Small and Light: Five Lightweight Trailers that have it All

Small and Light: Five Lightweight Trailers that have it All

Story by Howard J Elmer, photos courtesy of the manufacturers

RV designers are hyper-aware of the social and market trends that will influence the next generation of trailer buyers. Frankly, they have to be. That said, the variety of units currently available from these RV builders is vast. The existing field of towable and motorized units offers every age and demographic group what they want – for now, and hopefully the future.  However, there is a new trend that is presenting itself, one (generally) driven by younger buyers that are different from the rest, and the RV builders are responding.

This group is looking for a lightweight trailer that they can tow with today’s wagons and small SUVs – not trucks. This trailer should be compact, as they want to tow it comfortably and then get it into any place they desire (and being urban dwellers they have to consider that they have limited parking space). Yet despite these wants – small and light – they do not want to give up any of the creature comforts afforded by larger RVs. And, finally, electronics, connectivity and smart phone compatibility are must haves.

Here are five for 2019 that fit that bill:


2019 Hymer Touring GT

The all new Hymer Touring GT is a stylish ultra-lightweight towable trailer with a pop top roof, extensive storage, a king-size bed, and full bathroom and kitchen, yet it still weighs in at under 2,500 lb dry. Its GVWR is 3,400 lb. This ultra-lightweight towable is available in a couple of exterior colour options. Of note here is that the hard shell of the trailer is also its frame. Unlike many North American designs, there is no internal wood or aluminum framing – this is key to the weight savings.

“These trailers are now being built in North America, but all the design elements are straight from Europe, which is what makes them so attractive,” notes Karyn Torcoletti, Director of Marketing for Erwin Hymer Group North America, Inc. “Add in the fact that most owners won’t need to purchase a heavy-duty tow vehicle, and you have the elements of something never seen in the North American trailer industry before.”


2019 Airstream Nest

Airstream, known for their shiny aluminum skinned trailers, has also introduced a lightweight moulded fibreglass shell trailer. Called the Nest, it is billed as incorporating elements of nature into its interior design and colour palettes, along with a bold exterior statement. That gleaming fibreglass exterior is courtesy of a two-tone premium gel coat that’s incredibly durable.

This trailer is 16-ft. 7-in. long and has a packed GVWR of 4,000 lb. Within this compact floorplan though, it hits the high notes – a full kitchen, full bath, places to charge your phone, and technology to keep you happy. That kitchen features a two-burner cooktop with a cover that creates extra counter space, plus a microwave, a refrigerator with an icebox, and a generous stainless steel sink. The entry door lets in tons of light through its window, while the LED entry handle and entry lights help guide you home after dusk. On nice days, enjoy some bug-free fresh air, thanks to the sliding screen door.


Jayco Hummingbird

The Jayco Hummingbird 16MRB is built with a Stronghold VBL vacuum-bonded laminate floor and sidewalls. It also uses a one-piece fibreglass roof and its fenders are powder-coated black aluminum. These construction features net a trailer that is 19-ft long, yet hits a loaded GVWR of just 3,750 lb. Jayco emphasizes the build quality of the Hummingbird by pointing out the plywood bed bases and cabinets are both screwed and glued together. Inside there are residential-style seamless countertops, a two-burner recessed cooktop and a convection microwave. The bathroom has a fully-equipped shower with removable showerhead. All the cushions are vinyl-backed and feature high-density foam. The Hummingbird can be outfitted with an optional A-frame mounted two-bike carrier, and it even has exterior accessed storage space.


Forest River r.pod 

There are several r.pod floorplans; however, the new RP172 fits our criteria. In fact, Forest River promotes it by saying r.pod offers affordable luxury at the lowest tow weight in its class. It’s an example of form following function with its unique shape and construction. Welded aluminum sidewalls and floor are covered by a seamless fibreglass roof and an exterior two-tone gel-coated fibreglass shell. A lightweight composite panel material (used inside and out) called AZDEL adds to the strength, water resistance and weight savings in the unit.

This r.pod is 18-ft. 4-in.-long and has a total GVWR of 3,232 lb. Inside, it comes standard with a 3.7 cu-ft. three-way refrigerator, and two-burner recessed cook top with flush mount glass cover. The seamless kitchen countertop has an under-mount stainless steel sink. There is an E-Z Glide dinette table along with residential cabinetry, hardwood drawers and expandable cargo netting for additional storage wherever possible. On the electronics side, it comes with a Furrion Bluetooth Stereo w/remote & app, and a Go Power Solar Charging Port.


KZ Escape 

Escape offers several floorplans, but the E171MB is new for 2019 and seems to touch on all the wants we’ve discussed here.  At 19-ft long, it maxes its GVWR at 4,000 lb. Within this space, the Escape offers a single slideout that houses the refrigerator and storage. The Queen bed in the nose of the trailer is a Murphy-style convertible sofa that makes the most of day or night configuration. Other standard features in the Escape are 7 cu-ft double-door refrigerator, a two-burner cooktop and microwave. Cabinets are Amish-crafted rustic maple with rail-style doors and modern handles. There are also overhead cabinets, and lighting is LED throughout. KZ knows that the bathroom is too important to compromise, so it’s designed with plenty of elbow room in the bath along with large showers, sinks and foot-flush toilets. Electronics include digital media stereo with Bluetooth and 12-V dual USB Ports. There is also an omnidirectional HDTV antenna. Of note on the Escape is an optional Off-Road Package, which when ordered adds the following to your trailer –

  • Aluminum wheels with 15-in. Mud Tires
  • Extra Ground Clearance
  • Electronically-Controlled Heated Holding Tank
  • Double Entry Step (select models)

These features will get you into even more remote locations – comfortably – and that’s the idea, isn’t it?

Categories: Features, RVing, Trucks Plus