Live Large in a Small Travel Trailer

Tips & Tools

A small travel trailer is an ideal way for a single person, or a very close couple, to tour the United States. Whether you’re headed to Maine for lobster in August or you want to watch the sunset in the Florida keys in January, you can find a travel trailer that will suit your needs.

A small RV can be a self-contained vehicle, like a Class B Camper Van or a Class C rig. A travel trailer is inherently a vehicle that you tow. Depending on the size and weight, you’ll need a vehicle that can manage the size of your trailer. If you’ve never towed anything before, experts with lots of RV tips recommend that you start small.

Pros and Cons of a Small Travel Trailer

There are pros and cons to traveling vs. staying home, and once you’re on the road, there will be pros and cons to a large vs a small travel trailer. There are also pros and cons when deciding if you want to tow or drive a self-contained RV.


  • You can get to the campground, find your site, unhook, and run your errands or do some sight-seeing. Yes, driving while towing a vehicle will take some getting used to but the smaller ones are easiest. In comparison, taking your entire Class C to the grocery store each time you need eggs is going to get old, fast.
  • If you are traveling with a companion or two, a small travel trailer is all about togetherness!


  • Towing can get complicated, especially if the road is really rough or you’re in a town with tight turning radiuses. You’ll need to plan your route carefully to avoid scraping your trailer or hitting another driver. You’ll also need to learn how to back your trailer into some camping sites. Practice this on your own in an empty parking lot so you can do it with confidence at the campground. Of course, this is all much easier with a small trailer but still something to consider.
  • If you have a big family, a small trailer may feel too cramped. It is a great starter RV for a young family though and gives you the opportunity to economically try out the RV lifestyle.

    Small Travel Trailers have many of the same features as their big brothers but in a space-saving design!

Small Vs. Big

A big rig will provide you with multiple benefits. Some of the largest trailers offer all the amenities of a small house but you would also need a very large truck to tow it. Depending on the size, it may not be economical or easy to use the truck on a daily basis so it ends up being used just for RVing which adds a considerable expense to the purchase of a travel trailer. Many of the small travel trailers, however, can be towed with a small truck or SUV so you can use it as a regular driver when you get home from your trip.

Study Your Joy

When you live small, everything has to have at least one valid purpose. Most people overpack their trailer with items that they don’t actually need but downsizing your possessions for even a weekend outing can be hard. Carefully study your possessions in the travel trailer. What is working well for you? What feels like a waste of space? You may end up winnowing out things that just don’t serve. This is a great exercise to do after every trip until you have only the essentials packed in the trailer. No matter what you decide to do, celebrate the learning process.

Downsize the Right Stuff

If it’s just one or two of you, make sure you carry with the stuff that makes you happy. Yes, you’re on a journey and you definitely want to do some sight-seeing. However, with a little care and focus, you can turn your RV into a very comfortable little home away from home that makes you feel great every time you open the door. You can enjoy art or photos on the walls by using velcro strips or sticky putty and even travel with a small houseplant or two to liven up the living space.


Vacationing in a small trailer can be a dream come true if your focus is on carrying only what you need. Stay flexible in your purchasing and don’t spend too much on any one feature; if it fails, it will hurt more to give it up if you spent a lot. Study what other travelers are accomplishing in their little rigs and get out so you can make some memories!

Still not sure? Check out our blog on Tips for Choosing Your First RV!

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