waned in the 1960s. But teardrop campers saw a resurgence in the 1990s.
Now, with retro enthusiasm and a desire for escapism at a fever pitch, there are plenty of teardrop camper options available on the worldwide market. In addition to their timeless shape, these trailers tend to be lightweight, and most modern cars can tow them given the right equipment. Here are seven of our favorite teardrop campers right now.
Airstream Basecamp, $37,900 and Up
Airstream makes a slew of products for a range of size needs and budget requirements. Its most diminutive and “affordable” option, the teardrop camper called the Basecamp, is the latest evolution of the iconic teardrop shape. It still features Airstream’s signature riveted sheet-metal and a modular interior customizable to the user’s specification. Airstream also offers a Basecamp “X-package” which offers more towing equipment. Be sure to check out our story about camping in an Airstream Basecamp using our time with our long-term Land Rover Discovery.
Escapod Topo Series, $16,995 and Up
The Escapod Topo presents a happy medium between affordable and utilitarian when it comes to teardrop campers. Highlights include large 17-inch tires, a moon roof, and a slew of add-ons available á la carte. It also comes standard with a Yeti Tundra 65 cooler, and plenty of storage.
Starting price is just $16,995 but this pod-like trailer gets expensive once the options start piling up—as much as $33,740 by our attempt at a max-spec configuration. The standard model is fairly spartan, but Escapod will also add amenities such as a two-burner stove, a water tank, a water heater, a shower, and even an air-cooling unit for much less than the most affordable Airstream offering.
Bean, $15,950 and Up
Trailer-maker Bean offers four different teardrop campers designed to accommodate a variety of lifestyles. It offers a retro-looking “Classic” Bean all the way up to “Mean” and “Meaner” Bean configurations which are more suited for rougher environments.
The “Stock” Bean (get it?) starts at just $15,950, while the “Meaner” Bean is presently offered for $19,950. Bean doesn’t quite offer the customization of Escapod, but it still has plenty of upgrades buyers can specify.
Polydrops, $14,495 and Up
If the Tesla Cybertruck ever does make it to production and no accompanying teardrop camper joins it upon release, Polydrops already sells a minimalistic alternative that looks like the perfect trailer to tow behind the wacky Cybertruck. This company designs and manufactures its trailers in California, and its top-trim model weighs only 1,150 pounds, according to the Polydrops website.
The most affordable “2020 K-17 FRP Siding” base model starts at $14,495, while Polydrops asks $19,995 for the “KJ-20 Fully Loaded” version with aluminum siding. Equipped with top trim, these are well-appointed trailers with a lot of standard features such as a fridge, a wood kitchenette, full HVAC, a road shower, and even outside security cameras.
Earth Traveler, $10,000 and Up
Weighing between 216 and 298 pounds, the Earth Traveler Teardrop camper is an affordable and ultra-lightweight camping solution. Earth Traveler’s offerings are nearly devoid of features, but the Earth T300 is made from lightweight materials like fiberglass, wood, Kevlar, and carbon fiber; the Earth T250LX is made entirely of carbon fiber. The former starts at just $10,000 while the latter starts at $30,000 due to materials cost. We’d have a hard time spending an additional $20,000 to save 82 pounds, but the Earth T300 seems like a great deal.
Barefoot Caravans, $34,670 and Up
These egg-shaped camper trailers have the basic teardrop shape but eschew the classic airplane-aluminum look in favor of a fiberglass-monocoque body on a steel chassis. They feature a luxurious suite of amenities such as a full bathroom with a shower, a kitchen, solid oak countertops, a fridge with freezer, and an audio system.
The English designed and manufactured brand had planned to expand to the U.S. this year, but no such news has been announced just yet due to the unprecedented circumstances. At time of publication, Barefoot Caravans asks £27,500, or $34,670, for the privilege of staying in one of its quirky campers.
Mink, $14,687 and Up
We thought automotive forbidden fruit was bad enough, but now we have to worry about forbidden teardrop trailers, too. The Mink 2.0 “sports camper” is one such example of something we badly want to come to our shores.
According to the manufacturer itself, “Mink, an Icelandic company, touts the values of minimalism, functionality, craftsmanship, quality manufacturing, and robustness.” This teardrop trailer retains the traditional form but does so in a way that’s reminiscent of a Citroën Cactus, especially with the brightly colored trim that surrounds the profile. It doesn’t offer options like the other brands on this list, but it does include standard features like a large overhead panoramic window, a Bose sound system, a gas stove, and camping chairs and tables. Starting price is $14,686.53 converted from €12,960 at time of writing.
Check out our gallery for more of our favorite teardrop campers in action.
Best 2020 Teardrop Camper Trailers:
- Airstream Basecamp, $37,900 and Up
- Escapod Topo Series, $16,995 and Up
- Bean, $15,950 and Up
- Polydrops, $14,495 and Up
- Earth Traveler, $10,000 and Up
- Barefoot Caravans, $34,670 and Up
- Mink, $14,687 and Up