You’ve heard that teardrop trailers are small, but just how much do they weigh? Are they as lightweight as they seem or are they heavier?
In this article, I will answer that very question. Read on, as you don’t want to miss it. I’ll also share some of my favorite examples of teardrop trailers at all different weights.
Let’s get started.
The Average Weight of Teardrop Trailers
The average weight of a teardrop trailer is between 500 and 3,200 pounds. Yes, that’s a huge range, but you can expect that most teardrops will weigh somewhere around 1,000 pounds. Those that are 1,500 pounds and up are heavier trailers, typically double-deckers or vehicles with lots of amenities.
There are also super lightweight trailers. These are incredibly basic with very few amenities. After all, the more that’s in your teardrop, the more it weighs.
Weight Terms You Need to Know
Now you know the weight range of teardrops. There are more weight terms to learn still, especially if you’ve never owned a trailer before. For instance, how much cargo can you bring? What is the weight of your trailer when it’s empty versus when it’s full?
To answer those questions, it’s time to study up on these weight terms:
- Cargo carrying capacity (CCC): The Cargo Carrying Capacity is sometimes also referred to as Cargo Weight. It’s a calculation of your king pin weight or tongue weight as well as the weight of any optional equipment and personal cargo. Knowing the CCC will help you keep the load onboard your rig evenly distributed.
- Dry Weight: A trailer’s dry weight is how heavy it is once you take out equipment, passengers, cargo, fluids, and fuel. Sometimes batteries do count, but other times not. Some fluids should be added to the calculation, such as fuel, coolant, oil, and onboard equipment liquids as well as generator fluid.
- Unloaded Vehicle Weight (UVW): Another term to know is the Unloaded Vehicle Weight. The UVW is your teardrop trailer’s weight at factory standards. No optional accessories are included, nor is propane, water, and cargo. Fluids, fuel tanks, generators, and the weight of a full engine should be added to the UVW.
- Tongue Weight: Also known as king pin weight, the tongue weight is the amount of downward pressure that can be applied on your trailer hitch ball. To calculate the tongue weight, you’ll need to know the Gross Trailer Weight or GTW. The tongue weight should be 10 or 15 percent of the GTW. We’ll talk more about the GTW shortly.
- Gross Axle Weight Rating (GAWR): Next is the Gross Axle Weight Rating. This refers to the gross axle weight for just a single axle of the trailer. Terms like the FGAWR (front gross axle weight rating) and RGAWR (rear gross axle weight rating) are occasionally used. Don’t ever put more weight on the axle than what the GAWR suggests. You could break the axle that way.
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): Then there’s the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating. For teardrops and other trailers, the GVWR may be called the Maximum Loaded Trailer Weight. Both terms mean the same thing. The GVWR is the absolute weight limit for your trailer.
- Gross Trailer Weight (GTW): Circling back to the GTW now, this also goes by the term Gross Vehicle Weight or GVW. You’d use the term GVW for all vehicles besides trailers, such as RVs. For the purposes of this article, we’ll refer to the term as the GTW. It includes the deployed jack weight, tongue weight, and the gross axle weight or GAW.
Examples of Teardrop Trailer Weights
Are you ready to see some examples of lighter and heavier teardrop trailers? Here are some of the most popular models as well as their weights.
1. nuCamp TAB Teardrop Trailers
The TAB trailers from nuCamp include the TAB Model 320, the TAB Model 320 Clamshell, and the TAB Model 400. Here’s the weights for those models:
- TAB 320 U weights 1,766 pounds without the battery or LP and 1,826 pounds with the battery and LP. Its tongue weight is 138 pounds and its GAWR is 2,900 pounds. The TAB 320 U has a tire size of 205/75/14, a graywater tank that’s 19 gallons, and a freshwater tank that’s 11 gallons. The interior width is 71 inches and the interior height is 69 inches while the exterior height is 89 inches and the exterior length is 182 inches.
- TAB 320 S weighs 1,788 pounds without the battery or LP and 1,848 pounds with the LP and battery. Its tongue weight is 200 pounds and its GAWR is 2,900 pounds. The TAB 320 S has a tire size of 205/75/14, a blackwater tank that’s eight gallons, a graywater tank that’s 19 gallons, and a freshwater tank that’s 11 gallons. The interior and exterior measurements are the same as the TAB 320 U’s.
2. United Recreational Vehicles, LLC
The teardrop trailers in the United Recreational Vehicles, LLC family are the iCamp Elite and the iCamp Lite. The only model with the weight specs available is the iCamp Elite, so let’s focus on that.
The iCamp Elite has a net cargo capacity of 524 pounds, a GVWR of 2,890 pounds, a UWV of 2,366 pounds, and a hitch weight of 236 pounds. Its interior length is 10 feet, seven inches, the exterior height is eight feet, one inch, the exterior width is six feet, eight inches, and the exterior length is 14 feet. The iCamp Elite’s interior height is five feet, 11 inches and its exterior width is six feet, three inches. It has a 20-pound LP tank and a 22-gallon freshwater tank.
3. Little Guy Trailers
Home of the MyPod, Little Guy Trailers also manufactures the Little Guy Max and the Little Guy Mini Max. Let’s look at the weight of all three teardrops:
- The MyPod has a curb weight of 630 pounds, a GAWR of 2,200 pounds, and a tongue weight of 110 pounds. It’s 139 inches long, has an exterior height of 62 inches, an interior height of 37 inches, a fender-to-fender width of 72 inches, and an interior width of 60 inches. The tire size is 175/80/13 and the mattress is 52×76 inches.
- The Little Guy Mini Max has a dry weight of 1,993 pounds, a GVWR of 2,900 pounds, and a tongue weight of 280 pounds. Its interior height is six feet, its exterior height is eight feet, six inches, its overall width is six feet, nine inches, and its overall length is 17 feet, two inches. The blackwater tank is nine gallons, the graywater tank is 14 gallons, and the freshwater tank is 20 gallons.
- The Little Guy Max has a dry weight of 3,140 pounds, a GVWR of 3,800 pounds, and a tongue weight of 330 pounds. Its interior height is six feet, seven inches, its exterior height is nine feet, one inch, its overall width is seven feet, and its overall length is 21 feet. The tank capacity is the same as the Little Guy Mini Max.
4. Rustic Trail Teardrop Campers
North Carolina company Rustic Trail Teardrop Trailers has several teardrop models: the Papa Bear, Grizzly Bear, Polar Bear, and the Kodiak Stealth. Let’s get into the weights of these trailers, shall we?
- The Papa Bear has a dry weight of 975 pounds and a tongue weight of 130 pounds. It measures five feet by 10 feet and includes aluminum wheels that are 15 inches each. Its total width is 80 inches, its total length is 14 feet, and its total height is 72 inches. The bed is 58 ½ inches wide and 75 inches long.
- The Grizzly Bear has a dry weight of 1,300 pounds and a tongue weight of 130 pounds as well. It measures five feet high, 10 feet long, and five feet wide. It too has aluminum wheels that are 15 inches each. The total trailer width is 80 inches, its total length is 14 feet, and its total height is 80 inches.
- The Polar Bear has a dry weight of 1,450 pounds and a tongue weight of 130 pounds. It’s six feet tall, 10 feet long, and five feet wide. It has the same aluminum wheels. Its total width is 80 inches, its total length is 14 feet, and its total height is 99 inches.
- Finally, there’s the Kodiak Stealth. Its dry weight is 1,375 pounds and its tongue weight is 130 pounds, a standard from Rustic Trial. It’s five feet high, 10 feet long, and five feet wide. The Kodiak Stealth includes Black Steel wheels that are 15 inches each. It has a total width of 80 inches, a total length of 14 feet, and a total height of 80 inches.
5. Oregon Trail’R
The Eugene, Oregon-based Oregon Trail’R has the following teardrop trailer models: the Frontear, TerraDrop, Do-Drop, TerraDrop Alpha, and Do-Drop Alpha. How much do these teardrops weigh? Here’s the info:
- The Frontear is roughly 1,100 pounds but can weigh up to 1,400 pounds. The trailer’s overall dimensions are a height of 66 inches, a width of 78 inches, and a length of 146 inches. The main body has a length of eight feet, a height of four feet, and a width of five feet.
- The TerraDrop weighs between 1,200 and 1,500 pounds. The overall dimensions are a height of 68 inches, a width of 78 inches, and a length of 146 inches. The main body has a length of eight feet, a height of four feet, and a width of five feet.
- The Do-Drop is lightweight at 550 to 700 pounds. Its overall dimensions are a height of 60 inches, a width of 66 inches, and a length of 120 inches. Its body has a length of seven feet, a height of 3.5 feet, and a width of four feet.
6. Vistabule Teardrop Trailers
Finally, there’s the eponymously-named Vistabule. This teardrop is 1,220 pounds empty. When you add water, propane, and gear, the weight increases to 1,520 pounds. It has a tongue weight of 130 pounds.
The Vistabule’s width is five feet, its length is 14 feet, and its length is 10 feet. The interior cabin height is 43 inches, the width with fenders is six feet, 10 inches, and the road clearance is 11 to 13 inches. This teardrop has 14-inch wheels, a graywater tank that’s nine gallons, and a freshwater tank that’s also nine gallons.
How to Calculate the Weight of Your Teardrop
In the last section, I shared the weights of many popular teardrop trailer models. What if you already own a teardrop and you want to know its weight? You can certainly figure it out.
For first-time trailer owners, we recommend using an online calculator. This one at Changin’ Gears is meant for travel trailers, but the measurements should still work for teardrops.
Here’s what you need to input into the calculator:
- Your trailer’s GVWR
- The Combined Gross Weight Rating (CGWR)
- The trailer weight rating when the teardrop is fully loaded
The max tongue weight rating
- The RGWAR
- The GVW and RGAW of your towing vehicle
- Your trailer’s GTW or GVW
- The tongue weight of your teardrop
- A tongue weight percentage override, which sets the tongue weight at 15 percent by default if you don’t input anything into the calculator
Once you have all those numbers, you can calculate your teardrop trailer weight in pounds or kilograms. If you don’t know all the measurements of your vehicle, we recommend checking your owner’s manual. You can also contact the manufacturer.
Why Knowing Teardrop Trailer Weight Is So Important
By this point, you have some great reference points of how much teardrop trailers should weigh. If you already own a teardrop, we even told you how to figure out its weight.
Why does knowing the weight of your trailer matter so much?
There are several reasons for this, so let’s explain them in more depth now.
Choosing Your Towing Vehicle
Some teardrop trailers can be quite heavy. Sometimes you can tell they’re weightier just by looking at them, but not always. If you buy a teardrop without bothering to figure out its weight, then who knows what towing vehicle you can use? You certainly won’t.
Every towing vehicle has what’s called a towing capacity. This cannot be exceeded by too many pounds or you risk serious damage to the car. The transmission and even the engine can be destroyed. This is because your towing vehicle strains to pull a heavier load than it’s designed to.
Now, most towing capacities are lower than what the vehicle could truly pull. This is done by the manufacturer on purpose for the longevity of your vehicle and for passenger safety. Whatever your towing capacity is, learn it, know it, and follow it.
Selecting a Hitch
While hitch types vary depending on your towing vehicle, the weight of your rig also matters. If you don’t bother to calculate how much your teardrop trailer weighs, then there’s always a chance you could get an insufficient hitch.
If the hitch cannot handle the weight of your trailer, it will likely snap when you’re on the road. Your teardrop is then free to sway across lanes of traffic, hitting cars and anything else that gets in its way.
Unless you have trailer insurance, you’d have to pay for all the damages yourself. Ouch.
Teardrop trailers are amongst the smallest trailer types and thus the ones that can generally hold the least amount of weight. By piling everything on one side of the vehicle, the weight distribution gets thrown out of whack. Your trailer is more likely to drag along on one side. That puts pressure on those front or rear tires. Also, your entire rig is now unstable. Your trailer could jackknife or fishtail out of control.
You want your teardrop trailer ownership experience to be a pleasant one. That goes for yourself and all your passengers, be those friends or family. The least you can do to be safe is get familiar with your trailer weight.
Teardrop trailers can be incredibly lightweight vehicles that barely scrape by 500 pounds. On the bigger side of things, some teardrops are more than 2,500 pounds. That makes them comparable with fifth-wheels and even some tiny travel trailers.
The examples I provided show these weights in action. If you don’t know how to calculate your own teardrop trailer weight, you can always use an online calculator for the job. Before you do that, though, you’ll need to know terms like the GVWR, GCWR, RGAWR, GVW, and tongue weight.